As a non-professional, adaptability is key when training and racing for any endurance sport. Since most of us have “type-A” personalities, it can be very difficult to make decisions on what you should do when. For instance, I was recently given free entry to San Diego ITU World Championships on April 18th, 19th, and 20th. Now, this is one of very few chances where Joe Schmos like myself can race alongside the top elite. I’m talking world champions from the past few decades, Olympic medal winners, and hall of famers of the triathlon world.
So, what’s the hold up?
Well, first, it’s in San Diego, CA. That’s over 2000 miles away. Not really what I would call a close commute. That means having to treat this like a vacation. Think air fare, hotel, and transportation. All of which add up to 3-4 times the amount the race entry cost. Second, it’s 3 weeks from now. Not only have I not trained for an ITU draft legal style race before, but it’s a week before my first race of the season. That race was going to just be used as a training gauge. Next, my bike isn’t even ITU race legal. The aerobars are too long, my geometry is all wrong, and my fit is for a different type of race. Oh, how do I even get my bike there? Bike cases alone cost $200 -$300 for something decent and another $50-$200 to ship/check-in. Then I have to assemble my bike upon arrival which requires tools, spare parts, etc. Finally, I have to request off work and school for just a weekend. Not to mention Liz and I are trying to save money for our wedding.
There are some positives and things to think about though before I just say no. First, I got in. That in of itself is not something easily done. Only the best will be there, so I may never get in again. I can always get the changes I need done to my bike with minimal expense and difficulty. It’ll just be time consuming. If I can’t find a shipper from my LBS for cheap, I can always call around to find a rental. (They exist. You can even rent wheels and wetsuits.) Lastly, Liz and I have been given the chance to get two free round-trip tickets within the continental US to be used with the year. We might also win free hotel and transportation out of this too. This brings me back to the heading of this post….Adaptability.
In the world of endurance sports there are always situations that arise forcing you to chose between the chance of a lifetime and important times in your life. This is why you need to create your training and racing calendar with a lot of flexibility built in. Not only for your day to day life, but also for anything positive or negative that might come around in your training. This could be due to an injury, sickness, child birth, marriage, moving, job change, vacation, etc. It’s OK to change things up and to take breaks during the year. If you live and die by your training schedule, you may perform well, but you won’t enjoy yourself as much which means you won’t perform your best.
So, what am I gonna do? What would you do? (Hint: I’m looking for tickets, hotels, bike bags, and local San Diego breweries as I write this.)
PS – I also got a free entry to TriRock Philly Olympic. This will be my first Olympic non-draft legal race. Good thing I have 3 months to change my training around.