Peak Fitness: How To Achieve It

Peak fitness is not achieved by a lukewarm attitude. Athletes never reach their “flow” state by way of tip-toeing through the tulips.

peak fitness

Great results some about by enormous struggle, diligence and razor sharp focus. It is not enough to be interested in running faster from the 5K to the marathon distance.

There is a massive difference between interest versus commitment. Which one are you? How badly do you want to achieve your goal?

What is your main goal?

Is it to break the 3 hour marathon?

How about becoming a sub 4 hour marathoner?

Do you have a weight loss goal in mind?

Everyone has their WHY. Their main reasons for seeking out peak fitness.

How To Achieve Peak Fitness

Peak performance will be achieved if you are patient enough. There is no easy and fast way to achieve optimal performance.

I have found the best way is to write down your goals. Once you write down your goal you are accountable for it.

Also, find people around you that care about you and ensure they hold you accountable as well.

Find ways to keep yourself focused and motivated. It is much easier to have that support structure than doing it all on your own.

Is it mandatory to have this? No.

I trained on my own when I was training to break the sub-2:22:00 marathon barrier. I didn’t have the crop of world-class teammates to train with while I was at the Army World Class Athlete Program in 2007.

Take a look at their current roster. Cozy, if you’re hannibal lector.

Initially, I didn’t have that level of athletes to train with when I arrived for Fort Carson in Colorado Springs.

I ran 2:19:35 for the marathon doing workouts on my own. Why am I sharing this? You have to decide how committed you are willing to be.

No one is going to hand you or I our goals on a silver platter. You’ll have to make the decision if you are going to be average, good or great.

If you are putting in 100 percent on a daily basis you have made the decision to be great.

Peak Fitness Demands Being Highly Patient

Peak fitness only comes about when you have your whole heart into this sport. Remember, there is more to life than running.

Often times, athletes get so focused on this they miss out on the other benefits.

The fact you are out putting in the work also means you are bettering your health. You’re making it easier on your heart to pump oxygen-rich blood throughout your body.

In addition to that, you’ll be getting better sleep and lose weight. All great benefits that come by way of you running.

Workout Tips To Help You Achieve Optimal Performance

The below workout strategies will help you, over time, maximize your athlete potential.

Extreme fitness will come to those who are diligent and highly patient. I made massive jumps in ability by way of the follow.

I hope these strategies will help you surpass anything you think is impossible.

That being said, let me remind anyone who read this. Do not expect peak fitness to fall in your lap.

You are going to have to want this as badly as you want your next breath. I often get asked how I dropped my marathon best from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35.

Massive action. I didn’t rely on the little talent I had. What I had to focus on to achieve my own peak fitness was white hot, razor sharp focus.

Here are my top recommendations to help you achieve peak fitness.

Higher Exertion Levels

Spend a higher percentage of your week running at higher heart rates.

The key to achieving peak performance is teaching the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up in the blood stream

This physiological adaptation does not occur by running slow all the time.

Spend a higher percentage of your weekly mileage at or below your goal race pace

Nothing can take the place of this.

If you have a goal time in mind you have to get that goal pace to feel more manageable.

How does running 20 miles at 9:00 mile pace prepare one to run a marathon at 6:30 mile pace?

So, keep in mind, the long run is still very important but the pace at which you conduct it matters.

Furthermore, it matters most when it comes to sustaining race pace for longer periods of time.

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

The biggest difference between where you currently are and where you want to go is your level of enthusiasm.

How can you make what most people perceive as painful as pleasure?

Repetition and consistency.

Let me be honest. None of this is easy for any of us in the early stages of our preparation.

It hurts.

In addition, it sometimes can take many months and even years to finally reach peak fitness.

It took me 15 years to break the sub-2:20 marathon barrier.

How patient are you to achieve your training and racing goals? Every successful runner I have come across over the years have unyielding patience.

These athletes do not back down. They have enormous drive, hunger and persistence toward their goals.

The only way to make goal race pace feel easier is to practice it often. You may not be able to hold it very long early on.

That being said, do not grow impatient. You are going after big goals. Expect some challenges along the way.

Run easy

Yes, run very easy.

I have trained with 2:10 marathoners and 13:13 5K athletes. Some of the athletes jog on their recovery days.

They fully understand the importance of rest and recovery.

Peak fitness comes from the rest. We all have become so focused on the physical training we neglect to realize the real benefits come in the rest.

If you feel aweful one day, have the discipline to back off when you should.

Furthermore, listen to your body first and foremost. The coach can guide and mentor you but ultimately it is up to you to back off when needed.

Study What Great Runners Do

I always read books, listened to podcasts and watched youtube videos of runners that did or have done what I desired to do.

You don’t have to have as your goal to break a 20 minute 5K.

Perhaps your goal is to lose 5 pounds and run your first 5K.

What you must have a desire for is self-development. What is it that is going to take you to that next level?

Surround yourself with winners and find people that are successful in various areas of their lives.

with billionaire and philanthropist, Steven K. Scott

Are you going to be interested in reaching peak fitness or are you going to be fully committed?

In addition, is there something you can learn from someone who has done what you aspired to do?

I’ve found that listening to successful people and athletes is a great way to find clues and answers to your questions.

Find out what successful people do and duplicate their work habits – Dave Severn, entrepreneur

Work Your Leg Speed

This takes time and you have to think long-term.

That being said, all it takes to improve leg speed is to focus on hills sprints, track workouts and visualization.

See yourself getting faster in your mind first and foremost.

The power of the mind is not fully understood. All I know is visualization works.

I spent months visualizing myself getting faster and breaking the sub-2:22:00 marathon barrier.

Mental Training

We all can improve our speed but there has to be physiological and psychological training involved.

Furthermore, you want to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. This can only be done by running at high anaerobic efforts.

In addition to that, this also means spending more time at heart rates above 165 beats per minute.

Our anaerobic threshold is the point where we begin to start building lactic acid in the blood stream.

The real culprit as to why we slow down is the hydrogen ion within lactic acid. This is the metabolic factor that causes us to fatigue and muscle functioning to shut down.

So, what can we do to offset that from happening?

Focus on those hills and track workouts.

Get used to running a few minutes of your week at 170 beats per minute or higher.

Furthermore, experience what it feels like to run a 30 seconds to 1 minute faster than your goal marathon race pace.

Try running 20 seconds faster than your goal 5K race pace for a few minutes each week.

Remember, it is a combination of several things you do throughout your week that will make the difference.

24 Hours In A Day – How Are You Prioritizing Your Time?

Faster long runs are not the answer to running faster times for the marathon.

You cannot just run fast long runs and expect better results.

What are you doing the other hours of your day to inch closer to your peak fitness?

So, you have to focus on rest, nutrition, proper hydration practices during training to make big leaps.

How patient are you? Are you able to maintain enthusiasm when the going gets tough?

Remember, I, too, have been where you are at. It is very important that I share my ups and downs too. Take a look at the about page and my own performances.

It is important I show you my experiences as well. I don’t want my readers to think it has been perfect for me either.

You have to want it. Expect the challenges. It is a labor of love so you’ll get out there and put in the work because something is driving you to do so.

I have experienced the thrill of a new personal best and the disappointment of a failure.

You are going after something that is difficult. If it were easy it wouldn’t take you out of your comfort zone. Specific goals require specific training and strategies – Nathan Pennington

Focus on Positivity

One of the best things you can do starting today for your well-being, health and family is cut out the negativity.

Flatulence comes in all forms.

The fart winds are real every time you spend even a few minutes watching the news.

It stinks to high Heaven.

Ask yourself.

When was the last time CNN, MSNBC or Fox News put money in my bank account, increased my health or lowered my stress

It baffles me why so many good, hard working people focus so much of their time on non-sense.

There are now more assclowns on tell-a-vision spreading fear and rubbish than one can count. Cut out the negativity in your life and watch the significant improvements you’ll make.

The successful athletes and entrepreneurs I associate with and know focus on the positives of life.

Their hungry for success and happiness, not the latest Kardashian Instagram post or the latest war stories.

Remember, all we know is what we are told to believe in television. Scary right? I’ll tell you what is even more scary.

The vast majority of Americans believe the stories they are told via the Idiot Box they watch 5 to 6 hours per day, respectfully.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest – Christ (Luke 12:25)

Keep your mind focused on your objective. Remember, only focus on what you can control.

Closing Thoughts

Peak fitness comes about my proper preparation.

Negative influences and normalcy surround us all. Your job is to do the opposite.

Did you know that 78 percent of the American population lives paycheck to paycheck?

Be careful about the advice you listen to.

Is the advice getting you closer to or further away from your goals and aspirations?

I know far too many people who are not happy. Sure, they have the fancy job titles but complain about their bosses and not having enough time.

Let’s face it, at the end of the day life should be lived.

We should be happy, traveling, making money work for us instead of slaving over it.

Last Training Tips To Keep In Mind

Get proper sleep

Read or listen to an hour of positive, self-development material each day

Formal education will make you a living, self-education will make you a fortune – Jim Rohn

Instead of watching 5 to 6 hours of television watch 1 to 2 hours (or less)

Do the workouts mentioned above

Pray – there is a Higher Power that created us all

I am a firm believer that it was also God working in me that helped me achieve peak fitness on 7 December 2007.

Finally, I broke the sub-2:22:00 marathon barrier and went under 2:20:00 instead.

I give credit to where it is due. Yes, I trained hard but I had a driving Force inside me telling me to keep going when I wanted to quit.

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What you are now doing to achieve that peak fitness will be some of the hardest work you have ever done.

I am confident you will survive and thrive. Remember, it is a labor of love.

Lastly, do not take yourself so seriously. Everyone wants to succeed but “flow” states occur when we are the most relaxed.

I didn’t even wear a watch when I ran 1:07:06 for the half marathon and 2:19:35 for the marathon.

There was complete confidence in what I did in training so no fear.

Be tense and nervous in training. Save it for the training. Believe me, training should be far harder than any race.

Challenge yourself in training. The race should be the celebration of all your hard work.

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