Have you ever had a workout that didn’t quite go as planned? Maybe you missed your target paces or couldn’t finish all the reps. It’s easy to feel discouraged and disappointed when things don’t go our way in endurance sports. But what if I told you that there’s power in the word “AND”? That there’s a balance in endurance sports that we often overlook?
I was chatting with an athlete that I coach a few weeks ago and we were discussing how her training went. She mentioned that it was good AND bad. That statement opened my eyes to the idea that we can have both in the same training day. There is also the opportunity for both in the same training cycle as well as on race day.
Embracing the Balance of Success and Failure
Now that you’ve been given that example. Let me explain. When we train for endurance events, we tend to categorize our workouts as either successes or failures. But the truth is, it’s often both. You may not have hit your paces during intervals, but you still got your heart rate up and challenged your body. That’s a good workout, even if it wasn’t perfect.
For example, you may have intervals in your workout. Your coach has set paces for you to hit. You go out and work and work but you don’t hit the paces. What you did do was get your RPE or HR up to the level that the paces would have been at. This is a good workout. You didn’t hit the paces but your body did benefit from the hard work. Don’t ignore that and understand that you’re getting stronger and faster despite missing the mark.
Every Workout is a Building Block Towards Success
This mindset shift is important because it reminds us that there’s no such thing as failure in endurance sports. Every workout is a building block towards success. When we embrace this idea, we can stop worrying about perfection and start focusing on progress.
That mantra along with the concept of stop worrying and start doing will give you the mindset to go for it. When you remove that obstacle from your training you will unleash the athlete that progresses rather than plateaus. When you think about endurance sports you should want to focus on progressing from workout to workout and from year to year. Understanding that there is balance in endurance sports with ‘failure’ as well as ‘success’ creates the opportunity.
Overcoming Challenges and Problem-Solving in Races
Think about the last time you raced. Did everything go according to plan? Or were there highs and lows throughout the event? This is the perfect example of balance in endurance sports. You had to overcome challenges and problem-solve along the way. And yet, you still finished and maybe even set a personal record.
Focusing on Progression Through the Balance of “AND”
By embracing the balance of “AND” in our training and racing, we can unlock a mindset of growth and longevity. We can focus on progressing from workout to workout, year to year. And we can learn to appreciate the small victories along the way, even when things don’t go perfectly.
So next time you have a workout that’s good AND bad, don’t get discouraged. Embrace the balance and use it to fuel your progress towards your goals.