Ironman Oceanside 70.3 Training: Week 8

Bib numbers for Oceanside are out and it’s starting to feel real! If you have been following along and would like to track me live on race day go to the Ironman website on April 1st and enter # 1562 for live updates. If you are racing make sure to head over to TriTats to order your Irontats so you can #looklikeapro 🙂

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This past week was a test/recovery week. It was one of those weeks where a couple great days gave way to some not so good ones. This ended up affecting my mental game more than I’d care to admit, causing me to cut short a few of my scheduled workouts this weekend. It started with a series of events which threw off my run test on Wednesday, then Thursday I smashed my swim test which put me on a total high, only to be knocked down again with my run retest on Friday. By the time Saturday came around for a long brick, I just wasn’t 100% in it. I cut my ride about an hour short, but completed the full run. I figured since it was technically a recovery week with less training hours scheduled overall it was a good week to have an off week. We all have off days/weeks. Just have to keep pushing forward. While I’m stuck in the pits I sometimes forget all that I have accomplished so far and 8 hours is still a lot of work put in. Here is a breakdown:

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I’m grateful for a fresh new week and it’s shaping up to be a good one! This weekend is Team Betty Training Camp. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. It will be 3 full days of learning, training and lots of extras (massages, makeovers and photo shoots!) with a group of amazing women. Can’t wait!

Have you done a training camp? I’d love to hear your experiences.

26 days and counting to Oceanside!

XO

Christina

Ironman Oceanside 70.3 Training Week 6

I’ve reached the halfway point of training for Oceanside feeling more confidence build with each passing week. I nailed all of my run and bike (with the exception of one) workouts this week. I felt especially good about my run workouts. I came into triathlon as a runner first. My run paces have always been pretty consistent hovering in the low 8:00 per min/mile to high 7:00’s. Last season my gains started to slow to a stall after the strain of marathon training and I’ve been frustrated by the lack of noticeable improvements in the speed department, so I decided it was time to join up with the SBAA crew for a track workout this week. This group is filled with amazingly talented, speed demons who are an excellent source of inspiration. I’m truly humbled every time I join them for a workout. There are many Boston qualifiers in the group and several elite runners, plus an excellent run coach leads the workouts. We ran 2x (3 x 1k + 400m in-between) and I nailed the fast efforts. My runs off the bike also felt strong and my 11 mile zone 2 easy run felt like a breeze yesterday. I finished strong with a sub 8 last mile! Each week my zone 2 long run pace gets a little faster while my heart rate stays in the zone 2 range which is a good indicator of improvement! I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll collect some run PR’s this season.

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Here is a breakdown of my training this past week in all three disciplines. I wasn’t able to complete my full swim workouts due to time constraints, but I did make the most of the time I was in the water.

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Swim 1:13

Bike: 4:37

Run: 3:40

Strength: :30

Total: 10:00

Next week I’ll break down my thoughts on the bike portion of my training. Only 6 weeks to race day!!

XO

Christina

Hydro-Inertia Workout

As a triathlete and runner, strength training is an important part of my training, but it’s also one of the areas of my routine I’ve let fall off quickly in the past. This season I’m making a big effort to incorporate 15 min strength sessions into my schedule at least 2x per week and stick to it!

I was introduced to dynamic-fluid resistance training hydro-inertia workouts recently through my partnership with Fit Approach. What is dynamic-fluid resistance training? This new fitness trend is a method of resistance training using equipment that is filled with water. I use the Surge and Kamagon Ball from Hedstrom Fitness. It forces the user to challenge both traditional exercises, as well as sport and activity specific movement patterns. As a result, this training apparetus provides a very unique challenge to the joints and stabilizing structures to resist and control the unpredictable nature of the shifting water within this device.

Below is a quick video I made demonstrating some of the simple moves you can do using the Surge. I usually perform each of the following exercises for 1min. Do 2 rounds, and take a 30sec rest in between rounds.

Join the fun and get your own Surge or Kamagon Ball! Save 25% with code SPHF25. CLICK HERE to order.

And be sure to follow me on Instagram! I’ll be sharing new moves occasionally on my Instagram story!

XO

Christina

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Training: Week 5

5 weeks down, 7 more to go!

I’m really starting to feel the benefits of the new training plan. There has been more of a shift in the intensity of my workouts while keeping the volume relatively modest. Even with the increase in intensity and volume I’m not feeling as drained as I did last season. Maybe it’s still too early in the season to really be able to say for certain the difference it’s making, but at this point I certainly feel a shift. I’m being very mindful of actually going easy on “easy” days and giving it my all on the hard intervals. I also started incorporating BASE electrolyte salt and Gatorade Endurance into my workouts and wow have they made a difference in my energy levels. Last season I struggled with finishing training rides and runs feeling good. I thought it was totally normal and natural to be totally wiped out and fatigued at the end of a workout. I haven’t had that issue at all since I started using these supplements in my training. Seriously a game changer. I used both during my long ride and run this weekend and finished both feeling amazing with lots of energy and like I could keep going forever. They say nutrition and proper fueling is the 4th discipline in triathlon. I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t been the greatest at eating healthy and fueling properly, but trying to be extra diligent with my nutrition this year.

Below is my summery from TriDot for the week. Just over 9 total hours completed for a 95% achievement (I missed an easy 20 min run). The varying colors represent the amount of time spent in each zone.

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Totals:

Swim – 1:40

Bike: 3:55

Run: 3:02

Strength: 30 minutes

This week the intense Zone 4 and 5 interval sets continue and the long bike and run get longer!

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XO

Christina

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Training Weeks 3 & 4

Made it through my first test week! Things have been a little more hectic than usual at work and the family was sick with a nasty cold last week (I caught it too), so missed recapping week 3. Nothing too noteworthy happened. I completed my week 3 workouts feeling good (except one missed trainer session due to feeling run down with the cold).

This past week was test week, which means I had to perform a 15 mile time trial on the bike, a 5k run as if I was racing and a 400/200 meter timed swim. Overall I’m happy with the results. I showed improvement in all three sports, and most notably with my swim times! If you have been following along my journey, you know the swim is my weakest link and the most frustrating to me, so to start seeing some nice gains and feeling more and more at ease in the water is a huge win!

Here is a little snapshot from TriDot of my training this past week:

week-4I took a non planned rest day on Thursday because my body was telling me it needed it. I just did not have the energy to get on the trainer. Glad I listened since I felt totally refreshed and ready to go on Friday. My swim time trial reflected this. On Saturday, I got out on the road for the first time since November and it was awesome! Sunday we headed down to the beach for one of my favorite local races, the Super Bowl 4-Miler. K volunteered to push the boys in the double Bob so I could race it and try to beat my old PR from 2012 on this course, which I did by almost 3 minutes and finished 6/32 in my AG! And 7 minutes faster than my 2015 time (2016 I pushed the boys in the BOB). Super fun race and I got to meet one of my Team Betty sisters, Elke, who raced in Kona last year and is totally bad ass!

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Just under 8 weeks to Oceanside and feeling good!

XO

Christina

Ironman Oceanside 70.3 Training Week 2

I’m really loving the new training plan and having a coach. After just two weeks on this new program I already notice a big difference, especially in my trainer workouts. All last season I was pretty much flying blind with my trainer sessions. I had no clear direction or goals during my workouts or power/cadence/HR data to reference how hard I was actually working. The zone 4 and 6 interval workouts this past week kicked my a*@s. I used to think I pushed myself decently hard on the trainer, but I now realize my legs have much, much more to give. Same with the run intervals. Most of my runs and cycles the past couple months have been fairly easy, so my body is definitely trying to adapt to the change up in intensity this week. I’ve been conking out early every night and sleeping very deeply. All good things that will hopefully lead to new PR’s and pushing beyond the limits I previously held for myself.

An interesting thing in this new Tridot training is their proprietary technology called EnviroNorm™  It basically converts physical performance outcomes into a base value by factoring out variants such as temperature, humidity, elevation, elevation change, and wind.  I’m still not positive what it all means, but when I check the EnvironNorm box it gives me a race predictor time of 05:35 (T1 and T2 not factored in) for Oceanside. Possible? Maybe?  Depends on conditions that day? Interesting stuff. At the end of the day I would be happy with a time of 6:30, or let’s face it, just finishing at all after my experience at Superfrog. Oceanside will be my first chance to put this all to the test and maybe even surprise myself.

Here is a breakdown of my training hours this past week:

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I missed one easy 20 minute run and fell a little behind on completing my full swim sessions (only because I do them on my lunch break and it’s a hustle to complete the workout, shower and get back to the office for meetings!) I’m going to try to get to masters at 6:00am for at least one of my swim workouts weekly although it will still be a hustle, it always is, but getting it done the best I can!

On to week 3!

Happy training!

XO

Christina

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Training Week 1

Happy Monday! Now that the offseason is over and I’m back on an official training plan, I’m going to start up my weekly training recaps again. They help me to stay accountable and even if no one reads them (although I hope some of you do!), it’s fun to go back and see what changes/progress I’ve made from previous training cycles. The big change this cycle is I now have a coach and a whole new approach to training through TriDot. The thing they promote that really caught my attention is proven results with less training. Say what? I always thought to achieve big gains you had to increase the intensity AND volume of training. As a working mom time is so very precious to me (and probably most people) so if there is a way to get results with less overall hours, I’m all for it.  TriDot’s technology mines your collective data to design and “prescribe” training. Your plan adjusts according as you enter the results of your workouts. It’s a dynamic and continuous plan design process. Pretty cool right?

Week 1 is off to a good start. I completed assessment tests for the swim and bike and those scores were used to create the basis of my training plan for Oceanside. I used my recent 5k race for the run data part.

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As you can see, 9:20 hours were planned and I completed 7:47 for an overall achievement percentage of 92%. Not bad, but obviously the closer to 100% I can get , the better. The plan will recalculate accordingly as my fitness improves. According to their calculations based on my fitness today, my estimated finish time for Oceanside is 6:04. My goal is a sub 6, so I’m not too far off. Just have to do the work.

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Only 11 weeks to go! Excited to see where this new plan takes me!

Happy Training!

XO

Christina

Looking Back and Moving Forward

2016 has been a remarkable comeback season. I crushed some pretty epic goals; kicking off the season with a 3rd place age group finish in my first triathlon after giving birth, then completing my first marathon, going on to take a 2nd place age group finish at my next sprint tri, followed by my first age group win, earning me a spot at USAT Nationals in 2017 and completing at least one race every month in 2016. This year was not all highs though. I also recorded a disappointing DNF at my first 70.3 attempt.

What really is more meaningful than all the accomplishments and failures though, is the gratitude I have deep in my heart for these experiences and the friendships and connections I have made through this sport. I had the opportunity to represent some great companies, but what I found more valuable than the products themselves is the people I met through these ambassadorships. I joined two new awesome teams for 2017: The Betty Squad and TriTats and super excited for what new adventures, friendships and opportunities 2017 will bring!

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I have solidified my 2017 race schedule and personal goals, of course, but the most important thing I reflect on every year when I get too caught up in the planning and goal setting, is to remember at the end of the day it’s about collecting moments, not medals and PR’s.

With that said, here is my schedule for 2017:

January

  • Resolution Run 5k/10k

 February

  • Super Bowl 4 Miler

March

  • Desert Triathlon – Olympic Distance
  • Solvang Metric Century (this is a maybe)

April

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 May

  • Belgium Waffle Ride (Wafer)bwr
  • Alcatraz Challenge

June

  • Santa Barbara Half Marathon
  • Breath of Life Ventura Tri

July

  • Goleta Beach Tri

August

  • USAT Olympic Age Group Nationals

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  • Santa Barbara Triathlon

September

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October

  • IM 70.3 Arizona (maybe) or possibly a fall marathon

If you will be at any of these races, please let me know! I’d love to connect!

XO,

Christina

Apple Pie Smoothie

It’s been a warm autumn here in California, so my favorite way to cool down and recover from a workout is still with a smoothie. With the change in seasons, I love to get creative with my smoothie recipes and put a holiday spin on them. If you read my last post you also know I’m trying to lose (not gain) weight during the holidays and one of the ways I plan to accomplish this is by creating healthy alternatives to my favorite holiday treats. I recently tried a spin on a classic favorite, the Apple Pie, and boy is it delicious! Here is the recipe…

  • 2 large red apples (I used fuji), cored
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use Designer Protein, if you want to use it too, use my referral link for 20% off your order)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • 1 cup ice

The ultimate, protein packed, guilt-free alternative to a slice of apple pie! Enjoy!

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Off-Season Thoughts

If you are a goal-oriented type “A” personality like me, you probably have a hard time slowing down. Taking a break these past couple weeks hasn’t been exactly easy, but I know a few months of reduced training and giving my body the rest it deserves is the best thing I can do right now. I achieved many of the goals I set out to accomplish in my comeback season, from completing my first marathon to scoring my first triathlon age group win and qualifying for the USAT National Age Group Championships, but it didn’t come easy. I put my body through the wringer. Even for the most seasoned athletes a break or shift in training is necessary. The off-season is also a great time to learn a new skill or pick up an old one, spend time with family and friends (and thank them for all their support, babysitting, and cooking when you were too tired), and understand that it is natural to go through a period of post-race apathy.

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Being on a break from heavy endurance training doesn’t mean I am stopping my training completely. I’ve just shifted my focus away from a regimented schedule to “whatever I feel like” on any given day. Last Sunday I took a yoga class at my favorite studio, Power of You OM and it was OMazing! I’m a certified RYT 200 yoga instructor though this studio, yet my yoga practice has taken a serious backseat this year. I plan to add more yoga back in my life during the off-season and into 2017. It seriously has so many wonderful benefits for athletes! I miss teaching too, but my “me time” is more limited now that I’m a mama, so that’s taken a backseat too.

Another focus for the off-season is strength training. I’ve been doing Katie Hart Morse’s daily 10 minute strength workout the past week and it’s been so easy to incorporate in my routine. Strength training is that thing I know is important, but can never manage to stay consistent at. There really is no excuse though. Finding 10 minutes really isn’t hard to do. I have even squeezed a few of these workouts in while watching the boys at the playground. You just have to get creative. J

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The off-season is a good time to experiment with new products and nutrition. If I’m being totally honest, my nutrition this season wasn’t great. My calorie counting days are long gone, but I definitely could be making healthier choices and refueling properly after every workout. That should come easier now that I’m stocked up on Designer Protein (Get 20% off Designer Protein with my referral link here). I have a goal to lose 5-10 pounds before Ironman Oceanside 70.3 training revs up in January. With the holidays coming up it will be hard to lay off the treats (I have a serious sweet tooth!). The extra temptation along with a reduced training volume will make it all the more challenging to meet my goal. Here are some tips and strategies I plan to follow:

(1) Stay Hydrated – Being hydrated curbs sugar cravings and can prevent overeating. If you notice a craving for junk food use that feeling as a trigger to first drink a full glass of water.

(2) Stop Eating When you are Full (or right before you feel full). Makes sense right? Why do we insist on putting ourselves in a food coma on Thanksgiving?

(3) Create Healthy Versions of Your Holiday Favorites – most holiday favorites can be reinvented into a healthy version. My friend Jen just posted a recipe on Instagram for “Peanut Butter Be Special” dipped apples that I plan to try out this weekend: Organic apples dipped in a mixture of melted peanut butter (or almond butter), coconut oil, maple syrup, & vanilla, then sprinkled in sea salt. Yum!

(4) 80/20 Rule – This is a rule that inspires eating 80% nourishing, healthy food, and allowing 20% of food intake to be indulgent or less optimal. It’s okay to indulge every once in a while. For my family that’s Friday night  🙂

(5) Say no to food pushers. This is a big one for me. My mother-in-law lives next door and is constantly stopping by with yummy treats. I don’t want to hurt her feelings so I always graciously accept. I need to learn its OK to say “No, thank you.”

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Hopefully sticking to these strategies will help me stay on track this off-season. Speaking of indulging, SUPER excited about my new Cervelo tri bike, Rochelle! The cards lined up and I scored an awesome deal. Can’t wait for all the great things we’ll do together in 2017, but until then it’s all about enjoying this time off and the holidays with my family.

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What are your off-season plans? How do you stay healthy during the holidays?

XO

Christina