Perfection, Periodization and Priorities

Periodization is a training principle that allows for and maximizes the body and mind's natural cycles through out the year. Training at high intensity for an entire year is impossible and will lead to burn-out or injury. Timing your peaks and valleys with specific races or goals in the course of a year allows you to more effectively train and perform.

Understanding what is too much training or too much rest is difficult for a beginner triathlete. It is difficult to pull back on training for recovery reasons and still maintain a feeling of motivation and commitment. Often during a down cycle other priorities jump to the front of the line without hesitation. Without extreme care these priorities will make a new home at the front of the line and threaten to not let exercise back in.

When these other priorities fall into place and refuse to budge there is a natural tendency to become frustrated or worse quit. It is at this point you need to remind yourself why you started on the journey of becoming a triathlete. If that memory is a bit foggy, talking with a buddy or a motivational read may due the trick. Remember though, that you can't start where you left off. You need to start slow and work back into the higher intensities and a disciplined pace. Your mind will remember how fast you ran 3 miles a month ago but your body won't. Cut yourself some slack and ease into the next period of the year. Don't be afraid or ashamed to re-start the beginners program you found in a training magazine. Just because you left the training cycle as an intermediate you won't necessarily return as one.

The key is to realize there are ups and downs EVERY YEAR, even every month. Embrace the concept. You will be glad you did.


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