For the first time in my life I have a "specific" training plan. When I received my first 4 weeks of training I was excited and ready to go. As excited as I was, it was difficult doing everything as written because it seemed I should be doing more. I was overcome with frustration as I was forced to learn and adapt to new training methods while I felt I wasn't improving. I would become annoyed when I had rest days in which I felt I could push my body further. The thoughts kept running through my mind, "If I could just get in their and get extra work in, it will help!"
Some background on me...
Most of my athletic career can be attributed to my stubborn determination. I did extra workouts, stayed late to finish, worked harder on off days, and practiced skills feverishly. When I wasn't working I was thinking and dreaming of how I could get better. Obsessive? Maybe. Stubborn, determined and passionate? Yes!
Fast forward to NOW! "Patience Iago, Patience" (a key virtue to training).... I wanted improvements and PRs fast. I wanted to be at the top. But I stuck to the training plan... on the off days I was off, and on the days I wasn't seeing what I wanted I kept trudging through.
And on to my First Lesson....
I have come to learn that everyday will not be your "best day". In-fact when training you will be at "submax levels daily." So for those that are looking serious training and improvements in athletic performance you must accept you will not be 100% daily and weekly. You will not hit a PR everyday, you will not feel fast, light and untouchable. In-fact for some time you may even feel de-conditioned when you are on a training plan. It takes your body a bit to change and adapt, but don't worry you will get back to feeling good! When you start feeling really strong, almost invincible, this is when you will be hitting PR's or when you will have your big competition (peaking phase). That is why proper periodization (timing) in your training is important. You should be at your best the week of competition, if you have planned and trained correctly.
Don't freak out if you aren't seeing what you want. Trust your training plan, look at your goal and know everyday is not going to be about breaking PRs. If you are giving all you got, which is relative day to day, then get ready for the big accomplishments that are to come. Don't be surprised.... I wont because I have followed my plan and I know what I have deep down inside and it is something untouchable that is yet to be seen.
There is something in that old theatre saying- "bad rehearsal means great performance." - (yes I was a theater major)
Check out Dutch Lowy's blog for some other great tips on training!