And You Will Have Had Fun

We triathletes seemingly always have a plan to our workouts.

We measure our wattage.  Keep track of heartrate, pace, and number of footstrikes per minute.  We count strokes as we swim.  Everything has a purpose.  We plan, execute, analyze, re-plan, and so on.  We follow training guidance from coaches, friends, the internet.  We gear all of our workouts in terms of preparation for the next race, our “A” race, or that iron-distance race in six months.

What would happen if once, just once, we didn’t measure our performance against our personal benchmarks?  What if we just went for a run?  Or a swim?  Or a bike ride?

It’s a foreign concept for many triathletes.

But in my opinion, one that’s overdue.

Like many of you, I’m in the midst of a heavy training block as I prepare for Rev3 Florida in October.  My run mileage is picking up, my time on the saddle has increased, and I’m in the pool for more yards than I can recall.  Seemingly each time I do something, it’s with an eye on an end-game.

Here’s the real question?  Am I having fun?  Is it fun to track, measure, monitor, and tweak?  I do it all, just like many others.  In fact, I’ve taken this approach for so long now that it has all become second nature.

But is it fun?

Well,,,exercise is fun.  Triathlon is fun.  But approaching a run without a plan….just running is fun, too.  Try it.  Instead of going out for a 60 minute fartlek run, just go….  Forget your iPod.  Leave your Garmin on your dresser.  Find a good trail and just run.  Same story for your bike.  Just plop on a helmet, grab your glasses and pedal.  Don’t think about what you’re doing.  Say “hi” to everyone you see.  Hum to yourself.  Listen to the sound of your feet hitting the pavement.  Don’t think about your pace, your wattage, or your upcoming race.  Just go.

I think you’ll rekindle your enthusiasm.  You’ll be refreshed.  Centered. 

And you will have had fun.

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2 thoughts on “And You Will Have Had Fun

  1. Great suggestions. Good to take a break from the measurements, I’m sure. In the past, I could never get motivated to work out because there was no yardstick to measure progress by. I am not a body builder type because then I’d have to look at myself in the mirror all the time. I didn’t need to lose weight so that was not a motivator. Racing again gave me something to strive for and something real to measure the progress and keep me motivated. I use one of the cloud-based exercise trackers that has some social networking features. My “virtual” exercise friends are watching my pace and times and distances and they are encouraging and cheering me on. It is mutual. The reality is that since others are watching, it keeps me motivated push harder and go faster. Good luck with your training. Great suggestions.

  2. I’ve been reading your blog for some time and I’m glad you posted this. I’m a fully beginner triathlete and am maybe still in the “fun” phase. I have no HR monitor, and no bike computer. I’m sure I’ll get to that level one day. But for now, I just have fun 🙂

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