Posts Tagged ‘Resistance Training’

Friday Stray Thoughts

July 25, 2014 2 comments

FridayImage by Glenn McCoy

Happy Friday everyone!  For those of you looking for a little light lunchtime internet distraction to tide you over until quitting time, here’s a few Stray Thoughts for your Friday Afternoon

– – – – –SubaruMy third – and likely final – triathlon of the season goes this weekend.  This time, my first ever Try-a-Tri distance race at the Subaru Grimsby/Niagara Race (they can’t seem to get their marketing lined up.  Is it Grimsby?  Is it Niagara?  Let’s pick one folks!)

Anyway… I’m looking forward to this one:

1) It’s a FLAT course – should be fast, and fun

2) It’s an all-out intensity effort, as opposed to an endurance effort (which is new to me)

3) It’ll be done in under an hour

4) I’m racing with a couple buddies from high school who are tackling their first tri.  Really excited to see them pull this off.  And for the celebratory beer after 🙂

What’s breaking my brain is the 1:15pm race start time.  I’ve not done an afternoon race before.  I’m not sure how to handle this.  I have a morning routine – when to wake up, what (and when) to eat.  What do I do now – do I sleep in?  Do I eat a big breakfast?  Do I eat lunch?  Do I go for a walk or a jog in the morning?  Do I drive down early, or hang around at home in the morning?  I’m being a little OCD here, but my routine is broken and I’m not sure what to do about it!

Anyone out there with any advice for an afternoon race start?

– – – – –

broken bike

I may have had a little crash last week (about 10 days ago), while bike commuting to work.  A bit scary at the time – fortunately it amounted to just scrapes and bruises in the long run.  All things heal.  My commuter bike, however, needed several hundred dollars worth of repair work.  Yikes!

(no, that’s not my bike above – that’s just a stock picture.  I’m not on the ball enough to have taken a pic of my own bike)

Thus, I haven’t done an ounce of biking since my last race 2 weeks ago (well, if you don’t count the ~3km from my house to the crash site that one morning… which I don’t).  The cuts and scrapes on my arms and legs have kept me out of the pool.  I did manage one training run this week – a quick slow treadmill 5k at the gym on Monday that felt TERRIBLE!  Seriously – it’s a treadmill; I know exactly what speed I’m running at, and how long I’ve run it for.  I KNOW my numbers used to be better than that.  Where has all my fitness gone this summer?!?  Apparently racing every other week, and not doing much of any training in between, does not constitute maintaining the fitness you built in the off-season.  Whoops.

– – – – –


The nice thing about that one trip to the treadmill (and the gym in general) is that I got to step on the scale there.  I am losing fitness, for sure, but I’m also losing weight (proof, I’ll assume, that weight loss is much more driven by diet then by exercise).  My weight is at an all-time post-highschool low, and dropping.  Which is good.  Which is really good.

Except it coincides with lost fitness, and I don’t like that.  It probably suggests I’m losing more muscle mass than I should.  I don’t like that either.  Which isn’t to say that I’m not totally ecstatic about losing weight, and really happy that my eating habits (in general) are finally supporting this rather than hindering it.  But it also tells me I really need to get my ass back in the gym and do some strength work.  I find it very easy to remember to get out for a run, or a bike ride.  Well, relatively easy, at least.  Those are directly relate to my training goals (plus, going faster is fun)!  I need to remember to continue to hit the weights.  I think that’s going to be this off season’s #1 priority.

Yes – it’s mid July, and I’m talking off season already…

– – – – –

Have a great weekend everybody!  Good Luck to everyone racing or training this weekend!!!


Friday Stray Thoughts

August 2, 2013 1 comment


Image by Glenn McCoy

Happy Friday everyone!  For those of you looking for a little light lunchtime internet distraction to tide you over until quitting time, here’s a Few Stray Thoughts for your Friday Afternoon

– – – – –


My good friend/personal trainer forwarded to me this article from Runner’s World Magazine, highlighting a study that found benefits to running economy for those who do high weight/low rep resistance training.

I don’t think resistance training being of value to endurance athletes is news to, well, anybody probably.  I, for one, HATE weight training.  Bleh.  So boring.  As a triathlete, I want to run and bike and swim – because those are fun (that’s why I race).  I know resistance training will help make me faster (and healthier), so that’s why I do it.  But because I don’t enjoy it, I’m often guilty of doing many reps of a lesser weight – because if I’m not enjoying something, it’s easy to cop out.  But I guess if I have to be in the weight room I’d rather get more bang for my buck – and hey, doing less reps probably means I get it over with faster, amiright?

– – – – –

brickThis one from our good friend Twitter…

This article posits that – for long course triathlon (which I don’t do today… though I’m certainly contemplating a Half Iron in the next few years) more so than short course races – the value of brick workouts may be overrated.

Well, that’s stirring the pot of conventional logic a bit… it’s an interesting argument, which I’m not sure if I’m in agreement with or not.  And maybe that’s because I only do short distance racing at this point.  From our earliest days of triathlon training, we’re taught to do our brick sessions.  Keep doing bricks – they suck, but they’re good for you!  It’s like eating your brussels sprouts!  But maybe there is an argument to doing more of your run training on fresh legs, when you can practice good form and pacing and really running your best, as opposed to run training on dead legs.  It sure would make training schedules a lot easier…

– – – – –


Finally, here’s one from Canadian Running magazine outlining 10 common rookie mistakes beginner runners should avoid.

Think back to your early days of running.  How many of these were you guilty of?  #1, #6, and #10 were my vices.

– – – – –

Have a great weekend everybody!

Dear Body

May 1, 2013 Leave a comment


image credit

Dear Body:

I know I hurt you yesterday.  I didn’t mean to, and I’m really sorry.  I hope you can forgive me.

I know it’s been a while since I last did any resistance training.  I know you don’t like it when I take long breaks from lifting – truth be told, I don’t like it either.  I didn’t really mean to take such a long break…

It all started with my long runs this winter.  At first I was doing really good, balancing my LSD running (Long Slow Distance… sheesh, silly minded body!) and my lifting schedules.  But over time the distances got longer, and took more of my time.  I didn’t manage it well at all.  And slowly, week by week, the lifting happened less and less.

I thought I would get back to it after Around The Bay.  I thought for sure things would change.  But they didn’t.  I wanted to, I really did.  First I took a recovery week, and then slowly started getting back into training.  But I got busy – I know that’s a lame excuse, but it’s the truth!  I found time for running, and biking, and swimming – but not for lifting.  I know you needed me to find time for lifting.  I know that hurt you deep inside.  I’m really sorry, Body.

But I’m back now!  Isn’t that wonderful news?! There’s a great new little gym in my new building.  I have no excuses any more.  I’ll change this time – I promise, I will.  If you could just find it in your heart to forgive me.  Please just give me a chance.

Please don’t be so mad at me for jumping right in my first time back yesterday morning.  I just got so excited to be back, I lifted like I hadn’t taken any time off at all.  That wasn’t fair – I know now.  I like being able to turn my head.  I like being able to lift my arms.  I like being able to walk.  I miss being able to walk – even if just 2 steps to the other side of my cubicle.  Just 2 little steps, is all I ask.  If you could just let me walk like I used to – like nothing was ever wrong – I swear… I’ll never neglect you like this again.

So whadda ya say?  Can we be buddies again, Body?  Please?

(I really hope so, ’cause we’re back at it tomorrow morning, and we’ve got Burpees coming our way… we’re only going to get through this if we work together)

Yours Truly

– Me

Stuck in Neutral

April 1, 2013 Leave a comment
okay... it's not that bad...

okay… it’s not that bad, for the most part…

I’m sure this image originated from The Simpsons at some point, so I’ll give them credit

It’s now been 8 days since Around The Bay.  I’m kinda stuck in neutral.  I fully intended to give myself a few days off after the race day to recover (and to mentally take time off from training – the mental break is as important as the physical break).  The funny thing about getting off the horse is how tough it can be to get back on.

And that’s not to say I haven’t had any training sessions in the past week – on Wednesday last week I got a good session of swim drills in.  And on Friday last week I did a 5k “fun run” with my wife at a surprisingly brisk pace (aka “her pace”, which is much faster than mine).  That’s nice… but it hasn’t gotten me back into my routine.  Getting off the couch for a workout is easy.  Getting off the couch a second, and third, and fourth time until it becomes routine is tough.

I need a little help getting going – sometimes the best way to do that is to put your plans out in public.  Keeps you accountable (so they tell me).  So that’s what I’m going to do… in case you hadn’t gotten there yet…

Tomorrow’s possibly overly ambitious training plan:

  • 60 second plank first thing in the morning.  Get the heart rate going.  #PlankADay
  • Swim drill before work.  200m warm up; 5 x 100m 2:00 sprints; 100m kick board; 5 x 100m 1:45 sprints; 200m cool down; 5min hot tub
  • Stationary bike session at the gym after work.  2km warm up; 4 x [3km race pace 1km sprint]; 2km cool down
  • Strength Work.  Iron Workout #1 from The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies after my bike work… or at least most of it
  • Stretch after my session.  Must remember to stretch.  Must remember to stretch.  Must not race home…
  • Get home from my day in time for the Blue Jays season opener tomorrow night at 7:00 (Not missing that!! Got the beer in the fridge and the jersey out of the closet already.  Let’s Go Blue Jays!!!)

Wednesday and Thursday my wife and I are taking a little mini vacation to celebrate almost 11 months of marriage (What?  Doesn’t everybody celebrate their 10 3/4 month anniversary with a mid-week vacation?  This seems normal to me).  So my follow up training session is going to have to wait until Friday.  Not sure yet what I’m going to do then – maybe my first brick of the season (can’t believe I’m actually excited about that).  Regardless, it says here I’ll do another post on Friday to keep myself accountable.

Until then, have a great week everybody!  Get up and off the couch!

– DO’G

Waiting for spring

March 4, 2013 Leave a comment
A cheery picture for a Monday, courtesy - as always - from Google images

A cheery picture for a Monday, courtesy – as always – from Google images

I’m finding this winter particularly difficult.  Maybe it’s because last winter was especially mild?  Or maybe it’s because this winter I’m training more (and trying to run outside)?  But it just feels so cold, and so dark, for so long.

I can’t wait for spring.

I can’t wait to step outside and not be instantly uncomfortably cold.

I can’t wait for the sun to rise before I leave for work.

I can’t wait for the ice to melt on the sidewalks.

I can’t wait to stop wearing long johns when I run.

I can’t wait for the sun to break through the everyday grey sky.

I can’t wait for spring!

This weekend’s long run didn’t go well.  It ended a lot earlier than it should have (and not nearly as early as I wanted it to).  I just couldn’t get my muscles to warm up; my legs felt like those concrete drums you drop to the bottom of the lake, weighing me down with every step.  In the end I only did about 10k (and really only 5k of that at any semblance of training effort).  I just couldn’t get warm.

Tonight I got to cheer myself up by firing up the BBQ.  I’m a big believer in year round BBQ.  The snow and cold can’t keep me away.  I feel like it’s my way of bringing warmth, and light, and fire to a cold winter night.  Plus, who can say no to a good rack of ribs?!

Tomorrow evening I’ll take another shot at a long run.  I need to get a few more in before The Bay.  Then, next morning I’m getting on a plane for a ski vacation in Whistler B.C.  I’m looking forward to seeing the extended family and getting away for a few days.  It may be cold, but it won’t be the same cold as home.  It won’t be 5:30am alarms, going to work in the dark, in the cold.  It’ll be adventure and activity.  It’ll be family and friends.  It’ll be the warm I need right now.

And when I get home, it had better be spring.  I can’t wait…

– DO’G


Damn memory

June 11, 2012 1 comment

We have a love-hate relationship…

Memory is a funny thing.  Too often we forget things that we really wish we could remember.  Sometimes, we remember things we really should have forgotten.  And rarely do we realize either of these things are happening until it’s too late…

Last night my lovely wife and I did resistance training for the first time in… well, a while.  It’s on the training plan, and we’re working on getting back to adhering to a training plan (I have a love-hate relationship with training plans too).

Did I mention, it’s been way too long since I’ve lifted weights?

I hauled out the equipment I needed, looked at them and said to myself “I remember what exercises to do, and how much I was lifting”.  I did – I remember quite accurately how much I was lifting last time I did these exercises, way too long ago.  I jumped right in and did the same resistance.  With a few grunts, I managed to slug through it.

I have a vague memory of my wife making a comment somewhere around my 8th or 9th leg press rep last night.  Something like “Don’t push too hard”…

So today I can hardly walk.  I was ok when I woke up – sore, but ok.  I tightened up a bit in the lengthy drive to work.  Now, sitting in my cubicle, my thighs are SCREAMING at me.  Funny thing that memory – it remembered what I could lift, even if I really should have worked back up to it.  It remembered what to work out, but somehow while stretching afterwards, it completely forgot to stretch my thighs.  I did a full stretch session, and managed to stretch everything except the muscle group I pushed the hardest.

I think going forward, I may try writing down my lift and stretch plans.  No more counting on this memory thing…


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