Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Bike Back

This is my second article in a series of five articles for triathletes who are just getting back into training.

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Bike Back

Whether you were injured, sick, off-season, took a break, or had a baby like me, it takes some time to get back to the shape you were in before you stopped training.

My goal for these articles is to share what has worked for me to give you some ideas to try for yourself. If you missed the other ones…

In my opinion, the bike was the easiest for me to get back on, but the hardest to get back to where I was, especially since I was training for an Ironman when I got pregnant and it is now winter here in Colorado.

My baby is almost 7 months old, and I have only been on my bike outside one time in over a year. It’s a lot easier for me mentally, physically, and schedule wise, to do my training either at the gym where there’s childcare and bikes with feedback, or on my trainer in my basement where I don’t have to leave the house, and can do it anytime.

For those reasons, I probably will stay primarily indoors for another few months.

My first race back is in May, which will be 11 months after Coura was born. I plan on biking indoors until March, which will give me two months to transfer my indoor skills to outside riding.

After my six-week check-up and I got the OK to start working out again, my first workout was on the bike. The first week I did 30 minutes, with no resistance, just spinning my legs and getting my butt back in saddle shape! I did most of the sessions at home, I wasn’t ready yet to leave the house and get to the gym or to take Coura to childcare.

My intention was to start a bike streak and bike 30 minutes a day minimum, but with my new mommy life, that didn’t always work. I still kept it as my intention, which usually got me on the bike five days a week. Some days it took me an hour to bike for 15 minutes because I was also taking care of a baby, but it was always my goal to get 30 minutes in!

For the first eight weeks, each week I just tried to add a little more time during one of my rides. For example, if I got on the bike five times, one time would be 40 minutes, and the next week that ride would be 50 minutes, and following week an hour.

I typically didn’t have time to go more than an hour so I would start adding time to a second ride of the week, working up to another ride of an hour.

By the end of the eight weeks, I was doing 2 to 3 60-minute rides and 2 to 3 30-minute rides, still at very little or no resistance.

After 8 weeks, I decided to start adding intensity to one of my weekly rides. I really like a challenge and working on improving, so I decided to do a weekly time trial on the bike at the gym.

The first week I started at level 1 and every 5 minutes went up a level. I ended up 12.0 miles in the hour. Each week I started at the next level (week 2=level 2, week 3=level 3, etc) so that I was progressively working harder each week and going longer in the hour.

I just did my week 13 time trial and have increased about 5 miles in the hour!!! I had a couple weeks where I was sick that went down, but in general I am getting better each week.

After about 8 weeks of one hard workout a week, I started adding one moderate intensity hour ride a week.
And that’s it for now! So in general I am doing my hour time trial, an hour moderate effort ride, and 3-5 30-minute easy rides.

My plan in another 4 weeks is to start increasing my moderate level ride by 30 minutes each week to train for the St George 70.3 I have coming up on May 4th.

I am finally feeling good on the bike! It will be interesting to see how my indoor fitness translates to riding outside. My goal is to get outside once a month!

Let me know if you have any questions about getting back into training after taking time off!

If you want to follow my training…

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For a weekly workout…

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And if you or anyone you know is looking for a coach for this upcoming triathlon season, I have room for 3 more clients this year!!

Call or text me to set up an appointment to see if we are the right fit for each other!!!

See you soon!

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!!!