Ground Hog Says 6 More Weeks

Mark, my boyfriend, text that Bootsie (my cat) just got up and turned around then goes back to sleep. That is what winter is like here in New England! Wake up to below zero to single digits, blizzard, and repeat. Now how do you train for Boston marathon or early spring half marathon? Be smart, running below 16 degrees you can easily get injured. Be flexible, you might have to reschedule your runs to different day and/or different time of day. When it is really bad go inside to run on track, treadmill or elliptical. Be smart and be safe where you run! Today, I’m hoping to run loop repeats of 1 mile with wide shoulder. This year, I decided St Patty’s Day 10K for my first race of 2022 instead February. Be wise when and where you run! Be flexible to cross train snow shoeing or cross country ski! Try to find ways to enjoy winter! Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Look Mom No Hands

Living in New England can be challenging in the winter to train for triathlons, road races and the Boston Marathon. Today, I woke up to 1 degree with wind chill -7 but my training schedule had a run. Luckily the gyms are open here! Now do I run on the indoor track, treadmill or elliptical? Since today’s run is easy (Zone 1), I decided to do the elliptical. When I do the elliptical, I do not hold onto the arms but work my balance and core. And it allows my body to recover without any impact. The forecast for this weekend is a nor’easter of 12-18 inches of snow. My long run will be a mix of indoor track and elliptical. I rather run outside but it is good to be safe. How you adapt your training to move forward makes you stronger and smarter! Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Remember When

Before cell phones, iPods, and other ways to connect to technology, runners just ran listening to traffic and nature or talk. Yes kids this sounds old but it is good for your soul, for your brain, just your mental well being. All that technology stimulation all the time doesn’t allow the brain get a rest/reset to solve problems. Just stop and look around you to see how we treat our home (earth). I live in New England which is one of top areas in the world that has seen the most global warming changes. The more we appreciate our earth in a healthy way, the more it will respond in a positive way. I love hearing the birds, animals, the lake ice moving, seeing nature change with the seasons. It is just good for the soul! Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Coming Back

It is always hard coming back from injuries to start training for road races/triathlons. But it is totally different coming back from having Covid. Recently a coach on RRCA coaches Facebook group page was asking what other coaches plans look like for their runners. Recently, one of my athletes had Omicron over Christmas. First Sarah started with walking every other day. She is now up to biking 40-45 min and still walking but needs 2-3 rest days a week. We hoping by February She can add swim and run. We are taking Sarah’s training one day at a time. Many athletes are still feeling affects of Covid. And medical community are still learning the long term affects. Sarah is vaccinated but Omicron doesn’t discriminate! Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Is The 1st Week Derailed?

Snowy Frozen Lake Gardner

It is the first week we start our 2022 goal(s) and it gets derailed. Is it really derailed? I always see it as lessons learned. Yes even coaches and trainers workouts get derailed. My Monday training was perfect; Tuesday the weather was not cooperating but did do short run; Wednesday had good Zone 2 bike; Then Thursday’s run didn’t happen because of weather and my own demise. Living in New England, the weather can change multiple times during the day. This morning, the roads were icy till noon which became windy and colder. I was tired and didn’t want to deal with the weather to run, so I jump on my bike/trainer 40 min. I figured it is better than nothing. While stretching I realized I could have gone outside to do short run in my condo development for 15-20 min to get some running. This was lesson a learned! The first 3 weeks are hard because you are creating new habits to achieve your goals. Be flexible and learn from your mistakes! Stay safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Now Your Support

Diane is one of my swim, bike, run friends!

The biggest part to succeed reaching your 2022 goal(s) is your team. This can be a coach or a professional or a friend or organization/club, maybe family member. As you noticed family is last because sometimes they are the least supportive or they think you are crazy. But that can make you more determine to reach your goal. When I first started biking in my mid 30s then decided to bike a century, my mother said I was crazy and I would get hurt. I joined a local bike club which help me train to bike a century(100 miles) in 6 hours. Through all my sports goals and races, I have made a lot of friends. We text each other to swim, bike and run together. When your goal community grows, your will be more successful. Stay safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Your 2022 Goals

What does your fortune cookie say?

As you noticed, I didn’t say New Years Resolution. To me that word resolution is harsh and too firm which most people fail. Goals are easier to achieve them. Now I am going to ask a few questions to help you achieve your goals, write down the answers. I will use weight loss as an example which is a popular personal goal. Question 1: Why do you want to achieve this goal? Health reasons, or fit in a dress for a special occasion as examples. Question 2: How do you plan to achieve this goal? Like what habits you need to change for the new ones. An example: Improve my eating habits, not use salt and sugar and walk 5 times a week.(As you noticed I don’t use the word diet because they don’t work!). Question 3: When do you plan to start, and when will happen during the day? An example: Start on Monday January 3rd; eat 3 meals a day; when you will exercise days and time. Question 4: What habits do I need to change? When we have new goal(s), we have to change a couple habits to achieve them. An example: plan your meals for the week and write a grocery list or get up a little earlier to exercise. As a coach, I ask these questions first to know their goals and commitment. Then their work and life schedule to figure out their training schedule and be flexible. Things happen out of our control but it is finding your way back to be on track with the goal. I wish all good luck with your 2022 goals. Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

The Frenzy

Right now most of you are trying to squeeze work, holiday preparations, training, Christmas shopping and travel to family or family visiting you. Now Covid with the variant cases rising which creates more stress of do I travel or family visit you. When is your down time for you to regroup and energize? Some people enjoy this frenzy. I like listening to podcasts when I am on the bike trainer. One podcast I like is Happier with Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft. Episode 357, she reveals the Yearly Challenge for 2022 which is 22 minutes of rest every day. I like to lay down to meditate for 10 minutes every morning after breakfast. Now with this challenge, I might do 11 minutes in the morning then do it at night before I go to sleep to quiet my brain from the day. When you rest, you are actually regenerating energy to help you cope with the day physically, mentally and emotionally. With all the holiday frenzy don’t forget yourself. Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Relax A Little

Yes I am there under the mask before the race

Last week, I started my Base training but I also had a race. Sounds crazy but doing a holiday race can be fun. I was so happy to see my friends after a long time because of Covid and being sick this summer. It felt normal as it can be. Many dress festive which made the kids feel like it was normal. Being so relaxed, I had a great run and placed 2nd in my age group. I know I can run faster for that distance but that was not the goal. As athletes, we put a lot of stress on ourselves to perform at every race. There are 3 types of races: A race is the big goal race; B race is the test race to see where your are at with the training; C race is a speed workout like a tempo run. Don’t try to do race each weekend because that can lead to injury. Next time you race smile, try to relax and have fun. Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Next Year

Need to add a few more!

I know many runners and triathletes have started planning and signing up for 2022 races. The emails and websites for races is like you are in a candy store because you want to do them all. But you need to pick based on your goals. Based on periodization, I wrote down my training objectives for each sport (strength, swim, bike and run) for base and prep cycles. This make it clear for me as a coach writing the program and what athlete expects during training. Race day is the end goal but it is how you train to be ready. I know 2022 will be a great year racing as long as I stay on track with the training. Right now I am just happy the local gym is open for the pool and indoor track to train during winter in the northeast. I am looking forward and excited to start my base training tomorrow. What is your training plans and big races? Stay safe and healthy! @pamhouck

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