Today is the second to last day of summer. I can’t believe how quickly not only this summer, but this year, has flown by! And I must say that I am having the Goodbye Summer Blues. Summer has always been my favorite season – I prefer to spend my days in sundresses and shorts than bundled up in sweaters and boots. But this year, summer has been more significant than beach days and BBQs – in San Diego, the summer is the perfect time to train for a triathlon or marathon. Not only does the sun rise by 5:30 in the summer, it doesn’t set til nearly 8 p.m., leaving practically 13 glorious hours to swim, bike or run in the warm, yet mild, San Diego weather.
Saying Goodbye is Summer is Hard…
Mike and I spent about two mornings per week biking before work during the summer. We’d wake up around 5:45 and be on the bikes by 6 and be able to get in a 15-20 mile bike ride before punching the time clock. However, starting a the week before last we realized that things are about to change and our outdoor morning workouts are no longer feasible. One morning we woke up at the normal 5:40 a.m. hour and it was still pitch black. We got ready to ride and looked outside at 6 a.m. and it was still dark. By 6:15 it was starting to get light, but we knew this would be one of our last rides. I’m lucky enough to be able to get to work by 9 a.m. most days, but starting my ride at 7 a.m. just isn’t going to work.
And to make matters worse, the sun is setting earlier! During our last Aquathon it was nearly dark by the time we noshed on our post-race pizza. In years past, I spent the majority of my workout time indoors, taking group fitness classes at the gym or running on the treadmill. Now my fitness life revolves around outdoor activities and I am just not coping well with the realization that I will need to make some changes!
Changing Workout Routines for Autumn
The first change I’ve made to ease the pain of falling leaves and impending trick or treaters is to make it to some very early morning spin classes. However, the classes fill up fast and in order to guarantee myself a spot at the 5:45 spin class it means I must be there by 5:15, which means a sub-5 a.m. wake up call. Not always fabulous, but as I discovered this morning, as soon as I’m on the bike and spinning, I feel energized and awake. Another nice thing about taking spin is that I can jump on the treadmill for a quick brick workout afterward without worrying about putting away my bike or leaving it on a bike rack on the back of a car. Since spin is over by 6:45, I have time to get in a full hour spin class plus up to a 30 minute run (or even swim since my gym has a pool) and make it to work by 8 a.m. Not a bad use of time!
Another change is that Mike and I are in the market to purchase trainers for our bikes. This way, we can hop on our bikes in our living room and get an awesome workout in the dark mornings or evenings. We are still researching trainers, but we plan to purchase one in October. We also plan to buy some cycling DVDs which is basically like P90X for indoor cycling. We’d have our own spin instructor to kick our butts without leaving our living room! Having a trainer will be especially useful during Ironman and Half Ironman training when we are supposed to get in a 30-40 mile ride on a weekday. Since spin classes usually are only an hour long, we wouldn’t be able to use them as a good resource. Instead, we can hop on our trainers for 1 1/2 – 2 hours and watch an episode of Biggest Loser if we wanted to (with sprint intervals on commercials of course…)!
Another new workout that I plan to incorporate into my routine is the Tuesday Night Track Workouts which are held through the SD Tri Club. Since it’s dangerous for me to run outside in the dark alone, this will be a place that I can get a great interval workout in without risking being attacked by a stranger (sad but true) or hit by a car. The workout works well with my schedule as starting next week, I’ll be coaching Girls on the Run on Tuesdays and will easily be able to make it to the track in time.
Although I’m disappointed that I will not longer be home in time to enjoy a sunset run, I think my new routine will be a good change and will hopefully allievate any burnout that I may experience since I’ve been training pretty hard since January. Also, adding the Insanity program in the mornings in October and November will help keep my mind off of my past A.M. bike rides.
Sayonara Summer – Welcome Fall!
How have you changed your schedule for the upcoming cold and dark seasons?