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I was thinking today about how I used to work out, not train mind you. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Before I started triathlons I had worked out for several years in the gym, done two marathons, etc. But nothing that required the level of planning and commitment that I find <span style="color:#000000;"><b>I need</b></span> with triathlon training.<br><br>
Now as a triathlete I think much more about nutrition, planning, race preparation, structure and time management than when I was just strictly a runner/gym rat. It's all good but so much more time consuming.<br><br>
So that got me to thinking if I could ever go back to where I came from. I am sure I will as I just can't imagine keeping up this up. How about you?
 

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Thinking of pre-tri days makes me batty.<br><br>
I'm too ADD to do one sport.
 

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I refuse.
 

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Depends on how far back we are talking. I could easily go back to shortly before triathlons......I would just need to stay out of the pool. I think I coul do that quite easily.<br><br>
Going a little farther back when I wasn't doing much--I could do it, but I suspect the years would quickly catch up to my midsection! And a little farther back to my Army days--I could do that I think, though the years and wear and tear and my knees might catch-up.<br><br>
I have gotten to the point where this training thing is simply a lifestyle. Not quite to the extent as others, but still. So I don't think I will go back, though not sure what I would do if I was not always looking forward to a race.
 

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This is an interesting thread. Like you, I can't imagine staying at this level for more than a couple of years. The commitment in terms of time, energy, family is just too great. I don't know how I would transition back into 'civilian' life, though. I'm afraid that I might get very depressed and lose the motivation to train...um I mean work out....at all. Maybe I could learn how to be more moderate and just do the minimum amount of training necessary to be able to complete, not compete, sprint or olys. I don't know it's something that I think about quite a bit. One of the reasons that I've recently been concentrating on my swimming is because I'm afraid that I might get an injury down the line which would keep me from running and biking, and then what would I do?
 

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I love/need the structure of triathlon training. I'm a child in that sense <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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I could, and sometimes consider, going back to running only. The problem is I love cycling too much.<br><br>
Victor
 

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One one hand, not swimming would be a welcome relief for me. On the other hand, I LOVE triathlon. I enjoy the mystique of it, the training, the regimen, the gear...I really just love the whole lifestyle.<br><br>
I could, though, see myself taking a hiatus from triathlon and going back to my gym roots. I would include the running and cycling, because I really enjoy the aerobic benefits and weight-controlling aspects.<br><br>
Like others have mentioned, triathlon is a big strain on my family and kids. Thankfully, I have an awesome family that indulges me. I know that I will have to reign it back in in the future, and make more time for the children's extracurricular stuff.
 

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I think I'm finding a good balance with triathlon. Sure, running would be a lot easier time wise-but I think my body would rebel against the abuse. Going to the pool and riding my bike are making me a better athlete overall and I like that. I also really enjoy the people of triathlon; I've tried to describe the differences to my 'just running' friends and they don't get it.
 

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Good question Kate. My DW and I had the 'How long are you planning on doing this triathlon thing?' discussion late last year. The amount of time I spend training definitely does have an impact on other things in my life, so I can't see doing it at the same level for 10 years.<br><br>
I do believe that I'll continue to do triathlons for quite some time. A lot of the more experienced triathletes I know do sprints/olys for a couple of years, then ramp up to IM training for a year. I could see myself doing IM training for the next three years (my first IM this year, then actually race one the following year, then hopefully do Kona the final year), then drop down to olys/HIMs for a while to cut the training from 15-20 hours a week I'm expecting this summer to a more manageable 8-12 hours a week.<br><br>
I think some of the approaches that I've learned in tri training will be with me forever. Even if I go back to doing just marathons (and maybe ultras), I think the more rigorous approach I take now will be applied to those endevours.<br><br>
Mike
 

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This really is a great question. For me the answer is easy and very simple, but one that took me a long while to learn about myself to the point where I could make the statements I describe below...<br><br>
YES, I could easily go back to life before triathlon.<br><br>
No, wait, I take that back. I could never go back, nor would I ever want to, but that doesn't mean triathlon for me is an end all, or that I'll be doing this any longer than a few more years, or that maybe I will do this for the rest of my life.<br><br>
Truth is, life for me has so many challenges to which I can get seriously motivated. Triathlon is that for me right now. Before triathlon is was exclusively marathons. Before that is was playing soccer. Before that cycling. Before that running marathons. Before that running. And before that -- now back in high school and college -- playing soccer.<br><br>
Triathlons are just the next thing on my list. I have reaped immense rewards from this amazing sport, and a part of me hopes to be doing this for a long time, maybe even life, but I know that when the day comes when I have feel I achieved what I wanted or at least be content with my place in the sport, or maybe its even burnout or the yearning to coach my kids' soccer teams or perhaps a new job with infinite open frontier, I will go through a year or two down -- but still running or playing ball or doing something active, as I am seriously addicted to pushing myself physcially -- and then re-engage somewhere else. This is what I do and who I am.<br><br>
I could never go back to before Triathlon, but that's not to say I will do this sport forever. I've always led an active life, and I've always been into sports and love pushing myself in that environment, so that will never go away. But if it does, it's okay because I know that I lock in very easily to things I find challenging and things that inspire to the point where I want to do well.<br><br>
One thing I could say is that for me triathlon came at an amazing point in my life. The life lessons I learned by being motivated to learn and even excel in this sport -- it helped me find love, discover self and friendship, and come to peace with long-standing problem points regarding family -- came at a time when I was mature enough to see them for what they were, but not so mature as to push them away, and I was eager to use them to make myself a better person. Had triathlon came years earlier, I may not have grown into the person I am, for I might have not been open to the lessons instilled.<br><br>
Either way, being submersed in triathlon has breathed new life into not only my running and marathoning, but also me as a person. I would never want to give that up, and the beauty is, I don't have to because it is now a part of my person, square in my bank called history. There will be a time when I move on to pursue other passions, and when I do I will always look back on the single biggest lesson I learned when facing challenges so steep that fear takes over. All I have to do is Set the challenge as a Goal, commit to the goal with my core, and then Make it Happen! There's nothing more to it. In sport and life.
 

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Wow, this question really made me think. I loved the way things were before triathlon. When training simply met lacing up my shoes and heading out the door for whatever scheduled run I had that day. Running is so pure and simple. You can do it anywhere, at anytime, in almost any weather and it takes so much less planning.<br><br>
However, the constant pounding was not good for my body and a nasty hip flexor injury that kept me out for months got me realizing I needed to do more variety. And although I don't love to bike, and hate the awful pool times available for lap swim (but I love it once I am there) I know it's better for my overall body and fitness level.
 

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Well, I started bicycling in '82. Until '91, I rode quite a bit through the season. Then in '92 had my first son. Then, I would do a spring and fall tour, with minimal training... It wasn't until the past few years when he started riding with me--and last season the rest of the kids, too--that I rode most of the season.<br><br>
I started running in '04. That I've stuck with all season, racing both spring and either fall or early winter 'thons.<br><br>
I always swam at the lake in the summer, but especially when I broke my foot in '04. I didnt' start getting serious until last summer. Now, I'm in the fishbowl 3-4 days a week. If it weren't for training for a tri, I certainly would NOT swim over the winter. I hate everything about the pool--the smell, the short laps, and guys walking the track above the pool!<br><br>
Put it all together, I'm very happy with tri training. Enough variation that I never get bored. Okay, I don't like the trainer... I'm working with a coach and he posts a schedule, which gives me much needed structure.<br><br>
I used to get up whenever. As long as we started school by 9:00, who cared? I'd stay up too late watching TV, then drag my butt out of bed in the morning. Now, I'm up at 5:30 and put in a workout. School isnt' starting 'til 10:00, but I'm more awake and ready for the day then I was when we started at 9:00. I'm eating better. I'm sleeping better. All 'round, I just FEEL better.<br><br>
Could I go back? I doubt it. Can I maintain this level of training forever? Doubtful.
 

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Yes, I could. For about 25 years before triathlon, much of what I did revolved around my love of skiing/snowboarding. There was a period of many years where I averaged in excess of 50 days/year. I did lots of things that bordered on insanity and provided a thrill far beyond anything triathlon has given me. However, to ski as much as I did was very expensive. Having a family changed my financial priorities, so I've channeled my energy into triathlon and running. Of course age is a factor as well because there is no way I would attempt the extreme things I once did, or rocket down mogul fields all day for consecutive days. My old body just isn't as flexible as it once was and my recovery time is greater. I do miss some of the things I no longer seem to have time for. Hiking/climbing to the summit of the high peaks in Colorado, playing in softball leagues 4-5 days a week and hanging with the guys. I've done fairly well in triathlon and have a few AG wins, but it gets tougher all the time to compete with people on expensive new carbon bikes, and with those who just have more natural ability. It's been fun and has helped me stay healthy, but I could give it up pretty easily.
 

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I would NEVER go back!!! I love swimming, biking, and running! I get less injuries from adding swimming and biking as opposed to just running. I like this life!
 

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I know I can't go back to the days before triathlon ... I'd need to go forward to some other kind of day. But I'm horrible when it comes to structure, and training unfortunately requires that, whether it be triathlon training, or I realise now, an easier-to-handle marathon training. Hats off to all of you who manage to keep disciplined. I totally suck at it.<br><br>
I'm too much of a rebel when it comes to structure and schedules and to be able to get where I'll have to get to do IM later this year, I'm going to have to let go of a few things that I have done intensely in periods over the years, like dancing. I have too many interests and passions ... sigh. I just want to play all day long, it's simple. <img alt="banana.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/banana.gif"> Work gets in the way, doesn't it? Ha ha!<br><br>
Now I've got a new project ... <a href="http://www.operationtriumph.com" target="_blank">www.operationtriumph.com</a> ... there are a few of you who might remember my mentioning wanting to put a charity team together ... that's what's keeping me busy now ...<br><br>
Cheers all,<br><br>
Sally
 

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This is a fantastic question and I had to think a while before deciding how to answer.<br><br>
In short, no I can't.<br><br>
Long answer? I don't need the structure of training but in the last 2 years since picking up this crazy thing called triathlon, it has become a part of who I am, a lifestyle as many have already said. I enjoy races and I enjoy being competitive and raising the bar whether it be distance-wise or speed-wise. But at the same time, I am perfectly OK with just going out and having fun with it. While I'm sure that somewhere down the line, I'll be lining up to do a HIM/IM/Mary/etc., I can honestly say that those distances will likely be a check in a box somewhere and I will likely settle into short course since the training time required integrates well with all my other hobbies.<br><br>
So who am I? I'm a mom. I'm a wife. I'm an engineer. I'm a foodie. I'm a knitter. I am a triathlete.
 

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Best question of the year so far! I've been cogitating on this one since you posted it.<br><br>
I guess my answer is no, I could not go back, but I'm sure I will evolve at some point. Yep, took me 2 days to come up with that!
 
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