Training for a triathlon is a significant time commitment. For most of us we only race a few times a year, but we train almost every day. When we are all consumed by the numbers – power, heart rate, speed – it’s easy to forget that the training can be, and should be fun. Last year I got caught up in chasing numbers, lost my drive to train, and ultimately fell into a rut. Here are 4 tips I used to not only get out of my rut, but to also keep the training fresh and exciting this year:
- Run a new route. We all have our trust loops, and they can be great. We don’t even need a GPS watch to know kilometer markers. But doing the same old can make the training stale. Try a new route. Maybe there’s hills that will throw off your pace, but that’s okay. Explore an area you don’t know, go visit a park you’ve never been to, or get to know a neighbourhood. Don’t be stressed by hills, stop signs, or traffic lights. If you reach a dead end, turn around. This is a great way to have a stress free run, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the time will fly by.
- Bike to a destination. Last year Lisa and I rode from our condo in Toronto to Niagara Falls. It wasn’t actually that far compared to our long rides. Neither of us had ever done it before, and it was a great adventure. We stopped for lunch at Niagara-on-the-Lake and got to ride through some very pretty areas. It felt more like an adventure than a bike ride, and at the end of it we took a GO Train from Niagara Falls back to Union.
- Ditch the power meter. Some days it’s nice to just ride. Enjoy being in nature, and focus on the scenery instead of your bike computer. We have some beautiful roads to ride, you just need to open your eyes to them.
- Find a swim buddy or a club. Lets face it, starring at a tiled black line at the bottom of a pool can get old fast. Swimming is something very few triathletes love. But misery loves company. Swimming with a buddy or joining a club is a great way to make those dreaded pool sets a little more manageable.