18 February 2011

I'm a 'Triathlete', it's Official.

It's been a while coming, to be honest. What, you ask? Officially accepting triathlon as my sport, over running, is a critical step that I have not (fully) accepted. Up until this decision I was a runner who did a great deal of cross training, which might appear like a triathlete - but there is a key distinction: mentality. I relied on running as a comfort zone, as my event to fall back on. When cycling or, especially, swimming becomes a burden I turn to running to get the comfort that it provides to me. But that needs to fade: I have to put the work in where it is needed, which would be swimming and biking. Obviously I will still continue to run consistently and keep doing the work to improve, I will just be dedicating more focus to improvements on swimming and biking.

I wish I could have come to such a significant conclusion on my own thoughts and pondering, but obviously this is knowledge from someone who knows the ins and out of the sport very thoroughly and can see it from the eyes of a coach and athlete. After having a really good chat with Kurt Perham (Personal Best Multisport) on Thursday, I was able to get a broader and better perspective of the undertaking that is triathlon. I made a rather brief mention of "...the synergy of three very different events..." in my last post A Wonderful Fusion of Things... But in all honesty, I don't have much to say about incorporating the three events besides my own trial and error, meandering-based experience.

In that regard, I am officially taking the offer to be on the Personal Best Multisport Team and focusing on triathlon. After speaking with Kurt and hearing his thoughts about where I currently stand in triathlon and the major concepts I need to adapt in order to succeed, I know I'm ready to be competitive. Right now I am quite a ways ahead of where I was this summer, and have an introduction year to triathlon under my belt. My capacity for improvement is as great as it will ever be, and I am going to exploit that aspect to its fullest. The PBM Team is a somewhat low structure team with a core group of athletes that are aiming for top finishes, but also is completely open to all who are interested in racing with an affiliation to a very solid Multisport/Run/Cycling coaching group. The uniforms are SICK! But I'm in a dilemma: Tri Suit or Tri Tank/Shorts? I've only used a tri suit before, but think it'd be really nice to have the tank/shorts combo. Any thoughts?
The conversation with Kurt was quite extensive despite my rather short recount of the chat. Additionally, as I get into a more evenly distributed triathlon training schedule you'll definitely be seeing concepts that can't be my own ideas! Sadly I don't have the cash (right now) to hire Kurt as my coach, which would be the perfect case. However, as I will be racing on the team I'll be getting some pretty basic guidance that will be a major help in improving my ability to represent PBM both on and off the course. Speaking with someone as experienced as Kurt showed me that I really do know as little as I had suspected - and that just simple guidance is really going to provide a much stronger framework than I could have established independently. These recent developments have added to my excitement for the 2011 Tri Season and for all the years ahead. As Kurt said, developing ability at triathlon is not something that spontaneously happens...it takes years of time. Luckily I am at a point where I am young and have great capacity to rebound and recover from the most taxing of workouts; which is, to say, I can begin creating an excellent foundation for the future starting with this season.

*Noteworthy: UR Cycling Team season begins the first weekend of March! So there will be some intro training-based races to speak of shortly - not just 'boring' (not in my mind :) !!) training. Also, a lot more to come soon by means of concepts, mentality, and physical aspects that I will be developing in the next few weeks.

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