This video is of something I like to call an 'endurance routine'. It's sole purpose is to help me gain some cardiovascular strength so that I don't die before my last couple of passes on the real floor.
It's crazy how your mind and body change when you are tired and staring into the corner for your last pass. Your legs feel like jello, your throat feels like it's bleeding and your mind starts spinning in circles. This, my friends, is not a good feeling. And there is only one way to overcome it...and that is by increasing your endurance!
I have been doing tons of these endurance routines in training. I am trying to go through atleast 2 each day. Some days I don't do as big of tumbling as the one above, but I am trying to keep my body moving constantly from line to line.
I have always done these types of routines. Actually, at my old club (Altadore), I didn't do a SINGLE floor routine on the real floor from 2000-2004 ( I would do them in training camps at other gyms, but never in my home gym). I would do basic and endurance routines on a tumbling strip. I did this for a number of reasons. First, safety. The environment was soft and safe and I could do higher numbers of reps because I wasn't risking an injury. Secondly, motivation. I am more motivated to train when I can just tumble until my hearts content. Thirdly, mind over matter. When I was in great shape I could do all of my hard skills, but some days I would be tired and would need to keep it simple, but still maintain a level of conditioning and endurance build up. If I did an endurance routine with easy tumbling skills, I could still mentally pretend that I was preparing myself for a double twisting double back, but instead do only an open double tuck.
I am a firm believer in smart training. I don't push myself too hard on the days when I know I am tired and mentally mush! I do, however, push myself in mindless ways, so that at the end of the day I know that I have advanced in some way. I have teammates (Dub and Bren!!!!) who will start their floor routine, make the first 3 passes and then screw up the 4th and start again from the beginning. By the time they have reached missed routine # 4, they are disengaged, they are hurting and the chance that they will make the routine on try #5 is slim to none. I don't think this is the right way to go about it. I just don't see the benefit. If you can't make a routine after 3 tries, then obviously something isn't right. This is the point when I would take control and go through 2 basic routines. 2 basic routines are going to be much more beneficial in the end because you are still building up endurance, but not killing your body!
This past couple of weeks have really been great for me inside of the gym. I can feel myself starting to gain some ground on my Olympic goals and I have really been enjoying my time in the gym (maybe because it is a great escape from moving and renovation hell!). I have been completing a lot of tasks and leaving the gym feeling very satisfied.
I came up with a great analogy the other day. My gymnastics and this journey towards Beijing is like a giant puzzle. From the moment I injured myself, I have been slowly putting the pieces together. Every day I have to put atleast one piece in it's place. Some days I put 10 in (those are the best days!!!). I don't know exactly what this puzzle will look like when it's complete, I have a vision of it, but I do know that it will be beautiful and very rewarding. It's my job to ensure that I am committed to finishing it. Some of the pieces are very tedious, like all of the ones that are the same colour, but different shapes (like a sky for example), but I think I am almost done with those ones. It is now starting to become the time when I work on the detailed pieces.
These endurance routines that I have been doing are making me feel like I am working towards something very tangible. They are a GIANT section of the puzzle and they lead to an overwhelming sense of productivity. Once you have the outsides of the puzzle done and you start to work your way in, the pace of accomplishment increases. Once you have completed more than 500 pieces of a 1000 piece puzzle, well, you are more than half way done. I like thinking along these lines. Momentum is powerful ("holla" to all you science geeks out there). I feel very powerful.
The pace is fast, my endurance is increasing, I am making progress and this puzzle is coming together quite nicely.