Monday, February 11, 2013

Its February...Welcome to the grind.

We are now 4-6 weeks into our training and most of us have or will be hitting a wall soon.  I call it the grind of February.  During January our training was new and exciting.  It was easy to be inspired by our New Year's resolutions and goals.  February is a whole different animal.  Our workouts/runs are getting longer and the weather isn't getting any better.  We dream of Spring and can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.  These last days of winter seem to drag on for ever.

February can be a hard month.  I know I am always counting down the days till March.  Sure, we will still get a snow storm or two.  But its a small trade off for beginning to string a few days of decent weather in a row. Its important to remain focused during this month.  It can be easy to get discouraged and let your training or workouts slack.  Its important to keep strong both mentally and physically.  Most training plans just focus on the physical side of training, but the mental side is almost as important.  A couple runs in snowy weather or a long run on the treadmill will not only help physically.  It will also help you become mentally stronger and tougher.  These workouts will help you during those hard races or if the weather isn't optimal during the Spring.

To help get through these finals days of winter.  I've found that the following helps get through it.

1) New music - nothing helps me get through a workout i'm not excited about like new music.  It can quickly breathe some fresh air into a workout.

2) New music playlist - Sometimes I enjoy a new playlist or uptempo music to pass the time.  Also, try setting your mp3 player to shuffle.

3) Cross training -  Trying something new like a spin class, swim, or cross fit can still provide a physical benefit and break the monotony you may be experiencing with your training.

4) Change up your workouts - Sometimes rotating the days you training can help keep things fresh.

These are a few things that have helped me in the past.  I hope they are of some help to you as well.  If there is something you like to do or use.  Feel free to share them in the comments section for everyone to see and give a try.

Keep up the hard work everyone.  Spring is only 37 more days away and Punxsutawney Phil even said it will be an early Spring.  Plus, I heard Summer Shandy is out.  So, winter can't be too much longer.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon: January Training Recap

Wow, that went by quickly.  Hard to believe we are already 4 weeks into our training for 2013.  Lets hope February goes by just as fast.  Overall, this was a pretty successful month of training.  I continued to build on the foundation that was built over the holidays.  I've settled into the following training schedule:

Monday:  Speed work - I warm up for 1.5 to 2 miles then do a series of 6 intervals of 800s.  My pace for these intervals are slightly faster than my 5K pace.  I rest for 400 in between intervals and then another mile cool down.

Tuesday:  Spin class at Psycle Therapy

Wednesday:  Swimming

Thursday:  Spin class at Psycle Therapy

Friday:  Swimming

Saturday:  Cycling / Run brick training

Sunday:  Swike!!  Swim / Cycling brick training

I'm pretty satisfied with the results i've seen in my riding and running this year.  We were fortunate to have a couple 60 degree days here.  It was a gift from Mother Nature to get outside and see where I was at and I was very satisfied.  Swimming was another story.  My form this offseason has improved dramatically.  Unfortunately, my endurance in the pool hasn't improved.  I've narrowed it down to not sitting high enough in the water.  Its been a struggle keeping my butt high in the water.  To help counteract this, I've been doing more work in the pool with a pull buoy.  I really didn't want to do this as I wanted to swim the bulk of my training without it, but in the long run.  Its not as big of a deal as i'm making it as I will be racing again this year in a wetsuit.  I'm a bigger guy, so its hard for me to stay higher in the water.

Thanks to Bryan @TriDocB for this photo.  I was having a swim panic meltdown about my training and this helped a lot.

Here's the totals from this past month:

Miles ran:  53.53

Miles ridden:  484.24

Miles swam:  8.38

Total miles:  526.16

Calories burned:  37,548

Time training:  40:01

I hope everyone's training is going as well as mine.  February will be much more of the same for me. I may even sprinkle in some 5k's and Indoor Triathlons!!