Summer Lows

We’ve reached the perfect storm of the triathlon season: ridiculous DC summer (100F temps, humidity that makes the best injera look a little dry), no goal races on the near horizon, and a lack of consistent training partners (The Accomplice has never met an August she didn’t want to overschedule with travel). From my spot in the eye of the storm, I can tell you that the view from the couch in front of the air conditioner is excellent.

Oh, fret not, I’m still doing some stuff. It is not, however, with the fervor that overtook me in the weeks leading up to Alcatraz. I dunno about anyone else, but the triathlon season has always taken me in ebbs and flows of enthusiasm. May/June are excellent months to be enthusiastic and training happy. July less so. January even really less so. It makes consistent training a struggle. Last week, for example, I only managed one run, one bike, and two swims. That was a bit less than planned, obviously.

Training plan papers spread out on desk

The training plan of ginormity tells you everything but when in the day to do the workout.

Part of the struggle, I think, comes from a lack of routine. For all that I supposedly do this day in and day out, I really haven’t developed a routine around training. There’s no consistent run time or bike time. There is a schedule of what to do what day, but how it gets done within the day itself is up in the air. For example, I have a plan to do a long morning bike ride every weekend, but whether it happens on Saturday or Sunday, the route, how far, the particular timing, and who with all vary considerably. Some of this will never become routine. You’re not going to go out for the same 25 mile ride every Sunday morning and expect to gain much in the way of half-Ironman endurance. But another part of me wonders if I would struggle so much with getting it done if there were fewer variables in play every week. I am positively gleeful when I get a rest day every Monday, not because I’m tired of swim/bike/running but because it’s a break from having to think about where to shoehorn in my workout that day.

There are many people who are good with a lot of flexibility in their schedule and/or are really motivated to get things accomplished no matter what the logistical obstacles, but I don’t think I’m one of them.  I like routine. I like a decent amount of structure. I also like not getting up at 6am every day, but like so many other athletes have discovered, early mornings are often the time over which you have the most control.

So I guess I’m asking, is my inability to get up at 6am every morning to workout harming my ability to train overall?


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