Parked Eldorado Canyon corner store at Highway 93 and ran up Highway 170 through Eldorado Springs, a climber’s haven. Passed through town, past the sheer cliffs, and found Fowler Trail, running it back down to join back up with Highway 170 then back to start. The run was a little over 8 miles, about 50% road and 50% trail.
There is an old adage as true today as ever: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a great battle.”
A great battle in a relatively affluent country is being jostled and pulled in too many directions. We become acquainted with deciding what not to do instead of what to do. As many opportunities morph into ‘needs,’ it seems that some primordial, upstream-salmon gene activates in our brains and bodies, pushing us to grasp for more than we can do.
Many opportunities may knock, and when they do, be on the lookout for Mr. or Ms. Burnout at your door. This solicitor has bad teeth, dark circles under his eyes, a dehydrated look, burning flames of ambition receding in the irises, and a smoky smell – not cigarettes – but the reek of the grinding, engine-melting residue of neglect. For if we are not paying the insurance premium of exercise regularly, and descending from healthy habits because of it, succeed as we might elsewhere, we may not be around long enough to enjoy it.
One way to guard against a visit from this phantom of temptation is to adapt to it by physically training during his visit. This ends-justify-the-means ghost grasps at the wheedling, whining frustration of our unfinished goals; our haunting imperfections. It would ride them as your horses, pulling you and your life behind, clinging to uncertain ropes.
Imagine yourself answering the door as he or she knocks, earnestly beseeching you to listen and pointing to the pale horse out front; asking you to get behind this high-functioning stressor.
And you answer wearing your running shoes, shorts, and t-shirt. You tell the ghost you are going for a run, and you would love to listen to the pitch along your running route. As you establish your cadence on the asphalt, on the trail, and through the physical world of sunshine, air, seasonal scents, and sweat, you notice that he is having a very hard time keeping up. It seems you have come down to earth, and by doing so, entered a state of peace that cooled and moistened your brow, eased your mind, and helped you find your heart. Gratitude for what you have dawns in your heart, and you realize how much better you could devote yourself to what you have.
What is most important? Your run gives you a real opportunity to meditate on that. As you let the run go through your body, making you stronger, you let your mind drift over the topography of your life, and realize what are the tectonics, the foundations of your peaks and troughs. Soon you can distinguish between what is wise for you and what is not. You have outrun the pressure sell.
And that is a mighty fine pace for anyone to make.
All words have a limited purpose, “for now.” “Independence” is that way. It is needed to get free of false supports, or false assumptions that lead to false needs. False needs erode time, health, and treasure. They tend to be sedimentary and inefficient for us.
We are wise to do an Independence Inventory from time to time to identify the ideas, notions, feelings, things, and habits that have settled in around us that are not aligned with the truest, most honorable, most loving, and most righteous (not self-righteous, but righteous by others) person each of us aspires to be. The “Look-Up” YouTube video of my previous post illustrates a thing from which we need independence.
Why try? Because what we aspire to be is what is in our heart.
Adaptive training seeks to adapt mind and body in service to our true heart, to our reason for being here. This means letting go of falseness, wherever found.
Free of false things, we are better prepared for interdependence in a way that will benefit, not harm others. We may “get up and walk.”
Like farming land, this farming of the heart, mind, and body is the purpose of training the mind and body to find harmony with the decisive, innocent spirit which we were given as children.
As I get older, I see that spirit of decisive innocence to clear the way for genuine love. Instantly, reflecting on this, trying to re-establish harmony with that divine spark, it is easy for me to see all my defects brought to light. My selfishness.
It is then I remember I must stand again, find my heart, and work the fields of this earthly testing ground another day.
A Brooks shoe that finally has a toe box wide enough for me is a trail runner. It pairs up with my Altra Torins for road running. These two pairs make my feet happy for road and dirt running days ahead. The Merrell Barefoots were worn out on the sole, and did not repel the sharper rock impacts from the deep tissues of the foot.
If I don’t blog more about these shoes, you can assume they’re doing their job!
May your running-training days be timeless and full of light.
Yesterday was a sound strength training day, and I found myself reflecting on this thought stream from a recent hike, simplified below:
Truth is so effectual, it needs no anger, pride, fear, or weaponized delivery to be heard. It only needs the telling absent those things, and if possible in love and humility, to resound, reverberate, be received, taken to heart, and possibly passed down for generations.”
As I reflected on this, I realized it has great potential for adaptive training, that is, slipping the punches to self and others that come with anger and fear attached to:
(1) the avoidance of some truth about self, or
(2) fearful or vengeful anger at those who are a source of injustices toward others, self, and worst of all, those we love.
How often does truth go untold or told to shut-ears because the mixture of fear and anger allowed to crowd out the simple, powerful, healing, even nucleus-changing truth?
The truth in matters of all sizes may be scorched, burned, or concealed in the fire and smoke of passions that crowd it, from fear to anger to pride to disgust.
And yet, the simple truth, said, in love and humility, will free the teller as much as those who can hear that truth told. And each one of us will be able to hear it when this untarnished, nourishing truth arrives.
Imagine what energy comes from a body, mind, and spirit un-fettered by fear of the truth, embracing the truth, and working truth through the whole being with every footstep, movement, and every labor.
Look at how truth-to-self was able to do the unexpectedly unthinkably powerful:
By writing this post, I am not claiming I could do what these two women did in their grace and forgiveness, in part imparted through many, in both cases from higher places spacious enough to deliver freedom from the intrinsic assault of traumatic injustice.
I don’t claim any foresight in the field of forgiveness, but I do see a simple truth grasped personally by these two women which makes me wonder…
If much simpler truths about self, or what we witness in the misuse of power were not sources of fear, were unburdened by anger, and unpolluted by pride; if simple truth were told in love however love would wisely tell the simple truths, how much harm, hurt, suffering, and injustice could be extinguished, prevented, and instead nourishing relationships and virtues grown instead?
There is a place deep inside you can go, and through a window is a book, the book of life. There you will see the truth about you and why you are here. When all seems lost, when all appears hopeless and confused, go there to your personal desiderata without words and be renewed. There is no time or entropy there, and no corruption. The center of choice, of freedom is there. Energy beyond all energies, is there. Not destructive, but the Genesis. When the seed coat falls as a gift returned, there the ever future becomes present.
In the lyrics of this piece, I see translated in a few words what the above says.
I’m re-blogging Lyle Krahn’s essay and photograph of a ruffled grouse here on Farm Your Training Day because this illustrates to me a person who is highly attuned to his outdoor experience. Of course he is tuned into the nuances and shades of wonder: he’s an outdoor photographer, right? That is exactly why I reblog him here: each of us has the capacity to develop that greater level of attunement for all that is around us each time we are training outdoors, whether spotting natural wonders in the city, rurally, or in the wilds. Such attunement to the natural is a powerful motivator to return to outdoor training opportunities wherever we may be.
Thanks Lyle Krahn at Krahnpix for sharing his attuned perceptions in the blogosphere so we can take it beyond into the three plus dimensional world.
Whether earthen or architectural the Mountain dimension awaits your training life to let it in.
Inclines are everywhere to be found, and in death valley is there not a heat mountain to scale as some try their constitution and thermostat in that crucible of temperatures?
Mountains too, are icons of your goals. Each has a higher purpose than its own summit. Have a look at this pilgrim’s training incline called the Manitou Incline highlighted in Military Times:
From the website of the Army Wellness Center-Fort Carson at Forrest Resiliency Center:
We assist in the facilitation of healthy lifestyle programs for all ARMY component Soldiers and their families, retirees, and civilians. The clientele spans all ages from young adult to retirees. The way ahead involves working directly with units at unit locations as well as with individuals and group classes at the Wellness Center. Expansion of services includes sports medicine care, which will focus attention to readiness and rehabilitation.
Friday and Saturday yielded wonderful company on back to back afternoon family hikes above 10,000 feet. The trail was Herman Gulch trail. This trail starts at 10,332 feet and gains 1,655 feet in 3.25 miles to a high cirque lake at about 12,000 feet elevation. Friday we went about half way and back, totaling a little over 3 miles at the late hour. The steepest gain is in the first mile.
Saturday our family hike went further, about 3/4 way, with me running intervals, sprint intervals, and incline sprints then hiking back to the family and repeating. That is the way to work in more arduous speed-endurance when you have a crowd with mixed stamina levels along. I was able to sprint ahead, hike back down to my betters, then run back up again in repeat heats. It was humbling for me, and someone special got inspired and started joining in, taking the lead higher up! I was stoked by that I have to tell you. What a gem.
Whatever cold bug of seasons’ change we’d picked up during the week hit us after the exertion of Saturday’s hike, and for me, the trail running intervals. The running intervals were on a 40 degree slope and were at maximum sprint speed until I couldn’t do it anymore. Hiked the rest.
Photos share the vistas along the way. The Fall colors are fast emerging in the September Rockies, even in the mushrooms! Soon, I’ll have my Canon serviced and I’ll stop pushing these phone photos on you!
You awaken with enough time one morning to run a short run but want to run longer. Your calendar balks.
Should you run 2-runs today? One early, and one later to experience that longer endurance experience, and add some mileage to your body’s training base?
If you are cleared to run for fitness and sport, why not, so long as you are not over-training in the larger context of your training days.
And this is not only true for running. Other training modes may be mixed, matched, and doubled. Again, don’t over-train, but do adapt and excel. The experience boosts training and performance confidence, in part because few people make room to train twice in a day, or few seize the intervals as discussed in the ‘Interval Farming’ chapter in Farm Your Training Day.
Write in, comment, or, write a guest piece for my blog about how you leverage a “daily double” into your training life from time to time. Thanks for dropping in!
Had originally planned a 10 mile trail race in Oregon in November with plans of moving to that beautiful state. Alas, negotiations and logistics did not align. I’d lined up training trail runs here in the Rockies as preparation. On one of those the other day, I injured my foot in a strange way I’ll talk about more.
The upshot of these developments: I am searching out a new race that seems right.
The injury to my foot the other day was soft tissue, but I’m beginning to believe that it *may* have an unexpected benefit. What happened? I was running-hiking a section of trail that was sandy and gravelly. My Merrell Barefoots are great on rocks, but on gritty granite slough, they slid. I was going down hard, then caught myself by instinctively jamming my shoe down at the ball of the foot, I was able to slow myself when it caught a sharp rock. I went down in slow-mo, with my toes bending so radically back I thought they would break off.
At the same time, the ball of my foot got the sharp end of the rock. Slow down I did, but felt a wet feeling inside my foot. I thought I may be bleeding. I checked my shoe for a puncture hole, but it held. I looked at my foot. Red and puffy. I put the shoe back on and continued on the theory that more circulation in and out would be a good thing.
Bruising, pain, and increased swelling did come. Yet something else did too.
The way my foot bent over, it felt like it actually opened up the tight joints of my toes and foot where I had a previous neuroma (nerve cyst) from too-tight boots long ago. The bones had rubbed on the nerves, irritating them and causing sharp foot pain Well, the wide toe-boxed barefoot shoes had been helping correct that, together with lots of foot stretching and exercise. But a sense of impingement had remained. After the injury, it feels gone. After it heals, if it scars inside, it may get worse. Or better. Perhaps tendons and ligaments were stretched out in beneficial ways. Here’s hoping.
Next, in Part 2 of this topic I want to talk about another unintended injury outcome.
If in our hearts we thoroughly prepare for lifelong grace after victory or defeat, neither victory or defeat can undo us.
This hike started out with running intervals. On one of those I lost footing on a gravelly down slope. I nailed my barefoot running shoe on a sharp, fixed rock trying to catch myself. It bruised my foot good. I’m grateful that is all it did.
Are you an athlete? Let’s talk about that.
I remember school, that grouping of children by statute in which arbitrary determinations of “jock” versus “gangster” versus “freak” versus “nerd” identified people according to the Plato’s Cave rule.
Have you concluded that you are not an athlete because of this caste-filing system? I believe many people have, especially those who drop out of physical conditioning, or who struggle with believing they belong in a training life of value.
Mass society, as Alvin Toffler the futurist pointed out in his “Previews and Premises,” and “Wave” books, has been reaching its limits over several decades and is forced to change. Mass approaches to the jobs society needs done are losing efficacy to nimbler, more adaptive, and custom modes of human endeavor.
An example: Mass culture’s investors swear to us that mass agriculture is necessary to support the populations it has made possible, what I call an AB-Argument (Addiction-Bureaucracy meme). But that system is changing what food is.
Change happens slowly under the weight of Addiction-Bureaucracy in part because bureaucracy demands consultation and control in that change. However, there are powerful sea changes to speed these processes along from time to time.
In Fitness, Adaptive Training is such a movement. It can take us from the mass commercial approaches to training to an individualized path. Community lives best by temporary confederacies of good purpose, and less by growing, monolithic, robotic authority. The central power theme with high adult to teen ratios provokes the arbitrary identifications like “jock,” “nerd,” “slut,” and other caste system labels that the very teachers it employs fight a futile battle to correct. While this may have been unplanned, authority can use these limiting legends to keep control over high ratios of students to coaches / teachers, etc.
There are Prom Queens and Homecoming Kings and MVPs and scholars by ritual popularity, however, not always by merit of character. And everywhere we hear the word “pride” credited with the wins. I realize this is a commonly used term that many people use to mean love of one’s team, school spirit, and loyalty to their success. But using the word pride to describe those things is off-kilter. That’s because the same word means a narcissistic desire to hold one of the caste system titles, whatever it takes. That is the trend we see in professional sports.
From my perspective you are an athlete if you mentally and physically condition yourself to excel in your sport, art, work, ethical, and spiritual life no matter your age. To deny any part of one’s development for the more easily developed physical talents is to set-up the highly trained body and mind for a descent into character-rot.
An adaptive training life continually responds not to the rituals that flatter athletes, but to the greater purposes that give mortality its highest meaning for each one, and for all. The rituals may be part of the mix, but they do not govern the athlete. The athlete chooses his or her areas of endeavor, and leads her or himself to excel for the sake of seasoning the community with excellence in service to a community of persons, not to an industry or institution.
To serve people is to be a leader. To serve an industry or institution without remembering “by and for the people,” is to become a materialist willing to value things, wealth, and glory over people.
This leads me to sever this piece into two parts. The next part is on the use of the word “Pride” in athletics and other human endeavors, and how that backfires even when well-intentioned.
Overview and Preview as Seen at iBookstore, Lulu.com, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon (with some formatting changes here).
With this guide, you can take ownership of your physical training life and leave behind co-dependence on unsustainable, packaged dieting and fitness hype.
Here you will learn ten principles to help you rewire yourself to train adaptively, more consistently, and thoroughly. Seven training dimensions encourage you to train often, in more places, with more choices.
Table of Contents
Introduction ………………………………………………………………………. vii
Organization, Content, and Safety Notice ………………………………..ix
Part I. Principles of Adaptive Training ………………… 1
Chapter 1. The Training Day Principle ……………………………………3
Chapter 2. Interval Farming Principle ……………………………………..7
Chapter 3. Adaptive Journal Principle ……………………………………40
Chapter 4. The Working Principle ………………………………………..45
Chapter 5. The Gradualism Principle …………………………………….60
Chapter 6. Windfall Principle ………………………………………………71
Chapter 7. Attunement Principle …………………………………………. 74
Chapter 8. Adaptive Eating, Drinking, and Sleeping Principles….90
Chapter 9. Objective Principle: Identify & Excel in Your Sport,
Art, and Work …………………………………………………. 107
Chapter 10. Navigation Principle …………………………………………. 111
Part II. The Seven Dimensions of Adaptive Training …127
Chapter 11. Dimension One: Muscle …………………………………….130
Chapter 12. Mileage ………………………………………………………….. 155
Chapter 13. Mobility …………………………………………………………. 173
Chapter 14. Midsection + Core …………………………………………… 183
Chapter 15. Mountain ……………………………………………………….. 192
Chapter 16. Movement with Forces (MWF) …………………………..206
Chapter 17. The Seventh Dimension: Mind-Body Training via
Sport, Art, Work ………………………………………………254
Yesterday I did not hydrate to prepare for a run.
Yesterday I did not eat much at all.
Yesterday was not a running training day. And although I ran, I did not run.
At the height of the late day heat in the 90’s, in full sun, underfed for the day, and poorly hydrated, I strapped on a hydration system, downed a Gu (Trademarked name) and took off running. I had no distance or pace in mind. It wound up at 4.21 miles.
My sole goal was to encounter heat and full sun while feeling unprepared for my run. I had planned with the Gu shot, and the hydration system, for my own safety net after the halfway point. The Gu shot would kick in after about 20-30 minutes, and I would feel lousy for over half the exercise period.
During the run I purposely ran on several different surfaces, regular and irregular, to do something against my expectations. I ran on river rock, broken granite, asphalt, dirt, deep grass, groomed grass, concrete, and on a few mulch areas. The route was mostly flat with some subtle rises, but it was all in the open sun with no shade until the end stretch.
In the first 30 minutes of this run, I felt very hot. My skin felt hot, my head felt hot, the air felt hot, I was thirsty, and there was very little or no breeze. When I felt a little lightheaded at one point, I recognized it coinciding with that hollowed-out feeling of stomach emptiness during exertion without blood sugar. I slowed down to adapt to the energy drain, reduce heat build-up, yet still keep running by a purely technical definition, no matter how slowly. I began sipping water when I felt lightheaded to make this a training interval, not self-immolation.
When the Gu finally found my bloodstream I felt the boost and picked up my pace. My stomach emptiness eased, and I found some tree cover for the last half-mile of my encounter with the heat and my own deprivation. I could have become a treehugger for shade.
Did I train? By someone else’s definition, perhaps not. But the definitions I set had to do with addressing obstacles I have run into before in my training life, not adopting someone else’s focus, but my own, in the present moment. By encountering and adapting to:
my thoughts and feelings about it all…
..the goal was to train my mind to adapt to all factors and conditions to continue, not quit, and not fall to a heat injury. You see, long ago, I did reach dangerous temperatures while running hills in a 100 degrees-plus, humid, still forests of Virginia wearing pack, boots, helmet, and carrying a rifle. My temperature was 106.4 degrees Fahrenheit before a pugnacious young Staff Sergeant from San Diego pulled me down, and started pouring gallons of water over my head. He saved my life and I’ll always be indebted.
I do not recommend anyone else do this particular heat / hunger / thirst forces session. Perhaps you would never feel the need. I recommend training on full hydration; after adequate nutrition; being judicious about training times and types given your own personal, physical history, profile, needs, and objectives. In other words, a run is a run, a training run is a training run, but your intention in training, your focus can change the interval into something else.
For me, this was voluntarily facing a convergence of forces to train to adapt to them despite having fallen to them in the past. The purpose? To gradually increase capacity to deal should unexpectedly arduous conditions be imposed on me at some future time. Next time, I’ll go slightly further, and so on under similar conditions. This also trains mind and body to appreciate and stay aware of hydration, nutrition, and preparation. It also helps train my mind to adapt and function when those elements are lacking — to push the envelope back and retrain my body’s capacity to adapt, endure, and do so functionally.
Had I wanted to enjoy the feelings of a “run in the heat” I would have prepared properly for it and billed it as a run. A run it was not. A forces training day it was. So if you are a runner, always prepare. Always adapt with as much preparation as possible. You will train longer, with fewer interruptions, and less wear and tear on the body with excellent preparation.
Think of the many times you have said or read about someone having a “bad day” training. A low energy day. Preparation would likely solve a healthy percentage of those days. Adaptation, a survival and enhancement skill, is the follow-up to preparation when unpredictable things happen.
Train prepared friends!
Another blogger’s discussion of Lyme Disease contracted from ticks plenteous in her backyard reminded me to post this simple reminder:
When training outdoors, be prepared to keep the ticks off, and if one attaches, watch it for a developing dot and / or bullseye sore. Have a look: