Open Water Swimming

The neurology of behaviour change: How personal trainers can use brain science to help clients achieve their health and fitness goals

The neurology of behaviour changeWhen someone tells you to do something you don’t particularly want to do, what’s your immediate response?

Do you think about it for a moment before making up an excuse not to do it or just immediately say no? Do you act defiant until you realize it’s not a criticism and perhaps a good idea after all? Or are you open to the possibility of the action and agree after briefly thinking it through?

I have to try really hard not to act defiant when someone tells me to do something I only mildly despise, so I can’t imagine how some of my personal training clients feel when I give them an exercise plan. “On Monday, do this strength workout for 45 minutes”. Ugggh, they must think, especially if they’ve been told they need to lose weight by their doctor and exercising is something they have to do. They may want to have a strong and fit body, but aren’t looking forward to the work it’s going to take to make that happen. It also doesn’t help that the human brain values immediate rewards more highly than future rewards, so an hour spent on the couch watching Netflix will easily trump an hour spent squatting and sweating any day of the week.

If that wasn’t enough to contend with, there’s also something else going on in the brain that works against your best interests when someone tries to help you with their well-meaning fitness and health advice. (more…)

Race Report: The Sri Chimoy Self Transcendence Triathlon (my first tri!)

Finishing up the 10 km run

“Looking good! Less than a kilometre to the finish line!” shouted a runner passing by me going the opposite way.

A year ago today, that other runner was me, cheering on the last of the Self Transcendence triathlon participants finishing up the run portion around Elk Lake.

I was out for a long run at Elk Lake, my 2010 summer Sunday ritual as I geared up for my first full marathon that fall, when I decided I would do this very same race next year. I was inspired by those triathletes, and thought the event looked like fun. So what if I couldn’t swim? I have a year to train. I can do this.

One year later, there I was, finishing up the last few kilometres of the 10 km run portion of an Olympic triathlon, with other runners cheering me on.

And it was a blast. (more…)

Triathlon countdown: 2011 HtO MS Thetis Lake swim

Finished! Thanks Kim for sending me these pictures!

One week from today I’ll no longer be ‘Bri, triathlete-in-training.’

I will have actually completed a triathlon and can call myself a triathlete! 

Well… maybe.

A few days ago I found out that Hamsterly Beach, where the swim portion of the Self Transcendence Triathlon will take place, was unsafe due to a high coliform count. Ugh.

I haven’t heard anything yet about what will happen… whether the organizers will move the swim portion to a different beach at Elk Lake, or? If anybody knows, please comment!

At least there are a few other triathlons I can do before the season ends. I think I’ll sign up for the sprint distance at the Subaru Sooke International Triathlon on August 7th, regardless. After all this training, I feel like I should do at least two this summer before marathon training starts! (more…)

Swim/bike/run: The transition

Tranistion area: Helmet, bike shoes, running shoes, sunglasses, gel, Garmin, towel.

I did my first transition today!

Six of them, actually.

My tri group had our first race simulation of the season this morning out at Thetis Lake, where we got to practice our swim-to-bike and bike-to-run transitions, as well as doing all three sports back-to-back.

The day before, however, I decided to see what my legs felt like on the run after a 35 km ride (the Olympic triathlon bike distance is 40 km).

I had a great ride out to Sooke, despite getting a bee in my helmet. (more…)

How to cure a hangover and get into a triathlon wetsuit

Main Beach at Thetis. Photo credit: AndrewS

Discovered a new hangover cure this morning: open water swimming.

After a late night at a friend’s wedding (too much wine and dancing in heels… ouch my calves this morning), I surprised myself by making it to my tri group’s first open water swim session on time.

The last thing I wanted to do was stuff myself into a wetsuit and jump in a lake.

Getting the wetsuit on was a bit easier this time, though. Noa gave me a few pointers, such as to use BodyGlide around the parts your suit gets stuck, like your wrists, ankles, behind the knees, etc., and to cut off any extra suit length near your feet and hands if it’s too long.

While the majority of the group did laps around the small islands in the middle of Thetis Lake, I stuck near the shore with a few others and practiced swimming out and counting strokes, and running in and out of the water.

By the end of the swim I wasn’t feeling the effects of last night at all — in fact, I felt great! I felt I could have kept going, but we still had a run to do.

My Achilles was bugging me during the slow but hilly hour-long trail run around Thetis with the group — I’ve never had pain or tightness there before, but I have a feeling it may have been caused by me trying to do the LMFAO shuffle dance last night on the dancefloor at the wedding in heels… not from running 🙂

Oh! I also got my tri team cycling kit (cycling kit = a bike bib and jersey with my tri group logo on it) AND bought some new kicks!

Officially one of those spandexed riders I used to make fun of on the Goose. Woo hoo!

I’ve been running in Mizuno Wave Inspires for about 6 months, and they’ve been great. I tried on the same shoe in the newer version and wasn’t really in love with them. Not sure what they changed… but they definitely weren’t as comfy. I think they are a bit higher around the ankle than last year’s model.

It was a toss-up between Saucony ProGrid Guide 4 (which had a bit of a higher heel to make you run more on your forefoot) and the Saucony ProGrid Hurricane. The Hurricane felt most like my current shoe, so I decided to play it safe and get them instead of the Guides.

Saucony ProGrid Hurricanes. Will now run at a hurricane-force pace!

(I actually don’t need new shoes right now, but I got a gift card as a grad present… it was burning a hole in my purse.)

Oh, and I also bought some swimming goodies.

BodyGlide, new goggles, a new swim cap in white and chocolate & espresso gels for fuel.

I’m still on the hunt for a new swim suit and a tri suit… and hopefully that will be it for triathlon gear spending for this season.

(How many times have a said that in one of these posts? Still hoping…)

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