I tried a new strength/cardio workout yesterday following my 20:00 warm up run. It is called ActiveX and is supposed to build overall strength and conditioning for triathlon.
Tuesday's workout went like this: Run 400 meters from the pool deck, up the ramp, around the office building, through the parking lot and back down to the pool deck. Go straight into 30 squats with 10 pound dumbbells then do 30 sit ups. Repeat sequence two more times.
It is a quick 20 minute workout that moves fast and is timed so that progress can be tracked. It was much harder than I had expected. I felt heavy and sluggish...like I had never worked out before.
Overall it was a lot of fun to work out in a group and I am excited for Friday's session.
My training plan started last week--the Monday before Thanksgiving. In the past I have used the holidays as a great excuse to be lazy, skip workouts and just relax. Then the New Year rolls around and I have to start all over again and get back into shape.
This time I was determined to try harder: It worked the first half of the week when my job still added structure to my day and I could do my workouts at lunch. I even felt good about doing the Monday runeven though it was late and dark, and doing the Tuesday swimeven though it was overcast and cold.
Then Wednesday came and I had every intention to do the bike workout...BUT...my family was in town for the holidays, and when I am with my family I have a hard time pulling away from all the fun. The closest I came to exercise while they were here was during our outing at the park. We had handstand competitions and sprint races, we played Frisbee and we had a slackline set up--nylon webbing stretched between two trees that you can balance on and practice walking across. But does any of that count as exercise if you are doing the activity with a beer in your hand?
My family left yesterday and this morning I got up early to do my swim before work. It felt good to get back on my own schedule and I am hoping that I can find a good rhythm over the next month to help me cruise through Christmas/New Years/My birthday week at the end of December.
I tried to come up with specific race day goals. But I don't have much race experience and I don't have anything to base my goals on. So...I picked times that I thought sounded good...an eight minute mile? I would love to run an eight-minute mile!
Gale says this is not a healthy way to approach goal setting as, more than likely, the trainee will not be setting realistic goals. So we decided to start at the beginning. She set me up with a 12-week base training plan that will lead into a 12-week triathlon training plan. This will give me a chance to 1) build my endurance and 2) get used to building workouts into my everyday.
Once I get a better idea of what my times actually are, then I can decide what to push for during the race.
(This video took Belle a few tries: To see her outtakes click here.)
I have to confess, I am pretty active...sometimes. I have a schizophrenic sports personality and try anything that comes my way.
During college I took up mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, snowboarding, running, racquetball and Rugby.
After college I moved to Japan where it was easy to be active because I had so much time on my hands. I only worked 20 hours a week so I swam a mile every morning, rode my mountain bike every afternoon, and rode a city bike or walked to work. I was in peak form because my lifestyle allowed me to be and it was easy.
While in Japan I tried a triathlon, however, the race did not go very well. I was late for the swim because race officials changed the start time and did not notify the gaijin (foreigners). I was riding a mountain bike with nobby tires and I got lost because I couldn't read the road signs. (Apparently there was a huge sign that said “DON’T GO THIS WAY”…and I went that way.) Then I had to run, which is by far my biggest weakness.
My fellow gaijin were among the first to cross the finish line. By the time I arrived there was a pig roasting over a fire and all the Japanese men were lighting cigarettes and drinking beer.
Since I returned from Japan my focus has been sporadic and fitness weaves in and out of my life. I feel like I am constantly trying to get into shape instead of reaching a point where I can push my abilities.
I have often wondered if, with proper training and a little more focus, I could get to the point where being active can be a consistent part of my life--like it was in Japan seven years ago.
The biggest focus for me is to learn how to integrate workouts into my life. No matter where I amworking or traveling, summer or winter holidaysI want to make training an automatic part of my day.
Active.com has paired me up with Active Expert Gale Bernhardt to train for the Wildflower Triathlon in May. Stay tuned, and feel free to cheer me on, egg me on and post comments as I work towards this goal. And hopefully this time I can at least beat the people smoking cigarettes at the finish line.
Belle is a little active but she wants to get more active. Follow her through videos and blogs as she works with help from Active Expert Gale Bernhardt to prepare for the wildflower triathlon next May.