Let’s talk BOOBY-TRAPS. And no, this blog isn’t about sports bras. It’s about outsmarting your self-destructive, inner Kevin McAllister. It’s about making sure you don’t get caught with your pants down in the middle of your racing season. It’s about not ending up stuck in the metaphorical briar patch of injury or defeat.
As an avid Home Alone fan, I’m going to going to break it down like this: When setting a race/life goal, you’re like the Wet Bandits calling out to little Macaulay Caulkin upon entering his house. Not only are you going public with your big, scary goals, you’re also inherently opening yourself up to a swinging paint can to the balls. The traps have been set! And they’re inspired by your natural fears & reckless tendencies (we all have them).
Examples of self-laid booby traps:
- Bart bought $100 bottle of wine to whip out during a special occasion like a baller. 10 years later, the wine went bad because Bart was too scared to waste $100 bottle on the wrong moment.
- Sally was training for a marathon and getting ready for her 20 mile long run. She was sore from dancing all night in boots with the fur and her gut told her not to do the run on 2 hours of sleep and a belly full of Jaeger Bombs, but she didn’t want to veer off track from her plan. Sally ended the run with a pulled hammy, the smudge of a hand stamp on her face and just one more regret to add to the list.
We can all learn a lesson from Bart & Sally’s poor execution. They booby-trapped the shit out of themselves. I too have booby-trapped myself in the past and learning to avoid those pitfalls has been the key to finally reaching the finish line on some of my goals. You have to be aware of the potential booby-traps and think one step ahead at all time.
Tips for avoiding Booby-Traps during training:
- Keep a detailed journal – What you ate for meals, miles, pace, time of day, how you fueled, which shoes you wore, how you felt mentally and physically, potential hurdles, life events and how your dog’s pepperoni fart woke you from a deep sleep in the middle of the night.
- Rule of 20% (or less) – Using your detailed notes in your journal, track your mileage & intensity and plan ahead to make sure that you never increase more than 20% at a time. If you’re more delicate than a grandmother’s doily, don’t even attempt 20%. Force yourself to take baby steps by looking at the numbers closer and holding yourself accountable by writing everything down.
- Don’t increase intensity and distance at the same time if you can help it – Don’t Hussein Bolt your way out of the house on a 15 miles hilly route if you’ve only just run your first 5k. Use your brains here.
- Don’t be too extreme – Don’t hold yourself to ridiculous standards, like no wine for a month. Or worse, no days off to rest. Your body needs rest, your body needs sleep and your body needs food (and yes, carbs!!) as much as it needs miles and speed training in order to reach your goal on race day. Run & Recover are like the Ying Yang twins, WHAAAAT!
- Be flexible – Don’t give up after one unscheduled day off. Don’t refuse to move your schedule around when life or mimosas happen. Run by feel sometimes or skip a run if you’re not feeling it at all. Everyone is different and your body knows best what it needs.
- Pre-hab & condition – Feeling sore? Stretch some more! Run down or beat? Ice & heat! Pain surprise? Foam roll your thighs!
Stack-miagi says, “To become a booby-trap master thwarter, you must first think like a booby-trapist and then booby-trap the booby-trapist with preventative booby-traps of your own booby-track making. “