When I was out cycling today I started to wonder whether I preferred to train or to race. It is a more difficult question than I first imagined.
My initial thoughts were, race, you only train to race so I must prefer racing. However, racing comes with added complications, you get pressure when you race, you get nervous pre-race, you have other people around all of who can have either a positive or negative impact on your race. When I thought about it these factors actually do put me off racing a bit. On the other hand when you finish a race you get the satisfaction of completing the event and sometimes even the admiration of friends and family.
Training on the other hand comes with no pressure, no one else to influence your session and the added advantage of being able to do it when you want to. But, training involves pain, and you whilst you have to hurt yourself in a race in training there are often sessions where you need to push yourself harder than you want to, remove that comfort zone and see what you can do.
I really enjoy training, I don’t mind coming home from work, getting changed and going out training in whatever the weather is. I find training relaxing, a way to clear your mind from the day.
When you train for a multi sport event there are obviously sessions you prefer over others, but the key is getting through all of them and trying to enjoy them all. If you don’t enjoy it then it becomes a chore and then you start resenting it and that is the point that you probably give up and stop. Me, I enjoy it.
In conclusion I would have to say I probably enjoy training over racing, and whilst I train to be able to race, if I couldn’t race anymore I would still certainly still train.