Race for Excitement – Train for Enjoyment


June 8, 2013 by IowaTriBob

I’ve sat and rewritten this post at least a half dozen times so far trying to think about why this week’s workouts have been so much fun and then I realized, it’s because I really enjoy training.

This week has been both an active recovery period and a focus on base building with the following workouts.

Monday – 1000 yard swim, P90X Core Synergistic

Tuesday – 27 mile aerobic ride

Wednesday – 5 mile zone 2 run; 1875 yard Master swim workout

Thursday – 27 mile aerobic ride; 30 minutes yoga

Friday – 7 mile zone 2 run

Saturday – 48 mile aerobic ride

Prior to this week I had spent the previous 4-5 weeks tapering, racing, recovering, and repeating.  In that 4-5 week period I completed 2 Sprints and 1 Olympic distance triathlon.  Although it didn’t seem to be a big deal at the time, as I look back I’m amazed that I was able to finish all the races with pretty strong efforts.

What I learned is that racing is exciting and like all things that are really exciting you can only handle so much before it becomes a little overwhelming and draining for the mind and body.


Reflecting on the last triathlon of the series, it was a strong effort for me given the weather conditions and only being my 4th triathlon; however, I now realize that I just wasn’t mentally prepared for yet another race.  My mind and body had experienced too much excitement and were ready to get back to the enjoyment of training.

With this being my first season of racing I’ve learned that spacing your events appropriately can be just as important as racing itself.  Now I’m sure as you race more and more the spacing becomes less of an issue as you become acclimated to the constant excitement, but for me, it was a great experience of when to draw that line.

Needless to say, this week’s training has been a very welcome change.

As I completed the week’s workouts I found myself looking forward again to the next day’s workouts.  I’ve been looking ahead to see what I get (not have) to do the next day.  I’ve fallen in love with the sport again and have realized how much enjoyment I get from the training itself.  It’s so different from race days and race prep.  Yes both are tough and exhausting but there is just a different mindset between the two.  I enjoy being able to really focus on a particular workout effort, give everything I’ve got, and try new things to help myself continue to improve.

So I now know that although I find races to be an exciting part of my triathlon adventure and look forward to a couple more yet this year, I really am in this for the enjoyment that I get from my every day training.

Do you find that you like racing or training more?

5 thoughts on “Race for Excitement – Train for Enjoyment

  1. amphkingwest says:

    Nice piece Bob, it is easy to hit a flat spot in training and risk burnout if you are not careful. We all have to remind ourselves from time to time that we are (mostly) amateurs participating in a sport for enjoyment, it is our version of R&R.

    To answer your question initially I couldn’t get enough of racing but I find I enjoy training more at the moment as I’m a few seasons into the sport so my initial demand for races has eased a bit. With the result now that the races become more of a ‘test of me’ that I can plan and prepare for.

    Never forget to love what you are doing though, that’s the critical thing.


    • IowaTriBob says:

      Thank you and I couldn’t agree more. It really is easy to forget that it’s all about enjoying the experiences along the way. I look forward to being able to say I’m a few seasons in as my first one has been an absolutely blast so far and a tremendous learning opportunity!

  2. bgddyjim says:

    Great post Bob… I’m in it for the training. I have so much fun training, at this point if I never run another race I’ll be perfectly happy. This is subject to change of course, but for now my Tuesday club ride is enough competition for me.

  3. elisariva says:

    I love this post! The training is the best part of me by far. So glad to hear you are enjoying the ride!

  4. Carrie says:

    It’s all about the journey, and the race is simply the culmination of events. I genuinely love training–the structure, the workouts, you name it. That being said, I do love racing too. :)

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