Friday, April 27, 2012

The Minimalist Triathlete

Happy Friday!  How was your week?  I'll be back to share my adventures in Montego Bay on Sunday, so enjoy this little ramble for the end of the week....hope you have a great weekend and I'll catch up with you soon!  (Don't worry, I'm gonna try to bring back some nice weather :-))
Today, I'd like to talk about training.  Shocker, yes.  But a different side of training. 
The "stuff" part.  Before I became a triathlete in 2005, I was pretty active.  Not a runner, cyclist or swimmer, but I danced in college, did kickboxing, Salsa/Zumba, Step, and pretty much anything else that seemed fun to get in some exercise, aside from organized sports.
What did I need?  Sneakers, a sports bra, maybe a watch, and some comfy sweat clothing.
Then, I did a tri.  The hubster, as you know, introduced me to this debauchery...and I've never looked back.  What did I get for my first tri?  A $50 target bike, $30 running shoes, a swimsuit, a $15 helmet, and $20 worth of spandex from walmart.  Yup, the bare minimum.  I did two tri's on that, then once I realized I was hooked, I invested.
Now?  7 years later, I have a tri bike (bought for a super steal online), running shoes that I've had my stride tested to fit me, a tri suit (or two), a slightly more expensive helmet and sunglasses, and my own wetsuit (that was incidentally free.. I won it a few years ago at a local race-but retails for about $500).  Training toys?  A treadmill, gym membership, and computrainer (the hubster got it for a mad steal at $900 5 years ago-it's friggin awesome). A garmin.  A bike computer (small cat eye).  A transition bag.  And I'm probably forgetting a million small my hydro sipper, my bento box, my race belt etc. etc.
Not a minimalist sport.  And I'm quite tame!  I don't train with power....have a power meter...a garmin for my bike (usually, I train with my $30 timex and the hubster uses the garmin).  I don't buy new stuff.  I'm happy to use what I have till it's un-usable, and don't lust after the new "toys".  Something a bit off?  Eh, I need to get my bike in.  I'll deal with it later.  Can't find my watch?  Who cares-I'm out the door....I know a 5 mile route and will gauge by pace.  Bike computer dead?  Oh wells.
I think there's something wrong with me as a triathlete :-)  I love the sport, but I'm not so much into the toys that go with it....the carbon frames, aero helmets, swim skins, power meters, etc etc.
Basically, a minimalist triathlete.  Does such a thing exist, or should I really reconsider and take up marathons and ultras?  All you need there are shoes, good clothes, a watch and food/hydration packs.  Hmm.  Something to consider.  After all, when you do a running race, you can charge your mp3 player (hangs head in shame...I'm a music head), tie your shoes, slip a gu in your back pocket, and go.  No transition.  No bike box, bottles, computer, helmet, two pairs of shoes, socks, wetsuit, goggles, swim cap etc etc...(well, you've seen my tri packing list...and I'm a lightweight!)
Food for thought.  Along with rest, I plan to do some thinking about my fitness bucket list over vacation.  What do I want to accomplish fitness wise, now that I've raced my 140.6 (twice)?  Is this a long term thing...solely training for tri's...or do I want to expand?  Maybe something with less "toys"?  An ultra? Perhaps a 100 miler...or Mind the Ducks?  (Which oddly, I lust over every year).  Trail running?
Food for thought.
Are you a minimalist triathlete/athlete, or do you love the "toys"?  Do they motivate you?  Help your training/speed? 

How many "toys" do you need for training?