Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tri Training

I'm signed up for the Mont-Tremblant Ironman in August. I'm also doing two Half-Ironmans, Patriot in June, and Musselman in July. I still consider myself mostly a runner, and that's what my blog usually is about, but I have to do a fair bit of biking and swimming too. I could run every day, even if I'm not feeling well or I'm "not in the mood." Biking and swimming are a pain.

Well, indoors anyway. Biking for hours on a stationary bike sucks, even watching Netflix. And swimming back and forth in a pool gets... repetitive. Doing those things outside is a lot more fun. But right now I don't have much choice. I don't want to jump into the water at my first triathlon and exclaim, "oh wait, I don't know how to swim!" And drown.

Drowning blows.

I still suck at swimming. Old ladies regularly kick my a$$ in the pool. Not that I'm knocking old ladies. They're badass. There's one I see regularly who's around 70 and looks like a locomotive in the water. Churn churn churn. I look like a pigeon that just fell into a puddle. Except the puddle is 8 feet deep.

"It's wet?! Nobody told me it would be wet!!"

Geoffrey and Meghan have insane training plans. Their coaches try to kill them every day. Geoffrey's legs have swelled to the size of tree trunks. Meghan trains more in a single day than I do in a week. I can't do what they do. I've always just "winged" my training. But it's the only way I can avoid burning out. The two of them will likely cross the finish line in Quebec hours before me.

That's OK.

I'm doing it because I can. Only .5% of people have completed a marathon. But 1 in 200 isn't awesome enough for me; I've done plenty of marathons. Less than .01% have completed an Ironman. That's something I could maybe boast about. I recognize it's just my ego. But it's healthier than showing off how much whiskey I used to drink.

Well, if I drown, maybe that won't be true. You can only figuratively drown yourself in a whiskey bottle.

Training for a triathlon has its upsides. No one part of my body gets as hammered as when I just run. There's more variety, more options. If the weather is awful outside, I can hop on the stationary bike and pretend I'm not lazy. And swimming can be downright therapeutic when my body is fried. I don't foam roll or massage my muscles or do any of the other things that intelligent people do. But swimming helps even out the many kinks in my body.

At this point I think I have more kinks than "body".

Finding the time can be hard. Well, mostly getting up when it's still dark out is hard. I often exercise before and after work. And I do 8 to 9 hours total Friday through Sunday. And that will only increase as I get closer to the summer. I'm impressed by people who have a family and still train for a triathlon! I'm not sure that they even sleep. I don't sleep either, but only because my body is still expecting me to pull out my late night sick pack of Coors Light.

"Just four more to go!"

Ahh the good old days.

2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, and 26.2 miles of running seems like a lot. It is! But then, I used to think a full marathon was far. Now I'll run at least half that distance just for giggles. And some people think a triathlon of any length is a feat. But I swam for an hour, biked for over an hour, and ran 5 miles on Sunday, which is somewhere between a sprint tri and an intermediate tri. And once my bike rides start stretching to 4, 5, 6 hours, even that won't seem that terrible.

Your mind just gets used to it. You torture it enough, it gives up complaining. Some folks may hesitate to sign up for an event that far exceeds anything they've done before. But that's what the training is for. As long as you don't slack off, you will be able to finish. Maybe not fast, but you will. And I signed up for the Ironman almost a full year out, so I have no excuse.

I waste too much time posing for cameras.

There's no way I'd be doing what I'm doing now if I hadn't signed up. If you're someone who struggles with exercising daily.... sign up for a race! It doesn't have to be an Ironman. Even a half marathon is awesome! And the fear of failure, the fear of embarrassment, is greater than the ickiness of slush and snow. Prey on those insecurities!

Training daily is all about fooling your brain. Motivation sucks. You can't count on it. But manipulative trickery.... That's gold! Your brain only wants fried foods and sleep. Anything beyond that and you will start hearing an angry buzzing between your ears. Don't feel bad. My brain hates me too.

Use any and every dirty trick you can think of to keep yourself going.

Also, I used "well" a lot...


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