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2013-12-22 3:01 AM

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Subject: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
GROUP FOCUS: This group is created for triathletes who just love to be active. Training Plans are great and scientifically give you the best regiment but the downside is that sometimes it becomes work. Just going out and having fun and doing what feels right might be the hidden secret in a successful performance. The whole point of training is to be able to race. You get to travel to a cool place, engage in an activity with like minded individuals, and form an instant community of friends. You get the added effect of pushing yourself to new levels that are inaccessible while training. A high volume race season is a great way to get all of these benefits multiple times in a year.

NAME: pfomalont / Paul Fomalont

STORY: After a lifetime of riding bikes and running for fun I did my first triathlon two years ago. I had a blast and I decided to start competing regularly. I have not really used training plans too much and even when I do I probably have about a 50% success rate. I am active all of the time and love doing a variety of sports. If I want to go skate ski I grab my skis, sometimes after work I just want to go to the pool and swim, other days, when it is beautiful and sunny out I jump on my bike for a long ride. I have found that this constant activity has allowed me to do modestly well in races. I am originally from the United States but now live and work in Switzerland where I have been for the last 5 years. I did my first Ironman last year in Zurich and loved it. I am going to use the Ironman in Los Cabos as a kick start to the 2014 season and for a cool vacation to Mexico.

FAMILY SITUATION: Single

CURRENT TRAINING: I am trying to follow the Beginner Ironman - 20 Weeks HR plan found here at BT.

THIS YEAR'S RACES: 2013 Races: 1 Ironman, 2 Half, 4 Olympic, 1 Long Distance Duathlon (10k - 150k - 30k), 4 local road races 10k, Munich Marathon

2014 RACES: Ironman Los Cabos, Ironman Klagenfurt, Ironman Zurich?, 3 Half (Rapperswil, Luxembourg, ??), many local Olympic tris, many local road races, 4 Duathlons (Powerman series), and 1 end of season marathon.

WEIGHTLOSS: I track my weight but don't stress (most of the time.) During the winter it goes up and in the summer it goes down. Try to go with the flow.

WHAT WILL MAKE ME A GOOD MENTOR: I know that even with the most effective training that I will never reach the elite level. Therefore I just focus on having fun. I want to help motivate others, support them and share their thoughts. Feel there is a lot of success to be had with this and am interested on other people's experience with this type of training. Also am psyched to follow other people's race reports.




2014-01-24 10:47 AM
in reply to: pfomalont

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi, Paul! I'm interested in joining your group, please. My name is Jennifer, I'm 40 years old, married, no kids. I love your philosophy, which is why I picked your group. I'm not a competitive person, though I did row competitively for a few years. I love being outside, I'm a yoga junkie (and teacher) and I love to cycle. I just started back running in December, and in January started to swim out of sheer curiosity, which led to the, "oh, what the heck. Let's give this sprint-tri thing a shot and see what happens."
I'm currently already at the baseline for the 13 week sprint tri plan for both running and cycling, but the swimming is gonna take some time. Luckily I've got some time; the events I'm considering aren't until at least May. So, where do we go from here?
Thanks much!!
2014-01-27 8:38 AM
in reply to: #4916679


1

Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi Paul - My name is Susan and I would like to join your mentor group - your philosophy of having fun and not being too serious is right up my alley! I'm turning 50 this year which is one of the reasons I wanted to do a triathlon this year. The other reason is because I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and after surgery and chemo, I'm doing everything in my power to stay healthy and cancer free. I've done a half marathon and a 25 mile bike ride, and just last weekend did an indoor triathlon. It was fun but the swim part was really hard for me!

I'm married with three teenage daughters and I'm a part-time reading teacher. I registered for a sprint triathlon in July and it's the open half-mile swim that really has me nervous. Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Susan
2014-02-04 8:41 AM
in reply to: pfomalont


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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN

Hi Paul!

My name is Val and I would like to join your group. I'm 36 and just signed up for my first triathlon (a sprint aimed for 1st timers in September) I used to be pretty active, but the past couple of years I've struggled trying to get back into shape.

I joined a master swim club this past fall and am slowly learning to become more comfortable in the water. (I know how to swim, but I'm not very efficient! lol)

I ran a couple of half marathons and a full one but I am having a hard time getting used to the road bike. (started biking indoors this year, so far can't really stand it more than 20 minutes! )

I am looking forward to your input to help me get fit and finish my first tri!

2014-02-04 7:02 PM
in reply to: pfomalont


4

Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi Paul.
I'm R.J. I am an active duty U.S.Navy Chief. I have been cycling for a few years now, and have completed three centuries on the bike. I have completed numerous 5k races but nothing longer that was organized. I like your ideas in your profile. I need to get in the pool I'm an ok swimmer but have never trained outside of my military training. I,m looking to start training for an Olympic distance race,I don't have one picked out yet. I look forward to adding some accountability to my training.
2014-02-07 12:08 AM
in reply to: 0


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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi Paul!
I'm Barb, 48, soon to be 49 in May. I live in California, married for 30 years and have two grown children. I work out 5 days a week, Zumba, Cross Fit, Boot Camp and run 2 miles the other two days. I've never done a triathlon but I'm signing up for one for June 29th. I like the fact that you have a team close to my age and don't take things too seriously but like to have fun. That's why i'm in those classes mentioned above. I love to have fun. I love swimming, running and any outdoor activity. I don't ride a bike but I have one to train on in my gym. I don't really know how to start training for a triathlon so any tips would really help. It's a 3 mile run, 1/2 mile swim and 13 Mile bike. I'm excited but nervous.
Can't wait to talk to everyone
Thank you,
Barb

Edited by barbschallenge 2014-02-07 12:10 AM


2014-02-07 7:22 PM
in reply to: barbschallenge

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi everyone!

My name is Chris, I'm 43 years old, and I have been monitoring this group for a while now hoping it would take off and I would join in.
I'm not sure what happened to Paul, and I hope he comes back to lead the group, but his profile says he hasn't logged in to BT for about 2 1/2 weeks now. So...although I am no official mentor, I saw you guys joining up and I didn't want anyone to be left hanging with unanswered questions, etc.
I'll try to answer any questions or help anyone if you'll have me until Paul returns.

About me,
I'm going into my 2nd full season of racing, though I have dabbled in running events most of my adult life and raced a few triathlons back in the late 90's (before kids/career, etc). I am focused on the Olympic and Sprint distances. What brought me to this group to start with was that I too share some of the philosophies Paul mentioned in starting the group. I train "old school" mostly "by feel". I don't use a lot of the newer tech stuff like GPS, HRM, or Power meters. I participate for fitness and health, but also try to be competitive as an amateur age grouper. I don't follow any official training plan, but do try to be consistent in my workouts.

Anyway to sum up, I'd like to join the group and feel like I have enough experience to answer some questions and drive some discussion until the group mentor returns. Thanks.

2014-02-08 3:47 PM
in reply to: Dominion


4

Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Thanks Chris,
I,m really looking forward to any discussion on swim training. I think I can help answer a lot of questions about the bike. I have worked as a bike mechanic and that was my main sport for a long time now. If anyone in the group needs any questions answered I am willing to help. I like the idea of training by feel, I have already incorporated that in my bike training. I don't use a power meter, or even a heart rate monitor on the bike anymore. I had that stuff before but I felt I was getting lost in the data. It took all the fun out of training so I went back to just a basic cycle computer. Looking forward to glue group discussions.

Just to add on I,m 39 and about to turn 40. Sorry I forgot to put that in my last post.


R. J.
2014-02-08 4:22 PM
in reply to: #4916679


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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
I've got 1 question lately... how long does it take for your body to get used to ride a road bike? I have my dad's road bike, got it fitted for me (my dad and I are the same height + similar weights) and have a stand thingie to ride indoors.

But I find it very difficult to hold the same positions for more than 5 minutes or so. Does it get easier eventually? Do I need to get a new saddle? Any suggestions are welcomed!
2014-02-08 4:36 PM
in reply to: ogrenr01

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Originally posted by ogrenr01

Thanks Chris,
I,m really looking forward to any discussion on swim training. I think I can help answer a lot of questions about the bike. I have worked as a bike mechanic and that was my main sport for a long time now. If anyone in the group needs any questions answered I am willing to help. I like the idea of training by feel, I have already incorporated that in my bike training. I don't use a power meter, or even a heart rate monitor on the bike anymore. I had that stuff before but I felt I was getting lost in the data. It took all the fun out of training so I went back to just a basic cycle computer. Looking forward to glue group discussions.

Just to add on I,m 39 and about to turn 40. Sorry I forgot to put that in my last post.


R. J.


R.J.

I agree with you on the "getting lost in the data" with all the tech gadgets available today. I run with just a basic stopwatch and ride with only a basic cycle computer. My swimming is almost all based on perceived effort.

As to swimming, have you started any swim training yet? I assume you have access to a pool. Are you comfortable in the water and just looking for some programs to help you prep for an Olympic distance race, or are you basically starting from scratch. Either is Ok, just give me a little more feedback and where you currently are and what your goals are.
2014-02-08 4:44 PM
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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Originally posted by madigan77

I've got 1 question lately... how long does it take for your body to get used to ride a road bike? I have my dad's road bike, got it fitted for me (my dad and I are the same height + similar weights) and have a stand thingie to ride indoors.

But I find it very difficult to hold the same positions for more than 5 minutes or so. Does it get easier eventually? Do I need to get a new saddle? Any suggestions are welcomed!


Are you doing any outdoor riding or just riding the trainer indoors? I know the indoor trainer can get uncomfortable quick. Riding outdoors usually gives you a little more freedom to move around or shift your weight or even stand up for a few seconds.

I don't know about it getting any "easier" but yes your body should begin to adapt to the position and stresses being placed on it as you build time in the saddle. This is assuming your fit is correct of course. Also do you have aerobars on this bike?
A lot of people have saddle issues and upgrade to high end saddles for more comfort. That is something that would be a personal choice. You may be able to talk to your local bike shop and try out a couple of different ones.

Edited by Dominion 2014-02-08 4:45 PM


2014-02-08 5:26 PM
in reply to: #4916679


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Silver member
Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
I'm just riding indoors for now. I'm not comfortable enough on the road bike to take it outside much (only used it on a couple of short rides under 30 min outside) and we'll it's winter here now so I thought I'd use the time indoors to get more comfortable on the bike.

Main discomfort is the crotch area. Being a woman I thought it'd be easier on me than men but now I'm not so sure lol.

I do use padded shorts. I'll see if I can bike on the trainers regularly enough to figure out what's bugging me.
2014-02-08 7:17 PM
in reply to: Dominion


4

Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Not starting from scratch I have had a lot of military training in the pool. so I am drown prof. But it sure feels like I'm starting from scratch. I'm trying to follow a training plan for an Olympic distance race. I have looked up some drills to practice. I have real trouble keeping my head down and my legs up. I struggle just to get a lap done. I can only do one lap at a time in my version of freestyle, I have to back stroke or side stroke to complete the time for a workout. I have access to an outdoor heated lap pool here. I,m just trying to not get discouraged. I can fly on the bike or running, I'm just not good in the water.
2014-02-08 7:28 PM
in reply to: madigan77


4

Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Do you have a bike shop near by? Usually they will have a weekly group ride and most of them have different groups that go out each time. My local club here has a weekly ride that leaves from a local Starbucks. We have all levels of riders, and there is a fast group that goes off first and then a no drop group. It might help to have a group to ride with, when I first started on the bike that really helped me out. Little adjustments on the bike can make a big difference. Also like stated before saddles are a big part of your comfort, but if the rest of the adjustments are uncomfortable even the right saddle won't feel right.

R.J.
2014-02-09 7:48 AM
in reply to: madigan77

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Val,
If you are just riding indoors so far, then I wouldn't get to worried about it. Just start with 30 minute rides (or whatever you can handle fairly comfortably, and build slowly.)
I know when I started riding the trainer 30-45 minutes was all I wanted. Hopefully when things warm up (Where are you located btw?) you can get outside and things will improve. If it is unbearable or doesn't improve, look to upgrade your saddle. I know Adamo's are popular, but a little pricy. My brother has one he loves. I ride a stock specialized seat with no major issues up to 50 miles outside. My longest indoor ride has been about an hour and 45 minutes (33 miles) and I was getting pretty uncomfortable by the end, so I think there is a difference of indoor vs outdoor riding. At least for me, and hopefully for you as well.
2014-02-09 8:10 AM
in reply to: ogrenr01

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Not sure what drills your plan has you doing but have you used a pull buoy at all? A buoy might be a good tool to help you with your body positioning in the water. It will keep your legs/lower body up and allow you to concentrate on your head position and breathing.
If your head/upper body comes up the natural reaction is for your lower body to drop creating a ton of drag in the water. A buoy will prevent that.
My pool has a box of them that people can just grab and use. If yours does not, you can get them at swimoutlet.com for $7-10.

I'd mix it up. Do some laps with the buoy and get a good feel for what the body position is supposed to be, then knock out a 50 freestyle, see how it feels. Then go back to buoys to keep reinforcing that body position and breathing pattern. Just mix it up and put in the volume and your form and ability will improve.

What kind of volume are you swimming each session and how often?

When is your first race?



2014-02-09 12:25 PM
in reply to: marriedthepoolguy

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi Jennifer,

Welcome to the group. Sorry to take so long to respond, I was away in London on business the last week and hadn't checked this forum until this weekend.

I think that the ideals of yoga reflect the way that I like to train.

As I am new to this mentoring role if you email me once a week with your training I will give you any feedback that I am able.

As a weak swimmer myself I have managed to get our swim team coach to meet me and swim. It is really good to have a buddy to keep me motivated.

Good luck with your training and let me know how things are going.

All the best,

Paul
2014-02-09 12:34 PM
in reply to: swpeck

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi Susan,

Welcome to the group.

Swimming is a huge weakness of mine as well. Keep on doing as much pool work as possible. I am not sure where you live but since you race isn't until July I would try and do some open water swims. When I lived in Vermont I found a group that would go swim in the local lakes or down a river once a week. It was a great way to comfortable in the open water. Honestly pool training is the least fun of getting ready for tri for me. Swimming outside is so much nicer.

Anyway keep on training. Sounds like you have a busy life but make sure you fit in some fitness time for yourself each day.

Send me an email each week or so and I will respond.

All the best,

Paul
2014-02-09 12:40 PM
in reply to: madigan77

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi Val,

Welcome to the group.

I am so psyched that you are going to try a triathlon! The best way to get in shape is to have a firm goal established.

Biking indoors is about the most painful and boring training that I have ever done. I just got an indoor trainer and spending more than 30 minutes on it is torture. Riding outside 30 minutes seems to take 5 minutes it is so much better.

I am not sure where you are in the States? but even in the winter you can do short rides outside. I would find a local bike path or go to your local bike shop and find a flat course that you can ride. It doesn't matter the length but make it short and just spend some time getting used to being on a bike. It is intimidating just take it slow and easy.

Good luck and drop me a line every week or so to let me know how things are going.

All the best,

Paul
2014-02-09 12:45 PM
in reply to: ogrenr01

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi RJ,

Welcome to the group. It is great to have you.

I have a secret. My first Olympic distance race I had swum a grand total of 3 times. My last Ironman I also seriously under trained, literally swimming about 4 times (all in races.) My point is that if you are relatively fit and can swim you are most likely going to be able to do the swim, just expect to finish in the last group (or last as I did.)

My other advice is to pick a race that is soon. As per the motto of this group "race to train." I think that you will find the best way to get ready for a race is to do one!

Hope this helps,

Drop me a line every week or so and tell me what you have been up to.

All the best,

Paul
2014-02-09 12:52 PM
in reply to: Dominion

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi Chris,

Sorry to have left you out to dry. I was away in London for the last week and consumed by work (and skiing) before that.

You sound like me that fitness for fun is your main vehicle to train. I must admit that I have been starting to use GPS Garmin watch with a heart rate monitor. It is more for interest but I do like using the HR meter to push myself while I run and bike. It is also cool to have a journal of all of your adventures which the GPS saves.

It is interesting watching how I do against my age group. I was about average, always right in the middle of the category. Last year I have been creeping up in the rankings some. I credit this to the high volume of racing. Again for people like you and I who are not going to be scientific in their training racing seems to give me that specialised interval/intense training that I don't usually get from my daily fitness. It seems to be working, so maybe you should try to do more races.

Drop me a line every week. I'll be better about answering them (unless the powder is super deep!! )

All the best,

Paul


2014-02-09 12:58 PM
in reply to: barbschallenge

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi Barb,

Welcome to the group. Great to have you on board.

You are ready fitness wise is my guess. Here is the advice that I would give you. Try a bike and run brick. Brick is the word that triathletes use when they are training two disciplines at the same time. I remember when I did my first brick. My legs were so shaky from the bike that my first couple of miles I literally wobbled. You can try one indoors. Just bike on the trainer and go run the track. I bet this will be really good to get your body ready for the tri and give you some confidence.

Send me an email every week or so and let me know how things are going.

All the best,


Paul
2014-02-09 1:03 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi Paul,

Great to have you back!

I hope you don't mind me stepping in to try to answer a few questions in your absence.
Now that you are back to lead the group, I would still like to stick around and throw in my .02 every now and then.
This seems like a good group and is now ready to really take off.



Edited by Dominion 2014-02-09 1:07 PM
2014-02-09 1:16 PM
in reply to: madigan77

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi all,

So this is for everyone. Sorry that I was gone for so long but it look like many of you connected and started communicating together already which is great.

Let me try and summarise the group.

Jennifer - Age 40, planning on doing a sprint in May
Susan - Age 50, targeting a sprint in July
Val- Age 36 (the baby of the group?), aiming to do your first tri soon!!
RJ- Age unknown, olympic distance race on the horizon.
Barb - Age 48, ready for your first triathlon!!
Chris - Age 43, my twin, same age and same training style

So I think this is our group. If I miss anyone please respond.

It is great, we are all about the same age and it seems that all of us have good fitness and are looking to start or have just started racing.

I am no means an expert but will try and share my knowledge with each of you and also we can all share with each other.

I would ask that every week or two you just give a general update on what you have been doing, that way we can see and encourage each other.

My last two weeks have been low on triathlon training. Work is always in the way of fitness and I was on London for a week. I try and stay in shape while traveling for work but am really bad when I am not in my element. I did a few runs though the city which were fun. The best was a run I dubbed the snake. I would run from the Tower Bridge to Big Ben and at every bridge I would cross to the other side of the river. Just for fun (and maybe to show off a bit I would make the bridge crossing a 80% speed run.) Now that I am back in at home we have just gotten a lot of snow. I have been skiing like crazy. While I have completely wrecked my training for the Ironman in Los Cabos I am a strong proponent of the winter off season were I take a break from running, biking, and swimming. While skiing might not give me the cardio it is so much fun and works my legs in different ways than those other sports. So as long as I don't blow out a knee I think it helps my body.

Hope everyone has a good week. Have some fun.

Sincerely,

Paul
2014-02-09 1:47 PM
in reply to: Dominion

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Subject: RE: The Other Way - Training by Feeling and Racing to Train - OPEN
Hi Chris,

Thanks for the greetings. I must admit that I checked this group for the first couple of weeks after it became live and no one had joined. I became a little dishearten and therefore didn't check it again until today. It is great to see the people who have joined. Thanks a lot for taking over. I really want this to be "our" group not "my" group and I appreciate the replies that you gave. I just read your blog and it is a fun read about your race in Florida. I laugh a little about the hills you had and on the course.

All the best,

Paul
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