Autumn is an amazing season. It’s my favorite. But I recognize it’s also important to know that every season has its attributes…and we should appreciate them all.
But fall, to me, feels even more special. I love the way the light takes on that golden hue, and how the nights are crisp. Ancestrally, fall represented the peak of our hunting and gathering behaviors, and for me that’s no different either. I’ll be in the field a lot this fall and I know many of my clients and our community will be doing the same.
I’m fit for the field and ready to get after it. This is a fun phrase that I’ve been using for the past 15 years or so. It’s also the name of my online course for backcountry hunters and mountain athletes. Like a lot of my clients, I’ve been using this program over the summer and into the fall. I’m pretty happy with where my fitness is currently. All those rucks, sandbag workouts, and progressive training have gotten me into fairly good condition. I’ll be able to get out there this fall, cover ground, carry loads, and stay in the game all day. The lesson I’ve had reinforced over many years is that no matter what you do, if you train specifically for it…your outcomes are better.
Fall is peak season for many of our hunters, backpackers, trail runners, and marathoners. While some of the capstone events occur during summer, many of the championship or pinnacle targets happen over the fall. The art form of tapering, peaking, and recovering around goal performances is something we are diving into right now.
Fall is also a time of year that overall training volume peaks for the Training Tribe. This is part of my seasonality model that naturally adjusts training, diet, and sleep patterns with the seasons. It’s built into the Annual Training Plan that T2 uses to maintain year-round optimal human performance. Based in evolutionary and circadian biology, the system captures the natural life cycle of the human organism. Fall is our Endurance Block and we spend September through November emphasizing the development of fatigue resistance while we also maintain adequate levels of speed, power, strength, and agility.
Fall offers a lookback at the summer. I always enjoy reminiscing about those great outings, workouts, and gatherings we did over the summer. The hikes, runs, lifting sessions, cold plunges, and barbecues were epic. But I also like to make observations and ask a lot of questions within our community. I’ll ascertain what really worked best, what was most popular, and what types of approaches or systems need to be thrown out or modified.
For me, there were a few highlights of summer. I fondly remember the day we ran up the mountain and the Ice Ninja broke his cold (snowmelt) water immersion record (6 minutes). He was a little stiff coming out of the stream but we all had a fine time. The Huck Ruck was killer. That was a long hike with packs and mountain huckleberry harvesting. Tony’s wife Sara made some awesome huckleberry cake in which I gluttonously indulged. There was a drag rig session at the field in which a large crowd performed a great many reps of various types and hit some stellar 40-yard dashes. And of course there was The Roaster, in which we trained at the track stadium on a hot day wearing sweatsuits and rainsuits. But perhaps most of all, those trailhead tailgate bratfests with Mighty Buck at the grill, as we watched the sunset, were simply amazing. We are fortunate to have the Tribe.
Some of the recent topics that I’ve been excited about revolve around questions I receive from our community, many from the podcast audience, as well as topics we cover in our weekly T2 MasterClasses. We’ve enthusiastically gone over things like how to effectively train for speed or endurance, exercise selection for specific bodies or goals, and the latest literature regarding protein consumption for older athletes. I’ve also pontificated on the concept of longevity from an athletic perspective and the formulation of ideal personalized long term training programs. I’m constantly inspired and always trying to share information that I think can be of use to our team.
Autumn also prompts us to look ahead to winter, and to prepare in earnest. For quite a few of my clients, this means pre-season ski conditioning or prep for other winter sports. For some of our triathletes, it’s postseason down-time. And for the Training Tribe, December and January focus on agility development and the use of “micro-workouts.” I think one of the keys to long term consistency and results with training is to find the right balance of a “fair amount of the same and a little bit of different” to keep things stimulating and interesting.
I hope you are enjoying your fall. It truly is an outstanding season. I wanted to share some of my perspectives about fall and I’d certainly love to hear from you about some of yours. Cheers!