Triathlon Training Scares Me

Hilary thinking about swmming in the cold

I know this may sound nuts, but every night I look at my training plan for the next day, print it out, and try to go to bed. I try to focus my thoughts on other stresses in my life – work, family, etc. Having triathlon training as a stressor is not going to happen (although I try not to let it happen).

Love/Hate Relationship

I have a love/hate relationship with triathlon training. On one hand, it is my favorite time of day when all the stress that I built up over the past day can be released with a kick-ass pool workout, open water swim, interval cycling, and/or running.

On the other hand, (here’s the hate part) it scares me. I look at these workouts and think to myself – Can I do this? How many hours can I sustain a workout? Will I be able to run after that intense bike?

Pool Example

The other day, my coach gave me a 3 x 500 descend. Now, for those of you like me who took music lessons for most of your childhood, descending or decrescendo in music means to start out loud and get softer. But, in this case, it means starting out slow and building from there.

My coach has been giving me lots of these types of descends. I’ve done 200s, 400s, and today was 500s. It’s a killer workout and you really need to dig deep. Thankfully, my waterproof headphones help, especially if I’m listening to the B52s, the Ramones, or Arcade Fire.

After a good warm-up and lots of drills, I do these descends. I go out easy, very easy so that I can beat my times with every interval. For the last one, I just really kick it up a notch and go for it.

Why does triathlon training scare me?

You would think after seven years, I would not even think about the training and just do it. But I think the reason why it scares me is that it also excites me. Not knowing if I can do something and then completing something is a great feeling. It’s a feeling of accomplishment. And, you know what they say, “if it doesn’t scare you, it won’t change you.”

And we all need to grow and change, don’t we?