Sunday, September 30, 2012

Learning to learn...

Getting back into the workout routine was hard, but achieved. The most depressing thing is how quickly (after two months off) you lose your endurance. I have been finishing 5k runs, but it is HARD! Everything aches! I have stepped up the yoga/stretching a bit to avoid injury as my body readjusts. 

I got a subscription to Training Peaks and so far I am really impressed. I am still using Garmin Connect to upload my initial data, and do have to say that Garmin Connect is a much "prettier" interface - cleaner and easier to navigate between workouts, etc. However it comes nowhere close to all the graphs, tables and metrics that Training Peaks is able to calculate and display. On top of that, you can track all your nutrition in Training Peaks (normally a difficult process but a little less so here). I am just reading Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes 3rd Edition by Monique Ryan to try and learn basic nutrition strategies - both for the race, and also just day to day. The more weight I can lose, the less I have to carry around the course! Training Peaks will help with not only tracking the overall calories, but also the % of carbs, protein, fat and fibre. There are so many features that I have spent awhile just experimenting.  I need to re-read the Triathlete's Training Bible, go over what I should be doing, and plug in an actual plan for the 2013 season.

Speaking of plans and training, I needed to calculate my yearly training hours. They suggest on Training Peaks it is around 500 - 700 hours for a half-ironman. 500 - 700 hours of training for the year. I did 70hrs so far this year. So around 120 hours for the year. Might have to step that up a bit!

I was in contact with a few coaches to see about hiring one, but it's just not in the budget this year. I don't really feel that they are over priced by any means - most seem to average $200 a month. But then that's $2400 a year - which is a lot of triathlon equipment lol! That does scare me though, because I hate to go it alone so-to-speak. And the wealth of information is overwhelming. But I love books and hope to read a bunch and survive next year's Calgary 70.3. I hope in the next few seasons I will be able to get into a club or coaching situation to help me progress even further.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Vacation time is coming to an end...

It's been around 5 weeks since I started summer/fall vacation - a wonderful time with family and friends to escape from daily doldrums and refresh mentally before winter sets in. A wonderful time of long runs, longer bike rides and beautiful swim sessions in pristine lakes. The joy of accomplishments finishing workout, after workout... Okay even I can't help but laugh as I write this. There were no runs. No bike rides. No swim sessions (at least in the workout sense). I did very little during vacation. I don't know how I feel about this really. I needed a vacation, but I do think I would have enjoyed a good workout here or there.

Overall while the workouts were lacking, the activity was still abound. We spent a few weeks at my parents cottage and I did get in the water, wetsuit and all, almost every day. I also found another new sport that I enjoy - Standup Paddle-boarding. This sport had popped up every now and then in triathlon literature as a great cross-training method for building core strength and arm/shoulder strength. It also looked really fun! So I rented a board from White Squall Paddling Centre and gave it a try. Although most people (myself included) look at standup paddle-boarding (or SUP) and ask the question "why stand on a board and paddle around when you can sit in a canoe or kayak". The gentlemen that helped me with the rental said he had the same thoughts, until he tried it, and was instantly hooked. It's true you can't quite explain why, but if you try it, you love it. The cottage is located on a fairly windy bay, and the wind added to the intensity of the workout. Many times my arms were screaming. I hope to continue with this sport as another great cross-training platform. Unfortunately like most things I love, it's not a cheap sport, with the average beginner board running around $1000.00. If you are interested in learning more, or checking out the equipment, RedNik Surf Co in Calgary can help you out. I hope to head there for the first time in the next couple of months - maybe I'll get lucky and they'll have an end of season sale...

Back to the topic of workouts, I have had difficulty with motivating myself as my season is over. Due to my work schedule, there were no more triathlons or races that I could easily enter when I was not at work or on vacation. Signing up for a race and paying an entry fee really is the best way to motivate yourself to head out on a run, or hop on the bike, or jump in the pool. So today, after receiving an email from the event directors, I signed myself up for 2013 70.3 Ironman Calgary. Yah - a bit of a jump for sure. May have been a bit impulsive on that one! I have only one sprint race under my belt, and it was a challenge to finish, and I just signed myself up for a Half-Ironman. Oh well, guess if you're going to do it, might as well go big.

Needless to say, I was on the treadmill tonight ;-)