Monday, January 28, 2008


The past couple of weeks have been wrought with travelling for work. This makes it slightly difficult to keep a steady training schedule. So I have found myself kind of binge working out. Some days I'll do all of the workouts I want while other times I feel completely worn out from driving and meetings that I just don't want to do anything but eat peanut butter toast. However, I think that I've done pretty good lately.

Last Monday I was in Regina and used the stationary bike for a good 35 minutes while watching some really bad television. The next morning I got up for a 35 minute run, which I felt pretty good doing. Wednesday I went to my beloved yoga class. Thursday I got in the pool early in the morning. Friday morning I did a good run and was completely wiped out by Friday night. Saturday I went for a pretty good long-run of about 40 minutes (see map below). Sunday I did a good 2000m swim and then went cross-country skiing. It was a busy weekend.

However, today I feel tired. We are in full winter mode right now and a cold front has just moved in to make sure that us Saskatchewanians know that it is winter. It is currently -28oC (-43 with the Wind Chill). So I am in hibernation mode. I just want to curl up with a good book all evening, which is what I'm probably going to do. However, my coworker and I are starting our half marathon training this Thursday. We are going to do our long runs indoors on a track together... as long as it is like this outside! Tomorrow morning I'm going to hit the pool again to get the last bit of use out of my YMCA membership that expires at the end of this month. It's funny how I forgot what winter really feels like - it's very cold.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Training In the Dead of Winter in Saskatchewan

After a bout of insomnia last night, I decided to use my lack of sleep and tiredness to get in a good swim this morning. A nice 2000m in 1:15, but I'm not really worried about time right now. I'm focusing on form and just getting back into the pool. It feels pretty good and I'm committed to working on my swim technique right now and my arm strength. I am hoping to get in 3 swim workouts this week, 3 runs and at least one bike workout (2 would be nice).

Yesterday I went for a 35-minute x-country ski, which is a lot considering it was pretty cold. We could have went longer, but my eye lashes were sticking together, so tea was had afterwards. Getting outside in this weather is challenging, at best. However, I'm going to keep getting outside a bit and running on the treadmill or on the track.

Last week I was out of town for most of the week at a very intense training workshop for work. This left me less than motivated to do one workout a day, let alone the two that I was hoping for. So I ran twice on the treadmill for 35 minutes each time and got in a good 4km while watching Canada AM. Treadmills are not my favorite things, but I can sure get my heart-rate up on them. I just dislike feeling like a hamster in a cage. Preferably while I'm running, I'm also seeing beautiful trees, some birds, other people, and feeling the wind. None of that happens while running on a treadmill. However, it's what has to happen occasionally in the dead of winter in Saskatchewan.

This week will be less busy for work and I hope to get in all of my workouts. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Back in the Saddle and on the wagon!

This week was my first week transitioning back into training. I would say it was pretty successful. I only missed two workouts, which is pretty good considering I gave myself a pretty difficult schedule.

On Tuesday I got "back in the saddle" and rode my trainer for 45 minutes on Sky, my trusty road bike. This was the first time I've rode her since Ironman. She still has the IM stickers on it and I had to re-set the computer because it still had 8:17:34 on her time tracking. It was a good 45 minutes on the trainer, with the help of my new cordless phone that I got for Christmas that I used with my headset and some good friends to talk to while trying not to count down every second on the trainer. After that, I did a small amount of arm strength exercises and my first core strength workout also since training for Ironman.

I have to say that the past few months have been great, not worrying about training, and just taking it easy. However, I have been itching to get back into it. This week was a really great week to get back on the wagon.

On Tuesday and Friday I got into the pool for the first time in months as well. Tuesday I did a solid 1500m swim at a pretty easy pace. On Friday, I did 45 minutes of also fairly easy swimming, but didn't keep track of my distance. It was probably around 1000m.

I won the CFCR members draw, which was a one-month membership to the YMCA. I'm definitely going to take advantage of the free pool use for the next few months, that's for sure.

This morning I went for a good 40 minute run along the river. I struggled quite a bit with my breathing, but I figure it is probably because my body isn't used to so many different types of exercise. I did some yoga afterwards and now I feel great! There really is nothing like a good yoga session after a run. Yoga is now imperative to my training and will continue to play a big role as I continue to train.

Next week will be very different because I am out of town the whole time. So I probably won't do as much, but it'll be a nice resting week with a little bit of running and cycling. Soon enough, I hope to create my plan for the next few months leading into my 6th racing season.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Strength Training

Each off-season I make a resolution to myself to do more strength training, but have yet to find a workout that works for me. Nonetheless, I believe it to be helpful and I'm trying to figure out how I can do it without it boring me.

I found this good knowledge to have when it comes to strength training:


Upper body exercises reduce the amount of oxygen you use when running, lowering your heart rate and improving your endurance. Always maintain proper form when exercising
– even when fatigue has set in. Do 3 sets of 15 reps of each of the following exercises:
• Incline Dumbbell Presses
• Lat Pull-downs (handle only)
• Upright Rows
• Dips
• Biceps Curls
• Regular and Reverse Crunches
* Workout specifics: Do lower body exercises 2 times per week, immediately following your hard runs. Do the upper body portion 2 to 3 times per week, on alternate days. Rest 90 seconds in between lower body exercises and 60 seconds in between upper body ones. You may choose to do abdominal exercises in between upper body sets.

It comes from Brendan Brazier's article in a Canadian publication called "beyond Fitness: Strategies for a Total Body Workout."