Best at 70!

The picture says it all! It will be a long road to be my best, fastest and strongest at 70. Last month on my birthday, I had hard time turning 70 because I lost so much fitness from the month before being very sick. This week I realized, I am lucky to recover quickly and have a great support team around me. My girlfriends are all younger than me, great to train with and keep me thinking young. The next 4 months will be base which I will be working on my strength, endurance, form and speed for swim, bike and run. Aiming for New Years day race (5k or 10K). 2022 will be my best racing in a long time, better than my 60s. As you age, it does take long to come back but you can be faster than your 60s. I have a plan and goal races for 2022 with times to beat. I am up for the challenge mentally which is biggest part of the training. Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Mental Games

During our long run on Saturday, Eve and I talked about mental games we do during the long runs and endurance events. Eve is training for virtual Boston Marathon. Saturday, she ran 18 miles and I ran the NH 10 Miler virtual which is my last virtual race. Eve celebrates each mile she complete and every 4 miles she does a GU. This is a great way to keep track of your nutrition throughout your run. Nutrition is one key element for successful endurance event. Me, I break the total miles into sub events which includes the nutrition. An example of sub events for the marathons: 5K, 10K, 15K, Half Marathon, 20 miles then the finish line. I try to finish a fuel bottle and take in gel each sub event. For Half Ironman sub events: swim, transition 1, bike: 15, 30, 45 then 56 mile, transition 2, run: 5K, 10K, 15K then the finish line. The nutrition on the bike, is to make sure I eat part of a bar and drink water bottles with electrolytes at the 15, 30, and 45 miles. Mental games and nutrition work together. Don’t be overwhelmed by the total mileage or time, just be present in the current mile. Be safe, be healthy and be happy! @pamhouck

Marathon Training

With many races are happening including marathons, many runners are training for a marathon this fall. I am always ask how long is a marathon, all marathon are 26.2 miles. So what does marathon training involve? A lot! Nutrition: practice on days your run: eat small meal 1-2 hours before you run; your hydration during your run especially on long runs this includes electrolytes; and eat/drink right after your run, amino acids to recover faster. Next is the running: critical are the consistent long runs slowly building up to 20-22 miles and at least 2 other runs each week. You can add cross training on days not running: bike, Pilates, Yoga and strength. Stretch after your runs and other cardio. Next is practicing the mental part during your long so you know how to overcome hitting the wall. Everyone has their own mental games. The biggest part is have a plan so you can check off your progress each week. Happy running! @pamhouck

Do You Really Want To Do It?

Tomorrow, I see the doctor which I will know what is happening next. Like going to lIve races or have to do races virtually and/or more tests. Saturday is the Allen Mello NH 10 Miler which will be a stretch for me since my longest run is 8.5 mile. I am not running fast, still get tired, and have no strength for the hills. Mentally, I am strong for any endurance event and I can push myself to run that hilly 10 miles. I will keep telling myself that I love hills throughout the run! Marathons are 50% physical and 50% mental. But if you don’t do all the physical training for marathons which is get in all your long runs up to 20-22 miles and other weekly runs. Then that can lead to a tough marathon race and injury during the race. There are many doing Boston Virtual Marathon which is there first marathon. Some are saying this will be there one and only marathon but that can set you up to not complete all the training and not finish the race. As a coach, I have seen it all. You have to really want to do it and not put up mental blocks or stop training for a minor issue. Once you embrace that want to do it, the training becomes more enjoyable and you start to see progress. Be in the moment! @pamhouck

Back to the Basics

All the tools for swim workout

Everyday I am getting stronger for the bike and run but not the swim! It is 4 weeks since I was sick and taken to emergency room. It has been slow process gaining weight and getting muscle strength back. In another couple weeks, I will be back to pre sick pace and power on the bike and run. But the swim is like I am slow motion no matter how much I push. So it is time to get back to basics of the swim: body position, freestyle stoke phases, body rotation, kick and arm/back strength. Strength part using body weight and weights (dumbbells and machine). Swimming is getting the pool doing drills by focusing on body position, freestyle stoke phases, and body rotation. Drills should not take up the whole swim workout or you will swim like a drill. An example of workout: warmup 300-400 yards; drills 4 x 100 yards focusing on body position, hand/arm entry, catch, pull and recovery phases; main set focus on speed and endurance, which is 60-75% of total yardage; cool down 100 yards. Many think using hand paddle for the majority of the swim will make you faster. Wrong, it is all the form! And you can get injured with paddles if form is bad. If you don’t know why your swim is bad, have a friend do video or have a swim or triathlon coach look at your swim. I am going to have my boyfriend video me but I have some good swim workouts to do in the pool to get me faster. Happy swimming! Be Safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Training Status – Really?

Garmin sport watches have an phone app called Garmin Connect. It gives a lot of data that useful except Training Status which you should beware. Tuesday I ran 4 miles, which my Training Status was Productive. Today, I ran 1.2 mile on the track then swam .5 mile, which my Training Status is Unproductive. It also lets you know when you are at Performance or Overtraining. First it is inaccurate and take it with a grain of salt. How does it know what your training goals and when is big race? You know your body better than a sports watch. The data is good to know but it doesn’t know what is happening in your life. I was very sick 5 weeks a go which the watch doesn’t know that important data. The process of building strength and endurance time takes time but Garmin only looks at the stats of today’s workout. And we all have good and bad days of training. The next time you look at your stats, ignore the training status. Many coaches agree this is a bad info. Your VO2 Max, power, cadence, pace/speed and heart rate are the important stats. Stay safe and be healthy! @pamhouck

Rock Says It All!

On Tuesday as I was trying to run 4 miles on hard pavement, I saw this painted rock on the wall. You can interpreted it many ways but for me it was a sign to keep living my life with sports, continue coaching and training clients. On Tuesday evening, I found out some good news from Monday’s lab tests that I am better and can do more. Everyday I am getting stronger and building my endurance. I know I will be back to running half marathons, doing triathlons including Olympic distance and maybe bike a metric century. But getting sick made me want to get stronger and be more flexible to make me faster and have more power. And go back to being vegan which I have been doing the past 4 weeks. My body feels better for that. Since it is summer still need to do a Hodges dairy-free gluten-free treat a couple times (in moderation). We all have good and bad days. Try not to look back at the bad days but look forward the good days to live our life to the fullest and keep blooming. Stay safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Mental Health

Virtual Run New England Challenges total of 1693 miles

When training for big events, there several components that critical to success: strength to keep injuries minimal; flexibility to prevent overuse of muscles; build endurance to to sustain energy throughout the event; nutrition to sustain energy; mental strength. Training can be stressful by getting workouts in between work and family and keeping everyone happy. But race day of the event can be very stressful. Some athletes question are they ready for it. Or some athletes are so nervous they cannot eat anything or cannot sleep because they have nightmares about it. The one thing many coaches don’t talk about is the mental and emotions throughout the athletes training. I seen coaches pump up athletes the day of the race instead asking how their athlete feeling or thinking. So many people are criticizing Simone Manual for backing out of 2 Olympic events. We don’t know the full history leading up to it. These Olympic athletes have had TV cameras in their faces, constantly be on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the past 2 years. That is so stressful. Some are so afraid to say they have been seeing a sports psychologists because it will the wrong impression of being weak. They are human! We all are human beings with brain and emotions! Give them some space to let them digest what is happening and not criticize them. Mental health is so important for everyone including Olympic Athletes. Be safe and healthy. @pamhouck

Decisions We Make

Today’s decisions we make can affect your life, health and future. 2 weeks ago, I ended in Emergency Room with high fever and right kidney not happy. It started on the morning of Friday July 9th before the Dam Sprint Triathlon on Sunday. All athletes think we will be better in time for our event but luckily some friends knock some sense into me to defer to next year. I am happy I did defer because I didn’t get better and went to ER on Monday. Week latter, I realize it will be a slow process to get my endurance and strength back and my autoimmune was compromised that I decided to defer REV3 Olympic to next year. Till doctor says ok, no races in person for now but I can work on my strength, endurance and eat to gain some weight back. Last week, I walked but this week hoping to run and maybe bike outside. As athletes, we always push our bodies to the limit but it good to know when to step back and seek advice of professional (doctor/PT). My rule is if you hurt more than a week then it is time to see a doctor/PT to get back to your training sooner pain free. Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

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