Florida Challenge Triathlon Countdown Clock

Saturday, February 27, 2010

2 for the Price of One!

I woke up this morning to a cold, 40 degree, miserable, rainy, dreary day. Sunny Florida my a**! lol 

My plan was to either go for a run or ride the bike, but since it was so bad out I decided to workout indoors.

One aspect of this sport is I like exercising outdoors in the fresh air. It's therapeutic for me to just be outside. I get restless if I'm cooped up in the house too long. But some days you have to just stay in. 

With that said, if I have to train indoors, I need the equipment to do so if I don't feel like going to the gym.  I have weights, a treadmill, and my prized training posession:

The reaction from most people is "wth is that??" lol. People don't get it until they see it in use:

It's not the prettiest piece of equipment, but it sure is effective! Lol

Being able to attach my road bike to the indoor trainer is the best piece of equipment I have. I can ride all out without having to worry about cars, bad weather, stop lights, etc. I can just   put my head down and go! 

So today I decided to get 2 workouts for the price of one: 60 minutes on the indoor trainer followed immediately by 60 minutes on the treadmill.

Saturdays are my long training days, and bad weather won't stop me from getting good workouts in! My goal was to train at a moderate intensity today: not too easy, not too hard. But no matter how intense the workout, 2 hours is still 2 hours! Lol

Biking is my fav discipline of the 3 sports, and I have really worked hard at it. The key to being a fast rider is to  "spin." That basically means pedaling at a fast rpm using the least amount of energy, all while using the biggest gear you can handle.  When i ride my indoor trainer, I try ride for 95-100 revolutions per minute.

So today I rode for 60 minutes, rolling along right at my goal range. I wasn't tired, but didn't push it either, cuz I knew I'd run too.

After my run, I immediatly went downstairs and ate a Clif Bar, swallowed an electrolyte pill, and refilled my water and Gatorade bottles.

I started out walking the 1st 5 minutes at a speed of 2 just to see how my legs felt. After 5 minutes I moved it up to 3 so I could walk faster. At 10 minutes I put it to 5 and started running. 

I must admit I was feeling tired at this point. Training takes a lot out of you when you factor in everyday life activities. 

I jogged along at 5 for another 30 minutes, then decided to bump it up to 6. I was pretty tired, but the music videos I was watching kept me upbeat. (I'm really feeling that new Jay-Z track with Swizz Beatz:)

   I got a million ways to get it, choose one
Bring it back, bring it back
Now double your money and make a stack

I'm on to the next one, on to the next
I'm on to the next one, on to the next
I'm on to the next one, on to the next
I'm on to the next one, on to the next

Then they played Luda:

Move, *#!! get out the way! Get out the way #*!! get out the way!

Now after hearing these 2 songs back to back I was hyped! Lol

I shut it down at 45 minutes today and started walking. I originally wanted to run for 50 minutes, but decided to shut it down earlier. I walked the remaining 15 minutes gradually slowing it down from speed 3 to speed 2. 

I finished up with 10 minutes of yoga, a shower, and a 6 inch turkey sandwich from Subway.

All in all, it was a GREAT workout. I'm happy with it, but as I write this I am exhausted. I'm not sure if I'm getting enough sleep, if it's allergies or what, but I'm not feeling good right now. 

I'm sure after a good night's sleep I'll feel much better.

Tomorrow I will stay home and watch the Olympics and the NFL combine on the NFL network. No training for me tomorrow.  Watching athletes of any sport inspires me to get out and train harder! Lol

Monday I hope to hit the pool. If i feel like this on Monday there's no way I'm swimming. We'll just take it day by day.

Thanks for reading! Till next time, Peace!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Run Those Frustrations Away!

Today started out well.  I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to start my day. Work was busy but manageable. 

Things were going well until I got some news at lunch that really ticked me off. Sometimes things that are not in your control can really upset you, but the trick is to just go with the flow and not let it keep you down long.

All this ties in to my working out. Exercise is my stress release. Stress can make you sick or even kill you if it's not dealt with.  The last thing I want to do is take my frustrations out on someone by saying or doing something I  might regret. So that's where the working out comes in.

So when I left work today, I was pretty wound up. I didn't show it on the outside, but I was on the inside. I needed to work out, so I went to my gym to run on the treadmill.

Personally, I don't like the treadmill. I  can get a good workout on the treadmill, but I prefer the outdoors. Running outside no matter how fast I'm gong just feels harder than if I'm going all out on the treadmill.

Even with all that said, I'll still run on the treadmill with no hesitation. Treadmills are MUCH easier on my knees than running outside. And seeing how I have knee problems I don't have much of a choice sometimes! Lol

So anyway, I got to the gym feeling frustrated, upset about something out of my control. I walked in knowing I  was going to push a little harder than normal.

After stretching for 10 minutes I got on the treadmill. I like to gradually build up to my top speed, so I start out by walking at a slow pace and see how my body feels. Sometimes I'll feel a twinge in a knee, Achilles heel, lower back, etc so I like to get a gradual start.

I honestly don't know what's a good pace on a treadmill. I just run at a pace that feels good:

1st 5 minutes: speed 2.0
5-10 minutes: speed 3.0

10-12 minutes: speed 5.0
13-20 minutes: speed 6.0
20-25 minutes speed 6.5

At this point I'm feeling pretty good and relaxed. I have no pain anyplace and I feel like I can go faster. So I put the speed on 7.0.

I ran at 7.0 for another 25 minutes. It was really hot and I was sweating pretty good. I was focusing on my breathing and form. When running outside, I can let my mind wander and literally zone out. But you can't do that on s treadmill! The last thing you want to do is fall on a treadmill! Lol

About 45 minutes into the run I wanted to slow down!  I was at my limits! But I gutted it out and broke that last 5 minutes down literally minute by minute. They had the olympics on the tv so I watched that to take my mind off the pain.

At 50 minutes I start to shut it down. I drop from 7.0 to 5.0, then after a couple minutes I drop it down to 3.0, then 2.0 with about 3 minutes left in the workout.

After my run I did 15 minutes of yoga stretches. 
My total workout time (including the stretching) was about 80 minutes. Overall it was a good workout and I feel much better. I'm now ready to face tomorrow. Today won't dictate how o feel tomorrow because tomorrow's a new day!  

My knees feel good and that's a great sign for me. Tomorrow I'll be back at the gym to hit the weights. Friday i'll take off, and Saturday I'll either have a long run or a long bike ride. We'll see!

Thanks for reading! Till next time, Peace!    

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My First Love

No, I'm not talking about Tanika when I was 17, I'm talking about pumping iron! Lol

I lift year round, while some triathletes lift only in the off season. Truth be told, the time I spend lifting would probably be better spent doing something else, but I simply enjoy it too much to NOT lift.

During the season, I lift slightly less weight, and do just the basic exercises. Not only that, I have to be careful not to damage my shoulders due to all the swimming I'm doing now.

With that said, here I am about to start my workout.  This isn't the best pic in the world, but I wasn't about to get close to the mirror and take a better pic. Not a good look! Lol

here's my routine:

10 minutes of stretching and light jogging

Ab exercises:
50 waist to knee crunches
50 crunches 
50 leg raises
30 "get up situps."
20 hanging leg raises (holding for 2 seconds at top of the leg raise)

Dumbell bench presses (90 pound dumbells) 
2 sets, 8-10 reps  

Seated lateral raises (25 pound dumbells)
 2 sets, 8-10 reps  

Barbell bent row (165 pounds)
2 sets, 8-10 reps  

Or seated cable rows (200 pounds)
2 sets, 8-10 reps  

Seated dumbell presses (65 pound dumbells)
2 sets, 8-10 reps  

Standing curls w/curl bar (100 pounds)
2 sets, 8-10 reps  

Seated incline dumbell curls (40 pound dumbells)
2 sets, 8-10 reps  

Lying dumbell triceps extensions "skull crudhers" (55 pound dumbells)
2 sets, 8-10 reps  

Repeat ab exercise from beginning of workout 

I don't work my legs anymore because my knees are not 100%.  To supplement,  I walk at least 10 flights of  stairs at work daily. Also, I need to rest them since i ride the bike and run weekly.

I prefer using dumbells because they are easier on my joints than barbells, and I like to work each arm independently. Using dumbells also forces the smaller muscles to work.  Since I'm not trying to get bigger they work fine for me.

This workout is pretty basic and quick. I'm done in about an hour. As much as I like to lift, I wouldn't want to be lifting weights any longer than that.

Time for bed. I will either run on the treadmill tomorrow or ride the indoor trainer. I'll see how I feel tomorrow after work!

Thanks for reading! Till next time, Peace!   



Monday, February 22, 2010

The Black Turtle!

Monday's are the hardest days of the week for me. Part if the problem is I'm a night person. On the weekend, it's nothing for me to be up till 3am just watching tv. 

On the flipside, I'm NOT a morning person at all. So after staying up half the night on the weekends, then turn around and get up at 6 on Monday to go to work truly sucks! Lol

Then there's the training aspect. Monday is my swim day. I swim on Monday for a couple reasons: this is my weakest sport. I'm a slow swimmer, so I want to give it my first priority of the week. (hence the nickname "Black Turtle.") an ex said years ago "when you do the breastroke, your head comes out the water like a turtle!" lol All I could do was laugh, cuz it's true! Lol 

Back to what i was saying...Second, I want to force myself to work on my toughest sport on my toughest day of the week. I figure it'll force me to concentrate more on my form, and come race day, maybe be a little fresher than when I train, thus faster times.

Here's my pool:

It's a small pool, but it'll do! Lol I joined this gym just for the pool. (I have 2 gym memberships.) I don't care for this gym outside of the pool. But that's a story for another time.

As I said before I'm a slow swimmer, but when I'm in top shape, I can swim for a pretty long time w/o stopping. Right now, I'm working on my conditioning, which is still lacking. I'm also working on my form, because proper form is the key for swimmers.

To be honest, I just want to swim using the least amount of energy possible, because triathlons are never won on the swim, they are won from the bike or run. ( especially the run.) But at the same time, I do want to be a better swimmer.

So with that said, here's my swimming routine for the time being:

10 minutes of stretching on land
5 minutes breast stroke 
25 minutes of forward crawl as a warmup
1 arm stroke for length of the pool
This is very hard for me. 1 arm stays out in front and doesn't move,while you only use 1 arm for your forward crawl. 

This drill helps to even out your stroke, thus making you a  more effecient swimmer.  My right arm is pretty good. My form is good and I feel comfortable on the water. However, when I use my left arm, my stroke feels very uncomfortable and I fight the water. I have no pull under water and it feels like I'm not going anywhere. Very uncomfortable!!

But this drill will make my stroke more efficient. I just have to stay at it and not get discouraged!  

I do this drill alternating arms each lenght of the pool for a total of 500 yards. When I'm done I'm dead tired. My left arm feels like I'm holding a sandbag at the end!

Next I do 200 yards of breast stroke as a recovery stroke.

Then I do 10 minutes of the forward crawl, trying to lengthen my stroke, so I can minimize how many revolutions it takes to swim a lenght of the pool.  Right now, it takes me anywhere from 10-12 strokes to get to the end of the pool, depending on how tired I am.

 Basically, the less strokes it takes, the less energy you use. I'd like to get it down to 8 strokes, yet still keep my speed the same. Thats my focus right now. Speed is the last thing on my mind right now. It's all about form and conditioning!

Lastly, I do about 10 minutes of breast stroke for my cool down, giving me an hour workout total.

I'm dead tired as I write this, but I feel optomistic cuz I had a good, quality workout. I'm 1 of the slowest people in the pool, but I do plan on working on that when the time's right!

Tomorrow I go to my other gym to lift weights. Lifting is my 1st love, triathlon is a distant second!  I'll post my weight training routine tomorrow.

Thanks for reading! Till next time, Peace!   

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Ride Thru the Woods

A ride thru the Woods

My training for the year is in full swing. I'm feeling pretty good and my workouts have been consistent.

Since it's still early in the season, I'm focusing on my conditioning and endurance. That means I'm "building my base." It's not about speed right now, it's about getting in shape and simply being able to complete the distances of the race. The last thing I want to do is go out too hard and injure myself.  I'll continue on the conditioning program until the end of next month. At that point I'll have a decent base and can work on  speed work.

That means I have to resist the urge of trying to keep up with people who pass me, or trying to speed past people like i'm some sort of pro! Self control is a mutha! Lol Gotta stay focused! Lol

Today I rode my bike 42 miles at Flatwoods Park, a 7 mile paved trail that's full of wildlife:


It was a sunny, cool day with a slight breeze. My plan for this part of the season is to ride at a good tempo in a relatively easy gear, comfortably  in the aero position for as long as I can.  

My other plan (which is just as important) is focusing on my food intake and staying hydrated during the ride.

Eating & drinking while exercising for long periods is crucial and an artform: if you eat or drink too much you can get sick. Don't get enough and you can bonk and lose all your energy.  The trick is to find that balance.

I've been trying to find that right balance for years. I've tried many different methods and I'm still experimenting and trying to find out what works best for me. Ive tried everything from eating pretzels during a workout to granola bars! Lol 

Right now, these are the supplements that are working for me: 

What I eat from the above list depends on the type of workout I'm doing, the weather, how long, etc etc etc.

The shorter the workout, the less items I'll eat. The longer it is, the more items above I'll eat.

 For example, on a 2 hour bike ride:

 i'll  drink water or Gatorade every 15 minutes for hydration, 

start eating a Clif Bar 45 minutes into the workout for food, 

eat a Gu 30 minutes and another 45 minutes later to sustain my energy levels,

1 electrolyte tablet 40 minutes in to replinish my electrolytes

If i'm riding my indoor trainer for 60 minutes, I'll just drink water and nothing else.

I have been eating on this schedule for close to a month now and it has been working for me. I will keep monitoring my progress and see what happens.

Overall, today's workout was good. My energy levels were high and I felt relaxed on the bike.  
 I rode 6 Laps (42 miles) today in 2 hours and 15 minutes. I prefer riding here than on the road because Tampa has a really bad problem with hit & run drivers. I don't want to take any chances!

After the ride, I walked for 15 minutes to stretch my legs, followed by 15 minutes of yoga stretches. On the way home I ate a fruit cup then ate the following when I got home:

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Fettuccine with chicken breast, California Blend veggies, washed down with 100% cranberry-apple juice.

To be honest, I'd rather have a 5 piece wing dinner from Harold's Chicken in Chicago, but that ain't gonna help my training! Lol

So I'm feeling pretty good with my biking so far. Now my swimming is a different story! I have a ways to go with that, but I'm working on it! I'll elaborate on that another time!

Thanks for reading! Till next time, Peace! 



Welcome to my new training blog. I had a training blog on Myspace but I have decided to move it here.  I will write about my training, diet, and overall preparation for the 2010 triathlon season, startng with Ironman Florida 70.3 on 5-16-2010. 

This race consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. My goal is to finish in under 7 hours. 

I did my first triathlon in 1995, which was a 400 yard pool swim, 11 mile bike, and 3 mile run. I had always wanted to try 1, and decided to give it a shot. I finished that race and was HOOKED!   Crossing that finish line was a life changing experience! Once I finished that race I was ready to do another. 

So here I am, 15 years later, still racing and I still enjoy it as much as I did back then! 

This sport is the ultimate challenge for me. I enjoy the training, the goal setting, and the sense of accomplishment when I finish a race. Some races I do better than others, but long as I finish I'm happy! Of course the competitor in me likes to kick a**, but finishing is the #1 priority!

The training is tough, but It's my stress release and I enjoy it.  It helps me clear my mind and helps me stay on shape. Seeing how I'm closer to age 50 than age 30 I have to work that much harder to stay in shape!

This blog will also keep me focused on my season's goals and accountable to myself to achieve them. Sometimes, when you write down your goals they can become reality. Let's hope that's true! Lol

So that's my story. Now it's time to talk training! 

Thanks for reading! Till next time, peace!