Hi all you crazy endurance athletes.
During our summer of the reinvention of endurance training, I have been able to try lots of different events. One of the events I was super excited to participate in was new The MSC Distance Challenge. Like many of us, I didn’t start out as a triathlete. I started as a cyclist. My wife and I joined a charity ride from Toronto to Montreal and every weekend we would join the group for progressively longer bike rides. We loved the adventure and the opportunity to see new parts of the GTA. Of course, we would come home and nap and take in the work we had just done.
Fast forward a few years and after adding running and swimming to the repertoire, I was now a triathlete. Finishing a race was a goal in itself. A few years later, a was a competitive triathlete. No longer just happy to finish, I wanted to push myself and race and be as high up the ladder as I could. Well, this summer we have all had to reexamine what it means to be a competitive endurance athlete. One of the elements I have rediscovered this summer is the long bike rides. I have been really enjoying taking different routes, challenging myself to how far I can go. I am less concerned with metrics and more interested in the adventure. The new MSC Distance Challenge is a fun way to capture that adventure. It’s not about competition with others, but challenging yourself.
Last week I rode a 110KM solo ride up in Haliburton county. It felt like an Escher sketch – uphill no matter which way I went. It was a challenge and the longest solo ride I have done in over a decade. I watched the trees, rivers and lakes go by. I stopped to take pictures. It was amazing. The ride reminded me of why I started cycling in the first place.
As we enter August, I encourage you to take the time to create your own personal challenge or join the Distance Challenge. Enjoy the time to train differently – go long, go far, go fast. Whatever challenge feels right for you.