Momentum vs Holding Back

January 4, 2011 by AnnMarie


Today while on a speed run I got to thinking about momentum. Speed runs are part of my marathon training and are a predetermined set of timed intervals where I run at different speeds. Today I ran 10 minutes at a very easy pace then 20 minutes beyond my comfort zone and then another 10 minutes of easy running. I was going at a pretty fast clip during the fast 20 minutes and kept thinking “I can’t keep this up!” I was pushing my limits to the extreme and nearly gave up several times within the first 10 or 12 minutes of it. But as I stuck with it, I surprised myself. It seemed that the more I ran the easier it got. I felt a momentum carry me through.

But what I was more surprised by was when I slowed down for the final 10 minutes what happened. My ass hurt, my legs hurt and though I was just jogging easy, I wanted to give up even more than when I was running fast. I realized that I’d lost that momentum I found in the speed. I wanted to speed back up! But the thought occurred to me that I needed to find a different kind of momentum when things started to slow down. I needed to push through it like I did with the fast part because both aspects of this run were equally important. I did it. I made it through the run as planned and resisted the urge to speed up.

It’s an important lesson I want to share because there will be times when the intense workouts we do in boxing class (or you do in your own workout routine elsewhere) will seem impossible to get through. Keep pushing through and find that momentum to carry on. There will also be times when we do slower paced cool-down exercises that may give you the itch to intensify them. Resist that urge and remember holding back is just as important a part of the workout.

I suppose you can apply that in a more broader sense. Don’t forget that recovery periods in your workout routine are just as vital as busting your butt at 110%. You’ll actually see improved results when you either return from time away from working out or when you return to an intensified pace after holding back bit, say for a few days or even a week. The inches seem to melt off quicker and the muscles seems to tone faster when you pepper in these breaks.

Hey, getting and staying in shape is hard enough. Give yourself a break every once in a while!

Stella resting between rounds.

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