I am in Base period but I survive the first week Half Ironman training. Yesterday’s long run, I was tired from the 2 hour bike on Saturday. Running with a friend help push me through the end. This week will be a little challenging because of New England’s winter weather. I don’t like running on the treadmill or run circles on the track which I feel like a hamster in the wheel. Mentally I am ready for this week’s training and weather which I will put on a smile.
This post is about how to alleviate the pain. First, don’t sit for hours, get up every 15-20 minutes. Second is to stretch. You want to stretch the calves, hamstring, quad and hip flexors, it-band, piriformis, gluteus medius, lat muscles in the back. Sounds like the whole body but every muscle is connected and affected. When one is tight then all tighten up or are affected. Third is to foam roll. When foam rolling do one side from calf muscle through the Lat muscle in 2 inch increments. Don’t roll over the joints (knees and hips) which can create injury. If the IT-Band is super tight then foam roll 2 times a day from calf muscle through the Lat muscle. Foam rolling only IT-Band will not resolve the issue because the tightness cam be coming from another muscle group. Fourth, runners and triathletes make sure you are engaging your core and be in neutral pelvic tilt. Fifth, if you sleep on your side, sleep with pillow between knees to feet.This keeps your hips and back inline.
Next few weeks, Coach Pam will be posting pictures/videos of the stretches and foam rolling.
Next month Part 3, we will discuss exercises to strengthen the core and body to work in all planes. To get ahead of the game plan, participate in Run Your Potential program, which Coach Pam is using all this each class.
An important question a coach should ask their athletes. Feedback is essential when you are training athletes for endurance events. An example: today I had a long run of 9-10 miles which I felt great even after a long bike yesterday. If you asked me that question a week ago, i would said I was very tired and struggle to finish it. I know part of it is that this week is low training but also my body is getting use to long bike one day then next day long run. Feedback helps the coach to fine tune the training load to not put the athlete into over training leading to injury but push to them to succeed in their goals. As athlete being honest to your coach makes you successful at your races.
On Strava and other social media, some athletes are trying to compete with others athletes. If you are one of them stop it. Don’t compare your training to another athlete. They can be training for different race and/or distance. Just focus on your training. What your coach has in the plan that is your training that focuses on your goals, your current physiology and your main race. You will shine on the social media on race day with a picture of you holding your medal!
Remember how I talked about how to get into our comfort zone, we have to get uncomfortable. For many triathletes is doing bricks workouts, bike then run. Today, I put in my plan the brick. Instead dreading the workout, I broke it down into parts. Part 1 is biking in heart rate zone 2. As I got ready for Part 2 run in zone 1, I thought where I will run. As I started the run I look at the sights and sounds. Just being present in the moment made the brick doable and finish with a big smile.
I started my Patriot Half Ironman training on January 6th with the base period. There has been a few hiccups but gaining momentum. The biggest issue was the pool heater just died and with cold days, the temperature dropped 10 degrees. I did have the option of going to another BSC gym with a pool but just keep making excuses of the 25 minute drive. Finally I did go, then the next day the pool heater was replaced. To get into our comfort zone, we have to get uncomfortable first. Fighting it makes it harder on yourself. As the commercial says: Just Do It.
So many cyclists and triathletes push hard on the bike to get high power/wattage but loose focus on the cadence and pedal stroke. Wattage is important but when the cadence is low below 70 RPM, you put stress on your joints. One client, her average cadence was 59-60 because she was in the big chain ring all the time. When I view her data, I had her bike in the small chain ring with higher cadence. She said it was hard to keep cadence above 70 but realize she was going faster. Next part, it is the actual pedal stroke. The pedal stroke should be circles, not boxes. Push then pull and keep foot flat, not toes pointing down. The other part of pedal stroke is to make sure both legs are working equally in the stroke. When you have an injury this can be hard but it is critical. Optimal cadence is 90-100. When you conquer the cadence and pedal stroke then you can work on your power/wattage. These few tips should make your biking more fun and faster.
Since I have been injured and exhausted from work and half Ironman training, I decided this year no triathlons. I need to take my time to come back stronger and faster. As triathletes, we like to push ourselves to be the best we can be but at what cost. To do that we need to take step back and just enjoy what we do in all 3 sports. But when we are in that regimen training program we start to lose the love the sport. Taking a year off can be good to reset the body but also the mind and spirit.
Today, I swam less than mile and run 2.5 miles. Best part, I enjoy it because I was not stressed to perform. I am actually enjoying doing short workouts with the summer heat. Sign up for a couple short local road races for fun. In September, I will reassess and maybe do 15 mile trail race or half marathon. Just enjoy what you do!😎
Smiles on these girls says it all about their open water swim. My last 2 swims were compromised by asthma and goggles that wouldn’t stop leaking.
I tell beginners it takes practice because swimming is so technical. The more you work at it, it gets easier. But when you do open water swimming that is another added stress of equipment and fear what is below you. Beginners start in shallow part then slowly move out to deeper waters. Each time go farther out. Before you know your swimming the distance for sprint triathlon.
So don’t give up on your swim because you will conquer your fears and swim endlessly😎
Angela Naeth reminds our team, I Race Like A Girl, many times with training and injuries. Saturday I was to do the Patriot Half Ironman but had to defer to next year. An running injury has sideline me for 6 weeks. Yesterday, I was so excited to run a solid 3.2 miles without any issues. After, I realized my injury was caused by muscular imbalance on both sides. Many runners get this from compensating from the real issue on the other side. Yesterday, I focused on being balanced, high kick back and pelvic tilt anterior. The last 1.2 miles I was able to pick up speed. When go long we get lazy with our body’s mechanics and posture. Next time focus on this which you will be surprise on the outcome😎
Finish my first base but got sick on the easy week, which I lost swim time. Time to rethink my Half Ironman training plan. Many call for 3 hard/build weeks and 1 easy week but that doesn’t work for age groupers of 50+. Back to 2 hard/build weeks then 1 easy week. Also, I need to run more that 2 days a week and need to introduce doubles/bricks. In triathlon world, doubles are swim then run; bricks are bike then run. Learning how your body responds to training in the beginning produces better results in build/peak phases and races.
As I finish the 4th week of my Base phase of Half Ironman training, I am feeling good. I had to do some minor tweaks to stay healthy and injury free. Since, I live in New England the weather has started to become uncooperative. Continue working on my power and increase endurance on the bike. The biggest challenge is staying focus and entertain. One way, I have been listening to podcast and audible book (Beautiful Work in Progress) for bike on trainer. Creating playlist to run indoors which the beat helps the cadence of 180. My favorite is shuffling the Pointer Sisters for Fartleks. Take advantage of what technology has to make your training easier for these cold snowy winter days.