by Athlete Ambassador, Lesley Maisey
The bike portion of any triathlon is the biggest part of the race. In a full ironman, the swim is 3.8km, the run is a marathon (42.2km) but the bike is 180km. 180km or 112 miles is a long way to pedal so it makes sense that many training hours are spent on the bike. Living in southwestern BC means cold and wet winters; for me this translates to many hours on the indoor trainer.
During those long saddle hours it helps to have ever-changing entertainment. Sometimes it is a movie or three, other times its music but the best is when I take my bike and trainer and ride rink-side at a hockey game. I am not talking about NHL hockey, but recreational beer-league hockey. The rink environment is cold so I dress warmly in layers, gloves, and quilted shoe covers with hand and foot warms inside my gloves and around my toes. In the winter when it is really cold outside, the rink seems even colder so those hand warmers are essential.
Being rink-side means an unobstructed view of the game and the feeling like you are right there in the action. While spinning, I cheer on and support my husband Rob and his team. I use penalty minutes as a time to crank it up and climb and the time between periods is a chance to pick it up and sustain a faster tempo ride. Before I know it, the game is over and it is time to cool down while the Zamboni cleans the ice. An hour and 45 minutes later, it is time to pack everything back into the truck.
Triathlon training, especially for the solo triathlete in the family, can be a strain on relationships and families as it consumes many hours each week. Being able to combine some of my training with Rob’s sport reduces the impact of all those hours on my family.
I am always amazed at how many people say, “wow, what a great idea” but to this day, no one has joined me. I hope to inspire others to multi-task like this. Maybe one day I won’t be the sole trainer rink-side. Just imagine how great it would be to have vacant spectator benches because everyone was sweating away with me on their bikes.