Saturday, April 13, 2013

Baseball Training Lessons

Despite that fact that I am pretty much the only one in a 200 mile radius with this attitude. Despite the fact that I live in an area dominated by American League East supporters. Despite the fact that they, at least on paper, have only an outside chance at making the post-season. I am a Chicago Cubs baseball fan. I'm not ashamed of it.

There are lots or parallels between my triathlon training and Chicago Cubs baseball:

Both are fair weather sports
In much the same way that I whine all winter long about crappy weather, bad training conditions, eating too much, and a lowered libido motivation to put in the miles, baseball is pretty much on hold during the winter. Warm weather breeds exercise motivation as well as a return of pill ball to the diamond.

When I go out for a run in December-February, I share the road with a few cars and snow. Scarce are the other athletes. When I go for a run in March-October, there are actually other people out exercising! Pasty white skin that hasn't seen a lick of vitamin D for months now reappear to share space on the road. The shoulders of the road are littered with amateur athletes pounding the pavement and putting in the miles.  Bicycles are added to the mix. I am no longer lonely.

Sometime, when the weather officially warms up, racing will return. It will continue right up until the same time that the baseball season ends. Such a depressing time of year. Until then, I've got both triathlon and Cubbie baseball to keep me entertained.

Consistency is King
The regular baseball season features 162 games in roughly 185 calendar days. That's 23 days off over the course of 6 months. I checked the Cubbies game schedule. April has 2 scheduled days off. May has 4. June has 3. July has 5 (4 of which are the scheduled 'All-Star Break). August has 3 days off. September has 2 days off.

This is similar to the average idiot's triathlete's training schedule (read- my training schedule). Sure, you can take days off. They are not absolutely necessary and can be few and far between. We have 3 disciplines in which to vary our training.

A quick note on this topic- This does not mean you need to have hundreds of days of HARD training. Running, in particular, rewards easy efforts. You can work on your weakness and build on your strengths without killing yourself day in and out. However, you won't achieve your best without putting in the time.

Take it One Day at a Time
Once in a while, I'll listen to the post-game show. They have really bad interviews with athletes who have been coached on how to answer monotonous questions. Here's a typical conversation:
Broadcaster: Good game today.
Cub: Thanks
Broadcaster: How'd if go for you?
Cub: We did some good things and some things that we could do better. I'm just happy to do my part for the team and glad that (or wish that) we got the win.
Broadcaster: So, what's next for the team?
Cub: We'll go back out there tomorrow and try to get the win.
Both the Cubs and I know that you can't really look past tomorrow. Sure, your mind's eye is on end-of-the-season success. That success is only won by focusing on today. A win for me is measured in nailing my workout goals. Sometimes those goals are easy on purpose. Sometimes they are hard. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. But, when I fail, I (in theory anyway) put it behind me. I want to go out there tomorrow and try to get the win.

Lastly, and maybe leastly,
Both the Chicago Cubs and I typically suck on an annual basis. And that fact changes absolutely nothing for my love of myself triathlon nor my love of the baseball team.

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