Training for life

Last weekend I was catching up with an old friend and she asked what I was training for. The question stopped me because I don't have any races on my schedule--the last event I did was the Tough Mudder race/obstacle course back in May. I'm not planning for a long trip, like my Rocky Mountain bike ride last summer with my brother. There is no particular end point or goal that I'm working toward right now.

[caption id="attachment_986" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Tough Mudder Vermont. This water was frozen. The rest of the water was 35 degrees and wet!"]Tough Mudder Vermont -- May 2011[/caption]

None the less I have been working hard doing some sort of training every day. Although, three days a week are rest days, where I'm working on skills like swimming or active recovery like stretching. The other four I'm going all out with a max effort in each.

It occurred to me that I'm training for life.

I like this notion. I like that these three words--training for life--can convey so many different meanings and can be read in several different ways. I'm training so that I'm prepared to do anything I'm called upon to do in life. Training in order that I can live. It's the training that allows me to live. Having trained, I'm strong enough to live through anything.

It's fun to parse these multiple meanings.


After four years of doing CrossFit as often as six days per week, I'd taken the past year largely off and substituted much more running, biking and triathlons in as my workout.

I shifted gears again this summer and for the last three months have been working exclusively on strength. I've put together my own program that combines two different schemes with an emphasis on lifting high weights for a low number of repetitions (specifically, I'm using Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 programming cycles together with the lifts in Justin Lascek's Strength & Conditioning Program). Unlike CrossFit programming which includes some sort of metabolic conditioning workout in each session, I'm only doing two short metabolic conditioning workouts per week. And again using heavy weights for short durations.

It's been working. Over the last three months I've increased my one rep max lifts back up to the levels they were at when I was training CrossFit consistently.


And so it goes. Eventually it will be time to shift gears again. There's nothing better for you than surprising your body with new challenges. For now, I'm enjoying the gains in strength and looking forward to how that will reflect once I shift back to a more standard CrossFit format.