Train to race? Or race to train?

Posted: April 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

I am lucky enough to be out in Spain at the moment trainging in the sun.  It is truely awesome out here. Heading inland from the coast the biking is unbelievable.  The roads are in near perfect condition, without a car on them.  The scenery is breath taking and something about being up in the mountains on your own with nothing but the view for company is a very special, almost emotional experience.  I try and remember every moment up there, but I simply don’t have enough space in my tiny brain!

While I was on one of my long rides on the mountains I started to think about why I really do all this training.  The honest answer is because I absolutely LOVE IT.

In the last three days I have clocked 17 hours training.  The ironic thing is because I want to race to the best of my ability this year, I held back, trying to be sensible.  If I had not been getting ready for a number of races later on this summer, I think I would have probably spent more time out on the road.  However, because I want to race to the best of my ability this year, I was turning around and heading for home on rides where I just wanted to keep on going and explore new areas of the vast mountain range in front of me.  This is something I found very hard to do, but it kept me fresh and keen to head out every day and explore some more.

It is strange to think that because I want to reach my potential in Ironman racing, I actually train less, and don’t push myself as hard as I would do if I wasn’t racing.  Go figure?!

I guess my point is this.  All the crazy hours I spend training, I do because it makes me feel alive and not because I want to win races.  Sure, once I am at the start my competitve nature kicks in and I give it everything both my body and mind has to offer.   But that is the same for every body on that start line.

With the first triathlon in an action packed race season coming up in a few weeks, I guess by writing this, it is my way of reminding myself that in all honesty, race results don’t really matter that much.  At the end of the day, for me, it is just about seeing how far I can push my limits and the pump of adrenaline you get at the start of the race is the perfect fuel for this.  If I had to say which I would enjoy more, an epic 8 hour ride through the Spainish mountains, a run up and down the mountains in Zermatt or a top result in a race, I think I would be hard pushed to make the call.  To be honest I think the ride or run through the mountains would probably win.  Having said that, I don’t really consider myself to have had a top race result yet.  Fingers crossed, I might be able to make the comparision later on this year.

I am having a rest day today but itching to get back on the bike and out into the mountains.  Bring it on! 🙂

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