Friday, March 25, 2011

Fartlek Workout

The other day, I tweeted how every time I see that word on my training schedule I chuckle like a 12 year old. I still remember the time I first heard it.

Just so you know I am going to take you now back to my "glory days" (well not quite but they were really fun times...)

I started the girls' HS track team. I don't know if it was my entrepreneurship attitude, the fact that I liked to run or just my strong hate for softball (God did not bless me in the depth perception department at least in sports where the ball soars through the air...). The first year, I ran on the boys team, but then I found out I just needed 4 girls to start the team, I recruited the other "haters" of softball and voila we had a TEAM!! I didn't run cross-country, I played field hockey. So I would never consider myself a "runner" just more of someone who enjoyed the sport. I mean when all you do is race boys, you get lapped A LOT but it also allowed me to get faster!!! Anyway, I think I just really enjoyed the training (as I do now) aspect and I remember Miss Aveny (she was the coach) says one day "Okay, boys and girls, I am handing out today's fartlek track workout." Being a sophmore in high school, I pretty much lost my did the others that were new to the sport of running. Which brings me to the actual point of this post....

So a fartlek workout is a Swedish term that means "speed play." As far as the definition on wickipedia - it is for the most part an interval training technique that puts stress on the aerobic energy system due to the continuous nature of the exercise. It is really great to incorporate in your workouts, especially if you are training for a longer event. I found this really helps with my long runs.

So, I am going to post my favorite fartlek workout. It is actual a circa 1991 track workout (yes, I was a sophomore in high school that year...). For some reason, the workout was burned in my brain, and every time I needed a pick me up, this is my go-to workout. It makes me feel happy and nostalgic. In fact, sometimes I don't even need a Walkman (just kidding, an iPod) to get through it. Although my earlier ole' school mix would probably fit well with this workout...

Here it goes:

  • Warm up: 1 mile easy run
  • 1 mile moderately hard run (maybe a 7 out of 10)
  • 1/2 mile easy jog
  • 100meters stride, 100meters jog (jog the curves, stride the straights) - do this 6 times which is 3 laps (.75 mile)
  • 1 lap jog (.25 mile)
  • Progressive run for 100 meters (means start out jog, stride, full out sprint), jog 100 meters, Repeat this (.5 mile)
  • 1 lap jog (.25 mile)
  • 4-6 100's sprints (I usually just stay on the straight and take a minute break in between).
  • If you are at the track do the stadium stairs (I do one at one step at a time, and then the next two at a time).
  • Cool down is jog 1 mile and DONE!

And I leave you with this beauty: the GHS Track team picture....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Ten-FIDY Pot Roast

Last week, I completed week 3 of my half-ironman training. As of right now I am following last year's plan and have found it easier than last year. Could be because I am "less green" in the triathlon area, or maybe because I just finished a half-marathon in February, meaning I had less "off" time in running. Last year, if I remember correctly, I did not complete my third swim a week (for many weeks) whereas, I am really making sure it is incorporated and followed as planned.

I do need to do a couple things....sleep better and eat better. I had a great week with the detox but quickly fell off during the second week. Week 2 was very difficult. We lost a really good friend so it was a hard week to get through training/eating/sleeping. You don't realize how much emotional stress can play on your body, how tired you can be. I got about 3/4 of the workouts in but was just going through the motions and almost felt I should have taken a week off. On the plus side, it really helped relieve some stress. The silver lining was spending an incredible amount of time with my friends, especially my girlfriends.

This Monday was a crappy day, it was rainy and blah. The night before I took out a seasoned pot roast I bought at Whole Foods. I wish I had taken a picture of it, it was a beautiful piece of meat. Anyway, I wanted to cook it with beer instead of wine. I had a meeting on Monday so I wanted to put it in early so that meant what was in the house by way of beer? Ummm, for those that don't know Mike and I, you can be damn sure there will be a selection....So on tap we had Scaldis (not a good choice), Victory Headwater Pale Ale (nah, too light) and Oskar Blues Ten-FIDY (an Imperial stout). I really wanted to use a smoked porter but we didn't have a bottle in the house just a random assortment of beers that we would probably rather drink than use for cooking purposes. So I went with the Imperial Stout. If you haven't already had Ten-FIDY, you really should try it. It has a nice chocolate caramel flavor, which I thought would go nice with the roast. It has a slight bitterness but smooth at the end.

Ten-FIDY Pot Roast
3.5 lb roast (already seasoned with parsely, lots of black peppercorns)
1 large shallot
8 garlic cloves
A couple swirls of vegetable oil

Heat oil over med-high heat, add garlic, shallot and simmer for 5 min. Add beef using tongs, sear on each side about 1 min per side.

In the crockpot add the following:

4 potatoes (peeled or unpeeled) - chopped
1 onion chopped
4 carrots - chopped
1 box of beef broth
1 large pint of Ten-fidy

Take meat, and scraping of garlic/shallots and throw in crockpot - put on high until up to a boil and then turn to low and simmer all day (1-2 hours per pound - I had it in for about 8 hours total).

Ten-FIDY Gravy
Take 3 cups of the juice of final product in crockpot. Pour through a sieve and heat in a saucepan on medium. Add 3 tbspn of flour - slowly while whisking. Add 1 tspn of sugar and 1/4 cup of Ten-fidy, bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper and let simmer for 15-20 min till thick. You can add more flour depending on the level of thickness and you may want to taste to add more or less salt.

We served this over German egg noodles, my dad bought us from some little German store at Peddler's Village in PA.
I have to say - BEST ROAST EVER!!!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Working Hard While the Liver Takes a Break

So last Monday, I was a woman with a plan. I started my detox to kick off the tri-season and give the liver a little break. While I was "playing," enjoying off-season and taking it easy, the liver was getting quite the workout.

I have to say the detox that I use is great! I feel better, my skin gets better and definitely triggers losing a few of the 8-10 lbs I need to lose for the racing season. Here is A Much Overdue Detox for the guidelines.

It's funny, we sometimes act like we are in denial and say things like..."gee, I have no clue how I gained so much weight?" or "hmmm, I exercise and I STILL gained weight..." and then the logical part of our brain perks up and says things like "duh, let me get out the, beer, wine, bread, the night that you needed to eat wings with some fries, the going back for seconds of what was supposed to be a healthy meal of 400 calories probably turned into 800 when you include a second helping and some wine..."

Calories in and calories out - it doesn't take a genius here to figure out that. It is tough during the off-season because our brain is still telling us that we are as hungry as we were during training...So by doing a detox, it's me saying F-U to my brain. Kind of like when you need to erase the hard drive, get rid of the viruses and start fresh.

So, I had a pretty amazing week. I really thought when I looked at the schedule for the workouts and said "SHIT, can I do this?" "Am I ready?" And then I said if I can give up coffee and alcohol, wheat, meat and cheese for a week, I think I can do this too.

I used my new software and got to play with the pretty graphs after loading my Garmin data in, it was fun. The end of the week, it calculated a total of 11hours and 15 min of training (about 2.5 hours of that was strength training and power yoga which brings it down to 9hours).

  • Off


  • AM - Swim 1600m with the core set of 6x100's at moderate pace
  • PM - 4 Mile interval run with core set that included a few 1/4 mile speed drills and 1/2 mile recovery)
  • Afternoon - Took "Aura" out for a spin with my friend, Bill- did 18 miles outside during an extremely windy day so I was working pretty hard.
  • PM- Power Yoga - 1 hour
  • 4 mile easy steady run for 38 min
  • Strength training - 45 min
  • Swimming - 2300 m with a core set of 6x200 (50 build and 50 descend)
  • Yoga - 30 min
  • Afternoon long run - 9miles - got a calf cramp on mile 8 and had to run walk the last mile at the canal.
  • 3 hours later - Swim 1600m
  • 1 hour field hockey game (sub out for 10 min) - intense game - 13-13 definitely a major sprint agility workout.
  • Afternoon bike on trainer while watching Exit Through the Gift Shop (incredible movie) for 90min.
My big learning of the week: Swim after the long run = good legs for the next day!

I knew I had this game on Sunday which made me worried that I would be too sore from Sunday's run. I never swam after a long run before, for no reason in particular; but I have to say it was amazing. I came home after the run, did the foam roller while watching some TiVo'd Smallville episodes (nerdville...) and elevated while I ate lunch. I cringed going back to the gym to swim. The strange part, to me at least, was that my legs felt really good even after I went out that night in heels! I had a good game, no soreness and it was tough. An indoor field hockey game means lots of repetitive sprinting over and over again with minimal break time. I mean I was a little pooped to have to go on my trainer after the game when all I wanted to do was lay around but I sucked it up and finished a full week.

My reward for all this hard work and eating good was a glass of Ten-Fidy last night.

Now as I gear up for week 2, I leave you with week in review of my yummy eats from detox week!

Kale, raddichio, endive, bean and roasted tomato and garlic salad with white balsamic garlic vinaigrette.

Black bean, rice, quinoa, tempeh green enchiladas with hot sauce and avocados and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

"Pizza" on rice tortilla (w rice mozzarella)

Breakfast of champions - steel cut oats, almond butter, blueberries

Brown rice spaghetti, soy meatballs, artichokes, tomatoes and rice mozzarella

Stew made with kombucha squash, aduki beans and tofu (and other yumminess - key ingredient tamari and sirachi sauce).
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