Board Certified Sport Dietitian, Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, 23-year Vegetarian, Writer/Speaker, 11x Ironman finisher including 4x IM Kona finisher, Doggy-mommy, Wife to an amazing Czech cyclist turned Ironman Kona finisher, Triathlon Coach.
I'm not one for excuses but even living in Florida, I have my "it's too cold" days to train outside. But, that doesn't keep me from sticking to my training plan.
All of my athletes, included myself and Karel, have specific workouts and zones when bike riding so that makes for instant motivation when it's time to train. There's no guessing as to what to do when we swim, bike, run, especially if we are forced indoors with only music/TV, a pounding heart, burning legs and a mind telling the body that it's time to stop (over and over).
After Karel and I created our 5-week transition plan (which we also both followed to help us build a stronger foundation for the upcoming year - in other words, put up strong walls for the structure of the house before you start thinking about decorating the inside of the house) we decided that it would be helpful for other athletes and fitness enthusiasts to have effective indoor bike trainer workouts to perform inside, especially on the cold (or rainy) days. Although the workouts are not structured in a way that would match a periodized training plan, every workout (between 90 minutes and 2 hours with your choice of warm-up and cool-down) is has a focus and that focus is described at the beginning of each workout.
Focus: Over/under intervals to work on buffering lactic acid and to improve anaerobic threshold.
Marin set #1:
3 x 30 sec ON/30 sec OFF FPE (fast pedal efforts – description provided in plan)
2 min EZ spin
Main set #2:
2 min @ Z5 4 min @ Z3 2 min @ Z5
5 min EZ spin Repeat main set #2,two more times (3 sets total)
(You may use your previous zones or establish new zones for indoor riding or RPE as suggested in the plan description)
If you are interested in our 20-bike trainer workouts (created by Karel - Cat 1 cyclist turned Ironman triathlete), you can read more (and purchase) HERE.
These workouts are not designed for athletes only. These workouts can also be performed on the elliptical (I LOVE the elliptical!) and outside on a safe road in warmer weather.
To get you started, I have two great one-hour trainer workouts for you, featured in Triathlete Magazine (online): Descending intervals
Just be mindful that spinning bikes are not always equipped to match your body structure. Although you can move the handlebars and seat, the crank arm, seat position and other various parts of the spin bike may not be ideal for your body and overtime may increase risk of injury (and often will rely on primarily the quads working more than other muscle groups). However, I am not a coach who is oppose to spinning (I was a spinning instructor for over 2 years and also incorporated my spin classes with my IMFL training) but just be mindful of a good position while riding (with adequate resistance). A computrainer class works great for introducing athletes to training with power (or if you currently train with power) and this is ideal for athletes who enjoy the group setting for indoor training.
Also, for athletes, remember that muscle memory is your friend. If you can, train indoors on your racing bike as your primary bike if you are starting a training plan for your upcoming race.
And lastly, as prioritized in our 5-week transition plan, if you are riding indoors (or outside) be sure to address any weaknesses or imbalances with your pedal stroke and also consider a professional bike fit before starting your training plan. Not only did I work hard on my dead spot in my pedal stroke on my left leg for the past month in a half but I also had two RETUL fits by Karel (first fit when I received my new Speed Concept and another fit a week ago, when Karel put a new saddle, Bontrager Hilo, on my bike to help my pelvis be in a better position while riding).
If you are interested in learning more about buying a bike trainer, here are some bike trainer suggestions that Karel recommends.
For now, let's all stay motivated and consistent with training this winter with warm and sunny Kona thoughts while riding our bikes.......
It doesn't really matter what you call yourself..... athlete, fitness enthusiast or in need of improving overall health. When it comes to exercise, we all need to move our body on a daily basis and often.
But when it comes to using exercise to reach a racing goal, the most important part of any training or exercise routine is consistency.
It takes consistency to see progress. Because there's nothing more gratifying than sticking to a plan, the progress is an added benefit of having a well laid out plan and being able to stick to it.
As a coach, one of the biggest pitfalls I see with athletes who are training for a race is devoting more time and energy to training than is needed to experience performance gains, not knowing how to lay out a season of training and not pacing properly at races (sport nutrition/fueling is often a big confusion for athletes as well).
I also see this happening at the early part of a training plan. An athlete is excited and every morning there's an early morning workout or an evening workout (or both). Certainly you need to have a minimum amount of training to adapt to training stress but I find far too many age group athletes are not considering the year as a whole and the specific types of training that must be done at specific times throughout the year. Instead, I see athletes just focusing on one week at a time, often trying to resemble peak training from season's past or not building a good foundation for when peak training actually needs to occur.
Because we can't let injury and burnout be the only two deciding factors that a training plan is not working, it's important to understand why you may not be able to reach exercise-related goals.
When was the last time you sat down with a piece of paper and pen and figured out how much time you have available to commit to your training program in order to be consistent?
In your head you may think you have all the time in the world when you aren't working but after you factor-in sleep, meal planning, stretching, strength training, commuting, traveling/extracurricular activities, family obligations, chores/errands, etc.
Here's an example of the time you may think you have to train:
5am - wake-up
5:30am - 7am - workout
8:30 - 5pm - work
5:30pm - 7pm - workout
9:30pm - bedtime
So looking at this, you think you have 3 hours a day to train and if you love to train you are likely filling up this time training.
Here's how I would plan the day with a "train smart" approach: 5am - wake-up 5:15-5:45am - pre-workout snack + foam rolling/dynamic stretching
6-7am - workout
7-7:10am - stretching/refueling
8:30am - 5pm work
5:30pm - prep meals for tomorrow, cook dinner.
6pm - 6:30pm - hip/core work or walk outside for fresh air 6:45pm - dinner
8pm - prepare for tomorrow (clothing/food, etc.)
8:45pm - evening stretching, relaxing
9:30pm - bedtime
Consider how important balance is in a consistent training plan and also, all the many ways that you can improve fitness besides just "training". For if you can not adapt to the intentional stress load on the body, you will not be able to recover and rebuild for the next day of training. And if you can't adapt, you can't be consistent.
For example, if you are training for an Ironman, it would be logical that you would not do a 100-mile ride or 2 hour run in your first 4-week block of training. But then ask yourself if it is logical to train 7-days a week and 4+ hours on the weekend in the first 4 blocks of training? The idea of training is to keep progressing, to build mental and physical strength, to teach the body how to be more efficient and to properly metabolize food for fuel. If you want to peak and reach your full potential properly, remember that training isn't about how many miles you can put in in 1 week but instead, how well you are able to adapt over 4 or 6 months of training. The magic doesn't happen in 1 week but instead what you are able to do with your body overtime.
This same theory applies to time goals. Accepting your current level of fitness, if you want to be able to be x-fast on race day it's understandable that you likely are not that fast today (or else you would likely want a more challenging goal). So your training must be devised in a way that you can improve with your speed, power and endurance but not all at once.
Quality training has many benefits - it keeps you balanced in life but also allows you to raise your thresholds, build strength, improve economy and power and build mental toughness all while building a strong body. This allows the body to adapt gradually and in a healthy way for consistent performance gains.
The beginning of the year is a great time to feel motivated and fresh for your upcoming racing season or with a new exercise plan.
But the key with any exercise routine is being able to maintain that excitement, speed and energy over the next 12, 16 or 20 weeks in order to see performance gains.
If you are not working with a coach, consider the Trimarni 5-week transition plan to help you build a strong, resilient body before you start "training" for your upcoming race.
If you are a self-coached athlete, take a moment to write out your entire year for races and how you will build to peak for each of those races (and include recovery time as well). Prioritize your phases of training and include any important life moments that should be considered that may affect consistent training.
After you do this, device a plan as to how you will be consistent with training in 2-3 week blocks at a time. Every day you should move yourself closer to your goal and remember that sometimes the plan may need to change but you can always stay motivated with your goal.
Interested in a pre-built plan to help you train smart?
According to John C. Norcross, PhD, professor of psychology
at the University of Scranton and author of Changelogy: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and
Resolutions, New Year’s resolutions are difficult to keep. Although 40% of
resolutions are maintained until July, 60% of people are not successful.
But, around this time of the year, it’s likely that you are
one step (literally) ahead of most people in our society. Assuming you are reading this blog because you are an athlete or fitness enthusiasts, you likely focus on your health (in some way) on a daily basis.
With the typical New
Year resolution dedicated to “health”, it’s exciting to know that your passion
for health and fitness will continue to inspire and help those who are seeking
a more healthy and balanced lifestyle.
While an idea of a goal may seem doable in
your head, it isn't until you break down the steps to reaching that goal that
you may find yourself second-guessing yourself along the way. Therefore,
goal setting always comes before an action plan. This process is very helpful
for individuals who seek new challenges outside of a comfort zone and for those
who desire change or new habits.
Bottom line: goals must motivate you to get up every morning
and keep you excited for another day.
Regardless if enjoy helping others follow
through with their resolutions in the New Year or you feel that the New Year is
a great time to dare to dream big, use the following questions to ensure that
you will have great success with your goals in 2014.
My exercise, diet and life short-term goals (6 months):
My exercise, diet and life long-term goals (12+ months):
Based on each of your short-term and long-term goals, use this step-by-step
process to keep you on track with your goals for 2014.
Example: “I would like to increase my intake of fresh foods and decrease the
amount of processed food I eat in my diet.”
1) Why are you setting this goal? Because
more fruits and veggies will help to nourish my body
2) What are the risks/benefits and pros/cons of your goal? I can reduce risk for disease, have more energy throughout the day.
3) What will change in your life if you reach your ultimate goal? I will feel more balance in my diet and
4) What will change in your life as you attempt to reach this goal? I would like to learn how to cook more fresh
foods. I hope to improve my culinary skills.
5) Is this a realistic and specific goal? Yes.
6) Do you have a plan of action in achieving this goal? I will replace my afternoon granola bar snack with a piece of fruit in
the afternoon to start. Then I will gradually incorporate more fresh foods to
7) Do you have a strong support group? No,
but I hope to inspire others.
8) Do you have the right resources to reach your goal? Yes, I have a dietitian in mind who I can contact to help me stay
9) Are there any obstacles in your way in reaching your goals? Yes. I am very busy with work and I often
have an all or nothing approach.
10) How will you overcome barriers before you reach your goal? I
know all is not ruined in one day. I will always have at least 1 fresh food
option at home to help me get back on track.
11) How will you track progress? I will
keep a food log.
12) How will you maintain your enthusiasm for your goal if you being to
experience a setback? I will
remind myself that some progress is better than no progress.
13) What’s your realistic timetable of reaching your goal? There’s no exact deadline. I hope to continue to explore my real food
options like whole grains.
14) How will you celebrate when you reach your goal? I want to cook a 3 course meal for my friends.
15) What will it mean to you when you reach your goal? I know I am improving my overall health so
this goal means a lot to me for my quality o life.
16) How will you maintain your success when you reach your goal? I would like to start a blog and perhaps I
can blog about my recipes.
As you can see, goal setting can be very empowering but the ability to plan and
execute a vision is a powerful process and with the right attitude and course
of action, both short-term and long-term goals are within your reach. As you
build self-confidence through goal setting, you will learn to create healthy
habits of achieving even your most difficult meaningful goals and ambitions.
Another year means another chance to reflect. Here are a few of my most memorable moments from 2013.
But first, I want to say THANK YOU to all the Trimarni fans and followers for letting me share my passion for health, nutrition and fitness with you.
And for all my athletes and fitness enthusiasts, thank you for letting me enjoy the journey with you as you reached personal nutrition/body composition goals and crossed finish lines.
2014....I can't wait to live each and every day to the fullest!
I exchanged my goggles, compression and running shoes for Oakley women snow gear in Utah.
I have really enjoyed being on set for News4Jax. This has been a dream come true for me to be on TV and share my passion for food and public speaking. Melanie is so great to work with and I really enjoy our energy together.
For my TV segments you can find them on my PRESS page on my website.
There's never a shortage of Trimarni creations in our house and my heart-happy bars/balls were a hit all year. I created this recipe for my Heartwise TV segment but also used a similar recipe for three Oakley Women/Shape magazine events that I did in California, Colorado and Texas throughout the year.
By now, you know I love to travel. I was so lucky to be able to go to so many awesome places this year thanks to Oakley Women.
Also, my amazing hubby loves to share life with me so for his first full season of triathlons, we were able to make a lot of memories together at races outside of Florida.
Another highlight was seeing the first ever Trimarni Kit in real life. Karel did such an amazing job designing the kit and I can't wait to see the newest edition in the next few weeks!
In Jan, I celebrated 1 year of being a small business owner and seeing my athletes wear the Trimarni kit at their races (using their body to cross finish lines) was the most amazing feeling all year long. I absolutely love being a coach and helping athletes reach personal goals.
20 years of being a plant strong athlete was celebrated in April. I have also continued to celebrate over 6 years of not getting sick (no cold or flu) - thank you body!!!!
Not a day of life goes by without feeling so lucky that I get to enjoy my life with Karel. On two wheels we get to see a lot but in life, it's the experiences that we get to share together that make me feel so lucky to be alive and well.
What a trip!!! Traveling to Czech Republic and visiting Karel's home in Znojmo was the highlight of the year. Karel had not been home in 12 years and it was so great to share this experience together.
At the end of the month, I celebrated my 31st birthday which was also the day that Karel and I met on a group ride, in 2006.
Campy was a great role model for us as we spent 10 weeks training specifically for IM Lake Placid. With 90 days of no running for me, I really used my mental coach, Gloria, to keep me moving forward and for not letting me give up on my goals.
I really enjoyed sharing so many new experiences with Karel as I trained for my 6th IM and Karel trained for his first IM.
It wasn't easy but we did it!!!
With my third Ironman World Championship on the horizon, there was no shortage of delicious creations to fuel my active body.
I stayed rather busy in August, speaking events, my business, hospital work, writing articles. But certainly, I am not complaining!
Keeping life balanced, there was no way I would miss Karel racing the HOT triathlon. And I could not have been more proud and excited to see Karel win his first race!!! We also celebrated Karel's birthday this month and my brother got married!
What fun I had in Kona this year. Not only did I swim, bike and run my way to a PR in my 3rd IM world championship (10:37) but I was able to share my journey via social media (blogs, facebook, videos, instagram) and also make memories with my friend, mental coach and most amazing sherpa Gloria.
Also, Karel and I celebrated 5 amazing years of marriage. I love being married to my best friend, teammate, bike mechanic, coach and biggest fan.
Change can be good and change can be scary. This month, Karel and I decided that we would focus 100% on growing the Trimarni business. This was an exciting time for us to work closer as a team to help athletes and fitness enthusiasts from all over the world reach personal health and training goals.
What a year this has been. There was no way I could include everything which I guess is a good thing.
There were many quotes in magazines, articles written, talks given, athletes coached, fitness enthusiasts to work with and lots of yummy food consumed.
Karel and I could not be more excited to work with the most amazing group of athletes/dreamers/motivators in 2014.
I think a New Year is a great time to think about new goals but to also reflect on the past year.
In your head, goals always sound great.
Qualify for Kona or a National competition. PR at my upcoming marathon.
Travel more. Be a better planner.
Have a better attitude. Get more active in my community. Get a new position at work.
But the challenging part is not only seeing them through but also, having an action plan that allows for progress, setbacks and everything in between.
I thrive off goals. I can not function well in life without goals for goals give me meaning. They keep me motivated and they keep me enjoying the journey of life. I am never too hard on myself with my goals for I keep them as realistic as possible. And most of all, I know in life that things happen that stop me from being consistent. So the plan often changes, but never the goal.
As we enter a New Year, this is a perfect time to set short and long term goals for yourself in the following areas: LIFE DIET/NUTRITION EXERCISE/TRAINING
Consider what you have accomplished in the past as well as your strengths and areas for improvement. As an athlete, I know that being faster or stronger is not in training more but instead training smarter. For you, your goals should be similar to your passions in life. You should set goals that challenge you but also that will make you happy. You should always love what you are doing. Sure, things will always be hard at first but if you are dissatisfied with something or are seeking a new challenge in life, health, career, finances, social life, community or fitness, there's never a better time than NOW to experience something new.
Create new goals - NOW
Goal setting allows you to experience life in a new way. With new goals you will step outside your comfort zone. Life will have a new meaning and purpose and may even give you strength in other areas that you never thought possible.
Keeping things simple...goals take you somewhere new in life.
Think about the last time you accomplished something? Perhaps a weight loss goal, a training/fitness goal, a career change.
How amazing did you feel when all that hard work paid off?
When you set a realistic, practical and meaningful goal, you can take pride in your achievements and also feel strength when you overcome obstacles.
I love being able to see progress. This is why when I train for triathlons, I make sure to have specific workouts that allow me to see progress. I use my training gadgets, I do testing periodically and I also have specific workouts to challenge me to see how much progress I have made through each phase of training.
Progress, for me in triathlons, is not always about a time, speed or distance but instead, thinking about what I was doing before and where I am today. Sometimes I find great success in overcoming obstacles or stepping outside my comfort zone even if physically, I have not made significant progress.
I am so excited for you to set goals and to find joy in achieving those goals. But first you have to define your goals, write them down and know exactly where you are going and by when.
1) Think about your past successes and failures/lessons learned. Your new goals should give you more confidence in life.
2) Goals should inspire you, motive you and make you a better person.
3) Goals need an action plan. How are you going to get there and by when?
4) Who's part of your team to keep you going when times are tough or to give you a high-five when you make progress? Be sure to surround yourself with energy givers and not energy suckers.
5) How will you overcome challenges? What challenges are you expecting in the next year?
6) How will you celebrate and acknowledge success? Be sure to not dwell on setbacks and forget to celebrate the milestones.
7) What does this goal mean to you - mentally, physically, emotionally?
8) Will this goal keep your life in balance and does your action plan allow you to function well in society?
9) What kind of environment will you create to keep you moving forward?
10) What will you do when you reach your goal? What will it feel like?
Now that you have taken time to think about your goals - it's time to start your plan.
How will you get there? When do you want to get there? What will it mean to you when you get there?