Saturday, January 1, 2011

How To Train In Utah

I'm in Park City, Utah today and it's 10 below.  The ski lift outside is fairly empty for New Year's Day.  If those skiers are anything like me, swooshing downhill in such frigid temperatures does not spell F-U-N.

On Tuesday, I made the mistake while downhill skiing of wearing rings under my gloves.  The metal around my fingers froze up like icy bands of pain. Who knew?

As a contemplate these frightful days, I try and imagine how the athletes from the great state of Utah train for triathlons. How does one run when the air burns the lungs while trudging uphill?  How does one get in hours on the bike while on a trainer looking at a blank wall?  And swimming!  Let's not even go there.

I come from this:
Endless sunshine and warm temperatures.  Conditions are not always ideal, but they are nothing like this:

What I HAVE discovered is that Utahns and cold-weather athletes have made the most of the snow that abounds.  They slip and slide and hike and walk over the snowdrifts surrounding their neighborhoods.  And I went along for the ride this week.

Yesterday I tried CROSS COUNTRY SKIING.  Finally a sport I could do in negative 11 degrees.  It didn't even matter.  I was huffing and puffing within the first 5 minutes.  My frozen fingers quickly warmed up to hot, clammy hands inside my gloves.

Cross country skis are long and lightweight.  You set your skis inside tracks that meander up and down the hills of the course.  The movement is linear and beautiful.  And according to some reports, you can burn up to 1100 calories per hour.  Cha ching!

Still to conquer: Skate skiing and snow shoeing.  But one thing at a time.  Today was great.  Tomorrow might be better.  I'm loving it here and my tri training will survive, after all.


  1. Sounds miserably cold! UGHHHH.

  2. My new beard would love it up there yet sadly other body parts would fail...


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