For the past several weeks, I have been training for the Red Sox: Run to Home Base Event in late July. I have been raising money via friends and fellow coaches in RI baseball in support of this important race and the awareness the event brings to Veterans. I am running in honor of my Dad, who was a Vietnam Veteran and a longtime sufferer of PTSD. When I mentioned the race and the cause to my Dad, he was literally speechless. That’s the impact this event has on Veterans.
You can learn more about the Red Sox: Run to Home Base event by logging onto their official website at www.runtohomebase.org.
In my training log for June and July, I have added cross training into my regimen to help build up my endurance and overall body strength. I still run about 2.5 miles every few days to stay on track for my ultimate goal of running the 5K, which is about 3.1 miles. I love to swim and bike, so these two physical fitness disciplines have really helped my conditioning. Biking especially, because it is helping to increase my leg strength, cardiovascular fitness, and mental toughness.
I find a lot of parallels between cycling and baseball, especially pitching. In cycling, you have flat ground roads, uphill climbs, and downhill cruising, so it is important to pace yourself throughout your ride so you have the energy to accomplish all three types of terrain. With pitching, you have easy innings, you have bases loaded jams to get out of, and you have the end of your pitch count/game. Just like in cycling on the easy roads, you need to maintain your composure, do your job, and stay focused even though the overall stress is moderate to low. When you have an uphill climb in cycling, you can downshift to make the trip uphill more efficient and most often, easier to accomplish. Same with pitching in a stressful situation – take a few extra moments on the mound to de-stress and breathe, focus on your immediate task (the batter at the plate), maybe take a little bit off your fastball to get outs. Your bicycle is a machine with gears and mechanisms to help you get from one place to another. Your team has fielders who will help you get outs and out of a stressful inning. You don’t have to strike everyone out and you don’t have to climb that hill in the hardest gear on your bike.
On the downhills, you can see the bottom of the hill and maybe the finish line of your ride or event or race. Maintain a good cadence on your pedaling and keep your eye on the prize. It gives me an extra boost mentally seeing the finish line and that my workout is just about over. Same thing on the mound. If you are going out to finish a game or your coach tells you that your pitch count limit is nearing, go out with the intensity and focus to finish strong. Mentally, get your body and arm ready to take on that challenge of finishing the game or getting to your pitch count limit with a positive inning.
With 3 weeks to go for the Red Sox: Run To Home Base Event, my legs and lungs feel great. I know I am 100% mentally ready to do this 5K and my body is working its way up to 100% as well. Cycling and swimming have added a great mix of strength and cardio to my running workouts. And I love the similarities between cycling and pitching. If you are on a long ride, you get to think a lot about a lot of stuff, so these are just some of my cycling/baseball thoughts for the day.
If you would like to donate to my page for the 2019 Red Sox: Run To Home Base event, thank you in advance. Here is the link if you would like to contribute to this fantastic cause – The RIBBE Runs To Home Base