Personal experience with a sport makes you a bigger fan. I'm sure a competitive basketball player has more respect for the skills of Lebron or Kobe than they average Joe, because he or she can appreciate the details not just the result. I am definitely not a competitive triathlete yet, because I'm not following the Olympic triathlon and if I was I wouldn't really know what to look for, but swimming I know.
Watching Phelps swim makes me want to swim. And while I'm sure it makes lots of people excited and think about swimming, watching Phelps has been the biggest boost to my swim training all year. When I watch him I can't help but think, "Oh you think your so fast huh?" and then the next morning when I'm trying to keep my lungs from exploding and can't believe the interval is here all ready, "Don't you want to be like him? He wouldn't be whining about how much this hurts right now."
My swim training for triathlon has been pretty vanilla as far as workouts go. Some warm up, some drills, paddles, pull and sets of 200s, 400s or some longer distance swims for time. Every once in a while I mix it up with some 100 intervals, but rarely. This is particularly hard for me because I was a sprinter. I like to go fast, I like excruciating pain for short periods of time, and I like to go fast! Distance swimming = blah.
Ever since watching Phelps on TV my workouts have been "old school". That means back to the days of tears in the goggles and pushing harder than I thought I could. The two workouts from Tuesday and Thursday of this week are below, and I owe Michael Phelps a big thank you for the vomit in the gutter, trembling arms, and the smile on my face.
400 warm up / 10 x 100 on 1:45 / 200 pull w/paddles / 200 pull / 400 - butterfly down, free coming back / 200 cool down. Total = 2,800m
Wednesday: Every intention of a long ride….but work and just preparing for the BIG move from Tennessee to Arizona this weekend is exhausting.
500 warm up / 10 x 100 IM w/30s rest /10 x 50 on :45 / 200 pull w/paddles / 200 pull / 200 cool down. Total = 2,600m