It was hard to shampoo my hair this week.
Swim – 3:00:00 – 7200m
Bike – 1:13:37 – 32.11km
Run – 1:14:15 – 15.47km
Strength – 1:30:00
Total – 6:57:52
I got back into the weight room for the first time in about 6 months. it felt great, until the next day; I was walking backwards down my stairs at home. I started with the ‘Pre-Hab’ routine outlined in ‘The Four Hour Body’ by Tim Ferris to identify any muscle imbalances that may have crept into my body over the summer. Good news, everything checked out great.
The rest of the week was uneventful by my standards, logging lengths in the pool, commuting on the bike, and a couple of quality runs. I had planned a long bike ride for Saturday as the weatherman called for 14 degrees, then snow for Sunday. He was right (how often does that happen) but unfortunately I was not. I wasn’t able to squeeze it in, opting to spend time with the family instead. Balance right?
Fall is a great time in Calgary, even if it only lasts 4 weeks. The weather is awesome allowing for some pretty great walks and hikes after supper. Case in point; we headed out on Monday evening with the dog who wanted to go for a walk, and a 6 year old who didn’t. 45 minutes later we were dragging both of them out of the tall grass to get home for bed time. It was so nice out we had to strip our jackets off and t-shirt it all the way home.
With the snow on Sunday it would appear that winter in going to settle in a little earlier than anticipated, meaning that me and the dog will head solo more often than not. That is okay with me, I enjoy the solo time with a good cup of tea and the fresh air.
With the 2014 race season a long time away, starting with Escape from Alcatraz on June 1, I am trying to find some motivation for the winter. The couple of half marathons early in the year should keep me on track, but as most of us struggle with, I want to enjoy my training this year and not just log the hours. It is that darn trainer in the basement
Check back as I haven’t really found it yet.
Question: How do you find motivation in the off season?
“I love all three sports, I couldn’t pick my favorite.”
Liar, eveyone has a favorite.
As I looked out the window on Sunday morning at freezing rain coming down, contemplating if I should head out the door, I thought to myself ‘I really don’t like running, especially in less than ideal weather’. I reserved my run for later that evening, alas on the treadmill, even worse.
Triathlon provides alot of variety; three sports, different gear for each, nutrition, and race strategy just to name a few. This in one of the main reasons why I love this sport. If I had to bike 5 days a week, I would go crazy. Not too mention running; I think I would be a couch potato if that was case.
It did make me think though, what is it about the three sports that I like so much? What is my favorite?
I typically don’t hesitate to pull on the Speedo (sorry for the visual), grab my paddles, and head to the lane for a workout. I enjoy the opportunity to be with my thoughts and air bubbles for an hour. It gives me time to think about everything from life changes to singing my favorite song. Only one problem, I can’t keep track of my laps past 400m because my mind wanders off.
Going fast is what it is all about. Biking is awesome, you can head out on the road and over the course of 40km, you can experience more than you can with any other sport. My typical routes take me through the rural country side of Southern Alberta, which can be amazing, and by amazing I mean great views with wind.
And every roadie/triathlete, at least everyone I have met, digs bikes.
I am not a huge fan of running, never have, never will. When I started this whole triathlon thing, I didn’t run. I didn’t run track or long distance in Junior High or High school; man I wish I did. Mind you, I have come to like it over the last two years. By working on my foot strike and evening out muscle imbalances in my lower body, I have eliminated injury while increasing both distance and speed.
I have read many times that you can’t win a race on the swim, but you certainly lose it. So I needed to focus on it over the last two winter seasons, increasing my efficiency and speed.
My favorite sport? Swimming. It may be that of the three, I am the best at it, but I think it has more to do with the fact that my daughter is a fish as well. We really enjoy leaving mom at home, heading to the pool, and acting like a couple of kids. Easier for me than her sometimes. We do get some disapproving looks while we are having a cannon ball competition, but hey, who cares. Right?
In the future, once we can bike more than 500m without stopping, biking may become my favorite.
Question: What is your favorite sport? Why?
Physiotherapist, massage therapist, nutritionist, among the various other specialists are now part of your life. Welcome to being a triathlete.
I am really lucky, I have found my supporting cast almost by accident (no pun intended). My ‘ist’ line-up in comparison to what it could be is pretty short. In many cases, I am filling in where one could be.
I am my own nutritionist, constantly examining what I eat, how it effects my system, and tweaking when necessary. I am busy with making breakfast, lunch, and snacks at least 3 times a week, mentally calculating the nutritional value. Not exactly before you Paleo advocates start writing horrible things in the comment section, just making sure I have enough starchy vegetables to support my training load. Of all my quirks, I think this drives my family the most crazy.
My wife doubles as my therapist, being pulled into many conversations surrounding training load, schedules, race strategy, and having to tell me “you are grumpy, so take a day off already.” That’s right, a high training load makes me grumpy without even noticing it. A couple of days off, and I am back to my normal self. As normal as I can be.
A good massage therapist is worth their weight in gold and as hard to find; to get a referral from an athlete who has one is even harder. It took me awhile to find the right one, and I stumbled upon him only after my wife had seen him. My guy knows all about running issues and how each muscle in the body can effect hip alignment, knee pain, and foot issues. Sometimes he is able to identify a potential issue based on how my muscles are feeling. Pre-hab my friends.
I know my physiotherapist real well, almost too well. While rehabilitating my shoulder I am sure I spent more time with him than with my wife. He is a miracle worker and I don’t know how I would be able to be what I am doing if he wasn’t able to fix some of the issues over the years. The benefit of Active Release Technique (ART) and ‘Needles’ as my physio calls them (much different from acupuncture, believe me) can speed recovery in ways only they will know how to administer. Wether it is a reoccurring issue, or the next weakest link, a physio that specializes in sport will make your personal and training life a lot easier.
Trust me, no spouse out there is happy when you are laid up on the couch ‘again’ with a sore quad. “Don’t worry honey, you get better. I will take the kids for the afternoon while you ice and watch TV in hopes you can run later tonight.” Anyone heard this? Definitely not me, and not you either. I am sure you have thought about running later that night though…….
You are going to need one someday. So go find them now if you haven’t already.
Question: What ‘ists’ are on your list? Which ones could you not live without?