My (Internal) Engine Overheated

I overheated my engine this morning. Have you ever worked so hard that you vomited? It’s like leaving a car in neutral and on the hottest day let it rev at the red zone for too long until the radiator blows. Well I came very close this morning, my radiator almost blew. It doesn’t happen very often at all. It’s probably been a year since I pushed too hard and felt sick from exercise. I think it starts when the mental doesn’t match the physical. It’s when I thought I could do something but my body just couldn’t keep up. You see I had surgery about 4 weeks ago and was easing back in to the training plan and the workouts. My intension was to take it easy and not overdo it because I know my body is still healing. All the workouts until now have been shorter and lower intensity. It’s worked so far until this morning.

This morning I decided to step up the intensity. As it turned out I did it a bit too much. This morning was supposed to be

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Keep the Training Plan Flexible.

As life gets in the way of my well intentioned schedule I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE ANY TRAINING PLAN WITHOUT NOTICE. Well that’s my new disclaimer to myself. As I gear up for the 2013 race season my plans have been slower than I had wanted – but that’s not a bad thing.

I’ve set out a training plan for myself however I’m only using it as a guideline this year. Flexibility is my motto for 2013 both figuratively and physically. As I’m still a little fatigued from Continue reading

There Aren’t Enough O’s in Smoooooth

Day and night. My training life has just been transformed. Over the last month I’ve acquired some pretty sweet gear (by my standards anyways). I picked up a 2007 Louis Garneau TT 8.8 Carbon bike, some Tri Speed Louis Garneau shoes and some Speedplay X2 pedals.

Before I go any further here’s a picture of my new rocket ship:


To get an idea of the “before” image like a Jenny Craig infomercial here’s my old chariot:


So yes, I used a mountain bike with some road slicks to do a duathlon last year but Continue reading

Facing East Again

Today is the first day that I’ve seen the sun rise in almost three months. Most workouts are done before the sun even thinks about showing its face.

I’ve been battling plantar fasciitis for the last three months. The initial phase of pain in the morning is finally gone. It still gets sore but it feels like a sore worked muscle rather than the tearing/burning pain it use to be. I’ve only been biking on my trainer and swimming for the last 2.5 months. Very slowly I started to experience less pain. I’ve been rolling the bottom of my foot with a golf ball during the day, stretching the plantar tendon and calves several times per day and icing the foot once per day. A PT has been doing acupuncture with stimulation (electrodes) and some shock wave therapy.

Today is my first day back in the run game. Work out was 5 min EASY jog, 1 min walk, 5 reps. Felt good in the beginning, a little sore towards the end and as the day is going on no pain! Thursday another short jog then 7,1 on the weekend.

I actually thought my running days might be over but that probably isn’t the case.

Last week’s workout:
Rest and sleeping in.
Thursday 30 min fun ride on my trainer with my new Louis Garneau TT 8.8… Awesome
Saturday 30 min run/walk

Sink or Swim – Learning to swim a Triathlon

So I’ve never been much of a swimmer. Okay I know the basics but have never done any competitions and certainly didn’t train. Now with my new triathlon endeavors I want to learn to swim. Up until 2 weeks ago I could easily do the breast stroke for a bit but could only do the front crawl for maybe 25 meters – that’s one length of the pool. After 25 meters of front crawl I was out of breathe. After 4 visits to the pool I’m swimming 50 meter lengths pretty well and do about 10 lengths with 15-30 second breaks between laps. I think my detriments stemmed from poor technique. I had three issues:

1. Panicked when I had my head underwater.
2. Had trouble breathing and definitely didn’t know what getting in to a rhythm felt like.
3. Would get tired very quickly.

Off I went to learn on my own how to swim. First I looked on the internet. I came across this great YouTube video that showed how to swim and was all about swimming without stress. The most helpful exercise was side balancing. When I did this I realized that I can kick and move forward while keeping my mouth out of the water to breathe. Knowing this helped me know that I can simply stop using my arms and take a break while still moving forward and get some air. Detriment #1: overcome.

There were two tricks that I found to really help. First was learning to breathe. This article talks about leaving your head in the water so that it pushes the water away from your face and leaves a pocket to breathe in. Check it out here.

Second trick was Thumb to Thigh. This helps create a long swim stroke and encourages follow through. Basically the stroke your arm should extend all the way so that your thumb hits your thigh before exiting the water. I say this to myself as I’m swimming. It also helps to slow things down. Detriment #2: overcome.

Apparently swim clubs train in high heart rate zones but a smart triathlete wants to be fast and exit the water with a conservative heart rate so that when you hop on the bike you’re starting from 10-20 beats per min less than you would if you were going all out. This should give you more energy and a better time on the bike which is the longest event. Check out this great article.

Next I needed a plan. I bought the book Training Plans for Multisport Athletes by Gale Bernhardt which is really awesome. It has a great recap of how to train, types of training (aerobic/anaerobic… What?), VO2 Max (What?), nutrition and other great things. One of the great things about this book is that it has plans for people without much time in the week, plans for people with an event coming up soon and also plans for people who have longer periods of time to train. I’m following the 6 weeks to an Olympic Triathlon plan and the first swim is 10 lengths of 50 meters. Hard for a newbie like me. Detriment #3: overcomING

Practice, practice, practice… Or should I say practice SMART.

With my goal of doing two Olympic tris this summer with a half ironman in the fall I’m confident that with time I’ll be able to do the 1,500 m and 1,900 m that’s required.

Weekday swims are 5:30am starts and Sunday mornings at 7:30am. I don’t swim any longer than 30 mins at a time.

Happy swimming.