I live in the mountains. In the winter, I skate-ski, tele-ski, snowshoe, back country ski, and cross country ski. I want to transition into triathlon training for sprint triathlons, but I still want to enjoy the winter sports. (It'll be winter around here until April.)
Does anyone have suggestions about this dilemma? Or are you the same dilemma, and how are you going to transition?
There is a person I work with that is in a similiar boat as you. He plays Hockey in the off-season of Triathlons.
I would start integrating my training program slowly, just to get the muscles used to the difference in work. Another thing I would do is figure out when your first race is. Work back from there how much time you think you will need to be ready for that race. That can help you establish a timeline. No use in worrying about it if you don't need to.
It also seems like most of your sports are outdoorsy, unless you are very brave I think most of your training for a tri would at least for now be indoors, so if you have teh equipment at home it should be really easy to just hop to it.
The sports you do are great base training. In particular, I find that skate skiing works many of the right muscle groups for good cycling, keeps the correct arm and shoulder muscles fit for swimming and is great overall aerobic conditioning. Classic X - skiing is very good training for the run as the motion is in the same plane and the toe off in running is similar to the push off to start the glide in skiing. Tele-mark skiing is great strength training that translates to hill climbing strength on the bike pretty well. So the only real trick is to make some time for the pool to get technique back, and to transition to some real running and biking once it gets closer to spring especially for your key workouts, tempo runs and bricks for example. Depending on which mountains you live in a short weekend trip south or down a couple thousand feet in elevation can make outdoor run and bike training a lot more pleasant in spring conditions as well. Good luck and just keep in mind the advantages you have over all those who winter on the couch not doing much in the winter and without the advantages of altitude conditioning.
Don't just do it...Do it well!
Thank you so much! Both responses are very helpful. Michael you have very good insight into the winter sports. I appreciate your take on everything.
You are right. I need to get into the pool ASAP! : )