Working It Out & Paying Attention

I think I might start looking more closely at my workouts. I tend to get a bit frustrated with progress, but that is really because I only look at time and distance, when really I need to consider other factors. This includes heart rate for running and cycling and the strokes I’m doing at swimming. Also in the gym what weight I am lifting or how long I’m holding planks for – all those little details that are easy to overlook.

So in order to make this a habit I am going to start reviewing my weekly works over the next month or so. My aim is consistency in my training to build a good base, so I’m not aiming for more distance or great speed, but rather getting fitter overall.

My current weekly plan is focused on getting to my club sessions:

Monday Running Club Hill or speed session 30-45 Heart Rate

Distance

Time

Easy Swim Kick session 20-30 Distance

Time

Tuesday Swimming Club Mixed session 90 Distance

Time

Stroke Proportion

Wednesday Running Club Long run session 45-60 Heart Rate

Distance

Time

Thursday

Rest Day

Friday Gym Strength 20-30 Weight
Easy Swim Kick session 20-30 Distance

Time

Saturday Swimming Club Mixed session 60 Distance

Time

Stroke Proportion

Gym Strength 20-30 Weight
Sunday Swimming Club Mixed Session 60 Distance

Time

Stroke Proportion

Bike Time 60-120 Heart Rate

Distance

Time

(Power?)

Total 7 – 10 Sessions a week

(425 – 555 minutes a week)

7-9 hours a week Measurements to take

 

I’m getting short gym session back in by fitting them into times before I coach so that I only have to go to the sports centre once, rather than multiple times. My only concern is that I am only getting one bike ride in a week. I may change this, but it is fitting in over the winter months when it is lot darker, therefore the weekends are the only times. My Easy Swim sessions are with friends for their benefit, rather than mine, so I am using them as kick session and stretch sessions, rather than full on training.

This is an ideal week. There will be many week, especially leading up to Christmas, where doing all these session will not be possible. So my goal is to do a minimum of 5 hours a week every week. I would like do a mix of activities in those minimum hours, but will have a flexible approach over the next 3 months (November, December, January), with the change point being February, where I will up my hours per week in build up for the official bulk of 70.3 training starting in April/June.

Starting next week I will review my weekly workouts and share on here :)

(Apologies for the weird looking table – copying and pasting didn’t work as planned!)

A New Focus

My life is changing focus yet again.

I will be signing up to a 70.3 triathlon for August 2015!

My running club has a triathlon section and we are doing it as a club. Originally I was going to do it as a relay and only do the swim, but my training buddy wants to do the whole thing and we agreed to train together for a possible 140.6 in 2016.

So this winter is all about building my base up on my running and cycling, and keeping my performance up in my swimming. I also want to get back in the gym for strength training. As well as really focusing on my diet and understanding what I require to fuel this type of event.

It’s not going to be easy, but I want to push myself.

I am going skiing for my 30th in January, which will be my first holiday for almost 2 years and that will pretty much be it for next year as well.  So I have plenty of time to commit to this.

I feel good about this going forward. I have something to focus on over winter and something that will help me stick to the changes I want to make to my life – specifically nutrition based changes. Having a training buddy is going to help. Even if we don’t train together all the time, knowing we are both committed to the same thing will be a really big help and motivator.

I am also focusing on my swim teaching as my swimming club will fund the first two levels of courses as I am helping out with the kids section. I want to then use this to help the tri section better next year.  I am really enjoying coaching, but feel I lack the technical knowledge about the strokes to help beyond the basics, however the club are really good at being there and providing support and advice.

So my winter plan is just to commit to my club sessions and make sure I get out on the bike at weekends. I have a turbo trainer now just in case the weather makes it impossible to go outside.  This adds up to about 7 hours a week. I’ll need to up that in the new year, but I do not want to up it too soon and burn out. So I will be talking with my swimming club’s head coach about the plan 16/12 weeks out from the race.

So my adventures will be more about exploring locally. I will show you lots of the sights I find on my runs and bike rides. I also share the things I plan to research and learn about over the winter months.  I hope you enjoy the new direction. There will still be adventures in books, coffee, and tea, but I imagine scaled back a bit.

On to the next adventure!

Tea Tasting

After researching coffee tasting I also decided to look at tea tasting and see if I could improve my writing on this subject as well.

Again thanks to the Moleskine, I found their tea journal that has a great, basic explanation of what to look for when drinking tea.

The professionals evaluate four key aspects:

  • the appearance and feel of the dry leaves
  • the colour and body of the liquor (the liquid produced by steeping the leaves)
  • the aromas
  • the flavours

This is quite similar to coffee in some ways, but I think there will be more variation in the flavours and aromas due to the types of tea I like to try.

There was also a section on tasting method:

  • After draining the leaves, give the liquor a minute to cool off.
  • Put your nose close to the tea and inhale deeply to take in the aromas. Breathe out.
  • Take a sip, flushing the tea all over your palate.
  • Assess the weight or body of the tea in your mouth.
  • Continue to hold the tea in your mouth and breathe in through your nose to catch the flavours.
  • Swallow the tea. Breathe out.
  • Discern the aromas at the back of your nasal passages
  • How long do the flavours last after you’ve swallowed (the “finish”)?

I’m going to try to use this going forward with my tea subscription!

Adventures in Tea… Bluebird Tea MonthThree

Cherry Bakewell – white tea cherry and almond flavour

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I really liked this tea. I’m hit and miss with almond flavour things. For example I love marzipan, but I don’t like almonds! This was a light and fresh tea, but also had a depth to the flavour. I think of bakewell tarts as quite heavy, so the combination of flavours reminded me of that even though the actual tea was light. An intriguing one to try.

Mango Tulsi – Indian Ayurveda herb, holy basil and mango

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This was an interesting tea. It was super fruity and to be honest I wasn’t sure when to drink it.  So I took to Wikipedia to find out about Holy basil:

“Tulasi is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil. It is widely known across the Indian Subcontinent as a medicinal plant and an herbal tea, commonly used in Ayurveda, and has an important role within the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism, in which devotees perform worship involving holy basil plants or leaves.”

“Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen,] balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress.[16] Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of “elixir of life” and believed to promote longevity.”

Once I had learnt a little about it I found I was more interested in the tea and would a look to try others in the Ayurveda range.

Pear Drops – pear, lapacho and liquorice

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I wanted to like this so much, but I am just not a fan of liquorice or aniseed flavour. I love pear drops as boiled sweets, but this did not transfer into the tea. Worth a try, but not one I will be getting again.

 

 

Coffee Tasting

I’ve been doing some research on coffee tasting (and tea, but I’ll keep that for a separate post) as I don’t feel my reviews are up to the standard I want. I also want to be able to remember what I like about each coffee so if I want to I can order it again. I’ve found with the subscription I forget which ones I like and to be honest which ones have been sent to me.

Details about the coffee – where it was grown and who by, as well as the processing and roasting method

Smell – smell the coffee before tasting as you pick up more

Slurp – slurp the coffee around the mouth to get the palate covers and should enable the more subtle flavours to come out

Aroma –  the way the coffee smells, such as earthy, spicy, nutty

Acidity – refers to the tangy sensation that you feel on the tongue and sides of the mouth. Coffees with high acidity tend to be described as bright and crisp, while low acidity coffees are described as smooth.

Body – this is the weight or thickness of the coffee on your tongue.

Flavour – this is how the coffee tastes and is detected in different parts of the mouth

Based on my research I am going to start incorporating these aspects into my coffee tasting adventures. I have taken this from the Moleskine coffee notebook and have downloaded the templates from their website to stick into my notebook.

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