Amsterdam Triathlon and Cycling: back to training
My race bike was standing still in my room when the summer got already over its peak this year. And I realized that not taking the rocket out would be a mortal sin. But since I had a significant lack of sport motivation by that time I knew I wouldn’t break the wall of laziness just on my own. Therefore I started looking for a cycling group that would take my ass out on bike. And I found one: Cyclodammers. When I joined the group at the beginning of August, I had no clue what will this juncture develop in just a few months later.
I found Cyclodammers through the MeetUp platform. By the time I joined the group it gathered well around 300 hundred members. The trainings were organized on a regular basis with a bunch of Cyclodammers always showing up & everything seemed to work just perfect. But just at the first glance. As I found out quite soon, there were a few organizational imperfections hidden beneath the surface.
The founder of the group hadn’t been living in Amsterdam for quite some time and she tried to organize the group back from the UK. The fee of 25 Euros was collected from each group member without each of us knowing what is that money actually used for. Hence, after several attempts for a discussion the hard core of the group decided to leave Cyclodammers and kick off a regular sport club with transparent financing, a committee board & a way more efficient organization.
I was actually lucky enough to join Cyclodammers by the time of their active era. In that way I had the opportunity to be among the first members of the newly founded Amsterdam Triathlon and Cycling club (ATAC). As obvious from the name, the club is not only for cyclists but aims also on triathlon training. Many of the current members are experienced triathletes, most of them in a different phase of preparation for different races, such as an ultra 80K run or one of the most imposing race events of all: the IronMan.
I was joining the club with the plan to enjoy the joint trainings and was glad I had a gang to do sports with after my brainy work at AMOLF. In the end, the pattern "school/work & drill" was something I have been used to since I started with athletics some 13 years ago. However, I did not plan to take it very seriously. Just every now and then a training for fun. I considered my racing period being over. However!
After only a few trainings when the guys discussed the progress, different drills, heartbeat, nutrition, & RACES, and all other hard-training-related stuff, I realized that I am actually missing this very badly! After two years of running for fun… I was craving physical strain & brain wash. I was craving training with a focus, really sore muscles & being sick after a good physical exercise. Something I do not expect you to really understand… :) I felt an urge to come up with a clear sport aim for next year.
And I am accepting a real challenge: the Half Iron Man race. That is the half version of the famous ultra triathlon with the very famous world championship in Kona, Hawaii. The half version consists of 1.9 K swimming, 90 K biking based on a time trial rules, and the final 21.1. K running.
I got a 5-months training plan from a friend, adjusted it to my schedule and now try to stick to it. The best thing is that after all these years of sports, my relationship to trainings is much more balanced now. Training plan is not a dogma, and the sport is here mostly for fun & challenge. Thanks to the ATACers I have around a bunch of great guys who I can share the training efforts and fun with, who share their experience and advice on training and racing, and eventually support me with some equipment. Moreover, I found the Czech sport network being still solid so the overall support is not limited by the Dutch boarders. (Also taking into account the fact the club members are mostly expats… and I reckon the Ozzies are leading when it comes to counting).
So, let’s do it! Extreme brain work requires extreme physicality! What is more challenging: PhD from AMOLF or Kona? :)
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