Monthly Training Recap: January

Hello bike trainer!

Hello bike trainer!

The first month of 2014 is already done! Whew… time does fly. January 1at marked the official beginning on my Annual Training Plan (ATP), although I really began base training in December. As I mentioned in a few of my posts, I decided to coach myself this year. I decided this for two main reasons: 1) I want to save some money, and 2) I wanted to try new training methods on myself before I “prescribe” them for my athletes. One of the biggest rules of personal training… never have a client do an exercise that you have not tried yourself.

So far things are going well. I had a decent start, but have missed some workouts due to weather and making changes to my schedule because of my teaching schedule. Let’s recap each sport:


I only swam once in January. Not a good start in this department! I get a corporate discount to my local YMCA through work and thus decided to wait to begin swimming until my membership at the Y began. My application got held up a bit in the office and thus my membership began two weeks later than I had hoped for. Yes, I could have swum at other pools but I didn’t want to pay the $3-$5 pool fee each time I went. My first swim went well though! I swam once in November since IMLP and that swim was a complete disaster. I really thought I was going to drown; it was that bad. However, I was completely fine and was hitting about 5 seconds slower than my normal 100 yard pace.


I spent A LOT of time on my bike and also a spin bike. I taught four spin classes in January and will be teaching at least 7 in February. I include these workouts in my training plan because I am participating in class on a bike. However, I do prioritize my own bike workouts outside of spin class. I generally aim for 3 rides a week, but sometimes only get 2 in depending on Junior League meeting schedules. My main triathlon goal this year is to rebuild my power on the bike and I believe that I am on the right path to do so. I was supposed to complete my first Functional Threshold Power (FTP) test this past Wednesday, but I wasn’t feeling well and thus have decided to postpone it until next week. I have been training on the bike based on HR and feel for the past two months while I regained some cardiovascular fitness and now I plan to transition to power-based training.


This winter has plain sucked for running! I’ve discussed this numerous times with my Chiropractor as she is training for the Boston Marathon in April. Since I am recovering from yet another hip issue, I decided to be smart about my run training. If the roads are icy and it’s super cold out, then I hit my bike trainer instead. I have gotten in a few quality short runs. I haven’t been cleared for running more than 5 miles at a time, so I’ve been focusing on taking it easy and just running in my endurance zone. My pace is extremely slow! Like 11-12 minute miles! Back in my peak running shape in 2012, I was running in my endurance zone at a 8:45-9:20/mile pace. Urgh! Patience my dear!


I’ve been strength training like a boss! This is the area that I have really excelled in lately, which is good for me because I miss strength training and my hip needs the strength gains. Since I began teaching at Zone 3 Fitness, I have access to all their classes, which are awesome! If you live in the Greater Portland (Maine) region then I highly recommend you check them out. There is a free Seven Day pass on their website HERE!

The Base Training phase is a perfect time to focus on one's weaknesses within the sport of triathlon.

The Base Training phase is a perfect time to focus on one’s weaknesses within the sport of triathlon.

Goals for February:

  • Swim 2-3x a week – My goal is to swim at least once or twice a week during my lunch break if my schedule allows and once or twice a week in the evenings or the weekend. If I can swim a 4th day that would be awesome. My focus is mainly to get comfortable again in the water.
  • Run at least 3x a week and build up my mileage – My main goal here is to do it injury free and thus I need to be careful with building my miles up slowly. My body has already built some leg strength again running, so I know it will come with time. I want to build a solid base here and thus must embrace the idea of slow and steady!
  • Continue with strength training – My body adapts quickly and well to strength training. I find that my body loses weight more quickly when I strength train on a regular schedule and therefore I will include it in my schedule at least twice a week with added specific hip and core focused work as well.
  • Train with power on the bike – After my FTP test I will train using my power zones on the bike to increase my FTP and my bike fitness.
Here is a butt-kicking full body workout for you!

Here is a butt-kicking full body workout for you!

 ~ Happy Training!

A Professional Bike Fit for the New Investment

Now that I’m interested in competing at the long distance triathlon level, I’ve decided to invest in a triathlon bike. Since, tri bikes are an expensive investment and require a different position than a road bike I decided to invest in a professional bike fit to ensure that I order the correct bike for myself. One of the most important things you can do when purchasing a bicycle is to get a bike fit. Having a bike fit will ensure that your position is comfortable and efficient. A professional bike fit is expensive, but it is well worth it in the long run when you hear your teammates claiming about back pain or seat pain because their bikes are not properly fitted to their bodies.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving I took a ride down I-95 to Peabody, MA to get a professional bike fit at Fit Werx 2. Fit Werx specializes in bike fitting and is one of the premier shops for fittings in the country. Fit Werx’s methods are different than most shops. Most shops require that you have a bike already. Fit Werx fits you without a bike to find your optimal position and then take that data to determine what bike company’s geometry will work with your position (but, you can also get fitted to your current bike too!). Here is what their website says about their bike fitting methods:

Anyone who tells you that you can be optimally fit with just a few measurements or by punching data into a formula based computer program is either woefully uninformed or just trying to sell you something. Building a proper position takes time and requires that the details of your individual situation be considered from a scientific perspective.

At Fit Werx our methodology is based in proven biomechanical assessment techniques that have been developed to address the specific needs of cyclists and triathletes. Physical therapists, aerodynamicists, medical doctors, exercise kineseologists, chiropractors and structural engineers are just a few of the people that are involved in the development of our fitting steps and product testing techniques. It is our goal to not only help you build your optimal riding position, but to also provide you with the insight and knowledge necessary to understand how your body functions while on the bike and how it effects the products you choose.

Check out this video:

I originally went down to the shop with a particular bike in mind that I wanted and was hoping that it would fit me. I brought my road bike down with me for the fitter to get some basic measurements from. However, a road bike position doesn’t really translate too well to a triathlon aerodynamic position. My fitter, Geoff, asked me a bunch of questions about my riding style, injuries, and training and race schedule. He then took a bunch of body measurements and checked my flexibility. Next, he set up the fitting bike to a rough estimate of where my tri position might be based off of my road bike and his calculations. I hopped on the bike and started pedaling as he fired up the fitting software. From there he would take video images of me riding the bike and run the angles through the Dartfish Analysis system. We ended up dropping my seat by quite a few centimeters to get the bottom of my pedal stroke to fall within the 145-152 degree ideal position. After my seat position was determined we played with the handlebars to find my aero position. Once my ideal position was finally determined, Geoff took all my numbers and imputed it into an excel spreadsheet where he could then take different bike manufacturer’s geometry to determine if it would fit. The bike I wanted does fit! BUT, I changed my mind and I’m getting this little gem instead:

The 2012 Scott Plasma 20