From Sports Medicine:

The principle of overload states that a greater than normal stress or load on the body is required for training adaptation to take place. The body will adapt to this stimulus. Once the body has adapted then a different stimulus is required to continue the change. In order for a muscle (including the heart) to increase strength, it must be gradually stressed by working against a load greater than it is used to. To increase endurance, muscles must work for a longer period of time than they are used to. If this stress is removed or decreased there will be a decrease in that particular component of fitness. A normal amount of exercise will maintain the current fitness level.

I think about this principle anytime I need to exercise or steel myself to some discipline in less than perfect conditions. Nature, life’s distractions, and our own bodies provide ample excuses to avoid doing difficult things. I try and view these obstacles as opportunities to stress my body or my mind in new and different ways so that I will be stronger and more disciplined.

In terms of running, I call all of these obstacles training. If it’s raining outside–training: it might be raining on race day. If I only got four hours of sleep–training: if I can run tired I can run even better when I have energy. Whether it’s hot or cold, too dark, or I didn’t eat the right thing for dinner to fuel my long run; all of these variables can be valuable.  Each time we face and overcome one of these obstacles we remove one more excuse not to do something.

At least that is what I told myself yesterday when I decided to run in the wind and rain, to the gym.  Other than the slack jawed gawkers shaking their heads at me as they drove by, it was actually pretty nice.

Ran 5.5 miles at 10:07 min./mile pace.  Then Rebecca and I swam 900m (200m; 4 x 100m; 4 x 50m; 4 x 25m).  I am looking for some good sources to improve my swimming form, if anyone has any suggestions it would be much appreciated.

Today I ran 6.5 miles at 11:30 min/mile pace.  Only two (maybe two and a half) more scheduled runs before the Half-Marathon on Sunday.

I will probably take a rest day on Columbus day to celebrate a day off from work!