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While I was unable to actually run the Wildflower 2013 Olympic Distance Triathlon this year (You can see why in this post: Triathlons and Babies) I did train for 20 weeks and I was sure that I was ready for the race because of my training plan. Since I was very much out of shape the plan started as basic levels and did a 3 week on 1 week off peak plan for 18 weeks. It was focused solely on strength and endurance at the expense of speed but since this was to be my first triathlon finishing was most important. Over the 18 weeks of real training with a 2 week taper, my strength and endurance skyrocketed and I lost 20 pounds (192 to 172). As a comparison, my 1st week totals were 800 meters of swimming, 20 miles of cycling, 5.5 miles of running, and 50 minutes of weight training while my 18th week totals were 8500 meters of swimming, 130 miles of cycling, 27 miles of running, and 120 minutes of weight training. In the three sports this is a huge increase, 1000% in swimming, 750% in cycling, and 500% in running.
In strength, time wasn’t the real measure, it only allowed me to increase the number of exercises. This chart shows the actual change over the 14 weeks I used the weight room; you can see the weight I started, ended, percent increase, and week the exercise began. All exercises were performed in an attempt at 3 sets of 12. Once I hit that point I increased weight the following week.
At the end of training the projected total distances for the three sports were as follows: 77,550 meters of swimming, 1342 miles of cycling, and 256 miles of running. I only skipped three exercises total so I was pretty close to these goals. I am really proud of this even though I didn’t complete the race. I will now move on to training for my makeup race, the Triathlon at Pacific Grove on September 14th, but my training will be different. Since I am at a new level of fitness, I can focus on speed and power instead of only strength and endurance. I also plan to begin at the distances in week 11 of this plan ans 80% of my weight max in each exercise. This will allow me to perform even better in September.
Here is my month my month Wildflower 2013 Olympic Distance Triathlon training guide for others to use, let me know what you think!
Good luck on future training!
For 20 long weeks I trained for the Wildflower Triathlon going from almost an inability to swim and lackadaisical running and cycling to 3000 meter swims, 50 mile rides, and 10 mile runs all in one week. After 18 weeks of building, my level of fitness skyrocketed and I dropped 20 pounds. The training was pretty intense, but I made it through with only skipping 3 sessions. Then came the taper. As per the norm halfway through the first week of my taper I got sick and was sidelined for five days. As I recovered physically, my severe cold turned into a sinus infection. I was having a lot of trouble logging my taper workouts but I was getting there by moving some things around. On the Friday before the race I had an appointment with my ENT and was planning to get some antibiotics at that time since the race was only two days away. That morning, May 3rd, 2013 I drove a 36 week pregnant Virginia to work and was planning to go to the doctor and then…
Upon our arrival to campus Virginia asked me to wait while she went to the restroom. A few minutes later she came back out and less than an hour later we were admitted to the hospital. 4 weeks early, Virginia’s water broke and the baby was on it’s way. The next 8.5 hours were a blur of phone calls, house trips, doctor’s visits and the word “PUSH!!!”. The result at 4:29pm was Samantha Beth Lerer, 6lb 3oz, 19.5 in, a beautiful baby girl who, in an instant, changed everything.
So, on Sunday instead of receiving a finishers medal I received a daughter and I couldn’t be happier. Now I need to figure out how to work training into my new role as a father, so here we go! Since I missed my first attempt at a triathlon I have signed up for a make-up race in September, the Triathlon at Pacific Grove. I have rededicated my fundraising to that race so help me raise money for No Kid Hungry. The scary part is that this is an open water swim in the Pacific Ocean, I was hoping to have a lake swim under my belt before I went in the ocean but as I just learned, life throws you curve balls and you still have to swing! Training should be a little easier because I am already at a good fitness level unlike the begining of Wildflower training so I hope to hit a higher peak and work in some speed drills to finish even faster. The cool part is that Sam and Virginia will come to this one and cheer me on!
Well it’s finally here, the last month of training! This past month was a tough one to get through. Things were going well at the start, I was strong and losing weight but then I got cocky. The morning after a 40 mile bike ride I woke up without good stretching and went for a leg workout. While that was normal, what wasn’t was jumping the weight on the leg press by 15 pounds AND increasing my reps from 12 to 15. No surprise that halfway through my second set a searing pain shot from the middle of my knee up to my hip. Immediately I left and went home. Terrified that I tore my meniscus again I skipped the first workout of my training plan. While I should be happy that I didn’t skip a workout in 12 weeks, I was upset that I was down 5 miles of running.
The next two weeks were very complicated, not only was my leg acting weird, work got crazy and I traveled to Orlando for a conference. I also had to brake out the brace again to protect my knee. It appeared that March was going to me the adjustment month because nothing seemed to work out right. This was especially true when it came to the conference in Orlando. Of course they had closed their lap pool for construction and the play pools opened at 9am. This didn’t work so well because I had conference work before that time everyday. I also had to cycle in the gym and run in circles in the parking lot. This all amounted to no fun in training for that week and catchup for the next two. I ended down another 1000m that I will not get back. I also ate like crap for that week so from the Friday before I left to the Friday 2 weeks later, I had a weight loss of zero. Now I have to fight through April to drop the last 10 pounds.
With all of those issues, my knee is feeling better and my strength and speed gains have returned. I capped off March with a 45 mile bike ride, my longest yet. The next three weeks are the peak weeks of training, things get very intense. This should help kickstart the weight loss again. Every pound down is a pound I don’t have to carry with me during the race. My swimming climbs to 8500m in week 18 plus additional exercises in all weight workouts. Not to mention the peaks in cycling (130mi) and running (27mi). This, plus a very intense month at work, will push me to the physical and mental limit before my two week taper and the free time to get my bike fully cleaned and tuned up for the race. I can’t believe that this is the final 5 weeks of training and Race Day is clearly in the picture. Just 16 weeks ago, I swam my first 300m and struggled while this past week I hit 2000m at one time without issue. I’ve come a long way but still have a ways to go!
Take a look at my April plan and give me some encouragement. A motivating donation to my race charity, No Kid Hungry, couldn’t hurt!
- 8 of my triathlon training essentials (trifatherhood.com)
- Yikes Its Tuesday Already!!! Two Weeks and Counting Weekly Goals (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
Well I am a little more than halfway through the training plan and my body is surely changing. I have been running faster, biking harder, and swimming stronger every week. My weight training has increased dramatically as well. I have had a few setbacks though. I’ve been tired a few days, usually Thursday nights. I have been regularly pushing my Thursday night workouts to Friday but in this stage of training I no longer have that luxury. My Friday rest day is gone, replaced with a shorter bike ride but this means pushing workouts is not an option. I have also added a swim to my Saturdays so March is going to be intense. My right shoulder is also getting a bit angry. Old issues (Torn rotator cuff and shoulder separation) have made that shoulder prone to injury. I need to be carful, there are only so many times that I can pop it back in place before the weekly partial dislocations become a bigger issue.
With the sheer volume of training I have had to make a few adjustments. Since my runs have gotten to almost 6 miles or greater it is almost impossible for me to swim in the morning and run at night on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I am just too tired. This means I need to run in the AM and swim in the PM. While this isn’t awful, the bike to work just 45 minutes after a long run is not pleasant. Hopefully in a few weeks I will become accustomed to the reverse brick. I also need to do my Wednesday weight workouts during the days which is an interesting thing to work into the plan. Since my schedule is so random a lunch by itself is irregular, but Wednesdays are even worse. Somehow someway I need to find and hour and a half each week to get to and from the gym. I also dropped a bit off my recovery weeks. They were still pretty intense so I reduced the swimming and cycling for the last two. I’ve got to make sure I avoid injury.
Last month, I got four flat tires in two weeks so I purchased new and better tires. These tires have allowed me to open up a bit more on rides and I set a new Lerer land speed record of 31.89mph! Hopefully with my average speed increasing in all my workouts, I won’t need to devote as much time. With the increasing distance each week, speed is the name of the game.
March is going to be pretty wild. With a conference trip in the mix and a spike in distance and intensity, I am going to have to adjust certain workout to make the most sense. For example, there is no way in hell I am riding 45mi in Orlando on a stationary bike so I need to swap a Friday ride with a Sunday. Things like this may become regular with my work schedule ramping up along side of my training, but as long as I get all the workouts done I should be good to go. Here’s to the next few weeks!
Take a look at March and let me know what you think!
As per the norm, when moving to a new city about seven months ago, I gained about 15 pounds. The issue of stress eating compounded by a lack of training and races due to an impending knee surgery had me break the 190 mark for the first time in 8 years. At 5’7 on a good day, this weight equaled a very bad thing. Deciding to train for a triathlon was a way to force myself to lose some weight but the sheer amount of training appears to make it somewhat difficult. Racing at 170 or lower would make a huge difference but I am struggling to get there despite the 15+ hours of exercise each week. Here are some reasons why:
1. I love carbohydrates. LOVE them. This past week I ate pizza, pasta, and/or bread at almost every meal. I need to figure out how to add more lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables into my diet so that I am full longer and stop eating so much bread. I used to have a meal plan where salad was always available, now lunch consists of peanut butter and jelly 3+ times a week. Something needs to give and it is up to me to make that change. At the end of the day purchasing and bringing more salads to work should help me get through the day.
2. Working in student affairs is also a difficulty. We have programs and events almost everyday and you can’t have a program without food. Healthy food is generally not on the menu and when you do get healthy options they are usually just carrots and dip. Candy and other sweets are usually available at a moments notice and throughout the day very hard to regulate. Since I control the food in one area I need to make sure that I provide healthy options not only to control my diet but to help students make good choices as well.
3. Calorie overcompensation is probably the biggest issue in my world. Not only am I super hungry after a long or hard training session, I tend to eat poorly and eat a lot. While I may feel hunger like Michael Phelps after a 30 mile bike ride, I do not even come close to burning the same amount of calories he does in training. It is also unhelpful that calorie monitors on apps and in gyms are horrible. They overestimate your calorie burn and add in calories you would have burned remaining sedentary. After a training session I will normally come home and eat whatever I can justifying the caloric intake any way I can. This is only because I am hungry and not because I need it so I need to learn to slow down and let my mind/body balance reconnect and realize I am not as hungry as I think. Also, I need to eat smart and not turn to bread immediately.
These issues have made it really difficult for me to lose weight during training and did the same when I trained for the marathon last year. While my fitness is increasing dramatically, it would be that much better if I was shedding fat as well. At a lower, healthier weight, I will also lower my risk for a repeat injury. As I continue along the last 10 weeks of training, I need to develop the following habits that can stick with me after the race:
1. Eat a healthy breakfast, preferably a smoothie. In a smoothie I can control the calorie levels and supplement my protein intake. Also, since they are cold, it takes longer to consume a smoothie which will allow me to feel full without needing to turn to bread.
2. Buy and eat more fruits and vegetables. Simple but for some reason quite difficult.
3. Substitute salads for sandwiches at lunch. Add some turkey on top of the greens to get protein or even a little cheese but cut out the bread to make a big impact.
4. Drink water then shower after a training run. Hopefully that 15 min delay plus water will help offset the ravenous feelings. Sometimes I think I mistake dehydration for hunger and this should help the issue.
5. Stop eating at every student affairs program. This is a hard one but so necessary. I can try to bring my own snacks so at least I can eliminate desire while still being health conscious.
6. Drink more water overall. The more water I drink, the longer my stomach will be full. This should manage some of my eating habits.
7. Get more sleep. If I am rested I will have more energy throughout the day and will not need to rely so much on food for energy boosts.
8. Keep track of my weight. I am not a daily scale user but once a week at the same time each week will give me a better gauge on progress than my normal sporadic and rare meetings with the scale.
9. Be realistic. I love bread, pizza, and pasta. That will not change. I just need to moderate my intake and keep less trigger foods in the house.
10. Be forgiving. There will be good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks. With a training and food blog there will be days like last Saturday when I eat horribly in San Francisco. This is ok, I just need to make sure I plan to compensate when those days inevitably happen.
If I can stick to the plan I will hopefully hit my sub 170 target weight on race day and be able to keep myself at a healthy level between competitions.
What helps you lose or maintain a healthy weight while training?
Well I made it through January and I am definitely starting to get stronger. Once the semester began it really got difficult to juggle the fact that I basically have to do two a days. It’s was also really cold in the mornings so managing the car and the bike and indoor training was stressful. It is nice that it is starting to get a little warmer, 40+ and a ride to work is no big deal. Thursdays though are incredibly difficult. I’m fine on my swim in the mornings but my late Wednesday nights with the student government make the evening run a battle. This week I skipped it and moved it to Friday but that meant I had no day off and I paid for it on my long bike ride. I’ve really got to figure it out soon before the training plan adds a Friday bike and I lose my day off anyway.
My knee is holding up well, the redesign of my weight training has helped significantly. I even took the knee brace off for three runs! Some days it feels a little wonky but I guess having part of your meniscus removed inevitably makes things interesting. The foam roller was a great addition and though it hurts it made a big difference in stretching. The one odd part of this month was a weird stalker watching me swim every morning. After a few weeks it was time to let him know that I do not appreciate being watched. An awkward interaction but I have not seen him since.
11,250 meters of swimming, 205 miles of biking, and 52 miles of running down, so much more to go. Things start to pick up in February with my first swim at tri distance right before the second recovery week. After the second recovery week a fourth weekly swim is added. This means that Saturday will turn into a swim, run, weights day. Not intense at all. Take a look at my training plan and hopefully you’ll donate to No Kid Hungry to help motivate me through this month!
You can find my Wildflower January Training Plan here
You can find my Wildflower December Training Plan here
On May 5th 2013 I will be running the Wildflower Triathlon, which is an Olympic distance (1.5km Swim, 40km Bike, 10km Run). It is my first triathlon goal on my bucket list leading to a full Ironman. Since I am still recovering from knee surgery I am focusing heavily on the swim and bike while building back to a good run capacity.
Well, I am through the first two weeks and it wasn’t easy going from almost nothing to 5 days a week. I hadn’t lifted weights in years and it hurt! My first swim was awful, I swam 50 meters and seriously thought I would drown. It appears that everyone besides me knew that if I calmed down and focused on smooth strokes it would get easier. At the end of my fourth swim, I went 750 meters (15 laps) without stopping. I no longer think that I will die on that part of the race so we are making progress.
My knee is a little sore and the isolated knee workouts in the weight room are basically torture, but they are neccessary. If I don’t strengthen the muscles around my knee, I will be back on the operating table again. It is just amazing how weak my right leg is compared to the left. I have a very long way to go. Running has also been nice and, this week, I am downgrading from my metal brace to the light pullover variety. I plan to run like that for the next three weeks before removing the brace altogether during my January recovery week. I am both excited and scared to run sans brace for the first time since last March, but that is why I had surgery.
Take a look at the training plan for weeks 3-7 and see what you think, it really starts to ramp up with Fridays being my only day off and the addition of a third swim. The difficult day will be Thursdays because I work until at least 10pm on Wednesdays but it is unavoidable. Also, we shall see how the two a days go now that I go back to work in a few days. Lunch workouts may become a must!
I am also dedicating my race to No Kid Hungry, a charity that works to help feed the 16 million children who will face hunger this year. You can support the cause at my fundraising page here and you will still receive parts of my restaurant list for each $5 donated!
Want to compete with me? Register here!
Want to compete with me? Register here!
I’ve decided to run in my first triathlon on May 5th 2013. I am excited and terrified all at the same time so I have developed a training plan that will surely get me ready or perhaps kill me. The Wildflower Triathlon is an Olympic distance which is 1.5km Swim, 40km Bike, and a 10km Run. Not too shabby. Since I am still recovering from knee surgery I am focusing heavily on the swim and bike while building back to a good run capacity. I also plan to add in strength training and the use of a foam roller to make sure I don’t tear another meniscus or worse. Training starts this coming Monday and gets pretty intense towards the end. This picture of December shows the beginning and a snapshot of the end distance totals for all three activities. Bike/Run in miles and swim in meters. Let’s do this!
I am also dedicating my run to No Kid Hungry, a charity that works to help feed the 16 million children who will face hunger this year. You can support the cause at my fundraising page here and you will still receive parts of my restaurant list for each $5 donated!
For the past four years (and my whole life) I have been a workaholic and a busybody. Every weekend was something else, a conference, a retreat, or a campus event. Even weekends when we were off I tried to get as much done as possible because who knew when I’d have another free day. I spent those days building furniture, cleaning, hanging stuff, riding and running miles, or going somewhere. Not even vacations were relaxing because they were spent trying to suck as much activities out of the vacation location as possible. Moving to Merced made it even worse. We have been here for three months and I have yet to sit still. Never did it cross my mind to just do nothing; in fact the idea of doing nothing was scary. This weekend changed all of that because knee surgery forced the issue.
For the past 9 months I have needed knee surgery but moving and insurance issues had postponed the procedure. Finally, after almost two months of weekend events at UC Merced, I had a weekend to do the surgery. This past Thursday I went in for a 17 minute procedure that would keep me immobile for 4 days. Though I was really scared going in to the operating room and don’t like the look of my shaved leg, this necessary surgery was a blessing in disguise. Since it hurts to walk and I am sufficiently doped up on Vicodin for the pain, I have done absolutely nothing for the past 72 hours, and it has been glorious.
I got home Thursday at 4:30pm and took over my place on the couch which would be my home until Monday. Bella decided that it would be important to help so she took up residency as well.
So here is what I did since I got home:
- Ate pizza and garlic bread
- Took pain killers
- Iced knee
- Relaxed on the couch and watched movies
- Woke up, felt dizzy and nauseous…not so fun
- Ate leftover pizza
- Took pain killers, many times
- Iced knee
- Dozed on and off
- Watched tons of TV
- Read a book
- Ate Chinese food
- More pain killers, feeling better and very relaxed
- Iced knee
- Ate leftover chinese food
- Watched 12 hours of College Football go RU!!!
- Ate assorted snacks in “Get Better” bag from my office
It was at this point that Bella exhausted herself in her Dad protection mode
- Took off the leg wrap
- Took only a few pain killers (Ok, that’s not entirely accurate)
- Walked a little
- Watched 12 episodes of Triple D and more football
- Went out to dinner with Virginia’s Mom and Angel
As I wrap up this recovery with another day of TV on Monday and go back to work on Tuesday I have to say that these were the most relaxing days I have had in recent history. I had no concerns about getting work done, I was not anxious about working out. I knew that physically accomplishing tasks would be impossible so my body just gave in and relaxed (with a little medicinal assistance). I feel so rested and ready to go back to work that it gets me thinking about balance. We talk so often about finding balance but in those conversations it is almost always about finding something else to occupy your time when you are not working. This thing is usually a hobby, an exercise, a sport, or a task but perhaps for balance sometimes all you need is to spend some time doing absolutely nothing. Even if you don’t meditate, a day on the couch with no worries can go a very long way. We shouldn’t feel bad about that and we definitely shouldn’t need to have knee surgery to force the issue.
Here’s to taking some time every so often to just relax and be lazy, it can work wonders. Hopefully you can do it without doctors orders. Good thing though that I might need surgery on my other knee pretty soon. Just something to look forward to.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve ridden my bike to work and around town by desire and necessity. Each day was a new learning experience. I’ve been through sweaty days, crashes, fun rides, and more so the following are my ten commandments of biking to work:
1. Wear your helmet. Wether you have hair or not, you need to wear a helmet. You can fix your hair but you can’t fix your head. You can recover from a fall on the way to work but without a helmet you wont make it in that day.
2. Get a RoadID. This is a great way to get information to first responders if you have an accident and are unconscious or unable to communicate. The best $20 you can spend and you can find discount codes online.
3. Get a $3 ankle strap. You will probably ride in slacks at some point and without a strap you will, without a doubt, get caught in your gears. The straps are also reflective so they can help you at night.
4. Don’t wear your work shirt on your ride. Wear an undershirt or t-shirt on your way in so you don’t sweat all over your work shirt. This will also help cover up any dirt if you happen to fall on your way in.
5. Stock your office with a freshness kit. Deodorant, changes of clothes, cologne, water bottle, and towel. This will help you not stink up the room for the rest of the day.
6. Make sure your supervisor knows you bike to work. This way your supervisor will be a little more flexible with a variable arrival time based on ride time. Your supervisor may also be able to help you find a good place to keep your bike where you know it will be safe.
7. Get to know people at work who have cars. If you have an incident and need a ride to work or help getting to a bike shop, these relationships will be invaluable.
8. Make friends with a local bike shop. If you get to know the owner and the employees they can do work for you quickly since they know you need your bike for transport in and around town.
9. Make sure you ride on safe roads, bike paths are preferable. Narrow roads without a good bike path are not advisable. Especially if you are riding to a university, students drive very fast when they are late to class.
10. If you ride in or home at night make sure you get a good front and rear light set. In the dark it is actually law to have at least a front bike light (Check local ordinances) but many people don’t do it. This is crazy dangerous (I just did it last week and immediately ordered a light) so don’t do it!
If you follow these 10 commandments you will get to and from work every day in a safe a fun way and you will find yourself getting in shape quickly. You will also have a new level of energy for the day and may not need your five shots of espresso in the morning. Not to mention saving tons of money on gas.
Good luck and safe riding!
For some more ideas of riding street smart, check out this website