Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Training Camp

Time for another training camp!

When: May 14-16 (Friday swim, Saturday Ride, Sunday run)
Where: Ironman Lake Placid course
Who: Run by my coach, Matt Giunta, and open to anyone

Training camps are one of the best places to push yourself outside your comfort zone and make major strides in training. Every chance that I have to join a training camp, I jump at it. In February, I pushed myself to do two 80 mile rides, early in the season, which not only improved my endurance but gave me a lot of confidence. I also learned a tremendous amount from training in person with my coach. Over the years, I have made friends at training camps who have remained friends ever since. If you are a triathlete, join us.

To sign up for the training camp:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vibram Five Fingers

Since reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, Erik and I have become devotees of the running barefoot movement. We are slowly training our feet and legs to adapt to running without running shoes. We don't run with naked feet, of course. We run wearing a pair of the Vibram Five Fingers. With tough rubber soles and little cuffs for each of your toes, these shoes protect your feet from rocks and glass, while giving your feet the freedom of running without padding. The transition to barefoot running does not happen overnight. There are all kinds of muscles in your feet and calves that need to be retrained. But running barefoot allows your foot to naturally find the ground, land and maneuver to provide your body support, and forces you to take shorter steps which land you toward the front of your foot (rather than striking hard on the heal). This whole process of natural running is much better for your body. Since running barefoot, the pain I had in my hips has completely disappeared from the left one and lessened significantly from the right. I am told that for people who suffer from heal spurs, running barefoot will solve their problem. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read the book, Born to Run. If there are two books you need to read in your entire life, Born to Run is number one. I grew up running trails, and went several years without running on roads for more than a quick trail connection. I have sought out trails all over the world, from the remote forests of Tunisia to the well groomed track along the Cinque Terra coast. In recent years, the lack of trails where we live has necessitated road running. We read Born to Run this winter and have begun a new search for trails in our area, which means driving an hour or more for the best runs. We bring power bars, a diluted sports drink and wear lots of bug spray. You feel so light in your Vibrams, and so far from the rest of the world in the middle of the woods, it is a good chance to reconnect with the earth and your partner. We are even tempted at times to run naked.

Oh, and the second book on your life's must read list: Jack Canfield's The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Running with Alex

Today was a monumental day. Alex and I went for our first run together. Alex has been talking for weeks about how Mommy runs on a team and Matt is the coach and how he wants to run on a team when he is a big boy. And then this morning, the sun finally came out after days of relentless rain, and so Alex accompanied me on my morning walk with the dog, Teds. Alex was wearing his little crocs. He held my hand and begged me repeatedly to go for a run with him. So, we dropped Teds off at the house, and went back out. The sun was breaking through morning clouds over the ocean where we live, and the birds were singing, and it was truly a beautiful morning to be out. And so, we ran. Alex held my hand because he trips frequently and needs the support. I jogged and he moved his little feet as fast as he could. We went two blocks, stopped to catch our breath and then turned around (reluctantly, because he wanted to run on and on), and ran the two blocks home. Alex kept a running monologue of everything going on around us, telling me about the birds singing and the occasional car driving by and the presence of grass and trees. He was breathing hard at the end and I carried him up the deck stairs to the house. His face was flushed and he was all smiles. He was so proud of himself for going for a run with Mommy. We will make this our new morning ritual. This isn't my only workout for the day, but it was by far, the best run I have ever had.