Benchmark

Before starting a training program, it’s important to know where an athlete is at. You have to get a benchmark of her fitness level.

This brings me to my own benchmark of fitness. In the last 5 months I have gained 12 pounds, have went on a few bike rides, ran a handful of times, swam not at all, did not race, and walked a few times. Obviously my fitness level is not going to be very high. In the last 10 years of training and racing I have learned that there are times when a person needs a break.

In an effort to get consistently active again, I have been doing some walking. I went for a run last week. I have had good intentions of an early morning swim to no avail.

Yesterday I went to my first yoga class in a very long time! I am lucky enough to have a hot yoga studio just a few blocks from my house. So despite the 12 inches of snow we received in the past few days, I was able to trudge my way to yoga to meet a friend. It was a really good class and I knew that I would have DOMS the next day. Fast forward to today and (surprise surprise) I am sore!

My traps are killing me, my calves are sore, my glutes are tight, and my left hip keeps feeling weird (almost like it’s popping out) whenever I get up from sitting. Oh yes, my benchmark is verrrrrry low. It’s kind of good, though, because I can only go up from here!

My goal for the next month or so is to eat healthy and do some sort of activity every day, whether it be going for a walk, to the gym, for a swim, or for a run. I’m going to do yoga a couple of times a week, either in my own practice or in a class. And now that it has snowed, I will be going regularly for cross-country skiing outings! I am attempting to find balance right now. Once I feel confident in being consistent again, then I will start my training plan once again and find my fitness benchmark. Right now I’m planning out my next few goals. That’s a topic for another time!

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2 Responses to Benchmark

  1. Stephen says:

    Hi Crystal!

    I found your website when I was looking for vegan triathlete information. I’ve been a vegan for about 11 months, and I have an interest in becoming involved in triathlons.
    After reading your profile I realized we have a lot in common. I too would like to become a triathlete, I am a spiritual aspirant in Kemetic Yoga (Smai Tawi), and I too have been diagnosed with bipolar I disorder. I am normally pretty active, but I’ve taken a break for about 5 months. I use to run, weight train, and play basketball. I would really like to begin triathlon training, but I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve read Thrive Fitness and maybe I will start with those ideas, but any other information would be helpful.

    Thanks,

    Stephen Wright

    • Hi Stephen! Thanks for reading. Congrats on starting the journey to triathlon… just a warning – it’s addictive! A good kind of addictive. Even after 10+ years of training and racing, I still love it (some minor hiatus periods in there). Brenden Fraser is a great resource because he’s a triathlete as well. There are lots of books out there on triathlon. My advice is to start out small – do a sprint. See how it goes. Do a few more sprints and if you want to get into longer races, then go for it! I also recommend joining your local triathlon club. If you don’t have a tri club where you live, there are some awesome communities online – trying beginnertriathlete.com (a poorly designed website, but once you figure it out it can be a great resource). Last but not least, don’t over-train! If your knee gets sore, you’re over-training. You’re exhausted and your limbs feel heaver (after a few weeks of training)? You’re over-training! Over-training causes injury. In this case and all cases in The Price is Right, under is better than over!

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