Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Race day recap it was another good one.....kind of

Last weekend I went to California to compete in the Strawberry Fields Olympic Triathlon.  It is in Oxnard,CA just North of LA.  We left Saturday with the race being on Sunday.  I did this race last year and loved the flat, fast course.  I wanted to beat my last year time of 2:22.  This is not one of my "A" races this year so I did not put a lot of pressure on myself.  The weather and water conditions were going to be great.  Last year the ocean was a little rough and the water was really cold.  This year 1 foot swells was all that we had and water temp. was great.  Just a little wind for the bike and that was it.  This bike course is super flat and only 24 miles.  Last year I did the bike course in 1:01 and this year I did it in 58 minutes!  I got caught up in competing with two others on the race course.  Let me be clear......this is usually not something ANYONE should do.  You need to always race your own race and stick to your plan!  But I know how hard it is to fall into this scenario.  Someone rides past you......you think, "I can go faster than her/him".......you pass them pushing a lot harder than you should.....and the cycle repeats itself.  Well for me it repeated for 24 miles.  There was a girl that was really fast on the bike and a guy and we all played the game for 24 miles.  I rode much harder than I should have.  I got to the run course and only managed to be with the girl for about 2 minutes.  She kicked my butt on the run.  My run was about 3 minutes slower than last year.  I am totally sure that it was because I pushed much harder than I should have on the bike.  In the end my overall time was faster than last year by 4 minutes and my total time was 2:18 but it was mostly because my swim was better.  I should have stuck to my plan and tried for a 1hr bike and probably could have had a sub 45 run. This becomes even more critical in the longer events such as Half and Full Ironman. I finished 8th overall and 2nd in my age group. There were some FAST people this year even with a better time I placed lower than last year!    This race reminded me of what I tell my clients and what I said at the beginning......race your own race and stick to your plan! Here we are after the race.  Both Greg and Michael had great races too.  Congratulations to them!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Swim with Swimmers, Run with Runners, and Cycle with Cyclists to become a better triathlete!

I must admit I am a person who trains a lot by myself when I am training for a long event like an Ironman.  Some people seem to prefer to train with other triathletes in a group.  I have always thought whatever works for you is best.  Everyone is different when it comes to what motivates you.  But when you hit a plateau you need to make some changes. 

I recently felt this way with my swimming.  I am a good swimmer and love swimming long intervals.  I hate doing anything fast. I do incorporate some speed work into my training but I am not getting any faster.  I even swim with other triathletes to motivate me and push myself.  Last week I decided to go swim with Viva Las Vegas Masters.  This group is made up of some really great swimmers (not just triathletes).  We did a variety of strokes and I really pushed myself in the pool.  I thought I was getting quality swims until I went to swim with them.  We did a variety of strokes which for any triathlete is really great to do but many never do them.  When I swim with on my own I add a little variety with the different strokes but I can't say I push myself like I did when swimming with the masters group.  Swimming with this group made me think about my training overall.  How am I going to get faster in my training?  Maybe its not a bad idea to swim with swimmers, run with runners, and cycle with cyclists!  I think at times it could push you over a plateau in your training.  Training with someone better than you might push you harder than you would like to go or would have one your own. 
I am going to continue my swimming with the masters group and hopefully I will get faster in the pool.  The Viva Las Vegas Masters swim group is a small group in Summerlin.  As a coach who is always the one on deck telling people what to do it was a good change to have someone tell me what to do.  It was hard but as always it was a good feeling to be pushed to my limit!  Oh and they said that was an EASY workout that night.  I will let you know how my next masters swim class goes so stay tuned!