Endurance swim fueled by Pear-Chia Granola

Wow...where did the time go?
Once again, I find myself nearing the end of another Ironman journey with a tremendous amount of gratitude for my body and overall health. 
I have remained injury free for 15 continuous months which is a HUGE deal for me. From 2007-2013, I have been plagued with muscular-related hip and back issues which sadly, have put a halt on my running training for 4-12 weeks at a time. 
Additionally, the last time I experienced a sickness was in the summer of 2007. That's 7 years of no flu, cold, GI issues, infection, etc. I am so incredibly grateful for my immune system for staying so strong throughout my life, especially when I choose to train for and race in 140.6 mile triathlon events!!

So here I am again, giving a BIG thanks to my body. 
38 days until Ironman Wisconsin. My 9th Ironman!!! 

Here's a great swim workout (that I gave myself this morning) to build your swim endurance. 
Remember, fatigue affects breathing and form and a tired swimmer does not benefit from a workout like an efficient swimmer. Form over speed/distance - always. 

Warm-up (and part of the first main set): 
500 swim - stretch it out
100 kick EZ (mix up the stroke)
400 swim - stretch it out but increase effort just a tad from the 500
100 kick EZ (mix up the stroke)
300 swim - effort should be 80% or half IM effort
100 kick EZ (same)
200 swim - effort should be 90% or Olympic effort
100 kick EZ (same)
100 swim - best effort
100 kick EZ (same)

(you can shorten the kick to 50 and you can also start with 400 swim if you would like to remove 750 yards from the warm-up to save energy/time)
Active recovery:
400 pull w/ buoy and paddles - stretch it out, focus on your catch and hand exit in the water

Main set #2: 
3 x 100's - 90% effort w/ 10 sec rest
50 EZ swim + 30 sec rest (Or just rest 90 sec)
2 x 100s - 90% effort w/ 10 sec rest
50 EZ (same)
1 x 100's - 90% effort w/ 10 sec rest
50 EZ (Same)
2 x 100's - 90% effort w/ 10 sec rest
50 EZ (Same)
3 x 100's - 90% effort w/ 10 sec rest

200 pull w/ paddles only - active recovery
100 cool down 
4000 yards


Can you smell that? Don't you just love the kitchen aroma of warm granola cooking in the oven? 

Here's my latest granola creation filled with sunflower seeds, chia seeds, maple syrup and pears. Got a sweet tooth? Now you can satisfy your sweet teeth, fuel your workouts (or combine in cold milk for a great recovery "drink") and feel great with this heart-healthy creation. Enjoy!

Pear-Chia Granola
2 cups oats
1/4 cup coconut (unsweetened, shredded)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/8 cup sunflower seeds (raw, unsalted)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup 100% Pure Maple Syrup
1 soft pear (chopped  - I recommend Anjou pear for a sweeter pear)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine coconut, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and cinnamon in a large bowl and toss with clean hands.
2. Add 1 cup oats and mix with a fork until combined.
3. Add 1/2 cup oats and mix.
4. Add the last 1/2 cup oats and mix. 
5. Add chopped pear and toss. 
6. Spray a medium size cookie sheet with non stick spray and pour granola on tray and spread around with your hands.
(if you want a clumpy granola, add only 1 cup oats)
7. Cook granola for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown and firm.
(Smell test - when you smell your granola, you only need to cook for a few minutes more. Check on your granola. When it looks like it is getting golden brown, remove it immediately. One minute too long can burn it - I know from experience :( 
8. Let granola cook before placing in baggies/Tupperware and store in refrigerator for up to 4 days (if it lasts that long).