Training is back in full force as I ramp for the Honu Half Ironman on June 3 and Ironman Austria on July 16.
But base building in the Bay Area winter can really suck. Today, I first went to swim at Foothill College and cranked out 4600 meters. It is now the beginning of my "energy depletion" method training which I found to be very valuable last year. Basically, you need to train your body to be more efficient and not constantly depend on outside energy sources to replenish its stores. It needs to learn how to burn fat better, its muscles need to be more efficient in producing power, and your body needs to learn to relax so as not waste energy. But, in order to train for this, you need to constantly use up energy stores and put your body into a place where it is out of the energy comfort zone. So I like to swim an overdistance workout before heading out on the bike.
After swimming, I went out riding on a sunny day, which then turned cloudy as rain was forecast. Sunny days in the Bay Area winter can be deceiving. It looks like the sun could warm you up, but sometimes it does not.
I went out with only arm warmers and a poor man's windbreaker - basically a Target plastic shopping bag stuffed down my shirt - and went out into the chill.
It was definitely an energy sucking moment. It turned out that the sun had no effect whatsoever on the ambient temperature, and couple that with the wind picking up, really made for a chilly ride. I found myself really struggling to maintain power as I pedalled home, and my body burning extra energy to keep warm, and with constant glances at the sky which looked like I was also racing a cold drizzle home.
As soon as I got home, I jumped into a hot shower and let steaming water run all over me in an attempt to warm up.
Let's face it. Winter training sucks. And yes, I am a fair weather triathlete. I hate doing workouts in the cold or in the rain.