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Happy Holidays!

December 27, 2011

Happy Holidays to all the fellow triathletes and athletes who read this blog!  We thank you for following us and hope that we can help inspire and motivate you to exceed and break through your own “limitations”.  Next week, we will again be posting our new year’s goals and aspirations as having them written and concrete for others to see hold us much more accountable-HA.  We encourage any followers to do the same on our blog and together we will work towards making 2012 a memorable one!  We wish everyone a new year filled with many personal successes on and off the race course.

Okay, yes… Julie called me out, I have been MIA on this blog and I have felt bad about not posting, luckily for me, Julie has been keeping everyone up to date.  Just to catch everyone up, I had decided to take some time off from training (6 weeks from October 17 to the second week in December) with a few activities sprinkled in (2-half marathons and a bike ride in Clermont Florida called the Horrible Hundred), which if you have never done I highly recommend.

Since I started back training, I have tried to regain some of my endurance that I lost.  The toughest endurance for me to get back was in the pool.  First off, swimming is by far my weakest discipline and always is tough for me to get to the pool (30 minute drive).  The first couple times I went I swam one mile and was tired when exiting the pool, I laughed to myself when I thought okay time to get on the bike.    I have now worked my way back up to 1.5 miles without having my heart beating 180 BPM.  The one thing that surprised me was I didn’t really lose that much speed just endurance.  I guess I can attribute that to one of two things:

1.  I am a horrible swimmer so I couldn’t possibly get slower (most likely)

2.  My form held so I am as efficient just lost my endurance and I was stopping before getting too tired to realize the law of    diminishing returns.

I know Julie has been swimming 2700 yards plus so I better get my act together before she completely crushes me in the swimming portion.  I guess she got our dad’s swimming genes.  Oh well, just something to keep me motivated.

My time in the saddle dwindled as well.  I was biking at least 4 times a week for most of the summer and when I took the time off I really paid for it.  I have ridden a few times since, mostly for time and just being in the saddle than going for speed-I have topped out at 3 hours so far, but this weekend I decided to test my speed.  I got up early Saturday morning and rode up to Jacksonville, FL and met up with the Open Road “A” group ride.  This is always a good test for riders because about 80 people will start the ride and maybe 40 will finish together.  Top speeds will hit 33 MPH plus and the average will be 25-26 MPH for 45 miles.  I went to the ride cautiously thinking I would be happy if I was able to hang on for 20 miles before being dropped.  The first 5 miles of the ride are always an easy pace while riders warm up (20-21 MPH) and once we make the first turn it is every rider for themselves.  I kept telling myself, “You are not going to get dropped” after the first turn we were in excess of 29, little did I know the ride was just getting started.  This ride is very congested and makes this triathlete nervous when people are so close to me (I am used to my 4 lengths, HA), but I just kept reiterating to myself that I was going to make it around the entire way.  45 miles later I had made the trip with the group.  I was out-sprinted by the entire group at the end, but just happy to make it around the route.  That was a big boost for my confidence and after the ride was itching to get back on my bike and start logging miles and speed work.

For those of you in cold climates, I love spinning classes or getting on a spin bike and turning up the tension and just trying to churn my legs as fast as I can.  This will help you build speed and help you deal with the pain you can experience during a race.  I try to average 26 MPH on the spin bike each hour.  This really built my legs speed last year and helped me improve my average biking speed by almost 1.5 MPH over 2010 and averaged my highest speed during a race (25.3).  I highly recommend building your endurance base and then putting in at least two-speed workouts in a week (they hurt, but you will thank yourself later).  I also recommend finding a group to ride with that will push your limits and help you break through your cycling barriers.  The only way to get faster is to ride with people who are faster than you.  Last year, I got dropped from this one 80 mile ride every single week (from November to February) and this year vow to make it around without being dropped.  If you can, I always try to move to the front of the group and take at least 2 pulls during the ride.  This helps triathletes feel the speed with all the forces working against you and will push your heart rate up.  Last year I trained by myself a lot, but always welcomed rides that pushed me even if I knew I was going to eventually end up by myself.  Since endurance sports are 90 percent mental (I like to think- you can use your own percentage) that if you can convince yourself of things before you are out doing them, you are much more likely to succeed.  That is why goal setting is so important to me.  Your mind will quit before your body does so if you can “train for pain” you embrace every challenge.

Julie wrote about us running our two half marathons in November and since I have been logging about 20 miles a week (low for in-season where I usually log about 35-40).  One of my training partners had a 20 mile training run the previous weekend and there was a marathon in Jacksonville we decided to partake in.  Up to that point I had not run more than 13.1 miles since February 2011, so I told her I would run for as long as I could, but I wanted to try the “Jeff Galloway Method”  This is a unique training method that uses a run/walk method throughout the entire race.  I have always been skeptical of this, but since I hadn’t trained for this distance this year figured I would give it a try to see if the walking would help me recover and allow me to keep going.  We decided on a 9 min pace (the Galloway method says to run 4 min, walk 1 for a 9 pace.  We altered that a little to walk one minute at every mile marker.  So I guess I didn’t adhere to the science exactly, but pretty close.  We were running about 8 min miles so that we could walk and still be on the 9 pace.  Through 13 I felt good, my heart rate never got above 150.  We kept on going, 15, 16- my legs started to get a little tired, 17, 18- okay here I needed to walk for 2 minutes.  Our pace slowed a little to about a 9:15.  I got a second wind until mile 23 where I needed to walk for 2 minutes again.  We trudged forward and this is where I dropped to running 4 and walking 1.  We made it, my nutrition was good, the only thing that I really felt were my hamstrings (guess I should have stretched them-HA).  For anyone who struggles with longer distance running, I HIGHLY recommend this method.  The walking helps your body recover and slows your heart rate down.  You will be surprised at how fast your body recovers in that short walk.  For individuals ramping up their miles it is a great way to go longer and go harder.  Ironman races are about the run so this year, I am committed to this method in Coeur d’Alene.  I hope to have a great story to tell about it.

For all you triathlete tech junkies out there, I know I spoke earlier about the Garmin 910XT which was supposed to be out in Q4 of this year but has been pushed back to Q1 next year.  This is the newer version of the Garmin 310XT with extended features and for athletes who have trouble counting laps in the pool (Julie) this will help as it does it for you.  I would write a review of the product, but I found one online from another triathlete and this individual did an in-depth review of the product so why re-invent the wheel?  He obviously spent hours on this so thank you DC Rainmaker for the following review:

With the holidays here, this is the one thing I asked for Christmas.  With the hear rate monitor it retails for $449.99, without $399.99.  I look forward to racing with this watch next year and look forward to having the training partner mode.  I hope everyone enjoyed their Holidays and are looking forward to a memorable triathlon season.   Just a little holiday humor for everyone out there:

One the first Day of Christmas, my tri love gave to me “a Garmin 910XT”

On the second day of Christmas, my tri love gave to me “Two – 85 tubular Hawk Racing Wheels”

On the third day of Christmas, my tri love gave to me a “3 cases of Powerbar Energy Blasts”

On the fourth day of Christmas, my tri love gave to me a “4 cases of Honey Stinger waffles”

On the fifth day of Christmas, my tri love gave to me “5 Gatorades”

On the sixth day of Christmas, my tri love gave to me “6 Carbo Pro 1200’s”

On the seventh day of Christmas, my tri love gave to me “7 replacement tubes”

On the eighth day of Christmas, my tri love gave to me “8 pounds of chia seeds”

On the ninth day of Christmas, my tri love gave to me “9 packs of GU”

On the tenth day of Christmas, my tri love gave to me “10 CO2 cartridges”

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my tri love gave to me “11 ice baths”

On the twelfth day of Christmas, I gave to me “12 PR’s”


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