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Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

Month in Review

March 2, 2015 1 comment

badtri

Looking Back, February 2015:

15FebMonthly15FebWeekly

What do you call something that was less than what you hoped, but better than what you did last time?  An improvement?  A poor expectation?

It’s taken me a good 6 months to get back into training after race season ended last year – if you can call what I’m doing right now ‘into training’ – though I do feel I’m starting to turn a corner.  For me it’s all about consistency of routine, and I’m not nearly as consistent as I’d like to be yet, though I’m probably about as consistent as I’ve ever really been at any point in my training past (and certainly more consistent than at any time in the past 6 months).  So maybe that’s good?  I think I’m thinking of it as good, but with a big asterisk.  I know I can do better…

Looking Forward:

… which means March is the time to put up or shut up.  I have 6.5 weeks until a lovely trip down south that I’m very much looking forward to, and is going to wreck all hell and havoc on my training routine, I just know it.  So I’ve got 6.5 weeks to really make that routine solid before I go, and before I come back and right into my first race in early May.  My weekly training routine is pretty standard (the specific intervals, weights, reps change week to week, but the routine is solid):

15WeeklyRoutine

So what do I need to do to make this happen?

  1. Strength sessions are priority.  Never short change a strength session.  Get strong before you go long!
  2. Saturday Long Run is the most important workout of the week.  Everything else feeds into (or off of) that
  3. Monday evening’s easy spin and Friday morning’s swim are optional.  Hit them when I’m strong.  Take them off when I need rest.  When in doubt, remember points #1 and #2
  4. Get my ass out of bed and hit my morning sessions.  And leave my crap in the gym locker.  I can’t talk myself out of an evening session if I have to go back to pick up my crap anyway.
  5. Laundry must be done Tuesday and Sunday evening.  It is known.  Lack of clean workout clothes is not an excuse.  This should almost be part of my training calendar.
  6. Monday & Thursday am/pm sessions can be swapped if needed, if I get to the gym in the morning and one of the good stationary bikes is free (the ones with the TV that works).  A good stationary bike is key to surviving a 60 minute workout.  Spring can’t come fast enough!!
  7. I think ‘Get my ass out of bed’ needs to go on this list a second time.
  8. Whenever not training (or working, which I’m pretty good about not doing outside of 9-5) spend time with my wife.  This is my time – the rest is her time.

So I guess that’s what I’m focusing on for March.  That’s a pretty big list…

5 Things I Think I Think:

  1. February 2015 was the coldest month in Toronto in the history of ever.  Fuck that shit!
  2. I’m considering joining the Grand River Cycling Club this summer.  I’ve never cycled with a group before.  One of the things I’ve always liked about cycling (and triathlon in general) is the individualistic nature of the sport.  I like team sports – but a 1-2hr cycle is a great chance for some self time.  But perhaps having a group to cycle with would be a good thing, with regular ride times, routes, and paces?  I think it would help with the ‘consistency’ thing I’m going for here
  3. Sports Geek: As I’m typing this, I’m watching a live tweet feed of the Blue Jays intersquad game.  The season hasn’t even started yet.  The preseason hasn’t even started yet.  And. I’m. Already. Geeking. Out.  Opening day is just 5 weeks away.  It’s not just that baseball is awesome (which, it is), but it’s the start of summer.  It’s sitting out in the sun, drinking overpriced crappy beer, and watching a bunch of millionaire grown men play a game.  It’s baseball.  #SoExcited!!
  4. Beer Geek: My wife had a rare weekend off this weekend, so we had a chance to hop across the border for a romp with some American (and international) craft beers.  I got to sample a whole bunch of things, and we brought a whole lot more back with us.  I think my favorite of the night might have been the Allagash Interlude.  Allagash is quickly becoming a favorite brewery of mine.
  5. It’s just started snowing outside my window again as I type this.  *sigh* I’m so ready for spring.

What do you do to make yourself get out and train during the winter?

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Today’s a Couch kinda day

April 5, 2014 Leave a comment
Not Today!!

Not Today!!

Today is a Couch kinda day!

weather140405

I appreciate that my training plan has a long run scheduled for today.  That’s nice.  But it’s not gonna happen.  Winter just doesn’t seem to want to go away.  It’s cold outside again today, and there’s a new dusting of snow on the ground.  Plus, I have the house to myself.  If ever there was a day to sit on the couch in my sweatpants, with a blanket and a Harry Potter book, this is it!  Especially since the rest of the week looks so much better:

weather140405b

That’s right.  Tomorrow is going to feel 19° warmer than today.  19 whole degrees!  And be sunny!  I think my long run can wait a day, don’t you?

What would you do with a sudden day off to yourself?

(Last) Week In Review

March 25, 2014 3 comments

badtriThis may or may not end up being a recurring feature on this blog, largely dependent on how busy lazy I am on Sundays.  We’ll give it a try for a bit and see how it goes.

Looking Back:

WIR 140323

Prior to last week, I found myself in an unexpected 2.5 week break from training.  This week I’m simply glad to be back at it.  I’ve had a few victories this week – I’m 3lbs closer to my race weight goal (though that could be in part due to the less-than-accurate-lately scale I’m using at the YMCA…), and I managed my first long run longer than 10km in almost a year.

Hopefully now that I’m back into a training routine, I can also get back into a blog writing routine.  As goes one, so goes the other, oddly enough…

Looking Forward:

This week is so important to my training – this week is my chance to prove that I’m back into a training routine, and build off of last week’s results.  My goal is to replicate last week’s volume, while stretching out my long run an extra 2km (per my training plan), and introducing some strength training back into my routine.

5 Things I Think I Think:

  1. I think I’m nervous about the Half Marathon I’m planning (but haven’t signed up for yet) at the end of April.  I have run a Half before (and have also run a 30km race before).  But prior to this week I had let myself cap my long runs at 10km.  I think training to run longer than 10km is a psychological barrier as much as a physical barrier.  It’s about convincing yourself that you can keep going.  I think I really enjoy breaking that barrier.  But I also think I have a lot of work to do to be ready for a Half in 5 short weeks
  2. I think the 35 minute run I went for yesterday was my best run of the year!  The sun was shining, the sidewalks were dry.  And I ran pretty darn fast, by my standards.  It was nice to run outside – off the treadmill – where I didn’t have to watch for ice under foot at each step.
  3. I think it would be nice if pools were open for lane swimming at more times that gave me more options in my training plan – particularly options that didn’t require me to wake up at 5:00am.  The alternative is to swim after 9:30pm.  Yuck!  That’s bedtime (I know!  I’m old!)  Everything in between is booked for swimming lessons, etc.  I understand the need to offer family programming at family friendly hours, but the selfish side of me would love to not have to choose between swim training and sleeping in!  Can’t I have both?
  4. Sports Nerdness: I think I’m really excited about the Blue Jays season this year, even though all the media analysts are predicting doom and gloom.  Sure, a lot of things will have to break right for this team to do well, but the point of being a sports fan is to be unrealistically optimistic about your team, especially before the season starts!  We’ve got it this year boys!  Let’s Go Blue Jays!!
  5. I think the wine bottle buried in the snow in our backyard is finally starting to peak through.  Spring will come.  The snow will melt.  I will get to ride outside soon enough…
bottle top 140323

See the tiny spot in the center of the picture? That’s the mouth of a wine bottle, standing upright, buried in the snow. It’s starting to emerge! Spring is Coming!!

Is it still winter outside where you live?  Or is it spring there yet?

Happy Birthday To Me

March 21, 2014 3 comments

RedshiftParts

No, it’s not my birthday.  My birthday is in June.  But last year’s birthday gift to myself finally arrived last night.  I’m not used to celebrating my birthday in March (I should have baked a cake)!

Last June I penned my name to a Kickstarter Project – a company named Redshift Sports had a great idea: Clip on aero bars that were quick and easy to… clip on (or off, or on again). Their website describes it better than I do:

If you’re going out for a group ride, you can leave the aerobars at home and ride a pure road bike. But if you’re racing in a triathlon or doing a charity ride, you can throw the aerobars on and choose the best position for every climb, flat, and descent.

RedshiftBars

They also concurrently designed a seat post on a pivot point that allows for different positions between riding in the aero bars vs riding as a normal road bike.  Again, their website describes it better than I do (it’s like they have a vested interest in marketing their product, or something):

The Switch Dual-Position Seatpost lets you replicate the steeper seat tube angle of a tri bike. The steeper geometry opens up your hip angle and maintains proper leg extension, letting you ride more comfortably and efficiently in the aero position.

RedshiftSeat

All the pics above are of the bike in my basement – indoors.  The new parts are installed, and they look mighty bad ass, but I haven’t given them a test drive yet. I’m happy to report that everything came as advertised, installed crazy-easy, and looks really professional.  Even the instructions were clear.  For a Kickstarter project, I’m really happy.

Unfortunately, I haven’t given it a test ride yet.  It’s still cold and ice and crap outside here, and looks to be that way for a few more weeks still.  I always think of the first week in April being when the bike first comes out of the garage.  I’m guessing this year is going to be a bit later than usual.  And since I don’t have a bike trainer at home yet (maybe I should start dropping hints for this year’s birthday gift… which is only 3 months away), I’m relegated to the stationary bikes at the gym for a few more weeks.  But once I do get out on the roads, I’ll be sure to give a proper product review.

For now, they make my bike look distinctly more like a triathlon bike, and that’s birthday gift enough for me!!

Spring is coming, and I’m ready to get out there!

Is It Snowing Out There (or am I just lazy)?

February 5, 2014 2 comments
backyard140205

My backyard. You can barely see the chairs and table, and wouldn’t know the BBQ was fully shoveled out and used just a few days ago.  There’s an empty wine bottle somewhere in the middle of the yard as a snow barometer… we won’t see it again for another month I figure, at least

I feel like I’m being lazy.  Am I being lazy?!?

This week is supposed to be Week 1 of my new training plan – 19 weeks out from my semi-planned-but-not-yet-registered first race of the season, the Muskoka 5150.  The plan is 18 weeks long, so starting it 19 weeks out is ideal for me – it allows for a do-over week at some point in the program if real life gets in the way.

I didn’t exactly expect my do-over to come in Week 1…

Monday was good.  Monday was an hour of resistance training before work (and a really good hour at that), followed by 20k of intervals on the bike after work.  I pushed hard on Monday.  Monday was good.

Tuesday was a flop because Monday was too good.  Tuesday morning my body reminded me of how hard I pushed on Monday.  My alarm went off at 5:15, I sat up in bed, and immediately knew I wasn’t going for my scheduled swim.  Fuck.  No.  I decided an extra hour of sleep and recovery would do me more good than the swim… but instead I accidentally slept an extra 2.5 hours and was late getting to work (thus late getting out of work, thus I also missed my scheduled run after work.  sigh).

Which brings us to today.  Wednesday.  Where yet again mother nature has dropped a metric fucktonne of snow on us!  I’m seriously done with this winter.  I worked from home today – which seemed a much better idea than braving the bus system.  On dry roads, my daily commute takes me 75-90 minutes each way.  I didn’t have the patience to deal with the bus and the snowy roads this morning.  Which means I missed my morning swim again this morning.

So now my work day is done.  I’m at home.  There’s several feet of snow on the ground (and neither roads nor sidewalks in my neighborhood have been plowed yet… apparently we’re at the bottom of the pecking order).  I supposed I could venture out into the unplowed roads to go to the gym.  Or I could stay home, pull up online yoga videos and cut my losses (shout out to Fit for 365 for pointing me to this series of DoYouYoga videos back in September – seriously recommend them to anyone who’s into free at home yoga).

Am I being lazy?  I feel like there’s some expectation of a triathlete (even a beginner, amature triathlete like myself) that we persevere and overcome all obstacles to make our training schedule.  Am I really going to miss my 4th training session in 2 days?  And does it really matter in the long run?

Or maybe I’m over thinking the whole thing.  I think I’ve just been cooped up for too long and need a break from this winter.

If you could go on a vacation anywhere in the world, right now, without worry about ‘grown up responsibilities’ like cost or your work schedule, where would you go?

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