Tag Archives: fitness

Triathlon Training Log – Week of February 3 (Phase One, Week Five)

Whew, another Sunday and another week of training complete.  I totally planned to pop in Wednesday or Thursday, but there weren’t enough hours in the day.  And that really stinks because I have about four half-written posts that want to go live.  Let’s see if I can manage my time better this week.

first-annual-full-throttle-endurance-pie-off

And digest all this pie from our first annual pie-off.

General training notes:  With the initial base-building period complete, this current four-week span will incorporate solid/hard efforts across the disciplines, plus swimming and running speedwork.  I really struggled to hold back during past weeks, so it feels good to start pushing—and I know my body can handle it now.

Monday – a.m. swim and run

Well, recovery week is definitely over.  Moving forward, Monday’s swim will take the form of “speedwork in the pool,” and this main set was defined by “speed and pain.”  Yes, “speed and pain” were written on the whiteboard.  After warming up and doing a steady 300, we were split up so each lane contained swimmers from every group. (Each lane had a swimmer from fast lane number one, fast lane number two, etc.) Then we went head-to-head with our respective lanemates and raced each 25 yards other—sixteen times.  With five seconds rest.  Woof.  Luckily, the run was easier:  steady five miles, alternating between the track and treadmill.

Tuesday – a.m. indoor cycling and strength training

This 75-minute ride wasn’t too bad and focused on solid climbing and seated efforts.  “Suffer for three minutes” became the mantra because that’s how the entire bike should feel during South Beach in 55 days.  After, we did some corework, hamstring exercises, plus tons of chest/shoulder strength training with resistant bands.

Wednesday – a.m. run and swim

I kicked off my 24th birthday with speedwork—10 minutes at tempo, plus 4×800 repeats.  Another unexpected birthday present?  I survived an underwater 25 yarder during our swim workout (without fins).  It’s all about progress.

Thursday – a.m. long-course swim

Hello, wetsuit!  This was our first wetsuit-optional swim of the season, so we did a lot of interval work, plus several efforts at our race pace.

Friday – a.m. indoor cycling and strength training

Like Tuesday’s spin, this ride included solid intervals and lasted 80 minutes.  The corework was absolutely killer, and we also did some work with resistance bands, plus walking lunges.

Saturday – off

Sunday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

Maybe it’s because I’m getting better, or maybe it’s because I sat directly in front of a fan, but this two-hour CompuTrainer ride did not completely kill me.  Broken into 15-20-minute increments, the main sets included build efforts with some sprints/passes sprinkled in.

How did your workouts go this week?

Random Training Thoughts From Jan. 20-27 (Phase One, Weeks Three and Four)

Woah, I can finally stop and take a breath.  Has this week been busy for anyone else?  The weekend can’t come soon enough—mostly because Syracuse plays Duke on Saturday, and I want to wear this shirt.

syracuse-baketball-beat-duke

Yes, I bought it a few weeks ago.  Don’t judge me.

Anyway …

I joined a running team.  I know, right?  Three of my coworkers founded the Bronx Submariners—how could I not support them?  I had to get my first singlet!

bronx-submariners-instagram

This also means I’ll do a few roadraces with them—and hopefully I won’t embarrass the team and/or finish last. (These guys are fast; I’m talking 5:30/mile fast.)

Speaking of running, I signed up for a “normal” race—the Cherry Tree 10 Miler in February.  Full disclosure:  I will be doing it as a relay with two coworkers.  Did you really think I’d be able to run 10 miles in two weeks?  Anyway, the race actually falls on another coworker’s birthday, so he wanted some run-brunch action.  And I can run 3.3 miles or whatever, especially if there’s a mimosa at the finish line.

We spin every Tuesday and Friday, so my teammates taken turns bringing music—and my coach quizzes me on songs during every ride.  It’s kind of like I’m Cady from Mean Girls. (‘Carrie, do you even know who signs this?’) As “Young C,” I’m the youngest person on the team, and for the record, I would like to state I was not alive when the majority of our song selections were popular.  I did surprise everyone by knowing Thunderstruck by AC/DC today, though.

No one wins practice, but I posted the third-fastest female time during our 200-yd. time trial.  Granted, two girls who swim faster than me haven’t completed it yet, but my coach said I did a great job and put down a solid time. (2:41, which isn’t impressive for actual swimmers, but I’ll take it.  I’m a wannabe swimmer, remember?) And in two weeks, we’ll have our 500-yd. time trial.  The good news?  Wetsuits are legal!

Speaking of swimming, we drove to Stamford yesterday for a long-course swim—in a minivan.  There were five of us, so we definitely needed a big car, and it was very fitting rolling into the ‘burbs in a minivan.  I felt like I was back in high school.  Talk about the ultimate throwback Thursday!

Enjoy the weekend, friends!

Triathlon Training Log – Week of January 20 (Phase One, Week Three)

Happy Sunday, friends!  How’s your weekend been so far?  I worked yesterday and went to a CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance this morning.  It was my third CompuTrainer ride this week—the other two were time trials.

2:23-bike-time-trial-chelsea-piers-performance-center

So many watts, so much pain.

General training notes:  As the final build week of phase one, we continued to increase volume.  Physically, I felt great, but I’m struggling mentally.  Patience is not my virtue, and I want to dive in and start pushing—but luckily, I have coaches and teammates who hold me back at the right times.  Next week is a recovery week (our training cycle consists of three weeks “on” and one week “off”), so this mental battle will probably continue.

Monday – a.m. swim and run

With two weeks of training complete, we’ve started logging longer sets in the pool.  After warming up and doing some tech work, we tackled a descending ladder:  500, 400, etc. with the goal of negative splitting (or progressively getting faster) each 100.  Bottom line, my lane did not execute this set well; for the 500, we planned to hit a conservative 1:50/100 and work our way down, but we clocked in at 1:35 instead.  Whoops.

Nothing too notable to report regarding the run:  just a steady five miler, and we alternated between the treadmill and indoor track.

Tuesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Holy efff.  Sorry, but this was our time trial day.  And as with all triathlon-related tests, my goal was simple:  improve my power output, or increase my average number of watts.  Perhaps this wasn’t the best goal because I completed the first test on my road bike, and power output tends to be greater on roadies (as compared to a triathlon bikes because of the position).  Anyway, for the five-minute “blow out” effort, I averaged 285, which trumps the 270 I posted four weeks ago.  We then recovered for ten minutes before the main 20-minute time trial effort.  This one didn’t go as well.  I broke the 20 minutes into “mini-efforts” of five, 10, 15, and 18 and simply focused on building, then maintaining until the 15-minute mark.  At minute 18, I hit the pain train, and my average wattage was 225.  Even though I didn’t increase my functional threshold power number (it’s around 215-220), I need to remember being in aero will hopefully translate to going faster.

Wednesday – a.m. run and swim

Ah, the return of speedwork.  Three miles of intensity were sandwiched between a one-mile warm-up and cooldown:  400m steady, 400m solid/tempo, repeat.  Alternating paces helped break up the miles mentally because we were running on the indoor track.  And like I mentioned above, this is when the mental battle became prevalent; as the second-fastest runner in the pace group, I wanted to push and catch the faster group in front of us, but my teammates did a good job of holding me back.

The post-run swim wasn’t too intense:  lots of longer pulling sets for a total of 2,700 yards.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride and run

Ah, time trial number two.  This one was officially associated with my team and structured differently:  instead of riding for time, we hammered for three miles, rested for 10 minutes, and then completed the same flat, three-mile course again.  Unfortunately, I positive split these like a champ:  8:06 and 244 average wattage for the first and 8:11 and 239 watts for the second.  Meh.  On the bright side, this test further proved my FTP is in the 215-220 ballpark.

And after hanging out recovering for a few minutes, I ran an extremely easy two miles with a teammate.

Friday – a.m. indoor cycling and strength training

Not going to like, the spin bike feels super weird these days.  Anyway, for this workout, we focused on pushing a “big gear” (aka increasing resistance) and building leg strength—and embracing the suffering.  Being outside will be totally different, and we know it’s necessary to hurt now so we don’t get gassed immediately when we start doing loops in the park.  The strength portion of practice included walking lunges, air squats, and a ton of corework.

Saturday – off

Sunday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

This ride went really, really well.  Since this was a two-hour workout, we spent the first hour warming up, doing single-leg and high-cadence drills, plus some shorter build efforts.  For the final hour, we completed longer intervals at our endurance and tempo wattages, plus a tempo set with hills.  It still shocks me when coaches and fellow riders comment on my output and strength; I’m like, “who—me?”

Overall, this was another solid week, and I plan to embrace this upcoming recovery period.  Pedicures are good for recuperating, right?

Do you reward yourself after a productive training block or race?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of December 29

Is it really Sunday already?!  Woah, this weekend flew by!  Nothing too big happened here:  worked Saturday, hung out and ran errands today.  Oh, and season four of Downton Abbey finally premiers tonight!

downton-abbey-season-4-mary-branson

[source]

But, I won’t be able to watch it because of my 4:30 a.m. alarm.  That’s right—my last week of freedom comes to a close today and structured training starts tomorrow.  Even though I made a workout schedule for this past week, I basically just did what I wanted; after all, for the next nine months I won’t be able to pull that card.  So here’s what went down this week:

Sunday – a.m. 35-minute indoor trainer ride … ON MY SLICE

Monday – a.m. 45-minute indoor trainer ride

Tuesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Wednesday – a.m. run

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance; p.m. swim

Friday – a.m. 60-minute indoor trainer ride

Saturday – off

As you can see, biking still seems to be the favorite.  The first ride on Sunday was tough, but as the week progressed—and as I spent time in the saddle—riding in aero became more “normal.”  Holding the position for 30 minutes hasn’t happened yet, but I did hit the 10-minute mark on Friday, which was exciting.  It is a little frustrating things aren’t clicking as quickly as I would like, but (a) that’s what makes the offseason great, and (b) I remind myself that all triathletes go through the same thing.

And so we arrive to the end of the offseason.  My team’s official start date got switched around a couple times, but the “first day of school” occurs tomorrow.  Fortunately or unfortunately, my coach postponed our time trials (both swimming and running) until next week; he wants us to shake off the holiday rust and get used to working out again.

On a related note, I’ve decided to change my “Write It Down, Do It Up” posts and replace them with something along the lines of “Training Log.”  This title seems more accurate and appropriate.

Even though it should go without saying, all of my Monday-Friday sessions will be logged with Full Throttle Endurance.  And with that, let the 2014 triathlon season begin!

Monday – a.m. swim and run

Tuesday – a.m. bike (on spin bikes) and strength train

Wednesday – a.m. run and swim

Thursday – a.m. swim and run; p.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance (if I can move)

Friday – a.m. bike and strength train

Saturday – off

Sunday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

In terms of fitness and healthy living, what are you looking forward to the most about 2014?

Real Talk: Training Edition

Hi, everyone—happy 2014!  For some folks, the new year signifies a time to make resolutions, set goals, and take advantage of a fresh start; and I’m sure you’ll see plenty of these posts around the blogosphere during the next few weeks.  For others—like yours truly—2014 means structured training begins.

triathlong-life-is-good

[source]

As usual, I’m keeping it real.

I have mixed feelings about the start of training on Monday morning.  Mainly, I cannot wait to start completing structured workouts with everyone again; I miss seeing my coaches and teammates everyday!  Oh, and two words:  South Beach.  It seems like my last race occurred forever ago, and even though I’m nowhere near race fitness, I’m already excited for this event.  On the other hand, though, I found my groove in terms of the NYC social scene, and not going to lie, I’ll be sad to give up my party warlord MO for a bit.

In related news, I’m anxious to see how my body responds to six consecutive days of training. (The team will train Monday-Friday, and I plan to hit the CompuTrainer on Sunday.) This wasn’t a problem during high school basketball …

2008-high-school-basketball

Sorry, had to do it.  I posted this on Instagram for throwback Thursday.

… but toward the end of my collegiate seasons, my body felt like it break down and snap in two.  Thankfully, it held up well when I moved to the five-day program during the final month of training, but those workouts weren’t typical:  We completed one workout each morning instead of two (and removed bricks all together) because it was the end of the season.  So I guess we’ll see what happens.

Here’s what my training will look like from Monday until early February: swim and run on Mondays; bike (on spin bikes) and strength train on Tuesdays; run and swim on Wednesdays; swim and run on Thursdays; bike (on spin bikes) and strength train on Fridays.  Since I’ve been all about the cycling lately, I’d love to replace one of the swims with another ride, but I’m not in charge yet.  Also, I’m not sure what will happen to my weekly threshold Tuesday CompuTrainer rides at Tailwind Endurance.  Obviously, I want to keep going, but it would look questionable if I always “slept in” during the team’s Tuesday morning workouts.  Again, we’ll see what happens.

Last week, my Slice appeared in a dream:  I was riding along (and being all legit in aero), when I slowly tipped over and hit the pavement.  But it didn’t hurt.  In fact, the ground acted like an inflatable bounce house and sprung me back to an upright position.  To me, means either (a) it’s pretty rare to wipe out on a tri bike, or (b) even if I do fall, I’ve ate it before and know what to expect, so the fear of the unknown isn’t a factor.

Speaking of my Slice, the first few rides have been tough, but I’m adapting.  During workouts, I spend time in the aerobars and on the bullhorns; usually, I stay in aero for a few minutes and take a one-minute break.  Shifting is slowly starting to make sense, and I definitely feel more powerful and efficient in this position.  I do need to get an in-depth fit done, though.

Seeing as how I haven’t mentioned running yet … it’s going OK, but my team’s two-mile time trial (TT) on the first day of school practice will be a reality check.  I made a decision this offseason to focus on the bike and put the run on the backburner, so I have no idea how this will translate to a TT.  I’m not expecting big things obviously, but it would be awesome if I could beat my time from last year.  It’s all about progress, so if I start off this season at a better running spot then 2013, then that would be awesome.

… and on that note, I’m hopping onto my indoor trainer, aka not running.  Happy Friday, friends!

What fitness and healthy living goals do you have for 2014?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of December 29

Hiya, friends—and happy final few days of 2013!

2013-christmas-zelda

Zelda was upset she didn’t get a mention in the Christmas discussion, and she hopes you enjoyed the holidays.

Seriously, where did this year go? Have you made plans for New Year’s Eve yet? Things over here are up in the air, but my coworkers and I plan to do a resolution run together on New Year’s Day. (Hey, we’re runners who work at a running store; what do you want?) Here’s a look at the final full week of 2013 in workouts:

Sunday – off

My parents and I hit the road early and beat the traffic home to Upstate New York.

Monday – a.m. 45-minute run

Strange things happened on this run: it was 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In Central New York. In December. And there was some precipitation. It was rain. In other inexplicable news, I found myself at my high school track and did some 400m repeats and promptly wanted to die.

Tuesday – a.m. 30-minute run and 50-minute swim

There was some serious #rage when I arrived at my local pool only to discover the lifeguard had called in sick. Making the most of the situation, I drove home and headed out for a short 30-minute run—and then bummed around until the next lap swim time frame. Luckily, a lifeguard showed up, so I spent about 50 minutes in the water. (I also saw one of my old basketball coaches in the fitness center. Gotta love being home for the holidays, right?)

Wednesday – off

Christmas Day nap won over a Christmas Day run. (I blame the Christmas Day breakfast mimosas.)

Thursday – off

Another travel day back to NYC.

Friday – a.m. impromptu brick—30-minute indoor bike trainer ride and 20-minute run; strength training

I know, right? My first official bike-run brick since September—and it went pretty OK. First came some easy spinning on the trainer, and instead of immediately hitting the weights, a novel idea crept into my head: Hey, why not run a little bit first? I braced myself for the inevitable pain train, but it didn’t really arrive. That’s a surprise—let’s push it! During the 20 minutes on the ‘mill, I progressively worked my way down to what will hopefully be my default “off-the-bike” pace in 2014. Yes, I know spinning (as opposed to hammering) made it easier to hit this pace, but you can’t have a good run without having a good bike—and this was the strongest I’ve felt during a brick in a long time. Perhaps I’m getting more efficient on the bike. One can only hope, right?

Saturday – a.m. easy 20-minute run

The endorphin rush after Friday’s brick made me feel invincible—and brave enough to attempt the previously impossible: changing my tires. One hour (and zero swear words) later, I successful removed my trainer tire from my road bike, installed its normal tire, removed my normal tri bike tire, and put on the trainer tire. This means in theory I should be a-OK if I flat during a race (minus the 15-minute “rest period” if you will).

Anyway, I planned to make my maiden indoor voyage on my Slice Saturday morning, but I woke up to a flat tire. And after 30 minutes of struggling to remove the tube (and breaking a tire lever in the process), I threw in the towel and went running instead. Don’t worry—a trip to the bike shop happened after work, and the problem was solved.

So … here we go:  The last week of freedom the offseason.  Let’s Write It Down, Do It Up!

Sunday – a.m. indoor bike trainer ride … ON MY SLICE

Monday – a.m. swim; p.m. indoor bike trainer spin-out and maybe upper-body strength training

Tuesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class

Wednesday – Resolution Run with my coworkers

Thursday – a.m. swim; p.m. run and strength train

Friday – a.m. run and strength train

Saturday – a.m. indoor bike trainer ride

Will you complete a resolution run for the new year?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of December 22

Greetings, friends!  As usual, I planned to post this recap yesterday, but my parents and I road tripped home from New York City.  They arrived on Friday with a special delivery:

cannondale-slice-home-bedroom

Hello, Slice!  I hoped to ride it Sunday morning, but I didn’t think it would be smart to make my maiden voyage in the rain.

In semi-related news, my workouts this week went OK.  For whatever reason, I couldn’t make two-a-days happen.  After all, I sign my life away in two weeks, so I might as well rest as much as I can, right?

Sunday – p.m. 50-minute bike trainer ride (on my road bike) during the Syracuse game

I’ve received a few questions about what I do while on the trainer.  No matter what, I always start with a 10-minute warm-up (in my small ring) and end with a 5-10-minute cool-down.  For the next 10-15 minutes or so, I do shorter intervals:  two minutes solid, one minute easy; three minutes solid, one minute easy, etc.  My “main set” is simple:  find a gearing that’s hard, hold it/make it hurt for 10-15 minutes, then take 3-5 minutes to recover, and repeat.  As you can see, it’s rare for a workout to last longer than an hour, and I would rather get in saddle, push it, and cool down instead of pedaling for hours on end.  Not that there’s anything wrong with longer rides, but these shorter workouts make more sense given my projected race schedule.

Monday – a.m. 50-minute run and upper-body strength training

Running consistently has been a challenge, so I made an effort this week to hit the pavement frequently.  I kept this run easy in preparation for Tuesday’s CompuTrainer ride and only did upper-body lifting to save my legs.  It was a wise choice.

Tuesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

This week’s threshold Tuesday contained a power test.  First, we warmed up for 10 minutes and did some high cadence drills before we completed a five-minute wattage test.  Our instructor said we should attack this test strategically and be “in the red” the whole time.  I broke up the five-minute effort into two, two-and-a-half minute sections.  I took the first section out too aggressively, so I didn’t increase my gear until minute three, and then I had to dig deep and hang on.  My average output clocked in at 270 watts.  We spun out for 10 minutes and then tackled a 20-minute time trial.  Like before, I broke it into four, five-minute portions.  This time, my first two sections were on the conservative side, but I was able to hammer for the final 10 minutes and post an average output of 230 watts.  Cyclists and more experience triathletes, how do these numbers look?  One thing to take into consideration, our instructor said, included our lifestyle choices for the past few weeks—i.e. if we’ve been going to holiday parties, eating and drinking differently, not getting enough sleep, etc.  Guilty, guilty, guilty.  On the bright side, I now have wattage ballparks for these workouts, and there’s nowhere to go except up.

Wednesday – a.m. 40-minute swim

Do not go more than one week without swimming.  Just don’t do it.  Yes, I should know better, but biking has sounded so much more appealing.  I faced the music and dealt with extremely sloppy warm-up laps and flip turns.

Thursday – a.m. 50-minute indoor bike trainer ride

This ride looked similar to Sunday’s one.

Friday – a.m. 40-minute run and strength train

Saturday – a.m. 30-minute run and strength train

Sunday – off

Since I’m home for the holidays, I’m not sure how much swimming will happen, but I plan to run everyday.  Here’s a rough idea of what I want to accomplish this week.  Let’s Write It Down, Do It Up!

Sunday – off

Monday – a.m. run and hopefully swim

Tuesday – a.m. run and hopefully swim

Wednesday – a.m. run

Thursday – p.m. indoor bike trainer

Friday – a.m. swim

Saturday – a.m. indoor bike trainer

What are you doing for the holidays?

Real Talk

TGIF … seriously.  It seems like count down mode never ends—first keeping track of how many days until Thanksgiving, and now crossing off box after box in my planner until Christmas.

On that note, you know I’m all about keeping it real over here.  Sure, this post has no definitive common theme, but in the words of Hollie, it’s real talk time.

Yet again, my workout motivation has vanished.  I blame being home for Thanksgiving and playing catch-up this week.

planking-zelda-napping

And spending too much time with Zelda who naps while I plank.  What a load!

Also, maybe the fact that my season officially starts in one month (yes, exactly one month) can be credited with some of this motivation zapping?  After all, if I’m going to skip workouts, then I may as well do it now—because it definitely won’t fly in 30 days.

as has my endurance.  So I attempted two speed workouts this week—and bombed both of them.  Darn you, offseason.  No, you can’t maintain peak fitness year-round, but I don’t feel good about where my run stands as of right now.  Not to mention my first race of the season is exactly four months away.

But I get to be a “real girl” for another month.  Holiday parties and team gatherings comprise my social calendar for the next few weeks, and you better believe I’ll YOLO now because January 6 looms overhead.

Why couldn’t I go to The Running Event (TRE)?  Every year in Austin, runnerds from across the country gather at this conference/trade show to geek out and talk about the industry for a few days.  Our higher ups attended.  I’ll get there one day.  Gives me something to shoot for, right?

My coworkers are the best.  With the pre- and post-marathon booms behind us, traffic at the store has slowed, which is normal for this time of year (until the holiday shopping starts, of course).  Since we’re not cranking out shoe fits constantly, there’s time to complete several projects that get ignored during the busier months—and opportunities to talk and get to know each other better.  Without getting too sappy, I feel blessed and grateful to be surrounded by these folks; they truly care, they truly “get it,” and they’re so much fun to be around.

On that note, I’m off to work—have a great weekend!

Wannabe Swimmer

It’s funny; shortly after I post about not swimming, there are some water-related updates to share.  Go figure.

With the offseason in full swing, I eased off the structured training, reflected on my races, and pinpointed areas for improvement.  Based on results, it’s no secret my bike needs the most attention now. (And a new tri bike only fuels the fire, right?) My run calls for improvement as well.  And what about my swim?  It can be summed up in one phrase:  wannabe swimmer.

7:5-open-water-swimming

Centered on proper technique and muscle memory, swimming requires years of experience spent honing form to be as efficient as possible.  When I joined the triathlon world, I figured this portion of the race would be my Achilles heel.  After all, I had zero competitive swimming background and simply thought I’d be joining the pool party too late.  My mantra was even “survive the swim.”

However, since logging one official season of training, my swim improved a lot.  Granted, I’m nowhere near being a fish, but this discipline has proven to be a strength.  During my first few races, I attributed my swim time to being a fluke.  Sure, I passed folks whose waves began before mine and exited the water in the lead group, but this was due beginners’ luck, right?

nautica-south-beach-triathlon-swim

My first race with Full Throttle EnduranceNautica South Beach

It looks like that isn’t quite the case, though.

Growing up in Central New York, I took swimming lessons as a kid and spent plenty of time in pools and lakes.  My hometown has a lake as does my alma mater.  In fact, during my senior year, my room overlooked Seneca Lake. (And a half-Ironman takes place there too.  In case you’re curious, the run course goes through campus.  Just throwing that out there.) Basically, for almost as long as I can remember, I’ve had a view of a body of water.  Maybe because I spent so much time in the water as a kid and maybe because I’ve always been around it, swimming in the open water doesn’t intimidate me.

Also, according to the book Racing Weight: How To Get Lean For Peak Performance by Matt Fitzgerald, I have some characteristics that prove beneficial in the water.

racing-weight-matt-fitzgerald-swimmers-body

Let’s see:  Swimmers are typically tall—check.  Swimmers typically have long torsos and arms—check.  Swimmers have large feet—check.

So the combination of my water background and body characteristics have led to some OK performances in the water.  As the season progressed, I got moved to the fast lane in my original training group.  And like I mentioned, I usually do well in my age group in terms of the swim.  You don’t win races during the swim, but there’s an adrenaline rush when you come out of the water in the lead packs.  That’s pretty cool.  Plus, I need the time cushion to offset my bike!

Anyway, I haven’t been spending a ton of time in the pool lately.  And I’m OK with that.  The bike especially and the run need those workout hours.  However, I’m pumped to have finally reached an elusive wannabe swimmer’s rite of passage—I learned how to flip turn!

Back during the season, one of my coaches broke down the process into four phases, and I made it through the first two.  We never revisited the concept, but two weeks ago, one of my teammates gave me a flip-turn clinic.  Not going to lie, I feel pretty legit throwing down those turns—even though I can only do it for 200 yards right now.

As the real swimmers know, doing flip turns eliminates the extra breath you can take before pushing off the wall.  Plus, you’re not only missing that breath, but you’re also blowing out through your nose, which means you’re using more oxygen.  Basically, this means you get gassed quicker.  Ah, another triathlon learning curve.  But that’s what the offseason is for, right?

Finish this statement:  I’m a wannabe _________.

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of December 1

Greetings, friends, and happy belated Thanksgiving!  I hope you had a great holiday filled with family, food, and fun times.

11:29-central-new-york-cazenovia-run

Like last year, we hosted Thanksgiving and crammed welcomed 18 people at our table.  We also cut down our Christmas tree and went to our annual family Yankee Auction.  Oh, and Santa came with me to Syracuse Bicycle to pick up an early Christmas present.

cannondale-slice-5-105-syracuse-bicycle

Just a sneak peek—more details to come!

Anyway, after a few days home in Central New York, I returned to New York City yesterday—and it’s back to the work and workout grind.  Here’s what I did last week:

Monday – a.m. run and strength train

Winter has arrived.  During this run, I wore my tights, baselayer, and gloves, but still struggled to warm up in the 30-ish-degree weather.  For better or worse, I splurged on fleece-dusted tights; I reasoned I’d wear them all the time.

Tuesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

As I’ve written time and time again, I need to get my act together in terms of the bike.  Although time in the saddle is better than no time at all, spinning on my CycleOps and doing a CompuTrainer class aren’t equal.  Anyway, as the racing season drew to a close, one of my teammates told me about Tailwind Endurance, a training facility that offers cycling and swimming classes.  A handful of my coworkers have taken Tailwind classes, so I signed up for my first one—and loved it.  Yes, it totally kicked my butt.  Yes, it ended up being a sufferfest.  But I really, really liked it.  I hope to make this class a weekly, hard/lactate-threshold ride and supplement it with easy spinning on the trainer.

Wednesday – a.m. swim

So I sort of swam, but mostly focused on practicing my flip turns.  Hey, the offseason is the time to do it, right?

Thursday – a.m. run

Yes, I registered for the turkey trot, but when my cousin MB invited me to run with her, I changed my plans.  The three of us ran easy for an hour or so, and it was a great way to offset the inevitable Thanksgiving “carbo-loading.”

Friday – a.m. run

Those fleeced-lined tights came in handy—another easy hour-long run in the tundra.

11:29-central-new-york-cazenovia-owera

But really.  Look at all the snow!

Saturday – off

Sunday – off

Here’s what I have on the docket this week.  Let’s Write It Down, Do It Up:

Monday – a.m. swim; p.m. indoor bike trainer

Tuesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class

Wednesday – a.m. swim; p.m. run and strength train

Thursday – a.m. run; p.m. indoor bike trainer

Friday – a.m. run and strength train

Saturday – off/a.m. Pilates

Sunday – easy a.m. run

How did you stay active during Thanksgiving?