Follow by Email

Monday, February 28, 2011

Week 8 on the IM Moo Training Train

Pretty Unsuccessful Week :(

Monday:
Swim = 60 min
Strength Training = 60 min

Tuesday:
Run = 55 min Hill Repeats
Cycle = 60 min easy

Wednesday:
Swim = 65 min
Brick = 80 min (60 min ride followed by a 20 min run)

Thursday:
Strength Training = 60 min
Cycle = 60 min easy

Friday:
Nothing...knee pain

Saturday:
Nothing...knee pain

Sunday:
Nothing...knee pain

I went to the Dr. today and had x-rays done as a precaution.  No stress fracture...instead...I have patellar tendinitis...UGH!!  I am not suppose to exercise for 2 weeks and start physical therapy next week.  Lots of ice, ibuprofen and rest are in the near future to get through this!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

No Pain...No Gain

Think about all of the times you have felt great...what were the costs that gave you that "great feeling?"  Typically we don't have these "great feelings" without some kind of "pain" along the way.  For me, higher energy has the "pain" of giving up sugar; race goal completion has the "pain" of training; training has the "pain" of early morning swims, basement trainer rides and long enduring runs; sleep has the "pain" of not socializing with friends.  Right now, I have temporary pain in my knee as well.  I know it will go away eventually.  "Pain" seems to surround us everyday, but without it, we wouldn't know what feeling great is like.

What makes all of this "pain" worth while?  Crossing the finish line of a "race" that you have been so dedicated to.  For me, this "race" could be a 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon, marathon, sprint triathlon, Olympic triathlon, 1/2 Ironman, Ironman, or just the race of life.  In life, there are many everyday trials and tribulations that seem like a "race."

Sometimes the journey to the start line is the best part of the race.  It is the direction, decision,  determination and drive that gets me to the start line of any race.  These same characteristics are also going to get me to the start line of Ironman in September.  Finishing any race is the reward for the journey.  Finishing Ironman will be the reward for all of the "pain" that I encounter on a daily basis during my journey to the start line of Ironman Wisconsin!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Goal Setting

Lately, I have been reading a book about mental training (The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training).  There are a lot of really great points addressed in the book...one of which is goal setting.  It says that you should have goals for different areas of your life.  It also mentions that these goals should be in writing so you can be held accountable to achieve them.  It also states that you may need support from family and friends at times when you get side tracked to get you back on track so you can achieve your goals.  For those of you reading this, please help me find the paved road again if I get lost on the gravel roads!!  So...here I go...

My yearly goal...to be fit enough to be able to finish my first Ironman in early September.
My race goals...half-marathon in April, early season Olympic-distance race, marathon in May and a half-Ironman in July to prepare me for the Ironman event.
My feeling goal...to feel relaxed and comfortable during races and not suffer too much late in races.
My training goal...improve my 500 TT in the pool by 50 seconds (current 500 TT=9:35...goal=8:45), increase my power on the bike to help me ride comfortably at an average pace above 16 mph on long rides and running comfortably at an 8:40 pace for long endurance runs.
My lifestyle goal...cutting sugar out of my diet and getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
My fulfillment goal...succeeding at these new challenges and enjoying myself during training and racing.

By achieving the last 5 goals, I will set myself up to achieve my first goal...finish my first Ironman in September 2011!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Problem Solved

Monday morning while swimming, I had an epiphany!!  My knee pain is caused by my new bike shoes!!  What?  New bike shoes cause knee pain?  How?  Well, let me explain.  When you get new bike shoes, the cleats on the bottom tend to shift out of proper alignment very easily.  (Oh, but first it is important to get the cleats in the same alignment as your old shoes...as close of alignment as you can anyway...Problem #1.)  The cleats tend to shift even more if you tighten your pedals too much to the point that you can't get your shoes in and out of the pedals at all (OOPS...Problem #2.  When I did this, I really twisted the cleats on the bottom of my shoes).  Once the cleats are out of proper alignment, the entire leg is also out of proper alignment, thus causing potential ankle, knee and/or hip pain.  Problem #3...riding for multiple miles with the cleats improperly aligned.

I decided to take my bike, old bike shoes and new bike shoes into Skunk River Cycles after my swim and had Ronn, the owner, help me properly align the cleats on my new bike shoes.  Now I should not have any more problems.  I am so excited that it was something so simple!!  What an easy fix!!

I did learn a very valuable lesson for the future...check the alignment of the cleats after nearly every ride for the first month or so when new bike shoes/cleats are purchased.  I will definitely be doing this over the next month!!  I was also told that about once a month after that it is important to recheck the alignment to make sure nothing has shifted.  I will also be doing this...no more knee pain for me!!

Problems solved!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Training Train Temporarily Derailed

This week I torqued my right knee during a strength training exercise on Thursday and have had some pain in my knee ever since :(  I have been taking it really easy the last few days hoping that I will be on the mend and can get back on the training train soon.  This week, I missed a run, ride, and two swims as a result.  I also had to cut a ride short :(  I haven't missed any workouts in the first 6 weeks of training, but this week the training train was derailed...UGH!!  I am hoping that I won't miss any workouts this week. 

Between rest, ice and ibuprofen, I am hoping to be back on the training train really soon.  I have been told by others to go to a free Physical Therapy screening to determine if it is something serious or not.  I am going to see how it feels tomorrow and then decide if I go to PT on Tuesday.  I feel as though if I rest my knee, I will be back on the training train soon.  It feels a lot like tennis elbow in the knee, which heals with rest.  (I know that many of you who have had IT band issues are thinking, "Oh no, she has IT band and is in denial."  I do not have IT band...wrong side of the knee for IT band issues.  The pain is on the inside of the right knee.)

Come on Rest, Ice and Ibuprofen...be my friends and put me back on the training train ASAP!!!  I mentally fall apart when I am not training...

Week 7 on the IM Moo train

This week wasn't very successful :(  Good thing it was a recovery week!!

Monday:
Swim: 60 min
Strength Training: 75 min

Tuesday:
Nothing...

Wednesday:
Brick:  60 min ride followed by a 20 min run

Thursday:
Run: 55 min
Bike: 30 min outside...it was 72 degrees today...what a GORGEOUS day!!
Strength Training:  90 min...I torqued my right knee during my workout and have had some knee pain since Thursday :(

Friday:
Nothing...

Saturday:
Nothing...

Sunday:
Ride: 1 hr 50 min

I was suppose to have ridden for 2 hr 30 min, but my knee started acting up at about 90 minutes, so I decided to cut it short so that I wouldn't do more damage...UGH!!

Overall, not a very successful week for training for me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Recovery Week

What a beautiful week for a recovery week!!  Not only is the number of scheduled workout hours less for the week, but the weather is going to be GORGEOUS (62 on Thursday)...it can't get better than this!!

One might ask, "Why are recovery weeks important?"  The answer is simple...improvements in one's fitness occur during recovery weeks when our bodies have ample time to rebuild and repair.  After a workout is finished, our bodies are actually weaker...not stronger.  It is important to rest between workouts and to have a recovery week to let the body repair and build that strength that we think we are getting from a tough workout or series of tough workouts.  If we continually push our bodies with every workout every week, we will most likely become overtrained and encounter injuries.

How often should recovery weeks arise during a training plan?  That depends on your current fitness level, your training history, how well you recover, the diversity of the event and distance you are training for.  A well designed training plan not only has recovery weeks built into it, it also has recovery workouts built into every week so recovery can occur between high intensity workouts.

Naps are great ways to recover!!  Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of taking a nap after a high intensity workout.  Many people have jobs, kids, housework, etc. that can interfere with that nap.  My hubby and I have decided that if we are going to properly train for IM Moo, we are also going to have to incorporate proper recovery.  As a result, we have had many evenings that were early to bed and many naps after high intensity workouts.  For instance, this last Friday night we were asleep before 7 pm and slept for nearly 11 hours.  We then took a 2 hour nap on Saturday and were in bed by 9 pm for another good night's sleep (consisting of about 10 hours).  I know this doesn't work for everyone, but it works for us and I know this won't change :)

I love my recovery weeks!!  It really makes the hard core training weeks that much more enjoyable and beneficial.  All I have to say to my muscles this week is..."Build, baby build!!"  I am ready to come back stronger next week :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Early Bird

Today started the early bird lap swimming for the spring...plunging into the chilly pool water at 5:30 am is a DEFINITE wake-up call!!

The hardest part about early bird swimming is getting the feet out of bed and on the ground.  Once up, it isn't so bad.  It is actually very nice to have the swim done for the day and it is only shortly after 7 am!!  It does mean early to bed, but I'm not complaining :)  I love my sleep!!  And who says I can't take a nap later today?!?!?! 

Because it is so early in the morning, there aren't as many people swimming.  The fewer numbers of people in the pool make early bird swimming that much more appealing.  You don't have to fight for a lane, you don't have to share a lane (unless you want to) and there are fewer "waves" in the pool to fight against (although, this does provide an element one would find in outdoor swimming :) ).

This early bird lap swimming is a HUGE hit in my book!! 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week 6 on the IM Moo Training Train

Another Successful Training Week!!

Monday:
Swim: 60 min
Strength Training: 75 min

Tuesday:
Dreadmill Run: 55 min

Wednesday:
Swim: 70 min
Cycle: 90 min
Core: 30 min

Thursday:
Strength Training:  2 hrs 30 min

Friday:
Swim: 60 min
Cycle: 60 min

Saturday:
Run: 1 hr 40 min
Cycle: 30 min

Sunday:
Brick:  Cycle=2 hr 30 min, Run=20 min

Total mileage for the week: 103 miles :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Warmer Weather Please

After just swimming for one hour in the pool and currently spinning on the bike in the basement as I type, I am dreaming about warmer weather when I can swim and ride outside.  Don't get me wrong...I have had some great days of training indoors (both in the pool and on the bicycle trainer), but I am ready to see the world again as I exercise.  There is little that makes time fly like the change of scenery on the bike, or the open water crashing in your face (except for the adult conversations that take place in our basement during a group trainer ride :)).

I am even willing to endure the humid 90 degree days with no breeze...the 30 mph headwinds that rip across Iowa and make it nearly impossible to move forward...the very rainy days (yes...I am planning to ride in the rain on occasion...who knows what race day can bring)...the frigid 60 degree water temps that require a wetsuit...the white caps on the open water taking one's breath away... if it means exercising outdoors.  I miss seeing the diverse animals I ride by, the clear blue sky, the bright sun beating down on me, the thunder head clouds moving in, feeling the seaweed graze my toes (or was that a nibble from a fish)...there are so many things to appreciate about outdoor training.

With the pending spring like weather forecast in the very near future (we're going to have the 50s next week...YIPPEE!!), I may have to strongly consider getting the bike dirty and doing an outdoor ride or two to help me get through the rest of the Iowa winter...we'll see just how warm it gets and just how sloppy the roads are.  Who is up for an adventure?!?!?!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

BRICK in the Books

The first brick of 2011 is done!!

What exactly is a brick?  Most people typically think of them as the building material used to construct homes or office buildings.  In the triathlon world they have a very different definition...the brick is typically when an athlete goes from the bike directly to the run.  How did it get the name "brick?"  Some people believe it came from "Bike Run ICK" because of the way ones legs feel while running right off the bike.

I actually love how my legs feel off the bike!!  They are a little rubbery, but are also nice and warmed up from the ride.  These warm legs actually help make my run pace faster than it probably should be when I first get off the bike.  I still love the feeling of running off the bike!!

My first brick of 2011 consisted of 2:30:00 on the bike followed by 20:00 on the run...it definitely could have gone better, but it was not the worst brick I've ever done.  This time, I only consumed water on the ride, which made for a somewhat sluggish run.  From now on, I will do better with my nutrition to have my best performance.  After all, training is meant to help one practice for their big event...proper nutrition will be part of my big event, so I need to start practicing it during training!!

I have another brick this week on Sunday, so I will definitely practice my nutrition and hopefully get it right this time!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How addicting can Triathlon be?

Chrissie is a girl after my own heart!!  I completely understand where she is coming from!!  Check out her take on the addiction of triathlon below.
Even Chrissie thinks triathlon is addicting!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Reconnecting With My Childhood

Today when I was swimming in the pool I asked myself why I do triathlon.  It is simple really...I want to reconnect with my childhood.  As a kid, I swam nearly every day during the summer months in the lake...splashing around, making new friends at the lake and swimming with the dog.  I also rode my bike and ran around with friends.  It wasn't about being the best I could be, pushing myself in training or having good race results.  Instead, it was about the simple pleasures of swimming, biking and running. 

Sometimes these simple pleasures can get forgotten as I try to push myself to new levels during training and racing, but it is important for me to always remember how much fun each of these events were as a child.  Reconnecting with my childhood today in the pool was an amazing "blast from the past" and one that I am hoping to put at the forefront of my training.

After all...triathlon is about LOVE...those things I use to love to do as a child...swim, bike, run!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week 5 on the IM Moo Training Train

Another week in the books!!

Monday:
Swim - 60 min
Full Body Strength Training (Did functional strength training this week and loved it!!) - 75 min

Tuesday:
Run - 50 min (w/ 3x8 min at 10K pace)
Bike - Easy 45 min

Wednesday:
Bike - 90 min (Muscular Endurance Ride)
Core - 20 min

Thursday:
Strength Training - 120 min (TRX for 90 min and 30 min of TRX Core)

Friday:
Swim - 60 min
Run - 90 min (10 mile endurance run)
Bike - Easy 30 min

Saturday:
Swim - 60 min (Swim analysis done...good to know what I need to improve on)

Sunday:
Bike/Run Brick
Bike - 2 hr 30 min Zone 3 Ladder Workout
Run - 20 min (right off bike)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Who wants to workout in the blizzard?

I completed my workouts despite the weather today.  Who says just because it is 14 degrees outside with 40 mph wind gusts and lots of snow means you can't get in a great workout or two or three?!?!?!  I'll admit...I went to the dreadmill for the run and the trainer for the ride.  Even I am not crazy enough to venture out on a day like today for an outdoor run or ride. 

The run consisted of 50 minutes of interval training.  This made the time go by faster since I was constantly increasing and decreasing my speed based on what the workout was.  Overall, it was a great workout!!

I got home from the run and hopped on the bike for about 45 minutes.  Just long enough to spin the demons out of my legs, which appeared during the high intensity run :)

Workout number three???  You guessed it...shoveling.  Someone had to go out and shovel enough space for my husband's car to fit in the driveway.  After all the snowing and blowing, there were waist high drifts in the driveway.  What can we expect when we live in Iowa in February?