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Friday, December 11, 2009

Wandering thoughts

Sitting here getting ready for my mid-morning green tea I had the impulse to post something on the blog so I'm going with it ...

First let me make that tea and gather my thoughts a bit.

Okay, I'm back. This probably seems very scatterbrained and I guess it is.

I was both inspired and saddened when reading the latest installment of Riding the Wind . It is inspiring to read about the pleasure that running to the top of a Colorado mountain in -10 degrees Fahrenheit brings the author. It saddens me though as I'm forced to reflect on my own training venues of late ... indoor pool, indoor trainer, treadmill, and gym. Depressing and disappointing! But that is the beginning of inspiration.

It's not that indoor training doesn't have it place; it certainly does. It brings a level of structure and control which are key when training for specific goals using specific metrics. The reduction of variables introduced my nature, weather, terrain brings a certain clarity, sterility and efficiency to the training and analysis thereof. A necessary evil I suppose.

In case you can't tell I'm again feeling that internal struggle between freedom and structure, faith and will, nature and civilization, real and artificial. If you read this blog you probably know that I much prefer the left side of those antonyms.

But ultimately to be happy I need to know I'm performing at my best. And to do that I need implement a specific structure to bring me to peak fitness at a certain point in time. Which leads me back to controlled training. I've recently revised my running "philosophy" into a formal method which implements 5 types of running (defined by pace range) and takes in two input variables (yes, I develop software for a living), and prescribes 6 runs per week with the option for more. It conforms to the basic guidelines defined by the running gurus but is specific to triathlon, and specifically a season with the priority races of the long course variety. Not that I don't expect to be faster than ever on the short course races, but perhaps not as fast as I could be if I focused entirely on short course racing.

I'm trying it out on myself and an athlete that I coach (brave soul). We'll see how we respond.