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Archive for the ‘Triathlon’ Category

After about two weeks, I realized that the Raw Food Detox Diet was not for me.  I may continue to do additional juicing (on occasion), and I will probably continue to do vegan meals frequently, but I will not be following the detox plan any more.

I was very fatigued, I was super grumpy, I stopped losing weight after a few pounds, and I no longer had any desire to exercise.  This was after I had been getting on the treadmill, the stationary bike, and doing abs work 5X a week for two months.  After starting the detox diet, my exercising ground to a halt.

Now that I’ve almost finished grad school (As of now, I have three tasks/assignments and two class dates left!), I want to try training for a triathlon again.  This weekend, I purchased a new swimsuit for doing laps.  My previous suit was two sizes too small.  I’m pulling out my triathlon training books so that I can determine which level to train at.  I want to start with a sprint distance.  As it is challenging and time consuming to get to a pool, I don’t know how things will work out with the swimming (at least until I finish grad school early next month).  Still, if I get the bulk of my swimming done during weekends, I should be fine.  As for cycling, I see myself using my stationary bike more than my street bike, at least during weekdays.

I think my main hurdle for training will be jogging.  I’ve had a terrible time jogging for more than a half-mile or so over the last couple of months.  I want to be able to jog 2-3 miles nonstop.  I will consider interval training when selecting a triathlon training plan.

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Modest Swimwear

http://www.hydrochic.com/

I just ordered the swim top and swim skort in the picture above.  They are from HydroChic.  I’m very excited and I hope they fit well.

Earlier this season, I ordered (and exchanged) various swim tops from Lime Ricki as well as Shade Clothing.  Tops were too tight, too revealing in the bust area, etc.  I finally settled with a tankini top from Shade Clothing, but I still have issues with it.  Namely, when you get in the pool, the top “swims” and floats, so you have to tuck it in to the swim bottoms.  Still, I like that the top is really long and doesn’t show my tummy.

I can’t wait to try out this Hydro Chic outfit.  When I go jogging, I wear jogging skorts.  It would be neat to have an outfit that you can use to:

  1. Jog to the pool, swim, and then walk home without having to change.  Let’s hope the sports bra in this swim top is up to the task.
  2. Swim, bike, and run a triathlon without having to change and still look absolutely fantastic.  When I’ve done triathlons in the past, I’ve worn a tri top and bottom.  That means a swim tank top and triathlon bike shorts.  With my hips, it makes for an interesting picture.  I’m all about looking decent in the pictures, so that I can actually show my students.  I’m sorry, but if I look awful, no one will see those pictures!
  3. Go canoeing or visit a water park without having to cover a regular swimsuit with lifeguard shorts and a t-shirt.

Thus, this outfit had better fit!!

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Lap Swimming Etiquette

cat-in-pool

I’m in a bad mood, because I haven’t had a relaxing time swimming lately.  Last time, I was in a lane with someone who kept switching sides.  This morning, I was swimming side-by-side, when someone entered the lane and ran head-on into me.  Ouch!  After that, I swam circles, but constantly had to keep an eye out for other people.  Spotting isn’t easy for me.  I get dizzy and it messes up my rhythm.  I know that I’ll be better prepared for an open water swim, but I would rather relax in the water, especially if I’m trying to get through a long set!

I have to say, I don’t think I was very polite to the person I collided with.  It would be nice to apologize and see if he’s okay.  I have such a temper and feel badly about my rash “calling out.”  I (loudly) told him that he needed to let each person in the lane know he was there.  I told him we would gladly switch to swimming circles.  Still, he left the pool.

Oops.

I know that this pool is very convenient, because it’s in my neighborhood and it’s free.  Still, I’m starting to think that I need to go to a pool a bit farther away that is $3 per swim, but has more lap lanes.  Either that or I need to drag myself out of bed early enough to swim during “lap swim” time.

Some rules for lap swimming:

  • Ask the people already in the lane if you can join them.  It’s polite.  Do it.  Plus, it lets them know you’re there.
  • If there are two or more people in the lane, make sure they all know you’re joining them before you start swimming.  That means waiting until they finish a lap and make eye contact with you.
  • If there is only one person in the lane, ask if they want to go side-by-side or in circles.

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I want to do a triathlon.  They’re so much fun.  First, I need to really be ready and in shape.

Yes, I know I could get out there and try a sprint tri this weekend, but it wouldn’t be the same as if I were fit, slim, and able to do each leg of the race without effort.  If I did a race this weekend, I would be fine on the swim, would be in pain on the bike, and would have to walk most of the run.

I don’t want that.

I want to do a triathlon to compete.

I want to get in a lake and elbow my way to the front of the swimmers.

I want to pass people on my bike.

I want to keep a steady pace and not have to walk the run portion of the race.

I want to kick butt.

I want to be able to do more than one triathlon in a season and see my times improve.

So, why haven’t I done a May race and a June race and why aren’t I signed up for a July race and an August race and a September race and an October race?  Why?

Well, let’s go ahead and lay out the excuses, shall we?

I like chocolate, including ice cream, cookies, and candy bars.  If I see chocolate, I can’t say no.  Seriously.  Ask my friends.  They have a heart attack if I actually refuse a cookie.

I’m 20 pounds overweight.  Honestly.

My previous weight loss program failed, because the weight loss center closed and I didn’t feel like talking to someone over the phone instead of in person.  Plus, I didn’t care about following their plan anymore.  Thus, the weight came back.

More recently, I’ve been sick the past few weeks, and I’m finally feeling well enough to exercise.

Also recently, I’ve finished the school year, so I have quite a bit of nothing to do right now.  It’s just perfect to get a lot of exercise in.

I’m going to continue using my current training book:  Triathlete Magazine’s Essential Week-By-Week Training Guide.  It has workouts for 10 different levels of triathlete fitness.  Levels 1-4 are for people preparing for a tri for the first time or after a bit of an absence.  Levels 5 and up are for seasoned triathletes wanting to improve their performance.

I’ll be sticking with Levels 1-4.  I’ll be training for a sprint triathlon.  The programs for sprint triathlons are 12 weeks long.  Since I’m off work for the summer, I’m going to try to get through those weeks much faster.  Instead of doing one workout a day, I’ll try to do 2-3.  I’m thankful to the parent of one of my students for giving me a massage certificate, because if I can do this new training program, I’m going to need it!

Since swimming is going well, I will do Level 4 swims.  I have a pool less than a mile away (Finally, a local pool is open for the summer!).  Level 4 swims are usually about 1,600 – 1,800 yards per session.

I’m terribly unfit on a racing bike.  I’m also scared to ride it outside!  I’m fearful of being run over by a bus.

Anyways, I’ll be doing Level 1 for cycling.  Before, I tried Level 4, but it really was too much time on the bike at a time.  My shoulders couldn’t take holding the cycling position that long.  Pedaling wasn’t a problem, but arm and core strength were.  Workouts will be 20 – 30 minutes, which I think I can handle.  I want to build up endurance, so that I can get comfortable being on my bike.  I’ll probably use my borrowed bike trainer to bike inside, especially if I finally get around to biking at later times in the day.  I don’t want to be around traffic.

Running.  For a while, I went to a free jogging group nearby, but I felt it was getting to be too hot a time of day, I didn’t like that it cut into dinner time, I didn’t like waiting for the group to start, and when other people were in the group, I was so slow that if I went my own pace, I got left behind in the dust.  Either that or I’d try to match their pace and I’d have to start doing a lot of walking, because I would get too tired.  I think I’m better jogging on my own right now.

Since I want to continue to build up my running endurance, and I want to be able to do a running workout without walking, I will go back to Level 1. Increasing my speed with quick sprints and intervals will have to wait until later.  They just tire me out and I have to walk to finish my allotted time.  My running workouts will be 20-25 minutes long.  I’m okay with 20, but I see 25 minutes as pushing it.

To help myself plan my workouts better, and to be able to do several in a short period of time, I typed them up in Excel.  Here’s a picture:

June Tri WorkoutsTo explain a few of the abbreviations:

SWU2 -swim warm up 2

SDS2 -swim drill set 2

SBI7 -swim base intervals 7

SKS2 – swim kick set 2

SCD2 -swim cool down 2

CRR1 -cycling recovery ride 1

RFR1 – run foundation run 1

Now, I know that any seasoned triathletes out there reading this are going to say that I need to do strength training.  Yes, I know.  For strength training, I might use exercises from my previous triathlon training book: The 12-Week Triathlete.  I might also use shows on the Fit TV or Exercise on Demand channels on my TV.  Also, I could use my Wii Fitness Coach.  We’ll see.

As for losing those 20 pounds, besides exercising, I’m trying Slim Fast again.  We’ll see how that goes.  Yesterday, I got so hungry on it that I went for Chinese food and make cookies.

I think my main concerns in starting this rigorous training program is that I’ll:

  • get injured
  • have to go out of town where I won’t be able to keep up with my exercise or eating plans

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Did I mention that I got a new triathlon training book?  It’s Triathlete Magazine’s Essential Week-by-Week Training Guide: Plans, Scheduling Tips, and Workout Goals for Triathletes of All Levels by Matt Fitzgerald.

It has 10 levels of training for each triathlon distance.  I chose Level 4 for a Sprint tri.  I’m in Week 2.

I’m not pleased that my lovely, heated, free pool will be closed for cleaning next week.  Sigh…  Still, I’ve gotten in a bit of swimming the past week or so.  The book breaks down your swim into warm ups, drills, kick sets, intervals, fartleks, cool downs, etc.  It gives you distances (which increase each week before peaking and relaxing a bit) to swim, instead of times.  My last swim included: 250 warm up, 6 x 25 drills, 5 x 100 intervals, 4 x 25 kicks, and 200 cool down.  It took me about 50 minutes.

For biking and jogging, it gives you times.  I’m supposed to do 1 hour and 15 minutes on my bike next week.  My next jog is a 30 min. jog, which I’m not looking forward to.  I’m happier with 5 minute jogs…

Happily, a coworker loaned me a bike trainer stand until the summer.  I set up my bike in front of my TV.  Now, I can train on my race bike and work on my positioning.  I’ve been doing most of my cycling on a stationary bike that sits you in an upright position, not like my racing bike, where you’re supporting yourself with your hands, shoulders, and abs.  It’s a big difference.  My workout was to do 60 min. of cycling immediately followed by 10 min. of jogging.  I somehow lasted 30 min. on my race bike/with the bike trainer, before I had to switch to the easy-going stationary bike.  When it was time to get jogging, I definitely was feeling challenged.

I’m so glad that I have the bike trainer, because it’s going to dramatically increase my abilities on my racing bike.  I’ll be able to ride longer and I’ll be more comfortable with my racing bike.  Plus, by riding in front of my TV, there’s no chance of getting run over outside!

For each cycling workout, I’ll start on the bike trainer and go as long as I can.  Then, I’ll finish the workout on the stationary bike.  I hope to build up my abilities so that I’ll eventually (hopefully soon) do my entire cycling workout on the bike trainer.  Maybe then, I’ll feel more comfortable about riding outside.  Plus, I’ll probably have enough stamina to do longer rides, so I’ll be able to go to parks and veloways.  Maybe, I’ll be able to join a riding group!

As I said before, I’m not able to jog for very long.  I’m also very slow.  I go to a free jogging group at a neighborhood jogging store once a week.  Lately, it’s just been me and S. from the store.  She’s been very patient and she always jogs at my speed.  Last week, a gentleman joined our group.  I’m short and he’s tall, so he jogged quite a bit faster than me.  I got left in the dust!  I tried to keep up, but then I had to walk, because the pace was too fast.  Often, the gentleman and S. would wait for me and then jog with me, but I felt that I was definitely not on their level!

Oh well, it would be nice if I were completely trained so that I could go out and do a triathlon at the end of May, but I’m going to keep at it and hope to do one at the end of June.  I’m happy with the tri training book I have.  The workouts are just at the level I need and they’re just challenging enough without being too much or too little.


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I avoided the pool most of the summer.  The water was too cold.  Even on hot days, even when I waited until the hottest parts of the day, the pool was too cold.  Yes, in 100 degree weather, the pool was too cold.  I’m such a wimp.  In my lovely town, we have natural springs and public pools.  The natural springs pools are freezing cold.  I don’t set foot in them.  I’m saying that the public pools are too cold for me.

So what did I do yesterday?  I waited until the first cold front (more like cool front) and then I went swimming.  In the public pool.  It was FANTASTIC.  Why?  The water was warmer than the air.  It felt like bath water, like a hot tub, it was so wonderfully relaxing.  I just wanted to stay with my shoulders under the water and not get out.

Am I nuts, or what?!!

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It’s amazing what spurs you into action again.  The trigger that moves you to drag out your training book and plan to exercise like a crazy person in order to do races again.

I’m not sure if it was flipping through a Triathlete News magazine and seeing ads for races while going through my mail, or seeing the “Welcome Runners” and “Packet Pickup” signs down the street outside a fitness club, but something made me really want to do triathlons again!

Recently, I tried jogging several times a week.  It wasn’t enough for me.

It’s just not the same to only jog.  I must do triathlons.  They’ve completely taken a hold of me, just like the souls in Stephenie Meyer’s The Host.  I must swim, bike, run, and lift weights every week.  I must have an upcoming race to be proud about, to tell my friends about, to look forward to with every what-am-I-thinking ounce of my slightly overweight body.

Okay, so I’ve got September and October to find races and train for them.  I prefer to do races in flatter parts of the state (they require a bit of traveling), so I’ll check in those places, as well as closer to home (hills = not fun).  Swimming won’t be a problem (it’s the best part).  I know that biking outside on my bike is just not going to happen on a weekly basis.  I have a stationary bike.  If I have to bike while eating breakfast or dinner, while knitting, while reading a book, then so be it.  Yes, I know that everyone will end up passing me on the bike and running portions of my races, but what else is new?

As for training, I know that I will train for a Sprint distance race.  For those of you who don’t know about sprints, they usually involve swimming for 300-500 meters, cycling for 10-13 miles, and jogging 2-3 miles.  Sometimes, the shorter versions are called Super-Sprints.  In my training book (Tom Holland’s “The 12-Week Triathlete”), I have the option of training to finish a race or to improve my performance.  The improving performance workouts involve speed work and longer workouts.  I know that I can benefit (greatly) from speed work, but I have to consider my dear, sweet back.  I think that gentler, shorter workouts (daily) will have a smaller likelihood of re-injuring my back.  For those of you who are wondering, last year, I tried to do too much distance and too much speed while jogging.  My back protested, and I ended up on prescription anti-inflamatories for my back (1-2 weeks).

My training book has 12-week programs, and I obviously don’t have 12 weeks to train.  If I do a September race, we’re looking at 2-3 weeks (you rest the week before).  As I did a race in May, and I’ve been doing 1-mile jogs lately, I shouldn’t have much of a problem getting back into racing shape (the slow, but steady, triathlete – that’s me).

I would like to add that part of my motivation for doing more races lies in wanting more race t-shirts!  I feel that I got “gypped” in May, because I was given a ladies-fit t-shirt, because it was a ladies triathlon.  If you’re overweight, ladies fit t-shirts, even larger sizes, cannot be worn out in public, unless you are in fighting shape.  I’m sorry, but I have a gut (everyone always thinks that I’m pregnant, which I’m NOT!).  Tight shirts, just don’t work on me.  Of course, loose clothes don’t work either, because, as I mentioned before, everyone thinks that I’m expecting, especially if I’m knitting a baby blanket for a friend.

Back to training.  The 12-week workouts are broken up into the 4-week base phase, 3-week build phase, 3-week peak phase, and 2-week taper phase.  I’ll be doing the build and peak phases.  If I don’t do a race until October, then the 7 weeks of training will be just right.

Planned training for the week of September 1 –

Lift Weights & Swim 15 minutes

Lift Weights

Swim 15, Bike 30, or Run 15 minutes

Bike 40, then Run 5 minutes

Run 20 minutes

To all of my readers:  Please cheer me on and check up on me!  I need that “push” to keep it up!!!

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