8/21/17

Changing up the views


Prior to moving to Greenville, SC in May 2014, we spent many years in Jacksonville, FL, training on the same running and cycling routes, week after week, month after month, year after year. We would often struggle with motivation as we had few options to change up the training scenery and we always wished we had new roads to explore and new views to enjoy to help spice up our training.

Well, everything changed when we moved to Greenville, SC. Not only was our move a refreshing nature-filled change as we traded the beach for the mountains but we have no shortage of safe biking and running routes to explore. And here we are, over 3 years later and we are still discovering new routes. 


On Saturday, Karel and I ventured out on our bikes for an specific interval set that included 6 x 5 min efforts (building in sets of 2 to very strong) w/ 3 minute EZ spin between. My ride was only 3 hours whereas Karel rode a bit longer than me as he is preparing for IM Chatty. We needed a flatter road (which is hard to find where we live) to after our warm-up (~55 minutes) we found a new road and explored it for our intervals. 



The road was just perfect and it was so refreshing to ride on a quiet road for our build intervals. Like usual, if any cars passed us, they moved over the yellow line and allowed us plenty of room to ride safe, without worry. Oh how I love riding in Greenville. 

After the ride, I rode home by myself as Karel carried on with his ride and finished off my workout on the treadmill with 6 x 5 min strong efforts w/ 2 min rest between. I choose the treadmill because I needed a controlled environment to find my rhythm. Since we live in a very hilly area, our treadmill was the perfect option. Karel finished off his workout on the treadmill with a run and then finished off his day of training with a PM run. 



On Sunday morning, I was so excited to check out the Lake Summit 9-mile running Loop with Karel. We have heard so many great comments about this gravel trail, wrapping around Lake Summit in Tuxedo, NC and we finally made our way to this trail, which is only 26 miles away from us. We aren't use to driving to a place to ride or run but this was so worth it and we will absolutely be back again. 



The trail had a nice mix of terrain with most of the run on the packed gravel trail. Although Karel and I started together, we each did our own thing for this 9-mile loop. 



I just love running off road and the miles went by so quickly as I was soaking in the views and loving this new running route. 



My workout included a 40 minute smooth endurance warm-up, which allowed me to soak in the views and snap some pictures. Then I went into a 20-minute strong effort, followed by nice and EZ running to finish off the loop. 



After the run, we took a nice dip in the lake (~1000 meters) to finish off our morning of training.

I'm a firm believer that changing up the training environment, whether it's finding a new route, traveling to a new location, participating in a training camp or training with others, is a great way to boost motivation and to add an extra bit of excitement to your training. If you find yourself tired of the same old routes/views, over and over again, it's time to explore something new. Training is tough but it should also be fun.  Make sure to enjoy nature as you get outside and enjoy the views!