Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Even Smarter

Here are a few more things I've learned in my training. Hopefully, they'll inspire you to engage in some reflection and maybe even some writing. I'd love to hear your contributions to the list.

1.) Keep a training log. Write down times, loads, recovery levels, and general observations. This will allow you to measure your progress and improve your training regimen. To know when you're going, you've got to know where you've been.

2.) Active recovery is ten times as beneficial as sitting on the couch. Take fish oil, use protein supplements, ice sore muscles, and do basic joint mobility exercises. Give your body the things it needs to grow, repair, and change. A Lamborghini without fuel is just a pretty hunk of metal.

3.) Read constantly. Learn something new about training every day. There are countless resources available via the internet, and some of the best advice you ever receive will be absolutely free. Just look around.

4.) Seek out the experts. Someone always knows more than you, and more often than not, they're willing to share their knowledge. When you contact someone, be polite and demonstrate that you've put some effort into finding an answer on your own. You'll get the answer you need, or you'll be pointed in the right direction.

5.) Develop mobility. Assuming that mobility will come without dedicated practice is a sure way to remain stiff. Obtaining a full range of motion in your joints and connective tissue will increase your training potential tremendously, and make everyday movement more graceful.

6.) Measure your progress against the best in the field. Human potential is absolutely staggering, and knowing what has been achieved by premier athletes will allow you to set your sights high. Do not accept mediocrity.

7.) Every once in a while, put yourself through a very trying physical experience. Climb a mountain, jump out of a plane, sprint until you can barely stand up. You'll always know more about yourself and your limits after you've pushed the envelope, and you'll be that much more mature for the experience.

8.) Acknowledge your weaknesses. If you don't face your shortcomings head-on, they will remain your shortcomings. There is very little wisdom in pride.

9.) Publicly declare your goals. If everyone knows what you're trying to achieve, they will be in a better position to help you, and you'll be more committed to the effort.

Go faster!

Photo of Max and Agent 99 courtesy of


Anonymous Todd Anderson said...

Most of these suggestions appear sound. But, Number 6 is out of place/out of focus.

From the sound of 6, the attitude about mediocrity is like a leper. Some people, no matter how hard they try and how hard they train, will not get more speed, strength, power, or progress. These people do need more encouragement and support, but, on occasion a person cannot or will not achieve higher levels of athletic performance and ability.

I argue that progress is better measured against one's past performance rather than against an elitist athlete whose natural capability is more enhanced than, say, the common person such as you or myself.

Is Again Faster an elitist group? Does AF have a place for the mediocre athlete?

8/02/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Gilson said...

I appreciate your view. Comparing yourself against the best in the world is not for the sake of belittling your non-elite status. Instead, it gives us something to aspire to. Someone once told me: "Shoot for the roof, and you'll land on your butt. Shoot for the sky, and you'll land on the roof."

I don't believe that there is a single individual on the planet who cannot become a better athlete. Not one. If sufficient effort is put into a good program, progress will be made.

You are spot-on with comparing progress to past perfomance. This is the most reliable indicator of athletic development.

I have no hope of ever running as fast as Justin Gatlin or throwing a football farther than Tom Brady. At some point, we do reach the limits of our capabilities. That said, most of us are nowhere near this point, and probably won't reach the apex of our potential in our lifetimes. We just want to get closer to our potential.

Again Faster is composed of people who take athletics seriously, but none of us would claim to be elite athletes. That designation is and should be reserved for a select few. We are constantly pursuing elite fitness as a goal, but "elitist" is a poor description with negative connotations.

At Again Faster, there is no place for a poor athlete who wants to remain that way, but there is always room for those who are willing to give their best, regardless of their current level of athleticism.

Thanks for your post.

8/02/2006 08:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Toby said...

If you want to run as fast as Justin Gatlin, I've got the number of his supplier.


8/02/2006 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Gilson said...


My performance-enhancing drug is hard work, buddy. I'll be keeping a close eye on my masseur...

I was so sad to hear about Justin. He was a hero of mine.

8/02/2006 08:38:00 PM  

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