Tag Archives: black women triathletes

These are a few of my favorite things!

Hey there RYPEness! We are gearing up and ready to go for triathlon training season. Exciting times, right? Everyone is hopping back in the pool, dusting off those bikes and lacing up those shoes in preparation for early spring races. So I thought this would be a good time to talk about a few of my favorite things and why I like them.

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Aqua Sphere Kayenne Swim Goggles

When it comes to swimming, there is nothing more important than snug fitting, no leaky goggles. I mean, my swim cap can snap off, I have done a half ironman distance swim with no wetsuit….but if I have leaky goggles, that’s a jacked up situation! Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles are my favs!

I personally like the blue tinted option…doesn’t affect me when swimming indoors and provides enough tint to ward off the sun glare when doing open water swims. The wider band around the sides creates a good suction, so they don’t leak. I still haven’t figured out how to avoid the “raccoon look” after a swim though.

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Nike Slides

Next on my list…a good pair of slides. Ease of wear is a no-brainer. But why slides over flip flops? Well, if you are wanting to pack light, and make it easy to keep it moving, even when wearing those cycle socks…slides are key. That morning of your race, when you are trying to be as organized as possible it makes it easy to have your socks on (thus stretching them out a bit, therefore making them easier to slip back on once you come out of the water) and then just slide into your slides. You can easily put that tri-bag on your back and ride your bike from your car to the transition area, no problemo. Great post-race too once your feet are ready to come out of those closed in sneakers. These double as shower shoes, kick around the house shoes, grocery store shoes, take out the trash shoes, what-have-you. The functionality is the same sans socks too!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am big on moisturized skin…especially my lips. There is nothing worse than cracked lips…on me or anyone else! I have these inexpensive, super moisturizing lip balms ALL OVER THE PLACE! Next to my bed, in my car, several in my purse, and…of course…in the bento bag on my bike!

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Cococare Lip Balm Cocoa Butter

True story…I almost panicked  when doing Ironman Florida when I hit a bump and my CocoCare came flying out my bag and into the ditch. What the heck was I going to do? Thank GOD for the extra one I’d packed, otherwise that bike cut off may not have been made! HA! Seriously though, I have yet to find another lip balm that last as long or doesn’t feel greasy. I will admit, applying while riding at 17 miles per hour can be kind of tricky…but I had to figure out a way to master it. LOL!!

HAPPY TRAINING!!

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Stumpy Creek International Distance Triathlon

Strong Arm’n

Hey there RYPEness,

I am not sure where you might be when you are reading this, but not unless you live somewhere like California, or Hawaii, this winter has been the pits! Definitely not motivating me to be outside doing any sort of running or riding…and definitely not making me want to get in anybody’s pool! BLEH! So I wanted to give you a few things that you can do that will make you triathlon strong once the season rolls around. NOW….I am by no means saying that you can ix-nay your swimming, biking and running completely! We have to find a way to get in a few swim/bike/run workouts here and there, but we can replace some of them with much needed strength training. I did some research on upper body strength workouts for triathletes and found some really good ones.

Muscles are good….and sexy. 🙂  Its pretty self explanatory why having good upper body strength benefits us in swimming. I am sure we have all read how having good core strength helps us in with our runs. And now you know that having stronger biceps and triceps will decrease the amount of metabolic stress on your arms as you ride. You know this because I just told you. WHOOT!!! WHOOT!!!

So, here are two good workouts (each containing 4 strength exercises) I found on the Experience L!fe website. Love this site because it’s dedicated empowering people to become their best, healthiest selves (sounds sooooo RYPE, right?). And I really loved these workouts because they weren’t something that would require me to be in the gym for ump-teen hours on forty-five-one-hundred machines. They are short, sweet and to the point. And not only will they have you triathlon strong, but definitely bikini ready.

#WINNING!

 

Workout A

1) Speed Pushups

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  •  Assume the standard pushup position: hands slightly wider than shoulder width, balls of feet on the floor, body in a straight line from your heels to the crown of your head.
  • Without letting your hips or head sag toward the floor, bend your arms, pull your shoulder blades together, and lower your body, keeping your elbows at about a 45-degree angle to your torso.
  • When your chest is a few inches from the floor, quickly push yourself back up to the starting position.

Easier version: Perform the exercise with your hands on an elevated surface like a bench or countertop: the higher the surface, the easier the move.

Harder version: Perform the exercise with your feet elevated.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Improves upper-body pushing power; useful for the swim start and steep climbing on the bike.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of as many reps as possible in 20 seconds
  • Week Two: three sets of as many reps as possible in 20 seconds
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of as many reps as possible in 30 seconds
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of as many reps as possible in 20 seconds; slow down these weeks and focus on perfect form.

2) Chin-Ups

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  • Take an underhand, shoulder-width grip on a chin-up bar with your palms facing toward you.
  • Lift your feet from the floor and allow your arms to straighten fully.
  • Pull your shoulder blades down and back, bend your arms, and pull yourself up until your chin is slightly above the bar.
  • Lower yourself slowly back to the starting position.

Easier version: Perform the same exercise using an assisted chin-up machine, or have a partner give you a boost as you perform the move.

Harder version: If you can bang out 12 to 15 reps of body-weight chin-ups with no problem, try the same exercise while squeezing a dumbbell between your legs.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Develops the upper-back musculature necessary for a strong swimming stroke and for maintaining good posture throughout the run.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 12 to 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: one or two sets of 10 reps

Can’t do a Chin-Up? No Problem! See ELmag.com/pullup.

3) Alternating Dynamic Lunges

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  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then step your left foot forward about a stride-and-a-half, allowing the heel of your right foot to lift an inch or two off the floor.
  • Keeping your back straight and your eyes looking ahead, slowly bend both legs until your right knee lightly touches the floor.
  • Reverse the movement, stepping your left foot back, and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.

Easier Version: Lower your back knee only halfway down to the floor on each rep before coming back up.

Harder Version: Hold dumbbells at your sides.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Keeps the hip flexors limber and develops the glutes, helping to prevent lower-back pain and injury that can sometimes result from too much time in the saddle.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: three sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 12 to 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

4) Stability-Ball Speed “Olympic Diver” Crunches

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  • Sit on a stability ball, walk your feet forward, and lie back on the ball until your torso is parallel to the floor.
  • Extend your arms overhead, interlace your fingers, and squeeze your upper arms close to your ears.
  • Keeping your arms in this position, blow out forcefully, contract your abdominal muscles, and squeeze the bottom of your rib cage toward your pelvis.
  • Return to horizontal position.

Easier Version: Perform the movement sitting toward the front of the ball so the ball supports your back, and your hands are higher than your knees in the starting position.

Harder Version: Hold a light dumbbell in your hands.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Unlike conventional crunches, this stricter version keeps your spine long as you work the core, which translates into better form on the run and a more streamlined shape in the water.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of as many as possible in 20 seconds
  • Week Two: two sets of as many as possible in 30 seconds
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of as many as possible in 30 seconds
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 to 15 reps, focusing on form

Workout B

1) Stability-Ball Dumbbell Overhead Presses 

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  • Sit upright on a stability ball, holding two moderately heavy dumbbells at shoulder height, palms roughly parallel.
  • Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, smoothly press the dumbbells upward until your arms are fully extended overhead and your upper arms are close to your ears.
  • Slowly reverse the movement and repeat for the appropriate reps.

Easier Version/Harder Version: Adjust the weight accordingly.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Improves shoulder stability and strength — both invaluable during the swim and bike stages.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

2) Seated Cable Rows 

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  • Attach a parallel-grip handle to the low pulley cable at a seated row station and set the pin at a moderately heavy weight.
  • Sit on the seat, place your feet against the platform, and take hold of the handles.
  • Sit up straight, arching your lower back and lifting your chest slightly.
  • Without allowing your head to push forward, bend your arms and strongly retract your shoulder blades, pulling the handle back until it nearly touches your abdomen.
  • Slowly extend your arms and return to the starting position.

Easier Version/Harder Version: Adjust the resistance accordingly.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Protects against “swimmer’s shoulder” and other issues caused by overuse of the shoulder joint.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

3) Dumbbell Front Squats

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  • Holding two moderately heavy dumbbells, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and your toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Lift the dumbbells to shoulder height and rest them on the fronts of your shoulders throughout the movement.
  • Keeping your feet flat on the floor, your eyes looking ahead and your lower back in its natural arch, slowly squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor.
  • With your weight on your heels, return to standing, keeping your chest up throughout the exercise.

Easier Version: Use body weight only, and, if necessary, only squat halfway down.

Harder Version: Use heavier dumbbells and squat as deeply as you can while keeping your lower back in its natural arch.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Builds strength in the lower body — especially useful for sprinting and climbing during the bike and the run.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

4) Knee-Ups

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  • Take an overhand, shoulder-width grip on a chin-up bar, palms facing away from you, allowing your legs to hang straight down toward the floor.
  • Keeping your feet together, lift your knees as high as possible.
  • Pause for a moment in the contracted position, slowly lower your knees back to the starting position, and repeat for the appropriate number of reps.

Easier Version: Perform the same movement using a pair of slings, which attach to a chin-up bar and loop around your upper arms so you don’t have to grip the bar. Then lift your knees just halfway up.

Harder Version: Perform the same movement with your legs straight, touching your toes to the bar.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Improves hip mobility, hip-flexor strength and core stability, for better strength and more efficient positioning during the run.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

 

Remember….TRI-ing is Sexy!!! So let’s get it!!!

Hyped to be RYPE!!!

WHOA!

Hey there RYPEness!

It has been a whirlwind of the past few days! So much going on…and not enough time to get it done! Sometimes you start to feel like there is no way you are going to over-come, accomplish or catch a break. Days can get full…between responsibilities for your career, responsibilities for your children, responsibilities for your spouse, it sometimes feels that there is no way that you can take some time for yourself.

black-woman-stressed-536x250Bottom line? You have to. And the relief from the aforementioned stresses can be gone is a little as 30 minutes. Sounds too good to be true, ey?

Try this…go for a run. Go for a nice 30 minute intense run. And if running isn’t your thing, power-walk!

If you run with music, put on a playlist that is positive. I had a friend advise me to create a playlist called “My Soundtrack”. That playlist was to only contain songs that encouraged me, spoke to me, made me feel good, made me feel powerful, made me feel empowered. If you are stressed out, the last thing you need is Lil’ Wayne yelling obscenities at you. Save that playlist for another time! Right now, put your soundtrack on repeat…even if it’s only one song.

If you are not a music runner, clear your mind and put yourself in your favorite place. Imagine calm. Talk to your Creator. Be introspective.

….and RUN. Release all of that stress, release all of that negativity, find your greatness and let it out!

 

Check out a few of these facts on what exercise does for you:200512522-001

  • It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.
  • It’s meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.
  • It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All this can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.

Nice right? Just 30 mere minutes can do that?

Yep….sure can. Here is a link to the complete article that talks about other benefits of exercise on your mental health:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-and-stress/SR00036

So, you still think that finding 30 minutes a day is too much for you? I didn’t think so. Go to your local Meetup.com and find a run group. There are soooo many out there that are awesome and can definitely meet your running needs. Think you may be a solo runner? Then cool…find your 30 minutes for “me” time and re-align yourself with your personal soundtrack. Exercise is key to feeling good!

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And….your sanity is not a bad reason to start training for a triathlon. I’m just sayin…

Hyped 2b RYPE!