As I approach the end of week 2 in my new program of triathlon training. I wanted to share a few observations in case anyone else out there might find the whole triathlon thing intriguing.
- Forget about modesty. On day 1, I arrived ready to swim in my "O.P. Board Shorts". Can you say DRAG. I was told that I need to get "Tri-Shorts" or another type of swim suit called a "Jammer". Bottom line….you’re now swimming in spandex cycling shorts. Yeah…it’s as shocking as you might think. I’ve worn cycling shorts now for riding for a couple of years…but I don’t parade around shirtless. I quickly abandoned thoughts of what the "others might think" and just "did it". Yikes. Tanning booth sessions should be included at no extra charge.
- Remember when you were a kid and you swam ALL DAY…and when you got out your appetite was so big you could eat a horse? Yeah. That still happens. I’m doing about 8 hours of intensive cardio (the trainer is beyond intense on the spinning) per week along with maybe 1 heavy lifting session per week. My response has been to eat double protein when I can and ratchet up the good carbs. My weight is actually stabilized but I seem to be dropping body fat. The last 6 weeks or so has netted 2% body fat drop while gaining about 5 lbs of lean muscle. Not bad I guess.
- Running is dumb. OK sorry. I haven’t run (except from bad people) in 10+ years. Getting on the treadmill and putting in 3 miles was a shock. I immediately began to feel some kind of outer foot discomfort resulting in a doctor visit and anti-inflammatory pills for tendinitis. That’s on the mend but it’s very punishing on the joints to slam 225lbs down on them over and over. I feel a bit like a mouse on a wheel. I need to become lighter to make the whole running deal work for me.
- There’s a web site out there called www.beginnertriathlete.com. It’s a most amazing compilation of just about everything one needs to understand this self-torture plan shrouded in a "sport" label.
- I figured all of this exercise would make me sleep a ton. However, as soon as I started on the plan, I have crashed out earlier than normal. Say by 9PM. But I’m waking up around midnight wide awake. After an hour of tossing around, I’ll fall back to sleep and wake again around 4:15AM. If I continue to toss, my mind is very active and I don’t fall back to sleep until 5:30AM or so causing a 7:15AM wake up that’s groggy and very demanding of caffeine. Dr. Jason says "I’m raising my core body temperature late in the evening" since my workouts are from 5:30PM-7:30PM "and that could be causing your sleep patterns to be disrupted". Well, he knows these things as a sleep medicine specialist. (Good luck with your board exam).
All sardonic comments aside, I’m enjoying the heck out of this training. Although it takes a larger than normal commitment, I believe it’s going to push me to the best shape of my life and a more desirable body weight and will set an example for my kids and family…after all…they’re what matter most.