Training as a A Multi-Sport Athlete
At 45 years old, I consider myself a recreational multi-sport athlete and my happy place is when I’m moving outdoors.
From flamenco to cycling to running and swimming, most of my life I’ve enjoyed training hard for big events. After taking a hiatus to raise four children and operate three restaurants and a bar, I’ve returned to pursuing my athletic interests with a vigor.
In April 2021, I signed up to climb the Grand Teton. Although I climbed growing up, I wouldn’t consider myself a “climber”. So, I checked out the Exum Guides’ website for tips on training and first discovered Samsara. Utilizing the resources available in Basecamp, I climbed the Grand and felt great. So, I set a goal for the following year: climb the Grand in one day.
Most of my adult life, my motivation to train stemmed from preparing for specific athletic events. My training schedule was characterized by a pattern of “train, peak, recover, repeat” as opposed to consistency. But since I joined the Samsara Athlete Team in the fall of 2021, I’ve been reflecting on who I am as an athlete and something has shifted.
Embracing the 'Forever Training Plan'
I’ve moved away from an event-driven, sport-specific training approach to a schedule that keeps me fit and ready to tackle any adventure that comes my way. This summer, I put my new training approach to the test. Applying the ‘forever training plan’ mentality as opposed to sport-specific training, I accomplished a variety of athletic goals while feeling great and not getting injured – including summitting five peaks, running a half-marathon and completing some epic open water swims.
Training this way allows me to build endurance and strength while keeping me nimble and flexible enough to do different modalities without overtraining. One of my main goals this year was to train consistently – which paid off! A couple weeks after recovering from Covid, I climbed the Grand, aware that I might not feel well enough to summit.
But as I went up, I felt good – my endurance was there and I was moving even better than the year before. Right below the summit, my guide offered the option to go up and straddle “the horse” feature at almost 14,000 feet. Although I’m not a climber, at that moment I felt the power and athleticism of my training come through.
A Holistic Approach to Athleticism
I wonder whether this is the fittest I have been in my life. I don’t know how to measure that, but I do know that being part of the Samsara Athlete program has elevated my athleticism. Instead of training limbs to perform a specific modality (like arms for swimming or legs for biking), I’ve become aware of how my whole body moves as one.
This awareness got me through a rough start while swimming the Bridge to Bridge race this summer. Five minutes into the 10K race after starting off too fast, I began overheating and snapped my goggles. Frazzled, I took a minute to collect myself and continue by focusing on my movement – specifically, better coordinating my kicks and strokes with proper, mindful breathing and whole body awareness. I was able to make up for lost time and finished strong, swimming one of my best crossings to date.
Being super connected with my body as a whole is how l feel now while performing any athletic activity. This connection to movement is fulfilling and has improved my overall performance.