Winter Fun For Triathletes

Winter Fun For TriathletesAs an triathlete, it’s important to have an “off-season”.

This is a time where you forgo your structured training for a period of time, get caught up on all the work, family, household, business, vacations, chores you half-assed during your season, and restore a little balance in your life.

Most triathletes can do this very well…for about a week! And then we want to go back to the scheduled, rigorous training we did all season. Which is NOT a good idea. Without taking time off, most athletes can get burned out, over train, or worse, injured.

In Colorado we can’t compete year round in triathlon without traveling to warmer, drier climates, so for most Coloradans, our off-season is the Winter months.

But don’t let Winter get you down! There are a ton of fun things we can do to give our minds and bodies a break while still challenging ourselves in our sport.

Winter Fun - Cycle CrossCyclocross:

Cyclocross is sport that is a cross between mountain biking, obstacle course racing, and cross-country running. The bike courses combine riding on pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills with obstacles that require the rider to dismount, carry the bike, and remount often.

Cyclocross is very hard and will help with sprinting, bike handling, and maxing out your heart rate. They do make cyclocross specific bikes, but as a beginner, you could use a mountain bike. I am actually trying this out for the first time this year and have my first race THIS weekend! YIKES!

Swim Meets:

Masters Swim Meets are a fun way to challenge yourself while becoming a better swimmer. Since you already swim as a triathlete, you don’t need to get any new equipment. Learning all 4 strokes will help your technique and feel for the water. Swimming in a Masters meet is low key and anyone can join.

You’ll find all levels from past Olympians to those who need to rest for a breath at each turn. And as an adult you can swim as short as a 50 yard race! It’s harder than it sounds!

Road Running Races:

In Colorado, there is a 5K pretty much every weekend throughout the year. You can also find several 10Ks and half marathons each month, as well as at least one marathon each month.

This is a great time to work on speed since your legs won’t be as tired from your bike miles you put on while triathlon training. If you want to move up to the next distance in triathlon, incorporating longer runs is a great off-season goal.

Strength Training, Core Work, Yoga, Meditation:

All the important components that make up a well-rounded athlete that we tend to minimize or skip all together during our season because let’s face it, we all only have 24 hours in a day!

Get back to the basics. Make these activities a habit now so that when you start adding back in your swim, bike, and run next season, you can continue to practice them. You may not be able to spend the same amount of time on them as you do during your off-season, but you can find ways to incorporate them in smaller increments throughout your training week. I am actually doing a yoga streak this month!

Plan Next Season:

This is my favorite off-season activities. Set goals, choose your races and prioritize them. Register for as many as you can and for the ones that aren’t open yet or you don’t have money for, put them on a list in order of importance with the registration opening date and price and put the list where you can see it daily. Post your goals and tell a trusted friend or two to keep you motivated throughout the winter.

Hope your Winter is super duper fun and you come back next season refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to ROCK!!!

Stay in touch!
www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com

If you want help planning your season, reach out! I LOVE PLANNING!

See you soon!
Brrrrrr!!!

Just. Do. It.

Just Do It... I always hear people talk about how hard they work to get to a certain place in their life, whether it's business, financial, relationships, fitness, health, spiritual, etc.I hear people talk about how hard they work to get to a certain place in their life, whether it’s business, financial, relationships, fitness, health, spiritual, etc.

I always feel bad when I hear this because I really don’t feel like I work that hard to make my goals. Today as I was doing intervals on the treadmill, I was thinking about this because, for once, I actually was working pretty hard!!

Since I was working really hard on my intervals, it got me thinking how often do I work hard in my life? And I came up with an answer that kind of surprised me. I don’t think I work hard very often, but what I do is no matter what, I do SOMETHING! No matter how I am feeling that week or day or moment, I just do it!

I know that sounds cheesy like a Nike slogan or something but it’s the truth.

For example, today I had no interest (or motivation) to run at all, but I wanted to get in a short interval run before my massage because I’m racing this weekend and I want to be slightly recovered. PLUS (let’s be honest here) I am trying to stay under myfitnesspal calorie goal and it’s been tough lately…like impossible, so I made myself get on the treadmill. I ran at a super easy pace for a few minutes which got my heart rate up, got the blood flowing through my body and brain, and the endorphins kicked in and I started feeling good! So I actually finished my interval run and here I am!

So I don’t feel like I necessarily work hard for the things that I want, for the things I accomplish in my life, and for my successes, but I do feel like I always do what needs to be done.

Now that I think about it, this is actually in alignment with how I do everything in my life, baby steps. I talk about baby steps all the time, how I take small incremental teeny tiny little steps toward what I want in my life, but I do them over and over and over again and it ends up looking like a success, that I’ve accomplished a goal, that I’ve done something big!!

And what I did today with my intervals is no different.

Last weekend I had a race. On the way there I had told a friend that I didn’t feel like I was ready for this race, that I didn’t feel like I’ve been training enough and that I hadn’t put in the hard work. When all was said and done, I did extremely well on the race. Looking back, I didn’t work hard to train for the race, I just did something every single day toward my goal of doing well in the race.

I have a big race coming up next week and people keep asking me if I am ready for the race. When I think about it, I think no, I’m not ready, I haven’t done hard enough workouts, I haven’t done many long rides or long runs, so no, I don’t feel like I’m ready.

BUT! In reality, I’m ready! I’ve put in the hours. I’ve put in time for the past 19 seasons that I’ve been a triathlete and for the past two years that I’ve been working toward this goal of qualifying and racing at the Ironman World Championships in Kona.

So yes! YES I am ready, whether I feel like it or not, I know I am ready!!

So I guess what I’m saying is that you don’t necessarily have to work hard all the time. Working hard is exhausting, it’s time-consuming, it’s mentally draining, and it’s often frustrating. So don’t do it, don’t work hard ALL the time, just do something, do something every single day. Do something every single day that moves you toward your goal. Do something every single day that move you toward your ideal life.

You will get there before you know it! Trust me!

Check out my updates on my journey to Kona…
www.GoFundMe.com/KirToKona

And follow my journey when I’m there right here…
www.facebook.com/FoodFitnessFinanceFun

And please please please whether you feel like it or not, do something every single day to create your ideal life.

Just. Do. It.

See you soon!

Race Report: 2016 Ironman Boulder

Race Report: 2016 Ironman BoulderAt the beginning of this year, I decided I wanted to try to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona again. Currently I am in the 40-44 age group which in most races, the winners come in around 10 hours. At the time, my PR was 12 hours.

I knew it wasn’t realistic for me to take off 2 hours in one year after 15 years of hard and smart training, but looking at the winning times for the next age group 45-49 (where I will be next year), which are around 11 hours, I started to get my hopes up.

So I decided on a long term goal, a 2 year plan, to qualify for Kona.

This year my goal was to do the Boulder Ironman, take 30 minutes off my PR to get around 11:30, make top 10 in age group, and learn from the course how to train better next year.

Then next year, do the Boulder Ironman again, take off another 30 minutes to get 11:00, make top 3 and get a slot to Kona!

This year I blew my expectations out of the water. I ended up with a time of 10:56 and a 5th place age group finish. I know what I need to do next year in training to get even faster, which I will need to do as this year only the top 2 (not 3) earned a spot to the World Championships.

This is how my 2016 race in Boulder went down…

 

For 2017 I want to take another 10 minutes off my bike and 5 minutes off my run. I’m putting it out there now so the Universe can work on it for the next 10 months until the race on June 11th .

Thanks so much for being a part of my amazing life’s journey! I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have the best friends and family EVER!!!

See you soon!

How To Train For A 10K Swim

How To Train For A 10K SwimNow I know it’s a small percentage of people who are even going to click on this post, since most people can’t even imaging running a 10K, much less swimming one, but since you did, you have an interest in long distance swimming.

In December, my friend Wendy and I have 2 traditions…

1. Swim a 10K in the pool on Christmas Eve (usually 100×100)

2. Swim 1,000 x the upcoming year on New Year’s Eve (so like this year will be 16,000) I also do a 10K open water swim in Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins, CO every year in August.

And I’m not opposed to joining any of my other crazy friends for a long swim challenge (this year I did 100×100 for my friend Kate’s 40th)

So how do I train for these long distance swims?

My training varies throughout the year depending on my most important races and my goals, but I will always swim at least 3 times a week. Wendy, on the other hand, is a swim freak and can pull off way faster swims than me with very little time in the pool. For example, in her last ironman triathlon, she was first placed swimmer in her age group, second overall female with maybe 2 swims a week.

Since most of us are more like me and not a swim goddess, we are going to follow my training plan, not hers.

Swimming 3 days a week is very realistic, especially if this long distance swim is important to you. You will find a way! Unfortunately, since swimming is very technique based, not many other forms of cardio will get you as prepared for the event as swimming will.

I will outline some general training guidelines and what your 3 workouts per week will look like. If you want a more specific training plan catered to you, your time constraints, your current level of swimming and fitness, with specific drills, intervals, etc designed to fit your needs, email me at CoachSmith@usa.com and I can send you an application to get that started for you.

Here are the general steps to get you started…

1. Make sure you are healthy and cleared for exercise by a health care professional

2. Make sure you have time in your schedule to do 3 swims on most weeks. 2 between 30-45 mins and 1 between 1-3 hours depending on your goal event

3. Make sure you have the proper equipment for training

  • Swimsuit: that stays on (you will most likely need a couple throughout the course of your training)
  • Swim Cap: silicone and latex stay on best. I like latex because silicone is too slippery for me, but a lot of people like silicone because it’s easier to get on and off.
  • Goggles: very personal preference. If the ones you have hurt or give you a headache, try another pair. I use AquaSphere Eagle. I wear them for 3 hours non-stop during the open water 10K and they don’t leak, fog, or cause any discomfort.
  • Fins: another personal preference. Most hurt the bone on the top of my foot so I like a softer fin. I use Speedo Trialon and love them.
  • Pull Buoy: they are all pretty much the same. Just make sure you get an adult one to float your big old legs and booty.
  • Kickboard: I don’t like regular kickboards, I only like the super soft ones shaped like a triangle. I use the TYR Hydrofoil.
  • Paddles: if you have no shoulder issues, get medium sized and curved. Get small if you have any shoulder probs, only get big if you are giant w huge hands. I use Speedo Contoured Swim Paddles.

So already you may be overwhelmed, don’t worry!! Take a deep breath. You don’t NEED any of this equipment (except maybe the swimsuit…check your pool rules), but it will make your journey much more enjoyable to have it all.

And you can actually get it all very cheap online at www.SwimOutlet.com/iHeartSwimming. Plus shipping is free! Bonus! This is where I get ALL my swim (and triathlon) equipment!!

4. Now that you have your equipment, it’s time to asses your skills. If you are already a good swimmer, you can skip this step. If you are a beginner or not sure, the very best thing to do is hire a swim coach or instructor for a session to asses your technique and give you a handful of drills to work on to help your specific stroke.

If this is 100% not an option for you, the next best step would be to have a friend who is a swimmer watch a video of proficient swimmers on YouTube and then watch you swim and share the differences.

I have videos in our I Heart Swimming facebook group

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/IHeartSwimming) that outline proper technique in all parts of the stroke in all four competitive strokes.

After you asses you current skill level, you can either use the list of drills your coach gave you or use the list of drills I have in our facebook group during the workouts with drills. And btw…Olympic swimmers still do at a least 25% of their workouts as drills! Since the best swimmers on the planet are doing them…so should you! And all the fun equipment you just got will make them way more tolerable! I promise!

5. Next step is to pick an event. It’s way easier to get all these workouts in when you have a distance and date you are working toward. The training plan I have outlined here is geared toward 10K (meters or yards don’t matter at the beginner/intermediate level).

6. Get off your booty and start swimming!!

In general, here are your 3 swims a week:

  1. Drills. After a warm up, your entire workout will be drills. You can use all the equipment you want but slow down and focus on FORM!!
  2. Endurance. This will be your long swim. It doesn’t have to be continuous, but I would do at some point at least 2,000 without stopping, all freestyle, no equipment. These swims (depending on your time schedule) should get up to about 6K-8K total.
  3. Variety. A variety swim is a swim that mixes strokes, intervals, kick sets, pull sets, etc all into one swim. This is shorter than your endurance swim, but more sets with intensity, like a set of 10×100 on an interval that pushes you and gives you a 5-10 second rest.

In our I Heart Swimming facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/IHeartSwimming) I have hundreds of workouts in all 3 categories. Join us and steal all the workouts you want! You can also find training partners, ask questions, etc in that group.

And again, if you want a specific plan written up based on your individual goals, needs, time, schedule, etc with all the workouts already built in, I can write you up a plan. Email me at CoachSmith@usa.com and I will send you an application to get you started.

If you want workouts emailed to you weekly in my Happy Hump Day Newsletter, click here…

www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com/Newsletter

I can’t wait to hear all about your adventure training and completing your first (or 100th) long swim!

See you SOON!