Prior to joining the club in 2020, my focus had always been running and cycling, but I wanted to step it up and add swimming to become a ‘triathlete’. 2020 didn’t go quite as planned, but it also didn’t slow me down.
The key for me is variety – I like to mix up my training a lot. A fast road run one day, an easy trail run the next – rarely the same route. I have several bikes so I get plenty of cycling variety as well – some days I’m out on an aero road ride, or climbing the escarpment, or riding some gravel in Bronte Park. I’m just happy to be out riding!
Variety in weather is great too. I love a windy/rainy ride, or a snowy run – typically there’s no one else out there and I know I’m earning it. Proper clothes are key (Castelli, Sportful, and Gore!) Just this week, my wife and I went snowshoeing at Glen Eden – another great way to embrace the weather and enjoy an outdoor workout.
Getting reacquainted with “recess” this year added a ton of sport variety to my life! I’ve scheduled work meetings around virtual school nutrition breaks with the kids, and have been coaching my girls (ages 7 and 9) on every sport we can think of – road hockey, basketball, football, and even step counter competitions! It’s always fun to pass on the love of exercise and sports.
I’ve also been doing plenty of indoor riding and running on Zwift. I started Zwifting more than five years ago. Back then, it was more about putting some enjoyment into the basement trainer monotony. It’s now a great social platform, with group rides, racing, running, and a huge variety of excellent training plans. (I once got a ‘ride on’ from Lionel Sanders, which was cool). I also highly recommend FulGaz – less of a game, and more about real rides in high definition. I really enjoy doing rides I’ve done in real life (Flanders Belgium, Valkenburg Netherlands, Lake Placid) and rides I hope to do in the future – the Stelvio in Italy and Willunga Hill Australia.
Although we haven’t been able to get together, I’ve made sure to keep connected with friends, encouraging them with Strava comments and texts with tips. A German friend recently called me an ‘influencer with Global reach’. It’s great giving and receiving kudos and being inspired by what others are doing on Strava.
For 2021, I’m planning one actual triathlon (Guelph 2), and hope to join some club activities. To stay motivated, I’m planning a 322km ride in June with some friends. The goal here is to finish (I’ll make sure my Garmin and lights are charged!). Reading keeps me interested and learning as well – Fast after 50, Fast 5k, and Endure are a few of my recent favourite books.
2020 was a very different year, but less commuting allowed for a slower pace of life and even more time for a variety of training. There’s really nothing better than a great session (followed by the occasional Belgian beer). So let’s get out there – Cheers to 2021!