After a summertime hiatus, I've started up with strength training sessions again. I know, this seems a little ludicrous with a month left until Ironman Arizona. I've questioned it over and over in my head. However, I feel like it helped me recover from Ironman Lake Tahoe last year, forget the past, and focus on a new goal.
More important, sometimes strength training isn't about the physical. My longtime FitBody Boot Camp/Fitamporphosis trainer, Corey Enman, helps me as much with my mental game as any sports psychologist ever could. He keeps sessions fun even if they make me grimace in pain and beg for a break. And that's just the thing so far. Whether it was my Ironman 70.3 Silverman performance or just being mentally ready for strength training, Corey has seen a change in me from our first recent session together onwards. I used to whine and fade out at the end of long, punishing sets. Not lately. I've been able to handle more stress, complete sets without stopping or coming closer than before, all while just keeping my mouth shut and doing the work. The only different mindset I can think of is that I know now that 45 seconds to a minute of intense work per round really isn't that tough. I've been through worse. I simply say to myself, "45 seconds is nothing," and do the work.
If someone told me they were starting strength training with an Ironman in a month, I'd probably tell them they're nuts. But for some reason, it just works for me. I look forward to my time with Corey. Part football coach, part drill sergeant, part psychologist, part cheerleader (yell leader?).
Strength training isn't always about weights.