The Longest Year Ever

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This past year of triathlon was amazing. I improved my overall fitness, and my cycling tremendously and that had a significant impact on my overall results. IronMan Lake Placid? Better by 90 minutes. IronMan Muskoka 70.3? Better by about 20 minutes.

And, while it was amazing, it was very difficult.

There were times when i wanted to throw it all away—training every weekend with Kathryn, with my brother and his wife, with Greg, with whomever… I was ready to give it all up on at least one occasion, and I know that Kathryn was too. In fact, we did give it all up, at least once.

I think I’ve figured out at least part of the reason why.

2009 saw Kathryn and I compete in IronMan Lake Placid on July 27 and IronMan 70.3 Muskoka on September 13. I won’t get into the results—those are somewhat irrelevant here. What I want to talk about is the training.

The Long Haul

Every bit of training that we did was focused on long, slow training (generally speaking, of course—there was variation, but ultimatlely we had a focus on two races, both of which where long distances).

What happened? Mentally, all we did was train for the long haul. The timing ended up being such that we didn’t really get a chance to train for any other races, or compete in them. No short distance triathlons at all.

The end result? At a certain point, we resented training. We hated it. Felt it was something we HAD to do, rather than WANTED to do. I understand that it is part of what makes training for IM so hard, but at some point, we had to question our sanity. If we don’t have the desire to train, and aren’t enjoying ourselves, then something is wrong—we might as well go back to playing rugby.

So here’s where we stood. The entire season was devoted to two races. Both long. We needed a mix of other types of races to keep us going, to maintain our sanity, to help us get through the loooooong hours.

We needed VARIETY. We needed to find a way to do some sprint races. Some Olympic distance triathlons. Anything other than the long haul. We needed that variety to make it exciting, to feel some competition within ourselves and with other people.

That’s what I’m hoping 2010 will bring for us. Some new races, some variety and inspiration as we prepare for IronMan Lake Placid 2010.

Derek Featherstone
Derek Featherstone
Web Designer/Developer, Speaker, Trainer, Author, IronMan Lake Placid 2007
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