Last week I tried to do a 1 X 2 iron-distance race with USA Ultra Tri at the Virginia Double Anvil (that’s 2.4 mile swim, 112 bike, and 26.2 X 2). My plan was to do one iron-distance race thursday and then turn around and do another one on Friday. The result — regretfully — failure. I raced the iron-distance race thursday, but tweaked my knee on the bike. Luckily it didn’t hurt to run so I finished the race Thursday. I went to bed that night knowing I probably wouldn’t be able to race on Friday. When Friday morning came, I suited up and swam the 2.4 miles but as soon as I got on the bike my knee really hurt and after 12 miles I dropped out. My first DNF (Did Not Finish) ever. In endurance sports it’s bound to happen but it still stings.
What do you over the course of a week? How do you fit your workouts in? I get this question often so I thought I would write about it this week–the who, what, where, when, and how of my workout week!
1. As a Hammer Nutrition sponsored athlete I get to try out a lot of their new products all the time. One new one that came out this year that I really really really like is called Fully Charged. It’s a great product to give you an energy boost before a long or tough workout or even just any workout or race. I use it on mornings before speed work and I also used it before two races that I did rather well in. I am so impressed with this product. Check it out!
Ahhh the offseason, a time for sitting, eating, and lazing about….right? Um, no. Ok, yes and no. Every athlete should take some time off during the year to recharge and recover from a season of racing. Often times the ‘holiday season’ is a great time to have an offseason. We’re busy with families and parties, the weather is getting cold, our bodies simply want to hibernate. It is a great time to back off of our strict training schedules, to exercise for fun rather than purpose. Our training becomes ‘exercise’ and is more flexible. However, if we don’t play our cards right we can rest so perfectly that we’re not ready for the new year of training and racing looming a few weeks away. A month of fun and sloth-like behavior can lead to 10-15 lb weight gain and lack of fitness. How SHOULD you approach the offseason and plan for the ‘beyond’? Follow these basic steps:
Long distance, endurance training– some people love it, some people hate it. Clearly those who enjoy it or get a personal benefit from it choose long distance races over shorter races, but why? Why would someone sign up for a looonnnngggg race that requires hours and hours of training? Why would someone choose to get up at 4am to get in a long run before the start of the day? Why would someone forego weekend nights full of fun in order to train all weekend? For many people it doesn’t seem logical. However illogical it might seem. more and more people are choosing to engage it long endurance races whether they are cycling, running or swimming events. Of course I don’t know all the reasons behind choosing different events, but given that I too am drawn to endurance events, I have some idea..
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I really really love focused training. Give me a training plan and make me happy. I usually have a clear goal with a major race in the distance. I may wander along the way and do a race or two that have nothing to do with my primary goal, but one thing I usually have is focus. A carrot off in the distance that I can move toward. It makes me happy. HOWEVER, right now I’m lost. I have several races/events I’ve signed up for but they are all different. In the next few months I’m doing a super sprint triathlon called She Tris, a 1/2 marathon in Colorado, Skirt Sports 13er, with altitude and hills…yikes, and then a stadium stair climbing ‘race’ called Fight for Air Climb, to support the American Lung Association. Those are the races I’ve signed up for so far, but I plan to do a number of sprint triathlons this summer as well
Spring is springing here in Charleston providing longer hours of daylight, warmer temperatures, and more opportunities to get out and exercise! We’re no longer relegated to treadmill running or bike trainer workouts. Outdoor neighborhood pools will open soon. We can now move all of our workouts outside. However, with greater freedom comes a greater need to focus on safety. Safety concerns are found all areas of exercise, however, with triathlon season approaching, I’m going to focus on swim, bike, and run safety.
Most people have one sport or activity that they absolutely love. For me, I think that it’s pretty obvious that my favorite sport is running. However, I’m fortunate enough to really really like several other activities as well. It’s probably pretty clear why I think I’m fortunate— with my stress fracture from running, I have been able to workout in other ways while letting my leg heal. Participating in another sport, called cross training, is also beneficial to develop muscles that support running, thereby decreasing the chance of injury. However, ‘cross training’ has many benefits as I learned from my own experiences and outlined on Runner’s World and ACE Fit websites.
The ‘off-season’ for some athletes is the dreaded time after the last race of the year before training for the next race begins. It can last anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 months. I used the word “dreaded” because many athletes hate this time of year. It’s a time of unstructured workouts and a time of unstructured eating. Some people feel like a sailboat adrift at sea with no direction and feel very uncomfortable about that–me included.