Tag Archives: triathlon

Back on the Block

Hey there RYPEness…
…it has been a long time!

You know how all of a sudden it seems that “life” just gets in the way of what you are supposed to be doing? How you allow yourself to get derailed because it seems that you are being overloaded with too much “life”. Well, I am hear to tell ya…you ain’t alone. There’s comfort in company, isn’t there?
So, if I could share some things that I’ve learned from my little “life” experiences, I would say this:

  • God never dishes out more than we can handle. Ever.
  • Your test is your testimony…for somebody, somewhere…regardless of if you realize it or not.
  • Challenges make us reassess and dig deep to keep it moving.
  • “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” is a very true statement, because we always come out wiser.

Remembering those little jewels doesn’t necessarily make the blows softer, but it does make getting up, brushing off your knees, and moving forward a requirement. Na wada mean?

“Life” got a little rough for me these last months. My dad’s health was failing, I was under-employed, my bills were stacked, then I got a good paying job but it was kind of demanding – immediately, and my dad’s health continued to spiral, and then my brother’s sister died, and then a friend of mine was killed, and then my daddy died.

OMG.

Man…I am supposed to be training a team of dynamic sistahs for Tri Latta, sharing my healthy well-being advice with whomever would listen, and “Inspiring Women To TRI“; but now I don’t want to even get out of bed…let alone swim, bike or run.

Or so I thought.

Upon returning to Charlotte on a Sunday (my parents are in Cincinnati, so I was there for over two weeks), I couldn’t imagine racing that following Saturday. I hadn’t been in a pool to do a workout in months. I hadn’t ridden my bike in weeks. I hadn’t gone for a run in I don’t know how long. How was I possibly going to do a triathlon, sprint distance or otherwise?

So Tuesday I went for a run, first in like…ever. It was a solo run which was good. I was with my thoughts and prayers, and actually – unbeknownst to me at the time – beginning a healing process for my soul. The run was hard…as hell, but I got through it. So my plan was to just go out there and Tri Latta best way I could.

Friday I head to packet pick up, and while standing there at the participants meeting I received a text message informing me that a good friend of mine had just passed away.

WTF.

That was a moment….to say the least. Do I race? Do I bow out gracefully? Uh…yeah…NO! I kept repeating to myself, ‘you led these awesome ladies to this moment, how dare you consider a bow out now?!

Race.

And racing ended up being the most therapeutic thing I have ever done. The swim was difficult, but I gotta say…for a chick who had not been on a bike in a while, I kinda killed the ride. I mean, definitely wayyyyyy better than I expected. The run, well lets just say I had the inspiration I needed to keep it moving by having a Team RYPEr in front of me who I was chasing in my head, and a work colleague behind me who I refused to let catch me!!! HA! But when I crossed that finish line, a wave of emotion just came over me…just like when I crossed the finish line of my first triathlon ever…which happened to be Tri Latta…11 years ago. Crazy right? After I got myself together, I looked around and began to take it all in. How DOPE AND OFF THE CHAIN the amazing ladies of RYPE looked out there in our DOPE AND OFF THE CHAIN RYPE gear. How much love RYPE was being shown. How proud we were as a team to be the only example in that race that Black women DO Tri! And that we were able to display that to a plethora of little brown faces who happened to be volunteers on the race course (way to go Queen City Dolphins)! It was the most satisfying and purposeful “get cha self up and brush it off” moment I’d ever experienced.

So, all that to say this: It is true what they say…exercise IS a great way to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. You will feel the physical relief once those endorphins are released. Your mind is clearer and you physically feel stronger.

But on top of that, know that there is no feeling like the high you get when you are walking the path that has God intended. “Life” can get tough, but you can never allow it to stop you from crossing the finish line.

The RYPE Train is on the track and moving. Next stop…Tri Ballantyne.

Team RYPE

Team RYPE

 

 

 

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

May13_wo_speed-pushups

  •  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

May13_wo_chin-ups

  • 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

May13_wo_dynamic-lunges

 

  • 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

May13_wo_stability-ball-olympic-diver-crunches

 

  • 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 

May13_wo_stability-ball-dumbbell-overhead-press

  • 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 

May13_wo_seated-cable-rows

  • 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

May13_wo_dumbbell-front-squats

 

  • 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

May13_wo_knee-ups

 

  • 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!!!

Proper preparation prevents….

…showing up at the gym ready to get your “spin” on and realizing you forgot to pack your shoes.

ImageYep, that’s pretty much how my morning went. I had my day all planned out, starting with a nice 50 minute spin class followed by some good weight training, then off to some meetings, and finally some fun playing laser tag with my 13 year old mentee.

So why am I putting this on my blog? Well, because I want you to avoid derailing your fitness goals by always being prepared.  Your gym bag should be your “ready-set-go” bag. Just like we ensure that our “essentials” are always in our purse, we should approach our gym bag the same manner. To avoid the epic fail that I experienced this morning, I suggest you keep these key things in your bag at all times:

  1. Workout clothes. You never know what your day may throw at you! So make sure that you always have some quality workout threads (including socks!) that are ready to rock and roll whenever you are.
  2. Gym shoes. I know, these things are not cheap. But its a good idea (I am living proof) that having an extra pair of shoes in your bag prevents missed workouts due to being rushed or simple oversight. These shoes don’t necessarily have to be your best or favorite pair. They are there to serve the purpose of back up when our brains have that occasional fart.
  3. Workout log. Its important to keep track of your progress, if for no other reason than to see your victories! Everyone is motivated when they see themselves improving. So keep a little diary with you at all times to record your success. #motivation
  4. Water bottle. There is nothing more annoying then being thirsty and having to go locate the water fountain. So make sure you always have a spare water bottle to fill and tote around as you move through your workout. We all know that water intake is very important!

If you have just these 4 things, the chances of you experience my Saturday morning fail diminish to nearly zero. So learn from my mistakes, and lets stay on that healthy living bandwagon!

Hyped to be RYPE!!!

 

Competition can be your friend!

Hey there RYPEness,

Some months back I talked about hydration and how drinking plenty of water is essential to your healthy well-being. Whether you want shinier hair, younger skin, a healthier body (or all three!), pure, clear water is the world’s best beauty elixir. According to WebMD, here are six good reasons to drink water:

1. Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

2. Water Can Help Control Calories. For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.

3. Water Helps Energize Muscles. Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue.

4. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss.  

5. Water Helps Your Kidneys. Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine.

6. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation.

Want the details, check out the full article here: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water

But honestly, I think we all know that we NEED to drink more water. This issue is actually doing the dang-gone thang! So check it out…one of my good friends is an avid user of the app GroupMe. She decided that she would set up a group of her friends, allow everyone to set their own goal of daily water intake, and check in periodically throughout the day on where you are with your water intake. Now…I may be just a tad more competitive than some, but I believe that everyone has a little competitive beast residing within. Those little alerts I get that simply say “60”, indicating that someone has consumed 60 ounces of water at that point, serves as a reminder for me to go drink a glass…or two. It has been really cool to watch how everyone in the group has ramped up, if for no other reason than to stay competitive with the group. And at the end of the day, you have had a little fun…maybe edged out your competition, but most importantly….you got a good, heavy dose of that wonderful clear goodness that our bodies REQUIRE.

So try it! Have fun with it! And then watch how the health benefits of a little friendly competition translate into beautifulness inside and out!!

Yo….I’m at 45 ounces. What say you?

Inspire11

Why Tri?…

….cause its sexy, that’s why!

Hey there RYPEness!

So today I had a bit of a panic attack! April 28th is my first triathlon of the season, and its about 5 weeks away. To date, I have been on my trusty Felt once, and in the pool like….none.

YIKES!

I am not going to worry too much though. I am going to use the Huntersville Sprint Tri to gauge my fitness at this point and determine what I need to do to improve my time for the next race on the agenda. Actually, for me I find this a good way to start a season. I have kinda gotten started, but not focused. I signed up for Huntersville, so there is no backing out. I will very likely be embarrassed by my time which will kick my lazy butt into gear! What a plan, right? 🙂 HA!! The key to this fitness thing?….find what works for YOU!! For me, not wanting to embarrass myself twice is a good enough reason to remain focused!

Anyone want to join me? COME ON!…I am sure its going to be a fun race. SIGN UP HERE!

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We can struggle through this one together, then get ready to have some real fun….like heading to Asheville, NC to do the Enka Sprint at the Biltmore on June 15th!! Yeah…that got your attention, didnt it?

Have a RYPE week!