Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Tri-training: What I'm learning

For the last couple of weeks, my triathlon training has moved into a little higher gear.  This is due, in part, to Coty's expert help in planning workouts.  I'm trying some new techniques and strategies, mainly to increase my speed and so be able to swim, bike, and run at a quicker pace.  Most days now, I do a two or three sport workout, working on areas where I'm weakest.

I've learned that...

-I can go the distance for the race I'm planning to do.  250 meter swim, 9 mile bike ride, 2 mile run.  It's very do-able, distance wise, but what I have to work on is doing them one right after the other.  I tried running right after biking 9 miles on Monday.  It was HARD!  My quads were so tight from biking that the running motion felt very stiff and awkward.  Gotta work on that.

-I am a very slow runner.  Right now I run a mile in 10:30-11:00 minutes.  I already knew I was slow, but I'm finding that trying to speed up my running pace is much harder for me that swimming or biking faster.  It just hurts more and I don't really like it, but I'm hoping that will change.

-it's good to mix up your workouts.  Bike hard and swim long one day, run and swim hard and bike easy the next, and so on.  Running is harder on my body so it's good to space the hard running workouts further apart.

-having a comfortable bike seat and having it set at the right height is very important.  I still haven't quite found the right fit.  Maybe I need a different saddle.  Some honest to goodness cycling or tri shorts with padding in the seat would probably help, too.  There's a reason they make those things they way they do.

-pool workouts after a hard cycling or running workout are heavenly.

-goggles that fit well are important.  It's not fun having goggles that leak.  Rubbing spit inside my goggles does not keep them from fogging up.  Not sure why I thought that but I seem to remember someone telling me that when I was younger.

-I don't want to waste the hard effort of training by eating empty calories. I usually exercise in the morning and probably don't eat enough before I work out.  I don't feel like eating much after a hard workout.  Smoothies are my go-to after exercise "meal."

-I must drink more water!  Having full water bottles in the fridge helps.  Must reorganize the fridge to make more room for water bottles.

-wearing a folded bandana to keep the sweat out of your eyes makes you look more hard core. At least that's what Joel says.  It also makes you feel a little more hard core, even if you aren't, and if you get it wet before you tie it on, it keeps you cooler.

-my watch has a countdown timer that keeps repeating.  Very useful for timing intervals.  It is, however, a little tricky to reach over with the right hand and hit the button on the watch on my left arm to start the count down again when I'm pedaling fast.  I haven't fallen yet.

-my joints feel better now than they have felt in a long time. I have less inflammation and considerably less pain.  I am pleasantly surprised by this and very thankful!

-it really does help to have a coach/trainer, and it's especially nice if you're married to him.  Coty is incredibly encouraging and pushes me to go beyond what I would probably do on my own.

If you don't exercise, or if you exercise very little, I encourage you to make it more consistent.  Better yet, pick a goal to aim for a begin training to get there.  I'm a 54 year old Gramma, with rheumatoid arthritis.  If I can do it, you can, too.  As a friend wrote to me the other day,
"You've motivated my exercise recently...if you can train for a sprint tri, I can up my jogging and running, so have taken to the track across the street."  

Yay for Rachel!


Elizabeth Foss said...

You're an inspiration to me, too. I admit that these days the cycle of autoimmune inflammation is really discouraging me. I call to mind your words and the example of your optimistic approach very, VERY often. If you could, when you have some time, would you share a little more about what you've learned about exercise and diet with regard to arthritis? I'm very interested to know. A vegetarian approach seems most sensible to me, but I can't eat grains or dairy without swelling and pain. Grain-free vegan? That doesn't leave much to eat:-). I'm amazed by how MUCH you are able to move. Go you! You bless me.

kkp said...

this is awesome. i'd seriously consider joining you if we weren't so many miles away!

that and if i wasn't slightly afraid of drowning. (ok, more than slightly afraid.)

Bonnie said...

So fun to see what you are doing. I am trying to get in the pool every day. So hot for training. THAT is what I admire about you. Training in the summer. Keep on. We are all cheering you on!

Erin said...

I know it's not as fun to drink, but water at room temp is actually easier on your body... have you looked at any of the beverages in Nourishing Traditions (I think you have it, right?)? I have the "ginger ale" fermenting on my counter right now! :)