Determination trumps motivation – But Coffee Helps

This past week of training has been really tough. My energy levels feel low and as a result I’m not feeling very motivated… It’s been quite the contrast over the past 2 weeks actually. Two weeks ago I was feeling strong, excited and I felt like my half ironman training was really coming along. This week the weather has cooled off and with it, so has my motivation.

Determination

Now this is going to sound silly… but I honestly think that getting through the past few early morning training sessions comes down to two things 1) determination and 2) Nespresso (mainly Nespresso).

My morning ritual: 5:15, the alarm goes off. 5:16, Zombie walk to the Nespresso machine. 5:17, the Nespresso machine is on. 5:18, two Lungo’s made and brought back to bed (one mine, one Dan’s). 5:19, debate going back to sleep. 5:25, we finish our drinks, we get up and go.

I recommend Nespresso for anyone who drinks coffee and has early morning commitments. It’s quick, it’s good coffee and give your sleepy eyes less than 10 minutes, you’ll be up and ready to take on the day. The worst part is getting up to grab your cup… in extreme circumstances I’ve debated putting our Nespesso machine at the bedside table even!

As you can see… I’m pretty dependent on coffee; so lets talk about the benefits coffee when training.

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Toronto Triathlon Festival

Toronto Triathlon FestivalThe Toronto Triathlon Festival is a qualifier for Age Group World Championships. To qualify you need to finish top 3 of your age group (mine being F25-29). Even though I knew I’d be punching above my weight trying to qualify, I really wanted to give it an honest effort.

I raced the Hyde Park Sprint Triathlon three weeks prior to the Toronto Triathlon to benchmark my progress, and didn’t get a huge amount of confidence… I finished the race in 1:27 – 2 minutes slower than my first triathlon at Crystal Palace, 10 minutes slower than I was hoping for and I managed to come off my bike at one point.

When I looked at last year’s Toronto Triathlon finish times… the top three times were 1:11, 1:14 and 1:17. My aim became a) finishing in sub 1:17 and b) praying that faster athletes don’t show up to the race – if that happened, I might just qualify!

Well I certainly gave the race a good honest effort. I finished in 1:16, which was my exact target but I ended up 5th in my age group… this year the top three times were 1:09, 1:10. 1:10. I had no chance! Motivation to train train train train – need to get my swim and bike times a few minutes quicker.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Wetsuit Shopping

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Now that the swim session my coach runs every Tuesday has moved to an outdoor lido, I have no other choice but to purchase a wetsuit for training and racing in. I knew I’d have to buy one eventually but I kept putting it off because it was all a bit overwhelming…

I borrowed a wetsuit in meantime and quickly came to realise that a well fit wetsuit in the swim lag of a triathlon is like the bike you need for cycling – it’s a necessity of the sport, not a ‘nice to have’.

In an effort to feel prepared for my upcoming race, I started searching online; checking out deals on Wiggle, Chain Reaction and Planet X.

I found it really difficult shopping for a wetsuit… I didn’t know how it should fit, what the difference of a £100.00 wetsuit vs a £400.00 wetsuit was, and I wasn’t familiar with all the swim jargon.

Here is what I learned about choosing a wetsuit that is right for you… from one beginner to another!

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Today I raced my first open water swim event.

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I signed up for the 1500m race, borrowed a wetsuit and made my way to Dorney Lake for the race.

I found out about the Eton Open Water Swim after speaking to a few members of Tri London at the Crystal Palace Triathlon a few weekends back. It seemed like the perfect segue from pool swimming to open water swimming – without having to worry about transitioning, cycling and running after.

I thought I had prepared myself quite well earlier this week by going for a swim in an open air Lido to test out the wetsuit and get familiar with the cold water… well it definitely didn’t hurt but I was still completely and utterly shocked 100m into the race today.

Shocked by… the cold. the compression. the commotion. and the conditions.

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My First Triathlon [Sprint Distance]

She can swim!
She can bike!
She can run!

First triathlon – check! By the time I crossed the finish line of the Crystal Palace Sprint Triathlon I felt a little underwhelmed… ‘that’s it!?’ 

Dan’s been racing in triathlons for over three years now and I had actively avoided it until this year. I’m not saying Triathlon is easy (by any means) but it is certainly not scary like I expected it to be.

Overall I finished the race in 1hr and 25minutes and placed 8th in my age group! Really pleased with that!!

Here’s a short synopsis of my experience leading up to and during the race… I definitely had some awkward and challenging times…

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New to triathlon? Try a pool-based race first

2013 Crystal Palace Sprint Triathlon Traditionally, triathlons involve an open water swim… so for a non-swimmer like me, an open water course is REALLY intimidating. It’s one of the main reasons why I didn’t try triathlon sooner.

My first triathlon is this weekend and I am so thankful that it is a pool-based swim. I’m finally feeling confident with swimming, but swimming in open water seems like it’d be a totally different ball game.

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What have I just done? Officially registered for a Half Ironman

Signing up for races

I’ve taken three days off of training because of this chest cough I’ve got. Today is day 3 and lets just say, I’m getting a little restless. The weather has been absolutely stunning and it is killing me being stuck indoors, so I figured I better put this downtime to good use…

Since I decided my major goal this year would be to complete a middle distance triathlon (2km swim, 90km bike and a 21km run), I have had my eye on a specific race that interests me. I’ve never done triathlon before so it’s taken me a while to muster up enough courage to even think about actually signing up for a middle distance race. I guess this whole restless thing was my tipping point!

Any second thoughts? YUP – many!

But… here we go…I’ve signed up for it!! OMG, WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

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Take the risk… Try something new

LiveLoosley

I have made some pretty bold and scary goals for myself this year. One being starting a healthy living blog and the second being training for Triathlon. At such a high-level, both are extrememly intimidating and overwhelming.

A willingness to take risks is ingrained in my approach to life… but it doesn’t make the action of taking risks any less scary!

I am shifting from simply living a healthy lifestyle to documenting it in a way that is helpful and inspiring; and for Triathlon, I am shifting from just running to also swimming and cycling

Do something scary. Take a risk and try something you suck at, or something you’ve been avoiding.

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Cycling in the Winter

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I haven’t been out on my bike much this winter… mainly due to frosty roads and a busy schedule.

In the winter months, it is key to leave yourself enough time to set off late in the morning (when it warms up and the frost clears away). I clearly got too comfortable with all the warm long days the UK Summer and Autumn have to offer… as a result, I didn’t give myself enough time in the day to fit both a bike ride in the morning and something social in the afternoon.

Clear your schedule – enjoy the sleep in – and plan something social for the evenings instead!

Yesterday, Dan and I got away for a nice ride and ended up at Gail’s Artisan Bakery in St. John’s Wood. We had a lovely croissant and espresso just before heading home — a perfect start to getting back in the habit of cycling on the weekends.

Role on next weekend!

Goal Setting

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I have a lot of exciting goals this year — I honestly can’t even wait to start working towards each and every one of them. I’m listing them here to make myself accountable and to remind myself why I set these goals in the first place. When I get in the thick of things, I’ll reference this post to keep myself focused and energized.

Here they are… 

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