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Work Out Guilt, of Course You Have It by John Post, MD

“It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got” Sheryl Crow

Triathlon training takes a long time. (“Duh”, many of you say.) This is especially true when preparing for the longer distance events. There’s only so much you can do squeezing training in and around your schedule before you have to do the same to their schedule whether “they” is wife, husband, kids, co-workers, etc. Frequently we find ourselves battling that inner demon who tells us that we need 30 more minutes on this run but our soul tells us to go home and relieve the baby sitter.

I was rereading John L. Parker, Jr.’s “Once a Runner” this week and thought a page spoke directly to this. I’m sure you’ve all read this wonderful text – if not go to and order a copy right now – but wanted to refresh your thought processes reminding us that endurance athletes have had to vault this hurdle for ages.

Here are fictional runner Quenton Cassidy’s thoughts on the subject while tubing down the Ichetucknee River with his girlfriend Andrea:

 “In order to arrange this day of perfect drifting, an entirely traditional local pastime, he and Mizner – now floating up ahead with his date – had arisen at 7:30 and run seventeen miles. It was the only way they could spend their day in the sweet haze of Boone’s Farm apple wine and still appease the great white Calendar God whose slighted or empty squares would surely turn up someday to torment the quilt-ridden runner. They went through such contortions occasionally to prove to themselves that their lives didn’t have to be so abnormal, but the process usually just ended up accentuating the fact. There were several ways it could be done. If they were going to the beach, they might put it off and run when they got there, but contrary to popular opinion, beach running is only jolly fun for the first five miles or so. After that, the cute little waves become redundant, the sand reflects the sun up into the eyes blindingly, grains of sand slip annoyingly into the heel of the shoe or flip up on the back of the leg. Fifteen hot miles on a long, flat beach sounds like good sport only to those who haven’t actually done it. Also, the ocean is too infinite: the run seems as if it will never end.

 They could always put off training until they got back in the evening, but that just made things worse. No beer! None of the sticky wine! Their friends would slyly tempt them, to see if they really took all that training stuff seriously. It was too much to ask. Better to get it all over with and then be able to enjoy the day like any other citizen.”

Any of this sound familiar in your life? I’m bettin’ the answer’s yes.