Friday, July 13, 2007

So What's Next

My triathlon season is officially over, now (although I've seriously considered looking for another race in the next few months). I've been racing since February, and have done something like half a dozen races here and there. And I feel like, for my first season, that's not bad. Now I have a new set of goals and ambitions that I'm hoping to accomplish, and I'm even looking ahead to next season to see what might be possible.

First up, I have a few more events on the horizon. The MS 150 is a two-day tour I'll be doing with my dad (whom I'm hoping to draw into triathlon this year) for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. By the way, if you'd like to check out my info and/or donate to my ride, you can visit my participant page. That's in September. After that, I'll be gearing up for my first-ever half marathon, which will be the longest distance I've ever run (I'm also doing that with my dad, unless he bails at the last minute; I don't think he believes that I really expect him to do it).

But besides the next races, I have a long list of off-season goals, the first of which is to build my aerobic base (hence the long races). I just can't compete with the folks who have been doing endurance sports for the last 10 years. I know that building that kind of aerobic base takes time and hard work more than anything else, but I want to do as much as I can in the next year to make sure that I have a solid base to start from. Core strength is another goal of mine; I'm so lazy when it comes to doing crunches. I'm already starting to do a lot of swimming and running drills, so that I can improve my form and be able to compete with better efficiency next year; I'm hoping that will set me up for some big leaps forward in my swim and run pacing.

I want to dial in my nutrition, so that I have that reliable habit of eating consistently well, and so that I can lose some weight and seriously reduce my body fat percentage (which my scale says is the same as last year at this time, and I have no idea how that is possible; I think the scale is inaccurate). At any rate, to that end, I've been keeping track of my nutrition fastidiously: Counting calories, fat, protein, and carbs, as well as various vitamins and minerals. Know what I've found? I get pretty close to my target consumption (1700/day), but in the wrong way. I haven't been able to get enough protein. Granted, I've only been paying attention to protein for 3 days now, but I've been far enough off (like 50 g off target every day, going by the 40-30-30 rule) that I suspect I lack protein in my diet. Which strikes me as odd; I've read that most Americans get roughly 300% the protein they need every day. Maybe that's not true, or maybe I'm not a very average American. At any rate, I need to get some more protein!

I've been trying to drink more milk and eat more cheese, and I've been eating more quinoa (although I discovered today that the glycemic index is a little higher than I might like for it). I guess I'm going to have to start doing the broiled chicken breast thing, too. It probably wouldn't hurt to cut back on my carbohydrate consumption, either, especially now that I'm not training as vigorously.

Anyway, training and diet aside, starting in September I'm going to be running the west side multisport club at the gym at which I'm working, and I'm very excited about that. I don't think I could possibly have as much fun with this team as I had with my wonderful USC team, but it will be excellent to train and race with other tri crazies again. Not to mention, I'll be getting paid for it. Not enough to pay the bills, but hopefully that will be worked out when I get my NSCA certification.

So that's what I have coming up during this offseason. Without the training, perhaps I'll have more time to post workouts and recipes.

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