Saturday, May 15, 2010

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

This fantastic quote came to mind this morning as frustration began to manifest itself as quite the grumpy disposition. A walk with my dogs on a blue-skied, warm and breezy Saturday morning ended up being the starting point for a downward spiral of negative thinking.

I had been pondering how much my training bites right now. It's intermittent, it's intensity is inconsistent and it's - well, it's embarrassing. I'm a triathlete afterall, not a dog walker.

Midway through the walk, I realized a quiet soreness in my hamstrings. This surely wasn't from all the running I'd been doing lately. Then I remembered something I'd done earlier in the week.

I had been having a conversation with my husband as we were both sitting on the couch. During our talk, I told myself, "Just get up and start doing some squats. Just do a few and keep listening." So, I did. The soreness I experienced this morning was the result of those squats and my disposition soon changed to match the sunny skies above.

You see - to me - the soreness in my hamstrings was a thank you from my body in having gotten off the couch to do just those few squats instead of waiting around for a perfect time to do them, and other exercises, all at once...because it likely would not happen.

One thing I did not incorporate at all last season was strength training. When I only had a certain amount of time to train and I needed to choose between SBR or strength training, I chose SBR. This season, I did not want to put it on the back burner again so I decided to incorporate a few, important exercises like pushups, crunches and squats.

I completed Day 1/3 out of Week 1/6 in the Hundred Pushups challenge and never got further. In my mildly obsessive-compulsive mind, I needed to have built a perfect scheduling structure in order to do them at all. Because I need to drop at least 10 pounds, I wanted to do the strength training before doing any SBR. The trouble is, my schedule never afforded it and I never did anymore pushups.

Here is my point: My perfect set up would be to spend 30 minutes, three times a week doing strength training before I do cardio. I just don't have that time. My alternative (good) set up must then be, do these activities - intermittently - throughout the day, because right now, I'm not achieving any benefits at all.

Here's to hoping that throughout the next few weeks, my body will have sent me many more thank yous on behalf of other muscle groups.

7 comments:

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Me too.
I am going to try and do one minute of pushups twice a day and two minutes of situps twice a day as a start.

Missy said...

The difference of 2 to 3 strength workouts/week is negligible. One is pointless but there's a sweet spot with two. I talk a big game, but I don't have time for two right now either.

ShirleyPerly said...

I too have found I did better sneaking in short sets of 3-5 mins of strength training in my day vs. a block of, say, 30 min. Good luck with this!!

Kristin said...

Fitting in around life seems like a great approach to me. I'd like to do more strength training too.

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Sara Cox Landolt said...

This topic is dear to me! I'd love to talk more about the good vs. perfect while training as part of my triathlon manuscript. Maybe we could combine it into an athlete profile? You can see examples of athletes I've featured so far on my blog.

As a side note, I'm going to the GOTRIbal fest this fall in San Diego!!! Excited to meet people & spend a weekend talking about all things triathlon!

Susan said...

I know it sounds bad, but I love that approach -- pain isn't weakness leaving the body, it's a thank-you for working to make it stronger. If we listen to our bodies, we'll find they converse with us often...even if we don't always like what they have to say. :)

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