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Greenville, SC

Trimarni is place where athletes and fitness enthusiasts receive motivation, inspiration, education, counseling and coaching in the areas of nutrition, fitness, health, sport nutrition, training and life.

We emphasize a real food diet and our coaching philosophy is simple: Train hard, recover harder. No junk miles but instead, respect for your amazing body. Every time you move your body you do so with a purpose. Our services are designed with your goals in mind so that you can live an active and healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Trimarni Blog

A blog dedicated to exercise, nutrition and my life

Filtering by Category: "swim workout"

Lately in the off-season - workouts and creations

Marni Sumbal

After a 3-week break from structure and giving my body the rest it needed from triathlon specific training, I am enjoying the transition to structured training. However, there will be no run-blocks in my training, no running races to train for and no extreme changes from "normal" tri training.

I am a triathlete and swim-bike-run is my lifestyle. There's a lot of work to be done this off-season and base period in order to ensure that my body is strong enough to withstand the training and racing load that I choose to put on myself in 2014. This is the time to work on imbalances and weaknesses with the body and to also maintain balance so that I do not peak too early and so I reduce risk for injury and burnout.

In the next week and a half, we will be launching our newest service which is a 5-week Transition Phase triathlon training plan. There will be more on this soon but Karel and I and our athletes will be following a very similar plan to address areas that can make for successful training performances and race day experiences.

The training plan is specific to lung capacity in the pool (and efficiency), power on the bike, form on the run and a heavy emphasis on core/hip/glute work (and plyometrics/cicuit training) as well as flexibility.

Here's a little peak at what my last week consisted of (not including Campy walks) with a few key workouts and yummy creations:

Mon: 6:30-7:45am: 2000 yard swim + 30 min hip/glute/core work
6:30-7:30pm: Yoga at the YMCA with Karel

Tues: 7:15am: 6 mile run (steady with short walking to reduce residual fatigue - first official run since Kona, aside from our run to and from swim start at IMFL. I didn't need to walk but choose to walk). 7:45 min/mile average pace

Wed: 6:30am - 8am - 2500 yard swim + 45 min hip/glute/core and circuit leg/upper body strength
Stretching throughout the day

Thurs: 7:00-8:30am: 1:30 bike (road bike)
Stretching throughout the day

Fri: 6am - 8am - 3000 yard swim + 40 min strength and hip/core work

Sat: 2 hour group ride (on my new Speed Concept)

Sun: 9.2 mile run. 1:11 (8 miles solo, walked every 2 miles to shake out the legs to reduce residual fatigue. The walking wasn't needed but choose to walk. 7:45 min/mile pace. 1 mile with Campy).
Stretching, foam roller, trigger point

Swim main set 2x's:
8 x 50's (25 as few breaths possible, open turn, 25 fast breath as much as you'd like) w/ 30 sec rest
300 steady swim
100 swim w/ pull buoy between ankles to work on core and upper body strength
(1600 main set, warm-up and cool down as needed)


Toasted quinoa and kamut, leftover baked eggplant, zucchini, onion and mushroom, fresh ginger, one scrambled egg, tempeh, spinach, asiago cheese, red pepper flakes and marinara sauce.
-For toasting cooked whole grains, heat skillet to medium heat and drizzle 1-2 tsp olive oil and toast grains until crunchy and golden. It gives them great flavor.
Veggies cooked in oven - 425 degrees for up to 35-45 minutes.
Tempeh - can be cooked in oven or skillet until golden brown

2 hour group ride - have fun and don't worry about numbers

For my 1:30 road bike workout on Thurs:
Main set 2x's:
5 x 1 min FAST cadence w/ 1 min EZ spin
Followed by 5 min steady effort
Recover 5 minutes then repeat
(40 min main set)

Oatmeal creation: raspberries, Bosc pears, chia seeds, raisins, almonds and oats.
-I recommend up to 1/2 cup oats (dry) and if you find that oatmeal does not leave you satisfied after 2-3 hours, add a bit more protein such as protein powder, milk or a side of yogurt.
-I recommend add at least 2-3 fruits to your oatmeal for more vitamins and minerals.
-I always add some kind of fat to my oatmeal to slow down digest. Enjoy any nuts or seeds for a little crunch too. 


Key hip/glute/core exercises:
Hip hikes
Clams
Bridge (w/ marching)
Planks
Planks on side w/ leg lift
Planks on side w/ hip thrust
V-ups or captain chair
Side crunches standing w/ weight
Bench step-ups

 Chocolate cherry sourdough bread (a gift from one of my nutrition athletes from NC) to compliment my plant strong meal of mixed greens, chives, tomatoes, grapes, avocado, sunflower seeds, raisins and cottage cheese (2% Daisy Brand) sprinkled with Parmesan.

As you probably know, I have a new bike in my life....

And I'm really happy about it!

Later next week I will be talking about the specifics of my new bike as well as an overlooked part of getting a new bike....getting a proper fit by an experienced bike fitter/mechanic.
Karel is the owner of the RETUL system and has over 20 years experience with bikes and in the bike industry. I like to call him the Bike Doctor. He knows his stuff and he has been really busy helping athletes around our area with their bikes so I will be talking about the RETUL technology soon which I highly recommend for any triathlete who is looking to reduce risk for injury, gain more power w/ a more comfortable ride and to help run more efficient off the bike. 


Oh, almost forgot.
My weeks are always filled with Campy love. 





GYMBOSS Interval Timer: Product Review

Marni Sumbal

I love intervals for workouts. For anything to break up the monotony of a timed-workout keeps me motivated and excited for each and every upcoming workout. My mind never gets bored and I am forced to be mentally and physically "in the moment" for every set.

Although I see nothing wrong with swim, bike, run for x-minutes (as I rarely go by miles with my training or my athletes training), I find the best way to train for quality is to have a purpose for each workout. You warm-up and cool down as needed and the focal point is the main set....the intervals.

When athletes or fitness enthusiasts think intervals they generally think hard, leg burning, sweaty and intense. But intervals can range from steady and long to short and intense...and everything in between.

Here are a few of my favorite, recent Ironman-focused swim, bike, run workouts:

Key IM bike workout
IM focused long brick
Breakthrough IM swim
Run intervals

But in addition to using intervals for cardio workouts, intervals work great for strength training. I am a firm believer that strength training should be included in the weekly fitness routine - regardless of what type of athlete or fitness enthusiast you are. I have been strength training since I was 11 (when I started swimming competitively) and I feel it has given me strong bones (along with dietary focus) and muscles which have kept me from experiencing any stress fractures or broken bones in my life thus far. I also feel that strength training is valuable to improving power, speed, endurance and form as an athlete or fitness enthusiast and helps minimize time spent training for cardio (ex. junk miles) as the body needs little time at home or in the weight room to gain strength whereas for cardio, physiological adaptations can often come rather slowly after the initial first 3-4 weeks of training.

Although full body strength training and plyometrics are ideal for the off-season and base phase for athletes, I believe that hip and core work should be continued year round. Certainly, as athletes, any type of "strength work" should enhance cardio and not sabotage us for upcoming workouts so there must be a nice balance as to when the strength training falls and what type of exercises are performed.

Here are a few of my favorite hip and core focused exercises which you can include as intervals into your weekly workout routine. Rather than focusing on reps, go by time. Seeing that for most people one side of the body is often weaker/stronger than the other, time-based intervals are ideal for hip and core work so that you can finish an interval with good form rather than just trying to get to a certain number of reps while the body is fatiguing with poor form.

Here are some of my favorite hip/core exercises:
Perform 3-4 days a week, 10-20 minutes.
Up to 30 - 90 seconds -  on each side (if appropriate) or for each exercise.
-clams
-monster walks
-hip hikes
-lying on side, top leg lifts (straight and bent leg)
-plank, belly down
-plank w/ one leg lifted (belly down)
-side plank (optional w/ top hip thrust)
-superman
-reverse crunch (if equipment bench is available) or reverse crunch on stability ball
-bench v-ups
-mason twists (optional w/ weight)
-lying on back, leg drops

So, to help you out with your interval "strength" work at home (or any type of intervals, especially for personal trainers or aerobic instructors), I have the perfect tool for you!

Gymboss contacted me and asked if I would review their interval timer stopwatch. I said absolutely as I am always interested in new technology that can make for better, smarter and more quality-focused workout. As much as I love to exercise, I think like an athlete and therefore, I want to adapt with the least amount of training stress. I do not want to waste my time exercising and not making performance gains. Just like you, I want to put in the work to receive the benefits and be able to do it all again (but better) the next day.



To learn more about the Gymboss you can check out the Operating tips video which gives a great explanation of all the wonderful features of this product. You do not have to use all the functions as it works just fine as a stop watch but for those who want to do the work and think very little, this will really help you out. All you have to do is set up the timer for your workout and it will automatically alert you as to when you should be performing an exercise and what you should stop and rest. It's like having a trainer with you but without the fun chatting in between intervals. :)

Enjoy! Any additional questions, send me an email and I'd be happy to help you out.


Breakthrough IM swim and baked pasta casserole

Marni Sumbal


The funny thing about training, or fitness in general, is all the highs and lows that come with it. Of course, who doesn't love to have a good workout but then again, considering the complexity of the human body, perhaps we should be thanking the body more often for any workout for it is easy for the body to fail and I think many times, we take it for granted. All the muscles, organs and metabolic processes working perfectly just for us to swim, bike and run or zumba, yoga or jazzercise. 

As a long-time athlete, I recognize that great performances are not made in weeks or months but overtime. The key is consistency and always giving your best effort. I find that for many athletes, there's an expectation as to how the body is to perform each day and for others, just getting out the door is success...anything else that follows is a bonus. But no matter your reason for working out (or training), the most important component is making progress to reach your short and long term goals. There's no point of an action plan if you don't have a goal to reach. 

As usual, I have been enjoying my swim sets in the pool. I have designed swim sets to help both Karel and I improve in the water but also to improve our efficiency as triathletes. The past three weeks have been challenging and they were all leading up to the big set which was done yesterday (Friday). 

3 x 1000's @ IM pace

I have had mostly good days in the pool over the past few weeks but I did have a few days when I couldn't get into the groove. Although I found myself a bit frustrated based on my own fitness level at times, it's really hard to for me to regret any workout  for I love using my body and if I am not able to "train" I still love to exercise. Oh, and the fact that I have been swimming for about 20 years makes me a big lover of water....I'm a fish. It's not hard for me to get in but very hard for me to get out. 

After a 500 warm-up, I told Karel we would go right to the main set. Karel was having an off day (which is normal and expected due to 3 tough weeks of training so he was just being smart by backing off) so I kept to my side of the lane and Karel did his own thing.

Having the extra motivation of high school (and young) swimmers in the pool made it easy to push myself but I sure to wish I was young again! Those kids were just blowing by me in the other lanes!!
Not knowing what my body would give for this set, I made up  my mind that I would not count myself out until I tried...for all three of them. I didn't have the best swim (to my standards) on Thurs so I found myself getting into doubting thoughts during warm-up but I  knew if I wanted to have a good set, I would need to jump out of self-doubt and enter a place of "I can". 

1st 1000 - 1:26 pace per 100 yards

Wow, shocker. I could not believe it!! I was so thrilled considering I didn't think I had it in me as was just hoping for 1:30 pace.

After resting 2.5 minutes and sipping on my sport drink (I fuel before and during every  workout in endurance training), it was time for #2. 

2nd 1000- 1:23 pace per 100 yards. 

Holy cow! Again, another shocker! I started to get my groove on for #2 and I felt so smooth in the water and I was able to pace myself so well which was a great confidence booster. I use my Garmin 910xt in the pool and I am able to look at my watch to see my pace (and distance and time). As a long-time swimmer, I think this is just natural in that I can feel my pace, just like an experienced biker can control his/her watts and a runner kinda knows varying paces without looking at his/her watch. 

Ok - so time for #3. I figured I had surprised myself enough that anything around 1:25 would be great. BUT, I told myself, just try and see what happens. 

After 2.5 min rest....


After catching my breath on the wall and Karel telling me I was swimming way to fast in the water, I decided, time to call it a day for me. Scratch the 4500 yard workout planned on the schedule. I warmed down after this last 1000 and went for a recovery spin (90 min) with Karel. Training is a lot like gambling. Stop while you are ahead before you dig yourself into a hole. 

I must have looked at my Garmin 10x's in the morning after the swim because I seriously did not think I had it in me to do those times because I have not been able to execute like that in training. But then again, it only took my mind to help me step up to another level. Amazing how the mind can play an impact on our actions. Positive or negative......be careful with your thoughts. Thank you Gloria for continuing to help me realize the power in our/my thinking in all areas of my life. 




After a busy day, it was nearing meal prep time in the evening and I still had a few more emails to respond to. Karel and I have been eating similar foods before weekend training as we would/will before race day, for the past few weeks so for his Friday evening eats, I know he likes either rice or pasta. I have a few favorite pre-race foods but I know what always works best for me before an endurance event (sweet potato, egg, salad, bread/rice) so I am happy to enjoy Karel's pre race meal with him....sacrifices in marriage :) 

Rather than the standard pasta, I decided to do a pasta bake. What made this even better was that I could forget about it for a while and didn't need to "cook" while answering emails. Feel free to add your own veggie options and protein. Enjoy!


Baked Pasta Casserole
(ingredients to serve 2)
Pasta - 4 ounces dry (2 ounces equals about 1 cup cooked - plan for leftovers)
Marinara sauce (1/2 - 1 cup)
Veggies - spinach, corn, peas, onion
Bread crumbs (a few spoonfuls)
Cheese (I used asiago for a nice peppery taste)
Garlic (1 tbsp powder or 1 clove chopped)
Protein of your choice (for animal protein, ~3-4 ounces per person, for other protein, about 20-25g per person of protein)
*Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1. Cook pasta as normal. Drain. 
2. Lightly spray bottom of casserole dish with cooking spray. 
3. Place protein on bottom of dish. 
4. Layer veggies. 
5. Spoon pasta on veggies until covered (I used about 1.5 cups I think). 
6. Spoon marinara on pasta until covered. 
7. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on marinara (light covering). 
8. Top with garlic and a little cheese. 
9. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until pasta is a little crunchy on top. 


Swim set, podcast link and tri-colored quinoa w/ tempeh

Marni Sumbal

As I have mentioned several times, I just love the Ironman journey. This time around, sharing it with Karel has been extra special for we have both been able to see progress within each other and that is really neat to see. Karel continues to push me on the bike and in return I get the reply "great job, babe" as I smile every-so kindly to thank him for the suffering. But on the flip side, Karel has really worked hard on his swimming and I can't believe he just started swimming 1 year ago!! I have really enjoyed helping Karel learn to swim and to be there to witness his major swimming breakthroughs. Karel started very slow, working on form for he knew he had a year to train for the IM and there was no need to rush speed when form is the most important part of swimming efficiently. 

The issue for many triathletes who struggle with swimming is the exhaustion that comes from swimming. No matter how fast or slow in the water, how long or short, it is just exhausting and it's not the same kind of exhaustion that you get from pushing yourself during a run or bike set. Although swimming is non weight bearing, one would think it would require less energy to perform. However, any form of exercise increases your breathing rate and as you know, when you swim you do not have a lot of opportunities to breath (or to take in a full inhale and exhale). Seeing that swimming (like any exercise) increases your heart rate and your blood circulation in response to your effort/intensity, your lung capacity, the efficiency in which you take in oxygen and transfer it to blood vessels as well as your form/strength in the water to push past the water's resistance, determine how fast and how far you can swim.

Overtime, your respiratory system will get stronger and you will find your lungs working more efficiently to help you with exchange of gases (oxygen/carbon dioxide). Thus, before you get focused on being fast in the water, it is very important to work on your stroke and swimming effortlessly (as possible) so that you can train the body to perform with the least amount of energy expenditure. The speed will come, just be patient. 

I have been giving Karel swim sets for the past few months and they are really paying off. It is amazing that he is so strong in the water although he does get tired which is to be expected. But, he refuses to give up so he is in the pool 3 times a week working on his form and just being as comfortable as possible in the water. 

On Tuesday before our brick run (immediately after swim) we had a great swim set focusing on a little speed and then pacing. I am trying to help Karel learn how to tolerate lactic acid in the water but not exhausting him (which is what happened a few months ago when Karel would just do fast swims and we figured he wasn't doing any good with consistency for he was just exhausting himself for upcoming workouts). 

Here's the set we did: 
3000 yards

500 warm-up
Main set 3x's: 
3 x 100's fast w/ 15 sec rest (I did them on 1:30, Karel did them on 1:45)
300 steady IM pace (ideally, going the same pace as your cycle, about 15-20 seconds or so per 100 slower than your "fast" pace). 
50 EZ recovery before repeating (or rest 2-3 minutes)

500 pull stretching things out (w/ buoy/paddles)
100 cool down


On Wednesday I had the opportunity to do a podcast with Real Women on Health and Iron Girl and it was a lot of fun as I got to talk about my favorite topics......nutrition, fitness and health! Here is the 30 minute podcast for your listening pleasure if you want to hear my thoughts on eating for fuel, health and pleasure.




I made the most delicious creation the other night and I am so excited to share it with you. I visited wholefoods the other day to explore some new foods to add to our diet and I picked up tri-colored quinoa. Prepared the same as regular quinoa with a nice nutty taste. Speaking of nutty, Karel and I just love tempeh for its taste but it is also packed with protein. It can taste a little bland so I recommend cooking it in a little olive oil (cubed) or you can try to find flavored tempeh (just watch the added sodium). 

Enjoy!

Tri-colored quinoa stir fry
Asparagus
Sweet Peppers
Garlic
Mushrooms
Tempeh

1. In cooking pot, prepare quinoa 
2. In large skillet, turn to medium heat and add a little olive oil (~1-2 tsp per 3 ounces tempeh per person) and cook cubed tempeh until golden brown (toss occasionally). Season with a pinch of salt, turmeric and oregano (pepper optional). 
3. While tempeh is cooking, prepare asparagus by chopping off ends (1 inch) and microwave in shallow dish for 3 minutes until tender (maybe 4 minutes if needed). Then chop. 
4. When tempeh begins to turn golden, add ~1-2 tsp olive oil and add pepper and mushrooms. Toss and reduce heat to low and cover (may need to add a little cooking spray to prevent sticking) and toss occasionally. Let cook for 5-8 minutes or until soft but not browned. 
5. Add asparagus to pan, toss and cook for 1-2 more minutes and then turn off heat. 
6. Assemble plate with ~1/2 cup quinoa + veggie and tempeh mixture. Enjoy!

Pear-berry oatmeal, IM-prep swim set, Trimarni "summer" checklist

Marni Sumbal


Pear-berry oatmeal

1/2 cup oats (dry)
1/2 small pear (chopped)
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp (about) red currants (or raisins)
~10g protein powder (optional: whey, vegan, soy -to help slow down digestion and to promote satisfaction for a few hours)
Water or milk to meet consistency needs

1. Mix ingredients together in large tall bowl (Recommend a tall bowl as oppose to a wide bowl which will help prevent spilling over, although watch for rising oatmeal).
2. Add water/milk (liquid) to almost cover the dry ingredients (leave about an inch or so not covered. if not using protein powder, cover 3/4ths dry ingredients)
3.Stir well with a spoon (especially if adding protein powder)
4. Microwave (uncovered) for 1 minute, then stir.
5. Continue to microwave in 45 second intervals until oatmeal meets your consistency needs (it may get more thick the longer you microwave. I like my creamy so I typically microwave around 2:15). 


This morning swim set was the perfect way to start my day before working at the hospital. I followed swim with hip strength which I do 3x's a week (Mon, Wed and Fri) as well as hip work daily (ex. clams, bridges, hip hikes, McKenzie moves). 
This set was exactly what I needed for mind and body to finish another GREAT week of training (can't wait for the weekend!).
 I always feel a boost in swim confidence when I do repeating 100's on a cycle and I have always incorporated them into my IM training for the last 8 weeks or so of my peak training (typically on a Friday either as a short "intense" set or within a longer distance set.
Doing repeating 100's is a great way to increase your anaerobic threshold without compromising form so long as you take advantage of recovery. Depending on your comfort in the water, you may need to lessen the number of 100's that you do. For example, rather than doing 4 x 100's on a cycle like I did, try 2 x 100's trying to keep the same cycle. Then work your way up to 3 and then 4. The key is to make sure you are only resting "just enough" so that you compromise your respiratory system just a bit to raise that threshold. You don't want to fatigue too early in the set so be sure you pace yourself. With this set, you are able to be more consistent as the workout goes on without letting fatigue destroy your form or exhaust you from finishing the set if you were to just swim "fast" for a 2000 or to swim steady and not make progress to getting faster in the water.  In an Ironman you do not have to be "fast", you have to be efficient so if you are new to swimming or uncomfortable in the water, keep on working on your form and endurance and limit the speed work to once a week and within a "short" workout. 

5100 yard IM-prep workout
4 x 500's warm-up (odd swim, even pull w/ paddles - try to be steady on these)
100 backstroke recovery
Main set: 20 x 100's
Perform the main set like this: 4 x 100's with 10 seconds rest (keep the same cycle - for ex. I did these on 1:30 and was holding ~1:18-1:19 per 100), then do 1 x 100 EZ backstroke recovery (take a total of 3 minutes rest OR double your interval for the fast).
Repeat this cycle of 4 x 100's fast, 1 x 100 EZ for four times for a total of 20 x 100's. 
Optional: 500 pull  w/ paddles - work on stretching out the stroke
Optional: 400 choice
100 cool down


Training, exercising or racing this weekend? 


Don't forget your Trimarni checklist for outdoor activities in the heat: 
-Water
-Electrolytes
-Sport drinks w/ carbohydrates (for workouts/exercising over an hour)
-Sunscreen (SPF 30+, broad sp...ectrum)
-Sunglasses
-Wicking clothing 
-Visor/hat
-Recovery drink/food
-Towel
-A smart game plan (adjust intensity as needed)
-Recovery compression/ice