The Difference Between Serious Training and Just Working Out

Somehow, recently, I slipped back into training ‘for serious.’ I’m still sort of messing around, but my fitness is coming back so nicely (and I have a month now to build up a big base), that it’s hard not to imagine what could happen if I had a whole year without any major injuries, accidents, or other disasters.

But, the difference between serious and not serious is so thin. It’s all in your head.

The other day I had one of those one-thing-after-another afternoons that used to happen all the time when I was training a lot. Because when you’re training a lot, there’s always something that doesn’t work right, so there’s going to be a lot of ‘When You Give a Mouse a Cookie’ days. Thursday, I needed to change the tires on my bike, but it was really hard to get one of the new tires on and I cut my hand. Blood and grease everywhere. Then, I finally got them on and couldn’t get the wheel to fit into the bike. So, I let some brake cable out to loosen the brakes, but it still wouldn’t fit. Finally, after lots of finagling and yelling, I decided the tire must be too thick for the frame. Took it off, put the old tire back on, re-aligned the brakes. And, by then, it was too late to go for a ride. (I also dropped a drawer on my foot, and tripped and fell into a door frame during all this.)

This would never have happened when I didn’t give a shit. I would have just given up much earlier in the process. That’s one of the major differences between serious training and just working out. These are some of the other things I do distinctly differently when I’m serious:

  • Actual workouts on the treadmill
  • Rain riding
  • Bothering to make sure my equipment works
  • Writing schedules
  • Swimming

Things I have not yet started to do, but will mark when I am really serious:

  • Stop eating all the desserts