The novice triathlon trains…

So, with five weeks until the novice women’s only triathlon in Newcastle on March 6 (http://sparkenbntriathlon.com.au/womens-triathlon/womens-triathlon/info) and with time to train limited I have done two short one-hour sessions which went like this:

Session 1: 30min ride, including six x 200m intervals on a slight gradient with 200m recoveries up Kilgour Ave, Bar Beach. This worked out to be roughly 25 seconds harder and 50 seconds recovery. 10min run x 20seconds hard:40sec easy at Empire Park. Ride to Merewether Oceans Baths for six-lap swim. Cruisy ride home.

Session 2: 20min ride, including 10 intervals at Townson Oval of 200m harder:200m easier. 10min run, consisting of 10 intervals x 20seconds harder:40sec easier. Easy ride to Merewether Ocean Baths for six-lap. Cruisy ride home.

 

The Novice Triathlete

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It is that time of year again … time to dust off the bike, convince some close friends that doing a local triathlon will not only be fun but also beneficial to all of us health-wise and psych myself up for the swim leg in Newcastle Harbour.

Well, I have to report that I am well ahead of schedule this year. I would say this is the fifth time I have participated in one the Sparke Helmore Triathlon Festival events in Newcastle. The first year, which was about eight years ago, I competed with a work colleague in a team. That was a great way to get a taste for triathlon events and was also a nice team-building exercise for the workplace and I highly recommend doing your first event this way.

After that, I branched out into the solo section with a few friends and had heaps of fun. Don’t get me wrong though – there was some pain along the way, but when I crossed that finish line I felt a real sense of achievement and found myself already thinking about the next year and how I might improve my times.

Two years ago I did a triathlon in the first trimester of pregnancy then last year I participated, and I emphasise the word participated, in the same ladies only mini triathlon three-and-a-half months after having our third child.

This year I am going back for the women’s only triathlon of 300-metre swim, 15-kilometre cycle and 4km run. It is an excellent starting point for those wanting to give a triathlon a go. You can do this event as a team also, if you so wish.

Anyway, it is on March 6, 2016, which is five weeks away. Just five weeks! I hear you. But I think you can still get some good training in before it starts, and that is what I am planning to do when time allows. I am going to post some of the sessions that I am doing to get myself ready for the novice event, and although I am a qualified personal trainer I am not a triathlon expert so these sessions are just a novice’s guide on how to make things feel a little easier on race day.

So, stay tuned for some session guides and hopefully I will see a few of you on race day for a bit of fun and fitness. And honestly, when you live in such a beautiful place like Newcastle, why wouldn’t you want to get out there and exercise! We are very lucky.

 

Five ways to keep your fitness goals going

Setting new goals is easy, it is keeping them that is hard.

You wipe the slate clean at the start of a new year and usually get into achieving a set of goals with much gusto. But as the weeks begin to click by and a bit of normality returns after the Christmas-New Year period then it can be hard to maintain the enthusiasm you started the year with.

But do not give up on yourself yet. There are plenty of ways to keep yourself motivated.

  1. Get a fitness diary. Start the week by writing down the sessions you plan to do that week and tick them off as you go. If you do not do a session make yourself put a big red cross through it.
  2. Enlist a friend. There is nothing like peer pressure to keep you on task where your fitness goals are concerned. Arrange to meet each other for some tough workouts and tell yourself you will be letting the other one down if you pull out.
  3. Enter an event. Doing this will keep you motivated to train as you will want to be prepared for it. It might be a running event, it might be a triathlon, it might be to play sport this year and be fir for it.
  4. Put yourself on a fitness points system (ie 10 points per session completed) and when you reach a certain amount of points reward yourself with something – maybe a massage or perhaps some new training gear.
  5. Turn up. Tell yourself you are going to at least turn up to your sessions, even if you do not feel like doing it. Once you are there, most times you will end up doing the session anyway.

Why a balanced approach beats a 30-day challenge for me

In an attempt to keep myself motivated to do some form of physical activity every day through the festive season I decided to take on a daily burpee challenge for the month of December. I had heard heaps of people talking about different 30-day challenges they had taken up but then invariably stopped midway through, and I now know why! I thought I would start with two burpees on December 1 then add two each day until performing 62 on the last day of the month. This seemed like an achievable challenge as I found burpees quite enjoyable in a weird way and I knew they would be doing me a lot of good in a short amount of time as they work many muscle groups. But what I did not foresee was the heaviness that would build up in the legs, shoulders and shoulder blades from the repetitive movement each day. I made it to the end of the month but was glad it was over and have vowed never to take on such a challenge again. The positive was that it did make me do something every day – it served as a reminder to be active daily. But from now on it is back to a balanced approach to fitness. Time is the biggest hurdle for me, but I am going to try to get at least 30 minutes of fitness into each day.

7-minute workout

A new baby in the house (plus two other children) means time to start working on regaining some pre-baby fitness is lacking. This is the 7-minute workout I have been doing at home when I can to start things moving again. You just need a skipping rope, a set of dumbbells and not really much room:

50 skips
10 squats
60 skips
20 shoulder throws (with DB)
70 skips
20 lunges
80 skips
10 bent-over rows (with DB)
90 skips
10 burpees
100 skips

If I have more time I add 1-2 more sets. You can replace skipping with walking or jogging, shoulder throws with push-ups, burpees with shoulder press.

Give it a go!!

Pregnancy is not a sickness – I plan to keep moving!

I was planning to do the Sun Herald City2Surf this year for the fourth time but will instead more than likely be doing it vicariously through friends.

My partner and I are 16 weeks pregnant with our third child and, although I have managed to exercise throughout our other two pregnancies, running the challenging 14km of Sydney’s iconic race may be beyond my capabilities at 27 weeks pregnant.

Exercising while pregnant has been proven to be beneficial to both mother and child and I am a bit advocate of staying active for as long as you can. But you should always be guided by your healthcare professional first.

I am however planning to do the 10km event at the Winery Running Festival held up the Hunter Valley on July 19 and 20, which should put me around the 23/24-week mark. I am sure people will have opinions on this – some supportive and some not so.

From my experience you get some strange looks when you exercise with a growing belly. ‘You’re really shaking up that baby, love’, is what one older gentleman told me once.

But it is not like I will be trying to do it at race pace – I will just be going at my own pregnant, stop-10-times-to-go-to-the-toilet pace in an attempt to stay active.

If you are looking for a winter fitness goal or challenge then both the Winery Running Festival, which offers distances of 5km to 42km, and the City2Surf are great.

The City2 Surf is just over 10 weeks away but  there is still plenty of time to train for it. In an attempt to keep the Hunter moving as the weather becomes less inviting for training, I plan to offer some training suggestions for what you might doing to get yourself in shape for both of these events. And even if you are not keen to do either of these events you might find benefit in the sessions.

So stay tuned!

I Love a Good Stair Session

I have said it before and I will say it again – there is nothing quite like hitting the stairs for a workout. It works so many muscles at once – it is great for your legs, butt, core, arms and of course your ticker. And the beauty of the stair workout is it does not matter if you walk, run or crawl your way up just one or several flights of stairs, it is going to help tone your body and test your cardiovascular fitness. Obviously, a hefty stair session is not for everyone – always check with your healthcare professional before taking on a new physical challenge. In recognition of my love of stair workouts I will be devoting a section on this blog to them. Check out the ‘Training Sessions Guide’ for some challenging workouts involving stairs.

 

 

Mums fitness Term 1, 2014

The holiday period is nearly over – ‘thank goodness!’, I hear most mums saying – and fit-FY’s mum’s classes will return to usual times and venues in the next two weeks:

Mondays, 4pm – Gibbs Brothers Oval, Merewether (first session feb 3)

Wednesdays, 9.30am – Cooks Hill YWCA hall, Dawson St (first session jan 29)

Fridays, 9.30am – Gibbs Brothers Oval, Merewether (first session jan 31)

Click on Fit For Mums section above for more info

Mums holiday fitness schedule

It’s the New Year and time to get moving with your fitness goals. Here is Fit-FY’s holiday schedule for Mums’ Fitness. Come along for a first free trial. Bring the kids and wear them out while you get a workout too! PLEASE NOTE: Start times are earlier for the holidays – but they remain loose starting times so don’t worry if you are running late.

Monday, January 6, 2014: 9am at Gibbs Brothers Oval, Rowan Crescent, Merewether

Wednesday, January 8: 9am, meet at Merewether Baths

Friday, January 10: 9am, Gibbs Brothers Oval, Merewether

Wednesday, January 15: 9am, Merewether Baths

Friday, January 17: 9am, Gibbs Brothers Oval, Merewether

Monday, January 20: 9am, Gibbs Brothers Oval, Merewether

Wednesday, January 22: 9am, Merewether Baths

Friday, January 24: 9am, Gibbs Brothers Oval, Merewether

 

Cost is $15/session; $25/2 sessions x week; $35/3 sessions x week

 

PLEASE NOTE: There is no session on Monday, January 13, 2014.