First weeks of real training.

So we are now out of the getting into it weeks and are hitting the training hard. The last two weeks have been a bit of a gong show. We had a wedding weekend and ski weekend to throw a wrench into things. Also I was super sick for a week and that just about stopped my training during that week. But everything is back on track now.

Looking back on our years of doing these triathlons when I first started a 5km run was a huge undertaking. Now we are talking about easy 90 min runs and 2 hours swims let alone the 3 plus hour bikes as par for the course. How far we have come. Not that we have a trail of fire behind us but I think we do pretty good.

I have started to add strides and speed workouts into my runs and bike. I found that I have been getting a bit faster and by the end of my workouts my average speed is higher than when I started. Next week I will be starting my running group that has lots more of this type of workouts as well as lots of hill training. It is not fun but it is effective.

We are hoping to get our bikes out soon also. The weather is getting warmer but it is not quite warm enough for us though. I still need to get the new tires and cassettes on. Jill and I are a bit of fair weather bikes and we both hate the cold wind on us as we ride. We are going to have to ride in any condition soon but hopefully not too soon.

We are also learning about our running nutrition now. It is hard to find food that is easy to eat and hold down during the exertion. We have an oat bar that is easy but not too portable. The other bar is hard and portable but hard to eat. We have tried the gels and we use them but we are hoping to find other options for some of our needs.

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Getting into things

So Jill and I have been at it full for the last little bit here. We are both happy where we are but it still seems daunting that we have to do so much in the next 6 months. We both are happy with our swims. It is a relief that we now feel a 1500m swim is a short one. Also we did our first 2800m training swim and were able to complete it no worries. It is a far cry from when we were amazed that we could do 750m a few years ago. The thing I like is after we do our swim I am not dizzy getting out of the pool, but my 500m time is constant throughout the training. I a looking at a 1.5 hour for the swim portion and am happy with that. That is also not allowing for me to get more efficient with my stroke over the next 5 months, and I am really trying to work on it now.

The bikes are hard now. I do not like riding inside and I need to adjust my fit. I seem to be riding too far forward on the seat right now and am unable to really get comfortable. I have a friend who is going to help me get fit and also get my shiny new rims built up for the road season.I need new cassette and tires for my bike and a cassette for Jill’s. I am also getting a new rear derailer for my bike. British bike websites to the rescue for that stuff. If you have not looked on them I recommend it, prices are up to half of what you get them for here including shipping. You really can not go wrong.

The runs are working out great now. Both treadmills are running fine after my surgery on the old one this February. We are able to do 2 hour runs at a good clip and have incline added in to give it a real world feel. I am doing tabata workouts on most of my runs to get a bit of speed work in. Also the Grassy Knol run training is happening again this year and I  hope it will be as good as last year. Jill was encouraging about it by saying I enjoyed it so much last year I should do it again this year. I said that no one enjoyed it but it is effective so I am in.

Both of us have gotten new shoes that we are breaking in on the treadmills right now. We got them off 33-off.com and it was worth it also. If you know the size and style you want just search it and you normally can get the last model of it. I ended up with 2 sets of shoes for $80 each. I tell you with the 2 of us both doing this sport these little saving sure add up fast.

Jill and I can not wait for the snow to clear and to get out on the bikes and run outside again. While the trainers do their part it is not a replacement for the real thing. But patience is a virtue and I am nothing if not virtues.

Starting to train

So it has been 2 cold weeks for us. It started with a thaw in mid Feb that took out the ski trails in Kananaskis and left Jill and I out in the cold for our weekend long ski. The next week we got some snow to make the trails better and we were able to get a short ski in. This was difficult due to the unevenness of the trails and we were not able to get the speed or distance we were getting on good snow but it was still a good end of the ski season for us.

The first week of our full Ironman training has started. This week we will have a great start with 9 hours of training. The morning runs are a nice way to get going but I find that I am hunger all day after. The swims are good also. It is nice to find that we are still able to swim 2000m  in for us a reasonable time. So we are starting not far off what we ended the half Ironman training on and we will hopefully get a bit faster during the program.

This is a good recipe for Brownies with no flour. I found you can use 1 cup of chocolate protein powder and add a little more oil to make them moister.

Black Bean Brownies – (No Flour Required!)
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/wp-content/themes/genesis/lib/js/html5shiv.min.js?x22297

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups black beans
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave
  •  2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

Black Bean Brownies Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes

The winter skiing

So in the last 2 weeks Jill and I have been cross-country on the weekends. This has brought out some weakness in our game.  Jill has been having some foot issues that are being dealt with by physio. My shoulder has been slowly getting better and my back is not hurting at all. Swimming has been good for it and the skiing is working well. The shoulder is not hurting on the poling but the swim mitt does put extra stress on it so I am using it less and just working the lengths now.

This was short but there will be more to come later this week.

These are some power bar cookies I have been working on as long ride fuel.You are able to take out all the flour and replace it with unflavored or vanilla protein powder if you want.

Protein Nut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: Makes 12-15 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 cup protein powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large egg
  • 1/2 cup Agave
  • 1/3 cup sweetened coconut shredded
  • 1/3 cup almond slivers
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • about 1/2 to 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Pull out 2 medium bowls, one for dry ingredients, one for wet.
  3. In one bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, protein powder and salt.
  4. Melt the coconut oil in the other bowl.
  5. Mix in the vanilla,  egg and Agave.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to stir until it has just come together
  7. Mix in all the rest of the ingredients
  8. Use a small ice cream scoop to make the cookie balls and press down
  9. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-13 minutes, or until they have just started to brown on the edges.

Down hill all the way

The last week has been a good week for the both of us. We had to split our mornings because I am working earlier now for the next few months, so Jill gets the 5 am workouts and I get the evenings. Our old treadmill is still out of commission but I am hoping that this week after I do some modification to a harness it will be back running.

The weekends have been great. We have been doing cross-country skiing as our long runs on the weekend. This last weekend we pulled out the skate skis and had a go. Last year I went all of 500 m and walked back due to too many falls. This year I got 5 km on our first day and 10 km on our second. I will say that it seems so much harder than running and I hope it will pay off. I do find Skating more enjoyable than Classic but Downhill is the most fun. I still do not understand how Jill can go down a steep hill on cross-country skis that is full of icy patches and say that Downhill is too dangerous. We are hoping for some new snow so that the trails are good for this weekend as they were getting icy by saturday.

First week of Training

So it begins. … We had a good first week of training. Apart from one of our treadmills failing we both found that the training was easy. I know it is only the first week but I am hoping it bodes well for the future. Both our bikes went well. My back was a bit sore from a , as I call it, old man injury. Just after christmas I bent over to pick up a pie my back went out and I had hard time standing. After a quick trip to the Physio and some stretches I was back at it. But keeping in aero was difficult for more than 10 min. But it is getting better and running is no issue. We will be starting swimming next week and hopefully the shoulder will not act up.

We finally got a good cross-country ski weekend out at Elkwood. Jill and I did 10 km on Saturday in -20 and on Sunday Jill did another 10 km of skating and I did a morning of downhill with the kids. Cross-country skiing really does work different muscles in the legs and we were both feeling it by the next day. With the weather warming up we are hoping that there is snow left for next week. Our plan is for January and February to do our long run as a ski but it look like we might be running the trails instead of skiing them.

One week down, 35 left..

Injured and injuries

So the last little while has not been the best for the Munday clan. My shoulder has been up and down for the last few weeks. I have been doing my exercises but there is still a lot of soreness and limited movement but it should go away with more work. Jill on the other hand has had it worse. She has been getting much better on her back. To the point that it does not hurt her now much at all. But when she did a 15 km run when I was hunting her foot started to hurt, and now she is on a 3 week hiatus because she developed tenosynovitis. SO it is stretching her foot and taking it easy. We are looking at this as a way to get all the little things out of the way so when we start our main training in January we will not have any interruptions. The one thing we are happy about is the fact we are still able to get up and do a 15 km run and only be about 10 min slower than are time from the halve Iron man. On the plus side my beer drinking has dropped dramatically and my biking is coming along nicely. I also think I may have had an enjoyable run. I finished a 10 km and thought I could do more. We will see how that plays out over time though.

A long way to go

Jill and I did our first 15 km run this weekend since our training for the 70.3 two years ago.Man what difference 18 months of very little running can do for you. It took us 1:50 hr to complete. A far cry from the times we were posting 2 years ago but we got it done and there was no pain in Jill’s back so it is looking good for the rest of the training. I would like to see 15km back into the 1:30’s for December and I think we should be able to get there. But even at that snails pace we do 30 km in 4 hours and 40km in 5 hours. It will get us across the line in time for a nice new shirt.

The spinning on the bikes is new to me this time. The cadence based sessions with a base line wattage output is really hard. It makes it so you are unable to slack off. This training is going to be a far cry from what we did last time with just getting on and riding. I am hoping it will pay of in the spring with faster times. I need to be fast to match the fancy new wheels we just got for our bikes. Jill is rolling Mavic carbons and I am using HED. I have been told I will really notice the difference after 40km/h so I need to try to get to  that speed all the time now. I am also looking at changing the gearing on the bike to be more optimized for hills but will update on that as I learn more myself.

Physio and Cooking

So I have been working on my shoulder for a few weeks now. It seems to be getting better but time will tell. The exercises are basic but most probably needed and they will morph into swim stroke oriented movements after the shoulder is better. This all should lead to better swim efficiency and hopefully faster times.

Also I have been experimenting with some healthy bar and snack recipes. This is the recipe I used from the Food Charlatan website.

Skinny Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – The Food Charlatan

Skinny Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: Makes 12-15 cookies

Getting on the train again

So the last two weeks have been a bit of a challenge. I still have not figured out why 5am is earlier on some days than others. The workouts have been good but my shoulder has still been giving me trouble. I m seeing a physio in a week to look at it and hopefully he will be able to do something. I still have to fix my bike but have all the parts and just need some time. The weather has been on my side with rain and snow so I do not feel guilty of not riding. Jill and I have been running and she is able to do an easy 10 km without here back hurting. That is a big improvement from a few months ago, and if things go well we will be back up to 20km by Christmas.

We went to Regina for thanksgiving and had some nice training days. Got to swim in a beautiful pool with no one else in the building, felt like pro’s in their custom pool. We had a nice run from Jim’s house around Wascanna Lake and legislator building and back to Jims. A nice 10 km with a quick pit stop to lose the first of 2 thanksgiving dinners. The driving for 14 hours in 2 days  did not help the speed but it was nice to loosen up. Now no more long drives and with the snow looking like it is settling in I am getting the bikes on the trainers and we are getting a second treadmill so we ca run and bike together this winter instead of  having to switch off. We are also going to have some bike to the movie nights this winter. It will consist of getting friend to the house and going for a long ride 2-3 hours while watching a movie on a friday night, we are going to be super cool.