MC: I don’t really use it either.
PNF: I didn’t think you did. Because if you tie yourself to it, you miss the days when the going is good. Take it! Push the boundary a little bit that day. It might not come again for another couple weeks, right?
MC: Absolutely. Take it while it’s there. That’s interesting that you don’t repeat sessions. That’s something I have struggled with over the past few months because I like to look back in the last year’s diary and the year before…
PNF: Don’t! Don’t! Don’t look back.
MC: I’m realizing that is a mistake. You can’t replicate. You’re a different person than you were last year. There are different circumstances. The weather’s different. Everything. On the same day, you never feel the same. You know, I have some key sessions that I like to do and that actually has worked really well for me in the past, but you need to be able to let go if you’re not doing the times you anticipate.
PNF: I only realize it now because I look at everybody, but you may not realize it – that if you do look at those times, you don’t know how at that low level it grinds you up and spits you out. And looking back takes away a lot of what you have going for you. You look back and you waste time, you waste energy. You want something and you want more. That’s why I never repeated. Well, it’s hard to not repeat swim workouts; 100’s are 100’s. But once you get to Kona it’s open water swimming, so you just swim. But no repeating on the bike or the run. It frees you to take what the day gives and to give it what you have, because that’s all you can do. And it allows you to let go of what everybody else is doing, too. Because they quantify everything. I was always a firm believer in non-quantifying anything. People always ask, “Well then how do you know?” But I know. I know. I’m riding up Lefthand Canyon and I know. I’m just in a bigger gear, I feel good, I come home and I’m stoked. All I’m looking for on race day is to find that feeling and have a great training day. The best of my training. If you can get something that’s mostly the best of a great training day, you will rock & roll.
MC: These days with the watts and the Garmin’s, I’m constantly being asked, “Well then how do you test yourself?” If your coach tells you to go out and do X number of efforts, it’s not the watts, it’s the effort. I can tell. On that day, you just know. You know when you’re feeling good; you know when you’re getting on top of the gears. You’re cranking. And that’s the feeling you’re talking about. It’s hard to tell the person that is watching their watts the whole ride and just riding to numbers.