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!

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