Q:What excites me? What really gets me going?
A: Apple Sauce, a banana, some protein powder, a liter of water, and half a powerbar. Oh yeah..don’t forget that cup of joe!
This is what fuels me on my big workout days. I get excited the night before when I go to the grocery store to pick up a jug of natural apple sauce chunky style (yeah I know I’m weird). When I am going to get the sauce I know that something special is in store. For better or worse in ~12-20 hours I will have done something substantial!
So I had a great weekend these past two days. 2 days of riding in Don Ehinger’s Man Cave yielded me 4 hours in the saddle. Since Don’s house is nicely located in the beautiful Mendon Ponds area of Rochester wonderful scenic runs are but a step away. Today for instance Travis Earley joined me for my long run. 75 minutes of easy paced running was banked…it went swimmingly.
Now I am posted up at my local Starbucks messing around on my computer, creating training logs, writing triathlon stuff that I might talk about someday, etc…Something about the energy that comes from just being “among” people gets me going. Instead of distracting me the noise around me allows me to focus on my task at hand. Its just the comfort of those around me that allow me to let my thoughts flow.
Moving along I would like to address a question that my buddy Mike posed the other day.
Q: What is your favorite workout? What is your least favorite workout?
A: Favorite Workout:
I will answer this in two parts. High Intensity vs Endurance Work.
In terms of High Intensity training my favorite workout by far is Mile Repeats. (Between 4-6 x 1 mile with 90 seconds rest in between). The feeling of going fast and a break neck pace is exhilarating. After a track session of repeats I really feel spent, I feel as if I really accomplished something. Completing repeats makes you really dig into yourself. You might feel great for the first 3 but those last 1,2 or 3 will have you searching for something more in yourself. On the opposite end of the spectrum I would have to say that my least favorite workout is the 20 minute TT on the bike for power data. Going balls out on the bike is fun…but it just seems that during these TT sessions that I ended the pain cave as soon as I being..literally 5 seconds in my legs are screaming, and looking at the computer seeing that 19+ minutes are left is not a comforting image. At least when completing the mile repeats the first couple of miles feel great, they feel as if your dancing on clouds, just skipping along the track chasing the time away. The TT efforts are usually always done on the trainer for consistency so staring at a wall or some blah tv image is just not mental stimulating in my opinion. So there you go, those are my favorite and least favorite high intensity workouts.
Without a doubt the “long ride” is my favorite. I love heading out on my bike for 5+ hours. The sense of accomplishment that is felt after a bike of that length where 100 miles of ground are covered is orgasmic. I love counting the minutes until its time to take nutrition, every 30 minutes is “feeding time”, I like that. Overall its just fun to “GO LONG” I’ve always loved being mentally stronger than the next person. Heading out on a solo ride over 5 hours gives you ample time to think about EVERYTHING in your life. You think about your job, your family, your worries, your accomplishments, and your think to yourself “damn, my legs hurt. Will I make it another 4.5 hours”..then you put your head down and let the legs spin and the miles roll. Even if you have a ride where you don’t hit your power goals or your mileage goals, the fact that your rode your bike over 5 hours is an accomplishment that most cannot say they have ever done. And if your training for an Ironman these days become the norm..I think thats super cool! Oh yeah, another reason why I enjoy the long ride so much is that because when you’ve attacked the ride the last hour is usually a battle. It’s usually gone beyond mental, the fact is that you can mentally accomplish your goals now, all that stands in your way of being done for the day is keeping your body parts moving. Your legs become like lead and the power that was in them 5 hours before is gone. It’s then that you have to give it your all to get back home, and on those rare days when you dig deeper than you think you can and you end up hitting your power, time, or mileage goal you know that you’ve bettered yourself. You’ve attained a new level of fitness…the next step has been taken. What’s better than knowing that!
Least Favorite Low Intensity Workout
The 45-1 hr endurance paced run. This is basically your Ironman marathon pace. Its not glamorous, your friends can probably run faster (although they might be red-lining to do so). Basically these runs are part of the job description. These runs keep your moving on lower volume days or days when you’ve rode long and aren’t bricking a run back to back. The 45-1hr run seems like 2 hours, for some reason these runs just giving me a blah feeling. I either feel like crap and it hurts for 45 minutes or else I run for an hour and wish I could keep running for another hour and a half. I never seem to lock into a 1 hour run and come out the other side feeling like I conquered the world. However these runs are what keep me moving toward the next fitness level, towards reaching my next plateau and for that I will keep shuffling along..always smiling even if I don’t really feel like it. …Which is rare because even a crappy run is better than an outstanding day at the desk..but thats just me…I’m weird 🙂