Wednesday, February 29, 2012

First Official Week of Training Update

I'm not being very good at this blogging thing. I am, however, being really good at the daily mile thing thanks to my new best training buddy fondly referred to as "MY WATCH" -
My watch, whenever in close proximity to my computer, automatically sends the new data to Garmin Connect which then I sync right into Daily Mile.  Of course this is not without some glitches ... like DM not wanting to sync my swim workouts ... but I'm hoping that is resolved soon enough.  Oh and look ---> I figured out how to put my DM widget on my blog!

So, just a little bit more about my watch - which I love!  I have been religiously wearing my heart rate monitor for my runs and my cycling and I'm trying to get a good understanding of the importance of my heart rate, training within different zones and what zones I need to maintain for racing.  It is a very interesting science and when I have a better understanding myself, I might spend some more time blogging about it.  In addition to the HR monitoring, I love swimming with my watch which does a good job at counting my lengths in the pool (it was only off by 1 length the first time I used it but perfect the other 2times).  It also counts your strokes and gives you an SWOLF (# strokes + time for the length) score to help you understand your efficiency and work towards improving it (lower the score the more efficient).  I haven't even begun to learn the different ways to slice and dice the data that my watch provides!

This week marks my first official week of training.  Last week was supposed to be the first official week but due to the holiday Monday, travelling, illness and lack of sleep I decided to call this my first official week.  I am dividing my training into 2 phases.  The first 17 weeks is training for my first Half Iron distance on June 24th.  I'm not sure if this is going to be the Canada Multisport Half Distance in Welland or the 70.3 in Syracuse.  There are pros and cons to both so it's still up in the air BUT my training is not.  The second phase of my training begins after the Half Distance which happens to be 19 weeks out from IMFL - one week to rest and then BOOM into a 18 week training program for the Full Distance!

My program is basically this:
Monday - swim and bike
Tuesday - weights, swim and run
Wed - bike
Thursday - Swim and Run
Friday - weights and rest
Saturday - Run
Sunday - Weights and Bike

So in one week I weight train 3 times, bike 3 times, run 3 times and swim 3 times.  On a four week cycle I will BUILD for 3 weeks and then recover 1 week.   I'm still tweaking this plan so it may change over the next few weeks.  You can follow me on Daily Mile if you are that interested in my distances.

Where I'm logging my bike miles
But a HUGE realization for me this week was not the importance of the distances or the frequency or even the heart rate.  It was about the NUTRITION and the STRETCHING.

I have constantly fought with body issues and weight concern.  Eating has always been a struggle for me - eating too much and eating too little.  So knowing that I'm about to put my body through 8 months of intense training, burning huge numbers of calories a day, I have to come to terms with fuelling my body.  I will NOT succeed at this challenge if I do not adequately grasp my nutrition needs, consume healthy foods that will support my training, reduce inflammation, and help me recover.  This week I made a batch of sweet potato and black-bean chilli using this recipe as a base. Not only did it turn out very yummy and very healthy.  It made me realize that I should make something like this every Sunday to keep as my go to side dish, snack or filler.  I also stocked the kitchen with organic mixed greens, blueberries, raspberries, peanut butter, bananas, good cheese and low-fat, nitrate free deli meats.  I start each day with oatmeal and berries. Make sure I grab a piece of fruit as a snack after my workouts. And dinners have been focused on steamed veggies, lean protein and yummy salads.  It's not the easiest thing to do but I'm committed to do it.

You know you need to do it but there never seems to be enough time right after a work out to adequately stretch.  You know the routine, off the bike, quick calf, hammie, quad and glute stretches all in less than 2 minutes.  That's not enough.  I have decided to schedule in at least a 10 minute stretch at the end of every work out AND every night before bed another 15 - 20 minutes of really working through my legs including foam rolling and stick massaging.  I know that there is no way I will be able to make it through these next 8 months injury free if I do not commit to a good stretching plan.  I'm also adding yoga into my schedule on Wednesday nights and if possible on the weekend as well.

Speaking of injury, Sports Doc Dr. Chan says the tib-fib joint is better but still unstable so I continue to wear the band.  However I'm happy to report the hip pain is nearly non-existent!

Finally, I am going to try to icebath after every work out of more than an hour and a half.  It's only for 10 mins and I've found that a great hot drink in the ice bath is lemon-lime Nuun in hot water.  Replenish those electrolytes while trying to keep warm!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm back and I'm Ready!

This weeks marks 18 weeks until my half-iron distance and 37 weeks until IMFL2012!  This week I "officially" begin training for the 2012 season and I'm ready!  I'm getting healthy - I've got my team of professionals lined up - Sports Doc Dr. Chan, Chiro Dr. Will and my trusty RMT Jen.  We are all on board to make this is a truely IRON year for me with hopefully few injuries!

I've got my new toys!
my very first Tri-bike

my very first GPS watch
Of course the Cervelo will live on the trainer for the next few weeks but the Forerunner 910 ... I want to wear it every day!  Yes I know, it's not a fashion statement, and yes its like wearing a not-so-little computer on your wrist.  But it's great!  I've only run with it but really looking forward to swimming with it this week and getting it out on the bike as soon as the weather permits.  The last thing I will say is that the heart rate monitor strap is AMAZING - it's soft and thin and if doesn't even feel like you are wearing a thing!

I started running again last week.  First a 4 mile run with the hubby, then a 7.5 mile run alone, followed by a little recovery run before flying back to Toronto from Florida.  While I still have "pressure" on my left side above my hip, the runs felt great.  I saw Dr. Chan again today and while he says my Tibiofibular joint is still unstable it is getting better. I see him again in 3 weeks and I'm still to wear my brace.  Apparently my glutes are not firing and are weak so that will be my focus on the next few weeks - hopefully can find a personal trainer that can help me with that!

I have also committed to using DailyMile (it easily syncs with Garmin connect!).

Next post will be my weekly training plan - though it is a short week thanks to the traveling!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My new bike - she needs a name!

Hey - Look at my new toy!

I took my new bike out for a spin today - which considering it is FEBRUARY 9 in Toronto - that alone is a wonderful thing.  But it was special to take my very first tri-bike out for a spin the day after I got it.

It wasn't all smooth riding though - I actually had a panic attack getting on the darn thing!  I'm not kidding - it's been 5 months since I have clipped into a bike (not counting time on a trainer of course).  That coupled with the fact that I am dealing with a damaged tib/fib joint in my left knee which we can only  assume is the product of my 3 falls on my road bike this past summer.  All that on top of it being my extremely new, expensive, shinny tri bike.  Yip, it took me a good 10 minutes to talk myself onto that bike!  CRAZY!

However, once I got clipped in it all came back to me - just like riding a bike!  I only road 5 miles - on the bike path out to Leslie and back.  I practised getting into and out of my aero position, holding the position, shifting gears and the such.  I am shocked at how much harder to handle this bike is compared to my old trusted
 road bike and completely know why aero position is not welcome in group rides.

I have a lot of learning to do that is for sure.  But I am so very pleased with my new bike!  Thanks to the hubby who is so wonderfully supporting my Ironman year!

Now to name her!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I miss running

It's been nearly 8 weeks since I have run.

I never thought I would love running this much but I can honestly say I miss it and I love it.

I love the way I feel after a long run, after a fast run, after a recovery run.  I love fuelling my body, pushing my legs, my lungs, my heart. I love the taste of salt on my lip mixed with the sweet raspberry hammer gel. I love going far from home knowing I have to return.

 I miss the sunshine and the sweat soaked shirt even when its so cold outside you wonder how you can sweat. I miss the music screaming in my ears.  I miss the hours out of the house and in the fresh air.  I miss being in my own head with no one else.  I miss visualizing my day with Ironman, visualizing the emotions, the feelings, the pain.  I miss running.