This is hard!

Oh my gosh, this is going to be so freaking hard!”

That’s what I told a friend yesterday, after a workout that included a 1200-yard swim and a 4.5-mile run.

Three times a week, my training plan calls for me to run and swim on the same day. Wednesday, the swim portion of the workout consisted of a moderate 300-yard swim, followed by twelve 50-yard sprints and then followed by another moderate 300-yard swim. A 50-yard swim sprint is just that, swim as hard as you can for 50-yards, rest for 20 seconds and do it again. The difficult part of the workout was not necessarily the distances, but the “sprint” portion of the workouts.

In the past, I have not used swim sprints as part of my training plans. If fact, when training for previous triathlons, I would just swim, bike and run, depending on what I felt like doing that day. Since I am committing to a plan, I am trusting that the sprint workouts will be beneficial in helping me achieve my targeted goals. I don’t like them, but I’m going to do them.

On Wednesday, when I started my workout, I thought to myself that the planned session seemed extremely difficult for week three of my training. Last week, instead of twelve 50-yard sprints, I only had to swim eight 25-yard sprints. I knew the workouts would get progressively more difficult, but this seemed a little much.

I have been diligent on sticking with the plan, so I sucked it up and I did it. Once I finished though, I was absolutely drained. My muscles had never had to endure that type of sprint workout and I still had to run 4.5 miles!

Later in the day, I completed my 4.5 mile run. It felt good, however, I was so exhausted afterwards. I was so much more exhausted than I had been after previous workouts.

That evening, I kept thinking to myself about how difficult that workout was, especially the swim portion. At dinner, I could not stop talking about how difficult the workout was for me. It is only week three of my training plan and I am already fretting about how hard it is getting. I never expected the training to be easy, but it seemed to progress so much from week two.

Thursday, as I prepared my workout bag for the day, I checked off the previous day’s work out and made sure I knew what workout was planned for the day. At that moment is when I realized that I did the workout scheduled for week six and not week three. No wonder it was so much more difficult, I just skipped ahead three weeks into the plan.

A huge sense of relief came over me knowing that my actual planned workout would not have been as difficult had I completed the week-3 session and not week-6’s session. I am now more confident that come week six, I’ll be ready for those twelve 50-yard sprints. I am hopeful that when that week comes, I won’t feel quite as exhausted as I did on Wednesday. This oversight has taught me to pay more attention to my daily plan so that I know that I’m doing the correct workout.

Other than that slight mix-up, my training is going well. I am feeling stronger, faster and more confident each day. Training is tough, though. The time commitment, the soreness, and the exhaustion is much more extreme than I am used too, but I am determined and will be ready on June 3rd.

Someone once said, “Life is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.” While that is true for the most part, I do have a slightly different take on that quote now. Just as I’m learning that sprints are necessary for my race preparation, in life there are also times we have to sprint to achieve our personal goals and dreams.

Bring on the sprints! Why not, right?