Now I don’t know if it’s just me, but at the end of triathlon season I’m mentally burnt out from swimming, biking and running training and yet want to remain physically active. I tried swimming last weekend, and after 20-minutes I was bored and ready to get out of the pool and into the sauna. It’s just not the same when I don’t have a specific event that I’m training for, and I knew that mentally I’m just not ready to get back in the pool for any serious training yet. Therefore, this off-season I’ve challenged myself to try new things, activities that I’ve never done before.
As you probably read in my previous post, immediately after Ironman I took advantage of the glorious fall weather and did some horseback riding. Now that the weather is too chilly for riding, I’m back indoors at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center. I’ve grown to really enjoy this facility as it has top-of-the-line equipment, great instructors and in general is just a beautiful place to work out. The past two months I’ve challenged myself to trying new activities, and I’m surprisingly loving them!
Yoga– As of a month ago, I had never taken a yoga class. Before my first class I fortunately made friends with a girl waiting next to me in line and I mentioned this was my first time. I asked her questions such as, “Do I really take off my shoes and socks?” and “Any special equipment I need to grab?” She said yes, we go barefoot (Greeaat, I am missing a toenail, another that is half purple/brown and am weeks past-due on a pedicure) and which specific mat to grab. Luckily, I was able to score a spot next to her during the class for moral support. I am able to follow along through observing others in what they are doing, and had to hold back giggling at some of the names of the poses (Corpse pose? Where you lay on your back like a dead corpse) and when I’m almost face planting into the floor after losing my balance transitioning from a low lunge into one of the three warrior poses (I can’t remember which is which).
I can feel myself getting a little bit stronger each week in the poses and more flexible. I continue to struggle with the balancing exercises as I find it difficult to concentrate on keeping myself upright while listening to the instructor giving directions. The lower level yoga classes are not heated or are “lightly heated”. I don’t think I want to know what the heated classes are like as I sweat through my shirt and am dripping sweat after the lightly-heated class. Overall, definitely going to continue yoga. I love the deep stretching and the fact that it allows me to relax while still being active.
Indoor rowing – Just this week I took an indoor rowing class. Each person used a WaterRower, and we were given specific timed or distanced internals, similar to a cycling workout. I felt as if I rocked that class! There were 90-second sprints w/ 90-second recoveries, a 500-meter sprint with a 60-second recovery and seven 30-second sprints with 30-second recoveries between. The 45-minute class went by amazingly quickly, and I was glistening with sweat from head to toe afterward. I felt fantastic as it was a low-impact, high-intensity aerobic workout. Rowing can be a triathlete’s best friend as it offers many physical benefits to triathlon-specific muscle groups. You’re developing strength, power and aerobic endurance using major-muscle groups such as quads/hamstrings, core, back and arms simultaneously. I will definitely be adding this cross-training class to my weekly workout routine.
Eventually I would like to take up cross-country skiing when I’m ready to buy all the equipment. It is on my some-day-to-do list to try skijoring with my young Golden girl Ellie. For now I’ll stick with indoor activities. I’m open to suggestions and ideas of other cross-training/off-season activities to try!