When trying to start to improve your overall health or begin a more active lifestyle, be patient. The first couple of weeks might get you feeling tired, sore, and out of sorts. That is normal, completely normal. It will take a few weeks to a couple months for your body to catch up to your new schedule. Make sure you keep your workouts fresh, try different things so you can see what really works for what your goals are. Talk to others to see what has helped them through this part of training (My Two Cents: make sure you stretch and train with someone who knows what they are doing, you don't want to start bad workout habits). Make small goals to accomplish at the beginning to help you along your way. Once you make it through about 2 months of training you will be surprised that your body and mind will be wanting you to workout. So give it time, keep it fresh, and keep an open mind and you will surprise yourself at what your next workout goal will be.
Training outside during these winter months can be uncomfortable, miserable and down right cold. So what do we do to make it more comfortable during these winter months? We pack on the layers and roll ourselves out the door. So what does this mean? This means decreased mobility, limited range of motion, and potentially lots of extra weight from the excess clothing. For these reasons you have to stay calm as a cucumber and try not to get wrapped up in your pace, finishing times, total miles because they will be skewed. Don't beat yourself up over these results. Main goal for these training sessions in the winter is get your miles logged and try to enjoy them as much as possible. Take in all sights and sounds of the outdoors. Enjoy being outside and let that cold crisp air fill your lungs and turn your cheeks red. Keep wishing for warm weather and when you get one of those spring days in the middle of January strip the layers and pound out a great run.
Training Tip: When dressing for a cold weather workout dress for the middle of workout not the beginning.
For all your winter workout gear visit:
Endurance Sports Central
For endurance athletes living in Pennsylvania, it gets very tough to train, keep yourself motivated, and stay in shape for the winter months. I can’t blame you: the days are shorter, it looks gloomy outside with no leaves on the trees, and not to mention its COLD outside, sometimes hovering in the single digits for weeks. So here are a few training tips to help keep you on point during the cold months and have you prepared for your season to begin in the spring.
1) Use what you learned – Use this time to correct or strengthen everything you learned from your season. Ask yourself the following questions: What parts of my training program will I change from last season? What limiting factors did I encounter during my season/events? What training methods were productive that I would like to carry over to the next season? These questions and their answers will ensure that you hold on to your strengths and correct your weaknesses in your next season.
2) Keep it fresh: EXPERIMENT – This is the time to see how your body will react to new workout techniques and regimens (yoga, a Crossfit class, P90X, or a MMA class). Mix things up to see how your muscles react. Also use the time to try new food/dietary combinations (Paleo Diet, increasing protein in your diet, more veggies, less carbs).
3) Train with others: Hence the old adage – misery loves company. This will allow you to shiver through the cold with someone else and will make your workout a little more bearable. And let’s face it – you won’t get out of bed when it’s thirty degrees outside unless someone’s waiting for you to show up.
4) Strength Training: Start to re-strengthen the supporting muscles that have been neglected during your in-season training. The supporting muscles are just as important as your sport-specific muscles and will be utilized when the other muscles become fatigued in training or on race day. Supporting actors win Oscars – don’t neglect your supporting cast.
5) Get Outside: Always get outside on those rare but awesome unseasonably warm days. Take advantage of these moments and make the most of them. I love training outside and will do almost anything to get out there. There is nothing like fresh crisp air filling those lungs.
6) Schedule: Work on your schedule for next season - this will give you motivation and excitement to keep training and you will have deadlines to make sure you are ready. Additionally, set specific achievements you want to hit next season and write them down for visual accountability.
7) Finally, have FUN!! You have plenty of time in season to be serious. Build a snow fort and challenge the kids or your spouse to a snowball fight. I know they won’t turn down a chance to hit mom or dad with a snowball.
So, keep training, think warm weather and palm trees, and it might make it feel a degree or two warmer and keep that body moving. Hope to see you out on the course!
The atmosphere up here is electrifying. There are athletes everywhere. There are Ironman flags, banners, gear everywhere. There is spandex everywhere you look. On the beach there is a sea of athletes wearing wetsuits. There are the fittest looking people everywhere I turn. I second guess my training at every moment. I question my fitness with every thought. Have I done everything I could of done to prepare for this? Have I rested enough or pushed to hard? Is my game plan going to work? BUT it is finally here and there is nothing that you can change now. All the miles have been logged, all the long hours have been spent in the water, on the bike or on the pavement. It is finally here and now I have to channel all that training into this one race. I need to stay focused, stick to my game plan, race smart and go like hell. I am excited and am looking forward to this adventure. I will go in as a triathlete and hopefully come out being an IRONMAN!!!! Can't wait and all my questions will soon be answered.
You can follow me on Sunday 7/22/12 - www.ironmanlive.com
Click on Lake Placid - My bib is #1338 or you can type in Smith.
Or if you type in Men 30-34 you can find out my place in my age group
The race atmosphere is pretty mild to say the least. There isn't to much buzz going on here. I have seen the same 3 people over and over again. The course though is really beautiful, full of mountain views, farms with huge barns and silos, and the smell of cows.
The water temp today was 80 degrees so as of today we won't be wearing wetsuits, but we'll see in the morning. I am in the very last wave with a start time of 7:50. The bike course is going to be extremely challenging. The first 12 miles is uphill with some very Very steep sections. The key will be to stay patient and not over do it to early. Then the course goes into a bunch of rollers, with an occasional steep section. The views on the bike course are really amazing and the roads look like they are in good shape. Then for the run, it is a 2 loop course with rollers leading into a 1 mile steep climb to the turnaround and then head back to do it all over again. The run is probably about 50% in the sun so at the hottest point of the race we will have some cover which is always good. My goal is to race hard and extremely smart. I can't wait for the morning to arrive.
My wife often asks me what do you think about while you do your long rides or long runs? So, this one is especially for her. On my long runs I tend to head out into the country, where I run by farm after farm. Most of the farms are crop farms but every now and then there are farms with some big groups of cattle. So as I make my way passed these cattle farms my mind begins to wonder.
I come around the bend and I spot them, probably a ton of pure beef per head of cattle ranging in colors from a rusty brown, brown, white, black and white. I don't think they spot me yet, as they are too busy with their faces stuffed in the long grass eating breakfast. They usually don't pick their heads up 'til I am almost right in front of them. I make my way towards them staying strong, keeping perfect form, and gliding like the wind when the first one spots. After the first one spots me they all start picking there heads up from the knee deep grass and start MOOING and staring at me. Each moo that comes out sounds a little different.
This is were I get paranoid are they MOOING about me. I think this is how it is going down.
Cow 1 says, " Look at that form it is perfect."
Cow 2 says, " He's going too fast he's going to blow up on the way back."
Cow 1 then asks, "Where do you think he is running to?"
Cow 2 then replies," I don't see the point of running, I am so glad I am a cow where I can just watch knuckleheads like this torturing themselves."
Cow 3 then chimes in, "Whoa look at that cool belt (Fuel Belt) he's wearing is he a superhero or something?"
Cow 2 states, "Superhero or not, its too hot, those water bottles are too small, and he started out way too fast."
That's all I can make out as I make my way passed them. I tell myself - I will show them on the way back that I can hold my own. But that's when I start to question myself was Cow 2 right did I pace this wrong, am I going too fast, what should I do? I decide - screw it and I drop the hammer. I stay strong to mile 10 my turn around point and back to my mooing friends. I have about 7 miles till I get to the farm and I am running out of liquids but still feeling great. Finally I get to the farm, where I gather my composure, straighten my form and wipe the sweat from my brow. I am thinking "What are they going to say this time. I am still crushing it and probably going to negative split the run." I spot them and as I approach they are not picking there heads up so I break stride a little trying to make more of a stomping sound to get their attention, but that doesn't work. They're more worried about the grass they are basically inhaling. I decide to clear my throat to get their attention. That didn't work either. I am devastated they are ignoring me and don't care about my great run I am about to put in the bank. I pass them and finally make my way to the bend where they will be out of sight and I make one last look back and Cow 2 looks up at where I just was. I think to myself, " Come on Cow 2 you're killing me. He probably thinks I gave up since he won't see me come by."
Oh well there will always be another long run and I'll show those cows. Hope you enjoyed my thoughts from my long runs.
So I am wondering what the proper etiquette is for breaking wind during training. Today I got caught breaking wind about ever other stride. It must have been something I ate, I swear. I ran the first half of my easy run today by myself then looped around picked up my wife and finished my run with her. On the first half I was squeeking with every step and at my turnaround point I notice two high school aged kids behind me snickering. Luckily I had my sunglasses on to hide some of my embarassment. I finished the first half of my run and returned home to pick up my wife and was hoping to engage in some good conversation. Unfortunately, it was twenty five long minutes of bubble noises. My wife looks at me halfway through our run and said are you always this gassy. I said yeah I guess I never really noticed because there isn't anybody around to make me aware of it. Then we headed through a neighborhood and she told me to cut it out, there's people out and about.
So this brings me to my question about breaking wind etiquette. Are we as endurance athletes suppose to fight through the discomfort of gas pains along with all the other pain, discomfort, mental anguish we are going through? In one way passing gas shows that you are relaxed when you release that stench, which is a good thing. Also its so funny, its always a good way to add a little humor to a long ride or run. I don't care how old you are, breaking wind is hilarious and never gets old unless you are trapped in a confined space, then not so pleasant. I am going to keep stinking up my runs and rides to make myself as comfortable as possible and if that offends people I guess I will not have you as a training partner. So, sorry Babe I'm going to keep letting them go, its just a comfort thing. Let loose, let them fly, stay comfortable and don't forget to laugh.
I am entering the last few days before I start tapering for my next race, which couldn't come soon enough. I am so anxious to start racing again, to see my payoffs from the off season. I am also looking forward to my taper week because I am currently going through the "FULL BODY" fatigue phase of training. After my race in Puerto Rico I had about four days of easier workouts before I started getting back into the harder and longer days. Since, that point the workouts have just been building with volume and mixed with building intensity, which has finally caught up to me this week.
I really noticed it in my running performances, my mind would say :go faster" and my body would say "no I think were good right here at this pace." I would try to swing my arms more to get my legs to move faster, I tried to lean more over my feet to try and get my legs to move faster but nothing seemed to work. I would even notice it after workouts just milling around the house, especially going up the steps. My legs would feel fatigued and would even get out of breath a little bit, and I would say man I feel out of shape (partly joking). It wasn't just my legs though it was the "FULL BODY FATIGUE." My whole body felt spent. My whole demeanor changed and was starting to get frustrated. When I get frustrated I tend not to relax and try and push through workouts which for me doesn't work. I need to relax a let my body do the work. Then I consulted my coach and we altered my training for the the past two days to try and revive my body a little bit before the taper officially starts.
The past two nights I have been trying to log more hours in bed to allow my body to naturally heal itself and it seems to paying off. Today I feel like I have more energy in my whole body and more juice in the legs. I have a long swim today so I will see how that feels. So the plan is to push hard through the weekend and then start to shut it down in preparation for the White Lake Half in NC next weekend.
REST, REST,REST is critical during these hard long weeks, so don't forget to REST!!!
A couple weeks ago my coach suggested a little change of pace and had me sign up for a few 5K runs to help get some more speed work into my routine. I said sure and was kind of excited about getting back to the roots of endurance sports. So he had me bike an hour and a half before hand, then run the course hard before the race and then race followed by a two mile cool down. It was a good race and was for a good cause "Tots for Trykes." Raising money for kids with handicaps that can not ride bikes. They have to special trykes made custom for them so they can ride outside and enjoy the outdoors. So this was to raise money to provide children with these special bikes.
After the race they had a "Kids Fun Run" and my two daughters love to run. They completed there first 1 mile fun run a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it. My son I felt was to small to do the 1 mile loop so we kept him in the cheering section. So after this race my kids were so excited to see that there was a fun run, and my son had a glimmer in his eye, that said, "just gimmie a chance dad." I bent down and asked him, "do want to try." He looked at me with a big smile and shook his head. I signed all three of them up and headed down to the start line to set them all up. I explained to Boo Boo that he was going to run until they told him to turn around and then he will head all the way back. He was licking his chops, he was ready to tear up the course and I thought look out here comes my 3 year old terror. The whistle blew and they were off. Boo Boo's sisters were off now, pros at this stuff since they have one under there belts, and left him in there dust. I was watching and saw his little legs motoring as fast they could move and he started to lag pretty far behind at about the 200 meter mark so I ran up to him to help him out.
I get up to him and the glimmer was gone in his eye and was replaced with hot rosy cheeks and tears. I said whats wrong, he looks at me and said "They all left me." I said, "Its OK lets do this together." So we held hands and tackled the rest of the one mile course together. We did the run walk combo and cheered on all the other runners that passed us, and really cheered when his sisters came cruising by. We made it the turn around and headed back toward the finish and Boo Boo's spirits were turning up. When we rounded the final bend we could see the finish line and the crowd noise picked up which really motivated him so I slipped my hand from his and let him finish by himself. After I let go of his hand, his two sisters slipped in and ran next to him, yelling words of encouragement to him. All three crossed the finish line together, with a final time of 15:08.
Isn't this what all this is for, moments like this. As a parent I could not have asked for more. I was the proudest father there on Saturday. My son completed his first mile run, I was apart of it, my daughters were there rooting him on, and he ended up really enjoying it. They were talking about it all the way home. I hope this was the first of many races we do together.
GREAT JOB SMITTIES
My favorite time of year to run is now, Spring Time. I love waking up on cool crisp mornings and stepping outside to be serenaded by the birds. Its usually just cool enough to get a good steady sweat going. As I start my run I am greeted by the smell of blooming flowers and various other budding plants that takes me to a place of happiness. Then at some point on my run I get to watch the sunrise. It is usually so spectacular it looks like the sky is on fire, with all the different shades yellows, oranges, and pinks. Mother Nature has taken her brush and painted me a picture for me to enjoy to get me through the end of my workout. Thanks.
After usually being cooped up for most of the winter, I really look forward to this time of the year. I get to start packing the winter gear away and start wearing the lighter weight more comfortable spring/summer gear. Weather is changing, days are getting longer, and the meat of Race Season is on the Horizon.
Embrace Mother Nature with all she has to offer and let your senses take over.
Kenrick Smith - Be a part of the K17Sport Lifestyle.
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