MAF Experiment- Week 12 (Run block complete, add some variety, and a dose of discipline)

Click here for the video recap for the blog.

MAF Update:

The run block has all but wrapped up.  All that is left is the Tuesday MAF test.  As with last month, I am not too hopeful of seeing eye-popping improvement.  In fact, my run paces have not changed much over the last two months of the block.  It will be nice to compare end result to the beginning times.  That will be where the satisfaction comes.  This week, I got my bike synced up with my Garmin so that I will get distance and speed for my indoor rides on the bike trainer.  I am excited to hopefully chart some improvement for the next block.  Bike is my weakest discipline for triathlon, so dedicating three months to making improvements has me excited.  Look for the MAF test results plus an introduction to the bike block next week.

Here are my run distances and paces for the week:

Tuesday- 5.01 miles at 8:04 pace

Wednesday- 2.61 miles at 7:47 pace

Friday- 2.61 miles at 7:49 pace

Saturday- 7.61 miles at 8:17 pace

Sunday- 2.62 miles at 7:48 pace

Food Highlight:

Coconut oil is my Windex (My Big Fat Greek Wedding reference).  I use coconut oil in a variety ways because of its many benefits.  I use coconut oil in my coffee because it encourages fat burning and helps me feel full all morning.  It is part of my morning routine of oil pulling.  I use a scoop and swish it in my mouth because it is known for its antimicrobial properties.  Having poor gum pockets, I always dreaded going to the dentist and hearing how they got worse.  Since oil pulling, my numbers have been stable, even getting better in some spots.  I also make my own toothpaste for the same antimicrobial reasons.  Coconut oil is also a staple in some of our recipes, most notably my favorite cookies.  We even use it in lotions, deodorants, and hair products (back when I had hair).

Workout Highlight:

“Variety is the spice of life” is an old adage.  As you can read about in the Wisdom of the week, many don’t believe that I follow that adage.  While I do like my routines and habits, adding variety to your training has many benefits.  I build my workout year into quarters.  I normally have a block from September through November that is my triathlon “off season.”  Here I work on building strength and doing something other than bike and run work. 

This year, I chose to do this new training so that block was run-focused.  December through February used to be dedicated to getting my butt back on the bike and building my base fitness.  This year, I have the base started so this block will be all about getting faster on the bike (my weakest race discipline).  March through May will be about adding interval workouts in to build speed as race season approaches.  My summer will be about race-specific training and continuing the speed work.

By adding variety, I make sure my body does not get too used to the workouts.  The body is an amazing thing and will make adaptations to workouts.  Changing it up helps keep the body guessing.  This helps make the adaptations to workouts better.  Yes, you may be sore more often, but that is a good thing.

Wisdom of the Week:

Discipline Equals Freedom.  This line is actually a title of a book by Navy SEAL Jocko Willink.  The book has so many great takeaways that I don’t have room to put them all here.  I did find a site that has some comprehensive notes on the book if you want to check them out.

The bottom line is that the idea of “discipline equals freedom” is that having discipline in some areas of your life opens up freedom in other areas.  Discipline is not easy; you have to work on it just like anything.  If you want things in life, discipline will get you there.  Once you have that goal in mind, you have to lock it in and stick to things that will help you accomplish it.  It is very easy to say “I will do it tomorrow” or “I don’t feel like doing it now.”  Letting those thoughts in will allow your chances of achieving that goal slip away.

I am definitely a person of routines.  I love them!  (Yes, honey, I do need to work on letting some of my rigid adherence to those go.)  Having the discipline to make those routines turn into habits has helped free my mind.  Here are some things that have worked for me:

  • Get up early and get the work done.  I used to be an afterschool workout guy, but there are a lot of things that happen at that time that can interfere with the workout.  Get up and get it done!
  • Set up a system for things.  I like my “bulletproof coffee” without the acidic effects so I cold brew it.  That means I set it up the morning before.  I do that with my fermented “oatgurt” breakfasts, too.  For making my own kombucha, I get the water ready, turn on the stove and know I have time for a shower and shave before it starts boiling.  I also let it steep all day when I am at school.  Setting things up ahead of time has become a habit that makes my nutrition choices easier to accomplish.
  • No snooze button.  I do not use the snooze.  When my alarm goes off, which is the time I have decided I need to be out of bed, I get up.  I do not let my first choice of the day become wishy-washy; should I get up now or sleep for a few minutes?  The decision needs to be clear.  No snooze, just get up and get to doing things. (The watch pictures from two weeks ago were inspired by/copied from Jocko)
  • If you want it, work for it.  Good things come to those who put in the work. I want to be a better triathlete so I am trying a different, science-based approach.  If I want to be a better, or more effective, teacher, I need to look up and implement new ways to reach my students.  There are rarely shortcuts to the things that we want and need.

I could go on and on about the good things to take away from this book, but this is already my longest section I have done.  I encourage you to check out this book and build your own discipline.

That’s just a bit of my experience.  Have a great week.

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