I had a beginner triathlon training clinic on Saturday and it was a fun 2 hours packed with what I hope the participants feel was all they need to know to begin, etc! It is always such a reminder to me on how passionate I am about fitness and the triathlon LIFESTYLE. As part of explaining how triathletes fit in training for all 3 sports, plus strength, yoga, plus LIFE, I talked about how every workout should have a purpose. The purpose/intent of the workout can range from being a VO2 max workout, LT workout, purely aerobic, recovery, brick, hill, downhill, tempo, fun, new terrain, sprints, benchmark/ time trial workouts, or some combination of those. Now, combine all of those options with 3 sports, and you can either be overwhelmed by how many workouts to do, OR you can be THRILLED and NEVER EVER BORED!!
This weekend, I went out for a run on Saturday and the first 2 miles were with my daughter who is just getting to the 2 mile run point, so this was slow and just never stopping, so it served for me as a great warm up for my run. Since I am not fully "in" my training schedule (although I still have a training schedule currently- just have not yet formally begun my race season training), I was pretty flexible on my workout and felt so thankful to have a super slow reason to warm up so gently and easily. My husband then ran about 2 miles of sprints with me... 15 sec and 30 sec sprints, which I DESPERATELY need at this time of year because I have lost really all fast speed that my body has ever had! So this was great to have someone to do it with. He pushed me and I thoroughly enjoyed doing the workout on a beautiful fall day. I then had a nice easy 2 mile jog down and around the lake we live near, before going into what I told myself was a moderate 2 mile tempo run with hills. The purpose of this was to kind of get a benchwork of what tempo pace for me right now is- approximately. I was super thrilled that my miles were 7:12 and then 7:11. I had a nice cool down to get home and was the most joyful, perfect, relaxed workout (relaxed even though I had some times of fierce work in there during the sprints!), and it achieved a PURPOSE that I had intended: to get in sprints, plus 2 miles of tempo/benchmark.
I had another purpose of my run yesterday which was to get a current offseason 1 mile time. Was this the optimal time to test- after a day of running 9 miles? probably not, but I felt well, and just frankly wanted to get it in. So, I did a 2 mile TM warm up, a mile of .1 build/.1 recover and then my mile for time. I held 6:15 pace for the mile which was NOT easy, but again.. I was glad to get a time/benchmark for now/this new year of training coming up, etc.
On the flip side of these workouts- I love right now having each week having a "FUN RUN"-- the ONLY INTENT is to run and love it! Run filled with joy and gratitude and I love the excitement this brings. I've been surprised this fall by how I am kind of sticking with this local route with some neighborhood loops that I love and enjoy watching the changing landscape of flowers giving way to fall colors, pumpkins, etc! My hamstring is coming back a bit from it's 2 month of run issues and I am so thankful to at least be back to the point of doing full workouts, even though I am cautious and monitoring it like an air traffic controller!
I desperately disagree anytime someone thinks that fitness can be boring.. I say no way--- there is too much to do to be bored! So many workouts, varieties, but I agree, it needs to have a PLAN with a purpose, each workout needs a reason to be done!