Training’s a Blast! (Really!)

Four years ago if you asked me whether or not I like to train for things, my answer was :”Umm, no, I don’t train. I just do.” Yes, every race I did was done without training.There was next to no preparation before the marathons  I completed. My thought was, why dedicate precious hours of your day training for a race that will cause you to be sore for days after, anyway? Just do it, be sore afterwards, and deal with it. Ohh, naive Molly. 

I remember in college when I was on the fencing team (it is true, I was a fencer. En garde!) we did drills and had workouts 5 days a week. Drills were to help your form while you fenced, muscular endurance, etc. etc. I never questioned why our coach had us do certain things, and, there were lots of times when I would have preferred to sit around and do nothing instead of have to go to practice. But on weekends when we had tournaments, I realized why we did so much during the week…It helped us be better fencers.

Seven years later, and over the span of this blogs existence, I’ve learnt more about training, and it’s importance in races. (Maybe because my body simply cannot decide to go out and run a marathon one day “for the fun of it.”) Drills in swimming help with technique, in turn, help with speed, and also endurance. Long rides and trainer sessions have their place in the whole training picture, as well as tempo runs, long runs, and speed workouts. Not only are the actual physical workouts important for preparing for a race, but so is nutrition. It only took 28 years for me to figure out one of the main reasons I DNF’d a big race was my lack of nutrition and sleep. In retrospect, I don’t think I even ate anything during my first endurance events (marathons). How was I supposed to know that I needed to fuel during the race, if I never trained for it? Let me tell you, it is a night and day difference in my performance when I decided to properly fuel and when I don’t. (Ha, remember when I wrote that I would never consume a gel ever? I now buy the little packets of nastiness in bulk, as evidenced by the image below!)

Training has added a new food group to my life: gels and gu. I now buy in bulk.

Training has added a new food group to my life: the gels/gu food group.

I’ve realized that I enjoy training (I mentioned in my last post how I missed training after the Patriot Half was over). A difference I have noticed thus far, and it is just the beginning of IMLP training, is that my workouts now are longer (duh!). The rides/runs/swims are longer, and they take longer to complete. (Now now, I am not complaining). Obviously, I knew this when I signed up for the race. And as a result, my concept of distances has changed. Anything under 50 miles on the bike is pretty much a “S&S” ride (“short and sweet”). Runs under 10 miles are also S&S. Last spring when I started swimming anything over 2200 yards, I thought I was going to drown. I still occasionally think I will drown; just not as frequently 😉

But, seriously. Training is fun, and after my initial gasp of terror when reading my weekly training plan from my coach, I think, “Yes! Another week!Woohoo! 60-70mile ride? Bring it! Fourteen miler? Hellz yea!*” Maybe I am just weird? 

You know you have an Asics addiction when there are still three pairs of shoes that are not in the picture.

You know you have an Asics addiction when there are still three pairs of shoes that are not in the picture.

*I’ll let you know in the spring when training takes 14+ hrs/week whether I still enjoy it. My thoughts are I will, otherwise, why attempt the race?

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  1. Trackback: When You Compare Yourself to Yourself | A Rendezvous with Sneakers

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