An Unshakable Urge: Part 2

author : GonnaTriathlon
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From smoking like a chimney to triathlon training

For those of you who haven’t already joined me on my journey from couch potato to triathlete, it might be a good idea to read my first post in this series here.

I wanted to keep my original post about my journey brief and to the point. So today I’m going to give you a little bit of an insight as to where I’m at currently at with my “fitness” and my thought processes.

At the moment I’m not setting distance goals or time targets. I’m just getting used to the movements of swimming, cycling, running, and generally being active again for the first time in years.

Cycling

Cycling is probably the part of my training that I’m most confident about. When I was younger I loved getting on my bike and pedalling far away until my legs hurt with my friends. But ever since I became a little bit “cuddly” I hadn’t sat on a bike for years.

However, I’m really enjoying myself so far. It’s brought back memories of the fun I used to have as a younger man and I find myself eager to get back out on it on a daily basis. Maybe this is just the novelty of it being fresh again, but I hope not.

I’m not tracking my cycling progress yet or setting any kind of goals. This is mainly because I’ve only been out on the bike a handful of times so far (I only purchased it a week ago). I just want to spend a few weeks getting used to being in the saddle and experimenting with how far I can go before I start to feel tired.

Once I have that down I’ll start testing myself and attempting to hit targets.

Swimming

For me, swimming is going to be the biggest hurdle of all (for two main reasons). 

Primarily it’s difficult because I’m currently a terrible swimmer.

Don’t get me wrong, I can swim, it’s that just I’m very bad at it. After a few minutes I’m out of breath, and if I’m in open water, panic starts to set in. My mind starts racing and I start wondering if I can make it back to dry land.

I wouldn’t say I’m scared of open water, but I have a healthy respect for how dangerous it can be. I know triathlons are incredibly safe affairs with the impeccable marshals and lifeguards ensuring all competitors are safe - but it’s not the actual triathlon itself I’m worried about.

I dread to think what would happen if I start getting tired while training alone in the open water and start to panic.So the obvious solution to my swimming issues is to start training more right?

Well yes, but that’s where the second (and biggest) issue arises.

I basically live in the middle of nowhere. It’s a great little village with a close-knit, caring community, but it’s super small and it’s super isolated. There are no public swimming pools anywhere closer than a 1.5-hour drive away. To make things worse, there are no open water swimming opportunities either (there’s a river, but it’s far too fast to swim in).

My partner has been dragged into my triathlon obsession with me, she’s fully behind me and incredibly supportive. I’m super lucky she is so understanding. I discussed the idea of us getting a swimming pool with her, but we decided that we simply don’t have the room for one.

I did discover that we have room for a swim spa, but I’m dubious, to say the least. From what I know swim spas are expensive and energy hungry, and to be totally honest I can’t imagine it feels anything like real swimming either.

(I am very much open to having my mind changed on this. If you know anything about training in Swim Spas that I don’t please let me know in the comments section below!)

So I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do about my swim training, it’s a work in progress, to say the least.

(Again, any suggestions for how I can get in the water that I might not have thought of would be more than welcome in the comments section below)

Running

Running is a bit of a strange one for me. I don’t particularly enjoy it at the moment. But after reading these forums (and speaking to other runners) it’s apparently normal to not enjoy running at first?

I’ve heard that it becomes more fun once you start getting a little bit of stamina behind you (and you can run without feeling like your heart is going to jump out of your chest).

At the moment I’m using an app that slowly brings you up to running 5k without stopping. I’m at the beginning stages and I’m currently running for about 2 minutes at a time. The app then tells me to take a short walking break and then I'm commanded to start running again.

The app lengthens the running time and shortens the walking time over the weeks as you progress and improve. I think it’s a great way to get me used to the motion of running, without getting disheartened that I have so far to go.

Once I reach 5k I’ll start properly testing myself and tracking progress. But for now, this is more than enough to challenge myself.

Until Next Time!

Well, that’s all about I’ve got to say for this post.

I’ll try and come back with a progress update in a few weeks or so. Hopefully, by then I’ll have some kind of initial times/distances logged that I can update you with.

I’m more determined than ever. I’ve been reading lots of motivational stories of people overcoming all kinds of obstacles to complete a triathlon. Something that has particularly inspired me this week is learning of the amazing trend of superhuman senior citizens competing in triathlons. It’s truly amazing what we are capable of if we put our body and soul into something.

It gets me thinking that if they can do it, so can I…

No excuses.

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date: September 28, 2017

GonnaTriathlon

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