Proper training and preparation are important to the success of every triathlete, amateur or professional. That being said, I have never been much of a “trainer.” In the past I had done the bare minimum to get by. Hell, I didn’t even own a trainer until December! I had subscribed to the belief that less is more when it comes to training, and for the most part had been able to get away with it. If I am training for a marathon, one 15 mile run 3 weeks before is sufficient. I have said many times, “Who needs more than a 6 mile run? Ironman, marathon, half marathon–all you need is 6 miles.” To be honest, that is all I could find time for. Commuting an hour to work, working full time, and being a single parent does not leave much time for proper training. This off season however, my friends started training. Knowing that they were putting in the hours, my competitive side came out and I decided to stop being a wimp, man up, and dedicate as much time as I could spare to do a little training.
I now own a trainer (that I dread), juggle the lap swim schedule at 3 area pools, run more miles than I ever have in the past, and consistently arrive to work late or duck out early to find that extra hour in the day. (My kid is now “sick” more than he has ever been. Poor guy. Must be the new daycare, or at least that is what I tell my co-workers.) Over the past few weeks, however, 3:30am has been coming entirely too early, and for the life of me I can’t seem to get my ass out of bed to swim, bike, or run. Motivation lost. I hit the work out “wall.”
Perpetually feeling tired and having subpar workouts was taking a huge toll on my huge ego. Six mile runs were feeling like 17, sucking wind the entire way. The thought of the pool’s ice cold water in the morning made me cringe and say “F*** it—I’ll do it after work” (which, of course, with a 3-year old does not happen). And don’t get me started on the trainer—it’s the end of April. I should ALWAYS be riding outside at this point, damn it! I had hit the work out “wall.” I could not even look at Training Peaks. With tri season right around the corner my ADHD kicked in and I tapped out. That was until this past weekend, when the Gods of Triathlon Training finally paid me a long overdue visit.
Though still a bit chilly at the Jersey Shore, it was a beautiful weekend: sunny and in the mid to high 60’s, with very little wind. It was glorious. I opened the dreaded Training Peaks to see a 2 hour run and a 4 hour brick. Ugh. I thought “OK. A Saturday run and Sunday brick.” Saturday morning came. I dropped the kid off with a friend, and I was off and running. To my amazement I felt fantastic! Negative splits for 13 miles–less than 2 hours, and I definitely could have kept going. I was back!! Re-energized and ready to go, I prepared for my Sunday ride. I installed my newly purchased Speedfil hydration system, filled it with the Infinit Isis Endurance formula, and found a new route with some decent hills. Again, I felt fantastic (with the exception of a mechanical malfunction cutting down the length of my ride).
I don’t know if I had been over-training, tired or bored, or if it was that the weekend was just so beautiful, but I broke down the wall. Finally ready to get back on track, I set the alarm for 3:30am, and turned up the training. I’m so excited to begin tri season this coming weekend! Hopefully my co-workers don’t realize that cold and flu season is over…