So I’m training for my second triathlon, however, this time around, I feel as though I just have less time to put toward the intense training schedule! (I apologize for not blogging more often—it's been so busy in the office!) Between planning a wedding, more responsibilities at work, and just being overall zapped for energy lately, I know I’m not giving training my all—and that bothers me. I keep telling myself that fortunately I have been down this road before and since I’m familiar with the race and the Nautica triathlon course, as long as I’m doing as much as I can in my training, then I’ll be okay.
This year, I’m focusing on doing what I need to do to perform better and possibly break my personal time (which was 3 hours and 12 minutes!). If I can’t make it outside to run a few miles in the morning, or I get out of work too late at night, I’ll head to my treadmill and do interval workouts—one minute sprint, one minute jog, one minute sprint, one minute jog—for about 15-20 minutes. Then I’ll jump off and do squats and lunges to build my quads, and prepare for that hilly bike ride down the Henry Hudson Parkway all the way to the Bronx and back (this ride doesn’t consist of big hills, but lots of gradual small ones). On other days, I’ll swim in the pool at my building (if you don’t have this, try going to the YMCA) and do laps for 30-40 minutes. Even though I’d prefer to be at my group swim practice, with Team in Training, sometimes it’s just easier fitting practice into my schedule when it works for me.
Training may feel lonelier than last year (I especially love the “team” aspect of training for these races), but working out on your own can have some benefits. I know my weaknesses and my strong points, and I’m able to focus on what I need to do to be a better a triathlete, without having to go with the instructions of what my coaches want us to do that day. I’m my own triathlon coach now. For example, I already know I’m a fast swimmer, so I’m trying to focus on getting my kicks right (I’m told I over-kick and by doing this I’m losing energy more quickly)—if I kick properly I’m not tiring myself out so soon. Hopefully I can beat my time of 19 minutes for the mile. On Thursday’s I’ve gotten on a routine with two of my TNT teammates to do our bricks (bike-run practice). We take a spinning class at the gym, followed by a 3-6 mile run on the treadmill (depending on the spinning teacher, if it’s the “easier” one, we’ll push ourselves running, and vice versa). Lastly, on weekends, I get a good night’s sleep on Friday (this isn’t hard to do when you’re exhausted from the week and just want to snuggle up on the coach and watch a movie—my fave Friday night activity) and in the morning I head over to Central Park on my bike. When the weather gets nicer in the city, this is always my favorite thing to do on weekends. Central Park is filled with people (depending on my mood, this can be good or bad) working out, biking, running, walking, rollerblading, there’s even half-marathons and 10Ks taking place too. The park is always a good spot to head to when you need some inspiration to shape up—I feed off the energy of everyone else around me!
This is generally how my week has been going—I’m definitely training five days a week—and even though it’s not as intense as last year, I’m still doing it. If you’re training for your first triathlon, keep in mind, that although it’s a long race (on average it takes 3-4 hours), it is three separate sports put together. Sometimes it’s just easier to think of training this way: you’re working out 5-6 days a week, but since you’re doing different things each day, exercising doesn’t get boring. Plus, you’re getting toned from head to toe.
Besides my triathlon in July, I have my second half-marathon in three weeks! Although you may think I’m crazy for packing my schedule with so many things to do (and races to train for!), doing these keeps my mind strong and body in shape all year round.