I do hope you read my previous post, part I of Before Training post, that helps put my training into context. If not, I strongly suggest you do as this post will make much more sense if you do!
One of the biggest challenges that I face, and is very common amongst others, is to maintain fitness during the winter months. Many people don’t like to exercise in the cold, find it hard to exercise during the dark or cannot find the motivation to exercise because when it is cold outside, and snowy, and dreary! Running in the Winter can be just a tad depressing!!!
However, I found two ways to avoid this.
- I bought a road bike. After my experience being in a team triathlon on a borrowed road bike, my wife and I agreed to purchase road bikes as we could see ourselves growing accustomed to riding in races and pursuing a future in triathlon. So, off we went with our good friends Marcus and Meagan to the Toronto Bike Show in the Fall. It was kind of crazy. All kinds of vendors with bikes and all sort of assorted equipment and apparel in a convention centre! It didn’t take me long to find what I want. A beautiful Specialized time trial bike (my wife got a bike as well). We also purchased a trainer so we could ride our bike indoors. So, two to three times a week, instead of braving the cold and dark to run, I went in the basement and rode my bike while watching DVD’s or watching videos on the IPad to pass the time. A great way to keep up my fitness level and cross train as well
- A winter race! Nothing can be more motivating than training for a race. So, after racing the Tom Taylor Ten Mile race in Newmarket in October, in a magazine that was in one of our race kits, was a recount of a winter pentathlon in Quebec City at the beginning of March. The Pentathlon des Neiges (http://www.pentathlondesneiges.com/en) became my Winter goal. Five events. Biking, Running, Cross Country Skiing, Skating and Snow Shoeing. A combined 26.7 Km and a time limit of 3 hours to complete. So, I started to train. Sort of. I ran and cross country skied as much as I could and biked (with studded tires on my mountain bike) for maybe two weeks (but remember, I was riding my bike indoors). I did minimal skating and never snow shoed before. I did the race with a friend of mine and we brought our families for an adventure in Quebec City. What a blast! The race was on the plains of Abraham and I finished first….well, I was the first athlete from outside of Quebec to place (my friend Rich finished right behind me)! And I finished under the time that I (and my wife) thought it would take to complete the course.
So Winter wasn’t as drab and boring as it seemed because I had a new bike to ride (inside) and had a goal to achieve by participating in the Pentathlon des Neiges.
That takes me to Spring where the training begins…but that is a story for next time!