Wednesday, December 7, 2016

2017 Triathlon Plans

This next year I want to revisit Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons and work on my speed and less on endurance. Not only will this help give my body a break from the long training days but I can start to hone in on my racing weight and performance before knocking out the Ironman.  A triathlete friend posted this motivation quote today and I just had to share it!!

My plan involves the following phases to get myself ready.

1.       Get to a base level in all three sports, here is what I’m shooting for per week
a.       Swim       4,000m (3: 2x1,200 & 1 1,600)
b.       Bike         3 hours (3: 2x45 min & 1 90 min)
c.       Run         14 miles (3: 2x4 & 1 6)

2.       Slowly add 1 Interval day during the week, with 1 discipline at a time starting with the bike and then swimming. For running I won’t be able to do this until mid February when Winter Warriors is over & I can get on a treadmill on Thursday nights which should be right about when I hit this progression.

3.       Continue working on strength & core every week. Do not let this drop off!! Possibly get back in studio for some Yoga too.

4.       8-10 weeks out from race follow a structured plan to get race ready. I don’t have my calendar set yet but I am looking at doing the Fremont Sprint Triathlon July 15th and the Winnebago County Olympic Triathlon on Aug 27th and possibly an early season one like Elkhart Lake on June 11th (sprint & Olympic options)

In trying to get faster I have been doing some research at nights to help me come up with ideas on how to get better in each of the three disciplines. I pretty much know what I’m doing with my speedwork for running as I have done it before but I need help in the other areas. I am completely self-coached so I need to learn what I’m doing before I attempt to do this without injury.

Name the first sport you think of where flexibility is key? Most people would likely say gymnastics, which is in fact true. But you most likely wouldn’t think of swimming as your first answer or your second answer. I have learned that to perform better in the pool, you need to work on your flexibility. As triathletes we are notoriously inflexible as 90% of the sport is single movement and limits our mobility if we don’t work on this.

I found some really great ideas on how to improve your swimming time simply just by gaining flexibility. You don’t have to just hit the pool and swim a bunch, in actuality this may hurt you as you can end up with overuse injuries and you are only teaching your body bad swim habits. When you get tired your form goes and the longer you swim with bad form the more it becomes habit. Pull buoys are great to use as aids when you get tired during a swim set, it keeps your body in the correct alignment so you can continue to swim.

Here are the few stretches that I found on you tube to help specifically with swimming. Thanks to Joanna Zieger for the tips!! (

Each of these you don’t need to do long, just 30 seconds or so and take a break between sets of each.
1.      Ankle Flexibility – Sit on your ankles
a.       try to work towards getting your feet flat on the ground
2.       Hip Flexibility – Hip Circles & Side to Side
a.       work towards getting the process smooth, don’t let your hips drop & focus on keeping them straight
3.       Mid-back flexibility – Pole rotation
a.       Use a pole or door jam, grab with both hands and twist from your hips away from the object
b.       Do on both sides of your body, again keep the hips level and watch your shoulders as well
4.       Shoulder Flexibility – Shoulder blade squeeze
a.       There should be little movement in the shoulders, the movement should solely be coming from your back
b.       Think about squeezing a pencil in between your shoulder blades
5.       Lateral Flexibility – Arm raise
a.       Put your arm up & extend by lifting through your lats, not your shoulder
b.       Your shoulder should not be coming closer to your ear, this is key to ensure you are using your lower rib cage/lats to induce the lengthening of the arm

I want to start implementing this into my routine once I get my current strength routine down to see if it pays off in the pool. If anybody else actually reads this I hope in some way it was able to help you out.

So far this week is going great, I received my jacket from Fleet Feet Sports at the Tuesday night fun run last night and I'm looking forward to wearing it this winter. It's a Mizuno Breath Thermal jacket and winter is sinking in here in Wisco.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Week in Training

Yay, I'm back on a regular workout schedule!! I took a break from serious training after the Fox Cities Marathon, it's been about 2.5 months and I missed my routine. I started gaining weight and that needed to stop. I committed to myself that I would get back to my base in triathlon training and add in the new tools I've learned over the past year. All of these align with my goals for the year and I am looking forward to tracking my progress.
Saturday - before I logged my foods from the am

First thing I did was start tracking all my foods in My Fitness Pal again. I made it the entire week tracking my food every day. Initially I hate doing this but it feels like less of a chore after a few days. I tend to eat similar things and the foods are easy to find and select now. I'm using the tricks I learned from Nutrition Healing this summer to eat cleaner and get all the food groups in daily that I require. The one thing I love about this app is that it syncs with Garmin Connect so I can ensure I'm hitting the correct calorie target each day.
Earned my jacket from Fleet Feet for running 500 miles with the group!

I planned my workouts in advance so I wouldn't skip out on anything. Here was my schedule:

M: Bike (40 min) & Yoga
T: Swim (800m) & Run (4 mi)
W: Bike (40 min) & Strength(Home)
Th: Swim (800m) & Run (3 mi)
S: Run (4 mi) & Bike (70 min)
S: Swim (1600m) & Strength (Gym)

I skipped the strength on Wed as my body felt really tired and I didn't get in the strength workout Sunday either thanks to sleeping in after a night out. This is where I also tend to cut first and I am really going to work to get these in this next week.

Wed. bike - my body was tired and this was not easy
I normally bike on Sunday and strength will be Saturday but this weekend on Zwift they were doing a fundraiser for WBR (World Bike Relief). The goal was to get 250K collective miles from Zwift riders during the 24 hours on December 3rd to unlock a $45,000 donation from Trek. They also encouraged people to fundraise as well and would be entered in for some prizes to win. WBR helps to give bicycles to locations in need across the world. I really wanted to participate so I switched up my schedule for the week. They had group rides led by professional cyclists to participate in, about 5 minutes before the scheduled ride they had everyone on the pier on trainers so you could spin while you waited. Once it was time to go there disappeared and off we went. I found this highly ridiculous looking at my screen and spinning on a trainer instead of riding on the road.

Overall I'm happy with how the week turned out and I'm feeling energized and motivated to keep this up. I laid out my plan for this next week tonight and I plan to tackle a few projects on my to do list, my house really needs to get cleaned so those are coming first!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Runner friends

Runner friends are the best, seriously!! I have been blessed to meet so many people via running and triathlon I cannot express how much they all truly mean to me. I rarely run alone anymore and I don't mind it at all. I mentored/paced most of 2016 through our Fleet Feet's training programs and I had the same group of ladies throughout. Logging the hundreds of miles together we really got to know one another!

Fun at the water stop! 
Mentoring is such an enjoyable & rewarding experience. I get to unload the years of knowledge I have gained through running onto newbies. You forget what fun it was to hit new milestones, and all the odd little tricks you learn to get through runs and injuries.

We first started out during Winter Warriors last year, this was my third out of the four years of the program that I have mentored. The first meeting was tonight for this year and it was so exciting to see new & familiar faces. I love winter running so it's a natural fit for me. We had a few weeks at the start of the program last year before the snow fell, but we trekked through it all. Crazy snow piles at intersections, icy patches on the sidewalks and some pretty cold days. But knowing these ladies would all be there depending on me made it fun to show up week in and week out.

Snow angels on our final night before race day!
Finish line party!!
After Winter Warriors we kicked off spring training with the goal race of the Cellcom Half Marathon in Green Bay. We added in some speed work on the weeknight training once the ice cleared away. Nobody had much experience with this so it was fun to watch the progress over the 2.5 months. They also got to find out the fun of Magic Mile night! Using their time they had their target paces for the speedwork nights and their long run paces. We do it once a month in the program so it's fun to watch them progress. Race day was such a party, I don't think I stopped smiling even though it was a crazy hot day!
Ah, look at those quads!!

Awesome spectators make for great photos!
Mentors excited for beer!!

We had a small gap before the summer training program kicked off, so we ran the 40th Bellin Run for fun. Right when we started Meb was rounding the final corner and we stopped to watch and cheer him into the finish. A toasty hot day as usual for this race, lots of water and ice was dumped everywhere!!

 Most of these ladies went on to tackle their first marathon this year, I may have helped talk them into this.
Cheesehead Half marathon a month out from race day!
Pre-race jitters on the big day! 

It's so rewarding to watch them surpass goals they never thought possible! I was able to help several ladies to PR's over the course of the year too. I love watching their continued successes and look forward to continue being a part of their journeys.

I love when running overlaps real life, Bobbi got married 6 days after her first marathon!! We had a lovely reunion and our spouses all got to finally meet each other. We danced most of the night away, overall it was a great night and we relived our race day experiences.
We're off to the races!