Over on Endurance Corner, January's theme is "Your Best Season Ever." So far this month there has been a ton of great content about figuring out what you did in the past and what you are doing now to set yourself up for success. It's focused on sport, and triathlon specifically, but there's a lot of good stuff in there that's applicable to life in general.
I'm fortunate that in my editorial role for the site I get to see all the content early and mull it over in advance of posting. So if you wonder why I'm fast 10 days earlier than you, there's your answer...
The main objective of the theme is to help readers have their best season ever in 2011 (in case you couldn't figure that out by yourself). It's very Men's Healthish, I know. Some of the other contenders for the month theme were "Lose Your Gut" or "Fight Flab and Win!" but those don't apply to EC's general audience.
In reading through all the content, I began reflecting on my 2010. I've said before (but probably not on this blog, since I've been a little irregular with the updates) that I feel 2010 was a breakthrough year for me. I set a personal best in every event in which I competed -- ironman, half ironman, olympic distance, half marathon... even what I felt was an out of shape 5k in November was still almost half a minute faster than ever before.
To be sure, having a coach has helped tremendously. So has being permanently based in Texas. I suppose one could argue that returning to school allowed me more time to train, but as I noted before IMCdA, I did less volume this year than in 2009 preparing for Lake Placid. And honestly, I think I'm more stressed with academic life than professional life (I have another blog post rattling around in my head about that -- I dislike academia...).
So what made the difference? In my mind I was inconsistent in my training throughout 2010. But on paper (reason No. 1 for keeping a journal!), it turns out I was the most consistent I've been since I was training for Rowing Nationals and Canadian Henley in 2002. To be fair, my "remembered" inconsistencies weren't completely made up -- I did have a bunch of holes throughout 2010, but they were relatively small holes.
Many triathletes remember their huge, epic days as their "average" output. I have a tendency to get sucked into recalling what I didn't do and creating this mental image of myself as wildly inconsistent, which doesn't do much for my motivation.
My main athletic goal for 2011 is less zeros. I'm not going overboard and saying "no zeros" -- I know myself well enough to recognize that's a bit of a reach for me. Sure, I have some specific race objectives, but with the nursing program and other things going on, I'm going to keep it simple this year ("simple, not easy" -- I love that quote). If all goes to plan, I'll be able to create a multi-year block of "my best seasonS ever."