Feb 26, 2009

Racquetball is definitely a workout

I spent a little over an hour this morning playing racquetball with my uncle and at the end I could tell that I was working for sure! It's basically aerobic threshold work as you are constantly jumping in and out of an anaerobic state sprinting after returns. I forgot to wear my heart rate monitor this morning, but I'm curious to see how things would register over the whole workout. It's definitely more fun than a session at the track although clearly the track work is more specific training for triathlon. The good news is that I'm still far enough away from my first race that the workout will have some benefits for me.

We're signed up for next Thursday again, I'll report back then how my heart rate was affected.


Feb 23, 2009

In for Tinman

It's official, I've signed up for the Tinman race in June!

Hope I can remember how to swim, bike and run!


Feb 21, 2009


Worked at my new project house with my father, does demolition work count as aerobic exercise??  We did have to hump some old cast iron radiators down the stairs, I think those are leg presses at least!  The project is starting to come along pretty well, we have most of the upstairs gutted at this point and ready to start framing out the new partitions.  It's going to be pretty nice upstairs with some nice bedrooms with big closets and a really nice big bathroom.


Feb 20, 2009


Ouch, four days of spinning this week and all with Deb the instructor from Hades! She was subbing for the other teachers this week, I assume because of the school vacation week. You know that you are going to be working hard when Deb shows up because she yells at you the whole time, even by name if she has to :) She actually got off the bike on Thursday and walked around to give us grief. She stopped by my bike and accused me of not even breathing hard, pretty funny actually.

It's actually been a real good week, both exercise and diet have aligned enough that I can feel and see a difference after only 5 days. I guess I'm back to working on consistency, another couple weeks in a row like this and I'm sure I'll see a big difference in my riding again. Next week I'm going to try running after spin class on at least two days so that I can ease back into Triathlon mode.


Feb 17, 2009

Volleyball Week 1

It's Volleyball season again!!
Starting off a new season with a new team and a lot of hope that it will be better than last session. To make it even better, I got to play my uncle's team right out of the gate. We had one new guy that no one knew, which always makes you a bit apprehensive, but it turned out that he was pretty decent.

We started off okay, they were short-handed, but it still took a bit for us to get coordinated. The first week it's always a bit of a challenge to get a feel for each others' playing style and how best to work together. I was a bit out of sync but managed to get going a bit as we won the first game. The second game, they had all their players and we lost a bunch of points when we had trouble returning serves and ultimately lost the game. Finally in the third game, we played very well, including my kill through my uncle's attempted block :)

So, we're off to a 2-1 start, or 1/2 the number of wins we had the entire last session!


Feb 16, 2009

Triathlon Buyer's Guide

I've been promising to do this for a while as a couple friends have asked me about what they need to do a triathlon. So here's your official, yet completely unscientific, essential triathlon buyer's guide!

Shorts - First thing you need is to get dressed of course! There are a lot of different tri shorts and bike shorts and other combinations out there, but the best ones for me are from Titan Wear. They have a small chamois for a little padding, but most important it doesn't get in your way for swimming and running. They are also cheaper than most! Get the ones with the gripper legs so that they stay in place.


Tri tops - These come in many different shapes and sizes, so get what you want while considering two things. Friction is not your friend! Tight fitting is more aero. While bike jersey are tight and aero, they generally have short sleeves and are painful to run in. Swinging your arms back and forth across a seam on the sleeve leads to serious issues during your run leg.

Swim Leg

Goggles - Get some that don't leak and are comfortable, as long as they work for you.

Wetsuit - Wetsuits help in two ways, they keep you warm, and more importantly they help you swim faster by keeping your legs up higher in the water. Worth the cost in my opinion! For inexpensive budgets, Promotion wetsuits work, I've had one of these for a while. http://www.wetsuit.com/ Make sure you measure carefully and get one that fits. I've also had good luck with xterra suits, they are a bit pricier than promotion, but feel a little more flexible when you're swimming. http://www.xterrawetsuits.com/ (They have coupons a lot, so search the web before you purchase)

Bike Leg

Bike - You need one :) For most Olympic or shorter distance races in New England you don't really need a tri-specific race since there are usually a lot of hills. The geometry of a road bike will help you a lot when climbing and counteract the aero benefits of a tri bike on the flat sections for the most part.

Helmet - You need one of these too! I haven't used an aero helmet since I'm not really fast enough for it to make a huge difference (They help more at higher speeds).

Shoes / Socks - I use my typical bike shoes and socks for longer distance races, anything over a sprint. Most road shoes use Velcro which is easy enough, and I try to roll my socks off my feet and leave them ready to put on easily. Sprint distance, it's probably worth trying to skip socks for both the bike and run, PRACTICE this first though.

Race Belt - I use a race belt since it makes it a lot quicker to put your number on and switch it around. I actually have an extra or two, first person to ask gets one :)

Lots of extra training tools stuff for the bike of course, I use a combination of a heart rate monitor plus the GPS on my phone and a standard bike computer. I'd love to get a power meter sometime, but it's still a bit too pricey at this point.

I try to get in most of my nutrition needs during the bike, since I digest much better than when I'm running. Again, Olympic or longer needs a pretty specific plan and some solid food. Gels, and powerbar type options work pretty well, I tape them to my top tube which lets me rip them off and open in one step.

Run Leg
Running Shoes - Doesn't really matter which brand, whatever works best for you. Get some Yankz though to help you put them on quickly. http://www.yankz.com/ If you're real cool you could try some triathlon specific running shoes. http://www.zootsports.com/race/

Other Stuff
Sunglasses - Almost a must for on the bike, I usually wear them on the run too.
Bodyglide - Apply some of this before racing, helps reduce friction to get the wetsuit off quickly plus eliminates chafing. I usually put in on my ankles and neck. http://www.bodyglide.com/#/products/anti-chafe

I'll update if I think of more stuff, but that's it for now... questions or comments welcomed.


Feb 12, 2009

LP Volunteer

I got an email about my volunteer station at Lake Placid, and it looks like my uncle, brother and sister-in-law are all at the same one.  Even more interesting, it is the Bike Aid station #1 which is about a 1/2 mile from my brother's new place!  At least it won't be hard getting back and forth...  

I'm really looking forward to being up there for the race again, it's such a fun and crazy atmosphere!  

Sign up for Ironman Lake Placid 2010 the day after anyone??


Feb 9, 2009

Starting again??

I'm back in that mood again... I took a week or so off from the gym with the intermission of Volleyball league, but I was happy to be back again. I always feel better leaving the gym then I did entering it, although that's sometimes difficult to keep in mind at 4:30 AM!

I need to make up my mind about Mooseman vs Tinman... what do you think guys??


Feb 4, 2009

School's Closed!

Is it just me or does it seem like they are closing / delaying / cancelling school for the least bit of bad weather? Don't we live in New England??


Feb 3, 2009

Short trip to Lake Placid NY

As I've previously mentioned, my brother Matt has moved up to Lake Placid in upstate New York, and I took a quick trip up there this weekend. He's moving to a more long-term location instead of the temporary spot they are now. BTW, his house is still available if anyone is looking for a real nice home in Vernon, CT!!
I helped him pack up on Saturday, along with my Uncle Eric and we headed up Sunday for the roughly 4 1/2 hour trip. The drive is gorgeous after you pass Albany, lots of mountains and sweeping views.
His new apartment is really more of a cottage and is just outside the town of Lake Placid with outstanding views of the surrounding area. I took some pictures with my blackberry, and they don't really do it justice. The first one is out the back window, and it's a bit overcast but on a clear day you can see Mt Marcy and other High Peaks in the Adirondack Park.
The Second picture is out the front door and features the Olympic ski jumps in Lake Placid. This view is a rather iconic one, and one that I remember well from my Ironman race both on the run and the bike!
After spending a few hours unloading the truck and trailer we went to his current apparent to park the vehicles, and then to the brewery to watch the first half of the Super Bowl. The food and especially the beer was outstanding! http://www.ubuale.com/ I'm hoping my brother will hook me up with some of the ubu ale sometime!

Got up early and headed home Monday morning and got home at 10 AM for work... really not bad, I could do a few ski weekends this way.
Matt?? What do you say, downhill or cross-country touring would be good!


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