I have been racing triathlons for the last 2 years. I gave no thought to the sport before I entered my first race. My dad was given 2 entries from his friend that would have gone unused, so we jumped in.
I admit that I have never considered myself a distance athlete. Running mile after mile is not fun for me. I am slow and not a good runner so I avoid it. Like most people, I enjoy the things that I believe I am good at and shy away from the things I am bad at. For me, that is running.
But I wasn’t hesitant to sign up. Because there are 2 other events that I do enjoy. Swimming and biking. While I was growing up I spent a lot of time in the water. We were fortunate enough to have a pool and access to a lake. During the summer months, I swam almost every day. I love the water so I had no worries about that leg of the race.
As for biking, I have come to really enjoy mountain biking. There is quite an adrenaline rush when you are going downhill through the woods, around the trees, over rocks, and around banked corners as fast as you can. I have put a lot of miles in on 2 wheels for someone who isn’t in love with distance training. So, the bike leg was not a concern either.
So, the racing season came and went. I trained, did my races, and found out I loved it. It wasn’t like other races I have done in the past. I knew I wanted to continue. I wanted triathlon to be my sport.
I have now made the commitment to become a better triathlete. I have signed up for more races this summer and have started to train.
The training schedule and philosophy I am using this year is much different than in the past. I have been heavily influenced by a book on high-intensity interval training. The book is called The One Minute Workout. It laid out the science of working out with super high intensity over short periods of time and how that can increase your cardio fitness more efficiently than mild exercise over long periods. More simply, I learned how to work out for shorter periods and get the same or greater benefits. And, as we already established, running long arduous miles is not for me. So, this approach is exactly what I have been looking for.
I am currently implementing interval training every time I exercise. Cardio work and weight training. It is going extremely well. My workouts are no longer too time-consuming for my schedule. My cardio fitness is increasing and I like putting in the maximal effort. It makes me feel good after every session.
An example swim workout might be the following…
- 200 meters freestyle warm up
- 100 meters pull
- 100 meters kick
- (25 meters 100% effort freestyle) x6
- 100 meters freestyle cooldown
The whole workout takes less than 30 minutes. I do include a reasonable rest in between the sets of the sprint.
An example run workout might be this…
- 1 mile run at a hard pace
- 60-meter sprints at 100% effort, 8 times
- 1 mile run at an easier pace
This workout takes less than 30 minutes as well. It is completely manageable and more fun for me than running for two hours. I do believe, however, that I will have to increase my distance and quantity of sprints to get the fitness sufficient needed for my races.
As for the biking, I haven’t settled on a workout yet. I currently get my intervals in by riding trails with hills. I go as hard as I can up the hills and take it a little easier in the flats. I am still working on my strategy in this area. It has only been a few weeks of intentional training so far this year. However, I notice a dramatic difference in my fitness. The High-Intensity strategy is doing its job. I will follow this method for this whole season and determine if it was a good way to train and perform.
If it proves successful I am going to implement and expand the effort for my ultimate athletic goal, finishing an IRONMAN race. It is one of the most challenging events I have every seen. it will be a huge personal trial that will deliver so much satisfaction if I can overcome and finish. It will change the core of me to be better personally and professionally. To become the person I have to be to finish that race will take massive amounts of discipline, determination, and an iron will to overcome and make it across the finish line. Those deep changes and improvements to the core of who I am will only bring good things. I hope I am up to the challenge when the day comes.
If you want a better idea of what IRONMAN is, check out these youtube videos. I promise you have never seen anything more motivating in your life.
I will update you on the races as soon as they come.
… So Tired …