Friday, September 12, 2008

Training vs. Working Out

Up until about 2-3 weeks ago, I have spent the year working out versus training. Working out means that you have an exercise routine and you just go out and do what you're supposed to do on any given day. For example, my workout routine for most of the year has been: swim on Monday, trainer brick on Tuesday, swim and run on Wednesday, trainer on Thursday, swim on Friday, long bike ride on Saturday followed by a short run and long run and swim on Sunday. These workouts are about socializing with friends as they are about just staying fit. No concerns about staying in a heartrate zone, tempo this or steady state that; if I feel good, I go hard. If there is a pack I might want to race, I'll race them, no plan, no rhyme or reason. Training, however, is starting a workout with a race specific goal and the intent to race better from executing the workout. Examples of race specific actions are monitoring your cadence, turnover, stroke rate and breaking workouts into aerobic, recovery, speed, lacate, etc...and I've been training the past 3 weeks or so. The past three weeks I've been doing my workouts with the goal of getting faster for the Folsom and Pac Grove races. Before Folsom, I rested slightly by cutting down a weight session and skipping my long ride and long run. Post Folsom, I was a bit sore and knew I had to keep my body moving to keep the blood flow and flush out the lactic acid. I also learned that my swim was one day off as I felt great during my Monday swim workout, the way I should have felt at Sunday's race. Tuesday was a 50 minute spin on the trainer and a painfully slow and leg burning 50 minute run. Wednesday was a recovery swim and a very short track workout just to get some leg turnover. My legs felt pretty decent on the track and the lactic acid seemed to be flushing out of my legs. Thursday was 50 minute trainer with 9 x 1 minute pickups and a swim with lots of sprinting. Today is a day off completely and I race tomorrow. Feeling fresh has two effects on me: on the one hand, I should be feeling fresh because I'm tapering but on the other hand, my psyche is worried that fresh equates to lack of fitness and too little training. Let's see what tomorrow brings. And now, for something weird. After writing up my race report from Folsom, I went to read it off my website. At the bottom of the website page in the left hand corner, I noticed the word "Good" typed out. I thought, how the hell did that "Good" get there? I didn't type that...and then it came to me, Scottie. I'm a scientist, I have a degree in biology, I've never made a pilgrimage to see a weeping statue or weeping painting. But I"m telling you, I don't know how that word got there and of all the words in the world, funny that it should be "Good", which is quite appropriate. And it was capitalized following proper grammar and well, Scottie did graduate from an ivy league school. Check it out for yourself here; it's no weeping statue but it's damn cool. And yes, that's a pic of me in the team uniform, I told the team I would represent them in these two races.

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