Friday, March 26, 2010
Oriflamme 50K - My First Ultramarathon
Rachel at Diary of an Amateur Triathlete wrote a captivating race report about her recent 50K. I don't think it's possible to read this report without getting the itch to do a nice long run through nature!
The New Sport Of Kings: A Conversation With Jeff Henderson, Pt. I
Ever wonder what happens to all those race registration fees? Mark at Journey's of a Triathlete Father of Five interviews a race director to find out exactly where the money goes.
General Health and Nutrition
A Sweet Problem: Princeton Researcher's find that high fructose corn syrup prompts considerable more weight gain
Step away from the soda! In case you weren't convinced yet, another study showing the dangerous results of eating a diet high in high fructose corn syrup.
Win Some Sweet Schwagg from Road ID, Ryders and Gu
Carol at Triathlon Training Blog is doing an awesome giveaway with Gu, Road ID and sunglasses. Personally I'm really wishing for a new pair of shades.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Another challenge I faced last year was that all my runs were the same speed - I didn't have a race pace, tempo pace, long run pace, etc. I was either walking, running or sprinting. As my speed as increased over the winter I've been afraid of doing slower runs. I wanted every run to be faster than the last. I was scared that if I ran slow, on purpose, that I would get slower. I know this isn't true but I was still scared to slow it down.
Last week I was so sore from my spin workout that I finally let myself have a slow recovery run. I told myself I would try to stay around a 10 minute mile (30 seconds slower than my usual runs) and I ended up running 11 minute miles!
Today my goal was to do a fast/tempo run. It was hard but I just kept telling myself: "This is the hardest and the fastest you have to run all week. Don't stop and don't let up. " Well my determination paid off! Check out these splits:
Mile 1: 9:00
All 9 minutes and under! My fastest run yet! And, I did a quick check and 8:47 is my fastest mile I've logged since getting my Garmin which means it is probably the fastest mile ever!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
A few weeks ago the coach introduced a new move and I love it! It is really challenging and a great way to mix things up a bit. It is a bit difficult to explain so I did a photo demonstration :)
1. Start in a push up position with arms straight
2. Move your right leg to the side, tap your toe and immediately return to center.
Monday, March 22, 2010
After our Malt-O-Meal it was off to the gym for a long weight lifting and core session. The weather was absolutely gorgeous so I couldn’t wait to get outside for a long run. I ended up running right around 12:30pm and it was HOT – it must have been in the mid 70’s. I was running in shorts and a sleeveless shirt and I was actually wondering how we run outside in the summer! It’s supposed to dip back down to 50’s this week so it looks like I won’t be hot again anytime soon.
I tried to keep a steady and even pace on my run. Most of my splits averaged around 9:30. My shins were really hurting in the beginning but after about 1.5 miles they stopped hurting. After the run I ran across the street to the deli to get a couple bags of ice and took a short but painful ice bath. Even though I was really only in for about 5 minutes I think it helped my shins and hamstrings.
We went out with a friend on Saturday night and after indulging in hush puppies, Cajun crab cakes, mac and cheese, collard greens and a few beers I was beat. We crawled into bed at 11pm and when the alarm was blasting at 5:45 for our morning swim practice my whole body hurt.
I was the designated leader in my lane for practice and two other guys were drafting off me. Knowing I had two people right on my toes kept me pushing the pace. It took me about 500 meters to warm up and then I started to feel okay. It had been about 2 weeks since I was in the pool though and I felt a bit sloppy for the whole practice. I don’t need a lot of swim workouts but I should aim for at least once a week (ideally two!).
Swim Workout (50 meter pool)We only have an hour so I made it through the 200’s for a total distance of 2800 meters. After the swim we drove home, picked up our bikes, drove back into Manhattan and dropped them off for service. The bike shop was so busy that they won’t be ready until Monday, March 29th! Then we stopped by our favorite store and Sam bought a new TYR transition bag. It is pretty cool and has a ton of pockets and compartments. The only downside is it is really big. Sam is about 6’1” and this is what it looks like on him:
4 x 50 alternate swim, drill, swim, drill
5 x 100’s – decreasing times
2 x 400’s – moderate effort (30 second rest)
4 x 200’s – increasing effort (20 second rest)
6 x 100’s – hard effort (15 second rest)
I think he could also use this as a weapon on the subway for when someone is crowding his space. Just turn around and the bag will take them right out.
After he repacked his new gear bag we were on our way back to Asphalt Green for a Sunday afternoon spin workout. It was an 80 minute workout and it completely kicked my butt! (The coach is a member of the team and he has been to Kona twice!)
All in all it was very productive training weekend. We have a lot on our plates between travel and work over the next few weeks so it’s unlikely we’ll get another weekend like that until late April!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Is caffeine bad for triathletes? (Everyman Tri)
An interesting perspective on caffeine and triathlon training. I don't consume a ton of caffeine but I do have a daily cup of coffee (or two). I think that I enjoy the taste and ritual of a daily cup of coffee more than the actual caffeine content. Perhaps I should try decaf. What is your take on caffeine?
Five steps to start a beginner triathlon training program (EverymanTri)
A great post for those who are planning to do their first tri this year.
Let's Talk Recovery (SwiCycloRun)
Jon posted about his strategies for a speedy recovery. Recovery is an important and often overlooked component of tri training. He includes a link for a chocolate banana protein shake that sounds delicious!
General Health & Nutrition
75 Ways Going Vegetarian Has Made My Life Better (No Meat Athlete)
Matt posted the 75 ways that becoming a vegetarian has improved his life. If you're considering going veg check out this post for some great inspiration.
The Simple Way to Stick to a Meal Plan (Zen Habits)
Tri season is just around the corner and you might be thinking about trying to drop those five pounds you gained in winter hibernation. Leo's tips for sticking to a meal plan are a great way to organize your diet and attain your goal wait.
Deliciously Dangerous Clif Builder's Bars: Review And Giveaway (Journey's of a Triathlon Father of Five)
Mark is giving away three boxes of Clif Builder's Bars. Check out the blog post to learn the four ways to enter!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I really try to focus on eating real, whole foods. Even better if it's local and/or organic. Lately my biggest food dilemma is related to evening workouts. On Monday's and Wednesdays I do workouts with the club around 8pm. For the last few months I've been eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich around 6pm. Yesterday I mixed it up and had a sandwich with almond butter and a half banana - Yum! Then, when I get home around 10 or 10:30 I eat something quick and simple like oatmeal or a bowl of cereal and head straight to bed.
Scott Jurek mentioned in his presentation that one go-to food for him is Amy's frozen burritos. Sometimes he eats them during his ultra marathons. I checked them out at the store last time and even though I try to stay away from anything processed/frozen I decided to give them a try. Last night when I got home from the spin-workout-from-hell (it was like weight lifting on the bike) I inhaled this:
Stats: Calories: 300, Fat: 9g (saturated fat: 2.5g), Carbs: 43g (fiber: 6g), Protein: 11g
Ingredients: No MSG/ No Preservatives. Organic pinto beans, organic whole wheat and wheat flour, filtered water, organic brown rice, organic tomatoes, cheddar and jack cheeses, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, organic onions, organic bell peppers, organic sweet rice flour, seat salt, spices, organic garlic.
Not only can I pronounce those ingredients I can even spell them! The burrito was delicious and filling enough for a late night snack. I don't think it would be a good substitute for a regular dinner but it was great for a dinner-part-II and I wasn't even too hungry when I woke up this morning!
What do you eat before or after your workouts? If you workout in the evenings how do you handle pre and post fueling? I love learning about what others eat!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Have you had your first spring ride yet or are you one of those crazy ones that rides outside in the snow? Or are you a smart one who chooses to live somewhere that it never snows?!
Cambridge, MA - March 20th
More information about the NYC expo:
In partnership with the Northeast region of USAT and the Jewish Community
Center (JCC) Manhattan, Multisport World comes to the Big Apple on April
18, 2010. Hosted by the JCC Manahttan at 334 Amsterdam Avenue in NYC, you're
invited to attend expert-led seminars, participate in training clinics, and
walk a vendor expo featuring retailers and manufacturers of products, gear and
nutritional products... certified coaches... race directors... and much more.
Whether you've been doing triathlons for 10 years or you're thinking about doing
your first one, this is an event you won't want to miss.
Keynoting the event will be Coach Troy Jacobson. Coach Troy is widely recognized as one of the top coaches in the United States for single sport and multisport alike. He is founder of the best-selling Spinervals DVD workout series and currently serves as the National Director of Endurance Sports Training for Lifetime Fitness. Admission to the expo floor and seminars is FREE. Be among the first 500 registered attendees and you will receive a swag bag featuring a Spinervals DVD ($30 value), product samples, money-saving coupons and more. All registered attendees are eligible to win valuable prizes. CLICK HERE to register now -- its quick, easy and FREE.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Core Strength (Joe Friel's Blog)
As if you didn't know already - core strength is soooo important. I noticed that improved core strength has made a big impact in my running. Joe posted some great photos that visibly show how poor core strength shows in running.
A lazy runner's way to strength train (No Meat Athlete)
A lift that focuses on full-body movements instead of your typical isolation moves. The "Curtis P's" include a hang-squat clean, a right lunge, a left lunge, and a push press. Repeat 100 times, resting as needed. I found this really intriguing and I'm thinking of finding a way to include this in my strength training sessions (I would need a lot of rest!).
The Sunday Sampler - Health: Flax Seeds (I Tri To Be Me by Aimee)
A great overview of the benefits of incorporating flax seed into your diet!
4 Deadly Mistakes You Must Avoid When Pursuing Your Dreams (WiseBread)
This is the post that prompted me to right this blog. It's good advice for all dreams, including triathlon.
What's the Best Way to (and Why Should I) Create a Home Inventory? (lifehacker)
We all own a lot of stuff and it's likely that in addition to all your regular stuff you probably own some expensive tri stuff too. This is a great way to create and store your home inventory.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
In addition to shorts I've got another new running accessory. A Road ID! As you might remember I won a free Road ID on Steve in a Speedo's blog last month. I quickly ordered my Wrist ID Elite and it arrived after just a few days.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
You never know how strong you are until
being strong is the only choice you have.
- When he ran and won the Hardrock Hundred Mile race with a sprained ankle (which happened playing soccer with some local kids a few days before the race)
- When racing Badwater Ultramarathon (135 miles) he would stop and take ice baths in a giant cooler. He also wore special white pants in this race which actually made a huge difference in keeping him cool.
He recommends the following key points for training:
- Strength Training*
He has even seen Olympic snowboarders stand with just one leg on a stability ball. I tried to find a picture but this was the closest I could get. Imagine with just one leg?!
Scott eats 3 gels per hour in an endurance race (he weights 165-170lbs). Sometimes he eats whole food like bananas but he does eat gels and other sport nutrition. I asked him specifically what he uses and he said he is a fan of Clif Gels and Shot Blocks (me too!) because they have mostly organic and natural ingredients.
He endorses Udo's Oil and Green Foods.
Scott indicated that he does not promote a complete transfer to bare foot running. While it can help with form and technique it can also be dangerous when it is not done properly or done too quickly. He also told us that the Tarahumaran people tried the Vibram Five Fingers and they had no interest in them. My understanding was that their opinion was if you can have more cushion why would you choose to go without?
Friday, March 5, 2010
I'm headed back to the spa tonight for my deep tissue massage after my appointment was canceled last week due to snow. I can't wait! My body is in need of some serious work!
After the massage I'm heading uptown to hear Scott Jurek speak tonight as part of the winter information sessions for my tri club. Scott Jurek is an accomplished ultramarathoner and he competes in about 8-10 ultramarathons each year! His list of achievements is unbelievable long. Most notably, he is the only North American to ever win the Spartathlon in Greece - a 153 mile race! In 2008 he finished 1st place in 22 hours and 20 minutes.
I was reading his bio on his website and it turns out he actually grew up in the Northern Minnesota - just like me! It doesn't surprise me though - I don't know how anyone could live there and not be inspired by the beautiful lakes, forests and trails!
It turns out that Scott is also a vegan! On his website its says this about his plant based diet:
On his own journey towards optimal health, Scott began transitioning to a vegetarian whole foods diet in 1997, while competing in several ultra trail races per year. In 1999, he adopted a vegan diet out of further health and environmental concerns. Scott continues to fuel his body on a vegan diet while competing in 8-10 ultramarathons per year in addition to his rigorous training schedule. All seven of his consecutive wins at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run were performed on vegan fuel.As you probably know I'm a vegetarian too so I'm really looking forward to hearing Scott's perspective! I'll be back with a full report this weekend. I might even manage to snap a few secret shots with my iPhone!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Speaking of charity, the Westchester Triathlon is a non-profit organization and registration fees are tax-deductible. Last year they donated $80,000 to charity and raised another $750,000 through athlete sponsorships! It's always good to know when you can do the sport you love and help others at the same time!
I found these great pictures from the swim start last year on the Rye Record website.
Race season is just around the corner. We plan to register for the rest of our races this weekend. Have you registered yet? When is your first tri?
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Total accumulation for this storm was close to 20 inches! On Friday evening I was supposed to be cashing in my Christmas gift certificate from my mother-in-law for a hour long deep tissue massage but the spa closed early because of the snow.
I am hoping to get a short recovery run outside tomorrow but the forecast is calling for more freezing rain/snow so I'm not getting my hopes up...
How much longer until spring?