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A Seasonal Approach to Fitness?

My goal for this blog is to present an argument for approaching fitness with a seasonal outlook. Focussing on something for an undefined "season" with an objective to hit goals but with an acknowledgement that this focus doesn't have to be, and maybe shouldn't be forever.

This argument is based on a zoomed out view to lengthen our passion in a given category. Personally I want to be doing all of the things that I enjoy, in some capacity, until the day I physical can't. The things I enjoy is the key phrase here.


I just trained and finished a big old run. I started in October last year and focused mainly on running until mid March where I completed my goal of running 24 hours and 100+ miles at Herdys Frontyard Ultra.


My plan now is to skate, surf and cross train. To purposely let go of running and focus on others things.



Hucking a Boneless


Is this the best way to be the best runner? Absolutely not, I'm well aware of that, but this is my argument.


I should make it clear that I'm not saying because you have a specific "focus" like running you shouldn't train other aspects. For example strength training is always beneficial, for runners, for everyone! It's just that the focus may change.


And by focus I mean, going in the deep end kind of stuff. So when it's running season, it's RUNNING SEASON! Catch my drift. This will allow us to actually tick some boxes, like half marathons, marathons, strength milestones etc etc giving us great fulfillment from our fitness endeavours.


However....


At least for me if I look at endless weeks of running 60-100km I'll be deflated and demotivated. I'll grow not to enjoy it, to de-test it, view it like a chore and possibly pack the whole idea in and be completely done with running. I don't want that, so I'm happy to step away from it, to focus on other things and allow the spark to re-ignite without pressure.

I suppose I could use the analogy of food. If all we ate was our favourite meal over and over again, it'd be easy to grow bored of it, to want something else. Or music, if we only ever listened to one album on repeat, we'd surely yearn for some different tunes.

I suppose this is why so many people like Cross Training - from a recipe point of view it might be the same ingredients, but the meal is always changing.


Too often I hear comments like:

"I used to run"

"I used to lift"

"I used to be able to do x"


I hate hearing comments like these because they are so definitive. These folks have not nurtured a life long passion for these things, it's like they've crashed a burned. They've closed the door. They're over it.


I'd much rather hear things like:

"My focus at the moment is x" or

"I'm not doing much x at the moment"


Ahh, the door is still open.


Here's a few bite size points that might help you create your very own seasonal approach.

Have a set goal - think of something worthwhile that will bring you fulfillment. It could be to lift a certain weight, run a certain distance or a hit new PB. Make it definitive. This will likely be the culmination of that season.


Have a starting point - depending on the magnitude of your goal give yourself ample time to prepare. A certain goal might even take a few seasons, that's ok, proceed step wise. Personally, I went through a few seasons of running to finally hit 100 miles. It went something like this; 53km, 80km, 130km, 160km (100miles).

Finishing my first ultra

Go all in - Keep the main thing the main thing for that season. This will allow you to actually see improvements and hit your goals.


Let go of identity - this is a big one that we see a lot. People become so attached to an identity based off their training.  They become a "powerlifter", "runner" or "crossfitter" or they get attached to an achievement within that category and they have a hard time letting it go, even when they no longer enjoy that style of training. Then they crash and burn.


I suppose there is a counter argument for doing a little of everything all at once and whilst this is an approach I definitely have at times (kinda like it's own season, hmmm) it's not the best way for most of us to actually hit specific goals and feel fulfilled. That's another blog for another time.


Let me end by highlighting that this whole blog is me purposely thinking out and articulating thoughts. I don't think a seasonal approach is right or wrong. It's merely an idea formed from looking back at my personal approach over the last few years which honestly has happened pretty organically without much pre-planning.


A seasonal approach to fitness, hmmmm




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