Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Training Alone.

I don't expect anyone to ride with me at 3 in the morning. I can't talk to anyone while I am swimming. There's little to talk about when I am on the track for intervals (and little air in my lungs to talk with.) I suppose that triathlon is a solitary sport, especially when you are a competitor in your age group or division. I have friends with whom I can ride, run and swim, but our levels of training are so different, I either end up cheating myself out of a solid workout, or they cheat themselves. So I train alone.

So how do you do it? What motivates, what distracts, what encourages during the more difficult parts of a workout?

I have an MP3 player with a pretty fun playlist, but I don't feel safe riding with the MP3 player, so I use it for runs only. While on the bike, I am obsessed with my cyclocomputer. When I need extra encouragement, I look at that little face staring up at me and see if I can't make it give me some numbers that I can be proud of: Average pace: 25 mph, Cadence: 99 rpm, Maximum pace: 40 mph.

Some of these numbers I see more often than others, but when I hit a new high, I am glad I have my own little "witness" to keep urging me on.

What works for you? I'm interested in knowing.

1 comment:

Lana said...

Good topic. I think that when you get right down to it, the sport of triathlon is all about you and whichever sport you're doing at the moment. Sure it's fun and sometimes motivating to train with someone else, but when race day arrives you wanna know that you've been true to yourself in your training. Because you aren't gonna be swimming along with your buddy, nor cruising along with someone on the bike, or hanging back with them on the run. You're going to be grinding out every second you can to try and do as well as possible.

Personnally, I think a mixture of training with someone and training solo is nice. Michele and I train together alot, but we don't always wait around on each other. If she's having a good day, she'll push on ahead. And vice versa. We sorta have an unspoken agreement that even though we are training together, we still know it's not a team sport. So sometimes we stay together, and sometimes we don't.

And I also enjoy training alone alot. Sometimes during the wee hours of the morning, I just want to be alone during my run or while on my bike.

I guess it sorta depends on the day, the training phase, and the mood you're in. But I think a mixture of training alone and with others is the best.