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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And the Ski Season is around the corner.....

Yep!  I am so excited I could almost wet my pants!  It is getting colder, the mountain regions are getting snow, prodeals are being sent out!!  That means one thing!!!  Ski season is here! OK, so I have to tell the truth, ski season beats tri season any time anywhere!!  If you dont like winter, well, now is the time to take a short break and not read my blog, because the next few months wil talk a lot about this amazing sport!
I promised a while back that I would give some ski tips over the winter for those who might want to polish some skills or push the envelope a little.  I love teaching skiing as much as I love coaching triatheltes and runners.  I am qualified and have spent the last I dont know how many years training.  I am a CSIA Level 3 certified instructor and a CSCF Level 2 coach.  I coordinate a Proffesional Training series for the CSIA in Ontario.  So, hopefully my insight into skiing will help provide you some fun this winter!
On a training note......By the way, any training I have ever done since I was a kid was about one thing....SKIING!  I ran to be a better skier, went to the gym for the same reason....did wall sits for hours to be stronger....pounded hills for weeks for endurance....trained mentally for racing...all for the thrill of flying down a hill or off a cliff on a pair of skis!  This week I spent a couple of days on that very effort.  I had a couple of decent runs this week to keep me going.  On Sunday was out after a great yoga practice that I was privildged to lead at Lululemon.  A fast 8k run to round out a good morning.  It was a great day all around, with 40+ for the morning session.  After my run I also got out to the studio in the afternoon and shared some more yoga with 25+ people joining for my instruction.    This morning I was also in the pool for a good 2000m workout.  I must say the pool is amazing!  I get in feeling strong and come out feeling the same way.
Here is my ski tip as we get set for our impending Ontario winter........
As we finish each season some of us take the time to put our gear away in an organzied and careful manner.  Others, in a rush to get hte golf clubs out and the bikes on the road, throw them in the corner and forget about the gear.  Now is the time to get that stuff out of the corner and give it a once over. 
A few things to think about.....
 - get your skis out and get the summer wax off of them.  If you did not summer wax them, not is the time to get them to the shop for a tune u before winter kicks into gear.  Most shops offer deals this time of year, another couple of weeks and you will be in line waiting for your gear and paying full price to get it done.  Skis are like any other gear, over time they wear out and now is the time to discover that.
 - gets your boots onto your feet.  Over the summer and training who knows how those puppies feel on your feet now??  Before the snow flies learn if you need any adjustments made to them.  You can get a boot fitter to talk to you now, another couple of weeks he is going to be booked up until after Christmas.
 - check your clothing out.  when you put your things away confirm that both gloves made it home and your goggles are not cracked.  Take the time to give them a wash and check the overall condition.  Some shops might still have some deals, but not for long.(winters coming and its time for them to make money)
 - are you buying a season pass or paying for each visit?  look online to see what deals might be available, great time to find some incentives to buy early.
 - are you enrolling in a lesson program(highly recommend)  DO IT NOW!  If you want to be in the optimum group for your ability, this is the time to make your request.

OK, the boring part is now some dryland to get you ready!!  This will be quite simple and I wont elaborate in the nitty gritty, what to think about!!!!
1) CORE! CORE! CORE!......your legs might be tree trucks but your core is what you ski with!!!
2) Cardio!  At 2000' or at 10000' feet your cardio will make day one a pleasure and make the end of the weekend a pleasure.  You are an athlete if you are reading this, so not as big a concern
3) POWER!  Think a little about developing some explosive power.  DO burpees, jumping jacks, step onto a box, hop onto a box......It will make some of the technical elements of your skiiing a greater experience all around.
4) THINK SNOW!!!  If we all wish it bad enough, it will DUMP!!

I am a skier at heart and am jumping for joy as I see ski resorts starting to open.  Off season is a great time and it is here!  Hope you are as excited about the prospect of snow!  Yahoo!  If you ever have any questions about skiing at any level, please feel free to reach out.  I will share with you anytime.  Better yest, if you want to go skiing, let me know!  I do not need much of an excuse to get out there!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another great week!

Yeah, the off season is a tough time to keep things up to date!  This work thing and training and the start of ski season is keeping me quite active!
This week I did a few short runs following Hamilton letting the runs and the training sink in a bit before starting to the gears back on track.  I did a Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday run.  Added a swim in there for training entertainment.  Probably one of the more relaxing weeks this year.  Oddly enough, not a bit of guilt about it.  Chilling out feels damn good some times.
Running this week was not about any goal.  I was out getting some miles in and getting the post race kinks out of my system.  they were slower runs(still a lot faster than in the past) and I enjoyed them without a watch or HR monitor.  I am feeling strong on my feet in comparison to last year,actually almost enjoying being out for runs!  I am going to spend the next few weeks going slow and easy.  I want to ramp up come Christmas time, until then I am going to run easy and keep the legs turning.  Any off season strategies to share with me?  I am going to consider November and December off season for run and then ramp it up from that point.
This week I only did one swim as well.  Kinda of a slacker week if I look back at it!  Oh well!  Like the past couple of times out, it rocked.  I feel myself gaining strength in the water and gaining form each time out.  Quite similar to running, I am putting miles in right now with some light drill work.  Without the intensity I hope to make some gains for when I turn it up.  This week I did do a few kick drills, WOW!  I have gained immensely on the kicking from where I was before IM. I felt like I was going twice the speed at hold the effort.  Don't know what I have changed, but it seems to be working.  I will keep it up for now and then see what happens when I get it going hard!
One of the areas that I was a slacker on for the past season was doing weights!  Enough being a slouch, if I am going to speed it up and get to the end without needing a nap, I need to get it all done.  So this week marks the start of some new pain tools.  I am going to get into the gym after each swim practice whether I like it or not.  I don't know what the black is for me.  I don't really mind it, but just don't seem to get there when I should!  So, now i have put it out there it is time to get it done!  So, I am now going to get pumped up!  LOL
I hope you are all kicking butt in the offseason and looking forward to what next year will bring for you. Remember, LIVE FOR YOUR DREAMS!  It rocks!

Monday, November 8, 2010

OK! Now it's off season,time to get some serious training done!!!

Another swim, bike, run season officially done!  The greatest year of my life and experience as an athlete behind me with a world of memories and possibilities ahead. I can;t believe what I have accomplished in the past year and yestreday was a fitting way to put a bow on a great season.  Usually I would have the Santa shuffle in December, but I am going skiing instead!  If the apres is weak maybe I will go for an honorary 5k at the ski resort, NOT!!! 
I finished off the season yesterday with the Hamilton Road to Hope Marathon.  After IM I decided another race was in order to serve as a benchmark for my first attempt at a BQ next spring.  I had to relax a bit and let IM sink in and not train to hurt myself.  My training was not super intense and was about 1 month worth of some speed work.  My longest run in the training was a 27k run  that sucked.  But, with a base built from IM it was a day to go out and see what I could do.  I had a great day based on what I put into it and I did set a new bar and level to work from and towards.  My previous PB was  a 3:57:25 at my Boston bandit run this year.  Yesterday I managed at 3:45:16!!  I consider that a great run for myself with the lack of non run-specific training I have put in.  A friend of mine paced me for the day and I owe her a great thank you for pushing me to that result.  I though at one time I would puke, another time I my head spinning like I was going to pass out!  She pushed me through it all and made it a good result!
Now, the training starts!  I have the lessons from this year and a platform to build my training from.  For all of the swim, bike and run and know where I can make changes to give me improvement in races.  Mentally I gained insight into pain this year and I can not develop some management tools to push me harder next year.  The next couple of months will be spent swim, bike and running with a little fluff built in and then I will start on a 2 cycle program leading up to IM.  Knowing what I do now will make the next year of training a new adventure.  I will now be adding some intensity to what I am doing.  This past season was a little more about getting the miles in and learning about IM.  Now I know, so it is a year to turn it up a notch and see if I can add a little 'race' element to the season and not just be out there to finish. 
I cant not in a million words describe how 'cool' this season has been.  I am a new person having done what I have this year.  I look forward to continuing to charge down this road and seeing where it brings me.  I hope along the way to inspire a couple of people, maybe turn a head or two.  Mostly, continue to Live for my Dreams and love what I am doing!
A big shout out to Q on the Move!  Yesterday he picked me out at the beginning of the race and came over and gave me the high five.  It is so cool how the virutal world can become real and how it can serve to motivate and inspire!  Thanks Q, served a great help along the road!

Friday, November 5, 2010

What's your excuse!

The last race of the season is this weekend, I am looking forward to doing it.  I will say I am also looking forward to it being done.  I love training, but I am looking forward to train to train for a couple of monhts and putting away the train to race shoes.  It looks like it is going to be a great weekend for a race.  The temperature at about 5-6celcius and sun.  Can't ask for better race weather than that.  It is a big downhill race with about 6-7k down a fairly agressive down, so a little strategy is in order if finihsing it with my quads still able to move is in order.
This week has been an easy week.  I was in the pool on Wednesday again and had another relaxing swim as I continue and start my build phase up.  I love that I am swimming 1600m as an easy day without any effort when last year, 1600m was a new personal best and I was cooked after doing it.  The only challenge I am faced with is having to get my core re-ignited for the swim training.  I found my lower back gets sore as I have been swimming this week.  Lucky for me a good yoga practice takes care of loosening that up and getting me back on track.
Running this week has been an easier effort.  I did a 6k run with a new athlete on Wednesday and another great Lululemon run last night with a big group.  The group is still growing with a keen interest in maintaining it over the winter.  I am looking forward to winter training and keeping people inspired to be out there in the snow. 
I want to put  a question out to all of you.  Quite easy and promises to be quite entertaining.  We all are craxy type A's who arent big on stopping for much.  But, once in a while we do come up with a great story as to why we should skip a workout.  I want to hear them all!!  PLease share with me your 1-2-3 best excuses for not going out for a run.  Only looking for excuses, the real stuff isnt nearly as fun or entertaining.  I will make up the list for all to share in laughter.
I want to send out a high five to all those racing this weekend!  IM Florida, kick some serious ass!  Love hte race, smell the roses and enjoy the experience, it is awesome beyond words!  New York marathoners, run like you have never run before!  Hamilton Marathon runners, see you on the hill!  Dont run to close to me I dont want to hit yo with a snot rocket, the cold weather makes my nose run!
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yahoo! I love training!!!

A couple of days into a new energy and it is awesome!  It is so crazy how relaxing can be such a tiring process.  A few weeks of only doing one discipline wore me out?  Go figure??  My friends thought it was great that I was 'able to relax' after the pre IM training.  If they only knew how it was wearing on me, heck, I did not even know how it was.  Now, that all being said, I am not going to go bonkers and get back full swing.  Getting back in the pool has been a great reminder of how much I love training and the whole sport of trialthon.
Over the past few weeks I have had some wicked cramps in my glute and quad from running.  About 25-30k into a run it was nasty.  Almost all the time I could feel some restriction in that side as I walked or practiced yoga.  This week I have been out to yoga 3 times as well as the pool a couple of times and it seems to be getting better.  Losing the agravation wont make me any faster today, but it will allow me a clearer mind that I am not about to snap as I start a mini build til the holiday season.  I dont know if it is the yoga giving it a repeated good strtech or if it is the swim moving some focus away from only one area.  Whatever it is I am happy about it and going to keep at it.
Last night I did an easy 6km run with the Lulu group as out regular night out.  With the marathon this weekend, I laid back a bit working to keep it reasonable and not push. It felt good with a good HR and a decent pace.  The weather is amaazing for running right now with it being nice and cool and without win the last few days.  I hope it is like this for the race on the weekend, it would be almost perfect race weather.
After run last night I went to the Power Yoga Canada first birthday party.  Much like them it has been a year sonce I got on my mat.  What a great night!  A good time to thank them for creating an amazing community, as well as a good time to reflect on the past year for myself as an athlete and a yogi!!  It is exciting to be a part of the team there.  I was also told that I will be on the class schedule starting January when the new studio opens up.  Being able to share my practice with others is something that I look forward to, it is a great opportunity for my own practice development and obviously for me as a teacher of yoga and other sports.  I hope you can join me some time for an hour of heat and power vinyasa to experience how good it is for you.
After a great swim to start the day, it is time to go out and start the grind!  I  love the challenge of work, I just beed a couple more years to have that challenge be my dream!  Never stop reaching for that dream, it is in reach you just need to beleive in yourself and it will happen!
Have an awesome hump day!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Let the games begin!

It appears for me that blogging may be synonymous with triathlon training??  Why do I say that?  Well, I was at the pool today and put my bike on the trainer this weekend.  As I got out of the pool today, right away I was thinking about how I needed to get back to blogging and reconnect with all the awesome people that I have virtually met and all the fun that being here each day can be.  I have been remiss as a have been running and working in sharing adventures and being a part of what you are all up to!  I miss it! So here I am and hopefully can get back to my routine as I get the ball rolling again.
For the past few weeks running has been the menu item of choice.  I can stand to make the most improvement in this area so it not all that and an idea.   I have made some improvement and ideally I can keep the momentum going on what I have started with.  I have enjoyed it even though running is the least favourite of the disciplines for me.
Today after a bit of a break I was back in the pool!  All I can say is WAHOO!  I loved it, I had such a great swim practice it was over the top.  After not being in the pool for 5+ weeks I rocked my swim.  I did a short distance to start, doing a 1600m ladder swim with a 100m to finish up an set a benchmark for my training this season.  The entire swim was relaxed and easy with no issues with any part of it.  I feel like I am picking up where I left off.    My stroke count is a little high, but it is the first day after a break.  It gives me one point of focus as I start the training for the season. After a great swim I finished it with a 100m to see where I was at.  I managed to get it done in a 1:29, it was a sprint swim, but it felt good.  By the 4th x 25m my stroke count was a little higher, but I got to the wall in what is now my benchmark for the year.  Overall a great day and a great start to being back in the water.  I am aiming for a couple of times a week until Christmas to set a base and get ready for some more intense sessions in the New year. As I did not do any kind of speed work last year there will be a lot of that fun stuff this season.  I look forward to the pain and the adventure and seeing where I might get to with a little different work than last season.
I also got the bike downstairs and ready to get on the trainer.  I am going to wait until next week to light that up as I have a marathon this weekend. So getting on to burn the legs is not likely the smartest idea right now.  Last year I did not get on my trainer until March, so this is super early.  My goal is to do a couple of months of maintenance then build some power before starting into the program in early spring. Although IMCanada is my A race next season, I want to see what I can improve in a sprint race as well. This season I managed some good times, but I feel I can pick it up a couple more KMH.  I want to see if I can manage some 40+kmh races in next couple of years.
So, all that being said!!!!  I am back on.  My passive active break is now over and it is go time once again. After all it is less than 300 days until my next IM so I better get busy!
Thank you to all that sent me notes for my current goal that I am working towards.  They have all been sent to the right person and now I wait anxiously!
Cheers and Happy Monday!