Sunday, August 16, 2009

Purpose-Driven workouts

I'm in week 9 of my triathlon summer crash/cram course and was looking back through the weeks of workouts and how far I have come both physically and in terms of my understanding of the training approach and process. One has to train for each sport individually as well as in concert, building endurance, speed, and skills.

Triathlon is a sport of efficiencies and no effort is wasted. I began to see that each workout was geared toward a specific purpose. For instance, some swim workouts were designed as "settle-ins" so that when/if I start my swim too aggressively and get anaerobic, I will have the confidence and know-how to rein things in and get back into an aerobic rhythm. There were indoor cycle workouts created to give me a sense of different cadences as a faster "spin" can help save the legs for the run, especially at the end of the bike ride. And of course the "brick" workouts help you learn how to do two or three of the activities in direct succession - bike then run, or swim-bike-run. Last week's double brick or bike-run-bike-run was a nice challenge!

So I really like the notion of a focus for each workout. That's not to say they all have to be major efforts, sometimes the appropriate focus is an easy enjoyable outing, to get back in touch with the great feeling of the water, or to find that flow to tick miles off on the road. Knowing the purpose, whatever it is, helps to quiet the mind and dig in a little deeper.