This is a long diatribe on *wanting* to train versus
*needing* to train.
Early February. Burned out. Tired. Grouchy. Feet hurt.
Caught a cold.
15 days ago, my thoughts:
"I need to train. I have an Ironman coming up in 6
months. I don't want to have another flat IMC.
My friends will think something is wrong. I need
to train. I am losing all my fitness. Now I've got a
damned cold. I gotta get some workout time in. My feet
are almost pain free, but damn it, the clock is
ticking. Maybe I should risk it..."
Cold logic intervenes, in the voice of Obi Wan Kenobi:
"You are overtrained, you idiot. You have a cold.
You are tired, grouchy, not moving forward within
your training. Your last few swims were pathetic.
You need to take some rest. Back off. You won't
lose, you will only gain. You need to get rest to
give your body time to heal from all the hard training.
Otherwise, you'll get caught into an endless spiral
of colds again. Back off. Wait until you want to
train again. You will know when you *want* to train.
Until then, just rest. Trust your body. It will
So, I rest, and rest, and rest. I interject a workout
or two, and struggle through them. My friend Dave calls
and a few days later remarked how "dull, down, & tired"
I felt the *need* to train, but the thought of even
1 minute of exercise kills me. I wait another day. Nope,
not ready. On Wednesday, I go to the gym and it is packed.
I cannot even find a locker. I bag it and go home. Just
as well. I am really beat. Another total rest day. I am
getting depressed. The battle is between the need to train
and the need to rest.
Thursday. I decide to swim. About 10 days out of the pool.
I get in. I swim. It is magical, refreshing, dare I say
fun? I enjoy my 1 mile swim, and I designed a nice little
workout scheme to boot. Later, I run in the pool, and I notice
how my legs feel strong, fresh, ache-free, and lively.
And today. I swam again, an identical workout to yesterday,
with a nice drop in times. In fact, the times at the end
of my workout today were slightly better than my best times
in the weeks before "my break." And I did a nice little
indoor bike workout, feeling better at the end than the
beginning. And, my legs and hips are pain and ache-free.
Needing to train is a chore, unless I *want* to train.
Right now, I want to train. When that wanes, it is time
for a break. Lesson learned.
I am Iron Mac.
The Ironman is over in the blink of an eye.
IMC'94/14:07 IMC'95/11:59 IMC'97/12:12 IMC'98/Confirmed