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Friday, December 3, 2010

Multi-layered training

We are all busy and need to make the most of our time. Multitasking is a word we all use every day. Why not include your training in this thought process. I call this multi layered training because there are so many facets to this method, some you probably won’t realize until much later.

Running outside on a cold blustery winter day is probably not the first thing that came to your mind, is it? Well it should have been. It is an awesome training opportunity. You have so much more than the benefits from the aerobic training part of it. This is very much a multilayer type of training.

We had rain a few days ago followed by snow and gusty wind. So there is a thin layer of ice under patches of snow and snow drifts blown all over. Challenging to say the least. On top of the difficulties of a long run, I had to constantly adjust from the dryness of the pavement, to the danger of random slippery patches of ice, to the sprain magnet of deeper snow drifts. I had to be constantly on my toes (no pun intended), paying attention and adjusting to the environment. Talk about flexibility, balance and awareness training. Plus it is an incredible interval training (so good for fat loss). I could run fairly fast on the dry pavement, come to a tactical slowing down when encountering ice and the snow bank would add the extra weight and thus work my legs a bit more. You can’t find training like this on a tread mill… impossible. Especially when you couple this with random freezing gust of wind, this just plain toughens your skin… in more ways than one. We all need to be able to overcome the challenges we are faced with. This is a good way to get in the habit to do so. Become mentally flexible.

Adapt, overcome, improvise. The world is my dojo.

On the way back, just when I was getting tired from an already very long day, I encountered a rather large dog whose toothy grin brough T-rex to mind. What to do, what to do… let’s have a quick tactical analysis…. Hmm…., I am cold and tired, I have one eye glued shot and icicles hanging from my nose (yeah I know… sexy), the dog is loose but confined himself to his front yard , yes his teeth are showing but he is not making an aggressive move toward me, with a dog this size the owner would have tied or corralled him if he was unusually aggressive. Results from the tactical analysis: that poor dog is just protecting his home, I stay the course. Of course I am not provoking this giant dog-asaurus, I am not challenging him, (hmm, where have I heard before?) I just stay calm and on task. Show that stage presence we discussed a while back. I was neither a threat, nor was I looking like a victim. Piece of cake. Warm shower… here I come

So during one simple run, I worked on my aerobic, my fat burning ability, my balance, increased my leg strength, my environmental awareness, my stage presence, my mental toughness, my capacity to be flexible (physically and mentally). I probably am missing a few things that I inadvertently worked on. I feel great physically, mentally and emotionally. I worked out hard and accomplished a lot.

How many “layers” can you add to your regular training? The world should be your dojo. Never stop training, your body and your mind.


  1. So, that "State of Awarenees," you posted about earlier, is not only for looking out of things and people that can hurt us, but should be used to keep a lookout for those learning opportunities around us. Ah, love it! :-)

  2. Yup... if you limit your sphere of what you are aware of, you are just only limiting your world... good and bad
    Now you'll have to share the next opportunity you become aware of... it might enlighten us to something we missed. ;-)