I saw a thought on another blogger's Facebook profile the other day that intrigued me. He was talking about the amount of miles he's put in over the year and he mentioned that not all his miles have been working out. I thought that was interesting, and then I got to thinking.
This season, without a specific race goal in mind, I'm not going to have a specific training plan to follow like I had with the 1/2 Marathon, the 1/2 Ironman, etc. This year I'll just be grinding it out out there on the road and in the pool. But if I'm just putting in the mileage without a specific goal, will I grow long term?
I know one of my goals is to shed some poundage this year, so obviously working out will help with that. But being that I want to get faster, I need to start approaching my workouts with specific goals in mind. Every time I hit the pool, the bike, or the road, I need to make sure the workout has a purpose. Am I riding to build endurance? Or am I riding to fire up my fast-twitch speed muscles? Am I trying to swim farther and get my muscles used to distance? You get the point.
Each month at the beginning of the month, I have been doing The Pain Cave training DVD. In January, when I did it, I read my training log and realized that I barely survived the DVD. February was a little shorter in terms of distance but according to the log, I was stronger and did better. In March, even better. And today, April 4th, I did the Pain Cave again, and for the first time all year, had to actually dial up the intensity a bit. This is a sign of growth and this is why I'm doing this. In May, we'll see where I'm at again.
Every workout must have a purpose. Whether it be weight loss, gaining speed, endurance, or just to clear my head.