For the past couple of years I’ve been racing the Anchor Splash Sprint Triathlon in late summer.  Mixing up my running with biking and swimming helps give me a break in the hottest summer months, and changes up my training goals.  Sprint distances vary from race to race, so the goal was to do the same race each year for an apples to apples improvement comparison.

Unfortunately, this year the race falls on the same weekend as the Marine Corp Mud Run.  While I focus on triathlon training, the mud run has my heart.  I have so much fun at this race every year I wouldn’t dream of missing out!

I can be a tough cookie, but following Saturday’s mud run with the triathlon on Sunday is a bit much!  I decided to spend the summer in the gym focused on strength training with a few runs/cross trains thrown in.  
Until I got a half off coupon code for a different triathlon, that is. 
I’m officially in training for the Double Dip Sprint Triathlon: 150m swim in the indoor pool, a short dash to complete another 150m in the outdoor pool, 16.5 miles on the bike, and a 5K run.
Since sprints aren’t easily comparable, I have to base any goals off my current training times.  While I am trying to get in the pool twice a week, its not getting a lot of attention from me.  I know I could swim those distances today (and probably will at lunch).  Any improvements to my swimming ability would only reflect a few seconds on my overall time.
The run is a distance I’m more than comfortable with.  Also, since there is little chance of setting a 5K PR following a bike ride, I will be happy with a strong 30ish minute run.  My running has improved since last year, and think I can manage this easily enough.
Most all of my focused training has been on the bike.  Last time I took for granted that my shiny new (to me) road bike would make me faster than my mountain bike.  What I found, however, is that old mountain bike + hard training = road bike + little training.  I wasn’t familiar with the bike nor was I comfortable on it.
My race is in a month, and I’ve already logged a couple of bike rides at race distance.  I’ve gotten use to knowing which gear I need when, and tackled some pretty tough hills – despite the “flat to rolling” nature of the course.  I figure these will only build strength and increase time on the bike (since 16 mi on the course will go by quicker than 16 fighting the hills).
I’m very thankful to have found a rich yuppie subdivision where bikes and pedestrians outnumber the cars on the streets.  There are even several parking lots and a public restroom in the neighborhood.  Its the perfect place to ride for someone who’s not comfortable braving narrow country back roads or riding on the highway.
This Saturday I’ll be testing my new tri kit.  I found a matching tri top/shorts on sale (triathlons are expensive.  Where else is $30 per item considered cheap?) and hoping to try it out on my first real brick of training.  I’m planning on hitting 45 minutes to an hour on the bike then hitting the road on foot for 30 minutes.
If I’m brave enough to post a picture of me in the suit, maybe I’ll do a blog about how I like the new gear.
How do you alter your training in the summer?  What are your hardest summer setbacks?  Heat?  The kids being out of school?  Too many other fun activities?
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