Tips of the Moment

October 26

Properly Fit your HR Monitor
Sometime ago, back when my HR Monitor was just to give me an indication of how hard I was working, I loosened it up to the point that I hardly knew it was there. Through summer training, that's not usually a problem since sweat helps maintain good contact between the senors and my skin.

Recently, however, I'd been getting really high readings and I finally realized that that it needed to be tighter. I can tell it's there but there's no constriction on my breathing and no strap marks on my chest when I take it off.

August 2 - 15
Strength Training
Dedicate a couple of days per week to working on some upper body strength exercises. I have a regular routine of planks, sideways leg lifts, crunches and free weights that has served me well.

First off, the stronger core you'll create by the planks and crunches lends itself to better swimming and running. Additionally, the strength in your arms will make swimming a more efficient process.

Finally, you'll look better in your race photos!

July 26 - August 1
Track It
A lot of people track their exercise in a lot of different formats. I've been keeping mine on a spreadsheet for about 10 months. It's also the same document I use to keep my training plan.

Besides offering lots of data and trends, keeping track also helps you visualize your accomplishments. Now that I've got several mile and hours of training, I've got a real sense of having done something. It's not as motivational as finishing a big event, but it still drives me during the in between times.

July 11 - 25
The Sleep Factor

This is a tip I need to follow myself. The last two weeks have seen a fairly significant increase in activity. Between Aquaman events and 40 mile bike rides, I'm pushing myself harder than I have in quite a while.

I've also been feeling tired a lot more and by tired I mean sleepy. I don't the exact correlation between calories burned and hours of sleep needed (or if there even is a specific factor there) but I can tell my body is demanding more rack time.

Keep that in mind as you train. It may be necessary to get a few more hours of sleep every week to make sure your energy levels are where they need to be to support a more vigorous training regimen.

July 5 - 10
Short Strides on the Run

There are triathletes who can come through transition in a blur. They don't seem to stop moving. They are off the bike and out of the helmet in seconds. They run on one foot as they put the shoe on the other. They are already at 4:00 pace before they even enter the run course.

June 26 - July 4


Unless you live near an extensive network of trails, you probably, like me, struggle to find good places to go for long training rides.

I make fairly extensive use of Google maps and a site called Gmaps Pedometer to figure out where I'm going to ride. Whenever possible, I also attempt to drive the course first. It helps both tactically and psychologically to have seen the course first hand.

June 19 - 25
The Washing Machine

I've heard the swim start to a triathlon described as a washing machine. Dozens of bodies stirring the water like an agitator.

Prior to my first Stroke & Stride, I had not personally experienced this since the Greeley Triathlon was a time-trial start. The former however, was a frenzy.

I found myself avoiding kicking legs and at one point, I think the person next to me was actually punching me with their stroke. I came to better understand where panic and stress set in.

Successfully combating this is being ready for it. First, be ready for it and frame your mind to react calmly to what is a chaotic situation. Second, unless you're seriously competing for an AG placement, hang back and let the pack spread out before you a little bit.

June 12 - 18
Water is Life!

During a typical week day, I have no problems with staying hydrated. I have a big water bottle and my office has a machine that dispenses crushed ice and water. It's really easy to just go fill up.

At home, I can fill a tumbler with water and chug it down and stay hydrated with equal ease.

So where do problems come in? On the worst possible day, race day! On the morning of the SOST I stood around in warm if not hot weather and had not had a drink since early that morning. Not so any more. I'm bringing a bottle to have on the way to the Greeley Triathlon.

Heat and dehydration conspire to slow you down and without water to combat them, they'll win every time!

June 5 - 11

The Importance of Being Rested
If you're like me, you work pretty hard at sticking to your schedule. It's the roadmap to being ready for a race, being in better shape or losing weight.

Don't let that get in the way of resting. Since I like sticking to my schedule, I build rest into it, especially before races. That said, I've also had to deviate when I can't do more.

Runner's World has a good list of signs you need a rest here

May 29 - June 4