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Showing posts with label workout. Show all posts
Showing posts with label workout. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

dryland training

Swim-specific strength today. I use resistance bands that I shut into a door to work specifically on my shoulders (as in this video). And I spent some QT with my foam roller. I hit my traps with some Biofreeze afterwards too.

Then I sat at my desk all day.

Just your basic proteins, green veggies, and berries today. Had some roasted pecans that pushed me over my calorie limit somewhat but they were worth it. I love pecans.

There is a derecho weather system moving through tonight that is definitely going to render the river unusable for a few days. So sad.

I am going to meet my team mates for the Manhattan Relay in two weeks. We are planning to swim at Coney Island Brighton Beach the day after we drop our son off at camp (his camp is 2 hrs from NYC). Excited to actually see these people in person!

Most likely I am adding the 2-mile Governors Island swim to my schedule. It's the day after camp pickup (July 21). This will give me the chance to swim with our team one more time, just a few weeks before the relay. Plus you get to jump off a ferry at the start -- fun!

Monday, May 13, 2013

monday double swim

After a month of being sick, I am finally back to  double-masters Mondays.

Today's mainset was 300s broken so the effort got harder as the set progressed. Same set tonight, but on the last 300 I felt something weird happen in my armpit along my surgical scar and decided to back off.

Still feels weird under my right arm. I hope it resolves itself.

Nutrition: had a 1/2 cup whole milk greek yogurt and coffee with cream before the 5:45 a.m. swim. I hadn't eaten since lunch yesterday so thought I should eat something before going to the pool. Scrambled eggs and fruit after swimming. Later in the day had a big piece of fish and zucchini on my new grill with a salad. Grabbed a few motrin and a salt cap before 5:30 p.m. swim. Brought chia fresca to the pool. Post swim had a Quest bar, cheese, and some berries.

The Manhattan Island Marathon relay is just over 12 weeks away. Time to get serious. I wish it would warm up (second overnight freeze watch in a row in Pittsburgh tonight). I am tired of the pool!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

yoga and strength training

Came across an interesting study this morning in the peer-reviewed literature, Bikram yoga training and physical fitness in healthy young adults, right as I was on my way out the door to the 6 a.m. class.
"In summary, this short-term yoga training protocol produced beneficial changes in musculoskeletal fitness that were specific to the training stimulus."
Good timing since I did a strength workout when I got home. Usually Tuesday is my long run day but I am still waiting for this huge blister to heal so I changed things up a bit.

I feel like I am going to just enough yoga to barely undo the damage I am doing to my body from running. I miss having the time in my schedule to go to Bikram 4x/week.

What did I eat today?
Breakfast: whole fat greek yogurt with strawberries, coffee with cream that I whipped myself.
Lunch: grass-fed beef burger, leftover broccoli casserole.
Snack: peanut butter from the jar (not a good choice!), strawberries.
Dinner: leftover salad - ham, hardboiled eggs, cheese, tomatoes, broccoli, romaine.

Unfortunately I spent hours and hours with no break working at my computer today; my concussion, even though almost a year old, really doesn't like it when I do that.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

keeping the faith

8 a.m. breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with a little cream cheese, small bowl of blackberries with crème fraîche, and coffee with cream.

Bikram yoga followed by a hard trainer ride followed by weights. Nuun only during workouts. Total time exercising: just under 4 hours.

2 p.m. lunch: raw almonds, almond milk, coconut oil, spinach, broccoli, lime, chia seeds, L-glutamine, ice blended in vitamix. So good.

Nowadays I can make it all morning through some intense exercise and not feel hungry. Previously I would have been ready to eat a horse after a morning like this. But I was vegan at the time.... so a tofu-horse? Tohorsey?

Yet sometimes seeds of doubt creep in. Is this stupid? Can I really survive on a low carb diet as an athlete? This past week I made the best discovery ever. One of my favorite athletes, Paula Newby Fraser, arguably one of the greatest triathletes of all time, trained on low carb diet. Here's a link to Tim Noakes talking about PNF's training. And here's a tweet from Paula herself on the subject.  YES!

One of my favorite pictures!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

2 days off, omg

I have been sick all week -- just sick enough to feel run down and crummy. So I took Tuesday and Wednesday off. I mentioned this at different times to four of my friends who are athletes. Each had the same reaction: aghast. You would have thought I said I flipped off the new pope.

TWO DAYS? Wow. Are you okay?

For most of us two-workouts-a-day six-days-a-week is the norm. Some do even more. The only time we take two days off in a row is directly after a big race. But even then by day two we might be sneaking in a "recovery___"(swim, ride, etc).

We are all totally neurotic.

With that said, since I wasn't feeling better in spite of resting I did my two workouts today.

This morning at 5 a.m. I had coffee with a scant tbsp of Kerrygold butter and 0.5 tbsp coconut oil and went to masters. I was falling off the back in my lane, still dragging from being sick, but I finished the set.

Breakfast: bacon, berries and black coffee. (alliteration!)

Met a friend for lunch at a great place where they make fresh gigantic salads. If you are in Pgh, check out Hello Bistro. Had a salad with salmon, olives, tons of veggies, not much dressing.

Did an easy 5k run with my husband after work. I was wheezing a bit and had to walk the hills. The most distressing part of the run was when the interplay of light and shadow on the sidewalk aggravated my concussion and I thought I was going to puke. I hit my head 11 months ago. Concussions are no joke.

Post run I had raw almonds, whey, blueberries, chia seeds, l-glutamine, almond milk, and most of a bag of spinach in the vitamix. Delicious.

Monday, February 25, 2013

17h fast = great swim

Yesterday I got home from yoga at 9 a.m., had breakfast, lifted weights, showered, and finished up a project at work. My husband left for his long run later that morning (15 miles). At 2 p.m. I realized we had not eaten lunch. We went out to the Cheesecake Factory for giant salads since I was headed to a store across the street. I had a cobb salad sub salmon for chicken, estimated around 950 calories. That's some salad!
At dinner time I just was not hungry. So I didn't eat. This is part of my new plan. Eat when I'm hungry. It's not really a novel concept but I have been ruled by schedules as a triathlete for years. It seems so ODD to not be watching the clock.
This morning at 5 a.m. I got up, had a bulletproof coffee on my way to the pool, and swam a fairly challenging set. I was still hitting my target times at the end of the set and felt fine. I was hungry after practice, but not starving by any means.
I came across an interesting study last night that implies that this type of training might be beneficial. Training in the fasted state improves glucose tolerance during fat-rich diet. J Physiol 588: 4289–4302, 2010.
I enjoyed my usual breakfast at 8 a.m.
And given my workout this morning, I am feeling cautiously optimistic about the 1650 this Sunday. I'll be back at the pool 8 hours from now for round two.

Friday, February 15, 2013

rethinking my spring schedule

Having lived with my proposed February schedule for a few weeks, I don't like it. So I am changing it up.
  • Monday: Swim. Swim. (double!)
  • Tuesday: Long run. Lift (shoulders/triceps/core).
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: Swim. Lift (back/biceps/ankle).
  • Friday: Yoga. Short run. Swim (pm).
  • Saturday: Yoga. Spin. Lift (chest/legs/core).
  • Sunday: fun day. Do some stuff -- bike ride, long walk with dog, run with family, yoga, etc.
Saturday and Sunday can be flipped around depending on the weather and what group rides are planned, etc. I like having flexible weekends and getting my two big workouts over with Monday and Tuesday.  I wish there was more time for yoga. This may seem a little shy on bike workouts but if the weather is decent I ride my bike to get around and those add up.

4x swim
1-2x bike + commuting
2x run
2-3x yoga
3x lift

I am going to try this and see how it goes; if this works I'll continue it through March.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

flippin sweet

This morning was the first masters practice where I did flip turns for the entire set since hitting my head on 4/19/12. It went surprisingly well, no dizziness.

However, at 5 a.m. when I was putting away the low carb mini cheesecakes I made for my husband for valentine's day I decided to try one. Pretty good! But not the best food before speed day at masters. With flip turns.

Got in a quick lift at home. Back & biceps, saving shoulders and triceps for later since I am going to go for masters round two (minus the cheesecake!) tomorrow night.
  • Standard row 
  • Alternate hammer curl
  • High row (overhand grip) 
  • Concentration curl
  • Bent over row
  • 21s bicep curls 
  • crunches and planks
Also: quick chat with my swim coach this a.m. and I have decided to seed myself +2 minutes at the 1650 this year. I am still trying to get back what I lost after surgery. It's tough, but next year hopefully I'll be able to look back and say "wow, look how far I've come." 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Keto-adpated evening workouts

Last night I went to evening masters for the first time in 5 years. I was wondering how to handle my nutrition timing. It turns out I didn’t eat anything after lunch and I was totally fine.

My day went like this:

  • 5:30 a.m. Buttered coffee. (link)
  • 6 a.m. Bikram
  • Tall glass of water after yoga, shower, check email, deal with minor crisis at work.
  • 9 a.m. Green smoothie. (link)
  • Work work work.
  • 1 p.m. remember I better eat. Pan fried salmon on spinach salad, extra cucumbers dipped in aioli. Coffee with whipped heavy cream.
  • Work work work.
  • 5 p.m. leave for the pool with Chia Fresca in hand (link). I was going to bring some of my protein balls (link) for after the workout but I forgot them.
  • 5:30 p.m. masters. This workout involved 150’s broken at the 75 where we got out of the pool and did pushups (I subbed sit ups) as the main set. I had done this workout on Thursday a.m. too. Good practice for relay swimming where I’ll get in/out of a boat a lot.
  • Finished off my Chia Fresca after masters.
  • 7:30 p.m. home. I might have been less of a bitch about the mess my husband and son left in the kitchen if I had not forgotten my post-workout snack. Made some scrambled eggs for dinner and felt fine after that.

    I had plenty of energy for a hard workout without an afternoon snack so (hopefully) I was burning fat for fuel. So far I would say I am performing far better keto-adpated than I was before.

  • Sunday, February 3, 2013

    typical Feb training

    February is still “off season” where most effort is zone 2 and the focus is base-building. So far I have had zero trouble on a low carb / high fat diet with these types of workouts.

    Here's the basic outline of my February training schedule:

  • Sunday: Bikram, masters, long spin

  • Monday: masters, 2nd swim

  • Tuesday: long slow run, swim-specific strength

  • Wednesday: Bikram

  • Thursday: masters, group power class

  • Friday: Bikram, short “fast” (for me) run

  • Saturday: Bikram, long spin

    Total hours/week: 16 - 17

    This does not include bike commuting, dog walking, and other ordinary stuff. Sometimes I try to sneak an extra yoga class in when I can too.

    4x/week swim since my A goal is the Manhattan Island Relay and 4x Bikram yoga since I am trying to keep my ankle strong so I don't fall over and get another concussion. Everything else is 2x/week. And it will likely stay like this throughout the main part of the season, just the duration/intensity will build.

  • Thursday, January 31, 2013

    Back to Group Power

    Woke up at 5, had coffee with cream, and headed to the pool. I packed a whole milk greek yogurt mixed with a tbsp. of coconut oil. Ate it after practice before heading over to gym #2 for Group Power, a one-hour class that uses a step, a bar, free weights, and body weight exercises for a full-body workout lead by an instructor. I have been going to Group Power for years but stopped after my concussion last summer because I could not tolerate being in a fluorescent-lit room with mirrors and shiny things.

    Actually, the room still bothers me. Today I just used light weights. I am pretty sure if I hadn’t eaten the yogurt I would have bonked in class. I was a little woozy at the end but I think it was my head. I should take my concussion meds before class; I didn't today and that was a bad idea.

    When left to my own devices in the gym I tend to do a good job with swim specific strength workouts (shoulders, back, arms) but I never find time for the exercises I don't like as much (chest, legs). What I like about Group Power is that I get in a passable full-body workout in an hour.

    As a triathlete I only have time for two strength training sessions per week. I don’t know if it’s being back on this low carb diet but lately I have been fantasizing about hiring a trainer and going hard in the gym again.

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    let go

    Had an ounce of cream cheese and a tablespoon of peanut butter with my coffee + cream this a.m. and made it through yoga immediately followed by a short but brisk pool set with no energy slump. On a high carb diet I would have had two slices of Ezekial bread with Earth Balance and coffee with soymilk. I would get through my workouts, but I would be starving afterwards. Today I am trying to convince myself to eat a little more post-workout; I am just not hungry.

    In other news… I am a bit of a control freak. Okay, I am a major control freak My swim relay team was corresponding recently about kayakers. And now that I think about it, 28.5 miles is a really long way to kayak! One of our swimmers said that sometimes kayakers DNF. Add yet another variable to my list: weather, waves, currents, other team members, boat support…..

    This swim relay is good for me mentally: LET GO. And now, breakfast.

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

    Relay training insight

    I’m excited!

    This morning’s workout: Bikram back-to-back with masters.

    In yoga I had an insight about how to train for the Manhattan Island Relays. I have been wondering how I will hold up sitting on a hot boat interspersed with hard-effort swimming over 8 hours. Then it hit me:

    When my training peaks for the Relays I can do a couple of big training days where I go to hot yoga at 6 am, then swim for an hour, then hot yoga at 9:30 am, and then swim for an hour. This will approximate how it will feel to sit on a hot boat then have to swim.

    Bikram/swim is perfect for practicing swimming dehydrated and a bit tired. I had some Nuun after yoga (2 tablets dissolved into a large bottle of smart water) and four of my Bento Box Balls. Yesterday I had two balls and wished for more, but four balls today were too many: I am going to stick with three going forward. However, I had plenty of energy from breakfast at 6 a.m. to lunch at noon.

    Monday, January 14, 2013


    For the first time in a while I got extremely dizzy in the pool this morning.

    My nutrition yesterday was on the low side. 1470 cal, 35g carb (not counting fiber), 104g fat, 74g pro. Not on purpose, I am just not hungry on a ketogenic diet. My only workout yesterday was yoga so I didn’t need much to keep me going.

    This morning I had coffee with cream before practice, same as always.

    This was my first long course workout in months (50 meters rather than 25 yards). And I was keeping pace with a slightly faster group. It was a vigorous workout for me, so that easily could have played a role.

    As I have mentioned before in this blog, the problem with experimenting on myself is the lack of a comparison group. I struggle with dizziness with my head injury. I am recovering from a surgery so I have lost fitness. Unfortunately, my baseline is a bit of a mess.

    I’ll try to be more vigilant about hitting my calorie goal of no less than 1800. I am losing weight very slowly on purpose. A few winters ago I dropped weight too quickly and gained it back too easily.

    I felt like dizzy kid today in the pool. Dizzzzzzayyyyy!

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    time lost & found

    People who claim, “I don’t have time to workout,” irritate me. Even single moms and Barak Obama still find time to workout.

    I have a family. I have a more-than-fulltime job. I am working on my terminal degree. And I am slow, so my workouts take longer than those of my faster friends.

    Lately I have been thinking about the 1650, coming up March 3rd. Oh how I despise swimming the 1650, yet I do it every year. I am not a sprinter. After repeatedly observing my frustrated efforts in the pool, my swim coach suggested that perhaps I lack fast twitch muscles. We are born with a set amount. I can’t will more into existence no matter how hard I try.

    Adding to my woes are the weeks I spent out of the water recovering from surgery. I lost 10 precious seconds off my 100 time. I have no idea if I can find them again. Seven weeks to go.

    Tomorrow morning my alarm will go off at 5. I have to find the time.

    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    first 3 hour workout

    Made it through two 90-minute back-to-back workouts with zero nutrition issues this morning. Here’s how it went.
    • 6:30 am 1 cup greek yogurt, berries, coffee with heavy cream.
    • 7:30 am Bikram yoga, and I really went for it in yoga this a.m.
    • 9:00 am just water with Nuun after yoga.
    • 9:30 am spin class designed for cyclists. I had one serving of Generation UCan (more on this below) plus lots of water with Nuun during class - approx 100 oz of fluids. But I had just sweated my ass off in yoga.
    • 11:00 am not even a little hungry. Drank an EAS low-carb protein shake (100 cal, 17 g pro) since I try to take in some protein after a hard workout.
    Went to lunch after spin with a friend. Had scrambled eggs with cream cheese and coffee. Wasn’t hungry but knew I should eat. No GI problems at all. No fatigue other than my arms and legs were tired towards the end of spin class.

    Granted yoga + spin is no 112 mile bike + marathon but I am pleased with this morning’s test run.

    So Generation UCan, what is it? Dr. Peter Attia gives the best explanation I have read here. It’s a super starch that does not impact insulin (therefore does not effect fat metabolism). I used a ketostick this afternoon – still pink. I am planning on using UCan to get through my high volume training. The bad news is it tastes awful – like licking a chalkboard with a piece of fruit candy in your mouth. I mean really licking it, maybe sucking the eraser when you’re done. I know how I felt about Gatorade after Ironman FL. I probably won’t be able to even look at a chalkboard after this season. Unfortunately I’m a teacher.

    I used the Cran-Raz UCan today because it’s sweetened with Stevia and I try to avoid artificial sweeteners, but I am going to branch out and give the other flavors a try. Honestly, they cannot be any worse. "UCan barely choke it down."

    This workout was awesome. I think yoga+spin is my new Saturday morning until the weather warms up.