that Thompson had pretty much shut down his training completely
through much of the pandemic, basically starting from
scratch again in October of 2021, the progress has been
noteworthy, though not completely surprising for the multi-sport
athlete who garnered attention in his late teens with
successful results on the northern Ontario triathlon circuit,
While the weather in Utah was certainly
one of the noticeable differences for Thompson, it wasn’t
by far the only one as he made the jump to a whole new
echelon. “At a race like St Georges, it was easy
mentally, just because there were so many people that
you were never physically alone,” he said.
“In a race like Muskoka, where there
are a lot less numbers, you get on the bike and might
be alone for what seems like hours. It’s a lot of
time with just you and yourself – which is something
I really didn’t even think about.”
He does now, even as he prepares for his
next Half-Ironman, the 70.3 Eagleman in Cambridge, Maryland
in June. “I am actually trying to listen to less
music now while I am training because you are not allowed
to do it in a race,” he stressed.
“Besides, it’s just a bad
idea in general with cycling. Being an advocate for cycling
safety, you should never wear headphones on a bike.”
Taking a short break after his return
to Canada, Thompson was back in training mode, just a
few weeks later, “building a base”, as he
says, slowly pushing his mileage back up. And while many
of the workouts would classify as more of a moderate intensity,
there was a 40 X 100 metres session, in the pool, at intervals
of 90 seconds, allowing for a break of perhaps 5-10 seconds
between each repetition.
That, however, would be the exception.
“At this time of year, there’s
no point in being as fit as possible when you are preparing
to race in June.”
In the interim, he will slide in the Around
the Bay half-marathon in Hamilton, sort of a bucket list
item on his running list, and the area of the triathlon
where he stands to gain the most ground.
Besides, variety is a spice of life.
“I try and diversify,” said
Thompson. “Well, I guess the triathlon itself is
a diversified singular sport. But it’s fun to do
a whole bunch of things: to be able to do a running race,
to be able to do a bike race. They all link together and
help” – because when it comes to Kelly Thompson,
that’s only the half of it.