Monday, January 21, 2013

What Weekend?...

Every year TBC has an annual coaches meeting. We get together with the other TBC coaches from across the country to share ideas, learn the latest and greatest, do some updating, planning and brainstorm with some of the best coaches around including the founder of Trainingbible, Joe Friel!  Last year we were lucky enough to have the meeting in sunny warm San Diego, this year, not so lucky. …..a cold January Chicago weekend. Travel was minimal, but I could have really used the warm sun to help speed my recovery from the nasty flu. Fitting in workouts and the kid’s activities around a weekends worth of meetings is always challenging and stressful, but somehow we managed to keep it together, the house is still standing in 1 piece.

These 2 managed to fit in their long brick, and watch NFL and heat up the basement

There is always so much great information from the meetings, and walk away with some really great stuff to work with into the coming year.  TBC has some exciting new things in the works that I can’t wait to see get released. There were great talks from Joe and Dr. Post as usual, but this year we learned about bike racing strategies from Rob Kelley, coaching juniors from Chris Palmquist and a very fun talk by Joe Lotus on the athlete’s perspective. …..the brutal truth on what the athletes think of their coaches! 
Joe likes to talk

 And, I never get tired of hearing Ryan Bolton talk about coaching his Kenyan runners. Did you know his athlete Caroline Rotich was 4th at the 2011 Boston Marathon, and 5th at 2012 Chicago Marathon? 
stealing some run speed

  And as always Jim Vance shared the latest on social media tips, ideas  to save time or help with coaching. I am time crunched, and not the best with technology and Jim always has a new idea app or device I've never heard of to help make life easier.

The best part of the whole weekend  though is hanging out with a great group of friends/coaches who are all crazy smart and have so much to offer to Trainingbible.  Each coach has a unique specialty and background that adds  to making TBC so fabulous.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Grind

There isn’t anything too sexy about this time of year.

Holidays are over. The New Year has been rung in and it’s all about getting back to business. The regular routine, the business of getting it done. First races of 2103 seem so far away, daylight at 5:30 am seems non existent, training outside without multiple layers is impossible

january training
(barely….I did run in shorts on a strangely warm January day but still whined because I was cold).

There isn’t anything to fancy about plain old hard work and laying the foundation for the season. Fitness, and results don’t magically appear with THE  winning workout, winning diet, newest piece of gadgetry; it comes with consistent work. Some workouts can be a painful but get the job done, some are in the toilet and feel like you’ve never exercised before, some are boring and you feel like you could fall back to sleep if it weren’t for the coffee in your cup holder , and some…are a knock out, a perfect 10, a gold medal. Those are the ones that give you a glimpse of what’s coming and what you are capable of if you just keep the work up, and stick to the grind of doing the work. But all of them rolled in together are what make you stronger, faster and more fit.
my view at 5:30 in the mornings

To help get through the grind it helps to have a few things to spice it up (btw the grind happens to be from Jan 2 until about first week of March which happens to be my birthday week and usually involves a training trip to Tuscon, more daylight, warmer temps and this year a race!)

I try to spice it up with:

Killer playlists (btw I never watch TV, on the trainer or TM, never listen to books, its 90% loud music and an occasional TBC podcast, its not for everyone but its what works for me)

At 5:15 am delicious coffee is a must; most days I get it ready the night before if I’m lucky; if not I is standing drooling at the machine taking its sweet time brewing

A goal to shoot for; one that is a little bit of a stretch, but within reach; one that with some hard work, consistency and being smart you can reach; yep I have a couple goals this year

Variety: I tend to train solo most of the time out of convenience, but I do like to jump into rides with the guys, or swim with anyone I can (including the 10 U Bullets swimmers on M W nights); or on the very rare chance AZ and I actually get to run together, having him chase you on your intervals through the woods can spice up your run!

Mix it up: I add a bit more cross training with strength and sometimes some yoga. Moving around in motions other than forward is good. My trainer makes me move side to side, backward and up and down…its scarey and feels funny but is a nice challenging change
get strong

But absolutely a must are cute workout clothes!

when all else fails, go shopping! It’s a weakness of mine, I confess. Those companies know how to sell to me. When it gets a little boring; I like to spice it up with a new swimsuit, run clothes or even sweet socks. I just ordered my new WATTIE GEAR for 2013 and it’s not a bit boring! Betty is always a good fix and new run shoes always bring life back into the run. My latest favs are KSWISS Kwicky Blade   Neutrals. They are um,  very pink  which can  surely spice up a dark run .