Tuesday, May 31, 2011

10 Triathlon Training Schedule Time Savers

There are a ton of triathlon training schedules. Some are good, some are bad, and some are nice to look at when you need to fall asleep quickly and don't have any sleeping pills nearby.

But regardless of which triathlon training schedule you use, there are 10 crucial time-saving elements you need to be looking for, if you don't want to waste time training when you could be kissing up to your boss, wasting time on YouTube, or teaching your kids how to make offensive sounds with their armpits.

So in no particular order of importance (except that the first one is about food, which I find myself thinking about a lot as a self-admitted food junkie), here are your 10 triathlon training schedule time savers:

10. Eat Lunch Fast. Taking 5 minutes to eat your lunch will leave, in most cases, 55 extra minutes in your triathlon training schedule. So what takes a long time to eat? Salads, casseroles, dinner leftovers - and pretty much anything that requires cutlery. Choose these instead: wraps, sandwiches, smoothies and shakes. And yes, I am that guy riding my bicycle down the road as I finish up a turkey-avocado wrap that I've wrapped in aluminum foil and stuffed down my bike jersey.

9. Quality Over Quantity. Most triathletes, especially the Ironman ones, swim 140% too much, bike 200% too much and run 170% too much - mostly because there is too little hard fast training and too much long slow training. I personally use a ton of high intensity interval training workouts (HIIT), and that means I get to watch movies with my kids at night. So what's an example of HIIT? Rather than going on a 45 minute run, I'll do 10 treadmill 30-60 second sprints on the highest incline I can possibly manage, and then do my core workout between each sprint.

8. Indoor Training. It sounds a bit blah, but if you want to free up time in your triathlon training schedule, you can save many, many minutes by hopping on an indoor trainer or treadmill rather than getting dressed for weather conditions, going outside, and fighting stop signs, stop lights, traffic and Grandma's on rollerblades with their 8 grandchildren and 2 schnozzle dogs. You'll even find me sometimes skipping my swim to do an indoor workout like the one in this video:http://www.youtube.com/bengreenfieldfitness#p/a/u/1/n6kEbDzxISc

7. Commute. Ride your bike to work. Put your clothes in a backpack, and pack babywipes or Actionwipes to wipe yourself down. If you're like me, you can even go so far as to wash your hair in the sink. If this doesn't work for your triathlon training schedule you can also: A) run to the grocery store for small items (I run hard there, and then easy back while I'm carrying stuff like bananas); B) do errands on your bike (not recommended for anything that involves your hair looking nice); or C) ride or run to social events, like parties, and then drive home with your friends or family.

6. Eat Right. If you're eating calories that don't have high nutritional value, a good part of your triathlon training schedule is going to be spent simply A) trying not to get fat and/or B) fighting against the recovery and fitness reducing effect that "empty calories" have on your body. Anything process, refined or packaged should comprise only a very small part of your diet, and everything else should come from whole, raw, real food. And yes, the local coffeeshop bakery case falls into the latter category, even the cookies with the pink frosting that say "Fat-Free". I also recommend that just about everybody take the bare minimum supplementation protocol (for reasons I discuss here:http://s3.amazonaws.com/BenGreenfieldFitness/SupplementsInterviewWithBen... ) Vitamin D, Magnesium, Fish Oil and Greens.

5. Family Training Tools. As soon as my wife and I found out we were pregnant with twins (actually she was, I just helped, which was the fun part), we equipped our garage with a double bike trailer and a double jogger. The bike trailer always has two little bike helmets and a bunch of books and toys inside (you'd be surprised at how long a Batman action figure will keep a little boy entertained on a long bike ride). My wife uses the jogger to take the kids on little nature field-trips, or to soccer, swimming, and even the gym (speaking of the gym, try to join one that has free kid care, like the YMCA, so you and your spouse can exercise together). Some triathlon training schedule advice is to do "Invisible Training", which is done early in the morning or late at night when your training is "invisible" to your family, but I encourage you, at least once a week, to set a good example and make family a part of your training.

4. Communication. You, your spouse, your family, your friends, your co-workers and your boss should be aware of your triathlon training schedule when you have a 5 hour bike ride planned for the weekend, or you decide to disappear to the gym for an extra hour on Wednesday morning. We keep a big calendar by our front door where we write down workouts, family events, races, and sometimes the ever-present reminder for me to "mow the lawn already". If you and your spouse are geeks, you could certainly use something Google calendar or the "Remember The Milk" phone app - but we go old-school paper calendar at the Greenfield house. I'm also very open to friends and co-workers when I can't hang out. Don't be embarrassed to wear your triathlon training schedule on your sleeve - most people will respect you for being committed to fitness.

3. Friday Night Fuddy-Duddy. Speaking of friends, I don't recommend you engage in heavy drinking or late night social activities on Friday night - primarily because Saturday is such valuable time for getting in your triathlon training scheduled workouts. Save the tom-foolery for Saturday nights or Sunday afternoons, when you've gotten your high quality training out of the way. My wife and I will often stay in on Friday night, grab a movie (the last good one was "Due Date", but I digress), have a date night, hit the sack by 10pm, and be fresh and ready to get started into workouts or training on Saturday.

2. Cross-Train. Lately, many of my social relationships are now formed from playing tennis with a group of guys. For me, that's my social outlet that keeps me from being an isolated triathlon geek who has lost the skill to communicate with the general population and mostly just stares off into space and utters phrases like "Oily Cassette Blurby Blah-Blah". You're not "wasting time" when you cross-train in your triathlon training schedule - instead, there is often a very good training effect upon your triathlon fitness. While the social sports of golf, softball and baseball may not be the best cardiovascular cross-training activities, look into group activities like soccer, basketball, tennis, or if you are an international reader, cricket (I know nothing about cricket, but I threw that in there to make this a globally relevant article and to appease any Eastern hemisphere

1. Non-Triathlon Post-Race Festivities. If you've got a family, the last thing you want is your family to regret you taking them to the big race in your triathlon training schedule. By all means, do not arrive at your race 5-7 days before the race with your family for a "vacation", spend the entire vacation fretting about racing and tweaking your bicycle, and then fly home the night of the race or the morning after. Instead, go to the race later in the week, like 3 or 4 days early (you're not a professional athlete, for crying out loud, so why skip out on life just to acclimate?) and then stay 2-3 days after the race to engage in non-triathlon post-race festivities with your family, like theme parks, scenic attractions, wine tasting, or if you'll really up for an adventure, wine tasting at theme parks. I take no responsibility for injuries incurred during that last activity.

If you're trying to prepare for a triathlon without neglecting your friends, family or career, then these time-saving tips should be good additions to your triathlon training schedule. If you want more advice just like this, then you'll want to visit http://www.triathlondominator.com, where I've got more techniques for Half-Ironman and Ironman triathletes to get maximum results with minimum training time. See you there!


BEST SITE EVER, what to find a race, TriFind.com. Every state, every months, if there is a race they should have it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dark and Dense, Perfect Ice Cream!

Looking for a break, indulge after a great race, treat yourself to this recipe.

Dark, dense, and oh-so-delicious: Chocolate Decadence - From King Author Flour (best).

Chocolate Decadence is an overworked recipe name; it seems every restaurant dessert featuring even a hint of chocolate has been given the over-the-top "decadence" label. But this ultra-smooth, dense ice cream truly is decadent, meeting at least one of the word's definitions: "downfall." If you're dieting — this ice cream will surely be your downfall!

  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Instant ClearJel or cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla; or 1 tablespoon espresso powder; or 1 teaspoon cinnamon, all optional
  • 2 cups (1 pint) whole milk
  • 1 cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur (e.g., Kahlua) or the liqueur of your choice, optional


1) In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, ClearJel or cornstarch, and salt.

2) Slowly whisk in the water, then the flavor of your choice and the milk or cream.

3) Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently as the mixture warms, then almost constantly as it becomes hot; you don't want the mixture to stick to the bottom of the pan.

4) Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, whisking until chocolate melts.

5) Pour into a bowl, and stir occasionally as it cools, to prevent a skin from forming.

6) Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the chocolate, again to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until it's well chilled; overnight is good. Make sure the canister for your ice cream maker is in the freezer, too; it needs to be as cold as it can be.

7) Next day, pour the chocolate into the ice cream maker, and freeze for 20 to 25 minutes, until it's quite stiff.

8) Scoop the ice cream into a bowl. For best texture, stir in 1/4 cup coffee liqueur (e.g., Kahlua), or the liqueur of your choice. This will keep the ice cream soft and scoopable indefinitely in the freezer.

9) Serve the ice cream immediately, if desired; it will be very soft. For harder ice cream, store in the freezer. Ice cream without liqueur will become nicely hard in 3 hours. With the addition of liqueur, it will take 6 hours or more to become quite solid. Ice cream without liqueur will become unpleasantly hard within 5 hours or so; to soften, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so before serving.

Yield: 3 3/4 cups, a scant 1 quart.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trail Running

From Triathlon Competitor

Trail Running Tips for Triathletes

Updated: May 26th 2011 2:20 PM UTC by Jennifer Purdie

The sun is shining. The weather is heating up. The thought of running on a “dreadmill” sounds…dreadful. This is the time of year when athletes take to the trails to mix up their workouts and enjoy Mother Nature.

We asked Dr. Victor Runco of the San Diego Running Institute to provide tips to triathletes looking to add trail running to their workout repertoire.

Trailrun 300x199 Trail Running Tips for TriathletesTrail Running Shoes—Are they necessary?

It depends on the trail. Trails are specific—trails with lots of sharp rocks may require a trail shoe with a forefoot rockplate like the Saucony Peregrine. Soft dirt fire roads may not require trail shoes at all or a hybrid shoe like the Mizuno Ascend will work well. Trails that are very wet and muddy can be run better with trail shoes that have superior grip and sticky rubber bottoms for better traction and grip. Trail shoes like the innov-8 talon work awesome for that.

Trail Running Complements Road Running

Trail running will make your legs stronger due to the fact that most trails (at least in Calif.) require running hills. Many trails are in the mountains so running at altitude can make you more efficient as well. Trail running also causes a runner to modify their running form thus changing the impact zones. This is different from road running and in a way is “cross-training” from traditional road running.

Interval Training on Trails

You can do interval training on trails with flatter trails being better suited for that purpose. If you are doing Xterra races, you need to train on the type of surface you are going to race on. If you are going to do a hilly course at altitude—interval training and hill work on hilly trails at altitude is a great option, although your speed will suffer. Speed work should be looked at as its own training tool and can be done in addition to hill and trail training.

Nutritional Needs Differ

If you are going to be running over one hour, it is important to bring hydration. Trail running is more strenuous than road running and in the southwestern U.S., trails can offer little cover from the sun. Couple that with any altitude and dehydration can set in quickly. Hand bottle carriers and backpacks are the favorites of most trail and ultra runners. Backpacks by Ultimate Direction and Nathan are the most popular allowing the runner to carry two liters of fluid for longer runs with many storage pockets for gels and food. Hand bottles from Nathan and Amphipod are great for shorter runs and carry up to 16-24 ounces with a storage pocket for keys and a gel packet. The recommendations by the gel companies are actually pretty accurate to replace blood sugar. You can try a gel every 30-45 minutes.

Strength Training for Trail Running

Strength training comes in many varieties and strength has many definitions. Most triathletes want endurance strength not absolute strength like a power lifter. There are many ways to achieve this like traditional weight training, cross-fit, Pilates, yoga, etc. None of these replace running though.

In addition to being a doctor I am a CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist). My personal preference for getting my muscles stronger and conditioned is coupling my running with weight lifting focusing on higher repetitions.

Dr. Victor Runco is a chiropractor, certified strength and conditioning specialist and the clinical director for the San Diego Running Institute. He has run marathons in 12 states, and has run six 50-mile ultramarathons and one 100-mile ultramarathon. He recently completed his fifth Pacific Crest trail 50-mile endurance run. He has been treating and fixing endurance athletes in San Diego for 12 years specializing in fixing running injuries quickly without drugs or surgery.

Please visit the San Diego Running Institute at www.sdri.net or the San Diego Dirt Devil Trail Series atwww.dirtdevilracing.com. For more info on running injuries, home remedies or treatment go towww.sandiegorunninginjuries.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nike+ Sports Watch GPS

GPS this and GPS that, iPhone, Garmin, Polar, Timex, kind of get confusing. What to get? Which one works the best? How will it preform under conditions? Well this won't tell you that what this will tell you is that this is a pleasant addition to the mix.

The Nike+ SportWatch GPS powered by TomTom®: Never Run Alone Again

Think Less, Run Better
Put on your Nike+ SportWatch GPS, go outside and run. The Nike+ Sensor is optional. Tap the screen to mark laps and activate the backlight during your run, and personalize the data that you want to see during your run. For direct connect, USB contacts are built into the watch strap—just plug the watch directly into a USB port on your computer to upload run data and recharge the battery.

Enhanced Accuracy
Using GPS by TomTom with the Nike+ Sensor, you can start tracking your run instantly, and get accurate speed and distance information, indoors or out—even if the GPS signal gets interrupted. The Nike+ SportWatch GPS by TomTom tracks your time, distance, pace, heart rate and calories burned. It also shows your mapped route, with pace data, and changes in elevation on Nikeplus.com. And it's heart-rate monitor compatible with the Polar Wearlink+ Transmitter.

You'll Never Slack Again
View your Nike+ history (up to 50 runs) and PRs, and set automatic Run Reminders when a run hasn't been logged in the past five days. Run a personal best, receive an Attaboy. You can also find new routes, set personal goals and access training programs on Nikeplus.com.

Get Hooked Up With Nikeplus.com
Join challenges and connect with friends as a member of Nikeplus.com, the world's largest running club. View routes that your friends have run or shared, find the most popular areas to run and share your run activity on Facebook or Twitter.

Additional Details
English interface only
Weight: 2.33 ounces
Nike+ Sensor, quick-start guide and USB cable (for hard-to-access USB ports) included
One-year limited warranty