Want Versus Need

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What I want to do is run long at an aerobic pace.  Always.  However, my limiter is running fast over the course of a hundred miles.  Running long and slow is not the cure for this problem and workouts like the one I did this morning are a step in the right direction.  That said, when I looked at the calendar, I saw the workout description and I cringed – 30 minutes easy, 30 minutes hard, 30 minutes easy.  Hard is marathon to sub-marathon pace.  Not really something I wanted to do this morning. 

When I was racing Ironman, a two mile run TT, the “elevator swim” workout, or the ever so popular 2x20 bike workout would all make me cringe.  I don’t have a problem with hitting top efforts – I just don’t like doing it when I’m not competing.  Toss me into the local 5k, or an open water swim with friends, or a similar situation on the bike, and I have no problem crushing it.  In training, I have no desire to hurt. 

That’s the rub.  We all have something we don’t like doing and it’s typically that type of work that we need.  When you’re coached, someone else is watching and you don’t want to let them down.  When you’re self-coached, the hard part is setting up the calendar as if you were coaching someone else.  You have to remain objective, put that type of work on the schedule, and as the athlete, you have to convince yourself to do the work.  I’m not saying I didn’t come up with every chore in the world to do before I went to the pool, laced up my shoes, or hopped on the bike.  I’m just saying that I eventually got out the door, I did the workout, and I didn’t die. 

And just so you don’t walk away thinking it’s only the hard work – back in my early years, all of my workouts were hard and it was the easy work I wouldn’t do.  We can all benefit from easy to hard work and the week should include both as well as efforts in between.