Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Glance into my Winter Training and an Event Teaser

Boy do I have lots to share about this past weekend's events.  I participated in Actif Epica, a winter endurance event held near Winnipeg, Manitoba.  I learned a lot, made some great friends and had quite the adventure.  There was snow and mud flying, a few tumbles into the snowy ditch and lots of laughter.  The event recap will be out soon!

Couldn't resist including a couple photos as teasers.
I am the back right and hubby is back left.

Hubby on the go pro, me back right and our riding partner on the left.  The 3 of us rode the entire way together.

Just heading out before sunrise, me in the colorful jacket just heading into the park and onto the lake.

Winter Training

I enjoy talking to other people about their training.  I am inquisitive by nature and always have lists of questions in my head about a ton of stuff.  It seems most things in life need experimentation as there is no one person with the exact formula for success in any given area.  So choices are good.  And it is a given that what works for one won't necessarily work the same for another.

I thought I would share a typical week during winter training along with the things that work and don't work for me.  Nov -Dec is typically base, Maffetone type training where the training plan is very loose.  More routined training begins after the New Year.
I do like a certain amount of routine but I also prioritize listening to my body above all else.  So basically, I call my plan a flexible routine.
Just for your information- the temperatures I deal with from Nov -March (or winter) are typically always below freezing with wind.  I won't run outside if it is colder than -20 C, however, I will bike or cross country ski in that temperature (or colder).

Monday- rest day, sometimes with an easy swim or easy walk

Tuesday- speed work run (am) usually about an hour, swim (pm) also an hour

Wednesday- interval bike in zone 4 or 5, 60-90 min (am), swim (pm) if I didn't swim Monday

Thursday- tempo run (am) usually 60-90 min

Friday- long swim (am) 90 min or so

Saturday- long bike ride zone 2-3 (am) sometimes on the trainer on the road bike and sometimes outside on the fat tire bike, typically between 2-4 hours in length

Sunday- long slow run 90 min- 150 min outside

* I like swimming after a run.  I use the sauna also and the combination of both seem to aid any inflammation, reduce swelling or decrease water retention that I accumulate from the run.  I don't love hot tubs.  Seems to increase soreness.

* The days I plan to go to the pool, I typically go 2X that day; once to get the laps in and the other (during my lunch break) I walk backwards and sideways against the current of the lazy river which is turned up to 80 %.  It seems to be an easy workout but I usually do 6-8 laps of backward, left side and right side which equates to almost 100 lunges for each.  This takes me 15-20 min and then I spend 15 min in the sauna.  Extra sweating seems to work really well for me to release the unwanted toxins and keep my body stronger.  I can usually do this 2-3x a week.

*I also spend a few minutes each day in the morning or before bed doing a couple additional strength exercises such as pushups, pullups, planks, stretch band exercises, single leg raises.  Basically I target the shoulders, and butt muscles.  Goal is to do this 5 x a week.

* Foam rolling, stretching and using a leg wand also happen 3-4 x a week.

* Epsom salt baths happen sporadically but generally once a week.

*I also use essential oils to aid in muscle recovery.  Wintergreen is one of my favourites.  For really sore muscles, I feel oils are most effective with more frequent use.  I use a couple drops without a carrier oil rubbed straight onto the muscle and reapplied every couple/few hours.  I may do this right after a morning run, then not until 4, then after supper then before bed.  Legs usually feel quite a bit better.

*I use amino acid powder in my water with NUUN.  I usually don't drink the entire bottle during the typical 60-90 min sessions so then I continue to drink from the bottle while getting ready for work until it is gone.  I feel like I have better strength and less muscle deterioration from long/hard workouts.

*I fuel my longer workouts with Generation UCAN as well as real food such as peanut butter sandwiches on sourdough bread, protein balls, nuts and coconut.

* One of my main goals is to keep my immune system strong.  I do this by getting more sleep when I need it, taking suppliments (grapeseed extract, zinc, magnesium and ascorbic acid) and using a vitamin powder called Phytoberry.  I also use a lot of an essential oil called Thieves for immune support.

*I have also scheduled massages every 2-3 weeks.  The goal is to aid in recovery.  These aren't enjoyable massages but those that involve some amounts of discomfort to keep my legs working better.  When my legs are really tired and I have a massage, they feel worse the next day then get a lot better.  When they are their usual, a massage hurts at the time but they feel better soon after.

Any tips on what works/doesn't for you?

Disclaimer: The above information is what is working or not working for me.  I am not promoting any product/service.

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