WHAT IT TAKES.
That's the name of the new triathlon DVD, featuring a year in the life of 4 pro triathletes (Peter Reid, Heather Fuhr, Lori Bowden, and Luke Bell) and what they go through to get where they are. Watched that the other night with Don (he bought it). While I had either heard of all four or knew something about them, I realized I really didn't know much about them. I love triathlon, but my life is so far removed from any of the pros that I don't keep up with who is doing what or when. And the IM races I've been at have been so busy watching my athletes, I don't even think of the pros and rarely find out who wins until days later.
All in all, a pretty good watch. It did help personalize each of them for me. It showed me that they are living, breathing, real people who just happen to be really talented in the triathlon world, but they still have their struggles to stay on top of their game all the time.
But then, don't we all? Not that we make our living from the sport, but don't we all work hard at doing what it takes to try to get better at the sport, or to master one aspect that is dragging us down (or all three??).
For me, even after the accident, getting back on top of my game has been foremost in my mind. While it may seem as if my progress is small, it is all with a purpose of overcoming any long-lasting effects and hopefully coming out on the better side of all this, despite the setback.
And my game, if you can call it that, was just starting over again this year. Sometimes I worry that something in my psyche is holding me back. Something every year prevents me from going forward. Its generally the mind that controls, right? so I have to figure that out, and I really think I was on the brink when the accident happened.
But enough of self-analyzing. I do that all the time, and sooner or later the answers will present themselves.
I did read an interesting article in Runner's World that got me moving in a somewhat new direction. (As usual, I don't have it in front of me to name the article or author.) It was about cross-training as a way to increase fitness.
That's a subject we all know something about. But the difference this time was that it broke down the amont of time and effort needed to get results. It seemed to be just what I needed to figure out my rehab.
The article states that intense cross-training of up to an hour at a time at a 70% max effort will increase your fitness level and can enhance your running miles. Cross-training mentioned was elliptical and stationary biking. Seventy percent heart rate should make you sweat.
So I figured out my 70% maximum heart rate (220-age) and went from there. I don't have a working heart rate monitor right now but went by the old-fashioned way of checking after 10 min.
I still thought I needed to work up to an hour so decided on starting at 45 min. 45 min. on a spin bike, going by effort. It seems like whenever I'm on a trainer or the treadmill or any machine, I bargain with myself constantly as to how much time I will stay on the thing until I get my mind in a zone and just keep at it. The most I've been on the spin bikes lately has been 20 minutes, so once I struggled past the 30 min. barrier, it seemed only right to keep going. I was sweating and my heart rate was high enough, probably too high, according to the charts.
Sunday I did the same on the elliptical, 45 min., but the hear rate showed on that. I never could hold to 70% (117), but did hover mainly at 125-135. I tried slowing down but only managed to then hover at 125-127, so I settled for that. I know heart rate training is supposed to be the best way to train--going slower allows you to go longer and eventually faster. I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles to keep the heart rate where it is supposed to be all the time.
I expcted to be exhausted after these workouts, but the opposite was true. I felt really good. I didn't want to do any more than 45 min., but it is a start. I hope to then work on running 3 days a week, swim 2 days, and do the longer bike/elliptical workouts on the weekend and see where I'm at in 2 months.
Congrats also to all the IMFL finishers and participants. Watching an IM and being at them is a life altering experiences. Its like the Superbowl of triathlon. The difference from other pro sports though is that it is something most anyone can do if they put their minds to it and believe in their abilities (and train their butts off!). Its something you can participate in, not just sit on the sidelines and watch. I feel very lucky to have found this sport.
And the NYC marathon this weekend too! Lance did better than I expected, not that I didn't think he should have been able, I just didn't know how much he had trained. Too bad he won't consider an IM. He says, "no way!" And a local kid was 12th overall, so he's now made his marathon debut (he was in the 2004 Olympic 10k too). And to think, I was his relay partner in an inside tri about 12 years ago!
Looking ahead to this week....