It’s 6am, there’s a cold wispy wind fluffing about outside. Your legs are hurting from the drills of yesterday, half asleep and a belly full of air. Socks on, shoes laced, and a face full of protein. Off you go into the unknown.
Physical training is the most arduous and boring stage of preparing for a large physical challenge. A long bike ride or a marathon run require some level of preparation but they require a high level of training. This is probably the most necessary stage in overcoming your challenges.
What it does do is help prepare yourself for any or most obstacles that stand in the way between where you are now and where you want to be. It’s through training and preparation where you build a resilience to the unknown and the unknown should scare you deeply.
The unknown could be anything. From sudden weather changes to wheels breaking from beneath you. It’s a scary old world out there but it’s the most exciting part of challenging yourself. It makes us mortal, it makes the adventure. That at any stage it could all go tits up and you could be left in the middle of nowhere with nothing but pure strength and agility. Training is by far the hardest part of getting amped for the big jump.
Stamina and endurance are the two skills gained through physical training. The enduring fitness to go the distance or the stamina to recover from the tough efforts put in here and there. To condition the body and undergo intense levels of stress to help deal with that when it’s more urgent later.
I know that with my bike ride there were moments when I would put in large efforts just climbing a hill and at the top my body would turn into jelly. At that moment a truck came flying around a blind corner and I only just managed to jump out of the way. These are moments you must prepare for. Moments when you are in serious danger of being squashed by a speeding truck or having a door opened in your face. Training your body how to dodge, how to jump and how to swerve away from disaster is the main reason why training is so important. Not just to go the distance.
If you’re going to get serious about overcoming your challenges you need to get uncomfortable and train yourself how to deal with it. Making contingency plans for when things turn to custard like cycling into bad weather or cramping up in the legs.
It never gets any harder than that. Pushing your body to a limit that you’re happy with is as hard as it gets. You’re allowed to hurt when you’re at your limit. Sulk if you have to, that’s something j loved doing. Through all my sulking it actually taught me to deal with it. After you realize that your body is capable of some really cool things it’s one of those situations where you feel like a boss.
Body fatigue is a different story altogether. When I first started training I went on this 100km test ride. In the first two hours I was so determined and focused to get the job done but it was like trying to make a boat drive on the road.
Lethargic and full of complaints. Very quickly j learnt that the body has it’s physical limits. A point where it no longer listens to what you tell it to do. Cramps, jelly legs, and chaffing. It’s all apart of the package when you start walking the walk.
Or in my case biking the bike… In cycling terms it’s called “bonking.” A term used to describe the moment in which your bodies fuel storages deplete and it becomes to difficult to push harder. Hitting the wall is like carrying weights on damp sand at the beach. It’s crap.
The other side to physical training off the bike is practising good nutritional intake. Now this is when my advice probably isn’t fantastic but let’s have a quick yarn about how the stuff you eat fuels the stuff you do.
It takes a lot of energy to train a lot. There are different foods which have different impacts on how well your body copes with fatigue. For example high carb diets like pasta, baked foods, and bread based stuff can all be really good long term energizers. Protein and sugar are really good at helping the body bounce back from strenuous activities.
All that being said during my training for the big bike ride I just ate what I always normally ate. High carb meals, high potassium snacks and tonnes of sugar and that’s because I always normally ate this stuff. A thing to remember about changing your diet is that moderation keeps you safe from deficiency of anything.
Your body will work just how it normally does so long as you give it what it normally has. Just boosting it up a bit every time you go out for a ride to make sure that it doesn’t lack any valuable stuff long term. Basically, don’t self evaluate your eating cycles on Google, listen to your body and see what it’s capable of doing.
Physical training should be the most arduous and boring part of overcoming any challenge. It’s hard and it’s boring but ultimately without it you’re just setting yourself up for unnecessary trouble and an unhappy stomach to go with it.
Next time we’ll talk about taking a reality check on your idea. Discuss what unavoidable barriers you need to pass in order to achieve your goals!
Thanks for checking in!