Achieving goals without a “plan”

I'm going for a swim (Lake Atitlan)
Image by nunavut via Flickr

If I’m not careful, I might turn into one of “those” people.  You know…  Mileage junkies?  Those people who have to get that extra mile or two in to meet some weekly/monthly goal.

See, I wasn’t always that way.  I used to stick to training plans and had… you know… focus?  But now I seem to be a lot more “freestyle” in my training…  I have a loose schedule which includes bike commuting to work, 3 runs per week, as much swimming as I can get in and making as many of my workouts “multisport” as possible (in other words, bricks).  I’ve gotta say, it’s a lot more fun and a lot less frustrating than following a paper plan.  If I don’t get a certain workout in due to weather, work or other circumstances, it doesn’t matter.  I know I’ll get it in eventually.  If I’m tired, I take a break.  Some weeks I work out 7 days, some only 3 or 4.

But even with all this I have still managed to punch through a couple of mileage barriers this season already.  Saturday, I went 62 miles on my bike.  I had never been more than 50 before.  I ran 14 miles last Saturday which is the furthest I have been since 2008.  I finally swam more than one lap (without a wetsuit!) at the lake which put me over 3 miles for the week.  These are mental milestones for me.  They also let me know I am capable of more than I thought.  I’m still not ready for a half ironman yet, but I’m closer than I thought.

It all got me thinking that I should shoot for some mileage goals this summer.  I think I can do a century ride if I’m careful.  It won’t be fast (when is it with me?) but I think I’ve got the miles in me.  I would also like to swim 5 miles in one week and at least 2 miles without stopping by the end of the summer.  I’m not going to pin myself to these goals, but it would be cool if I could get them.

In all, even though I’m tired today and am taking the day off (even though it’s a holiday and I should be doing SOMEthing), last week’s total mileage was encouraging.  I’m going to sign up for Tinman (my first tri longer than a sprint!) this week and Saturday is Hospital Hill!  I have no goals for Hospital Hill other than running hard and having fun.  I’m starting my first master’s swim class on June 8th and will admit to being pretty intimidated.  But I know I need it.  I’m not going to get any better on my own.  I may not have many races this summer, but it’s going to be busy!

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