Bali’s Lessons in Endurance

I’m beginning to forget what life was like back in California. For instance, I’m having a hard time imagining what almond butter tastes like – I used to average a 16-ounce jar of that stuff every 5.8-days.

Thankfully, cashews are plentiful and those are an acceptable substitute. It’s even more acceptable when a spoon covered with raw cashew butter is dipped into a jar of toasted, shredded coconut.

It’s like a macaroon, minus sugar.

Admittedly, I don’t feel like I have much to report or write about; I swim infrequently, ride a bike trainer frequently, and run even more frequently. I also do push-ups and crunches, because they’re fun.

In all honesty, I really didn’t enjoy training here upon arrival. Discovering there were no running tracks on the island was a letdown, but it was more frustrating to discover that Ubud is devoid of even a 100-meter stretch of flat road. The traffic and the road quality made riding stressful and the only pool suitable for lap swimming is a 25 to 30-minute scooter ride away.

Though, training in Bali has lead me to a few realizations.

Lessons in Endurance:

Hard work should be hard.

Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard the Twitter experts share their thoughts; “When it’s time to go easy, go easy… “ and vice versa. I’m not disagreeing with the philosophy, but I am challenging the location. For example, doing a 4-mile tempo run on a track versus on the road. The point is, finding a rhythm on a track is easy compared to finding a rhythm on rolling roads. Unless you’re a Track & Field athlete, you’ll never compete in a race that features a track. So why do all your speed work on one? Embrace some (elevation) change. You’ll be stronger for it.

Utilizing a trainer and hydration.

Since purchasing a trainer, I have ridden outside once. It was a 2.7-mile ride to a new villa. Since the 21 March, I’ve logged 43-hours and 13-minutes on a trainer. I’ve watched so much YouTube, that I think their algorithm for recommending videos is shit. On the bright side, my legs are feeling stronger. Likely due to the fact that trainers offer no respite. Because of that, I’ve been very conscientious of my pedal stroke. Doing intervals on the trainer is brutal and I’m amazed by how much sweat my body can produce. Even in a room with aircon! During an average ride, I drink at least a half-gallon of fluid. All in all, sweat rate is important, kids. Know yours! Here’s a link on how to calculate it. You’ll feel better for following it.

Reward when necessary.

I rarely lack the motivation to workout. However, swimming in Bali isn’t exactly convenient. If I don’t get up first thing in the morning to swim, I’m basically asking for second-degree burns – the equatorial sun is intense and the magnification of water doesn’t help (or sun cream). If the pool were a few minutes away, there’d be nothing to talk about, but it’s not. Therefore, I’ve turned to incentives. The pool is tucked away in a true local village and each morning, the village’s market is up and running, wafting enticing smells every which way. I followed my nose one day and found a street food cart. That street food cart has become my incentive to get up and make the drive to the pool a couple times a week. We all have internal barriers. Discovering what incentivizes you will make your reluctance all the more worthwhile.

Erich Wegscheider street food in Bali

Post-Swim Incentive


Speaking of swimming, check out the following video: