Friday, January 16, 2015

Training Plans

I think  that a good training plan is one of the most important things to hammer out before you start training for a triathlon. Years ago, I would have just gone out and S/B/R whatever I wanted and just made sure I could do the distances. Now I rely on a good training plan to start off my training on point.

I normally will search the web prior to pick out a training plan. I have tried dozens of search terms to try and find a great plan for me, but I have not ever found it yet. I always end up going to beginner triathlete and using a plan from them. A lot of plans on the web are expensive. They require more time than I have (after all, this is a hobby, not my life) and it is not quite what I want.

For example, I do not want weight room training in my workout schedule. Now I am in no way discounting the benefits it may or may not have, I am simply saying that I do not want to go to the weight room. With all the swimming, biking  and running we do, I am not sure I could find time to lift things up and put them down. My core workouts even slack off once I am into a plan. So there is no way I am going to the weight room.

I also want to find the right length of training. In 2013, when I became an Ironman, (suttle enough?) I trained for months. I started training in March for a September race. 7 month long training plan!  By the time race day got there, I was so ready for it to be over! I think that is one reason that it took me so long to recover mentally from that race. So now I will be sure to not train to long for a race.

SO, here is what I use. I use the Beginner Triathlete's custom made plans. I input all the information like, date of race, when I want training to start and even the pace I think I can do throughout the race. I then select how I want to focus my training. Do I want to focus on swimming, biking or running?

This time for Redman, I am swimming 2 times a week, biking 3 times a week and running 3 times a week for a total of 8 workouts:

Monday- medium swim
Tuesday- medium run, medium bike
Wednesday- short bike
Thursday- long swim
Friday- short run
Saturday- long bike
Sunday- long run

I know there is no rest day, but if you read this blog, then you know I am not opposed to taking a rest day when needed. This schedule gives me some flexibility to live my life and do the things I need to do all while training to be a two time Ironman and to beat Brad. It also means that I do not have to get up early every single morning so I can sneak in my lunch swims if possible. The beauty of this IM plan is that I will not start it until mid May, which I think will help me a lot more than last time.

Monday, January 12, 2015

4 minutes 4 seconds

That is where I stand now on my 90 day plank challenge. I started with a max of 3:05 and my max out last night was 4:04. My goal is to get to a 10 minute plank. So this week, my plank workouts will be three (3) 2 minute planks. This week I have found the secret to doing a good plank, one that will make you feel the burn and make strides is to wear the right shoes. There is no way I could do planks barefooted cause it hurts me toes! So I have to have on my running shoes to guarantee that I do not slide around while trying to bang out a plank. I think it also helps to begin your plank at the start of a commercial while watching TV. We all know commercials run about 2 minutes, and nothing makes it harder for me than to stare at the stopwatch watching the time. So I either look away or make sure the watch is not in my line of sight. So seven days down, only 83 more days to plank! I also realized that I do not need to do 5 days of planking to get gains, so I have skipped a day in the week, but I can seriously see myself hitting a 10 minutes plank in the future.

As far as my other workouts, well, if you have seen a weather map, or if you have been on FaceBook, then you know it has been cold. It got down to 7 degrees here in Memphis and that's not normal. It is not suppose to get that cold here. So needless to say, that made it difficult for me to get out. Not only was the outside cold, but everywhere you went INSIDE was also cold. I do not think we build frigid proof houses here like maybe they do in Minnesota or Wisconsin. I don't know, but I had no desire to get outside unless I had to and that only meant going to work, going to church or going outside to get some firewood!

So now that the Holiday season is over, my wife and I thought we should do something crazy, so we decided that now is the perfect time to put our house on the market and try to sell it! We simply need more room and we have been putting it off for awhile now, so we decided to go for it. It should officially be on the market this week, which honestly, scares the crap out of me. I mean, what if someone does buy it, then we have to find a new house! We are waiting to even look at new houses because I do not want to find a house we love and then be stuck because ours has not sold yet, but I think once that ball starts rolling, it will roll fast! I would love to find a house that I can have a workout room or "man cave" I could setup my bike and get a treadmill and some weights and turn it into a PAIN CAVE! I am sure we will find the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood in the perfect time, but it is still a little scary....Wait, I have to find all new running routes!!!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

90 Day Challenge- Join me???

Welcome 2015 and welcome all the "new" me's and better eating habits we will all have this year. As with every January, I have been hit with several challenges to start off 2015 the right way. I really looked into these challenges and I have finally focused on a couple (meaning 3) that I am going to participate in and I have one I want to share with you!!! But here are the two challenges I have accepted for the next 90 days, beginning Jan 5, 2015.

  1.  The church I attend has issued a challenge to read one chapter of the Gospels everyday for 90 days. This doesn't sound all that difficult does it? Many years I have always tried to read the Bible through in a year and I have failed. I struggle with finding a quiet time, but I can always find time to train!  That seems messed up right?
  2. Drink water with all my meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will all have a big O glass of agua to wash it down. (Okay, I count coffee as my water for breakfast). I always agree with people when they say I should drink more water, but somehow I am tricking myself into drinking by saying I am going to have it at meal time, and not totally giving everything else up.
  3. 90 Day Plank Challenge or 90 Core Challenge- This is most likely more up your alley as readers. I am going to really work on my planking for the next 90 days to build up my core strength, because I know a strong core will benefit my swimming, my biking and my running, plus it will make me look good! I have thought about doing Day 1 picture and then day 90 pictures, but I make no promises.

Here is how my planking challenge is going to work:
  • On Sunday, will do a max out on plank time. Each Sunday, every Sunday.
  • Monday through Saturday I will plank 5 times, letting me have one day to rest.
  • I will take my max plank time and divide it in half, and then do 3 sets of planks for that time.
  • Example: Last night I planked for 2:30. So my weekday workouts, which I will do on MTWTHF will consist of three (3) 1:15 planks, as my max time increases, then my weekly time will also increase!
Sounds simple huh? Will it work? I have no idea. All I know was that when I was serious about my core, I was doing 5 minute planks. I want to go longer. I honestly think I can get to a 10 minute plank. It might take longer than 90 days, but you never know. If I do hit 10 minutes, I will video it and out it on my blog! Who is with me???

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 Anti-Resolutions

This is the time of year that most, if not all people start to write their new years resolutions for 2015. I would bet you that if you went back on this blog, you would see a few posts at the beginning of the year where I listed out things I wanted to accomplish in the upcoming year. I will say that I honestly had good intentions, each and every year, but I can say with certainty that I most likely did not accomplish any of them. Without even looking back, I can almost bet that those goals included the following at one point:
  • six pack abs
  • sub 20 minute 5K
  • PR every race
  • learn the guitar
  • save money
And probably a few more are on my lists of failures. I heard a stat that only 8% of people keep their New Years Resolutions! So with this in mind, I have decided that I am going to set my anti-resolution goals for 2015. Basically it is things that I plan on starting, but I have serious doubts that I will complete. So when I do not complete them, I will have succeeded!  Brilliant huh? So here are my 2015 anti-resolutions:
  1. Lose 20lbs- Yes, I would love to hit 175lbs before Redman 140.6, but I doubt I do it!
  2. Have a DR. check out my wrists- I have had some wrist pain for quite some time, but I am afraid of what he might find out, so I doubt I will even have them checked out!
  3. Six pack abs- who does not have this on their list? I think it is required, but hey, I am 43, so it is highly unlikely.
  4. Eat healthier- I really would like to eat healthier overall, but I love Taco Bell, BBQ and I have 3 kids, so this won't happen.
  5. Drink more water- this one is totally doable, and I can do it for a week or so, but it won't stick, never has, never will.

Wow, that was so much easier than trying to figure out what I am capable of, and then actually trying to do it! By setting up what I am not going to do in 2015 really takes a lot of pressure of me honestly. And please, do not hold me accountable to not doing these 5 things, it will not help me at all if you do, but they say accountability is the best way to hit goals! I already feel like I have not accomplished so much this year!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Thank you for reading Daily Trainings

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Flip turns in December...

I know I have been saying for awhile that I was planning on getting back to the pool after the half marathon as over, and I am happy to report that I have been to the pool twice this week! So I headed off to the Bartlett recreation Center to hit the water.

I remembered where the pool was. I remember my combination to my locker, and my jammers did not look to ridiculous on me. In my locker were my Zoggs goggles, swim cap and flippers, everything I needed was there. So I changed clothes, grabbed my towel and walked out to the pool area.

As I was walking, I noticed how empty the pool was. there were maybe two other people, not including the lifeguard in the pool, swimming laps. It always seems to be this way that once the season is over, the pool becomes an empty place until the New year crowds show up, but it is one of my favorite times to be in the pool. In fact, one of my most favorite traditions is my Christmas Eve swim. I am usually the only one in the pool. The gym usually closes early, so I can get in and out easily, and as I was walking to the far lane, I was already planning my Dec 24th swim.

As I got to the far lane, I placed my stuff down and got on my goggles and cap. I then walked down tot he deep end of the pool and do a wicked pencil drop into the pool. (I saw Crowie do this on an IM special and thought it was cool, so I start all my swims that way now)

It felt good to be in the water. I swam 500 yards and that was enough. It has been a long time since I last swam and it was evident. I swam the 500 in 10:04 and was not upset with that time. 500 yds used to be a warm up!!!  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed swimming and I was glad to be back in the water. My plan is to continue to swim 500 yards, three times a week until January and then amp up the speed and distance. I hope to have a clear plan as to my race schedule and will have a plan in place.

P.S. My flip turns were about the same as I left, so that's a good thing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What I am looking forward to in 2015...

So 2014 is basically over.

2015 is here...almost.

So what now?  Races? Goals? These are some questions I ask myself. And I can tell you that I have high hopes and I have plans to do great things, but that doesn't mean I will do them. I do not think I am going to do the whole new years resolutions thing, or set specific goals (like six pack abs) only to realize that I am not going to achieve them. So there will not be a 2015 Goals post on Daily Trainings this year.

Instead, I am going to tell what I am looking forward to in 2015. Here it goes...

In 2015, I am looking forward to getting back to running triathlons. At my last half marathon, as I stood in the corral waiting for it to start, I found myself openingly (did I invent a new word?) missing the start of the swim. I miss Stella too.

In 2015, I am looking forward to getting back in the pool. I cannot tell you the last time I swam. Not because it's a secret, but because it has been awhile since I got wet. I am hoping to jump into the water this week sometime. I am sure the 500 yd warm-up I used to will now be something to post on FB!

In 2015, I am looking forward to getting back into some tri shorts. (Tell me that is not weird) I mean I like running in running shorts, but something about the tri short that just seems right with me. I dunno, it's weird, I know.

In 2015, I am looking forward to doing my 1st sprint triathlon in 3 years. It's not that I have anything against that distance, its just that it hasn't really fit into my goals at the time. The Memphis in May Triathlon weekend always has a sprint on Saturday and an Olympic on Sunday. I have done this race the last 6 years or so, but I have never done the sprint. Well, that's about to change! I am really looking forward to this.

In 2015, I am looking forward to signing up for Redman 140.6 in September. As you know, I will be beating Brad D at this race, which is an added bonus, but I will also be going for a new PR, which will be equally as rewarding as beating Brad.

In 2015, I am looking forward to getting on a training schedule. I like having a plan. In many ways I think I am a better trainer than a racer. They say that the training is the hard part and the race is the reward. Whatever...

So those are a few of the things I am looking forward to in 2015. Notice they are all triathlon related, and that is because this is a triathlon based blog. I have other things in my personal life I am looking forward to, but that is something for me and my family. I will probably make mention of it throughout the year as I bang out words on the computer. I like blogging and expressing stuff in words. (beautiful statement right there huh?) So I hope to continue to keep Daily Trainings going, and I hope some people find it interesting, but I really hope everyone had a great 2014 and will have a better 2015.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Proud of my Slowest 13.1 Ever!

So here I am writing the day after the St Jude Marathon Weekend where I ran the half marathon. This was the first time I have ever run the half, and I am so glad I was not signed up for the full. This is one of the premier races in the South in my opinion and I love doing it, it benefits St Jude Hospital in Memphis. No family ever pays for medical treatment at St Jude due to donation from all over the world.  So the first weekend in December, over 18,000 runners come to Memphis to run this race. The Marathon weekend offers a 5K, 13.1, 26.2 and a 26.2 relay option!

Now I knew going in that this was going to be a tough race for me. My last long run was an 11 mile run on November 1st and it took me 1:55, so I felt I was on track to have a great race. Well, things happen. Some things you can foresee and other things you can't. For some reason, I always seem to think I can train through the Christmas "Black Friday" rush and everything that goes into planning for those 2 wonderful days (and yes, that is sarcasm). Due to travel with work, I had a hard time keeping the training schedule going, but I decided I was still doing the race anyways.

So here we were on Saturday morning waiting to start. I started in Corral 8, which was a 10:07 mile. I was really unsure of how long I would be able to hold that pace, but I was game. I was running with 3 other friends and I knew that would help me. I also knew I was going in with no expectation except to finish the race and enjoy making that turn to the finish line.

The first 6 miles were awesome. Tons of people cheering and runners were everywhere. Our foursome stuck together, which you know is tough in a race this size. we were hitting a 10:07 pace which was getting tougher each mile, so I pulled back alittle and let the guys go on. I was able to keep a steady pace for the first 9 miles or so before I knew I needed to focus on finishing.

So I did some walking through the water stations and then ran tot he next one for the next few miles. My calves started tweaking around 11, but  managed to push through and get to the finish line. I crossed the line at 2:31:23. PR is 1:54.

Here is the thing. I am more proud of this 2:31 than I would have thought. I knew going in that I was not trained for it and even had thoughts of ditching the race, but I didn't. I pushed through. It hurt and my legs are still sore. I didn't listen to the voices. I maintained, I persevered and I finished. When you think about the reason this race exists, to raise money for kids battling cancer, my leg cramps seem trivial. So like I said, I am probably more proud of my 2:31 and everything it took for me to get there than I am my 1:54.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Unprepared, But Ready

So I am back to the blog, rambling on as always. It has been a busy time for me these past couple of weeks. Since this is mainly a blog about Ironman and racing, I will start off with my upcoming race that I feel completely unprepared for, The St Jude Half Marathon. I started the training off really well and had some lofty goals, but life has since reared its head and reminded me that this is my hobby and other things have to come first.

I do not know why I do this every year, but I do. As you might know, I work in the glorious world of retail, and I am finally surrendering to the fact that Christmas sales and late season races do not mix. I always think that I can pull off training and still deal with the Black Friday schedule, which includes school and church activities plus time changes, cold temperatures and everything else one must account for. It is just a difficult time of year for me to hit my workouts, yet I still think I can. I think I have finally learned my lesson on this race.

This past 10 days have been crazy for me as well. My father got very sick and was even in the ICU unit for almost a week battling an infection that got into his bloodstream. This was a very scary time for my family. We went form taking him to the ER, to him joking with us as we left for the night expecting him to be kept one night to us being called at 5 AM telling us he was in ICU on a breathing machine. It was unreal! I was glad we were visiting my folks that weekend all this occurred (it was his Birthday and we celebrated Thanksgiving that Sat because of my work). Being three hours away did not make it any easier either. I felt like I needed to be in two places at once so many time this past week!

**I do want to thank all the friends and family that did pray for my father, either from FB, IG, or people who heard about his condition**

I am happy/relieved to know that he is finally cleared to go home after being in the hospital for over a week! Huge relief!

So after all that, and now traveling for work this week, I have a half marathon coming up Saturday that I am so not ready for. My last long run of 11 miles was about a month ago. It is so going to hurt on Saturday!

I am still going to run it. I am an Ironman!!!  Right?

I have just changed my expectations on this race. I want to run it and enjoy it, just be in the crowd around other athletes. I know a lot of people running this race and I admit, the competitor in me wants to smoke my friends, but I may be the smokee instead of the smoker this year. (sounds totally whack, but you get it). So I am totally ready for my butt to be kicked. Everything is OK in my world right now and if me not hitting a goal time is the worst I have it, then its fine by me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On The Other Hand...

Recently I read a blog post about what to do when your PR's are behind, or basically "how are you going to handle the fact that you aren't as fast as you used to be?" This really got me thinking because I have already been struggling with this.

I know I will never be like the 25-35 year old JFORD when it comes to physical activity. I just won't. My body has changed over the years (knees and wrists are becoming issues) recovery takes me longer than it did, and I am sure if I go curl up in the corner and think about it, I could come up with more, so I won't. But it is true, I am getting older.

Granted I am only 43, but I have a lot of years of sports on these old bones. I have even told my wife that I think I have maybe one more year of trying to be competitive (my definition of competitive). So I have to ask myself this, are there anymore PR's in my future?

On one hand I say no, it's doubtful. I do not have the same drive, the same ego, or the same confidence in my body that I use to have. I think this is normal, that as we age our body change, but it could just be a mental thing as well. But I honestly do not see me going sub 20 on a 5K (not that I ever have before, but it was always a goal) AND I honestly do not see me going to get my aches and pains looked at by a doctor cause I am a big wuss and I am afraid of what they might say, so I just won't go and will deal with it. So I expect a few extra non scheduled rest days here and there out of necessity.

But on the other, I can totally see me setting a new PR in the IM I am racing this fall. Beside the fact that I am racing Brad D at Redman, I actually EXPECT to set a new PR at he 140.6 distance. (So I know this post sounds weird, going back and forth, but this is the way I am thinking right now.) So maybe I am just going to be a long distance guy going forward, cause let's be honest. The longer the race, the less people care about your time, just as long as you finish.

I know I can beat 15:53 on IM (and beat Brad in the process), but I know I will most likely not go under 22 in a 5K and I have to find a way to be OK with that. As I wrote in an earlier post, PR's are forever.