Tag Archives: pre-season triathlon training

This Week in Photos – Christmastime in New York City

Hi, friends!  It feels like I haven’t talked to you in forever because of the one two three weekend recaps, plus a race report.  Like the weekend, this week has been packed with activities—finishing up some freelancing assignments, doing some last-minute gift shopping, and packing for my trip home.  Honestly, I didn’t take a ton of pictures this week, but I will share the ones I snapped and Instagrammed.  My alma mater has a weekly website feature called “This Week in Photos” (or TWIP for short), so I’m borrowing that concept for this post.

It’s wine o’clock somewhere.


This bottle of Finger Lakes wine was conveniently left behind from my family’s visit.  Oh, well; someone needs to drink it.  Time to get merry! (Kidding, sort of.)

At the end of one of this week’s runs on the Westside Highway, I saw this billboard.


Kudos to the marketing department; they know their audience!

“Santa!  I know him!” (In Buddy the Elf’s voice.)


Finishing up some last-minute Christmas shopping at The Container Store, aka heaven on earth.

On Tuesday night, my alma mater held a holiday gathering, and before the event, I met up with some friends for drinks. (We needed some liquid courage to get our networking juices flowing.) Anyway, aren’t these lights gorgeous?


It’s a blurry picture, but these Christmas lights took the shape of actual lights.

Remember my pre-season triathlon training plan that calls for one run per week in Central Park?  I finally made it there yesterday morning.


This was my first run in the park ever, and I will never forget it.  The crisp temperature and gorgeous scenery made tackling the hills more bearable. Kind of.


Since I’m from Central New York, I’m no stranger to hills, but I haven’t ran them in … uh …three months?  It was a wakeup call for sure, especially because the run course of the New York City Triathlon goes through Central Park.  I definitely have my work cut out for me, but I’m ready!

Speaking of triathloning, I went to the Full Throttle Endurance holiday party last night.  No pictures to share, but I had a blast!  I was a little nervous because the only person I knew there was Andrew (so I essentially went to a 150-person party only knowing one person), but it was totally fine.  Triathletes are super friendly and welcoming by nature, so I knew making friends wouldn’t be a problem, and it was great to meet some future teammates.  It was funny, though, because I was the youngest person there by at least five years, so I got called a baby a few times!  Everyone seemed incredibly passionate about the sport and had nothing but great things to say about the coaches and team–is it Jan. 7 yet?

Happy Friday!  How are your Christmas preparations coming along?  Where will you be spending the holidays?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of Dec. 16

Hey, hey—long time no talk!  Between going to the Open House at Random House, having my family visit, and running the NYCRUNS Hot Chocolate 10-K today, this weekend whizzed by!  I owe you too many recaps to count, so those will start cycling through tomorrow morning.  Overall, though, this Friday-to-Sunday packed a ton of fun.


I also managed to complete almost every scheduled workout. (Yesterday’s planned indoor bike trainer ride didn’t happen because I opted for a 30-min. shakeout run instead.) Looking ahead to this week, I have another busy schedule.  As usual, biking will be my number one priority, even more so now because I don’t know if I’ll be able to spend any time in the saddle when I head home for the holidays. (Syracuse peeps:  Are there any indoor spinning/triathlon-specific cycling classes that don’t require participants to bring a bike?) I will have access to a pool, though, so swimming won’t be an issue.  OK, time for Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I post my workout schedule for the week, and I invite you to do the same.  This way, we can motivate each other and hold ourselves accountable.  Sounds like a win-win, right?)

Monday – a.m. run and strength train; p.m. bike (trainer workout during the SU game)

Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. swim

Wednesday – a.m. bike and strength train

Thursday – a.m. run; p.m. swim

Friday – off

Saturday – a.m. run; p.m. swim

Sunday – easy run or swim

How was your weekend?  Did you race/workout?  Which workouts are you looking forward to this week?

A New-to-Me Sports Drink

Hi, friends—Happy Hump Day!  And Happy 12/12/12!  Did you make a wish when the numbers lined up?



I invited two friends to my building’s holiday party last night, and we enjoyed some wine before heading to GustOrganics for dinner.


It’s funny what you’ll find when you veer off your traditional route.  Because the restaurant is situated farther south than I usually walk, I had neither heard of nor walked by it before last night.  I really wanted a turkey burger, but they don’t serve burgers after 4 p.m. (weird, right?), so I ordered the hummus pita and quinoa tabbouleh instead.


It was delicious, especially the grilled zucchini and eggplant.

Workout #1 – Swimming

Not to jinx myself, but I think I hit a swimming turning point.  The 45 minutes of drill work flew by this morning (no Vince Vaughn sightings, by the way), and I feel more fluid in the water.  The body rotation exercises are becoming easier, but I still favor turning to my left, which is why I breathe exclusively to that side.  Swimmers, do you drill more on your weaker side? (During my basketball days, I used to shoot twice as many left-handed layups because I’m right-handed.) Now if only I could learn how to do a flip turn!


Good thing breakfast required zero prep work.


I inhaled these overnight oats in a jar; swimming gets me every time!


When lunchtime rolled around, I didn’t think twice—repeat of yesterday’s lunch was a no-brainer.


I also ate an unpictured banana and carrots.

I have a 60-minute interval ride scheduled this afternoon, and I’m trying a new-to-me sports drink—PowerBar Perform. (Thanks for the clarification, MB!)


During prior rides, I’ve been drinking Powerade, which has kept my energy levels up, but has led to some stomach cramps.  Nothing too bad, but I want to experiment with other kinds of nutrition.  Even though I don’t plan to do an Ironman anytime soon, this drink is dolled out at Ironman-sanctioned events.  Plus, if it’s good enough for three-time World Ironman Champion Craig Alexander, then it’s definitely worth a try.

Are you left- or right-handed?  Are certain tasks reserved for your dominant hand?  Do you use your non-dominant hand?

Big-Girl Job, Here I Come! (Sort of)

Great news on the job-front, friends—I received an offer for a paid, part-time editorial internship at a well-known diet and fitness publication!  After two interviews—one last week and a second-round one Monday—I heard from the company, and they offered me a position.  Woohoo!  I’m super excited because this brand (and its corporation) has been on my shortlist of dream jobs, and out of all the interviews I’ve had in New York City, I wanted this position the most.  The details are still being solidified, but I will start in early January and hopefully continue until May.  The new year also marks the start of official Full Throttle Endurance triathlon training, so 2013 will bring lots of structure and changes, and I couldn’t be more excited.


After meeting Craig Alexander last night (did that really happen?!), I baked a piece of salmon and reheated some leftover roasted veggies.


And then I proceeded to read As the Crow Flies: My Journey to Ironman Champion way too late, so I got a late start this morning.


With a 90-minute indoor bike trainer session and full-body strength training workout on the docket, I decided to eat a real meal first.


Good thing my toaster decided to work this morning.

Workouts – Biking and Strength Training

First up, I hopped on my bike for a steady, 90-minute aerobic endurance ride.  I played around with my Garmin and set it to beep if my heart rate went above a predetermined beats per minute (BPM) level.  Doing this workout based on BPM proved to be tough; my watch beeped a lot, which forced me to control my breathing.  Once I got into a rhythm, though, the ride progressed very smoothly.  In fact, it was definitely the best bike trainer session I’ve had yet, which makes me think I executed it correctly.  Andrew told me these workouts should be moderate—I should work up a good sweat—but not intense or super challenging; I should leave each working feeling good and strong (read:  not push myself to the limit).  At the 90-minute mark, I definitely felt strong; I could’ve pedaled longer, and I even thought to myself, “Running right now doesn’t sound so bad.”  Famous last words, though—ha!

Next, I went to the fitness center to lift.  I haven’t said much about the program up until now, but I do like it so far.  I’m familiar with most of the exercises because of basketball, so the learning curve is nearly non-existent.  However, I’m a little nervous—the plan prescribes high weight, low reps for each exercise, and I didn’t like how my body responded to that philosophy during my college basketball days. (Read:  I became very strong, but I also gained a lot of weight.) Granted, I know the high weight, low rep outlook wasn’t correctly executed then, so I’m willing to try it again.  And if I don’t like the results, then I’ll back off the weight.


Ham and Swiss melt with avocado for the win!


Oh, this was epic.  I also made a side salad with spinach and roasted veggies.



Heading to my building’s holiday party shortly.  Have a great night!

I Think I Swam Next to Vince Vaughn

Hey, friends!  Might as well address this post’s title ASAP:  Yeah, I think I swam next to Vince Vaughn at Chelsea Piers this afternoon. (I also did a quick 45-minute tempo run at 75 percent effort this morning as per my pre-season triathlon plan.) Obviously, it was tough to confirm if the guy in the neighboring lane was the real deal or just a doppelganger, but he looked like the actor.  He seemed tall, too, but again it was tough to tell because he was in the water.  Here’s the kicker, though:  The real Vince Vaughn is currently in New York City filming a movie.  Hmmm.  Oh, and there were ladies in the locker room talking about what it was like when Beyoncé visited the facility.  Coincidence?


I planned to make a spinach and egg white sandwich after my run, but my toaster mysteriously broke, so I made “oatless” oatmeal instead.


I lined the bottom of the bowl with frozen strawberries for some extra sweetness—mmm!


After my potential celebrity sighting, I whipped up a protein smoothie.


The NYC weather has been all over the place—it was 50 degrees during my run, and it’s close to 60 now—so a cool meal sounded appealing.  This drink contained one frozen banana, frozen blueberries, frozen kale, almond milk, and one scoop of Jay Robb egg white protein powder.

OK, back to writing and editing, but first, congratulations to Fleet Feet Syracuse (my people!) for its recognition as the top running store in America—woohoo!

Have you ever seen a celebrity? (Or a celebrity lookalike?)

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of Dec. 9

Happy Sunday, friends!  I can’t believe how quickly this weekend passed!  I had fun hanging out with my sister and her boyfriend yesterday, and today, I cleaned, did laundry, and went grocery shopping.  Trader Joe’s totally saw me coming.


Done and done.

Has anyone else noticed their schedule picking up because of the holidays?  For me, this week will be packed with deadlines, holiday parties, and a few exciting events.  Like tomorrow, I’m going to Jack Rabbit Sports to see three-time Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander.



Yeah, I’m pumped.

My family will be visiting this weekend, and I signed up for the NYCRUNS Hot Chocolate 10-K on Sunday, which will be both my first official 10-K and New York City running event. (I wanted to run the Jingle Bell Jog yesterday, and but it didn’t work out:  After several phone calls to the NYRR’s headquarters, I finally received an email address for their registration contact person.  I sent her an email on Monday, and she said there would be a message circulated within the next few days, and she specifically said not to register for the Jingle Bell Jog.  In the end, there was no email, and I did not register, so I did not run.  Very disappointing.)

Anyway, as the week progresses, my schedule picks up, so it will become more difficult to complete each workout on my pre-season triathlon training plan.  I hope to squeeze in some sweat sessions while my parents and sisters are here, but family time will be my number one priority.  OK, time for Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I post my workout schedule for the week, and I invite you to do the same.  This way, we can motivate each other and hold ourselves accountable.  Sounds like a win-win, right?)

Monday – a.m. run; p.m. swim

Tuesday – a.m. bike; p.m. strength train

Wednesday – a.m. swim; p.m. bike

Thursday – a.m. swim; p.m. run

Friday – off

Saturday – bike (trainer workout during the SU game)

Sunday – NYCRUNS Hot Chocolate 10-K

Do your fitness goals change as the holidays approach?  How do you stay active with a full social calendar?

My 2012-2013 Pre-Season Triathlon Training Plan

Even though official triathlon season training doesn’t start for another month, I plan to spend the next four weeks swimming, biking, running, and strength training my butt off.  Full Throttle Endurance workouts begin in early January, so I want to show up in solid shape, especially it will be my first time meeting teammates.  I’ve been planning my workouts for the past few months, and now Andrew, one of the coaches, has developed a pre-season plan for me.  Overall, biking is my number one priority, followed by swimming and running.  Here’s a brief overview:

Swim:  Three, 45-minute workouts per week. (Total: 2:15 hours/week.)


Drills dealing with rotation, pulling, and kicking comprise each workout, plus an easy 5×100 swim to end each session.  Even though it’s my Achilles’ heel—meaning I have the most room for improvement—swimming isn’t my number one priority.  It’s the shortest leg (in terms of both distance and time) of a triathlon, and plus, people say no one ever wins an event in the swim.  By becoming stronger and more efficient in the water, I hope to minimize damage coming into T1.  During the summer, I usually found myself 5-8 minutes off my age-group leader.  Being first out of the water isn’t a realistic goal; I’m not exactly a former Olympic swimmer like Andy Potts or an All-American swimmer like Dr. Amanda Stevens.  The smaller the deficit the better obviously, but I hope to close the gap to 2-4 minutes. (Knock on wood.)

Bike:  Three workouts—two clocking 90 minutes and one measuring 60 minutes—per week. (Total: 4 hours/week.)


The two endurance rides (90 minutes) should be completed at a steady, aerobic pace, while the hour-long workout contains intervals.  After completing a CompuTrainer session with Andrew, he believes I will become a strong biker-runner, and my 2012 bike splits match up with this projection.  During my summer training, I spent the least amount of time in the saddle, so I won’t make that mistake again.  And, since the bike takes up nearly 50 percent of the race, it needs to be my number one priority.

Run:  Three workouts per week.


My runs will be less structured because I’m simply maintaining my base:  one, 45-minute tempo run at 75 percent effort; one run per week in Central Park (unspecified time) for hill work; and one easy, three-mile run.  I’ll be on the lookout for races, but I will not be training for any events; any “race” I do will be a training run.

Strength Train:  Two, full-body workouts per week.  Although important, I probably won’t see its effects for a few years.  Building strength takes time, and since I’m new to triathloning, I still have a lot to learn in terms of sport-specific knowledge and technique.  Overall, strength training won’t give me a huge edge until I become more experienced, but becoming stronger is never a bad thing.

With 11 sessions to complete each week, I’ll be “doubling up,” or working out twice a day, five days a week.  Thankfully, I’ll get two off days, which I can use for cross training or complete rest.