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Couch To Tri – Week 1 Update

May 01, 2015

Couch To Tri – Week 1 Update

Hello Runner,

This is James, for those of you who don’t know, almost three years ago, I launched StrideBox, and since then, it’s grown quite a bit, and although the endless hours, and many sleepless nights have helped it grow, they have also led me to a somewhat less active life than before. No time for training, no events, etc… In other words,  all work and no play makes James a dull boy.

So in a fed up fit, I decided to get back to training and “competing” in events (participating is more like it.) I’m still working hard to grow and improve Stridebox, but as the saying goes… I don’t find time to run, I make time… It’s time to make time.

If you read Sarah’s kickoff article last week, you’ll know I’m starting with an event I’ve never done, a Sprint Triathlon… if you haven’t read and seen the training schedule, Click Here to read it.

Okay, with that into out of the way, I’ll be chiming in every Friday (from here on out) to give an update to the week, how my training went, and raise any questions about Triathlon training, fueling, racing, and anything else. I invite you to send your questions to us on twitter using the hashtag #sTRIdebox. If you don’t follow us on twitter, Go Here.

This Week – Balance and Efficiency

In these updates, I want to share a couple of struggle points for me, and how I’ve overcome them, plus any Tri-related questions I am running into. Please feel free to provide some feedback, and look for Sarah’s answer on the Monday edition.

balanceThe first one is balance…

…As in work/life/training balance. I know this is one many people struggle with, and I hit that head on this week with training. Even though it was only a paltry 3 days last week, I found it hard to squeeze in the training to fit the schedule.

Between getting the kids to school, putting in precious family time, and getting the next month’s StrideBox planned and put together, there were small bits of time, and getting changed, and getting on a bike or getting to the pool, or finding a good route to run was taking up much of the training time.

So, here’s what I did about it going forward:

#1: Scheduled workouts for certain times and days. I’m so easily scheduled for meeting, I will just treat this like a meeting and have it pre-scheduled. That way the times are always available.

#2: Packed any and all workout stuff in a bag that I’ll keep with me. This includes goggles and swimsuit as well as a change of underwear, running shorts and socks. That way, I’ll have no excuse to getting out and doing something even if only the shortest time window opens. As the boyscouts said, Be Prepared.

#3: Got the kids in swimming lessons. Being that I don’t have a pool in my backyard, I was wondering how to get my swimming time in. Well, my wife and I put the kids in swimming lessons. This gets them in the pool an hour a day 2x/week, which gives me some time to head to the lap pool to get my training in.

#4: I quit worrying about the perfect swim/bike/run, and just went. In between starting StrideBox and now, we moved to a new city, and I have no idea of the good running/biking trails around here. I also know that the pool will be crammed at times, and getting a perfect swim in may be out of the question. But I know the endurance will only come with time, and along the way, I am sure I’ll find the awesome trails and top secret swim times at the pool.

Big focus/question – Efficiency

swimmingIn my past in the Marine Corps, we had a saying, “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.”*

During my training sessions this week, I struggled a bit with them, but not a lot. I do know though that if something doesn’t change, I’ll be in trouble come July 18th.

It’s because my technique is bad. There,  I said it.

The swim especially. Making through a 15 minute swim was OK, I used to be a great swimmer (Thanks Marines), but I haven’t swam a lot lately, and knowing that I’ll have to get out of the water, and jump on a bike for 12 miles, then run for 3 miles. I know I’ll need some extra energy.

The swim is a downriver one, so I am not concerned about choppy waves, but I have to streamline my technique to make it as efficient as possible in order to keep up, and have the energy to jump out and with to bike mode. Same goes when switching from bike to run. Efficiency will be everything.

This week, I will still be pulling the week 2 schedule that Sarah posted HERE. But I will put a lot more emphasis on technique in the run, bike, and swim. I think doing this early will lead not only to more efficient racing, but also more efficient training. Figuring out the places I can save energy while not sacrificing time will be a big help on race day.

See you next Friday!

That’s all for this update. Like I said, I’ll be updating you on the progress all the way through race day on July 18. If you have any questions or help, feel free to send us a note on Twitter with hashtag #sTIRdebox

Until next time, Just Keep Running.


* We likely stole this from the SEALS.