Can Workout Clothes and Gear Be Considered A Source of Motivation?

The other day as I was getting dressed to teach my indoor cycling class, I realized wow, I am wearing a ton of positive motivators right now!

-My Road ID, which I chose to have engraved with 'Dream Big'.

 I wear my Road ID EVERYWHERE, not just for safety, but as a constant reminder to dream big and keep trying to achieve my goals, even when they seem far away  (such as injury, life stress, etc.)

-My Gotta Tri Sweaty Bands headband, which I purchased with a gift card my friend gave me after I completed my first triathlon.  :)

-My newest My Soxy Feet socks, which I KNEW I had to have as soon as they came out!

I was literally decked out in inspiration from head to toe ;) 

Other items that inspire me as soon as I put them on (actually, sometimes I choose to put these on just to inspire and motivate me):

-My "I Tri" t-shirt that my mom bought me at the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon expo, when I was still super nervous and unsure of myself (yes, the day before the triathlon).  She believed that I could conquer my fears and complete my triathlon.

-My Iron Girl Columbia technical shirt

I freaking love this shirt.  For one, it's my absolute favorite color, but it's also a reminder that I, she who was so scared to ride a bike that she came this close to quitting the triathlon a month before the race, not only completed the triathlon but had an amazing and life changing experience.

My husband would like to remind you that I'm still terrified of riding my bike, haha.  #justkidding #notreally But the important thing is not giving up!  I'm still proud of myself every time I ride my bike outside.

Is there truth in the expression, the clothes make the (wo)man?  In this case, I'm going to go with yes.  Obviously, I still have to make the choice to get up, put my socks or headband or shirt on, and get out there, but I do feel that these external motivators give me an extra dose of inspiration.  

Do you think it's silly to say that clothes can inspire you?  Or, are you like me, and do you choose your workout wear to inspire you?  

~Megan

What's for Dinner? + Workout Plan for the Week

Today was a great way to end the weekend and start the new week on a positive note; I tried a new workout at Miss Fit class this morning, Long and Lean, which is a Pilates and barre fusion, and then made a healthy and delicious meal of salmon.

IMG_0046.jpg

Here's how this week is shaping up, both in terms of dinners and workouts!

Dinners

Sunday - Salmon, broccoli, and Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend

Monday - Smoky turkey and sweet potato chili  

My sister has been raving about this chili, so my mom and I are both going to give it a try!  I figured it would be perfect for this snow that we may or may not get early this week.

Tuesday - Chili

Wednesday - Chicken and salad 

Thursday - Chili

Workouts

Monday - Swim 50 minutes (and then go home and eat all the food)!  I looked at my swim mileage on my TomTom Multisport account yesterday and realized I've swam over 6 miles this month; I decided to attempt to get to 8 by the end of the month.  We'll see how it goes. 

Tuesday - Piyo!  I'm trying out Piyo to switch my workouts up.  I'm trying to be good to my knee, so I thought this would be a good, lower impact way to strengthen my lower (and entire) body!

Wednesday - REST DAY

Thursday - Teach Group Ride indoor cycling class

Friday - Swim 25 minutes (I usually do a shorter swim at the end of the week).

Saturday - Teach Group Ride indoor cycling class

Sunday - Piyo :)

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

~Megan

 

Swimming Tips from a Triathlon Newbie

Happy Wednesday!  Since I've been doing so much swimming lately, I decided to reflect on the swims of my two triathlons today.  Both of my triathlons were pretty different in terms of size of race, length of individual race disciplines, sex of participants (Iron Girl was all women), my excitement to sheer terror ratio (haha), and most obviously, the body of water that the swim was conducted in.  

Iron Girl Columbia, my very first triathlon, was an open water lake swim.  In contrast, the ODU Triathlon was a traditional pool swim with a snake format (snake format - you start on one side of the pool and travel up and down the lanes until you reach the other side of the pool).  I thought I'd share a few tips for you other triathlon newbies, for both the open water and pool aspects.  I know I have SO much to learn still, so maybe I'll add to this post in the future. :)

Open Water Training Tips

*Practice at least once in open water - this is important.  You might THINK you're comfortable in open water, but splashing around with your friends in the ocean is completely different than swimming with other athletes all around, focused on their own race, and maybe accidentally kicking water in your face.

IMG_4761.JPG

*When you're practicing in the pool, practice sighting and swimming with your eyes closed.  In an open water swim, there are no lane lines to ensure you are going in a straight line, and not totally off course, in the mud (this might have happened to me a little at Iron Girl, which definitely made me swim farther/cost me a little time).  So, I recommend sighting by choosing an object on the other end of the pool (your water bottle, pull buoy, etc.) and practice picking your head up out of the water and 'sighting' for it.  Also, I recommend practicing swimming with your eyes closed for a lap or two.  

Pool Swim Training Tips

*Practice flip turns to save time at the wall.  I don't do flip turns my entire swim workout, but I like to pick 200-300 yards and focus on my flip turn form.  I'm known to totally miss the wall a time or two; during a race is not the ideal time for this to occur!

*Don't forget to incorporate some speed work in your swim workouts.  Those 400 yards or so will go by QUICKLY.  Also, a lot of races ask you for an expected swim time, for example, how long does it take you to swim 100 meters.

*Get over being scared or apprehensive of other people being in your swim lane, because you will not have a lane to yourself during the triathlon.  I used to wait until there was an empty lane before starting my swim workout, choosing instead to hang out on the pool chairs, but I got over that after my first triathlon. :) Bonus points - swim (in a designated lane) during aquasize or aqua bootcamp.  All of the extra splashing can prepare you for crowded lanes or open water splashing.

Other Tips

*Don't forget to practice the swim to bike brick; a lot of emphasis is put on bike to run, but it's important to practice this brick too.  Swimming and biking are very different disciplines that utilize different muscle groups, so you want to make sure you're used to putting all of it together in one workout.  Also, you might want to practice the practical part of this transition too - putting running socks and shoes on (slightly) wet feet.

*Strength train to build up your upper body strength.  I think I'm a stronger swimmer now compared when I was younger, before I really started lifting weights.  I rely much more on my upper body when swimming, which I think helps save my legs for the bike and run.

*If you choose to wear a trisuit for the entire triathlon (I did for both), I recommend trying it out in either open water or in the pool before race day.  A trisuit is more material than your traditional swimsuit, and you want to make sure that its not moving around, or riding up, while you're in the water.  Many trisuits have a pocket in the back for gear and other race day necessities; make sure this doesn't interfere with your swimming abilities.

Time for some swimming fun, from me to you!   Here's a mile swim workout that emphasizes drills, flip turns, and speed work to get you ready for your next triathlon, or get you through the offseason!

Happy swimming!

~Megan