Fair weather triathlete

The triathlon season was officially over for me when I crossed the finished line at the Syracuse Irongirl on August 7, 2011.  Since then, I have been swimming indoors once and have not even thought about going for a ride on my bike.

I don’t know what happens, but I lose my desire to keep up my swim and bike training when there is no race on the horizon to prepare for.  Truth be told, I need the most help in the swim and bike portion of the triathlon. So why the lack of motivation? I really do admire the hard-core triathletes that keep up this training all year-long.

I cannot believe that I am admitting this but I prefer swimming in open water now. Open water swimming used to be so scary when I started training for my first triathlon. I thank all the wonderful swim instructors who helped me learn how to swim all over again as an adult and taught me how to overcome my fear of open water.   There is no restrictions whatsoever when you enter the open water. You jump into the water and swim continuously until you can’t swim anymore. No walls or ropes confining the space you workout in. Unfortunately, the number of months that it is bearable to swim in open water is limited living in Central New York.  The cold water temperatures force even the most avid triathlete to resort to the indoor swimming pool.

I hate the fact that it is impossible to find a good time to go to the pool where there isn’t swim lessons or water aerobics going on.  I realize the importance of these other aqua activities; however, they interfere with the number of available swim lanes available for open swim.  I used to grumble about the lack of open swim lanes available when I was working 40 plus hours a week and wanted to practice my swim stroke after work when the rest of working triathletes were vying for the same thing. I thought that lane availability would be different with me having flexibility with my schedule and able to swim during the day. No such luck- I have to learn to accept that I must always share a lane unless I want to swim at 8:00 at night.

Maybe it is just an excuse and my way to justify the lack of swim training.  There is a part of me that really wants to improve my confidence in the swim portion, so I need to figure out a way to deal with it. If only my fairy godmother could grant me the following wish – a triathlon training center with several lap pools filled with salt water solely dedicated to triathletes in training.  Please, please… sign me up!

It is the cooler temperatures that interfere with my desire to get on the bike. I dislike being cold and it is uncomfortable to cycle with multiple layers of clothing. Again, here I go with excuses.  You probably are wondering why I don’t get my butt to the gym and take a spinning class or ride my own bike using an indoor trainer.  I have to keep reminding myself to just do just that.

I do hope that someday I can become a four seasoned triathlete instead of the fair weathered triathlete that I call myself now.

Any tips on how  I can achieve this goal? How do you stay motivated year round in all three disciplines of the triathlon. Please reveal your secrets to your success in the comments section.