Are You Addicted to Endurance Training?

Do your family members, non-endurance friends and co-workers accuse you of being fanatical and obsessed about endurance exercise? Pffft! You're just misunderstood: You exercise to stay healthy. You're simply taking good care of yourself with those aerobic workouts?right?

Or, is it possible that you're addicted to endurance exercise? To find out, take the simple test below.

More: How to Balance Training Volume

After each statement, if you find that you're...

  • nodding your head in agreement, silently thinking "well that's perfectly normal", or
  • smiling like the Cheshire Cat, or
  • shouting out, "that's me!",
...give yourself a score of one. Keep track of how many ones you give yourself.

Let's begin.

You might be addicted to endurance training if?

  1. Your significant other often says, "Please go do a workout so you stop driving me insane."
  2. You think a romantic getaway with your significant other is riding 80 to 100 miles over a Colorado mountain pass, sleeping in a tent next to hundreds of other snoring riders, and getting up the next day to do it all again.
  3. You have an entire drawer dedicated to logoed socks.
  4. You never read this column because you were "training" and someone else told you about the column.
  5. The money intended for your 401k never made it there and drifted to new equipment purchases instead.
  6. You'd rather have a power meter than a fancy new watch or a diamond necklace.
  7. All of your standard medical appointments are scheduled for the offseason.
  8. The only reason you watch television is for the news—specifically the weather report.
  9. You have a minimum of three weather reports on your phone or computer.
  10. You have at least one sport for every season and back-up sports as well.
  11. You have set the alarm for 3:30 a.m. in order to get in a workout completed before work, and then feel compelled to do another workout after work.
  12. You ride your bike long distances to make up for having a running injury.
  13. You seek out friends that "are worse than you" so that when others accuse you of being addicted you can point the finger at your friends and say, "No, I'm not addicted—that is addicted."
  14. You have over 100 race bibs in a drawer or on your garage wall.
  15. You won't bother with a lunch ride because 1 to 2 hours is too short.
  16. You consider a 3-hour ride as just the warm-up.
  17. You decide to sign up for a 12-hour solo race just to get extra hours in the saddle.
  18. You push away any negative comments about exercise addiction and rephrase the comment to "dedicated."
  19. Your in-laws think you exercise "excessively" in order to avoid spending time with them.
  20. The highlight of your weekend was a 20-mile run, 5-hour bike ride or any other physical activity that required carrying food and water.
  21. You begin getting twitchy and start jonesing for that long workout if you haven't exercised for more than two days.
  22. When guests come for dinner you break out your best drinking glasses—logoed pint glasses won or received at an event.
  23. You receive all your non-emergency medical attention by doctoring yourself, researching it on the internet because a trip to a real doctor would cut into your training time.
  24. Your credit card bill shows over 50 percent of the expenditures are for sports-related purchases.
  25. You find a way to get a job in the sports industry so exercise and fitness is a justifiable job requirement.
  26. You purchase products or equipment endorsed by professional athletes in hopes you can have a body that looks like theirs.
  27. When someone asks, "How are you doing?" you let them know, by sport and in excruciating detail, how each of your recent workouts have gone and how your legs feel.
  28. While driving your car up a steep hill you can't help but wonder, "What gear ratio would I be using if I were riding this on my bike?"
  29. You commute 200 miles per week in any weather (you'd die before accepting a ride in a car) to "save gas."
  30. You offer Shot Blocks at your wedding reception.
  31. One cupboard space is completely dedicated to water bottles and a second one to sports drink and food products.
  32. You think the original PowerBars taste good.
  33. You ask for an "express" manicure, because you don't want to waste "valuable bike time." (Express = no polish, no massage, just clean 'em up, get me out!)
  34. Your bike costs more than your car.
  35. You store Body Glide next to your deodorant.
  36. You Google the word "ultra" when thinking about your next run, bike or triathlon event.
  37. When someone mentions the idea of a "cross-country road trip" you wonder how many days that trip would take if you rode your bike.
  38. You sign up for long endurance events to have an excuse to workout long hours.
  39. You think it's fun to run a distance in miles equal to your age.
  40. Your short week of training is 15 hours.
  41. You purchase GU and Cliff Bars by the 12-pack?for the day's ride.
  42. Rather than parking at the far end of the lot to save the paint on your car, you park right next to the doors of the supermarket in order to "save your legs" for your next workout.
  43. You stop in the middle of one workout to order equipment for another sport because you're afraid they won't have what you want if you wait another couple of hours.
  44. Your stock answer to "What are your weekend plans?" and "What did you do this weekend?" is, "I've got a long ride (or insert your endurance sport of choice) planned."
  45. You have more sports-related clothing pieces than "normal" clothing.

Go to page 2 to find out if you're addicted to endurance training.

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