Homework From Coach BrettDecember 28, 2008
Today was sixty two degrees in Boston. In December. 62! We just had two big snow storms last week!
Needless to say, despite it being a recovery week, I had to take advantage of the weather and knock off a nice easy 12 miler. And just because it was 60 degrees in December, and I could, I had to wear the shortest shorts that I own. I did of course cover up my calves with compression sleeves. I at least have a LITTLE modesty! 🙂
I was even able to pull off the same 12 mile route, at the same heart rate, 12 minutes faster than than I did last week. I guess running in a foot of snow does actually slow you down. Who knew?
Coach Brett did give me some homework this week. With a decrease in training volume and some extra rest and time spent with the family, I had some questions to think about to keep my training focused.
- What am I doing to make sure I don’t get injured with new injuries or old ones?
I’m trying to use the foam roller and stretch as much as possible, and make sure I tend to any pain that is beyond the normal aches and muscle soreness. I’ve also been especially focused on stretching before, not just after, workouts after I’ve done a little to let my muscles warm up. Stretching out warm muscles makes a huge difference.
Getting semi-regular massages is also part of the plan. My goal is at least every 2-3 months or whenever I start to get any issues that can’t be taken care of by stretching, yoga or the foam roller.
I’m also working on a lot of core work and squats/lunges that should hopefully take care of any muscle imbalances that caused my IT band issues the last two years.
- Am I getting enough sleep? (Sleep is when your body rebuilds)
Yes. I’m a PRO sleeper. Other than staying up late to go to midnight mass on Christmas eve with the family and then “play Santa” to deliver presents under the tree, I got pretty good sleep all week. In less than two minutes after my head hits the pillow, I am out and off to dream land.
- What are my real goals this year?
I want to be strong enough to confidently race and compete in 70.3’s, not just survive them and cross the line in under 6 hours, and by more the better. I don’t expect to have a blast doing every single workout, but I want to make sure that overall, triathlon is having a positive impact on my life and I’m having fun doing it. And I need to make sure that I can pull it all off while still having a semi-normal social life (see the next question).
- Am I striking a good tri/life balance?
I don’t get it, triathlon IS life! Right?! I’m obviously a little biased, so I had to ask the girlfriend.
Sam says I get an 8 out of 10. Good, but not great. I’ve been giving her a heads up each day about the next day’s workouts so we can coordinate other responsibilities, but there is still room for improvement. She definitely has noticed the increase in time spent working out, but except for a few small occasions, it hasn’t had too much impact on the relationship or our social lives.
- What is that “one thing” that makes me want to do triathlon? Am I centering my training around that?
Life long fitness. I want to make triathlon a sustainable lifestyle. I don’t care much about placing in my AG now (although if my training and body bring me to that point, I’m all for it) but I’d much rather sustain a healthy lifestyle well into my old age and break some +70 men’s course records at Kona. Plus, it would be cool to be a hot DILF. : -)
I think striking a good tri/life balance will be a big part of getting there and so far I’m on a pretty good track, but still have some work to do.
- When is the last time I had my bike cables serviced and cleaned my ride? A clean bike is 10% faster than a dirty one.
I cleaned it a few times (because just once wasn’t enough) after my last cyclocross race where it was absolutely covered in mud. It took a couple cleanings to get mud out of every little nook and cranny and the chain running smoothly again, but she is nice and speedy again.
- Who have I helped in the sport lately? You all are already great athletes. You have much to offer those who want to learn.
I try to post advice where I can on Triscoop.com whereever I can on topics I’ve had personal experience with, but probably could do more to schedule group runs/rides with my triathlon team and other local tri buddies. Long runs alone are great to clear my head and stick to my own comfortable pace, but it is always good to share the road with some friendly faces.
Rest up kiddies, there are more training stories to come!