How to Train for Swimming in Your First Short-Course Triathlon


Steps:
1.Allow six weeks for the bulk of your most intense training.
2.Get the right equipment. This includes a good pair of goggles and a wet suit, if the water temperature is below 75 degrees. A cap is usually provided in the race.
3.Practice at least once wearing your wet suit.
4.Practice in open water once or twice before the event.
5.Give yourself two to three months of swim practice if you are not in swim shape.
6.Swim at least two days per week. Swim a minimum of the race distance each day, building up to at least 1 1/2 times the race distance.
7.Devote at least one workout a week to speed and one to endurance. This will prepare you for taking off in the race, when everyone goes fast. Warm up first, then do intervals: swim 100 yards in, for example, 90 seconds, 10 times.
8.Cut back in training the week before the event. 
Tips:
Do other strokes besides freestyle, if you are comfortable with them. This builds strength, helps prevent injury and adds variety and overall fitness.
Seek out a masters swim team (over age 19), or another group or even individual, to make training easier and more enjoyable.
Consult an experienced or professional triathlon coach.
Read up on the event, and speak to experienced triathletes. 
Overall Warnings: If you have any condition that would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. 

How to Set Up an Outdoor Nativity Scene


Steps:
1.Decide where your nativity scene will be best appreciated - by the front walk? in the corner of your yard?
2.Make sure that your extension cord is made for outdoor use and that it will reach from the electrical outlet to your display.
3.Set up the core of the scene with the Mary and Joseph figures flanking the manger.
4.Add the wise men figures to one side and the animal figures to the other.
5.Make sure none of the additional figures obstruct the view of the manger piece, which is the focus of the scene.
6.Use sandbags for ballast if you live in a particularly windy climate.  
Tips: If the manger scene is the type in which the figures contain lights, be sure to use only bulbs rated for those sockets. The information should be on the socket itself.   

How to Follow Legendary Runner Grete Waitz's Marathon Advice


Steps:
1.Take a couple of years to build a running base before undertaking a marathon. Begin training with shorter races.
2.Keep to your program. Don't throw out your training in search of that "magic" marathon program. Your marathon training can be fundamentally the same as training for shorter distances except that the distance is longer.
3.Intersperse rest and recovery after hard training runs.
4.Practice drinking and/or eating during the training runs.
5.Take the race one mile at a time, being flexible enough to adapt to weather, course conditions and your biorhythms on race day.
6.Use relaxation techniques, especially in tough patches. The last half-hour of the marathon is always difficult. Tell yourself often to relax specific parts of your body - neck, shoulders, arms, etc. Then repeat some words such as "steady, push" to keep up the pace.
7.Drop out if you have to. Sticking with an effort is commendable but not if it's dangerous to your health or safety.
8.Begin recovery measures as soon as the race is over. Keep moving, get warm and drink water. Get a massage, if possible, a few days after severe leg soreness has abated. 
Tips:
It's a waste of time to train to be a better runner for at least two weeks after a marathon.
Eat a well-balanced, high-carbohydrate diet on a regular basis.
Remember that every marathon is a learning experience. You can never learn too much about the event. 
Overall Warnings: If you have any condition that would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. 

How to Turn Broken Ceramics Into Art


Steps:
1.Look at the pieces of ceramic with a new eye: as raw material for art. Figure out how much area the pieces will cover and whether they're small enough to work with (see Tips).
2.Break up bigger pieces carefully. Place them in a pillow case or old sock and tap them - not too hard, but not too softly - with a hammer. Stop when you have pieces small enough to lie flat on the surface to which you'll attach them.
3.Choose the object you will decorate. Consider a wide picture frame for pieces of smaller objects, a flowerpot or - if you have lots of pieces - the top of an end table.
4.Determine whether you have enough shards to cover the surface you've chosen. Remember that if you don't have quite enough, you can fill in with pieces of another item or even small decorative tiles.
5.Purchase mosaic adhesive (available in most craft stores) and tile grout in any color you like.
6.Create your design by placing the pieces on the surface until you've achieved a pattern you like. Remove the shards to a work surface, preserving the design while you prepare the surface and the shards.
7.Make sure the surface and your shards are dust-free. Apply a thin layer of mosaic adhesive to the surface to be decorated and to the backs of the larger shards, then attach the shards to the object.
8.Apply tile grout to the gaps between pieces with a putty knife, a craft stick or your rubber-gloved fingers. Wipe off any excess with a clean cloth. Wait for the grout to dry, and your work of art is done! 
Tips:
How do you know whether your shards are small enough? It's mostly a matter of taste - what looks right to you? One consideration is to make sure they'll lie flat on a flat surface or match the curve of a rounded one. Experiment.
Choose the object to decorate carefully. Mosaic adhesives stick best to porous surfaces such as particle board. If you're decorating smooth stone or glass, attach a piece or two with mosaic adhesive to make sure they will stick.
If your object will be used to serve drinks or will otherwise encounter liquids, protect the grout with an application of grout sealer (available where tile supplies are sold). 
Warnings:
Wear safety glasses when breaking up ceramic shards.
Be careful when handling the broken pieces, which may have sharp edges.   

How to Maintain a High Energy Level While Mountain Biking


Steps:
1.Drink plenty of water and eat nutritious, high-energy foods before, during and after your ride. Bananas, oranges and sports bars are all good choices.
2.Try to pedal in circles - use your legs to both pull up and push down on your pedals. This is a far more efficient method of pedaling than the common practice of just pushing down.
3.Shift into gears that allow you to keep your legs moving at a quick pace.
4.Avoid running out of breath. Do this by maintaining a pace that is appropriate for your level of fitness.
5.Ride new and intriguing trails. If you ride the same trail over and over, you're bound to get bored - and tired.
6.Experiment with energy bars on practice rides, not during your first race.
7.Have fun. The more you enjoy the ride, the more energy you'll have. 
Tips: Try not to sprint at the beginning of the ride. Doing so only saps your energy early and leads to difficulties down the trail. 
Warnings: Mountain biking is a physically demanding sport that could result in serious injury. We recommend that you seek proper training and equipment before attempting this activity. 

How to Help a Child Overcome Reading Difficulties


Steps:
1.Read! Set aside time every day to read with your child whether your child is 5 years old or 15. Read to your child and have your child read to you. Read the same favorite book over again. Point out repeated phrases or words that rhyme and have the same letter patterns. Listen to books on tape. Have books available for your child at all times.
2.Point out words when you are out and about. Make up car games such as asking your child to find the word "stop" as many times as possible. Look for words starting with "br" or "sh" while shopping in the grocery store. Find a word and think of as many words or made-up words that rhyme with it. Read billboards, bumper stickers - anything with printed words is fair game for reading.
3.Show your child the relationships between words. Make lists of words that have the same beginning, ending or vowel combinations. When you child is spelling or reading and has difficulty with a word, refer to the list. Say things like, "That word looks a lot like 'bat.' Try putting a 'c' where the 'b' is;" or, "How do you spell 'duck'? What sound does 'truck' start with?"
4.Teach letter sounds. Make the sound that is associated with a letter. Play guessing games where you make the sound and your child names the letter or letter combinations. For example, "rrrr" = r; "guh" = g. Say simple words, such as "big," and have your child guess the vowel sound in or the beginning or ending of the word. When your child has a problem reading or spelling a word, help your child sound it out or remind your child to sound out the word. Say things like, "What sound starts the word? OK, write that letter;" or, "What letter starts the word? What sound does that letter make?"
5.Look for small words inside bigger words. The word "fantastic" has two small words, "fan" and "tic" in it. Ask your child to find small words, pronounce them and then add the other letter sounds to make the big word. 
Tips:
Teach your child the letters of the alphabet, in both capital and lower cases, as soon as your child can talk and manipulate letter toys.
Buy letter stamps or stickers, markers or paints, and letter sponges to add variation to your reading practice and to make it fun.
Making practice into a game will be more fun for your child and will help your child retain the lesson more easily. 
Warnings: Know when to give your child a break. Your child knows reading is difficult, and spending every minute practicing will frustrate and upset your child.   

How to Propose Marriage to a Man


Steps:
1.Know your beloved well and anticipate his response. Will he be swept away by this romantic gesture? Or could he feel threatened by a woman’s proposing marriage? (If so, you may want to reconsider.)
2.Set the stage. Pick his favorite place - whether you consider it romantic or not - to pop the question. This might be a secluded camping site, a fancy restaurant, a golf course at sunset ... or even a sports bar. Let your love’s taste be your guide.
3.Keep your plans flexible. You may have an evening of French cuisine and fine wine in mind; he may be in the mood for burgers and beer. Unless your plans involve other people or events, go with the flow.
4.Make a splash if your beloved appreciates the theatrical. Put your question up in lights at a ballgame, or bring in a soloist to croon over pasta.
5.Keep the occasion subtle if your honey tends to like things more subdued.
6.Pop the question over dessert or during a private game of pool.
7.Bring or plan an engagement gift. Sure, you could get him a ring, but a puppy with a note tied around its neck might be a better choice. Or a motorcycle. Something that will last for a long time.
8.Give him some time to be surprised and tongue-tied. Remember, even though he loves you for the unconventional woman you are, he probably won’t see this one coming. 
Tips: If you’ve already been dropping hints and he hasn’t been receptive, don’t use a proposal to force the issue. Your attempt at romance may backfire.   

How to Troubleshoot a Coffeemaker


Steps:
1.Unplug the unit before you open it.
2.Suspect one of several things if the water isn't flowing into the pot. The tube could be clogged; the thermostat or timer could be bad; the pump valve could be broken or stuck; or the heater could be broken.
3.Check the keep-warm switch and element if the coffee isn't staying warm once brewed. Also, make sure that the auto shutoff switch is in the correct position.
4.Examine the tube connections and the seals if the coffeemaker steams excessively or leaks water.
5.Make sure the plate that spreads the water out above the basket isn't cracked, clogged or broken if the coffee tastes weak. 
Tips: Clean your coffeemaker regularly.   

How to Select a Boston Terrier


Steps:
1.Choose a Boston terrier if you're looking for a friendly, intelligent dog that gets along well with others. This breed usually loves children, strangers and other animals. However, Boston terriers may occasionally be aggressive toward other dogs.
2.Note that a Boston terrier may not be the most reliable watchdog because of his or her cheerful personality. However, this depends on the individual dog.
3.Consider a Boston terrier if you live in an apartment because this breed is primarily an indoor dog and doesn't mind a smaller home.
4.Realize that your Boston terrier will expect to be included in all family gatherings.
5.Keep in mind that although a Boston terrier can be trained quickly because of his intelligence the breed is known for stubbornness. Some Boston terriers are difficult to housebreak, although most are housebroken by the age of 8 months.
6.Know that Boston terriers will grow to 15 to 17 inches and weigh between 10 and 25 pounds. Their life expectancy is usually not more than 12 years.
7.Expect to pay between $300 and $1,500 for a purebred Boston terrier or more for a genetically tested dog or a puppy with full registration for breeding and showing.
8.Ask the breeder about any available health guarantees.
9.Look carefully at the Boston terrier's features. He or she should seem alert, intelligent and energetic. His or her body should be dense and solid with a short, flat head that is wrinkle-free. The dog's short coat should be either brindle (red or tan with a black striped pattern), seal (red and black hairs mixed finely), or black and white.
1..Know that Boston terriers occasionally have health conditions such as cataracts, hypothyroidism and skin tumors. Ask the breeder what screening has been done.
1..Check out potential breeders carefully, being sure to ask whether they are members of breed, specialty or obedience clubs. Affiliation with a club means you can check the breeder's references to make sure the breeder is not a puppy mill (a place where puppies are constantly bred for financial gain without consideration of the integrity of the breed) and that the breeder carefully screens for health problems before breeding. The mother of the puppy (and possibly the father) should be available for viewing. 
Tips:
Consider adopting a Boston terrier from a pet rescue organization. For more information, contact the Boston Terrier Club of America at (724) 883-4732. Most dogs are screened by rescue organizations for health and personality problems before they are adopted out.
This breed is very playful and some Bostons enjoy a game of fetch.
Boston terriers often do not bark. 
Warnings:
Boston terriers can have breathing problems when exerting themselves in extreme cold or heat. They also can suffer from heat exhaustion. Because they do not deal with cold temperatures well, they should be indoor dogs.
This breed is prone to snoring.   

How to Get Involved With Greenpeace


Steps:
1.Become a member by visiting a Greenpeace Web site for the online membership form or by printing out and mailing the form to Supporter Services at 564 Mission St., P.O. Box 416, San Francisco, CA 94105. Or call Greenpeace toll-free at (800) 326-0959.
2.Keep yourself informed about current environmental issues through Greenpeace by subscribing to its mailing lists.
3.Sign and collect signatures for petitions lobbying for protection of the environment.
4.Volunteer as a canvasser to inform others, sign up new members and raise funds.
5.Work for the organization. Job openings are posted on its Web sites.
6.Choose Greenpeace as a recipient for your charitable contributions.
7.Change your lifestyle for the improvement of the environment by following helpful tips from Greenpeace. Visit its Web sites for details. 
Tips:
Greenpeace has national offices in 38 countries ranging from Fiji to China, as well as 30 unique Web sites, most of which are in a nation's mother tongue. You can find addresses on the Greenpeace International Web site Information Page.
Greenpeace has succeeded in raising public awareness and influencing international treaties on issues such as law of the sea, nuclear testing and climate change as well as whaling.