Consistency is Key
“Every Spartan has a different motivation, a different goal, but they are united in a common belief; that to give up the chase is to give up the dream.That you can not fail as long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
Those were the closing lines of the Spartan Race World Championship Broadcast and for those of us involved in the movement, they have played over and over again in our heads like a broken record since that point.
It is the fact that we try to drive home to each and every person when we spread the gospel of Spartan, Obstacles Course Racing, fitness, in even just general accomplishment in life. The difference between high achievers and the unsuccessful is grit; perhaps more than the qualities of talent or luck.
Grit is synonymous with toughness, but whereas toughness is a physical trait, grit is mental; it is persistence through all matters despite hardships.
If there’s one concept that ties everything together, it’s that of consistency. Consistency of your actions is the foundation for all great achievements. Your training will benefit far more measurably from being moderately active every day and steadily increasing your effort than it ever could by visiting the gym once a week and hurting yourself. Wise words from the man who won the world championship
“A beginner athlete would put on a 20 lb. weight vest, run hard for 6 minutes, lunge 100 meters, repeat that 3 or 4 times, then quit because they were to sore to go any farther. They would then go home and eat whatever was for dinner that night. They wouldn’t be able to workout again for a week, because their joints are achy from wearing a weight vest that their body isn’t acclimatized to, and their muscles are extraordinarily sore from all of the lunges that they aren’t used to doing. They risked injuring themselves from doing too much too quick, and not being able to workout for the next week is doing nothing for their fitness level.
An advanced athlete, would look at the workout and knowing that they’ve never worn a weight vest, 20 lbs. was too much to begin with. So they wear 8-10 lbs. They also know that lunges will make you very sore if you are not used to doing them, so they only lunge 20 meters between the running intervals. After their workout, they have a high quality post-workout drink designed to digest quickly and easily, knowing that the quicker they get nutrients to their muscles, the quicker they will begin recovering.
3 months go by. The beginner athlete has developed knee problems, and has decided that running is bad for you. The advanced athlete slowly progressed the workout each week, and is now doing the full workout with the 20 lb. weight vest.” – Hobie Call
So that’s the importance of consistency in training summarized into a short, specific example. Is your nutrition consistent with your exertion? Are your workout progressive rather than sporadic?
Now think broader; think about your workplace, your family life. The quality of consistency is the foundation for success in all those areas as well. It’s the story hidden behind your idols.
Consistency is king. Consistency wins everything.
*Note that this doesn’t mean not taking rest days and breaks. Find a sustainable way to progress. (Hint: it does not look like this – go hard, go harder, go even harder, get broken, recover, go hard, go harder, go even harder…rinse, lather, repeat.) This means going hard and followed by going home, fit and well to fight another day. On race day you can go for it, but when training always use your judgement.