Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Winter checklist..

Mark Allen used to make a list, at the end of every season, of possible area's of improvement, little things he could tweak and perfect. Lance Armstrong did the same thing, he made a list of things that he could do better than the next guy. What I like about this idea is the simplicity in which you can see possible time improvement. If I have a check list of 10 areas that I can improve, and each area will yield a ~30" improvement over a 26 mile race (VERY realistic) then there's a possible 5:00 PR. If you're an Ironman athlete then this number jumps huge! It would be very possible to have a 10:00 improvement over something as simple as a shift in diet habits, or weight training.. if you had 10 things to work on then this would be a significant improvement.
My list for January has a lot of areas based on my training.
1. Continue my brain re-training, perceptions of fatigue and pace.
2. More quality sessions on the track to develop relative speed.
3. Longer tempo runs that progress towards 15 miles.
4. More race pace work during long runs.
5. Include a structured hill interval session once per week.
6. Lift weights or do plyometrics regularly.
7. Healthier diet habits- eat more.
Better control over my addiction to pushing mileage. Not run so much.
9. Race more often.
10. Stretch my lower legs more often.
11. Include tempo training earlier and get away from MAF principles.

It also has a lot of mental and personal areas of improvement that are key to the big picture. As ds said "keeping it real"..
12. Be completely true to myself and my family. No compromises.
13. Never compromise a second of my time with my son- he's everything to me.
14. Don't lose sight of why I run... for fun.
15. Learn to handle stress better.
16. Stop putting so much pressure on myself and relax a bit.
17. Be thankful every day, and acknowledge how fortunate I am.
18. Continue to avoid haters and people with negative attitudes.
19. Develop better work skills so I can reduce my stress.
20. Continue to build my coaching business on my own terms.

That's a pretty good start and should keep me busy for a day or two. The last 8 items on there will have an impact on my running. Lis once told me that our running is connected directly to our everyday life and I disagreed at the time. My ego allowed me to think that I could disconnect the two. As I have demonstrated many times though, when my life gets stressful my running comes to a crashing halt. I was quite wrong and Lis was spot on. When we have a bad day at work, or we have an argument with someone, that negative energy doesn't just disappear once we lace up our running shoes. Many of my friends have seen me pissed off and angry on runs... Jeff (a lot), GZ, Kerrie, Bob, Lis. I tend to have an unhealthy way of releasing my frustrations- sorry guys. I think it is healthy to release them, but not at the expense of other people's feelings. Simply acknowledging this issue is a start but it will take work for me to correct it. One of the most important things we can do is be honest with ourselves and admit our faults. Even if you aren't willing to change them, at least admit it. Take responsibility. Correction of them may just be easier than admitting you have them! By working on my life I am truly becoming a better runner... they are connected.

No one has commented on my killer playlist!? What the h? Are you all too young to know the classics?


wende said...

The playlist.....what a blast from the past!!! Reminds me of high school...good times.

C Brad Poppele said...

Awesome Playlist!!!

FatDad said...

Awful lot of Pat Benetar on there man. I'd comment but I don't want you to have to invoke rule 18....
Solid list..esp the Men without Hats and Top Gun theme.

Lucho said...

Fatdad.. I was a 14 year old boy when those songs were hits. She was HOT!

GZ said...

Tim - I did a similar type of post recently called strengths and weaknesses.

Yours is a better, more thoughtful list.

Dude ... no sweat on our conversations. Even when they have gotten heated and pissed me off, I know that they are all in the spirit of improvement on some level. By and by I have found them growthful.

I get the feed through an RSS reader so I will have to swing back for the playlist.

Lucho said...

Thanks GZ- I do need to improve though in regards to the way that I communicate.

Dave said...

I would've commented on the playlist, but the posts (especially this last one) have been so great, I almost forgot about the music! :) Great playlist though, brings back a lot of fun memories!

I've just learned, recently, that 'everyday life' has so much influence on sports performance it's amazing. I always thought it was the other way around. I feel lucky to have learned this now, but I wonder what might have been if I was able to put things into this perspective as a college athlete...wishful thinking I guess. Thankfully, we can all continue to improve in some way or another. Thanks for this post. Very inspiring.

kerrie said...

i thought i was in highschool again there for a reminds me of when acid washed jeans were really popular(i don't know if that fad ever hit the states).
as for the communication thing, i think it is huge that you can step back and refocus and admit when you were wrong - i'm still working on that, but then again, i'm right most of the time ;)
ride today was absolutely brilliant!!

bj said...

Ah, wife comments on your music everytime I read your blog. But breaking out the Pat Benetar made her day. Tarzan Boy, Kyrie, and of course, Your Love, The wife hates them...i found their greatest hits with all my old cd's. I think I actually had the tape.

nice change of you really run to these songs though?

Lucho said...

Kerrie- I used to peg the legs on my acid washed jeans. Sweeeet.

Bj- No way would I run to this music! The 80's are for remembering.. The Outfield's 'Your Love' was awesome. We picked our senior prom band because they played that song so well..

Jaakko Hiekkaranta said...

very good reminder on how often times (big) improvements come from simple things!


killer playlist BTW :)

wende said...

What about "Come on Eileen"??

Brett said...

re: Playlist, I was just about to be ready to reply to this post anyway and say other than having to listen to Simple Minds I enjoyed the post...and then you brought it up at the end. :)

Lucho said...

Brett- You don't like Simple Minds? Ah well... hopefully you can just click the next song on the playlist. Or skip down to the tool and metallica? Once I get back on the running horse then the hard axes come back out..

Lucho said...

And I had to throw in the Jem Song '24'.. I will definitely be putting that on my i-pod. Great running song. It's from the sound track to "Ultraviolet"... a good (mindless) action flick with the all time hottest hottie in film, Mila Jovovich. The Resident Evil soundtracks are awesome too..

FatDad said...

hahah...true that. Benetar gets a pass!