Friday, April 6, 2012

Getting back to basics...

Following everyone online as they raced Galveston over the weekend really gave me the kick I need to start getting excited about my upcoming races! CONGRATULATIONS to all of the newly crowned ironpeople in blogland!

I think I mentioned a couple of posts back that I was doing something called Fast Camp. It is basically an online 8-week training camp. The idea being that you will become blazingly fast and want to sign up for coaching services. The premise is great and I love having a new variety of workouts to keep me focused. I needed a little change to spark my interest again. The funny thing about Fast Camp is that it has taught me a little something about myself. Somethng that I wasn’t really expecting to get out of this experience.

While I don’t have all that many triathlons under my belt, I have enough training invested to have an idea of what it takes to get myself across the finish line on race day. Everyone is different in terms of what they want to get out of their triathlon experience. You may have a time goal, a need to finish in the top 10% or to cross the finish line and not require a trip to the hospital. I am sort of mixture of wanting to finish in a certain time (or improve upon my last time) and simply cross the finish line without requiring a trip to the medical tent (which seems to be more difficult for me than one might think… seeing as I got a minor concussion in one race and severely dehydrated in the last two races). I’m special. Special enough to know next time there will be a new hydration plan and no skid soles attached to the bottom of my feet.

In the last year, I have eagerly soaked up triathlon advice from every source possible. When it comes to training, people and their plans run the gamut from someone who pays a coach and follows a structured plan to those who really have no formal plan they just know basically what it takes to get the job done. I think the experience of Fast Camp has shown me that I really prefer less structure when it comes to training (which was the opposite of the intent of the camp – they were, after all, hoping the participants would like it so much that they would sign up for their coaching services).

Don’t get me wrong, I am gaining a lot from the program but I like to be able to insert a tennis match or two here, some weight training there and flip flop workouts around to fit my schedule. I am more of a “here is how many miles you need for your long run / long ride this week, go do it” as opposed to “today we are going to ride 15 minutes in zone 4 followed by 5 minute bursts in zone 5 and then 30 minutes in zone 2”. I like simple, uncomplicated and plain vanilla.

I am glad I went through this exercise so I could come to the realization of what works for me. I had taken what amounted to a year off of tennis when I was focusing on triathlon last year and recently realized how much I had missed it. There has to be a way to work it all in. Why should I have to choose between two things that make me happy, right? Ironically, a blog on the Fast Camp website helped clarify my thoughts. They listed the 5 most common mistakes made by Half-Ironman athletes. The top two really spoke to me and what I am feeling right now.

- Getting overwhelmed by the training lingo. Aerobic, anaerobic, lactic thresholds, VO2Max, that sort of thing. “Your training only has be as complicated as you make it…and we suggest you keep it simple… Focus on the WORK, do progressively more of it, and the fitness will follow”

- Making training overly complicated. You don’t need overly complicated brick workouts. Make sure that Monday works with Tuesday and so on and that it all meshes with your personal / social life.

While I know that the “less simple” version probably would make me faster in the long run. It’s not like I am giving up a shot at a Kona spot here - that certainly is not in my genetic make up. Right now, it is more important to me to be able to fit in other activities. I am still going to follow a loose plan and will definitely be putting in the work but it will be in a way that works for me. We’ll see how it goes…. :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

March Re-Cap...

Sadly, CR and I did not win the Mega Millions over the weekend. I saw an article this morning about how the winners won’t be “that rich”. Not that rich compared to who? LOL.

This month, I took off-season to a whole new level on the running front. I didn’t have much on the training schedule and took full advantage. I have a lot more tennis in my life right now which I am enjoying but I can definitely tell that I took time off. I can’t seem to make shots like I used to so am hoping all that will come back soon! I played tennis 10 times in March so I guess that is where my free time for running went.

Running Miles: 24.6 miles.

Cycling Miles: 126 miles. Finally getting outside for riding which is nice. Sometimes it is just easier to cycle indoors when you are pressed for time. I feel like I gain more skills riding outdoors so hopefully I can keep getting in some great outdoor rides this month!

Swimming Yardage: 20,309. (it is an odd number because I swim in a 25m pool and the program I use to log my workouts coverts the meters to yards)

Races: Atlanta Women’s 5k. Fun event, great volunteers (Hi Dad & Rita) and a cute race shirt! :)

What I did to bust out of my comfort zone: I did a 5000m charity swim earlier in the month with a new tri group and then rode with a meet up group last week.

What I am watching: Love GCB and Smash. At this point I am invested in Alcatraz because I have watched from the beginning but they might be losing my interest.

What I am reading: Catching Fire. Book two of the Hunger Games. (technically listening to it on my runs of which there haven’t been many so it is taking a while.). Reading I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. Super light chick lit. If you have read her other books, this one is outside of the Shopaholic series but has a similar style to it.

Current excitement: Looking forward to the Dirty Girl Mud Run later this month. Also looking ahead to Iron Girl in May.

What I am loving this month: I love that everyone seems to be kicking off tri season this month. Following all the races online and reading your updates is really getting me back in the mood to get things moving again!

My favorite product this month: Coppertone Continuous Spray Sunscreen I burn with the best of them and have tried every sunscreen out there. This one works and you don’t have to rub it in. Spray on and done. It won’t make you smell all coconutty and tropical but you won’t look like a lobster either.

What is going on in April:
- Tony Cerrano Metric Century, April 7
- One Can Ride, Metric Century, April 21
- Dirty Girl Mud Run, April 28

In other news... If you are looking for a great racing kit, check out Swim Bike Mom. She is taking a second round of orders through April 6th. The kits are pretty awesome looking - you know you want one!