When I considered joining a triathlon team after the 2016 season, I really had no idea what was out there. I was (and still am) quite new to the sport and had been improvising up to that point. I knew almost no other triathletes and I wanted to find a group of people with similar goals that could help me learn more about the sport and the community. As I researched teams, my sights landed squarely on Team Every Man Jack: they were a team of extremely good athletes, but they also made it a top priority to be great ambassadors for the sport and to avoid having anyone on the team with the arrogant, elitist mindset that can unfortunately be found in triathlon.
I was thrilled when I got an invitation to join the team and had been looking forward to joining them in February for training camp. The few days I spent there confirmed to me what a great group of guys I joined, and I had a great time riding and running through some beautiful areas. It was a bit cold on the bike, but that was my first time riding outside in 5 months and it reminded me just how much I love it. It was also my first time ever doing any sort of ride in a large group.
The camp was a bit swim heavy for my tastes (admittedly, it doesn’t take much swimming to reach that point), but that’s also my biggest weakness. I think the workouts from camp will translate to big gains for me during the season. After returning from camp my “normal” swim workouts are no longer as completely miserable. I’ve upped my volume and intensity, decreased my rest, and they’re still not quite as awful as before. I’ve always been able to push myself running until I puke or pass out, and then get back up and keep going, but I guess I’ve never really known what hard feels like while swimming. Now that I know what actual somewhat difficult swimming workouts feel like (I’m sure there are much worse still), I think I can do actual decent workouts that relatively don’t feel so awful and without stopping when I think it’s hard but just isn’t. We’ll see if this lasts.
I’m looking forward to entering the 2017 season with them. This is really the first time I’ve raced on any sort of a team since high school track.2) it reminded me how much I love riding my bike (even though it was fairly cold), and 3) it forced me to build up more of a tolerance for swimming and made me not hate it quite as much.