I'm USAT certified triathlon coach, US Masters Swimming Coach, and a RRCA certified running coach. Please contact me at laurie@vformationmultisport or visit my website: www.vformationmultisport.wordpress.com
If you have a need for speed in the pool, then this workout is for you. When I swam competitively, my favorite events included the 50 and 100 free after suffering through the 500 free at swim meets during my entire first season. Unlike my swimming buddies, I’m still learning to love distance and am getting better at it. Here’s the sprint workout, so let me know how it goes for you:
400 as swim 75/drill 25
6×50 kick–choice (with or without fins)
200 IM (Individual Medley)
300 pull 3/5/3/2
200 stroke (NO FREE)
12x25s variable sprints on :25/:30/:35 REPEAT PATTERN 3x
FAP (fast as possible)
12x50s on :50/1:00/1:10 REPEAT PATTERN 3x
DPS (distance per stroke)
200 @ Race Pace with 1 min rest
4×50 DESD on 1:00
2x100s ALL OUT! Rest 40s after each
3000 yards total
What are you waiting for? Go and swim! Comment below with your favorite strokes, places to swim, or what you love about swimming.
I planned on going for a solitary run around my favorite trail. With the recent rains, I thought it would be muddy and considered taking another route when I noticed a guy running down my street towards me. “He’s a runner,” I thought. I’ll ask him about the trail.
“Hey, how are you? Did you just come from the loop?” I said to the random running stranger in the gray sweatshirt. I talk to everybody. All. The. Time. In reality, I’m introverted, so I need a break from all the people sometimes. Still, I talk to everyone.
“Actually, I’m heading there now.” He smiled. Good thing he’s a talker too and doesn’t think I’m some weirdo waiting for strangers to go running with on the street corner.
“Well, are you going to the main road? Because there’s a way with less traffic that’s safer to get to the trail.”
“Yeah, I was heading there. I didn’t know there was a different way to get to the trail.”
“I’ll show you, especially since you live around here. You don’t want to run on that busy road; you’ll get hit by a car.”
The first thing he said was that he was a slow runner, but I reassured him that I would run his pace to the trail. After all, I’m warming up, and I can pick up the pace later on if I feel like it. I already swam and lifted, so my legs weren’t exactly fresh.
Turns out, he can keep a conversation going in addition to running faster with me than he would have alone since he’s just getting back into running. Plus, I also met one of my neighbors who’s a runner. Bonus! I know I’ll see him at one of my Meet Ups or on the trail soon. Keep running!
Are you excited? Because I’m super excited! Own Way Apparel is in the process of designing triathlon kits for V Formation Multisport that will be ready to go in the spring and just in time for triathlon season.
The store will have the following triathlon gear:
Sleeveless Tri Kits in one and two pieces
Sleeved Tri Kits in one and two pieces
Here’s a sneak peak of the one-piece sleeved tri kit:
If you’re interested, I already have hats and t-shirts ready to go! Soon, there will be visors added to the mix too. Here’s what they look like:
Comment below or send me a PM if you’re interested in any gear before the store goes live!
It’s 4:30am, and my alarm is going off for the third time. I set it for three different times in case I accidentally turn one of the alarms off. 4:03am. 4:20am (because it’s funny for this former high school teacher who’s students got a kick out of this particular number and begged to write the date on the board). 4:27am. I choose weird times so my brain doesn’t know when to expect the early wake up.
It doesn’t matter. I’m up at 3:50am.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love to stay up way past midnight and get up no earlier than 8:00am. That’s all changed with trying to fit in triathlon training around family and work schedules. Getting up early ensures that I get at least one of my two to three workouts for the day completed.
So, how do I motivate myself? Lots of ways! Please add some comments below and tell me how you motivate yourself to workout early in the morning, after work, or even late at night:
I lie to myself. “It’s not that early.”
New gear helps: “I get to wear my new swimsuit today!” Woohoo! Or, “I get to test out my new shoes, watch, tights, shirt, hat…”
I joined US Masters Swimming, so my coach and teammates will wonder where I am if I miss a practice.
I organize a 5am Meet Up run, so I know my running buddy is waiting for me on the corner at 4:45am in order to run up to the meet up location. No kidding. I used to think 6am was early.
I get to show off my race gear. Yeah, I like to silently brag while wearing my Ironman Maryland cap.
Strava will show that I didn’t train today.
My friends on Garmin will rack up more miles than I did.
I can go to Starbucks later and get a mocha and not feel that bad about it.
I have a race or event to train for, and if I don’t workout, I won’t be ready.
I can watch the sun rise while I run.
I can run or bike through a new neighborhood or check out a new trail.
I overcome my fears and know that anything is possible, especially in the open water.
I meet the best people through triathlon and running.
I can post another swim, bike, or run post on Facebook because that’s what I do all the time besides writing, reading, gardening, doing crafts, drinking decaf coffee, eating chocolate, or driving the kiddo to gymnastics.
I am going to realize my dream of kicking butt into my 90s. Keep moving!
Darkness arrives unannounced just as I begin to make dinner. I didn’t ask darkness to come over or darkness’ friend, freezing cold weather, but they sat down at the table anyway so I set extra places because what could I do? Shortly after dinner I fall asleep on the sofa under a blanket because it seems like it’s been midnight since six o’clock this evening even though I know it’s not, yet I don’t want to go to bed before 7pm or do the strength workout I had planned. And, on top of all of this, my 5am morning swim seems to have happened yesterday because it seems so long ago.
All motivation disappears after dinner under that blanket. I want to eat mac and cheese and chocolate chip cookies all day with a mocha to drink.
If many of you are feeling like this, please give yourself a break and peek out from under your blanket, especially as New Year’s approaches with resolutions that seem to negate all the things you’ve done in 2018 in the hopes that you will be a better you in 2019. Remember, you are perfect as you are right now. Always. Even if you are like me on the sofa and not at the gym right now.
In fact, if you’re going to make any resolutions, I suggest changing the way you talk to yourself during training:
Instead of:I’m trying to survive the swim and not drown.
Say:I am learning how to swim more efficiently.
Instead of:I am terrified of riding my bike.
Say: I am practicing my bike handling skills often.
Instead of: I’m a slow runner. (one of my own that my coach told me to never say)
Say:I am working to improve my speed in running.
Besides changing the way you talk to yourself, start planning out your race year with family and work in mind. I cut way back on what I normally do because I’ve been feeling burnt out lately. I decided that this year is the year that I will do at least one distance swim of 2.8 miles (maybe a 5K swim), improve my times in the sprint and Olympic distance triathlon, and maybe do a 70.3 near the end of the season with the goal of a possible PR. The swim is my big goal, and if I don’t PR in the other distances, I’m OK with that. I train for one thing at a time. I’m committed to three races, but I might do five events, and I chose local races to save on travel costs (2018 was an expensive year with the Ironman, hotels, and travel).
*1. Fort Ritchie Swim Fest-2.8 mile swim or 4500 meters in a lake, May 2019, splitting an Air B and B with my BFF from high school who’s also swimming!
*2. Philly Women’s Tri-sprint distance, July 2019–near me, no hotel needed.
3. Tri AC-Olympic distance, August 2019??? I might do this with my swimming friend…
*4. Waterman’s Triathlon Festival 70.3, September 2019, staying at my triathlon friend’s house three hours away.
5. Richmond Marathon–not a definite…yet., November 2019–Phil and I LOVE this marathon and have run it three times.
All of this takes into account time to visit family and friends, our family’s work schedule, my daughter’s camps, and family time at home.
If you’re short on funds, organize a fun swim, bike, or run with your friends with a plan to meet at a restaurant so that it has the same feeling as a race without the cost or travel. Plan within your budget and look for off-brand races, choose one big goal, and change the way you talk to yourself. Now, when darkness comes over for dinner, you’ll be focused on where you are now and looking to the light of summer. You will see improvement. No resolutions necessary.
1×300 swim 2×50 drill 3x100s Individual Medley 4x100s as swim, kick, pull, swim 5x50s sprints on 1:00 6x75s IMO (no free) kick, drill, swim by 25s 7x100s on 2:00 FAP 8x25s as streamline kick and swim on :35 10x kicks for 3 strokes for 1×100 11x25s IMO with free 12x 10 seconds Vertical Kicking in deep end
I’m late with Chanukah already over, but my athletes did do an 8 Days of Chanukah workout as well as a 12 Days of Christmas Workout. There are more holidays on the way, so why not do some of these fun workouts? I am already writing a New Year’s Workout! Happy Holidays!
8 Days of Chanukah Swim Workout
8x75s as kick/drill/swim by 25s
8x50s IMO as drill
8x25s as streamline kick/FAP free
8x150s as free/back/free by 50s on 2:30
8x75s free-build on 1:30
100 cool down
3100 yards total
Happy Holidays to all during the month of December!
I started taking measurements once I stopped taking a medication that was causing some weight gain even with Ironman training and cleaning up my diet. I reached a weight I never thought I would see, but there it was on the scale: 152 lbs. on my 5’4″ frame.
I train over ten hours a week, so was all this extra weight disguised as muscle mass? My clothes started to get tight in all the wrong places, so that led me to believe that it was more than that: I was getting fat. But how? The weight kept tipping the scale over the last three years I had been on that medication, so it was time to reassess why I was taking it.
The next day, I made an appointment with my doctor to discuss weaning myself off of the meds that caused my weight to slowly creep up. I also fished out the measuring tape deep in my sewing kit and measured my hips, waist, chest, biceps, and quads and wrote those down too. To keep myself from obsessing over these numbers and the scale, I decided to take the measurements once every three months. Then, I hid the scale deep under our bed so that I actually had to lie down and use a broomstick to retrieve it.
And you know what? It worked. Since February of this year, I’ve lost 7 of the 15 pounds I gained over three years, but I’ve also lost over 13 inches. Even though the scale has yet to budge since August, and I’m stuck at 144-145 lbs. now, I still lost an additional two inches! What?
So, the scale can take a hike. I’ll continue to log measurements once every three months to follow the muscle, and maybe check in with the dreaded scale to see if it too complies with the measurements… or not. Whatever you decide to do, remember that you are not a before or after, but are training your body for a race, swim, bike, or run. If you give your body time and appreciate it’s hard work instead of thinking you’re out of shape all the time, your body will see you through. You are perfect as you are right now.
I’ve eaten too much leftover Halloween candy. Bia hasn’t moved from where I left her after the race, front tire askew against the basement wall. I dust off my bikes every now and then and spin the pedals, but they haven’t moved more than that. I feel like I’ve abandoned Ikaika and Bia. I struggle to go on a run because I’m sick and tired of feeling slow with faster runners passing me as they huff and puff up the hills on the trail. That’s when the “I don’t care” attitude sets in, and I pretend I wan’t passed.
Swimming and strength training have been my salvation at least, but I haven’t done much else. I love the water and hearing nothing but bubbles as I fly in between the lane lines.
I haven’t signed up for any races next year as I’m staring at the winter wonderland outside my house while I type this, hot cocoa in hand after eating more than my fair share of the kid’s chocolate stash. I just don’t want to train for anything after being so focused the last two years on the half in 2017 and then the full Ironman in 2018. I’m done. Or D-U-N done because I’m too lazy to spell.
Post-race blues are real. And if you experience this, it’s totally normal. If you don’t, then you’re a freak of nature or something. So, to deal with these post-race blues, I plan to do the following:
Plan out my race schedule with family stuff in mind for next year. I’ll sign up in a few weeks to make it all official.
Be thankful that I can race and focus on strength training and doing what I love the most: swimming.
Take care of myself first. I already went to the doctor for an ongoing ear infection and saw a podiatrist about my foot issues. Rest and recover.
Enjoy the ability to bag a workout or put everything down to do something revolutionary like read a book while sipping cocoa, finish my painting, or finish revising my book for publication.
Give presents to others–this makes me really happy.
I find numbers fascinating. One number that sticks in my head is 37. It’s not the answer to life, the universe, and everything like 42, but it’s the percent of female athletes in the sport of triathlon.
Thirty-seven percent. Women make up fifty-one percent of the population and have begun to dominate the running world, slowly at forty-four percent for the marathon distance; however, women make up for what they lack in numbers as seen in the recent New York City Marathon where American women performed better than expected with four U.S. women placing in the top ten. Shalane Flanagan placed third and got on the podium once again (last year, she placed first), which is a huge feat.
So, why only thirty-seven percent in triathlon? Gwen Jorgenson won gold in Rio in 2016 for triathlon, but didn’t seem to inspire lots of women to join the sport. As for cycling, women make up about 25% of riders, and for open water swimming women only make up 37%, the same as it is for the sport of triathlon. I can’t bear to look at the numbers for African Americans in triathlon: it’s .5% in case you’re wondering. POINT 5%. But that’s another post.
In the U.S., Title IX didn’t allow for girls’ teams until 1972, which kept my mom and the women who came before me from participating in organized sports–we had few role models because adult women we knew weren’t on any teams of any kind, didn’t run in road races, etc. Because of Title IX, I was on my high school’s first girls’ soccer team in 1992 when I was a junior in high school. We had swimming, track, and other sports, but soccer was late to the game even though we had a boys’s team prior to 1992. I’d like to say we’ve come a long way, but there is still a long way to go, especially in the sport of triathlon with only 37% participation for women.
What keeps women out of the sport? Intimidation? Time? Money? Work and family obligations? A bigger problem is that women currently in the sport don’t give themselves enough credit: women apologize before they even begin group rides or runs even though the guys don’t care.
This has to stop, and I know I’m guilty of this too. I often apologize for the few group rides I go on, not expecting anyone to wait for me. I let other swimmers go ahead of me in a lane even though I may be faster. I pick up the rear in runs when I want to give up. I plan to change these attitudes about the three disciplines with myself, and I would love to see other women stop apologizing, get some more friends, and get into the sport so that we represent ourselves properly. Maybe then that 37% will go up to 51% like it should.
Greek Girl Runs will now be V Formation Multisport. So, why the name change? I started out coaching runners, and now I also coach triathletes, and the new name includes all of that.
I’ll reveal the new logo soon, but here is the back story to the new name:
During the swim of Ironman Maryland, the wind picked up the waves, creating a chop. I felt my body go up and down with the swells moving to shore. My wetsuit choked me, making breathing difficult, so I flipped over on my back to steady my breath and look at the sky. A few swimmers splashed me as they passed; I glanced around to spot the kayaks or paddle boards to see how far they were in case I decided to quit. The usual fears invaded my mind–fears of sea life, getting kicked by other athletes, sinking to the bottom without a trace…
But, I couldn’t quit. I am lucky to be able to compete in an Ironman, and I have so many people tracking me at home while my family is waiting at the swim finish. I imagined all of them, near and far as a giant V extending behind me–so they all came with me like an unstoppable wave, and I was at the top, cutting through the brackish waters of the Choptank River.
I held onto that image for the rest of the race and brought it to mind when I could no longer sit on my bike, when my stomach refused to take more food, when I thought I was going to pass out on the run course, and when I thought I was alone in the dark– I knew that wasn’t true: a whole team of people was right behind me.
None of us do anything alone, and the V Formation is proof of that: Geese use it to bear the brunt of the wind, cyclists draft off of teammates and take turns riding ahead, and even the Nike runners used it in Breaking 2 for the attempt at breaking the two hour marathon barrier.
The V Formation is strong, and it works. Because if we work together, great things can happen. I look forward to continuing to train my current athletes with this philosophy, and I always welcome new athletes. Together we are strong. Send me an email to get started: firstname.lastname@example.org