Performing Vs Enduring

As you likely know, there is a newly dubbed ‘Marathon Man’ in town. Founder and owner of InnerFight, Marcus Smith has shown an incredible feat of endurance and run 30 marathons in 30 days. A huge achievement that has inspired 40+ other people to run marathons with him and 100’s more to run 5, 10, 15, 20km’s over the 30 days. It has also made people realise what can actually be endured by the human body. Not that it is unknown by any means, Ross Edgely has just swum around the UK! The most marathons run consecutively is 600+, but with Marcus doing the challenge so much in the public eye, where anyone can join him, there has been no doubt that he has run them down to simply enduring the 'pain train' every single day. Amazing. From a fitness, weight loss and health point of view, it’s given a great kick to Dubai and really helped make the Dubai Fitness Challenge even more powerful. From a ‘performance’ point of view though we’ve seen an interesting kick back. So I thought it was a good time to just send out a reminder, if you have a single goal set to a date, based on achieving a time, you have a performance goal, not an endure goal. During the last two weeks, messages have been coming through from athletes feeling below par but wanting to push through. As much as we live by the #noweakness standard this can mean many things to each athlete. A performance goal is set and a plan is made to achieve that one goal. The number one rule for coaching an athlete to a performance goal is get the athlete to the start line in a position to achieve the goal, in other words, healthy. No injuries or illness’s. If an athlete with a performance goal is feeling below par, then it’s better to take one to two days off and recover, than to push through and cause an injury or illness that forces five to seven days off. Eye’s on the prize. You aren’t judged on the training you did or didn’t do, you are judged on the result you achieved. On the other side of the fence sits the endure goal. When Marcus told me about his challenge, a plan was formed that struck an extremely fine balance between performing in training and enduring the training. We actually designed certain weeks to put him into a real fatigued state and then keep pushing him through it. Similar training processes have been used for our Ultra athletes, particularly the 24hr+ guys. However, one thing was consistent across all programs. As the athletes gets closer to their goal, a more performance type of plan is put in place. There is a clear difference between performing and enduring. Performance takes consistent training in a healthy state in order to recover correctly, absorb the training and execute on a particular day. Enduring means getting up day after day and cracking on with the goal or challenge that is usually over a prolonged period of time or distance. I hope this has helped you to understand the difference and evolve your mindset around it.   By: Tom Walker, Endurance Coach