Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stupid Confidence

Swim Day

1 x 150- Warm-up
3 x 200- 3:00
5 x 100- 50- 5, 7, 9/50- low stroke count
3 x 50- Sideline kick
1 x 500- 7:09
1 x 100- Cool down
total- 2000 yards

Overall, this was a low DSQ workout. I was expecting for this first swim back to not be so good. I thought my stroke was going to feel clunky and off and I was going to miss just about every time standard I set for myself. I was wrong and how sweet is that?
The warm-up wasn't smooth and there was strange soreness in places there shouldn't be, like my back and shoulders. Pretty sure that is from being a little too tense during the run yesterday. But once I got rolling in the 200s set everything started working together nice and smooth-like. And the 100s set really came together nicely. Keeping the anaerobic portion of the set to a 50 means there is some stress, but not very much. It allows me to settle in to the stroke and relax into efficiency. When I do the same set but over 100 yards its more about making it hurt and pushing through. Not today's goal. And by the end of the five I was stretching the stroke count down to 15 strokes per lap. Keep in mind, that includes a decent push and glide off the wall (Flip Turns People!) but its still plenty respectable. I wasn't cheating with a stroke kickkickkickkick stroke.
And then I hit the 500 and decided I was feeling fresh enough to hit it hard-ish. This isn't full-out, but it was just above my Set It And Forget It pace. And I burned that up for a 7:09. Bringing me to Stupid Confidence. I'd be lying if I said I'm not thrilled by that time. I'd also be lying if I said it means anything significant. Because it doesn't, not really. Not yet, and not after that workout. I should be able to lay down a near seven minute 500. The trick will be doing repeats of that time. When I can knock out four 500s on the 7:30 or less then I'll be happy.
Take a look at that last sentence. The key word is right at the start. When. Not If, When. Because it is going to happen. This is a serious mix of Stupid Confidence and actual experience.
Stupid Confidence is what endurance athletes live on. No normal intelligent person looks at a triathlon of any distance and thinks, "Yes, that is for me. I am going to pay money for that, break my ass for x weeks preparing for that, and then get up pre-dawn and do that for y hours until I'm done or too exhausted to move." This choice takes a measure of Stupid Confidence. Stupid Confidence is directly related to Bill Simmons' Irrational Confidence Guys. An Irrational Confidence Guy is, "the guy who isn't one of the team's best players, but he'll have stretches in which he THINKS he is." Stupid Confident people look at a triathlon and decide that yes, I am strong enough for that and yes I can conquer that, and yes my body can do that even though thinking about it for more than two seconds will tell you that no, you're body really shouldn't do something like this for that long. It's a stupid thing to do. And that's why we love it. Normal people think we're stoopid.

The 500 today gave me my first official boost of Stupid Confidence. Did I get out of the water thinking, "Psh, I got the Honu swim right now. It is in the bag." Sure did. Is that a dumbass thing to think the week BEFORE I start the training cycle? Sure is. But it feels great.


  1. Stupid confidence executed in a rational and safe manner is an endurance athletes best friend.

  2. When you're fast you can have stupid confidence all you want! Way to go!

  3. "Stupid confidence" hardly counts as rationale for our behavior after completing one endurance event.

    I think "gluttony," "masochism," or "self-loathing" are far more accurate.

    Since I think of racing the same way I think of Reese's Minis, Skittles, and Little Debbie cakes, I'm voting "gluttony."