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.