Monday, October 26, 2009

normal person season

or the off season, as most of us triathletes call it, is the the time of year where we take a break from our swim, bike, run, repeat obsession. while i am personally not there yet, a lot of clients and friends have finished their last main race for the year.

i think the off season is a huge benefit to an athlete. yes, you have to let your aerobic fitness go and yes your swim splits may not be as fast. all of us who do swim, bike, run day in and day out need both a physical and mental break from the sport.

our bodies respond to less structure, less volume, less quality in a positive way. the break from our routines allow for other types of exercise: yoga, weight lifting, hiking, group classes, etc. we will maintain some fitness but mostly you are letting your body recover. all of the nagging little injuries subside. the shorts tan line, aka sun damage, fades. the smell of chlorine does not take over 24-7. you get to regain muscular strength you may have let go in the height of the racing season.

mentally a break from triathlon is huge! it let's your mind get out of the 'i need to do this now to get more fit' and allows you to reflect on what you did do in the past season. pick out the positives- what worked for the season: did you learn about what nutrition works? did you learn how to even split the bike course? look at the things that did not work and how to change them. look up new races or new goals for next season. write everything down so that when you get in the middle of next season you can look back and say 'oh thats what i need to do/to change.'

the extra hours you gain in the week from not swimbikerunning is also a big deal! yard work,chores, family time, trips, photo albums, other sports, art projects, volunteering, other hobbies... all of the things we put to the side in the season come out full force with a break. you are not riding 4 hours this weekend- you have extra time to put other things as a priority on the 'to do' list. its amazing to step back and see how much time workouts usually take. take the time for others to volunteer or give back. maybe go to a local run race and be on the other side and help those who helped at all of your races.

most importantly the balance in your triathlon life comes full circle here. its time to enjoy going out late with friends, maybe have a little too much wine and letting the hard work from the 9 months of constant training pay off. your fitness will come back! the base of aerobic work from the previous season and your experience in racing will allow you to come back stronger physically. you will also be mentally refreshed and focused when the new season rolls around making you stronger mentally.

cheers to your off season! mine is just around the corner!

to your health,

Thursday, October 22, 2009


this year is a trip to costa rica for my birthday, christmas and new years. all of my free time has been spent planning and researching this...

monkeys, waterfalls, hot springs, volcanos, surf destinations, yoga, mt biking, beach, hiking, hammocks, kayaking, turtles and so much more i dont even know yet!

pura vida,


Friday, October 16, 2009

the goals.

goals. when they are written, they become real. i have been thinking about them for a while but had not done my homework yet until last week.

last week i got my b*tt in gear after a mock 'tony robbins' motivational speech by a friend. he told me that i need to research previous years at the race, decide where i want to finish and then see what i have to do to make it happen. if i can commit to the goals now, on paper and in training, then when race day comes there are no questions or doubts. i just have to do as i planned.

with a little over 4 weeks out this is the time in training where i focus my energy more on speed, pacing and recovery. i also have to focus my training nutritionally. what am i going to eat and drink on the bike and run during the race.

so i have time goals, nutrition goals and overall-general goals:

last year i did:
4:48 total time
:25 swim
3:00 T1
2:27 bike
3:00 T2
1:48 run

this year i want to do:
4:29 total time
:24 swim
2:30 T1
2:21 bike
2:30 T2
1:40 run

8oz of fluid every 10 min. (5 bottles for the entire ride)
250 calories/hour on the bike, 100-150 on run (have to account for the coke!)

-stick to the nutrition plan
-enjoy it even when it is hard
-no regrets because i did the best training i could do
-smile for my mom when she is camera crazy
-and ending up in the top 10 would be fun- although i really do not have control over that...

as coach put it for the time goals: ambitious. but hey- a girl has to have a goal! and i really have been most focused on my running. i also weigh less then last year which should make my run at least feel better. my best run in a half IM has been 1:43 so i'd like to match that or faster.

on the bike- as ive told my training partners- i plan on having my own race but still being competitive with the field. for those that do not know, clearwater FL is FLAT. the biggest hill is an over pass equivalent to hill coming from solana beach into cardiff on coast hwy. FLAT= drafting. last year i felt cheated and still had a killer fast time for me! this year i know my fitness is better on the bike but also plan to hang on to some of the packs of bikers as they pass, last year i did not. my plan is not to cheat like crazy, not to blow up either, but to stick to my own race and use the competition as needed.

so that is the plan. happy training!

to your health,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the gear

**side note** i would like to start off by thanking my clients who did not schedule with me this morning. although its not the best thing for the bank account sometimes a morning off is the best thing for my mind. thank you for canceling.

so i had a rare opportunity to swim this morning- not at 6am- but at 8am!?! sleep in and get a swim in before work! besides saturday mornings i do not get to workout in the mornings because i am usually coaching or training clients. i thrive on a morning workout. i think getting up and getting active is the ideal way to start the day. the workout gets the ball rolling.

i went to the ymca knowing i had 45 min. to swim. the goal was 3000 yards. i shared a lane with a nice man- who seemed annoyed, at first, when i asked to split the lane with him- who just kept to himself and did not swim near the middle.

it was fun observing the people that have the opportunity to swim at 8am for a morning workout. take my lane buddy for example (we will refer to him as LB)- i noticed right off that he was wearing an ironman branded swim cap. an older guy, a little bigger of a guy in my mind to be super competitive ironman athlete but hey- whos judging? i got started on my warm up and then into my main set. granted i am not swimming super fast but i can hold a 1:15 per 100base with an aerobic effort so not super slow here either. LB- proceeds his swim both fins and paddles on at the same time. he motored past me! meanwhile i was doing my continuous 10x 100 @1:20, LB stopped every 1-2 laps (from my observation) to be re-adjusting and changing up his equipment.

i have seen it all- the toys, equipment, gear, the stuff, whatever you want to call it. this goes for not only the pool but the gym, cycling, etc. the GEAR and ALL of that STUFF is not going to make you a faster swimmer. i am not posting this to be a miss nancy know-it-all- BUT to explain what i see everyday as a trainer and coach. LB next to me has on all the gear but meanwhile has poor technique and on top of that is so worried about the adjustment on his fins that he does not keep his heart rate up for any more then 50 yards. that is not going to help in his next 2.4 mile ironman swim.

from 10 years of competitive swimming, including at a level of div.1 ncaa, i can count on ONE hand how many times i have been allowed or asked by a swim coach to use BOTH fins and paddles at the same time. the sole purpose of using both would be to sprint- as in ALL OUT effort for 50-100 yards at the most. paddles and fins on their own serve a much better purpose.

start with paddles- if you wear paddles or a buoy in order to 'keep up' with your lane (i see ALL of the time at masters) you are in the WRONG lane. do not wear equipment to stay afloat. paddles allow you to feel the water and have more resistance from the water. the resistance in turn makes your pull underwater harder to do- ie. you become stronger at pulling. the buoy is for you legs- not to keep you afloat- but to keep you from kicking. again to make it harder on your arms so you become stronger.

fins. i see it again all too often at masters- swimmers put on fins to help them kick faster. yet they do not try to kick any harder or faster- they simply use the extra 6-12 inches of plastic to move them down the lane. i challenge some of you to do a kick set without fins... just see what happens. OR the next time you use fins for a kick set kick hard enough where your legs are actually burning. and yes- you will be much faster and will be using the fins to make your legs stronger at kicking!

try my 3400 yard workout next time at the pool. very straight forward way to build endurance. if you are ironman training you can do the main set twice.

warm up 400 easy

12 x 100 on base (where you only get 5 sec. rest at a threshold/aerobic effort)
3 x 400 pull (paddles and buoy) descend 1-3 on base

300 + 200 + 100 swim, kick or pull- BUT stay with one for the entire set- 15 sec. rest

avoid being the GEAR geek- get your b*tt in the water- and start swimming.

to your health,

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

go get 'em!

Wanted to send a shout out to all of my training buddies and friends that are competing this weekend in the Ironman World Championship.
TO: MJ, Becky, Brandy, Kate, Rhae, Tati, Caroline, Charisa, Pablo and probably 10 more i forgot...

i hope you all have the race and day you have been training so hard for day in and day out! race smart and have a whole lot of heart. we will be cheering for you from the mainland!

Check them all out on this Saturday Oct. 10th.