Playing in Idaho

Keeping workouts simple.

I’m actually not really all that in to working out and/or exercise.  Yes, I am a professional triathlete that does a lot of training; however, for me it is really about empowered play.  I play well and I play a lot.  This makes me happy and healthy.

This week I have discovered a wonderful new play session.  Somewhat out of necessity, I got creative.  I’m racing in the chilly waters of San Francisco Bay (52 to 56 degrees) in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon this weekend.  In order to get ready for the severe brain freeze I wanted to get in some of Idaho’s cold water.  Usually, that means a mountain lake or heading up to Lucky Peak.  But I didn’t have time for that this week.  Voila Boise River swimming in May.

I’ve swam in and down the Boise River many times but usually not until late June early July.  Right now the water temperature is around 52 degrees…perfect for acclimating to Alcatraz.

The session:

  • Don wetsuit at home grab cap and goggles and throw on some shoes I don’t mind getting soaked. 
  • Ride my bike a little under 10 minutes over to Quinn’s Lake.
  • Jump in and swim in the mid to high 60 degree water temperature at Quinn’s and swim 5 minutes over to the shore right next to the Boise River.
  • Climb out of the water and walk the few feet over to the Boise River, (right above the standing 36th street wave) and swim upstream.  The first time I did this on Tuesday I had some pretty severe brain freeze and had trouble keeping my head in the water.  The second time on Thursday I still had pretty significant brain freeze but it was not as bad.  The third time today, (Friday) I still had some brain freeze but it was so much better and easy to deal with that it really wasn’t a problem.  Hopefully, on Sunday in the SF Bay, I’m not dealing with any Ice Cream headaches while working incredibly hard to stay with some of the best swimmers in triathlon. 
  • I swim about 10 minutes against the current and inch my way ever so slightly up stream.  Then, I turn around and swim back to the starting point in about 1 minute.
  • Then, I jump back in Quinn’s Lake and it feels like bath water.  It is a great way to quickly warm up again from chilling the body, saving myself some energy.
  • After a bit more swimming, I’ll hop back on the bike in my wetsuit and pedal home for a nice shower.
  • Simple and fun way to play outside.


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