Recall what I said: "Ok, so you know how to suffer. Do you know how to make that a success?" Part of the key to the (personal) success is GTWD.
But what exactly does that entail?
I wish I could remember how I happened upon this blog post, a first-person recount of a slightly drunken conversation. Perhaps it is enough to say that since I first read it, I have thought about drunken Scandinavians maybe 5 out of every 7 days - and its message every single day. Potent liquor indeed.
He said, “All that matters is you have a good miljø (which means culture and environment) and that you have the…(tried to explain ‘the fire within you’, but couldn’t).” He was very animated. “Where did you finish today?”
“50,” I lied.
“Ja. You are here now with (unnamed coach),” (places a beer in the lonely corner of the bar) “This is winning your Nationals.” (places a beer in front of him) “This is winning a World Cup.” (practically tosses a beer out of reach and off the bar) “If you want to win you need to train 1200 hours like Justyna (Kawuckchuck). You are not even close.” he said.
“That’s ridiculous! Not to mention totally ‘questionable’,” I said.
“But have you tried? No. That’s why you won’t win. If you train 1200 hours THEN you will know how to train. You are not even close.”
The thing that blew me away is that it was immediately apparent that he comes from a COMPLETELY different world than we do. He’s right, we aren’t even close. Nowhere near it.
When guys like him talk about training it’s not about getting faster or making some team, it’s about *winning world cups*. Even when he’s talking to someone he doesn’t know.
He’s right, he has the miljø, so he doesn’t have to consider second best. It’s tip-top or nothing. Train more, *lots* more. Don’t expect help, because you are the one that has to race. Don’t come to a workout and say “what are we doing today?” – just show up with a plan.
This energy I got from that beer soaked nordmann is something I can’t describe in writing.
Let's leave aside the fact that they are talking cross-country skiing, winning skiing races, and any specific training hours (which incidentally works out to about 23 hours/wk) for a second and zero in on the main message: do the training and then you will know how to do the training.
A classic Catch-22 if I have ever heard one, but oh so true. Stop talking about "well, if I could train X hours a week, I would do Y, Z, A and B...and be able to take over the world and bench-press my car to boot." Instead actually train those X hours for a (one) week (assuming something resembling an appropriate base). It should really only take that week....and then and only then will you really know how to train - or how not to train - for X hours, and I don't (entirely) mean completing the hours and the training. [Although you will learn a lot about not gunning every workout and your personal recovery pace.]
What I mean is how to support the hours and the training: What time to go to bed. What time to wake up. How to pack a bag for multiple sessions per day or a brick. What to wear. What to eat. When to eat it. How much of it to eat. Where to do your sessions for efficiency and the best race-like conditions. What parts of you are most the painful - and thus are the weakest. How to negotiate all of this with the other important people/factors in your life.
You will have taken the first step to constructing your personal miljø.
And after that, learn from what didn't work and extrapolate. Train like that for a month - and you'll know how train like that for a month. Then a year - and you'll know how to train like that for a year. And eventually, you might actually be able to take over the world.