Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Week 3: 6/25-6/28

40 minutes on the bike
I'm feeling stronger and more confident on the bike. I need to start training for some hills, since the race course is not going to be nearly as flat as the bike trail here... but in the meantime I'm hoping that the rocky path and the headwind are giving me enough resistance to work up to that.

25 min beach run
I increased my run by 5 minutes this time and had some hip flexor pain the last 5 minutes or so. I think there really is something in the saying that it's your joints, more than your muscles, that need to slowly adjust to increased use.

35 minutes on exercise bike
I was still so sore from the rough ride over rough rode on Wednesday that I couldn't get back in the saddle again ;0 So I had to settle for the indoor bike.

1 hour at pool, a few laps, some floating drills
Went to the local outdoor pool while I was visiting my mom. She is the one who inspired me to do my first triathlon :) She had some good pointers - she told me that she thinks of her full leg kick as "kicking with her butt." Sounds kinda silly, but it moved me from a non-propulsive kick (had been moving toward the wall I came from while floating) to a propulsive kick. Yea! Somehow "imagine your leg as a supple pendulum" hadn't helped me imagine enough movement in my hips. It's hard to imagine anything more fun for swim training than a hot, sunny day, a cool pool and an encouraging swim partner.


Those dots at the bottom are people further down the trial...

I'm back! Just returned yesterday from the annual trek to the unbelievably beautiful Utah/Arizona desert. I was concerned about continuing my training during our vacation - my body has difficulty adjusting to the intense heat, so it wasn't realistic to expect that I would be jogging (not to mention swimming or cycling) while we were out camping in the wilderness. I think that high altitude (9000+ at Bryce) hiking, not to mention the sand & slick rock slog at 100+ degree temps while carrying 4 quarts of water (Coyote Buttes) probably counted as exercise though :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Week 2: 6/9-6/14

I really, really wanted to keep up with my training schedule, but it wasn't meant to be today. There was a point where I took 4 ibuprofen within 20 minutes. Ouch.

Did one hour on my stationary bike at moderate intervals. I'm feeling stronger.
Part of the reason I stayed inside today was the weather: it is just miserable around here for June - temps in the 50's and constantly blowing rain. I might have been tempted to go out and play tough, but after the cramps yesterday I wanted to be close to home.

I ran for 20 minutes on the beach. It was a little bit painful (slightly achy hip and a little bit of a side stitch), but not bad considering how I felt on Monday.

35 minutes biking on the trail.

20 minutes in the pool, attempting "lesson one" from the total immersion program. I used most of that time figuring out how to correctly position my head while floating on my back. Ultimately I found that for correct posture I didn't think of "being pulled from the top of my head" so much as feeling the entire length of my spine and slightly tucking my chin... I think in a lot of ways the total immersion book is vague about body posture for the drills, BUT the total immersion web sight has very helpful forum where experts are willing to trouble-shoot problems and answer questions. I found several entries there where spine posture was explored much more in-depth.
So maybe I won't turn out to be a "sinker" after all. Only time will tell!

No training - car trip to Utah

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How Bout Some Carbs?

Did I mention that running makes me hungry? And sleepy? But really, do I need an excuse to make buy ultra caloric pre-made garlic bread, whip up some marinara sauce and forgo the spaghetti entirely?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Week 1: 6/2-6/7

Scheduled: 20 min run
Done: 19 min run on the beach (yeah!). Running was much easier on the hard pack sand than on the trail. I used gmap pedometer to figure out that I ran a little more than 1.5 miles. Yikes! I thought that I couldn't get any slower than my 11 minute miles from the good old days... I think I could have gone longer, but I'm following my book and working my way up slowly so my joints have time to acclimate.

Scheduled: 30 min bike
Done: 40 min on the exercises bike at moderate intensity intervals. I think I'm feeling tired from the run yesterday, but not sore like last time! I haven't gotten out on my "real" bike yet because I haven't had a chance to buy a new saddle for it yet.

Scheduled: 20 min swim
Done: (the summary) 20 min beach run, approx 10 min miles
(The whole story) Well I've been waiting for my swim cap and goggles to come. It has been forever since I've been swimming and I certainly wasn't going to get anywhere without the goggles. They came today, but too late for morning lap swim.... so instead I did another 20 minute run on the beach. I know that isn't optimal in terms of recovery, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. Today I also decided to open it up a little. I've been holding back because in my mind exercise=a strong feeling of imminent suffocation. Now I'm learning that I want to train under my max oxygen use most of the time (imagine that!). So I've been aiming for a very sustainable pace. I think today I struck a good balance between aerobic intensity and my natural stride rhythm. I was moving faster and looser but still able to keep it up.

Unscheduled rest day. Well, my training book said to listen to one's body... and my body was clearly stating that unless I had a nap I was probably unsafe to drive. So yes... therapeutic napping... all part of my triathlon strategy...

15 minutes in the pool. That includes the panting while clinging to the side, the pathetic side stroke... the attempt at backstroke and three lengths of freestyle (which, if the claim to an "Olympic sized" swimming pool is correct would be 150 meters). Oh, boy do I have a long way to go when it comes to swimming. The good news is that all my new gear - silicone ear plugs, goggles, swimming cap - worked great and allowed me to focus much better. My new book Total Immersion also arrived today. My plan is to use the evening free swims at the local pool to start with the floating drills and then work my way up to actual swimming. Clearly I have nothing to lose by trying to improve my technique.

30 minute bike ride

Monday, June 2, 2008

Total Immersion?

Wouldn't mind having a smooth stroke like that!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


This blog was created to give me a place to record my training notes and discoveries as I get in shape for my first sprint distance triathlon. I hope that it may also encourage others to reach beyond what they thought was possible. For a long time I wasn't interested in triathlons, but this Memorial day weekend after watching my mother complete her first Olympic length triathlon I really wanted to see if I had it in me to swim, cycle and run to the finish line.

Base fitness:
After I left high school sports behind I pretty much quit exercising. About three years ago I discovered Pilates, but never pursued it beyond a 20 min moderate program. Pilates helped me with my co-ordination and flexibility. However, I was still looking for a way to increase my cardio-vascular health. Late Feb of 2008 I got a recumbent exercise bike. I slowly worked up from 20 minutes at low resistance to 40 min. a day of moderate interval training. MWF 40 min of intervals at a moderate setting + 20 min of moderate Pilates. T-Th 40 mod interval on the bike.

Training Plan:
Right now I have 14 weeks to train for my first race, The Palouse Sprint Triathlon on Sept. 6th, 2008. I am using advice from The Complete Triathlon Book and
I am going to follow the “couch to Sprint” plans given by these sources (each gives a slightly different plan) modifying them to fit in with my summer travel and my developing (ha, ha, nearly non-existent) fitness.

I have no background in swimming, cycling or running beyond the basics that most kids learn, so this will be an adventure!