Friday, April 18, 2014

Picking a Training Plan

This is one of the toughest things for me to do. I am talking about deciding on a plan to train with. I am the first person that would tell any new triathlete to "Trust the Plan", but how do you know? What do you look for in a plan? When you simply Google "HIM training plan" I get 145,000,000 results. That's alot. So how does one narrow it down? Here's how I roll when I chose my plan for my HIM in Sept.

First thing I looked at was the length of the plan. One thing I learned from my IM training was that you CAN train to long for a race and get mentally burned out. For me, about 16 weeks is perfect for me to get ready for a HIM, especially since I have not been consistent with my training. If I was in better triathlon shape, I might consider a shorter plan.

Second thing I look at is the balance. Is it run heavy, swim heavy or bike heavy? Is it a balanced plan? Personally with me, I feel good about the swim, decent about the bike and hate the run. As you know that is normally where I lose the most time, so I want to make sure I am using a plan that focus on my weakness oppurtunity.

Third thing I want to see is how is the plan laid out? Is it even possible for me to hit the designed workouts with my family schedule and my work schedule? Is their some flexibility in it? Are there scheduled rest days? Nothing is more frustrating than to get a plan together and then find out there is now way to execute it. So I want to make sure it is a plan I can actually follow.

Lastly, I want to look at the detail of the plan. Is Monday a swim 40 minutes, bike 60 minutes day? Or is is broken down for me. Does that 40 minuite swim come with a workout designed and explained to me? that is what I like. I admit, I get bored going to the pool knowing I have to swim 40 laps. I would much rather have it broekn down for me with a warmup, main set and cooldown (plus I honestly believe that is how you get faster, not by simply swimming a bunch of laps)

Normally I would just get a plan off of beginnertraithlete.com, but the ones they had for HIM did not really work for me, so I searched elsewhere and found a plan that I think will work. It comes from a site called trinewbies.com. Now the fact that the website is called trinewbies does not bother me at all (well a little, but I am getting over it) It is an 18 week plan, is the right balance of S/B/R. I actually like the way it is laid out (which means I don't always have to stay up late to get workouts done like I did for IM) and it has detailed plans for the S/B/R.

The only other issue I have is that sometimes I will think I decided on a plan until I run across another plan, and then I see another plan. So I am taking a few days to really dive into this plan and make sure this is what I want and that it will work for me.

So how do you decide what training plans you use? Did I miss anything on the decision factor?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A True Warrior Will Be Missed, RIP Jessica

If you were to look up the definition of the word "Warrior" in the dictionary, here is what you would find:

"A person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage or aggressiveness"

I know a true warrior, her name is Jessica. Jessica and her husband James are the founders of the triathlon team I have had the pleasure of racing with the past two years. The team was founded as a cancer awareness group that wantedt o bring the fight to cancer. One of the great things about the team that I liked was that it was not solely about racing. While the team did have the same requirements that most teams have regarding amount of races and such, it also asked that you do something else. Pay it forwards projects.

These pay it forward projects were aimed at supporting cancer patients and survivors. They really asked us to do simple things like yard work, help clean houses, take meals to people and to simply provide snack baskets to people that were going through chemo treatments. It was designed to put others first and look outside yourself.

No couple does that better than James and Jessica. They always had something going on, and it normally focused on other people. Even with their busy lives, they are both physical trainers and endurance athletes, they found time to focus on others. And did I mention that Jessica was also in a fight against breast cancer? Yes, while Jessica was battling cancer, she still found time to worry about others first. What an amazing couple.

Well, Jessica finally lost her battle with cancer on Saturday April 12. She had fought hard for over 5 years that I have known them, and everytime, she would bounce back with a smile. Never once would you hear a complaint from her and she would always have that smile on her face. Jessica is also a God fearing, Jesus loving woman. That would be the first thing that I think she would have told you about herself, not that she was a cancer survivor, or that she ran marathons or was a trainer, but that she had a strong faith that many of us cannot even claim. Please take a minute and watch this video clip about Jessica...



I know people like to throw around terms like warriors and such to describe themselves,but Jessica was a true Warrior in every sense of the word and she will be truly missed and she impacted so many people in such a positive way. Rest in Peace Jessica.





Monday, April 7, 2014

What Have I Been up To???

Well, it has been about two weeks since I last posted on my blog, so I thought I would go all random on you guys and let you know what I have been doing these past two weeks! So what has kept me so busy?

Work- Work has been extremely busy as it always is with warmer temps. More people are out and more people wanna steal things, and with the added districts in Nashville, my days have been full.


Planks- I have been a planking fool lately. It is such a great core workout and I am really seeing some good results/ I hit a 5:05 plank the other day, my longest planking time yet, but I am not finished, I am shooting for 7 or 8, maybe 10 minutes before I am through!

I know, pretty awesome right? Think I can go 10 minutes????


Skiing- Yes, the family and I traveled to Snowmass, Colorado for a few days of skiing. The wife and I skied while my older boys tried their hands at snowboarding and even my little guy went to ski school. We had an awesome trip and some great weather, except for the drive to Snowmass. It is now one of my favorite places to go skiing!

My wife, Me and we think it is our oldest son on top of Long Shot, 12,000 ft up


Doctors- My end of the year with my benefits came up in April, so I had to go get everything checked out while I had already met my deductible! So I hit the regular doctor, the eye doctor and a new chiropractor. I am doing well physically, but I am going to see a new chiro guy and I am going to have to get some readers (glasses) for reading. (getting old I guess) things just aren't as crisp close up as they used to be. No picture here.

Training- have really done very much, and I am starting to figure out why. Usually I plan on doing an Olympic in May, but I just really have not been to excited about it, so that has hampered my training. The weekend of the Olympic, they also have a sprint race that my bride is doing, it will be her first triathlon, so I am really more excited to support her while she races than for me to actually race. If you have read this blog before, then you know I never want to just complete a race, I want to compete, but I feel like this Olympic would just be me completing it. I have nothing motivating me to run, so I am now leaning to not racing it at all. I still have my eyes set on a HIM in Sept (Goosepond Triathlon), then a half marathon in December (St Jude) and then I am going to prepare to kick Brad's butt at Redman 140.6 in 2015.

I am also working with a running group at our church. There are about 50 new runners that I am leading through a devotion/running program to get them across the finish line of their first 5K. I love this, I mean I really get motivated from seeing them work for 12 weeks and then cross that finish line.

Monday, March 24, 2014

We are ALL getting along...Swim Bike Run Plank

Me and running are back together. Running, biking and me are all getting along pretty well. Swimming is not really like running and/or biking very much, but it is puytting up with us.

Strength training and me are tight. Real tight, like starting to see some payoff type of tight.

Me and planks are besties! I just set a new PR on my plank! 3:12 My goal is a 5 minutes plank and I WILL reach that goal. I am also goignt o say that planks are getting along with biking and running and swimming loves planks, because I can really feel a stronger core in the water!

Me and my blog have not really been talking so much lately as you can probably tell due to the lack of posting, but I am starting to feel the triathlon buzz once again. I think daylight savings time has jump started me a little. So things are good here in Daily Trainings land. Other highlights include:

The running group that I lead at church has started again and we have 41 new runners signed up to make their journey to a 5K! They inspire me!

Two of my friends just completed their first marathon! Congrats to Jay and Matt

All my Final Four picks are still alive (as of March 24)

And the family is about to head out to Colorado to go skiing! Can't wait!

So things are good, and I hope all is well with you. Thanks for reading.

P.S. My trainer, Leigh, has begun her journey to her first Ironman and she has started a blog. Please go to her blog at MILE BY Mile and drop her an encouraging line!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014

So What Do I want out of 2104?

That is a very good question actually and probably on that many of you have already answered, like back in January. Well, it is really a simple answer. It is a short list


  • I want to lean up and be in great shape.
  • I want to race Memphis in May under 2:40
  • I want to run the Goosepond Half Iron Distance under 5:45
  • I want to run the St Jude Marathon under 4:28 (hang with me, I will explain the time)


  • So let's break these points down, go alittle deeper.

    Leaning up and being in great shape, well I am heading down that path. As you know (if you read this blog) I have been working with a trainer for the last 7 weeks. This morning we did an assessment and compared numbers to 7 weeks ago. I HAVE LOST ONE POUND, and i am cool with that because I have lost almost 1% body fat, so I have lost fat and gained lean muscle. My bicep strength is up and even my flexibility is better.  So I have decided to go another round.

    My best time at the Memphis in May Olympic Triathlon is 2:47. I always get caught up in the run because it is the boringest, hottest, longest 6.2 miles of my life. I hate the run, but I know I must run well to hit my mark. My goal has always been to hit that 10K under an hour and I have yet to do that. This is the year.

    Goosepond Half Iron distance under 5:45. My previous PR at the HIM distance is 6:09. I have always been on track to hit in the 5:40s but guess what? My run crashes on me, so that is my goal. I know that mentally it is doable!

    St Jude Marathon in under 4:28. That's a weird number you might be saying and I agree, but here is why I say 4:28. Oprah ran a marathon in 4:29:15! OPRAH!!!! I read an article on Runner's world that listed celebrity marathon times. My PR of 5:01 beats Katie Holmes and barely losing to Eddie Izzard! Pitiful when you put it in perspective IMO. Here are some other celebs and there marathon times:

    Al Gore                                               4:58:25
    Shia LaBeouf                                       4:35:31
    Sean Austin (RUDY)                            4:25:47
    Will Ferrell                                            3:56:12
    George W Bush                                    3:44:52

    Al Gore probably manipulated the internet since he did invent it, and everyone knows that Rudy was off-sides in the movie so his time is probably not legit. Will Ferrell beat my time? Are you serious??? Man, this is motivation for me, I should be faster than these people, especially Oprah!

    So that is what I will achieve in 2014!

    Monday, March 10, 2014

    Dear Running.

    Dear Running,

    I know we have not really been seeing eye to eye lately and if I am being honest, you have been a real jerk the past few weeks. You have not really been inviting at all and you have been somewhat standoffish with me (Did I just make up a new word?) I have wanted to run, and I have really thought alot about you. You don't know this, but I have talked about you to my friends and even made plans for us to get together, but you always have had a way of ruining our plans.

    Now, I know what you are thinking, "How can it be my fault?" Well, lately you have just sucked! You have not been there for me. I know I have had a cold, there has been bad weather and treadmills aren't really the same, but those are just excuses. Admit it! So that is why I hooked up with other exercises. Biking and swimming have been good to me lately, they treat me well and are excited to do things with me. So naturally, I have been spending more time with them. I also want you to know that I have been doing more strength training, and it has been great. I have not sweated like that in a long time!

    But, if I am honest, I do miss you! That is why I wanted last week to be about me and you, just the two of us. The weather cleared up, and we got to get together outside, just like when we first met. We did some intervals together, we got to just run outside and it was fun! That is why I want us to give it another chance. I am committing to making this work, but it can't only come from me. I need you to committ to me as well. We can make a strong team, but we have to want it and we have to do it together. So, let me know if you want to give us another chance, I will be waiting for an answer...


    P.S. Just so you know, today I bought you something black and lacy...new shoe laces as a symbol of my new committment to you!


    Yours if you'll have me,

    JFord

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

    No Excuses Here.

    I am really getting sick of blogging about lack of motivation and piling the excuses on, so hopefully this post will be different. I have decided to give myself a grade over the first 2 months of 2014. It is not going to be pretty either. I am going to break it down into 5 areas. 1. Strength 2. Rest 3. Swimming 4. Biking 5. Diet  and 6. Running. So here we go...

    1. Strength- A

    • Normally I do not do strength workouts except for maybe some crunches, but this year I signed up to workout with a trainer, and I have been for the last 5 weeks. The workouts have been tough and more focused on balance, core and triathlon related exercises, so I have loved it. I have loved it so much that I am looking at doing an additional 7 weeks! The only downside that I can see is that I am not dropping weight like I hoped. I think I am adding muscle tough and my grades on the other categories will have something to do with the weight.
    2. Rest- A
    • Nailing it! I think I have been in bed before 10 more this year than ever before. I have enjoyed the Saturdays where I do not have to get up at 6 to ride or run. It has been great!
    3. Swimming- B
    • It really has not taken me long to get back into the swing of things. 2,000 yards is pretty easy right now and my pace is about where I want it. I know I could focus on my swim and drop my pace down even more, but I am solid, and can come out of the water not winded.
    4.Biking- B
    • Today was the first day I got my bike out on the road and I loved it, all other times have been on the trainer/drainer. My longest ride has only been 18 miles, but again, I have felt good afterwards. I finally removed all the Redman stickers off my bike today, which was kind of sad in a weird kind of way. It felt great hitting 26 mph on the road though, for real!
    5. Diet- C
    • Shocker huh? I went on a 3 week kick without Cokes awhile back, but other than that, I have not really focused on my diet. I think I eat smart, but I know I can eat better. Really not a whole lot to say, other than I just haven't been hitting it coach.
    6. Running-F
    • My relationship with running is so bad right now that I do not even want to type about it! The treadmill sucks. The weather sucks. I am not sure what I need, but it just does not interest me at all. Two of my good friends are running their first marathon this month, and while I love to talk shop with them about it, I can't get the excitement to transfer over to me. So I am looking for answers, or suggestions. I am thinking of ditching my training plan (that I haven't really been following) and making this next week a run focus week. The next race (which I have yet to sign up for) is an Olympic, so it is only a 6 mile run, so I have plenty of time to prepare for it right?



    Sunday, February 16, 2014

    Random Thoughts Once Again...

    Nothing better than a random though post whee there is no relation to any of these posts, they are just thoughts, or maybe little rants I be thinking...

    1. Kroger Cashier, please quit making conversations about the stuff I am buying. Yes, I like Black Cherry Kool-Aid and I am glad you like it also, but this does not bond us together, and while we are at it, Yes, I have a dog which really should not be a required question when ringing up my dog food.
    2. Winter Olympics- Meh, already over it. I do not like sports that are subjective to another persons opinions, meaning a judges score, and figure skating???  Don't get me started, this is the only way I will watch FIGURE SKATING!!
    3. The funk is here. I am in a running, swimming, biking funk. I don't want to do any of them.
    4. The Lego movie is worth it, I took the family to see it this weekend and I really enjoyed it. Batman was hilarious! ("The hairy one was a dude!"  best line in it!)
    5. I went to my 1st professional tennis tournament this week. My wife and I saw watched a doubles match and then a singles match. The doubles match went way to fast to watch the ball, so I am more of a singles match kind of guy. I did see Leyton Hewitt and Sam Querry play (I recognized those names). I do have a problem with going to a sporting event where you have to be quiet while they are playing, seems whack to me. I got shushed eating Skittles!
    6. My wife is going to compete in her first sprint triathlon this spring. So, for Valentine's Day I gave her a training plan (along with some candy). I can't wait to see her finish this race! My wife's love language is spending time together, which we got to get away a lot this week, it was fun. So no, I did not just give her a training plan!
    7. Cold weather, I am done with you. Memphis is not suppose to get as cold as it has gotten. I am ready for some heat!
    8. For Valentine's Day, my wife made me a fruit pizza instead of getting me candy. It was delicious! It had pineapples, strawberry, kiwi, blueberries and bananas. She also got me a gift certificate for a massage, which I can't wait to cash in.
    9. My next home project is going to be replacing garage doors. I am not taking on this project because I think new garage doors would look nice... Longer story involved.
    10. I have to sign up for some races. I think this is my motivation problem and I need to get over it. I am forcing myself to go outside and run today, but I now I am one bad excuse away or one interesting event on the Olympics from not going! Figure skating is on, so looks like running it is!
    OK, I feel a little better. Now please hope that after writing this I do follow through and go out running.

    Thursday, February 6, 2014

    Me and Crowie...

    Just like a lot of you out there, sometimes I lose my motivation to train. Sometimes I blame the weather, sometimes I blame the aches and pains, and other times I sit here and think, I have plenty of time to train, my race is a couple of months out. A lot of times I will read race reports to get my juices flowing, or I will watch YouTube videos of races, but they main way I get my mojo back is....

    I cut my hair.

    Guard #1.

    Sleek and aero-dy-nam-ic!.

    Now you might be thinking, what does this have to do with Crowie. Well, it might be the only thing we have in common. Last year, on the NBC Kona coverage, Crowie was interviewed and he said that one thing he did to prepare for a race was that he got his hair cut. And I can relate.

    Maybe that is why triathletes shave their legs, but I know that when I am rocking a shaved cut, I naturally feel faster and I feel more like an athlete. This might sound weird to some of you, but it makes perfect sense to me. So today, I had a great workout, a great swim and I had a new swimsuit! I won a gift certificate to Sports Authority, so I bought a new suit. I felt great in the water and I felt like I was training. All from a simple haircut!

    Thanks Crowie!