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2013-11-11 3:27 PM

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Subject: Train for 2nd Ironman or Experience Chicago?
Hey Everyone..I have posted a few times in here now. I am currently living in AZ and my job has been going back and forth with relocating me to chicago. It looks as though i will be relocating to chicago next summer, which is great because I think it is an awesome city with lots to do.

However, Ironman Arizona is this weekend. I signed up to be a volunteer captain, with hopes to sign up for my second Ironman next year. Now I am racking my brain with a major decision.

Do i sign up, move to chicago and train as normal...or should i postpone the Ironman and take the later half of 2014 and experience chicago and get settled? I have never lived in a city like that (yes I will be living in the city...probably in lakeview area from what I have heard and I am a single guy) so I know access to bike friendly roads will not be as easy as I have it now.

Thanks





2013-11-11 3:52 PM
in reply to: amills1210

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Subject: RE: Train for 2nd Ironman or Experience Chicago?
Originally posted by amills1210

Hey Everyone..I have posted a few times in here now. I am currently living in AZ and my job has been going back and forth with relocating me to chicago. It looks as though i will be relocating to chicago next summer, which is great because I think it is an awesome city with lots to do.

However, Ironman Arizona is this weekend. I signed up to be a volunteer captain, with hopes to sign up for my second Ironman next year. Now I am racking my brain with a major decision.

Do i sign up, move to chicago and train as normal...or should i postpone the Ironman and take the later half of 2014 and experience chicago and get settled? I have never lived in a city like that (yes I will be living in the city...probably in lakeview area from what I have heard and I am a single guy) so I know access to bike friendly roads will not be as easy as I have it now.

Thanks


Sign up for IMAZ now! Don't delay! Just do it! You'll have plenty of time to get to know Chicago, but getting down there to volunteer and all that jazz it takes just to get signed up is difficult and expensive, so just do it now! You can train just fine here -- join the Chicago Tri Club and really get involved. Generally there's tons of those crazy folks doing IMAZ.
2013-11-12 8:14 AM
in reply to: amills1210

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Subject: RE: Train for 2nd Ironman or Experience Chicago?
Originally posted by amills1210
Do i sign up, move to chicago and train as normal...or should i postpone the Ironman and take the later half of 2014 and experience chicago and get settled? I have never lived in a city like that (yes I will be living in the city...probably in lakeview area from what I have heard and I am a single guy) so I know access to bike friendly roads will not be as easy as I have it now.


It really depends on what you want to do. Personally, I got the "live in Lakeview / Old Town / Ravenswood / Logan Square and drink and have fun and drink" out of my system years ago. The late nights and drinking are probably going to have the biggest impact on training for a full distance race, which puts you in the either/or situation.

You can always split the difference too - there are tons of half-distance races nearby (IM Racine 70.3, Rev3 Dells, Route 66 half, IM Muncie 70.3, IM Steelhead 70.3) and shorter races (ITU, Chicago Triathlon, Pleasant Prairie just over the border), plus a bunch of others I'm forgetting. Stay in the sport and active (which will help buffer the booze and good times), but at a less significant time commitment - 10 or 12 hours a week isn't near the commitment of 15-20.

Welcome to Chicago.
2013-11-12 10:12 AM
in reply to: mirthfuldragon

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Subject: RE: Train for 2nd Ironman or Experience Chicago?
Thanks all. I too am done with the late nights of drinking phase of my life. When I did my first full last year, I cut out alcohol for 6 months and was just really strict about it. My body hasnt been able to handle alcohol the way it used to since this.

I guess my big concern is right now where I live in AZ, i can walk out the door and theres a road with a bike lane 100 ft from my door step. I never have to put my car and drive somewhere to get a bike ride in.

Am i wrong to think that living in the city, i will need to drive outside of it for those long weekend rides? Also, I hear there are computrainer studios there as well. How much does it cost to use those? Do the majority of triathletes use those studios?

Thanks
2013-11-12 3:00 PM
in reply to: amills1210


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Subject: RE: Train for 2nd Ironman or Experience Chicago?
There are a few trails near the Lakeview area, and there are a bunch of different weekly group rides that you can join. I'm not too far from Lakeview, and I use the North Branch Trail to head up to the Botanic Gardens north of the city. You can get all of the long biking you need for Ironman without being on the roads too much. Plus, there's the lakefront for running. I wouldn't recommend it for serious-effort bike training unless you are on it during the early morning on weekdays, or the extremely early morning on the weekends. It can get unbelievably crowded down there.
2013-11-12 4:15 PM
in reply to: amills1210

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Subject: RE: Train for 2nd Ironman or Experience Chicago?
Originally posted by amills1210

Thanks all. I too am done with the late nights of drinking phase of my life. When I did my first full last year, I cut out alcohol for 6 months and was just really strict about it. My body hasnt been able to handle alcohol the way it used to since this.

I guess my big concern is right now where I live in AZ, i can walk out the door and theres a road with a bike lane 100 ft from my door step. I never have to put my car and drive somewhere to get a bike ride in.

Am i wrong to think that living in the city, i will need to drive outside of it for those long weekend rides? Also, I hear there are computrainer studios there as well. How much does it cost to use those? Do the majority of triathletes use those studios?

Thanks


Most of the cycling clubs ride out of the northwest or south suburbs. Chicago Tri Club rides out of Buffalo Grove or Barrington. The roads are much more open and safer. There are a fair number of bike lanes in the city, and their expanding rapdily, but they cater to hipsters on fixies rather than triathletes, and stopping at lights every 500 feet is not really what we look for in a long ride. If you're looking for a long ride, it's going to start with a car ride out to the suburbs.

Vision Quest runs a few computrainer classes and they have a location in the Lakeview area. They also offer coaching services and a bunch of other stuff (none of which work with my work schedule . . .).

Another thought would be to move to Evanston, depending on where you're working. That puts you a lot closer to riding in the suburbs, but perhaps at risk of having a longer commute. It's still a nice area, if you can stand all the college kids from Northwestern.

Personally, I live in Arlington Heights, and I look at the city with feelings of envy and relief.


2013-11-12 4:16 PM
in reply to: amills1210

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Subject: RE: Train for 2nd Ironman or Experience Chicago?

Originally posted by amills1210 Thanks all. I too am done with the late nights of drinking phase of my life. When I did my first full last year, I cut out alcohol for 6 months and was just really strict about it. My body hasnt been able to handle alcohol the way it used to since this. I guess my big concern is right now where I live in AZ, i can walk out the door and theres a road with a bike lane 100 ft from my door step. I never have to put my car and drive somewhere to get a bike ride in. Am i wrong to think that living in the city, i will need to drive outside of it for those long weekend rides? Also, I hear there are computrainer studios there as well. How much does it cost to use those? Do the majority of triathletes use those studios? Thanks

My DH and I trained for and completed IMAZ last year and lived in Chicago.  It can definitely be done!  

A couple of things though - the Lake Front Trail can be a great resource for running, but as was mentioned by someone else - it's not all that great a resource for riding unless you're on it ridiculously early in the morning due to the heavy traffic.  The other problem I had with the LFT for cycling is that the trail is FLAT, whereas IMAZ is definitely NOT flat.  For my IM this year I ended up taking the train out to a couple of the suburb areas to train on hills and it helped my bike riding a lot.   

Also, make sure you sign up for a gym that has a pool.  Ohio Street Beach is a GREAT place to do OWS in the summer, but after mid/late-September or so, it just becomes too cold to be able to swim in.  

I belong to the FFC gym http://ffc.com/ which has a number of locations throughout the city - and at least one of their gyms has a computrainer studio.  They also have their own TriMonster triathlon club that you can check out through their website.  

The short version?  YES - training for IMAZ can definitely be done from Chicago, and the race was a fantastic experience.  If you have the chance to sign up and do the race, I would say GO FOR IT!   

2013-11-13 8:05 AM
in reply to: blueyedbikergirl

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Subject: RE: Train for 2nd Ironman or Experience Chicago?

Were you able to use the train as well to help get farther out of the city?

Something to note on the terrain, much of the state is rather flat. There are small hills all around, so it isn't just cruise in a single gear for long periods, but not really any sustained climbs. Can't really accumulate much of an elevation total from these. Down in the city isn't just flat, but pancake flat. Especially on the Lake Front trail.

2013-11-13 8:08 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: Train for 2nd Ironman or Experience Chicago?
Originally posted by brigby1

Were you able to use the train as well to help get farther out of the city?

Something to note on the terrain, much of the state is rather flat. There are small hills all around, so it isn't just cruise in a single gear for long periods, but not really any sustained climbs. Can't really accumulate much of an elevation total from these. Down in the city isn't just flat, but pancake flat. Especially on the Lake Front trail.




Go out by Crystal Lake and Lake Geneva - the hills around there are no joke. Plus they'll make Arizona look like a walk in the park. Err, a ride in the park? Anyway, you can take the train to all the 'burbs. They run frequently and on time in the mornings and afternoons. And they allow bikes nearly every weekend -- I think maybe one or two a year they don't. And you can avoid the terrible Chicago traffic.
2013-11-15 10:16 AM
in reply to: mr2tony

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Subject: RE: Train for 2nd Ironman or Experience Chicago?

Originally posted by mr2tony
Originally posted by brigby1

Were you able to use the train as well to help get farther out of the city?

Something to note on the terrain, much of the state is rather flat. There are small hills all around, so it isn't just cruise in a single gear for long periods, but not really any sustained climbs. Can't really accumulate much of an elevation total from these. Down in the city isn't just flat, but pancake flat. Especially on the Lake Front trail.

Go out by Crystal Lake and Lake Geneva - the hills around there are no joke. Plus they'll make Arizona look like a walk in the park. Err, a ride in the park? Anyway, you can take the train to all the 'burbs. They run frequently and on time in the mornings and afternoons. And they allow bikes nearly every weekend -- I think maybe one or two a year they don't. And you can avoid the terrible Chicago traffic.

Yeah, I'm close enough to just ride to those areas. Plenty big enough for Arizona. Generally getting into Wisconsin and away from the lake brings on more hills. The difference is rather noticeable right at the state line. Then up around Madison brings on more.

Not as familiar with all of Crystal Lake as far as riding goes, but do know the Bull Valley area on the northern side. Particularly with Valley Hill Rd and some around there. Often mistaken as Cherry Valley and everyone's first time on it is along the lines of "WTF was that thing??"

2013-11-15 11:36 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: Train for 2nd Ironman or Experience Chicago?

As many have responded, you can definitely do both. There are a ton of tri clubs here (I train with Chicago Endurance Sports) and if you join, you will likely make a lot of friends that you can experience the city with. Triathletes, especially those training for an IM, love & need to eat and Chicago is world-class when it comes to dining.

With biking, I don't think you will be able to hit up the mileage required if you stay in the city. I ride a lot on the north shore, which is about a 15 mile ride from my house - but I use that as the WU and CD bc of the stoplights, traffic, etc. So many Chicago cycling clubs (Triple X, Half Acre) use the north shore routes as well.

As far as computrainers go, you have a lot of options - VQ, CES, Tri MOnster (I think this is affiliated with FFC) all have them. If you join a tri club, you can just ask people if they use computrainers.

Have fun! And you dont think you experienced Chicago before IM, the city isn't going anywhere. You can always do that in the winter - with the new friends you make



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