Friday, January 17, 2014

Trihardist Workout: Pre-Season Yoga Part II

Last time, I shared my lower-body pre-season yoga routine. Here's the upper body routine. It focuses primarily on ameliorating my shoulder impingements and fixing my jacked-up right shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Being born messed up my shoulder, as that was the first part of my body that entered the world. I hyper-extended the elbow a few years ago playing rugby. In my first game ever. During warm-ups. Rugby didn't start auspiciously for me.

Anyway, here's the routine:

Ardho Mukha Svanasana for 6 breaths (Downward Facing Dog)
Plank for 6 breaths
Chattaranga Dandasana for 6 breaths (Yoga push-up)
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana for 6 breaths (Upward Facing Dog)
Repeat with 3 breaths, then with 1 breath
Dhanurasana (Bow)

Uttkatasana (Chair pose) + shoulder opening routine
Garudasana (Eagle's Nest)
Vrksasana (Tree) + Gomukasana (Cow Face) arms
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III) + Gomukasana arms
Setu Bandhasana (Bridge)
Purvottanasana (Reverse Plank)
Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow)
Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana or Urdhva Dhanurasana (One-Legged Bridge or Upward Bow)

Parvatanasana (Pyramid)
Padmasana (Lotus) + Garudasana arms
Padmasana + Gomukasana arms

Bandha practice, pranayama, seated meditation

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Half-Ironmman Training Plan 2014

I'd like to share my training plan for the first part of this year. There are plenty of sources for free training plans, of course; the one I've used in the past with some success is, but if you search online, you'll find a dozen sites offering a similar, free service. I purchased Triathlete Magazine's Essential Week-by-Week Training Guide by Matt Fitzgerald several years ago. Best $30 I've ever spent on triathlon. I have a few other training books, too: Triathlete's Edge by Marc Evans and The Triathlete's Training Bible by Joe Friel. I base all of my training plans around Fitzgerald's format, modifying based on Evans's and Friel's advice and my own experience.

I modify my training plans for my own needs, but if your needs are similar to mine, you may find my 2014 half-ironman plan helpful. Some details about my personal plan:

  • I borrow heavily from Fitzgerald's interval recommendations; the base training plan is his, not mine.
  • I write all my own swim workouts, but derive the substance of main set intervals from Fitzgerald's book.
  • Most training plans follow a 3 week on, 1 week off pattern--that is, you spend every fourth week recovering. I've found that my body works best with a recovery week every third week. So my training plan gives you 2 weeks on, 1 week off. 
  • It's a 20-week training plan, but (as you may notice) 20 does not divide evenly by 3. So the first training block is 4 weeks: 3 weeks on, 1 week off.
  • There's a 2-week taper before the half-ironman race.
My training begins next Tuesday (Jan. 21); if you want to do Ironman 70.3 Kansas with me, yours should too! Here's the first training cycle; it covers the next four weeks.

And a few notes to help you interpret it:
  • There are 3 workouts in each discipline each week.
  • S=Swim, K=Kick, I=Individual Medley, P=Pull, so SKIPS means 100 swim, 100 kick, 100 IM, 100 pull, 100 swim. It's my favorite warm-up.
  • I recommend always doing backstroke for cool-down, to try to reverse some of the repetitive stress on the shoulders from so much freestyle.
  • The third sheet in the file has a chart for your heart rate intensities, but it's up to you to determine your training zones; do a quick online search, and you'll find plenty of articles on how to do it.
  • This plan uses time instead of distance to set run and bike volume.
If you have any other questions, e-mail me or leave a comment below!

Monday, January 13, 2014


Friends are a nice thing to have.

I want to immerse myself in triathlon.

I'm re-booting my fitness regime. I have big races on the horizon. In 2015, I'll turn 30. Five months before I do, I plan to complete my first Ironman in Zurich, Switzerland. To prepare, I plan to do two half-distance races this year.

I feel excited to train and race again. And I want to re-engage in the online triathlon community.

The problem is, I don't know how! I used to go to Trifuel frequently, and I've used Ontri, Buckeye Outdoors, and Beginner Triathlete to log my training. But all of those sites seem less popular and less active than they used to be. Most of the triathlete blogs I used to follow haven't been updated since . . . well, since I last updated mine. I feel like Tom Hanks in "Sleepless in Seattle," completely clueless about how to date women in the '90s ("When was the last time you were out there?" "Uh, Jimmy Carter? 1978.") Where do triathletes go to hang out online, now?!

Can anyone help me out? Where do you hang out with other triathletes?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Racevine Re-boot

Way back when I was blogging regularly (I'm trying to get back at it), I mentioned Racevine, a site that provides a forum for athletes to review races and events. In previous years, I've used to find races. Racevine provides a community-driven source for events, plus reviews of events that may help you determine on which ones you should spend your hard-earned dollars (or euros or pounds sterling).

Racevine just re-launched their website with a nicer UI and more features, including over 35,000 races (they add them manually), new user profiles, a new race search (helpful for discovering new races nearby), and new event information.

I've never found a site that provides a good aggregate of race information, which seems strange to me, given how many triathletes are involved in IT and web design. I imagine it has more to do with the transience of many races--especially small, community-based races and events (5ks, 10ks, road rides, crits); and most sites rely on event organizers to report them. Racevine attempts to feel that space, and does an admirable job by using crowd-sourcing techniques. It's not quite there yet--it doesn't include cycling events, which are admittedly more of a niche activity--but it's a great resource. Check out their new site.

By the way, I did win a few canisters of salt tablets in a Racevine race report competition, and they sent me a free technical shirt by way of promotion. That was several years ago, and I haven't had any contact with the site directors since then. I'm just promoting the site because I think it's a cool resource.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Trihardist Workouts: Pre-Season Yoga

I haven't trained intensively since my half marathon in 2012. I've done races since then, but I haven't competed; I haven't reached for a PR or chased a podium since then. And, since I've left Genesis, I haven't gotten as much strength and flexibility training. Retrospectively, I don't remember working out that much as a personal trainer. But then, I suppose doing 2-3 reps of 8-10 exercises 4-8 times per day enhanced my fitness more than I realized at the time.

All that to say that I'm out of shape.

Okay. Relatively.

I find it difficult to lift and carry heavy things. My fingers no longer reach my my toes. My pants are tight. If I'm gearing up for a 70.3 in June, I need some preparatory work.

I sat down with a notebook to pencil in what I need before I start my training plan in March. Here's the low-down:

  1. Reduce and prevent inflammation in plantar fascia
  2. Loosen and reduce inflammation in piriformis
  3. Align shoulders, especially the right one
  4. Stabilize ankles and reduce/prevent achilles tendinosis
  5. Stabilize core and lumbo-pelvic area
To accomplish all that, I put together a yoga routine. It's short; takes less than 20 minutes, and that includes time to lay around and meditate. And, being the generous, loving trainer and coach that I am, I recorded my routine for you, so that you can join me!

I provide cues for proper alignment and activation in the workout, but I don't tell you how to do the poses, step-by-step. If you're not familiar with yoga, you will need to study these poses to get the most out of the workout:

Ardho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Crescent (High Lunge)
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
Trikonasana (Triangle)
Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon)
Parsvakonasana (Side Angle)

Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch)
Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolving Triangle)
Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolving Half Moon)
Hasta Padangusthasana (Hand to Big Toe)
Parsva Hasta Padangusthasana (Side Hand to Big Toe)
Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (Revolving Hand to Big Toe)
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Hand to Big Toe, arms overhead)

Savasana (Corpse)

Download and enjoy! I hope this helps each of us prepare for our next big race!