How I Changed The Way I Ride Inside

Let’s face it, biking inside can be very boring and not very motivating. I could never push myself to ride if I would just be on my bike pedaling endlessly. Now, you’ve got options. And I tried them. I tried a spin class for the first time, and of course, Zwift has changed the way we ride inside. HIIT timers can make your training more structured, and your times will benefit. (Spoiler alert: They are all great options) There are many other choices to look into as well, that better track your progress than riding on a trainer alone. Let’s get into it!

1. Spin Class

You saw this coming. Spin classes have been crazy popular lately, and with good reason. I tried one for the first time a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. I liked how structured it was, and the actual ~human interaction~ was a benefit. I quickly noticed though that some teachers are better than others. Try many different ones if possible and then pick the class with your favorite teacher and the best length of time for you. I’ve found my favorite and I love it! It’s a change of pace than that of my pain cave, but a positive one. I enjoy the separated segments of sprints, “running” and normal riding and the connection to the music… It keeps you on your toes! One definite con though, is that you need to leave the house and pack a bag just to do a ride. Though that’s inconvenient, It’s well worth a try if you find yourself bored of riding on a trainer.

2. Zwift

I’ve mentioned zwift a million times before, but I can’t not mention it once more. It changed the way I ride, and now I can’t live without it. I love the competitive aspect and the sprint and KOM segments. The virtual hills and climbs add another dimension that simulates riding outside, and challenges such as the Everest elevation challenge are so much fun and motivate me. It tracks tons of different stats as well. Once you get past the fact that you need a monthly subscription and a solid setup, it is life-changing.

3.  Timers & Segments

Here’s a great hack: download a free HIIT Timer and use it to break up your rides into segments. The setup of a HIIT timer is action time and rest time typically, but I use the action time as either sprint or standing, and the rest time as normal, endurance riding. These intervals help you improve your sprinting and climbing as well as keeping you a ton less bored. I typically use this technique alongside Zwift for an all around GREAT ride.

Bonus: Always Keep up with PRs!

If you find yourself doing the same distances over and over, be sure to take note of your times and keep them somewhere such as a planner or document where you can easily update or have a look at them. This will help you see your improvement and motivate you to go just a bit faster to beat your best time! In the end, you are your own competition.

Thank you for reading, I hope you got some new ideas and enjoyed the post! If you did, please like so I know to post more like this. I plan to post lots more once I can train outside and the tri season begins, so please follow so you don’t miss a post! Thanks again!

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How I Plan To Improve My Running

Running can be a struggle in the winter and it can be hard to see results. Treadmills are my least favorite thing, and being stuck inside to train can be rather irritating at times. In order to end my mid-winter slump, I’ve come up with plenty of ideas to make training more enjoyable and more beneficial.

1. Intervals

This is likely the most notable thing to improve your training but is definitely worth mentioning. Doing a sprint every five or so minutes in between a normal endurance pace is a nice change of pace (literally) while running your typical distance. It will test your speed and help you become more resilient when running harder and longer. I typically do 5-minute endurance, then 30-second sprints over and over until I’ve either reached my target distance or time.

2. Incline

An often overlooked benefit to running on a treadmill is the incline feature. It’s an advantage to be able to basically control your terrain simply by clicking a button. I love to do some shorter distances at a slower pace with very high incline to strengthen the legs. It is a nice change from a long run, and you’ll thank me when you do a race and encounter a steep hill to run up!

3. Stairs

Along with upping your incline, stairs are another good way to work on your uphill running, and it definitely gets your heart pumping! I like to set a timer and see how many sets I can do within the time limit. Once again, hills will soon become less of a nuisance.

running-stairs.jpg

4. Speed or Distance

If your goal is to be a faster, better runner before you begin your running training you need to make a decision. In order to improve you need to decide whether you want to go a typical distance of your’s faster, or your typical pace for a longer distance. Doing the same distance and pace every time will not benefit your times in the long run.

Bonus: How to improve your running without running

  • Leg workouts, eg. squats, lunges etc. will strengthen the legs and allow you to improve your stride and reduce cramping.
  • Cardio of any kind will help you run faster, longer without running out of breath and tiring out too quickly. I enjoy jump roping and HIIT workouts.

Thank you for reading, be sure to follow my blog on WordPress and like this post for more posts like this!

My Training goals for 2018!

After the indoor Tri that I did on Sunday, I had so many ideas and thoughts on how I can improve my distances and times, so I decided to compile them into this post! I hope to stick to these and find ways to incorporate them into my training routine.

1. Tracking distance and timing

I am very bad at keeping up with my stats, and that needs to improve. Keeping stats help you track your progress and push you to go faster! I will focus on running especially, such as 1-mile, 3k, and 5k stats as well as my 20-minute distance for an indoor triathlon. I will also do set distances for bike (30 minutes) and swim (10 minutes).

2. Training harder and incorporating intervals

This is mainly for riding and running, but I tend to train at a lower speed and I don’t pay attention to what I’m doing and how fast I’m going. My mind wanders when I’m on the trainer and I slow down in return. I plan to fix this by adding sprint intervals and faster sections to keep me moving at a quicker pace. I will use zwift workouts for this on the bike, and I will use a HIIT timer or something similar on the treadmill.

3. Focus on the Swim

Lastly, I look to do my swim once a week and time a ten-minute swim everytime. I often skip the swim in favor of a bike or a run so I can stay home and not pack a bag to go. I need to stop doing this, as I’m losing so much training time in this event just because it’s less convenient.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to follow and like this post! I hope this inspires you to set your own goals for this year.

Lifetime Indoor Tri 2018: My Experience

I just finished my first Tri of 2018! I am so excited to write out every detail about my experience, which was great! I did pretty well, given I haven’t done a Tri of any kind since late August. You could tell by my distances, but I felt great when I was racing which was good. Let’s get into it!IMG_2944

The first event was, of course, the swim. Everything there went very well. Each lane had
two people, so I had to share a lane. We agreed upon me taking the right side and she took the left. No collisions occurred or anything, and I never had to slow down or get out of the way which is unheard of. My legs did begin to hurt early on, but the soreness faded by the end. I swam hard and I felt very good. Sadly I fell short of my goal by 50 meters. I swam 550-meters flat and I am happy with that, but I know now that I need to do some more high-intensity timed swim training. The one thing that I didn’t expect is that the water was ICE COLD. It was crazy. I had to do many warm-up laps to literally “warm-up”.


IMG_5341

Next was the bike! It was pretty smooth sailing, but I felt like every tenth of a mile was a
year. From the beginning, I was worried that I wouldn’t come close to nine miles, but I made it to 8.8, which is pretty consistent with my last distances. I slowed down closer to the end to save some steam before the twenty-minute run, and in the end, I do think that was a good decision as my distance for the run was very good… I will say though, my legs were burning by the end! In conclusion, I think I did very well!


img_92111.jpgFinally, the Run! I felt great about the run, and I was so close to reaching my goal of 2.2 miles at a distance of 2.15. I think I could have made it, but for whatever reason, the whistle blew about 15 seconds earlier than the twenty minutes based on my treadmill time. By about the 10-minute mark I got a bad cramp that slowed me down quite a bit. For me, this is almost unavoidable but very irritating. By the end, though, I printed it out until the end, and I was done! Thanks for reading!

 

 

Getting Ready for an Indoor Triathlon + My Goals

I have been training all winter, but on Sunday I will be able to compete again. Kind of. As I explained in a past post, an Indoor Tri is a great way to train and get a little taste of competition in the middle of winter. I’ve been working toward it for the last few weeks and I wanted to share my ideas and experience training.

The Swim was not too different to my normal training. I did more endurance and timed myself in the ten minutes that were a part of my race. I also did some sprinting and picked up pace near the end, realistic to the end of the leg when you want to get those valuable last few laps in. I also kept up my typical equipment drills as I find they really do help me improve my strength in the pool.

The main thing that I focused on was connecting events. I had been practicing all three disciplines separately, but to do one right after the other helps me prepare for the fast pace between events. Going from a swim to a bike doesn’t work easily, but a bike to a run is definitely possible. I would do a thirty-minute long bike to correspond to the time frame of my particular race (These times vary from race to race) and a twenty-minute run right after. I give myself about five minutes in between to change my shoes and catch my breath, which is realistic to a normal indoor triathlon. The bike was pretty typical of my normal training, but I focused on my watts more than usual. They play a big role in your final score and are more accurate on a stationary bike. My mindset for my running training was simply, don’t stop. It is so easy to take quick breaks on a treadmill and let it keep running, but that’s obviously not allowed in a race so I made sure to avoid doing so at all costs. I Ran at a slower pace of about 9.5 at the beginning, to a 10, and finally a 10.5 with an all-out sprint of about 13 at the very end.

Lastly, another thing to think about is setting goals. If you’ve done the race before, you can look at your past distances and improve them to an extent. That’s what I did this year, and my goal is as follows:

Swim: 600m   Bike: 9 Miles  Run: 2.2 Miles

If you haven’t done that race yet, base your goal off of your training distances. Make sure it is attainable and makes sense for you. Having a goal is important, especially for indoor triathlons as you have full access to your stats on two of the events so it will make you push much harder at the end! Thank you for reading, and I will post an update on Sunday or Monday after the race. Be sure to like this post and follow me to be notified of new posts!

 

 

 

How I Plan My Training Schedule + Recording My Stats

When it comes to training, it feels great to improve your time and keep up with your training, but the question is, how should you keep track of those stats? This post is about how I plan my Triathlon training, and how I keep track of my times, distances etc.

Weekly ChecklistIMG_2866

My main way of scheduling my practices is via a whiteboard I have hung up in my
bedroom. I use a checklist-style strategy, and I must check off every practice before the end of the week. This works well for me, as I never know exactly what days I am busy with homework or school meetings until that day, so scheduling practices on a specific day never worked well for me. Underneath, I write down a few notes about the session such as distance, time and elevation. Heres what it looks like:

Journal

IMG_1918At the end of every week when I erase my board, I move all the information on it to my journal. I haven’t been great at this, so I have made a point of doing it again once I get a new planner. You can easily look back on past workouts and (The best part) you can write down your times for a set distance (or set time) and be able to look back at how much you’ve improved! I also write down my times from triathlons, so if I do it another time, I can compare the times and give me a good idea of how much I’ve improved over an entire year. The picture above is an older one that I kept. You might have noticed that there are a few visuals on the page, and that makes the journal more readable and easier to look back on, so I definitely recommend it.

I typically track these stats:

  • Distance (When training for an indoor tri)
  • Time (When training for outdoor tri)
  • Elevation (On Bike)
  • Watts (On Bike)

Garmin Connect

Another way that I track my stats is on Garmin connect. I have the forerunner 25 running watch and the Edge 25 bike computer (Both of which I highly recommend) which track my statistics as I run/bike, so then I can quickly sync the workout to Garmin Connect and check back on it on my phone whenever I want. The issue with this is that I don’t use it as much in the Winter when I train indoors on a treadmill or my bike trainer, but that’s what the whiteboard and journal are for!

Zwift

A last honorable mention is Zwift, as I use it for all of my indoor riding. It automatically saves every ride so I can look back on all the rides on my profile.

More Ideas:

  • Apps! there are tons available, and they work well for many people.
  • Calendar! If you can to commit to a regular schedule for training, it’s a great option.
  • Spreadsheets! Many people use spreadsheets for recording times (Mostly for races) and you can also upload your competitor’s times to compare.

I hope this post gave you some ideas on how to keep track of your training and times, because all of these help me out a ton. As always, thank you so much for reading and be sure to like this post and follow my blog!

 

My Bike Essentials

I love cycling, it might just be my favorite event in a triathlon. These different items make riding on the road, on a trainer, and during a race so much more enjoyable and help me ride longer, harder, and allow me to look back at my stats. Let’s get right into it.

1. Clip Shoes

The first and most essential product that I use to train are bike shoes, or as I call them, Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 9.20.42 PMclip shoes. The idea of them is to allow the rider to not only push down on the pedals but push and pull the pedal back up to ride faster and with more power. Another benefit is that if you are pushing hard and doing an intense sprint, you can give it your all without worrying about your feet slipping off the pedals. Here is a picture of my current shoes:

2. Bike Trainer

An incredibly important element to bike training is a trainer. This lets me train in the Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 9.38.32 PMwinter, as there is no way I’m riding outside in this cold! If I didn’t have one, I would only be able to train for a few months out of the year, so that makes it crucial to my winter training. I use this Cycle ops trainer:

3. Garmin Edge 25

Whenever I’m riding outside, I love having a bike computer that will track my stats and even have a GPS on board. It lets Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 10.09.41 PM.pngme look back on the stats of my last rides, such as distance, time, and elevation. the software is intuitive, there are many helpful features such as the online community, and the affordable price makes this device an essential.

 

4. Solid Bike ShortsScreen Shot 2018-01-13 at 9.23.59 AM

In order to get a long ride in, a good pair of bike shorts makes it a hundred times more comfortable, and in my opinion, the more padding, the better. Enough Said.

 

5. Double-sided Pedals

This is one is is extremely useful if you not only go for training rides, but for leisurely Screen Shot 2018-01-13 at 9.38.50 AMones too. The idea is that one side has a clip for if you are wearing clip shoes, but the other is a typical, flat pedal which you could ride on with running shoes. Usually, they make these for SPD clips only, so if you use another type you’re probably out of luck. They are very necessary for my day to day riding, and I highly recommend them!

6. Zwift

Here’s the main event. If you have to train indoors and dread it every time, Zwift is for Screen Shot 2018-01-13 at 9.51.17 AMyou. If you love competing against others and enjoy challenges, Zwift is for you. If you want to make training easier and a ton more fun, Zwift is for YOU. Zwift is an online software and community that throws you into a new cycling-oriented world right on your computer, where you can compete with friends, family, and the world. There are great challenges (I’m working on the Mt. Everest challenge right now) and achievements to push you further and harder. If you have a trainer, bike with Ant+, and a device to use as a screen, you’re all set! Zwift has truly transformed my indoor training for the better.

7. Phone Mount

This last essential for me is used with Zwift, and that is a Phone Mount. I never use it Screen Shot 2018-01-13 at 9.53.47 AMwhen riding outside, but I do use it for Zwift mobile link and it’s great if I want to watch a video or something on my phone while riding (Only when on a trainer, obviously). there are so many versions out there, but here’s one example.

 

This was a fun post to write, and I hope you’ve added some of these to your shopping list!  If you want to be notified about more posts like these, follow by entering your email down below! Thank you for reading!

* None of the products mentioned are sponsored. These are all my ideas and opinions.