Wheeew. The brick workouts combining running and cycling at the same time are really kicking my butt. I can maintain a good pace doing either one individually, but combining the both back to back is ****. It is taking some serious determination and mental strength to even start the run after a decent bike ride. I did start taking GU (which is an energy gel) and that seems to be helping my energy levels if I can consume one of those before I start the bike portion and one before I start the run.
I am sure this phase of wanting to lose it each time I hear the word brick will go away soon just like my resentment for the word swim soon faded a month into my base training. In the mean time, I figured I would gripe about it while I could.
I couldn't resist. When Jesse sent me a link to this video I thought of you guys! Kirsten, you said you were looking for motivation a while back. If this doesn't help you, I don't know what will. So here it is...The Triathlon Song.
Yesterday I went swiming and then running. Although i was really tired and did not want to run after the swim i forced myself to do it. I was astonished when i realized that i could keep running and running. I think all this training is paying off. Lately, I have realized that i can keep going ,not at the fastest of paces, even when i am extremly tired. I also glad because i feel i have more energy during day (which i dont really know if it is a good thing, since i try to do more things and get tired by the time i am supposed to excercise.) I am really looking forward to excercising tonight !!!!
I'm going to have one of those rants that addresses everyone generally, but really I'm only to talking about a few of you - and you know who you are. Actually, you probably don't, which makes it worse.
I'm talking about drivers. You know the people. They get into their protective steel one-ton boxes and fly across roads, talking on their cell phones all the while swerving into bike lanes, cutting into bike lanes when they want to turn right, and generally doing their best to kill me.
I am, of course, not in a protective steel box. I'm on my bike. So when I see a - faded black Honda Accord (shall I include the license plate?) - turning right as I make my way across the street just north of him, and then that person changes their mind, flips around to go left and almost nails me ... Well, I get scared and angry. I probably shout expletives. Yes, I shout a lot of them. And this really solves nothing. It only makes me more angry when the guy in the faded black Honda Accord shrugs and scoots around me.
I know a huge part of my problem is I'm simply not used to riding in a bike lane with cars whipping past me. The majority of cars are not trying to kill me. If anything they are trying to avoid me.
When I got my new bike and began practicing clipping and unclipping, I primarily stuck to this great carless biking and running path that runs behind our house. The path follows the Rillito, which is a riverbed, not a river because this is the desert. But on occasion a river runs through it so I suppose that's why the city built a path along its side.
I stuck to the bike path for far too long. For one, it is easy and convenient to jump on and off of. Plus, it is perfect if I can't get a ride in until around rush hour and the path is long enough to get 20 miles in or more. The problem is it's flat. The Wildflower, as we all are learning, is hilly.
I need to get used to what everyone else who cycles has had to learn. Cars, or more specifically the people driving them, will try to kill you. But that's OK because most drivers try to avoid cyclists and you just have to keep your eyes open for all the faded black Honda Accords out there.
This last Sunday I decided to step up and see where I was at in my training and opted to do a 30 mile bike loop and then run for as long as I could. I averaged 16 mph on a hilly loop without pushing it too much on the bike because I was trying to save some energy for the run. I was pretty satisfied with that effort and took off running about 5 minutes after the bike ride.
As the run started out, my legs felt really wierd as if I was floating. It wasn't necessarily a sense of fatigue but just different. I got about 1 mile into my run and had to stop because the front outside part on the bottom of my left leg was starting to throb. Not like a shin splint, but like it was going to explode if I kept going. This is a common sensation that you get from riding motorcycles, but it occurs in your forearms. Anyways, I switched to a run/walk after that to avoid injury. Once I got home, I put some ice on it and all was back to normal pretty fast.
I am guessing it has something to do with dehydration due to all the water I burned up during the bike, If anyone can offer a remedy to this sensation, I woud wlecome it with open arms.
So I missed all of last week. I stayed home from work and stayed home from the gym and slept a bunch. I started feeling better yesterday and managed to stay for all of church. Today I'm at work again but my heads starting to remind me that I'm still not 100%. Running sounds reasonable but I just don't know if I can handle the pool yet. The week before last I think I did myself in swimming. I was feeling really good and then the day after I went swimming I suddenly started feeling tons worse. Not sure if there was a connection there or not - maybe it's just in my head. The worst part about it is I still haven't had a chance to try out some of the latest swimming tips. I'm excited to make a breakthrough in the pool and am sure that it'll come if I just put in the time. I just don't want to risk not getting better this time.
Well.... not exactly, but that's what I tell my self for encouragement. Each day I get in the pool I feel stronger. I am sure it is the drills and using the kickboard is really helping out as well. My roommate who was killing me in the swim is still swimming much farther, but I am at least able to hold pace with him which is positive. Below is a list of all my issues I still am having with the swim.
When are you supposed to breathe? I am currenlty breathing on every other stroke, but only on my right side. I see an equal amount of people breathing out on both sides as I see breathing out of one side. This seems to be one of the hardest part of swimming for me.
Breast Stroke or Freestyle? I can go faster swimming freestyle, but can not maintain the speed or consistency do to my issues breathing described above. The breast stroke seems to be substanially easier for me and I can keep up a consistent pace using this swim technique. I guess what I am asking, is what will be better when I actually compete. A faster, less consistent method, or the steady and easier/consistent method?
Getting a stronger kick. I thought my kick was good until I saw a few of the other people in the pool using the kickboard and they just destroyed me. What workout outside of the pool can I do to improve this?
this week was a good week for me until i hurt my left foot running. I dont know what really happened, the only thing i remember is that i went swimming and afterwards running on wednesday night, i came back home and went to bed. I got up as usual and when i tried to step on my left foot i felt this excrutiating pain on the left side of my foot. It was not fun, although the pain has faded away somewhat i still have feel pain now and then. I hope is nothing serious. I was not able to workout yesterday, so hopefully i will be able to make up for it today.
My knee these past few days has been OK. I haven't been running either, so who knows, maybe the pain is lurking around the corner. The pain itself is pretty minor. It's been my mental health that has suffered more.
There is nothing worse - for me, at least - than feeling awesome, wanting to run faster and longer and not being able to. I've decided to focus my efforts in the other two areas that don't affect my knee. I guess that's the benefit to a triathlon: there are three sports to choose from.
Yesterday I took out my frustrations in the pool and whipped through the workout much faster than I intended. I was pretty tired at the end. I also was content and felt like I had accomplished something in a time when my knee has limited some of my efforts.
Gale suggested taking a look at my shoes. They are not brand new and they're not old. Somewhere in between. The shoes are a new style and brand then I've used before. I think I'll bite the bullet and go buy the shoes - Adidas Gel Nimbus - that I have used many times before. It was the shoe model I continually bought and used while on the Pacific Crest Trail. It's more of a long distance running shoe and has a super cushiony base to it.
Today is supposed to be a rest day. It rarely is for me since I typically miss one workout earlier in the week because of work etc. So back on the bike and hopefully a good long ride. I need more of those if I'm going to tackle Wildflower.
So, I finally slipped up and missed some days of training over this last weekend due to a tradeshow I went to. I also ate terrible, barely slept and managed to consume a fair amount of cocktails while out entertaining clients. My birthday was also yesterday, so as much as I tried t fight going out again, I went out and my friends succeeded in making a mess out of the night.
Fast forward to today, I went on a hilly bike ride and felt like ****, but at least I burned all of those bad things out of my system. My endurance held up pretty good and I plan on going for a swim tonight which should be helpful as well. The moral of my little story is that I will not be doing anything like that again until after the Wildflower.
My knee - the right one - has become a little bit tweaky lately. Every now and then when I run for more than 30 minutes it starts to ache on the left side - or inner side - of the knee. It hurts the most if I am sitting down on a chair and then slowly lift it up. I have no idea why my knee has started freaking out on me.
I haven't fallen or pushed it too hard in the past two weeks. I mean I hiked nearly 2,700 miles on the darned thing last summer and never had a twinge of discomfort. I did have a tight IT band issue last year, but I just stretched more and it cleared up. Plus, the IT band is on the other side or outside of the leg, not the inside.
I've talked to one of the trainers at my gym and he has made some suggestions to strengthen the knee. I'm debating whether to completely hold off on the running part of my training for awhile I haven't run since Saturday and my knee is just fine now.
I think I'm just going to swim, bike and strength train for now. I'm a little worried that I'll fall behind on my running stamina. Any suggestions out there? Gale?
On the days when I'm supposed to run, what can I do as an alternative? And how long should I stay away from running?
Hey everyone, We are going to spice up the Who Wants to Get Active program with a blogging contest. Starting today we will be monitoring the blogs for volume, inspiration and creativity. The contest runs through March 15 and awards will be handed out for:
Most creative blog from Feb 18 to march 15
Most inspirational blog from Feb 18 to march 15
Most comments on other participants' blogs from Feb 18 to march 15
Most blog posts (from start of program to March 15)
A difficult triathlon in less than 12 weeks should be all the motivation I need. But apparently it's not because I've struggled a bit this week to complete all of my workouts. Running and strength training went fine. Cycling and swimming took a hit.
I'm not too worried. I know I can make it all better by shaking it off and moving forward. I just can't get over the feeling that a giant Big Ben-type clock is tick-tocking away down to the triathlon in May - and I won't be ready.
My goal for the coming week is to ride, ride, ride. I like the swimming, so normally I don't need to be encouraged to get into the pool. I manage the workouts pretty well and don't seem to struggle too much. I am pretty slow, however.
It's the cycling, which I thought would be my greatest strength, that is really suffering. Part of it is my lack of experience and my continued fear of clipless pedals and my relatively new fear of traffic.
I'm off to watch my husband enjoy himself in a 33-mile run. Perhaps that will be the motivation and inspiration I need. Thanks Gale for the swimming drills.
so i went swimming yesterday night but it was hard, Although i have improved a lot in the las couple of months, i still feel i am doing something wrong. i can do the rest of the training no problem but swimming its hard, i really need to practice a lot more or change something if i want to be competitive on the race. I have read the articles posted by Gale but i guess i am not following them correctly. Or maybe i need to have to more swimming training sessions. would that be a good idea? oh man !!!
Sorry for bringing up my frustration on this blog, I guess i can only keep trying....and it is good to know to know today is rest day i really need it
The last 3 weeks i went to Peru, the country i was born in and where lived before comming to USA at age 16. It has been 8 years since i left my country, I was not really planning on going until after the race but some major family reasons forced me to go earlier than expected. While in Peru i tried to train as much as i could but to be honest i was not able to do much. I came back and started training again 3 days ago, it was hard the first day because my body had lost conditioning but yesterday night i had a much better workout that reassured me i will be ready for the competition on may.
I suggest doing 1-2 of the drills per swim session and once you master the ones you're doing, move to more difficult ones. Here is the progression I suggest based on the videos on the site above: 1) Fingertip drag, 2) Catch-up, 3) Fists, 4) 10 and 10, 5) One arm drill (Begin with the non-working arm extended in front of you, after you master that, try putting that non-working arm along your body.)
For squat technique, go low enough so that your quads/thigh bones/femurs are parallel to the ground. No need to go lower.
Way to go eating healthier and craving healthy foods, it's a synergistic approach to improving. All the seemingly small things add up to big success.
Even I am swimming 100 meters in less than 5 minutes. Of course, I was pretty beat after swimming 4 sets of 100 meters yesterday when the pool closed and I didn't get a chance to see how beat I really was. All I have to do is work up to being able to swim 4 times that without the long rests in between. Then assuming I can maintain my current pace or faster I should be able to finish the swim before the hour 20 min cut off. The best part is it's probably not possible to swim much slower than I already am swimming so all I have to do is build up the endurance and figure out how to actually swim.
I was feeling fine yesterday and this morning to until about 10 or 11 when my throat started getting scratchy again. Now I'm hating it and not looking forward to biking and strength training tonight. At least, it's not swimming. I better get more sleep tonight to compensate.
So I'm starting to crave healthier food now. I guess it's a result of eating better and exercising more. Anyway, I was out of tp so I dropped by Walmart after swimming (that and I needed some flip flops because that locker room floor is pretty nasty - I haven't been very impressed with other gyms either but this one is definately the worst I've seen) and instead of just getting milk and some more cereal and pasta I went crazy with the fruit and even got a couple things of lettuce. Now we'll see if I actually eat it. I've hardly touched the last batch of apples and oranges that I bought ...
Here we are starting our first week of the full Tri-Training routine and I am excited. The new program looks a lot more intense and focused than the previous plan and I am anxious to start building on my newly found running and swimming skills. Below is a summary where I sit on everything so far.
Swimming: I accomplished the full 1,000 meter swim at the end of the base training and I could have kept going if I wanted to. I just was not very graceful and I feel like I was putting in way too much effort getting it done. The new training with drills and detailed instructions should help a bunch.
Running: I can now run a solid 8 miles in a row at about an 8:30 a mile pace. I hope to be down to a sub 8 minute mile pace by the time the tri rolls around and I am sure I am capable of that.
Cycling: Climbing hills is easier than it was before and my recovery time is also getting faster. I attribute this to the cross training I am doing with the running and swimming. A race pace effort right now is about 18.2 MPH over 26 miles on relatively easy terrain. My goal is to be at a race pace of 20 MPH by the time I get to the Wildflower on hilly terrain. This is a pretty intense goal, but is also my favorite part of the training and I think I can do it.
What do you mean by drill in a swimming workout? I'm guessing by kicking you mean holding a floating device and just kicking.
Yesterdays workout went really well although my legs came off sore from biking so I took it easy on squats. Speaking of which - how low should I be going when I squat - do I want my rear end to almost touch the ground or do I just want my thighs to be parrallel? I've been going till my thighs are parrallel with the ground but then I saw someone else going way low - of course I saw a bunch of people arching their backs for back extensions too so watching others may not always be a good idea.
Anyway, the best part is I did the workout and then went and played basketball afterwards and I woke up feeling pretty good this morning. Basketball on Saturday about did me in so I'm glad to feel like I'm getting my energy back.
After seeing Danger Prone's set of swim tips, I figured I'd offer a set of tips for beginning runners.
-- Get a pro to fit you with some quality running shoes, soles, and socks. Don't even go to the running store with any inhibitions about how much money you are going to spend, brand you are going to buy, or color of apparel. Just let an expert fit you with whatever works the best and it will be your best investment possible for training. Since doing this a few weeks ago, I have not had any shin splints, there is less soreness in my legs, my recovery time is faster and I have had no blisters or hot spots on my feet. All of that has basically added up to make the run more enjoyable and make me less hesitant to go out and do it.
-- Set goals. Every time I run, I try to set a goal for how far I want to run, how fast, or what heart rate I want to maintain, etc. This keeps me from stopping and walking or thinking about giving up. This also pushes me to have a more productive workout and I feel an awesome sense of accomplishment each time I complete one of them.
-- Don't give up. I have found running to be a huge mental game for me. I literally went from setting goals to just increase my distance by 1/2 mile each time I went out until I got to 4 miles and I decided the next time I would go and just do 6. Doing 6 ended up being a lot easier than I thought and now that I have gotten past that mental block it feels like I could do 10 or 12 if I really wanted.
-- Have fun. I am sure I am not the only person that dreaded running before they started doing it and won't be the last. When I can, I try to run with a buddy so we can talk during the run, but if I can't do that I try to at least enjoy my neighborhood and notice something new each time I do a few laps around it.
-- Stretch. I'm not too big on a bunch of pre-run stretching, but I do try to do about 10 minutes of post run stretching. Whenever I don't do this, I feel really tight the next morning and it takes a while for my body to warm up for that days activities. By stretching after the run it seems to keep my body loose and speeds up my recovery time.
I'm really not in the position to be giving tips about swimming. But a recent trip to the hairdresser inspired me to share a few things I've learned these past few weeks.
I've concentrated on my swimming recently and as a result I feel like I've overdosed on chlorine. It dries out your skin and hair, it ruins your swimsuit etc. My first two tips deal with chlorine, the rest are about improving breathing etc.
Get your head wet. My hairdresser told me that wetting your hair with tap water before jumping into the pool prevents chlorine from soaking into your hair.
Save your suit. I'm not sure if anyone has noticed. Swimsuits are expensive. It's sort of ridiculous. And I know that every time I get into the pool, the chlorine is slowly killing my suit. As soon as I get out of the pool, I rinse off with tap water. When I get home, I rinse it in my sink with cold water and some mild soap.
Stick to the edge. When you're swimming freestyle you should spend very little time with your belly down. Instead you should be on your side, rotating your body as you move through the water. As your arm is extended out in front, your hip (on the same side) should be pointing to the bottom of the pool. The opposite hip should be pointing up to the sky.
Train your weak side. My brother told me about this. To learn how to breath on either side, do this drill for your first two laps. It's hard, though, so don't get frustrated. Swim with one arm - the other pinned to the side - and take a breath with every stroke. Switch arms on the next lap. It feels awkward. But it's helped me a lot.
I know Javier is training in the ocean right now and I didn't even swim at the pool yesterday - it's driving me crazy! I've been feeling under the weather ever since Sunday morning when I woke up late for church. I did my workouts on Monday and Tuesday even though I didn't feel so good but swimming just seemed like a bad idea considering I've had a pretty good stream of nasal drip ... The fact that my body is feeling weak has got to be mostly because I've actually been doing the strength workouts. Between Saturday and Tuesday I'm beat. I took a nap right when I got home from work yesterday and then another nap when I got back from a tutoring group that I supervise. I was so tired I didn't even call any of the school kids to remind them to come and we ended up having less kids than tutors. All in all I think it was a good day to take off. Today I'm feeling a little bit better so I'll do my workout - of course, it's more strength training so this beat feeling is sure to continue. I'm hoping yesterday was my low point though and things will be improving energy wise from here. It's just frustrating not feeling up to swimming when that's what I need the most work on by far.
Since I work out of my home office I spend a lot of my time by myself working and hanging out with my dogs and my 1 business partner. The only times I get out during the week really are too excercise, meet clients, get groceries, or go out to dinner. I'm usually out and about on the weekends, but I usually go out with the same 4-8 people almost every time which is cool because we all have a great time, but a bummer because I should be expanding my horizons.
I never imagined that when I started training for an Individual Endurance race that it would drive me to get back in touch with so many people I hadn't talked to or hung out with in a while. I find my self driven to reconnect with old friends I used to work out with to try and motivate and push me in my workouts. Its awesome because I have a different set of friends that I do each inidivual event with. During the workouts we're able to catch up on what we've been up to in eachothers lives and that has been awesome. My training is turning from a chore to my favorite part of the day and I thank this program for every bit of it. Thanks Active.com!
I had a good bike workout yesterday - tried reading a book while riding for the first time - not a bad combination. Yes, I was indoors:) I was glad to see running/weights on the agenda for today because I don't think I could handle swimming today. I've been feeling a little bit under the weather the last couple of days. I'm finally feeling like I'm getting into a rythm with doing the workouts. It's been hard without having someone to do them with. I was planning on doing them with Javier but that didn't seem to work. When I trained for a marathon I was living with my cousin and we ran together. That was really nice - both being there in the same house and motivating each other. It was good on the actual runs and in the actual race to be there for each other as well.
The hardest part for me so far has just been getting out the door. I've been really busy and could have gotten more sleep and that hasn't helped. I also have had a couple of minor set backs injury wise - the small kind of things that make good excuses to put off working out until tomorrow. It's kind of scary loading up the actual work out program knowing that I haven't done a very good job at following the current program that was supposed to get me ready to go. Well, I still have another week before we start the actual work out program and I'm hoping to do every single workout on schedule. I'm really glad I'm not supposed to swim today because I really don't think that would be good for me today but hopefully tomorrow I'll be feeling better. On a side note, my skin has really dried out from being in the pool. I've been having to use lotion like crazy. Progress in swimming hasn't come very fast but it is coming. Unfortunately, I'm not anywhere's close to being able to do even the current workouts - on the 20 lap day I did 12 and I was still beat. I've done the best at making swimming workouts but I still can hang with running and biking a lot easier than swimming. I've slacked off the most in weight training as I just really didn't know what to do. A friend invited me to workout on Saturday, so I brought my sheet and he clarified a lot fo the exercises for me. Between him, youtube and another guy in the gym that pointed out the thing to do back extensions on I was able to do my first real workout beyond situps and pushups. It's no like I haven't been in a gym before but my visits have been few and far between. Now that I know how to do the strength workouts I'll be able to knock them out today without a problem.
I'm starting to get excited about getting in shape. I really do think that doing each of the workouts everyday is going to bring good results. I'm actually even starting to have hope that after 3 months of pushing and learning I'll be able to swim the 1.5k in less than an hour and 20 minutes. I almost made half a pool length the other day doing freestyle breathing to either side every three strokes. The coolest part is how I noticed that I moved through the water quicker that way. I'm hoping one of these days it'll just click and I'll be able to start swimming a stroke for real. Imagine me being able to swim freestyle - that'd be sweet.
I was checking out the training schedule and realized our initial "base" training is coming to an end. It's exciting and a little scary. I've taken this 12 weeks seriously. But I've also missed some training, especially the biking days, and my weeklong ski trip didn't help anything.
I can't help but think about all of those days I've missed since mid-December, as we approach the end of the base training.
Looking back here are a few things I would do differently or at least take into consideration.
1. Time management. Even the light training days take time. And it seemed like either I was spending too much time on the training end or the working end, leaving little time for training. Preparing the night before - laying out my clothes, packing my gym bag etc. - is a tremendous time saver. It makes me more effective at moving from work to training and back to work again. The night before I usually think about what I'm going to do the next day. This seems to help.
2. Even a little workout helps. There were days when my schedule was so tight I didn't think I had the time to get a two-hour ride in or complete an hour run. Some of these days I skipped the training. And I would feel guilty and bad about it. So the next time I was running out of time I would just do a shorter bike or swim or run. It helped me maintain momentum and stick with my training plan.
3. Flexibility. Sometimes if I missed a training day, I would just use my rest day (Fridays) as my makeup day. Flexibility rules with a busy schedule.
4. Practice makes perfect. the fear of clipless pedals are only defeated when you practice, practice, practice.