Update – January 31, 2012

Nik’s Chicks is only a time and place to meet & a program to follow.  I cannot join you on every run.  If you are new to exercising, it is advisable to have a doctor’s OK prior to beginning. Please  sign my waiver (in “About”) and fill out the contact info sheet prior to your first run.

Quote of the Week:

Running is just you, the work you put in, and the clock. You can’t cheat yourself. If you don’t put in the miles, you can’t go to the starting line thinking you’re going to pull a miracle out of nowhere. You get out exactly as much as you put in.

Desiree Davila

Hello ladies, here is the latest news from the “nest”!

Weekly Chirp: As I was working on the new try-a-tri/sprint tri program today, it made me think back to 2002 when I first started tri training. Here is my Intro to Triathlon Story! I was living in Nova Scotia, six months after my third child and feeling “frumpy”.  When I mentioned my triathlon plans to my husband he laughed!  He said “You can’t swim, you don’t own a bike and you hate running! How are you going to pull this off?” Well, in February of that year I joined a Tri club, with a few Trinewbie girlfriends, and I struggled to swim one 25m length of the pool on the first night.  As the practices (2 x week), continued my endurance improved so I could complete a 750m swim in May.  Wasn’t pretty, and I had terrible technique, but did it.  That same month I began spinning (indoor cycling) classes twice a week. I nearly died after my first one because I was trying to keep up with the instructor and veterans – big mistake!  After my ass stopped hurting, I returned to the class and decided to work at a pace that was challenging for me and not worry about competing with the rest of the class.  This approach worked and I was amazed at how my both my leg and cardio endurance got better with every session. When the tri club started outdoor rides in a hilly neighborhood, I didn’t feel like I was starting from scratch and kept up decently well with other members of the club.  I didn’t invest in a bike until a year later when I was sure I was committed to triathlons, so I borrowed a “Zellers Special” mountain bike from a friend that Spring and used it for the summer.  The thing was a heavy beast! I figured out that pedaling a heavy bike can be tiresome, but the training effect was great – my legs got very strong.  When It came to running my husband was right – I did hate it!  I hated it because every time I tried to start running it was so difficult, I gasped for air, ran out of gas and always ended up walking home discouraged.  I found a Learn to Run 5km program online that only had me running 3 days a week – I certainly didn’t want to do something I hated any more than that! I stuck like glue to the program (indoors on a treadmill because only “crazy people” run outside in winter) and realized I was doing OK at it – way better than any of my previous attempts. By May I had increased my endurance in all three disciplines and entered my first tri – it had an indoor swim!  I managed to piece it all together and finished in just under 2 hours. The wonderful side effect of multisport training was losing the last 5-7 pounds and increasing my muscle tone.  I changed my body composition in only 6 months without really setting out to do so! The next tri in June had a lake swim.  Growing up in PEI, I had never been in a lake and when we went to the beach we played in the waves – never swam!  The tri club organized some open water swims in a small local lake and it was…scary for me.  The lack of light in the water freaked me out – along with the knowledge that fish lived there!!   (The mucky bottom and weeds didn’t help either).  My friends and coaches helped me to get somewhat comfortable in the water, enough so I was able to complete a Sprint Tri in Lake Banook, NS in around 1:58:00. I went on to do 2-3 tris each summer until I moved to Oakville 5 years ago. I have gotten back into tris only in the last year and a half with some of my Chicks.  It has been a welcome change form straight running from a mental and physical standpoint.  I’m no longer a Trinewbie,  but I still have much to learn as I contemplate longer triathlons in my future.  I hope my story inspires you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.  You don’t have to be amazing at everything to enjoy triathlons and have a lot of fun training with others.  Triathlon is a very welcoming sport and in Ontario, the number of races could have you doing a tri every weekend if you wished.  Feel free to chat with current Chicks: Ellen, Michelle, Jo, Carol, Tania and Susan about their triathlon/duathlon experiences. Triathlon…think about it!

New Learn to Run 5km, Triathlon and Swimming: I will wait until  March 3 to begin these programs – mark the date on your calendar.  I already have 5-6 ladies waiting for the 5km run pgm and around 10-12 ladies considering the try-a-tri! That’s not to say that you cannot join or come back to the group until then.  You are welcome to meet with the rest of the runners and follow the 5km program at your leisure. I have posted a new Try-a-tri/Sprint Tri program that incorporates the Learn to Run 5km program in the “Training Programs” menu. Please feel free to mention the programs to your friends!

Learning Open Water Swimming Technique: Back in 2002 when I first ventured into the wonderful world of triathlon I was introduced to the Total Immersion method of open water swimming.  It is based on the concept of doing less work, getting efficient and saving energy for the bike and run.  After many years of floundering and being inefficient in the water, I purchased the book Triathlon Swimming Made Easy by Terry Laughlin and the DVDs Easy Freestyle and Outside the Box (Success in Open Water).  Having the visual made adopting the techniques easier.  Last year I hosted a DVD viewing night for those of you wishing to learn more about it before you hit the pool. I am looking at Thursday, February 16th to do so again.  It will start at 8:15 – replacing the Thursday night run – and will last around 1.5 hours.  Please RSVP me at mclaughlins@cogeco.ca so I will have an idea of number of Chicks. Watching the video will help to explain the “Total Immersion Tips” that I have posted in the Helpful Information section of this site.  You can also check out a 6 part series, “Total Immersion Perpetual Motion Freestyle” and the 8 part “How to Work Less, Swim Better in Triathlon” on YouTube. The Total Immersion technique does work – I reduced my swim times during my triathlons and no longer exit the swim portion utterly exhausted! It’s worth the time and effort to learn it!

Goodlife or Mississauga 1/2 Marathons: Just a reminder that you need a 10km base by Feb. 17 to begin the 1/2 marathon program for these races.

Shirts:  You can take one home to try one on if you wish.  Total cost will be 52.00 each, taxes in (similar styles sell for 70.00 – 80.00). I have 3 smalls, 2 mediums, 4 larges, and 3 x-larges in stock).  Sam has a medium, worn once, to sell for 30.00 in case you are interested. Check out the Wasaga Beach Triathlon photos for a peek at the shirts in action. 

Suggested Reading: I have set up a new page under Helpful Information.  It is a list of books I have read that may inspire you on your journey to improved running, fitness and life balance.

YMCA: There is a contingent of us who meet at the Y to workout and you are welcome to join us. M and F 9:30 weight training and 10:30 swimming and W-12:10 spinning and 1:30 yoga

Tip: I received a Runner’s World Daily Calendar for Christmas.  I will pop in some useful tips here when one arises!  Start runs into the wind and finish them with the wind at your back, so the breeze doesn’t blast you after you break a sweat.

Swim Training Checklist: Here is a list of items you will need/want to begin your swim training in March.  You have 4 weeks to gather them! Biking will likely begin in April when the weather is more agreeable.  You can always pick up a spinning (indoor cycling) class to “find” your legs though!

Swimsuit, goggles, swim cap, flip flops, water bottle, towel, mesh bag for shampoo/conditioner/body wash to take on deck with you, print off 12 lesson plans and put in Ziploc or have laminated, buy swim pass if not a member at Glen Abbey Rec Center ($36.28 for 10 swim sessions)

This week’s workouts (Meet 1438 Redwing Court)

Tuesday – Jan. 31 8:15pm

Holding on 5km – 5km

Holding on 10km – 5km

ATB – 10km

Wednesday – Feb. 1 12:10 and 1:30

YMCA Spinning and Yoga

Thursday –  Feb. 2 8:15pm

Holding on 5km – 5km with 75 sec sprints x 3

Holding on 10km – 5km with 75 sec sprints x 3

ATB – 8km with 75 sec sprints x 5

Friday – Feb. 3 9:30 and 10:30

YMCA Weight Training and swimming (lesson 3)

Saturday – Feb. 4 8:00am (Hockey conflict. Brogan and I will be going out around 11 in case anyone wants to join us!)

Holding on 5km – 5km

Holding on 10km – 10km

ATB – 23 km

Monday – Feb. 6 9:30 and 10:30

YMCA Weight Training and swimming (lesson 4)

Have a wonderful week! Niki