Monday, February 12, 2007

Going in Circles

Training for a triathlon is demanding and takes a great deal of discipline and dedication. Whether that first sprint race, an Olympic distance event, or Ironman, the concept is the same. All that changes is the time and distance put in during training. Of course, Ironman events require an extensive training program, and sometimes call for training to be performed during cold, dark, winter days.

That is where I find myself, at the moment. Sub-zero temperatures are far from conducive to biking, so I'm relegated to the basement, spinning on the trainer. This has its positives and its negatives. On the negative side is the lack of real life circumstances. There is no wind, hills are simulated, and the bike is locked into a single position. Of course, this is all offset by the television. Let's face it, training for Ironman puts a serious dent in T.V. time. But shows can be justified if it's all in the name of training. "I'll be up right after this episode of The Dead Zone. No, really. I'm SUPPOSED to train for 3 hours, today."

The sheer volume and frequency of swim workouts has called for some flexibility when it comes to both time and location of those sessions. I've found myself swimming in circles in just about every YMCA in the Fox Valley. Fortunately, most are within 10-15 minutes of home, and all are part of the same organization. And unlike Virginia Beach locations, all have towel service.

And then there's the real challenge. Running. So far, at least, the runs on my schedule have been straightforward and short. The weather, however, has been uncooperative. Ten miles is easy enough. Ten miles with snow on the ground, still okay. Ten miles with real temperatures in the negative column (and wind chills in the horribly negative category), less exciting.

So, it has been more "off to the Y" for me. And only the very real risk of severe hypothermia and/or frostbite will lead me to run 110 laps on the track. Swimming in circles is boring enough, but at least the risk of drowning helps keep me focused. Running in circles, just blah!

At the end of the week, month, and, most importantly, August, it will all come to a point. If I've completed enough circles, I'll have enough in the bank to go the distance in Louisville. And there won't be anything boring about that.


Comm's said...

The bright side Pol is this...there are no circles at IM KY. And all you will be thinking about is moving forward.

Spokane Al said...

And I gotta believe that all those circles completed in training are adding tremendous discipline in the mental strengthening part of the IM training as well.

TriShannon said...

The circles are worth it... not only are you working on physical endurance, but you are getting that extra mental workout as a bonus.

Vickie said...

Living in just about the same climate, my outdoor runs have been helped along by 2 pieces of equipment: (1) face mask and (2) Yaktrax. Both have made the difference between running outside or not.

Veeg said...

You are building mental toughness!

Kewl Nitrox said...

You are right about that - training KILLS TV time. :)

I am so glad I live in Tropical Asia - will be running in air conditioned comfort at the hotel gym tonight. ;P