Archive for March, 2009

Balance With A Smile

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24, 2009 by Kel

As many athletes can attest, finding balance in your life is sometimes challenging. Work, life, training, family, friends…how do you fit it all in? The answer…somehow we find a way! Our sport keeps us balanced, it gives us time to think, plan, release, ponder, wonder, and revive. As my friend JC pointed out to me yesterday, “You have not updated your blog, SLACKER!”  So to keep JC happy and give everyone a smile until I can actually write a “meaningful” entry I saw a tweet on this video that had me rolling. Anyone that has done a marathon or longer endurance race can relate but the BEST part of the video (for you men) is the last 5 seconds!! Enjoy!

The day after the Marathon

Until my balance has returned (I love my job, I love my job, I love my job)…Midget…OUT!

Girls Weekend – Hills and Tiaras

Posted in Uncategorized on March 10, 2009 by Kel

I must start by clarifying, Florida is FLAT! So all of you who ride in the hills as a daily occurrence you will enjoy the fact that it is a true adventure for us in Florida to go above sea level. We even blog about it!

Riding the Clermont Hills :

Leslie With The Gear

Leslie With The Gear

Man was it an early start to the morning. We were on a schedule and wanted to be on the bike early and that meant in the car fully packed by 5:30AM. JC, Leslie, Joy and I were off on time and on our way to pick up Sally for the 5 woman adventure in the hills of Clermont.
Joy & Leslie Getting Ready To Ride

Joy & Leslie Getting Ready To Ride

After a quick stop at Starbucks we were in Clermont and ready to rumble. Not only did JC organize the ENTIRE trip but also had the bike course map printed out with baggies for everyone! The girl is sick with organization! THANKS JC!

It was an AMAZING morning with temps hitting 70 at the start and the sun was shining bright. I have to tell you, riding hills is such a rush.
Clermont Rollers

Clermont Rollers

Now, imagine our only hill training is the occasional inter coastal waterway bridge and propping our front tire up when on our trainer. Now the ladies were hitting rollers and and I must say, we really took them well! As we are riding I kept asking, “Is this Sugarloaf?”  That would be followed up by a chuckle. I did it once and tried to forget it!
Then all of a sudden we take a right and there is the mother of all hills, SUGARLOAF MOUNTAIN!
SUGARLOAF

SUGARLOAF

This is actually a very fun hill as it is 1/3 mile, 200 foot climb where at the steepest point it is 13% and it averages about 9-11%. My average HR on the climb was 169 and my speed was 7.3 mph over the 3 min it took me to get up it. Now for the kudos!! Leslie took the entire hill SEATED!! That is something else! To that point I wanted to share a great link I found that reminds us of the proper way to climb. For those that ride hills daily or for those that are from flat land and have races in hilly locations (like me!) this is a good read. It covers technique to riding hills on a road bike:
Also, there are a few articles that I found on Ken Kifer’s website that explain how to climb isolated hills opposed to a series of hills as well as how to descend on a road bike.
After Hills and T-Run

Kellie, Joy & Leslie After Hills and T-Run

A few of us hopped off the bike and got a short t-run in and JC and Sally got in more bike miles. After that can you say FOOD!
Princess’s for a Day:
Even though our girls weekend was not at the spa we are still woman and therefore we must run the Disney Princess Half Marathon! When I signed up I was not thinking! This was the day after our first of the season hill ride. Man the quads and hams were crushed. But, what a great run and so much fun as you ran through the park and all the Disney characters were lining the course and cheering us on. Joy, did you see Goofy!
Congrats to our girls JC and Courtney for finishing 5th and 6th female overall with a 1:24:14 and 1:24:17 respectively. Also, Joy and Leslie both pulled off a PR in the races as well! Way to go ladies!!
Girls Weekend ROCKED!

Kellie, Leslie, Carrie, JC, Midget, Joy

A fun time was had by all and we are already looking to plan the next one!!

Until next time…Midget…OUT!

Training Intensity

Posted in Uncategorized on March 2, 2009 by Kel

First I would like to thank everyone who takes the time to read my blog, I know every one is busy now-a-days! It has been amazing to see the responses to my blog entries and very encouraging to get emails stating how helpful the content is. I even see a lot of peeps linking in from the CNY Triathlon Club, thanks for your interest! I am not a coach but love to share great things I have learned or read about so let me know if there is anything of interest you would like me to blog about and I will try my best to help!

intensityTraining intensity! It is a critical factor in endurance training. Every workout has a specific purpose and there is a balance between the cost and benefit of each workout. Cost is referring to recovery time so a key aspect of managing resources is maintaining optimal intensity. In general, if you train easy all the time you will not see yourself build speed or power. If you train medium hard all the time you will not get the full benefit of your hard workout as you will not have had enough time to recover and your effort will be submaximal (working hard but not seeing the results you expect).

neuromusclar-junctionMuscle-Fiber Recruitment! Okay, high level you have Slow Twitch (ENDURANCE), FOG (SPEED ENDURANCE) and Fast Twitch (SPRINT) fibers in which a primary objective of intensity zones is training each category of muscle fiber type as a group. Training them together optimizes both stimulation and recovery. As most of you know there are seven zones for training intensity; Zone 1: Active Recovery, Zone 2: Basic Endurance Training, Zone 3: Tempo Training, Zone 4: Lactate Threshold Training, Zone 5a: Super-Threshold Training, Zone 5b: Aerobic Capacity Training (Maxing the VO2) and Zone 5c: Anaerobic Endurance Training. I found a GREAT article that is a must read for those that want to learn more how each training zone recruits the ST, FOG and FT fibers. Really cool stuff!

Intensity & Muscle Fiber Recruitment

I also found an interesting article in Experience Life Magazine, The Fast & Slow of It. I pulled out a paragraph to lead into the last bit of my blog entry which will focus on some LT workouts.

Training well below your anaerobic threshold for extended periods will improve your body’s oxygen-absorption capacity. To fend off that sluggish feeling of lactic-acid buildup, however, you’ll need to do some interval training. This calls for building brief, two- to three-minute sessions of elevated intensity or speed into your regular workout. According to Rob Sleamaker and Ray Browning, authors of SERIOUS Training for Endurance Athletes (Human Kinetics, 1996), those brief bursts of activity teach your FOG fibers to increase their oxygen capacity before too much lactic acid builds up. Once the fibers learn to deliver oxygen to cells when working at a higher intensity, you’ll be able to train faster, and for longer, without feeling unpleasant effects.

Lactate Threshold Workouts! First, please understand the time your body needs to recover from LT workouts or consult your coach or follow a reputable training program to help guide you. Also, your run and bike zones should be determined from a run LT test or a Time Trial (TT) bike test. There are a few different variations of these tests but the most common are:

bikeRun: Warm up well then run a 30 minute time trial on flat course/track. 10 minutes into the Time Trial hit your HR monitor/watch. The average HR for last 20 minutes will be your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR).

Bike: Warm up then do an all our 20 min TT. Include some spin ups to get your HR up followed by a recovery before starting your 20 minute test.

These are great ways to measure your LT (the point where lactate is accumulating in your muscles faster than you can process it). This will also get your to your HR and Power zones. Example: Functional Threshold Power for 260 watts:

  • Active Recovery (<55%): <=143 watts
  • Endurance (56%-75%): 144-195 watts (what you would ride in an Ironman)
  • Tempo (76%-90%): 196-234 watts
  • Lactate Threshold (91%-105%): 235-273 watts
  • VO2 Max (106%-120%): 274-312 watts
  • Anaerobic (121%-150%): 313-390 watts

Here are a few articles I found on TH workouts.

Treadmill Threshold Workouts – Note: I usually keep the treadmill at 1% for recoveries so where it says 0% start at 1%. If you are already into your TH workouts you can continue to increase your incline but be safe! I never go past 5-6% because I am chicken 🙂

4 Great One-hour Bike Workouts – There is even a VO2 Max workout included in this article (ouch!).

My next blog entry will not be so “complex” but I think it is important as an athlete to understand your body and how your training should work to improve you as an athlete and not hinder you. Be smart, train hard and have fun!

Next weekend is “Girls Weekend” with a Saturday ride/run in the hills of Clermont and a Sunday half marathon in Orlando. Updates will be soon after with less geeky stuff and more fun pics of the gals!

Until next time…Midget OUT!!