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!

 

 

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!

 

How Indoor Triathlons Work

Indoor triathlons: the closest to a race that many can find in the frigid winter. Winter is typically an off-season, whether you live in a warm climate or not. I know I miss the feeling of competing, and these events bring you a step closer. These races are meant for training and offer motivation due to their competitive nature, but that is where the similarities end. The main thing to understand is that these triathlons have a set time rather than distance. For example, a normal triathlon might have a 750-meter swim, a 15-kilometer bike, and a 5-kilometer run. The measurements of the indoor triathlons I do are a 10-minute swim, a 30-minute bike, and a 20-minute run. The facilities they take place in are all indoors, and the transitions are incredibly different. This post explains what these events typically are like and the way they work.

1. The Swim

The swim begins in the pool, with about two racers per lane.There are usually people on Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 8.48.53 PMdeck counting your laps, so all you need to worry about is swimming! You start in the pool and swim until the time is up, which will be indicated by a horn or another sound.During your last length, be sure to pass the dividing cone beside the middle of the pool. If you do, the length counts toward your distance, if not, it doesn’t. That’s how the swim leg works.

2. The Transition

The transition is very different in indoor triathlons. Instead of having to speed through and get out in order to keep a good time, you have about 5 minutes to change into your bike clothes (In a changing room) and bring running shoes up to the area where the event is taking place. Often there is a volunteer to guide you to the cycling area, and then you can begin your ride!

3. The Bike

The bike ride is done on stationary bikes, sometimes in a room used for cycling classes or they might be brought out to an open space near the running area. You usually have the My-Class1option of wearing clip shoes or normal running shoes. The bike event is unique compared to the swim and runs as it is measured in average watts, so before going into it, be sure to know your goal range and try to stick to it throughout the ride. I recommend wearing bike shorts for this part, as it is a long time sitting and riding in place. Lastly, be sure to have water or a sports drink around, and bring it with you to the several events.

4. The Run

The run is done in two ways depending on the triathlon. If you’re lucky, they can be run on an indoor track. There will then be volunteers counting your laps as you come Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 8.52.45 PMaround. The last leg is commonly done, though, on a treadmill. They give you free reign
of the treadmill controls, so run at a speed that is comfortable for you, as well as the incline. I recommend using lock laces for your running shoes because you don’t to stop and have to tie them mid-race. Throw on your running shoes, and run until the time is up… that’s all there is to it!

In conclusion, indoor triathlons are a great way to add another dimension to off-season training and allow you to have a goal to work toward before the spring rolls around. If you’re interested, be sure to look up indoor triathlons near you!