The inimitable Peter Gabriel. 'Shock the monkey to life...'
Do the same thing, day in and day out, and you will probably get the same results. Our body is highly adaptive, and it copes with stress by becoming stronger or succumbing to it. Dr Hans Selye described biological stress as necessary, and how we can benefit from different kinds of stressors (distress & eustress). Being adaptive is also a useful value we can appreciate even as a corporate athlete, as we work up the corporate ladder.
Here are 10 ways to inject challenge and minor shocks to your physical fitness:
1) Reverse the flow. Begin the sequence backwards. Do your triathlon training in reverse (for instance, run-ride-swim).
2) Do combinations of back-to-back activities. Swim, then immediately run. Or, run off the ride on tired legs.
3) Do intervals (faster sets) within your long endurance rides and runs.
4) Work on your core strength and stability. Never do the same workout twice, consecutively.
5) Do strength and conditioning with resistance (free-weights, weight-stack machines, bodyweight, stationary-bike, water).
6) Do different sports as part of your cross-training.
7) Do more side-to-side, and rotation type activities.
8) Add different drills and equipment when you swim (kickboard, paddles, fins, snorkel, pool-buoy).
9) Train at different times of the day.
10) Get more sleep and quality rest. This can be a shocker for the time-crunched athlete.
Aim to do different things. Strive for variety. Be creative in your approach to fitness. Surprise your body with treats. Shock your body into new growth and development!