Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Toys. New Joys.

After being sick, I was able to get back into a regular workout routine at work. This week I decided to concentrate on running more than biking - my friend and I have that 5km race to prepare for, and I think running works the ol' ticker more.

Now that I am on days off, I need to make sure that I get into a routine as well - tonight I went to the pool, and did 500m in 30 mins. Felt pretty good. I have noticed that when I begin to get winded, my stroke gets extremely sloppy, and breathing becomes more difficult. I keep reading and hearing from others that you should not try to work at speed in the pool, but technique. I joined the YMCA in my area, and they have a triathlon swim class that I might look into.

Now as for the post title: I went into Cyclepath today and picked up a new road bike. A Giant Defy-1. It was my first time in Cyclepath, and the store Manager Clayton was great - helped me pick out everything I need to get started (bike, shoes, jersey, pedals, pump, repair kit), and they had my bike set up in no time. I would recommend this store to anyone looking for cycling related paraphernalia. Now I am even more committed to training, as if I don't use the equipment, my wife won't let me live it down!

I also picked up The Triathlete's Training Bible by Joe Friel, to try and educate myself more on training. It's hard as someone new because the information out there is very overwhelming...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sickness. Setbacks. Second-thoughts.

So the day after I went for the swim, I, as well as every other member of the family, got the flu. Needless to say, for 5 days there was no workouts.

I started working out again the second day at work, and took it easy. I felt pretty depressed and started second-guessing things, because the unfortunate reality is that even when you are putting in the time and working out, you don't see immediate physical results. You must remember that it takes time for things to show. The good news is I am out of my funk (mentally) and I am noticing I am able to push harder, and I recover faster, from a good workout.

Now, stomach-wise I am still not "out of my funk". It's driving me nuts! I have been eating healthier, and mostly vegetarian (more on that to come...), but my stomach is not back to 100%.

First the right... then the left... keep moving forward.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's a good idea to begin at the bottom in everything except in learning to swim. ~Author Unknown

I'm a day later than planned - but I made it to the pool. I even suckered a good friend into coming with me. In total, we did 12 lengths, or 300M. With lots of breaks. Quite the workout.

It felt really good to be in the water again though - I used to swim at my granny's place in Toronto all the time as a kid. I love the feeling of moving through water - even if it's challenging and gets the heart rate up. I think the largest battle of the evening was just getting there.

We ended up swimming at the YMCA. The other pool we checked out was packed. The Y let us in for free, since there was only an hour left - and probably to let us check out the facility in hopes that we pay for a membership. I am tempted, but its pricey.

Now I have to try and get two more swims in by Tuesday.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Busy Week, a few self doubts...

Have finished a fairly successful week at work, workout wise. I worked out everyday, except Saturday (which is a rest day), mixed between the bike and the treadmill. Felt really tired after a few workouts, but all-in-all felt really good. Getting into a groove. Having the two race events really helps keep the motivation in the gym:

I recommend to anyone that is trying to remain consistent with their workouts to register for an event - any event - as it gives you something to train towards and keep you honest.

I printed off the race routes for the Sprint Triathlon in Chestermere. The swim portion looks really intimidating, as well as looking at the distance I will have to cover on the bike... twice. It scared me enough, and brought on enough self-doubt, that at this point I am not looking at registering for another triathlon in May. I might still throw in another running race though...

I finished reading two books:

- You Are An Ironman - by Jacques Steinberg.
Great read, that follows some weekend warriors as they train and compete in a full ironman distance race. HUGE motivation, and amazing stories. An easy read, that shows you the various backgrounds to those "age groupers" that complete these races (no pro stories in this book). It's great to see people that were in really poor health become motivated and change their life completely for the better. It's contagious.

- Your First Triathlon - Joel Friel

Great book for those of you starting like me, from basically sedentary, to training and trying your first Sprint distance triathlon. Easy read - I will be getting his "The Triathlete's Training Bible" to learn more about the art of training.

I have been doing TONS of reading on the interweb, to the point where all my coworkers think I am nuts. Can't wait to pass over the finish line...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I know! I'll do a triathlon!... seemed smart at the time...

Over the last year, I have been making an honest effort to get in shape, mostly at work. As stated in a previous post, my coworkers are a great motivator. Over the last couple of months I have even been getting in an average of 2 workouts per day (at home it's more like never). I have not noticed any huge changes in my physical appearance, but I can honestly say I feel healthier, and am less tired at times - I have grown to enjoy working out.

In order to continue this trend, and to give a goal to work towards, I did the following:

I was sitting in front of the computer, looking at different running events this year (I really enjoyed the 5km run we did as a family), and came upon a few listings for triathlons. I used to work with someone that was REALLY into triathlons, and I always thought they were just plain crazy - "Who in their right mind would want to do that?". This time, something just changed, and I thought - "Hey... why not?". So I signed up for a "Try It" distance at this year's Lake Chestermere Triathlon (details here).

I got really excited. It seems crazy, to go from a general couch-potatoe, to completing a triathlon, but I thought it would be just the motivation I need to continue working out.

I have now become hooked. I have purchased a training book, a wetsuit, and some goggles. I have been training on the spin bikes, and treadmill at work, and hope to get into a pool in my next days off. I read articles. I watch Ironman re-runs on Youtube. Yes I am a big nerd. But I like the idea of having a sport to train in. And the variety of skills (i.e. running, biking and swimming) means a personality like mine should not get bored as easily.

The initial training has gone so well, that I have actually upped the anti, and upgraded to the Sprint distance. I will be completing a 750m swim, a 23.3km bike and a 5km run. I have also registered with my friend in a 5km race in May, and I am contemplating another Sprint-length triathlon at the end of May or June.

Now to start "officially" training...