Teacher Just Wants to Tri: Part II

author : lv2teach
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It’s frighteningly amazing how much fitness you lose in such a short amount of time, which makes no sense if you ask me. It should leave no quicker than it was achieved.

Remember in my first article when I said that my training might have to “take a backseat” to life? Well it did just that. In fact, my triathlon training was demoted from backseat, to trunk, to permanent garage status. February, the shortest month of the year, has also been the most hectic. I switched jobs, and with the transfer came a lot of emotional exhaustion—something I was entirely unprepared to deal with. Along with the emotional exhaustion came physical exhaustion, which then turned into a really bad cold. I hung up my swimming suit, put away the iPod, and camped out on the couch with a box of Kleenex—for my leaky nose and unstoppable tears.

It was an ugly start. Thankfully the emotional roller coaster I was riding calmed down, and the cold that went from my head to my chest cleared up. I pulled out the running shoes, dug out my goggles and hit the training circuit once again.

It’s frighteningly amazing how much fitness you lose in such a short amount of time, which makes no sense if you ask me. It should leave no quicker than it was achieved. The discipline where I noticed the most damage from my involuntary hiatus was swimming. That is my weakest area and it was a little disappointing to get back into the water and feel like a month’s work had gone down the tubes. But a funny thing happened. After a few workouts, I felt as though I was right back to where I had left off. So in actuality, all was not lost. My knees were stiff going on the runs, so I cut down on distance the first few times I went out for the longer sessions, but I made it up on the shorter runs at the gym on the treadmill. I went harder and used and incline; something in the past, I’ve never done.

For my long bike sessions, I spin Wednesday mornings at my local 24 Hour Fitness. It’s a tremendous workout—quite the arse kicking!

When I do my brick workouts, I swim, go into the locker room, change, and then get on a bike. I’m a little worried that I’m not concentrating enough on my transitions. Then again, I’m not trying to win this triathlon; I just want to complete it! I’m wondering if I should pay more attention to the aspect of the race? I’ve been very tempted to try and do all three disciplines, just to see what it would be like. I think I might try that next month.

The lessons learned this month were more about personal management, rather than anything triathlon related:

  • If you become ill while training, give your body a break and hang up the shoes. And if you’re a workout fanatic, at least taper your schedule. Trust me, your body will thank you for it.
  • Fitness gained is not lost in proportion to time it took to earn. It dissolves A LOT quicker than it ever takes to achieve.
  • It’s okay deviate from your training schedule. Each day is a new day and a new chance to get back on track.
  • Sometimes your mental sanity is worth more than a race.

Find a way to internally motivate yourself. Determination is key. And when the world seems too big and life too much to handle, take care of yourself—your spirit first—the rest will fall into place. I promise.


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date: March 5, 2006