Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lessons from running by Joe Henderson

From: 25 years worth of lessons for running
  1. You finally learn to heed the advice your mother once gave you: Get your rest, eat your vegetables, don't exercise for an hour after eating, remember to take your vitamins, and wear clean shorts in case you must go to the hospital.
  2. You learn to ignore as an adult other warnings Mom gave you in childhood. You're now free to go out in the rain, to get your shoes muddy, to stay out after dark, and to play in the street.

25 years' worth of lessons for running faster and farther / Joe Henderson (Champaign, IL : Human Kinetics, 1996)

"Choosing time over distance has practical advantages. Time lets you run anywhere without having to plot a course. An hour takes an hour wherever the run takes you, so running by time periods encourages exploring." I'm interested in oursuing this in my own training, but it's going to take quite a bit to retrain this brain not to wonder about my pace, distance, or what have you. It does make sense, though.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Training plans for multisport athletes / Gale Bernhardt (Boulder, CO: 2000)

Nutrition Rules:
1. Eat adequate calories.
2. Do not try to lose weight with extreme calorie restrictions.
3. Eat a balance of macronutrients.
4. Drink plenty of water.
5. There are no “bad” foods, however, some foods should be consumed with discretion.
6. Fat in the diet is essential to optimal health.
7. A healthy diet should contain a wide variety of minimally processed foods.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Push League - 7 Push Ups from Men's Health

Push ups are a great workout, working both the upper body and the core. These 7 versions give plenty of variety: Push Ups - Men's Health

Cycling and marathon running: Lessons Learned

1 - Focus on a main goal, 2 – Make a training plan with a specific goal, and 3 – Use a tapering protocol. Good info, more here: http://www.training4cyclists.com/lessons-learned-from-marathon-runners/.

@RAMRACING video posted: Hot Chocolate 5K/15K 11/01/09

Hot Chocolate 15K from RAM Racing on Vimeo.

National Training Center Masters Swimming Workout Blog

The National Training Center Masters Swimming Workout Blog is an excellent resource for swim training plans - "The training sessions are designed for a wide range of swimming abilities and the three main workouts will be posted here. Mondays have a 'distance' focus, Wednesdays are for 'speed', and Fridays are the 'technique' days." Sara McLarty, who posts the training plans, is a professional triathlete. She lives and trains at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs as a USA Triathlon National Team Member and is coached by Cliff English.

Base Training for Triathlon

From Mark Allen Online, a good introductory article on starting triathlon training by finding your maximum heart rate with a formula (though I've read elsewhere that's not very precise), then building a base before maximizing your efforts for a race later in the season. Read more: http://www.markallenonline.com/Base.asp.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nine ways to cross a river : midstream reflections on swimming and getting there from here / Akiko Busch (New York : Bloomsbury, 2007)

Nice reflection on Heraclitus' "You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you." My favorite quote of the author's: "...reaffirming the fact that we live with the unknown in everything we do."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No limits : the will to succeed / Michael Phelps with Alan Abrahamson (New York : Free Press, 2008)

"So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can't be done. But all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Swimming Confusion: Illegal Suits?

Over the last couple of days, I've been watching some of the swimming from Berlin and somewhere else. There is a lot of mention that many of the swimmers are wearing suits that will soon be illegal, yet they are now wearing them and setting world records. Huh? Makes no sense. If FINA knows that the suits don't conform, why not just make them illegal immediately?

I'll tell you though, these swimmers better be scared of Michael Phelps. In a non-illegal suit, with facial hair and supposedly not yet fit, his losses are less in time than the advantage the new suits allow for. Scary fast.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Book Review: Lynne Cox's "Swimming to Antarctica"

When I reread W. Hodding Carter's Off the Deep End (see review), he mentions that his daughter's favorite book is Swimming to Antarctica : tales of a long-distance swimmer, by Lynne Cox (New York : A.A. Knopf, 2004), which I also picked up simultaneously at the library in a bit of serendipity. While definitely not one of my favorite books, it describes the planning and accomplishments of Lynne Cox, an open water swimmer. The tone of the book is quite detached and I never connected with the author, it seemed like all surface and no depth. The projects she took on were incredibly amazing and for most people, any one of them would have been a lifetime accomplishment (swimming the Bering Sea, crossing the English Channel, etc.), but she completed those and many more. She shares credit with her team members, but never fleshes them out in a meaningful way. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in open water swimming and the amazing things people do, but I never got into it deeper than as historical fact. Perhaps the problem lies with me and not the author.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Social media struggle

Sometimes I struggle with the social media I'm using. Occasionally I want to link up this blog, my Twitter account, and my Facebook friends; however, there is not a smooth overlap between what I'm posting and the 3 audiences. This blog and Twitter are basically one audience, as far as I can tell, but I've resisted the pull to directly post from Twitter to Facebook. I haven't quite figured out how to make it all mesh. Maybe it doesn't need to.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Book Review: W. Hodding Carter's "Off the Deep End"

Reminded by Tracy B, I decided to reread W. Hodding Carter's Off the deep end : the probably insane idea that I could swim my way through a midlife crisis-and qualify for the Olympics (Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2008). Though not a technical book on swimming, Carter uses swimming as a tool to examine his oftentimes hilarious journey into adulthood; much like me, this is taking place in his 40's! His writing is really outstanding, and he is able to find both the sublime and the ridiculous in the sport of Master's Swimming.

The sublime: "I love swimming, the feel of the water swirling past my body, the different forces exerted on the palm of my hand as I stroke through the water, the gentleness of being buoyant."

The ridiculous: "Swimming was a sport for juveniles, not someone on the shortlist for a pair of Depends."

Really an enjoyable book, well-written, funny and poignant, a piece of writing that leaves you wanting more. Recommended.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Race: @RAMRACING Hot Chocolate 5K, 11-01-09

This morning was my wife's first race and we chose the Hot Chocolate 5K on the Chicago lakefront. After this experience, I am excited to attend more Running Away Multisport (RAM) events - it was completely professional start to finish.

Yesterday we picked up our race packets, kind of a skimpy expo for the location, but interesting and the kids got lots of candy, it being Halloween. Quality swag in the goodie bag made us very happy - running jacket and fleece running cap. No lines, friendly people, easy parking, everything a packet pickup shoud be.

This morning dawned very cold, but warmed up as the day went on. Exactly at 8:00, the 5K started and we enjoyed a winding course along the lakefront trail near Montrose Harbor. There were so many people in the race that there was never a gap of more than several feet, so it was somewhat difficult to stay together at times, but we persevered. My wife toughed it out and never stopped - this just several months after surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Way to go!

After the race, we headed for the food tent, picked up our tray that included a banana, marshmallow, graham cracker, pretzel, and chocolate fondue, and then moseyed over to the Nike+ tent, to collect our prizes for participating in the Nike+ Challenge (a $25 Nike ID giftcard for me and a running hat with ponytail slot for her, both luck of the draw). My Sportband worked like a charm. Thanks Nike+ for the generous prizes! Last but not least, we grabbed our hot chocolate for the walk to the train - TERRIBLE! No joke, practically undrinkable.

The terrible hot chocolate notwithstanding, this was a GREAT event, and I'm already thinking about next summer, when I'm sure to attend another RAM event. Bigfoot Triathlon? Bangs Lake Multisport Fest? Maybe both.

Running, Skiing, and Endurance Sports - Patagonia.com

REI: Gear for the Great Outdoors

UnderArmour - I WILL

Outdoor DIVAS - Adventure Gear for Active Women