Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Breaking Down Game Film

Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.--Sun Tzu

Over the years I've learned a lot from playing so many different types of sports. Many of the principles that I've learned in sports apply to other aspects of life. Business managers preach teamwork as religion and who would blame them with the results garnered from effective teamwork. Simply playing a sport tells recruiters for universities and jobs that you have learned things that make you a better candidate than others without a sports background.

The part of sports that I have used effectively in many aspects of life, I learned playing football for 13 years at 3 different levels. Every Monday after the weekend game we would go into a dark room and watch film of that game. After a while we would go into smaller groups and break down game film, which means looking at every detail and addressing what was done well and what needs work. There is no hiding from what the film says you did. In the middle of the game at full speed one can't always tell what is going on but in slow motion, reverse, fast forward and the like, there is no denying what transpired.

So the trick here is to try and figure out what breaking down film means for the runner. Although I'm not suggesting anyone does this, I look at as many metrics as possible in order to gauge my performance. I wish I could quantify feel but I haven't figured it out yet. I decided to take out time over approximately 8 week sessions, where I would focus on different aspects of my running so I could tweak and research as well as make discoveries about the sport and myself.
The breakdown was as follows: July-August I focused on recovery and injury prevention. I learned how to manage my body daily. I studied nutrition in order to eat the best food for the next run. You'd be surprised how your diet changes once you realize the effects of what you put into it. September-October I decided to do something about speed. I incorporated tempo runs, Fartleks, and intervals into my workout after researching the origins of said workouts. I set some speed goals to give myself a reason for the torture of running at lactic threshold. Finally in November and then December I will shift my resources to learning more about flexibility and strength. I imagine I've been doing lots of things incorrectly so this 8 weeks I will right the ship.

I've experienced some success with my focus shifts. I've been able to gradually increase mileage from 15-25% every month and I've not taken a day off due to injury. I PR'd in October after a 7 year stretch without one. Ideally this last 8 weeks will lengthen my muscles and strengthen my body.

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