Happy New Year!
The arrival of the new year symbolically gives us the mental opportunity to “wipe the slate clean” and start fresh. As far as this little blog of mine is concerned and more specifically, my triathlon training, I intend to pursue both with renewed vigor. I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions because I generally flake out on them as soon as I start them. Here are a few little idea that have come to mind however which I think I should be able to accomplish:
Strength Training: Last year, I hardly did any whatsoever. I got a jump start on this last month and so far, I’m happy to say that I’ve stuck with it. I’m usually pretty successful when it comes to following plans so I decided to give myself a little challenge. In addition to my squats, lunges, planks, etc, I’m going to do 90 pushups a day for 30 days. Sounds pretty simple right? I can find 10 minutes out of my day to do 3 sets of 30 and so I don’t forget, I created a little check off list that I stuck to my fridge. Other than the one day (day 5) in which I was supremely hungover due to a party at our house, I’ve been able to stick with it and I can actually feel myself getting stronger which, so far, has been a big help to my performance on the bike and in the pool.
Diet: I’m watching what I eat. No, seriously! I’ve been making a concerted effort to not gorge myself all the time. I’ve been eating sensibly 3 times a day and have been drinking these killer kale smoothies that my wife whips up on the Vitamix each morning. Like the strength training, I sort of got a jump start on this by starting in early December. I guess I was terrified at the expected weight gain that comes with the holiday season. I’m also trying to cut out the beer, etc because the calories from that alone would have exceeded my recommended daily allowance based purely on calories. This part was a little tougher to handle because who doesn’t want a nice cold beer when they come home from work?
My trusty Garmin Forerunner 305 and smelly HR strap
Vineman 140.6: Like my push up chart, I do much better if I have a goal that I’ve committed to. Thus, back in November, I registered for the full Vineman Triathlon which will be held this year on July 28 in the Russian River valley which is north of San Francisco by about 40 miles or so. In 2011, I did the 70.3 Half-Iron version of this race and frankly, it sucked. I didn’t follow my plan very well which I got out of a magazine. I was inexperienced and generally, had a pretty miserable time. After a few months of thinking, drinking and weight gain, I decided the hell with it and registered. This will be my first full distance race and I am totally 100% committed. I found a great plan online and have been sticking to it without fail. I like this plan because it’s easy to follow, sensible and doesn’t take up a lot of my time. It has forced me to become quite familiar with my Garmin watch as I use specific heart rate percentages for each workout. I’ve been riding indoors on the trainer mostly because it’s so hard to get to good riding areas. This old watch and I are close friends and my heart rate strap is even closer no to mention funkier because of the smell. Our bedroom smells like a locker room too as I have bike shorts, socks, shoes and running gear strewn everywhere.
Finally, I’ve decided that I need to take it easy on myself and get use to the idea that I will never podium a race (other than the 10K that I did a few month’s ago). I haven’t signed up for any other events this year and probably won’t until after Vineman. I realized that it’s not all about the races that makes triathlon such a great sport but the actual lifestyle itself that draws me to it. I really like swimming, biking and running and enjoy just being active. The weight is starting to come off and I’m enjoying myself. I faced some serious burnout factor last year which is one reason why my blog posts fell off. Hopefully, with my new found “better attitude” about this sport, I’ll be able to stick with it, stay the course and enjoy life.
In the past, I really enjoyed putting this blog together each week. With my new found zest for training coupled with a better attitude, I’m sure that I’ll contribute more to this page and share my experiences. OK, that’s enough for today. Earlier, I did an 80 minute run today followed by a super easy 30 minute spin session on the bike and am feeling my legs glowing. They’re not hurting, just glowing so I take that as a good sign.
Happy New Year again to all three of my readers. I look forward to sharing more stuff with you this year!