November 11, 2006

zone 1

The more I train, the more I discover about myself and my life. And about the dynamics of life and relationships.

I was riding my bike, about 10 miles in, when I decided to do a few high intensity miles. I pushed from early zone 2 all the way to nearly max heartrate for 10 minutes, then dropped the intensity and finished the session. And I realized while I was recuperating the interval that relationships have to be treated like training sessions, in a way.

In endurance sport, most of your training is zone 1 and 2. Now to race well, you have to put in your share of zone 3 work, but that is a relatively smaller part of the equation. And come race day, for a long event like my eventual IM goal or for a century bike ride or for a marathon, most of your work is done in zone 1 or early zone 2.

Most of the time in a relationship, especially early on, should be spent building your base; just like most of your time spent training for endurance support, especially early on in a particular season, is building your base. We all understand the training base required from which we launch into higher mileage and more intense mileage as we get closer to our races. The same can be said for relationships.
Sure, there are the occasional zone 3 moments in a relationship, those passionate high intensity moments that tend to launch you to near max heartrate, and I think it is fair to say most of us enjoy those moments more than their zone 3 training counterparts. But a relationship can't be all about the zone 3 - there has to be a lot of zone 1 to build the base on which the zone 3 can occur.

But what exactly is a relationship base?
I think it is the phone calls just to say hello... the time apart when you are thinking about her... the random flowers... the thank yous and the you're wonderfuls...the giving her your time while making her believe it really is hers... the time spent together at the grocery store, and the companionship on a cross country drive... the door that she never has to open herself... the recognition that she is your best friend, and the ability to treat her as you would your best friend.

That is the base... That is what must be there, the zone 1 training... A relationship can't be built on zone 3, just as a racing season can't be built on zone 3 training. It just won't work.
But I think that happens alot these days, and I think it is an easy trap to fall into. The relationship zone 3 is easy; it requires no work.
But a relationship without a zone 1 base doesn't stand a chance of success. It just can't happen, I believe...
And so I learned this while riding my bike today. If I want to someday have a relationship that works, I need to concentrate on zone 1...

1 comment:

Triteacher said...

These metaphors are working for me! (And you, apparently.) :)