Many, many moons ago (103 I think), I was training for my second Ironman Triathlon. I had a training plan which I had modified from my first race, and I followed it religiously. If the plan said run…..then I ran. If the plan said to put my left foot in and shake it all about…….wait, that was from the old Leo’s Rollerland days.  Anyway, I stuck with the plan and had a pretty successful race (i.e. I finished and didn’t die).

One thing the plan had was a differentiation between mandatory workouts and optional workouts. If you had the time and the energy, then you did them all. If your body was run down and needed a little extra rest, you had the option to skip a workout.


Very rarely did I skip the optional workouts, but sometimes I had other obligations or I was just exhausted.

Fast forward to my training for my last DNF……I mean race. Somehow, my training plan consisted of only optional workouts. And more times than I should have, I opted for doing other things than what my amorphous plan called for. Just to be clear, none of the options I chose involved sitting on the couch eating bonbons. It was usually more like these:

  • Get up early and go run 3 hours or get up later than early, drink a cup of coffee and build shelves for the office.
  • Load up the truck, drive somewhere and spend most the day running some hills or throw on shoes, run the same flat asphalt, and then clean up the yard.
  • Go to bed early on Friday so you can get up early for a 20 mile run or start on the second bottle of wine and run 5 miles.

Hmmm…. so how did those “optional” workouts help me in the race. Just do a search for DNF on my site. So what now? Well, those who know me well probably understand already that I am not pleased with the outcome. They also know that I will go back and finish that race. In order to do that, the ratio of “mandatory” to “optional” workouts needs to shift to something like 6 to 1. Or 6 to zero. I found out what a lackadaisical attitude towards my training got me. Now we will see what determined training will get me.

This past week, I saw this quote and added it to a picture that was taken of Mason by his teammate Adel Kiss. This will be my new mantra for my training.





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