The Toffee Principle

ToffeeYou can learn a lot by watching how babies and animals interact with their surroundings. Our neighbour’s cat, who we call Toffee, is a prime example of this.

Everyday is a new day when Toffee chasing butterflies, and through watching her persistence I came up with the T-O-F-F-E-E principle which you can relate to anything in life, especially running & preparing for your next race.

T = Target

Have a target. In Toffee’s case it’s a white butterfly . For running, it could be your next race or a new PB……

O = OPTIMISE

Optimise all your skills, experience and training. Toffee would crouch down, suss out the distance between her and the butterfly, watch and prepare. For running, it involves your mindset, your training plan and the best nutrition – everything working in perfect balance.

F = FOCUS

Focus intently on your target. No matter what else is happening in the garden, Toffee has 100% attention poured into watching this butterfly. The same must be true for your goal. Have 100% focus on your running goal, whatever that goal is for you.

F = FUN

Have enjoyment in everything you do. There are so many things to do in life, so if you’re not having fun, choose something else. Find the ‘fun’ in every activity.

E = EXECUTE

At some point you have to execute, taking everything you’ve optimised, moving forward towards your target maintaining your focus. For Toffee this would be a wiggle of the bottom, running a few steps, keeping low to the ground then launching at the butterfly. For your running, it could be optimising your running training, nutrition and mindset taking that into “Race Day” and running your race at your individual peak performance.

E = EVALUATE

To be able to improve, it’s always good to evaluate what’s just happened. Poor Toffee clearly misses this step, because she always looks so bemused every time the butterfly flies away, licking a paw. However she never gives up and she’s always ready to start over again as soon as  she spots the next butterfly. How did you perform in the race? What worked, what didn’t? What   small improvements can you make next time?

Enjoy your running, and remember to introduce some T-O-F-F-E-E into your goals.

Cross Training In The Grampians

It’s always important to give your body a break from ‘bitumen running’ and mix your exercise up a bit. Perhaps swap a running session with another aerobic exercise – cycling, swimming or bush walking. There is always the benefit of yoga and pilates as well, they are perfect for developing more flexibility and tone.

GrampiansNov2013This week I had a few days in the Grampians, VIC – an amazing place to get back to nature, relax and unwind.

For my cross training I walked up to the Pinnacle and Mackenzie Falls - checking out the stunning scenery and wildlife along the way.

The Pinnacle walk was pretty steep and it felt like doing one legged lunges uphill, so a bit of strength training too.

Grampians2 Nov 2013Blessed to have some amazing wildlife at our backdoor…. after returning home from one walk we were greeted with 23 kangaroos and joeys grazing and playing :)

So this week, think of how you can give your body a break from running and schedule in a couple of cross training sessions.

Body Mind & Spirit Running

Today was the Lara 10km Fun Run. This time last yr, I ran my fastest 10km ever – 56mins – 2 x 5km loops around Serendip Sanctuary at Pirra Homestead. A stunning location.

Lara3 021113

 

So my aim this year was to finally run under 55min and I believed it was in my grasp. I was training well – weekly sprints, tempo, long run until…… every runner’s nightmare – in the last month, a distinct lack of energy, where I was struggling to even run 3km, let alone walk upstairs, wanting to fall asleep at my desk as soon as I arrived at work. :(

A trip to the docs, & blood tests soon had me diagnosed as anaemic, given iron tablets, more blood tests and a review in 2 months. Hmm where did this leave me with the run. 2 days off running & 3 days into the iron tablets, I decided to give it a go, take it easy, enjoy the run, listen to my body, and worse case scenario I knew I could always just do 1st loop of 5km.

Lara2 021113

 

Arrived in the most relaxed state…. probably due to the ‘Inner Peace” hypnotherapy CD I listened to that morning.  In the past I’ve been pretty wired before races, no sleep night before and pre race nerves. 1st stop – queue for the portaloo, before a quick stretch….. then the rain & wind started so all the runners were taking cover before the start. As if by magic 5 mins before the start of the race, the sun started shining. I love the vibe of race day, a whole load of runners, different ages, shapes & sizes, all with different goals and reasons to run coming together to run a race.

Lara1 021113Gun went off, and my ultimate aim was to enjoy the race, the amazing scenery and wildlife. Going flat out wasn’t an option, as the last month had left me completely wasted. However, the 1st 2km I set off at a faster pace and had to reign myself back in, pacing myself.

For me this race was all about Body – Mind – Spirit Running, splitting the race into 3 as always.

Body - With good training, your body is prepared for the run ahead, this time my challenge was preserving my energy & not blowing out.  So I just kept a consistent pace, listening to my body all the way.

Mind – 4km – 8km. The settling in period of the race, when you have to keep your mind on track, and stop it from wandering or worse still tricking you to stop. After the 1st 5km loop, “half way through, one down, easy bring the other 5km home. You’ve run it once you can run it again”….. “Just put one foot in front of the other (bit like life in general really), and Run Babe Run” You can always draw on the energy of the other runners in a race, the spectators and my ITunes … I can, I will, I must YES……

Spirit – 8km to finish. No matter what I’ve physically done in the past, I’ve learnt through my own experience and through the excellent advice of other Personal Trainers, you always have more in the tank than you give yourself credit for. “DIG”, Chris, our spin instructor would say at the peak of our sessions. “Come on Moorie, you’re nearly there” Adam, my PT would say. Those words rang in my ears, as I peeled back the final 2 km, and brought my training to the forefront of my mind…. and somehow found a sprint in my legs for the finish.

Lara4 021113Not a PB, finished with 58:05, and considering the last month, was very happy with that result.

What’s next, some R&R in the Grampians before Run Geelong on Sun 17th November.

Have a great week, and remember ….

Wish It…Dream It…Do It! :)