As thought about on the run… here are my top ten differences for Marathon Season vs Tri Season…
1. Less overall time spent training (8-10 hrs/week vs 10-12), but way more soreness. Complete muscle exhaustion efficiency.
2. Different laundry. Less laundry volume, but it’s WAY more stinky. I only own 3 sports bras I can run in, so I’d like to say I wash them more often, but I just pick the least stinky/somewhat dry one to wear again later in the week.
3. I actually look forward to running! It’s not so deathly hot, running more means I’m actually getting better at it, and my legs seem to be recovering faster the more I punish them.
4. No long trips to get to a lake or place to swim/bike. I can do all the training stepping out my door. I’m definitely expanding upon my routes from the house and finding less boring ways to get in double digit runs rather than 3-4+ loops around my immediate neighborhood.
5. Major runger. Biking and swimming don’t really pique my appetite the way that running does. I really, really have to watch it or I can eat back a 20 mile run plus some without much thought, especially if beer is involved. Also, I’m way more into sweets when my run miles are up than other times of the year (though this may be a coincidence with marathon season = halloween time).
6. While I’m not that keen on running for hours without music, I’ve found I’m less attached to poppy, peppy music and just need something pleasant and entertaining for most runs. Also, since I’m listening to 8-10 hours of music a week (instead of very occasionally during tri training as a treat), I need more than just the one playlist.
7. I get a few post-work runs (they’re rare, but very pleasant). I love that the temps get cooler as the run goes on, and it’s much nicer to have the sun set while pounding out the last few miles rather than getting out in complete darkness. It’s also nice being completely fueled from breakfast and lunch, and awake and warmed up from just being at work. Getting some lunch running in again for reasons besides completely punishing myself for heat training is nice too.
8. I will run 1/6th of my run volume in the last 12 months in October, and November won’t be too shabby either. 5 months out of this year, my monthly run volume was under my average run volume for the WEEK since I started marathon training. However, I haven’t dipped a toe in a pool in a month, and 2 hours on the bike last weekend felt HARD, so there is that.
9. During tri season, you can at least pretend that you are doing things that other “normal” people consider fun. “Hey, I went to the lake for a bike ride and swim” sounds like fun (if you casually forget to mention the swim was a mile and a half around the buoys and the bike ride was 50 miles). “Hey, I ran for 4 hours” doesn’t sound like fun to anyone (even to me, really :D).
10. Tri season means racing a lot more often is ok, a sprint or an olympic is a great weekend session. Doesn’t work so well trying to wrap a 5k or 10k race into a training session (trying to run before the races is crazy since races start pretty early, trying to run after sucks since you just sprinted across the finish line… and now you need to run 4, 6, 10 more miles…).
While I’m partial to tri season, there are some awesome things about the temps getting cooler, wearing out my running shoes quicker, and forgetting my bike and goggles for a while.
Question of the day: Running, biking, or swimming – what do you love the most?