Saturday, June 15, 2013

More Tri Lessons

Training for the triathlon is going well and I have less than a month to go before the race!  I've learned a few more lessons along the way. 

Some things are minor observances.  Like, according to my tan lines, I always always wear my watch while working out, but rarely my wedding ring:
Also, I always gripped the ground with my middle toes when I was a kid.  The wear patterns (and lack of tread) on my running shoes shows I have not outgrown this habit:
I have figured out (finally) when the lanes at the local pool are not overrun with the swim team.

I've also learned that I need one of these, no matter how dorky it looks:
Yes, a nose clip.  I am just not capable (not yet, anyway) of keeping water out of my nose without it.  Only tiny amounts get it, but it's a sensation I strongly detest and it messes up my technique and makes swimming a struggle.  I can maintain an even breathing pattern much easier with a clip. 

I also practice without it though, because I've learned it sometimes slips off (wiping my nose off with a swimmer's towel before putting it on helps).  The last thing I need is to get half way through my swim on race day, lose the clip and lose my cool.  Better to be prepared to not have it, just in case.

I've learned yoga is even more important when I'm working out than when I'm not.  The breathing practice helps me control my breathing better when I'm biking and running.  Breathing during a swim is a whole different ball game that I'm working on, but need a lot more practice at.  A friend introduced me to the you tube videos from Do Yoga With Me.  My favorite instructor on there is David, especially his shoulders classes and hips, hamstrings and lower back classes.  Fiji is good too, but more difficult and her classes feel more like a workout in their own right rather than restoration after a workout.

Perhaps most importantly, I've learned not to underestimate hydration.  I've never been known to hydrate well, but with temps in the high 90's and work outs six days a week (this is a temporary thing, I'm at the hardest part of the training schedule right now), hydration is a must.  Through some trial and error, I've found I need to be sure to drink about 1 liter of gatorade (we use the powder, the ready to drink tastes too strong to me, I dilute it if that's what I have) the few hours before a run or bike.  I always work out in the evening, so this works for me.  I feel like I rehydrate after the workout pretty well on my own by following my thirst. 

Last, I've also found I can't ignore carbs.  I often crave a lot of protein after a workout and while that's needed, if I don't get carbs with it, I feel drained the next day.  This prompted me to do a little research on what you should eat after exercising and while there is some debate (as with most things nutrition related), it seems a fairly consistent recommendation is 0.5-1.0g of carbohydrate per pound of body weight and a 4:1 ratio of carbs:protein eaten within 30-60 minutes of the workout.   Of course, how hard you workout and when your next workout would be affects these numbers, but it's just a basic guideline.  With my metabolism and the frequent workouts, I need to be sure I eat some carbs rather than just the giant burger I'm craving.

I'm sure I have many more lessons to learn, and probably some unlearned ones that will rear their ugly head on race day, but you never learn if you don't get out there and try!

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