Reverse Training

“I’ve got a new secret weapon… and it’s called reverse training!” After 4 workouts for the whole of March, I had a great time trial weekend. “What’s this?”, you say. “Joanne’s got a new secret weapon called reverse training. Tell me more!” Reverse training is where you put life on hold and you ignore training completely. You do no workouts. None at all. Except maybe once a week, when “as a treat” you allow some time for yourself and you head out for the Sunday workout. Reverse training works best when extenuating circumstances leave you no spare time at all – and in my experience it’s best if you’re completely emotionally and physically drained every day. With my Dad in the hospital, I’ve been experimenting with this technique for the last 4-6 weeks. I imagine there is some upper limit to the effectiveness of this kind of program, so as I move back to the regular training program I am pleased to look at back at why it worked.

Why is reverse training working so well for me? Over the Winter, I kept up a good base. After IronMan, I kept cycling doing long rides in the winter months. I also swam with Fastlane – a masters swim club, which has definitely improved my swimming fitness. In the early months of this year, I went pretty hard at the training program before jumping into my reverse training program. Reason #1 = A good base is key to the reverse training program.

The second reason that my crazy approach has been working is attitude. After such a serious year of commitment in preparation for IronMan, it’s refreshing to skip workouts and to bring the approach of having more fun to my training. Whenever I do manage to get out for a training session, I can’t stop smiling. I’m like some giddy three year old who is so hyper because they’re finally allowed out to play their favorite game. This weekend was a great example, we went for a bike ride with a great group up to Allouette Lake. I couldn’t stop smiling. I can’t help it, especially on the bike, I just love it out there. Reason #2 = Attitude is everything.

Now, even though I have committed to my ‘reverse’ training program, I do plan on moving back to the regular training program. I find myself sore, and in order to avoid injury, I think it’s time to get back to a more conventional routine.

Easter Sunday
1500m swim time trial

Saturday – 1:10 run + 30 min walk at Burnaby Lake
Good Friday – 78km ride to Alouette Lake

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