Saturday, March 15, 2014

What motivates you?

Though it may seem the poor lil' blog has been neglected, the truth is, it's not. I love it and often think about what I could write. Steve recently asked why I hadn't been writing more entries in this, and I told him that truthfully, I'm not sure I have anything important to report with respect to training or trip plans. I also said my training might be boring to write about. Steve, that gem of a man, then asked me what I enjoy reading in others' blogs.
Steve and I on a sunset ride. The perfect date night! This guy always motivates me!

I thought for a second and realized what I love, love reading about is…. others' training plans and progress. Of course!  {What a wise manfriend I have.}

But reading about others' sweaty times-- how is that enticing? Training blogs motivate me and get me excited! Even though I don't know the people I'm reading about personally, their stories pump me up, and I find myself getting excited for them!  Instagram accounts do the same thing for me.

So today, I'd love to share a snippet of my training so far. Maybe you'll be inspired, or maybe you'll just be entertained. Maybe you even have some advice. I'd love to hear it!

My training might seem a bit different than you'd expect for this bike trip. This is partially intentional… and partially because I live in Boulder amongst many a super-athlete, and outdoor pursuits and endurance events are somewhat of the norm.  Today, I'll talk about my goals in training.

Some of my training goals: 

Yes, Runners World, I do run {and bike} for joy!

  • Enjoyment. If I'm not having fun (Type 2 fun is included), something's wrong. If I'm getting too worked up about my training, I can get frustrated and feel defeated. Training is tough, for sure, but if it gets to the point where there is no fun, what's the point?
Running in a bike training plan? But… this is Boulder! Of course it works!
  • Balance. As mentioned earlier, I live in Boulder. It's not uncommon for one to ski, run, bike, swim, climb, kayak, stand-up paddle board, practice yoga, strength train, ice climb, mountaineer, etc. all in one season {not a joke!}. I adore my community here. Sometimes I get easily distracted with my goals and just do what I find joy in rather than following a strict training plan. Right now, I've come down with a case of the running bug, as well as the triathlon bug. I'm also a climbing enthusiast. My weekly routine consists of running, climbing, biking, and swimming.  I also love the outdoors and throw in a hike or XC ski here and there as needed (Mother Nature=best therapy).
Keeping afloat: always important.

  • Avoid injuries. I'm trying to build a solid foundation athletically, in what I eat, and in my state of mind. Participating in somewhat of a wide spectrum of athletic pursuits can put the body into distress, and injury can become common. Because I'm not really willing to give up an activity for another, I'm training as smart as I can within each realm. With running, I stick to the trails and make sure to stretch and foam roll. With biking, I train on roads and on the trainer at the gym and mix up distance with sprints, hills, and intervals. With swimming, I push myself. With climbing, I make sure I have a great attitude. I'm also working on some strength training for the "sideways" parts of my body (i.e.: obliques, IT band, quads, hip flexors, core, lower back, etc.). Since my ride will consist of a lot of forward motion, I'm trying to build a strong foundation to support it. {If any physiologists are reading this, I apologize for the rudimentary explanation.}
    Test your mental limits: climb some walls!
  • Mental training. What? Who cares? I do! And you might like to care, too. Mental stamina is key for me to push myself to my limits. In spin class the other day, the instructor took us on 15-minute hill climb repeats with low RPMs and high wattage. It was painful physically, for sure, but mentally it was just as hard if not harder. She was incredibly motivational and talked about how training your mind is just as important as training your body during endurance events. I wholeheartedly believe this, and I know that in addition to the physical benefits I get from biking, running, swimming, and climbing, the mental parts are even more valuable. With biking, I get a rush from crushing a hard workout and making it to the top of a climb. Running provides me with mental stamina and helps me avoid getting bored with a repetitive activity. Swimming is all me-- no music, no conversation-- and it helps me practice my positive internal dialogue. Climbing allows me to practice my reaction to stress and helps me foster a calm demeanor amongst scary times.

My training regime: 

Right now, I'm balancing my activities and trying to keep everything fun. I'll certainly bump up the riding and hard training days in the weeks to come. This is a snapshot from the past few weeks of my training.

My typical week looks a bit like this, give or take a workout here and there (or a hike or a ski or hike or social event):
The great outdoors: the best combo for mental and physical training

Monday & Wednesday
(AM): Core work
(PM): Master's Swim workout at my gym (somewhere between 1500-2200m with a variety of intervals, sprints, and drills)
Strength Train

Tuesday & Thursday
(AM): Spin Class 
(PM): Run or Climb
(AM): Sleep in or core
(PM): Spin Class

(AM): Master's Swim workout at my gym
(PM): Long Run and/or Climb

Sunday (AM or PM): Long Ride

Home Sweet Home! Love where I live.


There aren't any rest days necessarily that I've included, but this is not an exact recording of my workouts. I should also note that this is my training plan I developed and that I'm not a doctor, health professional, personal trainer, or any other fancy title. If you want to start a training plan, find one that works for you {read: please don't sue me if you get hurt doing what I do}.

There you have it! Some routines, some dreams, and some things in between.

I'd love hear from you:
What gets you out the door?

What motivates you?

Please visit my personal fundraising page for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). I'm working towards raising $5 per mile I bike! Help a fantastic organization. All donors will receive a personalized postcard from me along the way, as well as s special shout-out on Facebook and on my blog!