Thursday, January 18, 2007

Internalizing the time demands/constraints of training & TIPS!

Last week was soooo good. I can't believe how much I did. However, I have 1 last week of Base2 training before I get an R&R week. This week has been tough.

Sunday, after all our activities, I actually felt well enough to clean the apartment and catch up on errands. This earned me a "veg out" day on Monday, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Tuesday morning, we dragged ourselves to the pool for our masters swim workout, which is continuing to kick our butts. I was just happy I could complete the workout in the 90 minutes allotted. I ended up swimming 3500 meters! I've never done that before. After some "free swim", where I logged an easy 500 meters, we did 200m steady at base pace or -5 (x4). Main set was 200 IM easy (fly-back-breast-free), 8x100m descend, 200 IM easy, 16x50m (descend every 200m), and 200 IM easy. I was pooped!

Tuesday night, I couldn't convince myself to do an evening workout so I watched American Idol. Wednesday morning, I didn't get up to do my early morning bike so by Wednesday evening, after my much-needed deep tissue massage, I felt panicked. It felt like I had missed 2 days of workouts! I really want to put out a solid effort this week so I can go into next week really feeling like I earned an R&R. So I went home and eeked out a tough 20 mi/90 min trainer session, which seemed really painful, followed by a 4-mile treadmill brick. Funny enough, the run felt easier than the bike, especially after the first 1.5 miles. Feeling pumped by then, I finished the session out with weights before calling it a night.

I had been starving and ravenous all week, eating everything in sight prior to this workout (and cranky too--shooting coworkers giving me odd looks for shoveling massive quantities of food down my throat the evil eye). Odd thing was that after the workout, I wasn't hungry at all. I was craving chicken noodle soup with milk. Very strange. I hate soup! It was divine.

My tough Wednesday night left me exhausted Thursday morning. I opted for an extra hour of sleep in place of my masters am swim. Ugh. Now I'm beating myself up for that decision. However, I will still get in my masters swim tomorrow morning so I won't miss anything. There is still a good chance I can complete all the workouts planned for the week and keep on top of work and errands. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I'm really starting to reach that glass ceiling where the demands of work and life put a limitation on the hours for training. Especially when you factor in all the eating and sleeping that needs to be done to recover properly (the 4th and 5th discipline?). Triathlon isn't just running, biking, and swimming. Each workout has to be planned, including changing, packing all the equipment, and showering and stretching and warming up and cooling down. You have to follow a plan and log it afterwards. You have to include weights as well as proper stretching and Yoga. You have to do massive amounts of sleeping and eating. It really does become a lifestyle. There's so much involved with it. There's only so many hours in the day, and time really starts to run out, no matter how efficient you are. I'm really starting to internalize this. I'm not complaining. I actually think it's kind of like 1 big experiment, where I'm testing my body and seeing how it responds. I'm just acknowledging that it's demanding in ways I didn't expect. Definitely time consuming. I can't imagine doing this with a child or a large family. Kudos to those of you out there who do this AND have a family. I don't know how you do it!

This weekend, we're doing the Carlsbad Half Marathon ( on Sunday. I'm pretty excited. I feel solid going into this race. We've done 2 10 mile runs and 2 12 mile runs in the past 4 weeks. No, I'm not tapering. This is a training run. Should be kind of interesting. I'm really looking forward to this run. However, after this, I get to R&R!

And now:
Random Triathlon (& Life?) Training Tips
from an e-mail sent out from our tri club
By Don Norcross
6:25 p.m. January 11, 2007

1. Mix it up.
"Don't run the same pace all the time. Even if you run just three times a week, twice a week stop in the middle of the run and do 10 repetitions of 20 seconds fast, maybe on a grass field. Do that twice a week and you'll keep up your leg turnover and speed, keep the tissues elastic and prevent a lot injuries, and allow yourself to get faster on other runs." – Kevin McCarey, running coach, former 2:13 marathoner
2. Posture on hills.
"When running hills, shorten your stride as you start uphill and try to keep the same turnover rhythm as on the flat. Your posture should be upright. Head, shoulders and hips should form a straight line over the feet. Keep your feet low to the ground and if your breathing begins to quicken, this means you're either going too fast, overstriding or bounding too far off the ground." Paul Greer, head coach, San Diego Track Club
3. Log your miles.
"One night years ago when I was baby-sitting (playing host to) Henry Rono in Boston over dinner, Henry stressed the importance of keeping a training log. And, according to Henry, when he was fit his entries were very detailed, and when he wasn't that almost didn't merit a mention. He'd simply note the mileage. My point is, regardless of whether you're up or down, log it, even if it means writing a big fat zero. And perhaps later, reflect upon it. After all, consistency is key."– Dave Dial
4. You get out what you put in.
"Running well is about doing it day in and day out. The great thing about running is people who work hard will improve. If you just run every day, even if it's beginning with a quarter mile, then half a mile, you will get better and you will get faster." – Tamara Lave, two-time marathon Olympic Trials qualifier
5. Pay attention to your breathing.
"If you don't have a heart-rate monitor, pay attention to your breathing. Aerobic runs should be done so neither the rate nor depth of breathing is elevated. A very slight amount of elevation is proper for tempo runs, but the breathing should return immediately to normal on cessation. Any rapid or increasingly deep breathing should be reserved for speed workouts." – Peter Stern, age-group runner
6. LSD (long slow distance) works! (I hope so).
"I have heard this many times from different people, but I never trusted it. For marathon training, do the long runs slow and easy. I finally did it in training for the Orange County Marathon last year and I managed a personal record, at age 57. Long slow runs, not very sexy, but I do think it works." – Mike Castaldi, age-group runner
7. Train with a group. (This definitely works for me on those long, lonely runs and bikes).
"Find a fun, supportive, friendly training group that travels as a group to marathons. The support and friendship keeps you motivated, disciplined and focused on the common goal. It makes all the difference for those often dreaded lonely 3- to 4-hour long runs. Training alone, my first marathon was 4:45 but by training with a group I shaved off 1 hour 32 minutes in three years and ran 3:13 to qualify for the Boston Marathon." – Greg White, veteran marathoner
1. Get lessons from a coach. (Definitely a must).
"Have a professional help with your swimming. You'll have fewer mistakes to correct later."– Ron Marcikic, head coach, director/UCSD Masters Sports Program
2. One coach taught me, "glide or feel yourself slipping through the water; don't pull against it."
"Think propeller, not paddles. A propeller moves laterally in the water by generating lift along an arc of circumference. That's what you want your hands to imitate. You don't want to imitate a paddle, like paddling a canoe." – Kevin Eslinger, swim coach
1. Mix it up. (Hmmm. A theme here.)
"Don't just ride long and push a big gear. Learn to be efficient in all gears, at varied cadences, with accelerations and jumps and changes in speed. Mix it up. Try spinning on the flats in the small ring, powering up the climbs in the big ring, sprinting in a small gear, isolated leg training up a hill. Be responsive to the terrain and reactive with the bike, using multiple gear-shifts, riding in and out of the saddle, keeping your momentum rather than bogging down over the climbs. This will provide maximum muscular efficiency and translate to greater speed with less effort." – Marci Mauro, triathlon coach, personal trainer
1. If you follow only 1 rule on race day, this is it:
"Never use anything in a race, that you have not used in training. This includes nutrition, clothing, and shoes."– Emilio De Soto, former pro triathlete
1. Set goals and plan on how to achieve them.
"Set fitness goals with dates attached to them for extra motivation. Whether you want to bench 200 pounds by St. Patrick's Day, run for 30 minutes straight by Easter or complete an Ironman triathlon on August 26th, having a date circled on your calendar that will give you the extra push to go to the gym." – Jessica Motyl, age-group triathlete
2. Listen to your body. Take care of it!
"Give back to your body as your fitness increases and you keep demanding more and more from it. Nourish it with non-processed, close-to-the-ground food; lengthen it by stretching after hours of training and muscular contraction; baby it with rest and relaxation – and it will give back to you 100-fold." – Marci Mauro
3. Ditch the "all or nothing" attitude. Every little bit counts.
"Realize setbacks are a normal part of exercise. If you schedule three workouts each week and only make it to one, that's still 50 workouts this year. Adopt a this-shall-be-no-matter-what attitude. No matter how busy you are, you make time to shower and brush your teeth. See exercise the same way." – Jerry Hoskey, personal trainer
4. "Try something new. Do you swim? Try paddleboarding. All the fitness and non-impact benefit of swimming with the social and sensory benefits of cycling in a car-free environment. Do you ride a bike? Try mountain biking. Do you run? Get off road for a trail run." – Paul Huddle, triathlon coach
5. "Get a dog. Rescue shelters are full and you'll not only get unconditional love and emotional support, but the world's most committed and consistent walking/running partner." – Huddle
6. This one seems simple and obvious but no one does it:
"Listen to your body, if you are injured, rest!"– Corinne Theile, age-group triathlete
8. "Try to get out there and do something active each and every day. Even if it's unrelated to your sport or if you don't feel like doing it, do it anyway. You always feel better afterwards and are glad you went." – Cory Osth, age-group triathlete
9. Again, ditch the "all or nothing" attitude.
"Too many people are intimidated by the effort, intensity or duration of the exercise plans or training session for the day. They come home tired from a long day, or if they are an early-morning exerciser, they're addicted to the snooze button. They feel they're too tired to possibly get the workout completed. Therefore, they feel failure is imminent, and don't bother to even start or try the workout. Instead, people should focus on just getting out the door. When they come home tired, or struggle with getting out of bed, focus on just getting out the door. Don't think about anything beyond that. You won't finish 100 percent of the workouts you don't start. Most people, when it comes to exercise, they get out and realize it's not as hard to complete the workout as they originally thought." Jim Vance, pro triathlete and coach
1. Eat the right kinds of food.
"It is not so much the percentage of calories from fat and carbohydrates as eating the right kinds of fat and carbohydrates. The right kinds of fat are high in omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils, walnuts, flax seed oil and soy) or monounsaturated fatty acids (peanuts, olives, avocado, soybeans). The right kind of carbs are 'unsugarlike,' that is, they are metabolized slowly and do not lead to peaks and valleys in blood-sugar levels. Such carbs are found in legumes, unrefined wheat products, brown rice, whole grain pasta, soy-based foods, and high-fiber foods." – Dr. Neil Treister, medical director, Sharp Cushman Wellness Center
2. Make sure you're eating enough.
"As the adage says 'It takes calories to burn calories.' Keep calories slightly below initial maintenance so metabolism and energy levels remain high during exercise and daily activities. Giuseppe Virzi, 24 Hour Fitness manager
3. "Work on controlling your environment to support your goals instead of focusing on self-control. There's higher chance of success. Keep low-calorie foods in reach. Keep high-calorie foods out of sight." – Leiter
4. "Include protein in your breakfast. It will help you keep your energy the entire morning. And stay hydrated!"– Corinne Theile, age-group triathlete


RunBubbaRun said...

Good job on the week, definetly cranking it out.

Thanks for the tips. I think LSD runs in zone 2 does work. I think it really helps with recovery and keeping chugging alone.

JeffM said...

Great tips!
That swim workout sounds great- I had never heard of IM until we did them in swim class- they're hard! Good luck with the half marathon.

Cliff said...

That's why triathlon u either love it or u don't. B/c it involves so much.

I try to keep it as simple as i can when it comes to packing. There are many runs I went out without socks. As long as my runs are under an hour, i don't get blisters.

Enjoy the half marathon..this weekend.

Ellie said...

Your description of fitting it all in makes me realize it's not "just me!" It really IS as complicated as I thought...

Habeela said...

Those are awesome tips!

Erin Nicole said...

way to go rachel! missing you here in the lou.
can't wait to see that 1/2 marathon time...i've set a goal of sub 2 hr for my next 1/2 in april.

Mon said...

#5 is a good one! I was overworking myself when I was jogging for long periods of time and pooping out, and not seeing any results. This time, I heard that on the biggest loser, and I walk moderatly, I can walk longer distances, and not feel so tired afterwards. They said you should be able to talk while walking and not be out of b reath. Great tips!

Tammy said...

Hang in there girl! Lucky me, tomorrow ends my high-volume week, and thus begins R&R :)

Jodi said...

Wow, those are really great tips!

Can't wait for the race report- my cousin will be there too!


Kewl Nitrox said...


As usual your posts are "chog-a-blog" with great advice and your inspiring work-outs and dedication to the sport.

"It really does become a lifestyle." LOL... Girl, not sure if you are aware, but you have been LIVING it! :D