Category Archives: Fitness

Kick in the Butt Monday – Easy Days

Merry Monday! Let’s do this! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments.

Easy Day

 

The workouts that seem hard now, will soon be easy, if you keep training.  Maybe you can’t run a mile without stopping, or swim a 100M without be winded. Don’t give up, keep training, and soon your will be amazed by your progress.

I’m currently training for my fifth marathon. When I look back to the training for my first, it’s a night and day difference. My first 18 mile run ended in disaster. I had never run that far, and at mile 14 both of my calves seized, and my wife had to come pick me up.  That was a hard day for me. In my current training plan I have three 20 milers. I can complete them with little struggle. I still bring my phone, in case of disaster.

What workouts used to be difficult for you, that you can now complete with ease?

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The Definitive 10 Tips For New Triathletes

Are you ready to take on a triathlon? Fantastic, let’s get you started. Below are top ten tips to have a great first race. Check out the links embedded in the tips to dig deeper into each topic. Happy training, and I hope you have great first triathlon.

1. To get started, Sign up for a race

Close up of sign up form

Signing up to the race sounds kind of obvious, but  is very important. First, signing up tells your brain it’s go time.With that race day looming in the near future you will be more committed to train. . Second, choose a race that gives you the proper amount of time to train, but not lose your motivation. A training cycle of 8-12 weeks works well for new triathletes. Lastly, after you sign up, tell your family and friends. They will know you are serious about your new goal, and be your support system.

7 Tips for Selecting Your First Triathlon

Continue reading The Definitive 10 Tips For New Triathletes

Give FTT a thumbs up on facebook

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS A HUGE AMOUNT OF SELF PROMOTION!

FTT facebook

The First Time Triathlete facebook is now live!

I know, hold you excitement. Why does this matter to you? Good question. Along with the great information and inspiration posted on this blog. I share well curated articles from other sources relating to triathlon and endurance sports. I know your facebook wall is already barraged with memes and cat videos. I promise to only share high quality useful information. (If I get a cat riding a tri bike video, it will be shared.)

Are you sold yet? Click here to like the FTT facebook page.

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Ok, enough of the used car approach, here’s the real reason for First Time Triathlon and the facebook page. One of my greatest passions is endurance sports. I love the sense of adventure and achievement of training for and completing a race. You get to know your true self when you push your limits for a goal. A goal you are not sure if you can complete when you start training. The feeling of euphoria and pride when crossing the finish line is what I want to share with anyone who willing to sign up for their first race.

I need your help to reach these new triathletes. If you are a seasoned triathlete or training for your first race, you are inspiring someone else. They may not tell you directly, but they respect you for pursuing a big positive goal. Some of these people are your facebook friends, and may want to start their own triathlon journey. These are the people I would love to assist in seeking their own goals.

Thanks for being awesome, and liking the FTT Face book page!

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Three Steps to Overcoming Swim Fears.

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The number one fear of new triathletes is swimming. Unless you learned to swim as a child and have been around water your entire life, learning to swim as an adult can be daunting. It is perfectly rational to have this fear. As humans we can survive in water, but its not our natural habitat. Did you know the average dolphin is 80% efficient moving through the water, and an world class swimmer is only 12%.

The key to learning to swim and overcoming your fear is to become more comfortable in the water. If you can learn to relax and not fight the water, you ability to swim will increase quickly.

Here three steps to get you more comfortable in the water, and eventually swimming. You have to get comfortable first to make progress in your swimming:

Continue reading Three Steps to Overcoming Swim Fears.

Monday Motivation – Don’t Just Think Act!

Merry Monday! Let’s do this! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments.

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Don’t just think, act!

I am personally guilty of not following this mantra. I will anylize and over think what I really want until it doesn’t happen. This self sabotage is counter productive and borders on insanity. I don’t know if its fear of success or failure that causes this indecision. When I break this pattern and get into action, I feel better, and my life improves. I am in a constant battle with this resistance.

I know I’m not the only one. What thing in your life are you putting off, and over thinking? I’m not talking about putting off the laundry or getting your car inspected. What is it you really want, that you can act on now! Fear hates action. Take that first step toward what you want now, and the path will open. You have to take action right now, or the resistance will pull you back into indecision.

Let’s tie this into triathlon. If you goal is to complete your first race. Sign up for a race now. Are you an terrible swimmer? Sign up for a swim lesson. Don’t have a bike. Ask a couple friends, if they have one to lend. Most problems are caused by lack of resourcefulness, not lack of resources. Fight the resistance, act now, and take that first step.

The Pros & Cons of Spin Class for Triathletes

Spinning class at the gym

Loud music blaring, an instructor yelling through a headset, and sweat flying everywhere. Ah Spin Class! Spin class is essentially riding a bike, but not actually going anywhere. Spin class as an effective tool in your triathlon training plan. As with all training activity, there are some pro and cons. Below, I will discuss the advantages and concerns of spin class when used in an effective training plan.

Let’s start with the positives:

  • Save Time – Just jump in a class and go. No need to get on a bunch of gear to ride outside or drive to a safe area to ride.
  • No Cars – I have personally never heard of anyone being hit by a car on a spin bike.
  • Constant Effort – There aren’t any stop lights, cars, dogs, or anything else to make you stop. This is the biggest “bang for your buck” with spin. If you are on the bike for 45 minutes, you get 45 minutes of work. This is especially effective for interval work. You can maintian your effort for your interval without uninterrupted.
  • Weather, What Weather – Unless the AC breaks, there’s no need to worry about conditions. No hot, cold, rain, sleet. This also means you can’t use the weather as an excuse not to train.
  • Motivation – The energy from a room full of others working hard can give you the motivation to push. A good instructor will also keep the energy level high.
  • Pre-planned Workout – No need to plan or think, just show up and do the instructor’s workout. The energy spent planning a workout is sometimes harder than just doing it.

Here are some areas where spin classes lack effectiveness for triathlon training:

  • Too much intensity – Most spin classes are designed to get a good sweat going, and make the clients feel like they have put in a hard effort. This is great if your goal for that workout was high intensity, if be mindful of your intensity. A good training plan will have a mix of high and lower intensity work. Too much high intensity work leads to injury and burnout. You can still do class on an easier planned day, just dial back the resistance and intensity.
  • Bike Handling – All of these spin classes are going to give you some new found speed. Before your race be sure to work on some bike handling skills. Bike handling skills include turning, leaning, stopping, climbing, and descending. The only way to gain these skills is to go on the road and ride at your race speed. The more comfortable you are with these skills the faster you can go.
  • Speed Perception – You can put massive power to the spin bike pedals, but you don’t move. It’s important to get out on the road, and know what speed you produce for your effort. In a race proper pacing is balancing the effort vs speed. Know what effort produces what speed, sop you can properly pace during your race.

Over all spin classes are great for bike and overall fitness. I personally attend at least one class a week. I go to class with my wife, as it is a workout we can do together, and both get benefit. They are not a complete substitute for time on the road. Be sure to do some miles on the road, so on race day you are comfortable on the bike.

Do you use spin classes in your training?

Monday Mantra – Best Day of My Life

Merry Monday! Let’s do this! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments.

Best Day

Today’s Mantra:

 “Best day of my life”

This is one of my personal favorites. If you say this to yourself, and really mean it, you can’t help but feel better. This works fantastic in races. When you are really suffering, open up a big smile, and say “this is the best day of my life.” You may feel silly saying this as snot is running down your face, and you feel like road kill. If you are healthy enough to be out doing what you love, it is the best day of your life. Can each new day be your best day? I think so, if you want it to be.

Monday Mantra – Happiness, It’s your Job

Happy Monday! Let’s do this! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments.

Happiness

Happiness is not an outside, it’s an inside job – Fortune Cookie

I received this message in a fortune cookie last week, and it resonated with me. Happiness is not something that just happens, it is a job. We are happy when we choose to be happy. When we choose to be happy, our actions follow. How you spend your time, who you surround yourself with, and what you focus on, have a significant impact on your happiness. How you make these choices is based on your decision to be happy.

Let’s tie this in to fitness, as this is a triathlon blog. Personally, I race and train for triathlons because it makes me happy. The exercise contributes to good physical and mental health. I love the triathlon community, as triathletes are supportive and always looking to improve. What I love most is signing up for a race, and having something to train for and look forward to. I may complain when the training gets difficult, but making that progress toward a goal makes me happy.

Are You Bored doing Same Run Workouts? Try these Group Run Games.

Is running that same five mile loop with your friend getting a bit boring? Do your interval workouts become unfocused because there’s no one there to hold you accountable? Is your training just becoming straight up boring?

Do I have the solution for you. Group run games. (Infomercial voice off). Group run workouts offer some healthy competition, while making sure everyone sticks to their training goals. NO more slacking off, because your buddy will take great pleasure in pointing out your lack of effort. If your partner runs like a gazelle, and you run more like elk, don’t worry. These workouts are structured so runners of varying abilities can do them together.

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Now grab your friend or friends (look at you Mr./Mrs. popular) and try out these workouts.

1. You run, I rest / I run, You rest.

From the title you probably get the idea. Go to the track, or pick a loop course. This works best with distances of 200-800M. Your partner runs a lap while you rest, and while you run your partner rests. You get a varied rest interval based on your partner’s lap. If you are not feeling great, you might give your partner a hard time, hoping they will slow down. If you are feeling frisky, you can speed up and take some of their rest. Overall the goal here to is to keep both runners engaged, get some good work in, all while having fun.

2. Stalk your prey.

This workout is a run (race) handicapped by your predicted finish times. Start with a predetermined course. (3 – 5k is a good distance). Each runner picks their finish times based on past performances. The slow runners starts first, and gets a head start based upon the difference of the finish times.

Example: If I say I will run 25 min, and Frank says he is going to running 21 minutes, I get a 4 minute head start. His goal is to try and chase me down. My goal is to hold him off. To make this work, all runners need to be honest with their times. NO SANDBAGGING. The only prize on the line here is pride. There’s no pride in cheating.

3. Run Golf

The goal in golf is to get a low score. It’s the same in run golf. Pick a one mile course, and place a watch or have a time keeper at the finish. Have each runner  predict their mile finish time. The idea is to come as close to possible to that time without using a watch. How many seconds you are off of that time (fast or slow) is your score for that lap. If I say I will run a 7:28, and I run 7:39 my score is 11. Repeat the laps three times, and the runner with the lowest score wins. Like in golf having a side bet will make this more interesting. (Maybe a round of post workout beers?)

This workout is great to work on pacing. Having to keep pace without the watch, forces you to use perceived effort to keep pace. If you run with a GPS watch most of the time, this workout might be a challenge.

If you give one of these workouts a try, leave a comment to tell us how it went.

Monday Mantra – The First Step to Being Great

Happy Monday! Let’s do this! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments.

This week’s quote:

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Great to start

Do you want to be great at something? Well, get started doing that thing. It’s often scary and uncomfortable to try new things. So, what? Everyone struggles when they start a new challenge. But, isn’t that when you feel most alive? New challenges force you to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally. As humans, we thrive when we are growing, and learning new things. Don’t let the fear of not being great at first keep you from taking on new challenges. Just get started, and if you love what you are doing, you will become great.