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The 4 up and down emotional stages of February triathlon training in Canada

Hang in there ... summer is coming

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February is typically the cruelest month for triathletes here in Canada. The height of winter isn’t exactly the best time to be swimming, biking and running. This year February seems even tougher than normal, too. But that’s all OK – we’re triathletes and, just like those moments during the run when we are sure we’re not going to make the finish line, we know how to rally and get back on track:

Stage 1: Wait – no warm-weather training camp?

Down: The sudden realization that there won’t be a chance to escape to a warmer spot for a training camp this year.

With travel a monstrous no-no at the moment, this won’t be the year to get that February or March shot in the arm training jolt in Florida or Arizona.

Up: That’s OK – we can do this … we’re triathletes

Half the reason we all enjoy this sport is there’s almost always a way to get the job done. Tweaked your foot and have to take a few days off of running? No big deal, we can get some bike and swim workouts done. Versatility is the name of our game – we’ll figure out how to stay fit and get ready for this summer.

Stage 2: Why are we getting so much snow all of a sudden?

Down: There’s not a treadmill to be found online in this country … and its really cold outside!

Cold is one thing … slippery, icy roads and trails are another. On some bad days we used to be able to hit the gym and jump on a treadmill, but that’s not happening for most of us in Canada this year.

Up: Zwift training and racing is a lot of fun – and really efficient! This is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy winter.

Remember … we’re triathletes and we’re versatile! Zwift, Rouvy – even just riding a trainer and watching a movie. We can get it done, no matter what the conditions. And, if there ever was a year to take up winter sports like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing … or even just hiking, this is it.

Stage 3: I miss the pool

Down: Pools are closed in many parts of the country

Up: If there ever was a time to take off of swimming, this is it. No one misses freezing 5:30 AM swim workouts.

And, even if pools don’t open for a bit, we’re triathletes – open water swimming, here we come.

Stage 4: All this indoor, efficient training is getting me (and the rest of the family) fit!

Down: I really miss those long, easy rides and runs with my friends

Even though triathlon is an indvidual sport, we all know that the camaraderie we enjoy with like-minded fitness types is a huge attraction. Sure, Zoom and Zwift hangouts can help, but it’s just not the same as all those long hours spent suffering together.

Up: The workouts we’re getting done inside might not be as long, but they sure get you strong, fit and fast. 

Just ask Paula Findlay – she feels she learned a lot after her great race at the PTO 2020 Championship that came, in part,  even though she “stepped back my super-high-performance mentality.”