Week #2: Done! So… 2 weeks down, 22 weeks to go.
This week went pretty well. I had one missed workout due to a work obligation, and I substituted by switching a run workout for a perfect day of skiing at Loveland. Epic…
With respect to the training, I got in a solid six hours throughout the week. My long ride on Saturday had to happen on the trainer, because it was snowing like mad. I passed the time by watching the replay of the “To be Coached, or Not to be Coached” webinar by Triathlon Research (triathlonresearch.org). Not a bad webinar, but they focused too much on products, and not enough on what the topic of the webinar was supposed to be. Most of their webinars are pretty good, and I recommend checking them out.
Anyway, that’s a good transition (pun intended) to the topic of online resources. Personally, I find online resources to fall into three categories:
Tools: I use all sorts of online tools to help manage my triathlon endeavors. My main tool is TrainingPeaks.com. I use this site to manage my entire training plan, nutrition, and metrics such as weight, body fat and sleep. It’s the only tool that I’ve found that can manage (effectively) all of these things in one place. Other sites are starting to catch up, such as MapMyFitness.com (also known as MapMyRun and MapMyRide), which recently added the ability to link to MyFitnessPal.com, a very popular nutrition tracking online app. Every online tool has its pros and cons, and TrainingPeaks is no exception. The all-inclusive aspects are great, in that it connects to my training plan and all my devices. Reporting is pretty decent, although it could use some tweaks. Their forum and webinars are good, and relevant to the sport. The food database is huge, and growing every day (through contribution from the community at large), but you have to use good judgment. Some people don’t enter food products into the database very effectively. Follow up with me directly if you want more in-depth info on TrainingPeaks. I’ll be happy to share.
Other online tools that I use, some more than others, include:
- Garmin Connect (connect.garmin.com) – Good swim analysis, and connectivity to all my Garmin devices, as well as my iPhone and iPad.
- Strava (strava.com) – It was previously just cycling. Now that they’ve added running and swimming, it’s becoming a more complete offering for triathletes. Fun to compare your performance with others.
- MapMyFitness (mapmyfitness.com) – Good site to create routes, and have it tell you the distance, analyze the climbs, etc. I’ve tried RideWithGPS.com, but I like the MapMyFitness/Ride/Run site better.
There are a few more I use sparingly. In a future blog, I’ll devote the whole thing to evaluation of online tools, but in this blog, I wanted to give you a brief overview.
Education: I could go on and on about how many resources there are for education on the Internet, but the fact that you’re reading this already shows that you know about one of them: blogs. I consider blogs to be good at understanding people’s experience, and that is certainly relevant, but you should use caution when taking coaching advice from blogs. Just because someone is a triathlete, or has even completed a number of big races, doesn’t make them an expert. Take blogs (mine included) with a grain of salt. What works for some, may or may not work for others, and there’s no substitute for a good, experienced coach. Many are available for consultation online. Other sites I visit and use with some frequency include EnduranceWorks.net (my coach, David Glover), TriathlonResearch.org, MountainGirlNutritionAndFitness.com (great nutrition blog), and SwimSmooth.com. Also, the websites of the major trade rags have useful info, such as Triathlete.com, RunnersWorld.com, and usaswimming.org.
You should make use of these same tools on mobile devices. WordPress blogs are available as an app, and the reader is quite good. The subscriptions to Triathlete magazine and Runner’s World are available as online editions, and include great additional content. Check them out.
Finally, from a motivation and education standpoint, in addition to blogs, take the time to do some searches on both Google and YouTube related to triathlon motivation. Subscribe to the IronMan channel on YouTube. Some of the shows there are truly inspirational. We’re in this sport because we love it, and seeing how others are impacted by it provides additional motivation to push harder, longer, and achieve better results.
Sorry for the extended blog. I try to keep them short, but any of the topics I talk about could turn into a whole book!