Sunday, October 22, 2017

What to do in the off season

If you want to take racing to the next level next year, you must get the off season right.  

That doesn’t mean you cannot, or should not take a break, but you need to use this precious time to apply some of the thoughts and adjustments you have been thinking about making to see how they affect things, with time to adjust if needed.  

I always love the offseason because I get to workout and work hard, but I don’t always HAVE to if life gets in the way, which it often does mid-season.

Some people like to put on a bunch of weight, allow themselves to eat whatever and not worry too much about – well anything. I get it, and it can be tempting, but even putting performance aside for next year, it's not healthy. You shouldn’t allow yourself to yo-yo so much with your weight. Sure, put on a few extra pounds, but the reality is the work it takes to get them off, the fact that you are effecting metabolic health and function, and let’s be honest, as we age, it's harder to get off later. That extra work to get back to even used to frustrate me. The extra weight when you start to run can be an injury risk as well.

For me, I would put a 10-pound limit on myself. If I got up to that much over then I knew it was time to dial it back for a bit and pay more attention.

In fact, after the holidays I like to do at least 1 – 30 day cleanse with Tanya just to get my metabolism running sharp again and put myself right back to where I need to be to have an awesome year.

You can join our community to get on our live chats to get tips and ideas on how and what workouts may best help you this offseason. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

To Marathon or NOT to Marathon

There is usually a large temptation to do a winter marathon but most triathletes. Sometimes they can be a great idea. You just have to know what the purpose is.

They are a great idea if:
-       You just want to run a marathon
-       You are trying to qualify for Boston
-       Obviously, if Marathoning or distance running is “your thing”
-       You are looking for a new goal
-       Etc.
I always try to get my athletes to reconsider though if they are trying one for these reasons:

-       They want to know they can run the distance for Ironman
-       They want to improve their running
-       Trying to lose weight

Running a marathon is almost a different sport then running a marathon off the bike. I know if you have never done either you will think I am crazy, but please trust me. They almost do not relate to each other. That isn’t to say running off the bike is harder. I have been more sore and tired after standalone marathons than running off the bike!

Running off the bike is going to be on average a lot slower. You will be hitting it with a lot of cumulative fatigue. For and intensities are WAY different, as is nutrition.

Trying to improve your running? It makes complete sense why you think the marathon would help do this, and it absolutely could. The trick is remaining injury free and allowing yourself to train the other sports. If you let your swim and bike go to the side too long, it will not matter how fit you are because you will bring us back to the previous point about cumulative fatigue. How many Ironman athletes do you see already walking at mile 1 or 2 of the marathon in Ironman? It isn’t because they went to too hard for the run, or didn’t do enough run training. It is simply because they lack the fitness and economy in the two previous sports. Consider that when training for the marathon.

Additionally, that hardest thing about triathlon is remaining healthy. With the increased volume (hopefully coupled with intensity at the right times) you open yourself up to more injuries. If you select a HALF marathon, you can do almost the same volume in training (less some long run total distance) but will not have the single day stress from the actual marathon day and must recover from that, allowing you to get back to training sooner.

A lot of athletes race into the fall. If you are trying to back up a marathon after a long season, it may not allow for any downtime.

Weight loss – I have spent time on this, and will again at another point, but trust me. There are a lot of overweight marathon runners. I’m not trying to be judgmental or cruel, just honest. You cannot out run a bad diet. If you really want to lose weight, talk to Tanya, she will help.  Start with what you put in your mouth.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Madison 70.3 - first "Race" back.

Well, that was interesting.

I did Madison 70.3 yesterday. It was my first race back from all my surgeries and injuries.

A brief re cap –
I had surgery on both of my Achilles over the last 14 mo. That’s about a 12-month rehab process, and while I thought I could beat that timeline, I wasn’t able to. I think I could have with 1 but the issues around having both sides done, for whatever reason was a lot. In addition to that my hips were compensating for the lack of calf strength that I still battel with and were becoming sore to the point they were considering MRI to see if there was a tear. I told them this wasn’t a conversation I was willing to have right now…

Anyway, no excuses, just that’s where I am. I have been biking a lot and while swimming a ton, have been swimming on my own all the time.

I felt strong for the bike going in, and knew my swim was solid but wasn’t sure how well I was going to go relative to how well I used to swim. So, I was excited to see.

I truly haven’t run in about 18 months. Yes, I have had periods were I could run. My 2 longest runs were 10 miles each. There really were only 2 of those. I did jump in a half marathon that I surprisingly held up the pace (1:28) quite well with no running prep for it, but that’s was f’d my hip up about 8 weeks ago and I haven’t run at all since.

Since then I have been walking at an incline on the treadmill. It's great for rehab, keeps the HR up but it's 65% different muscles to walk than run, something I learned this year. Well, I learned it when I walked at IM FLA before surgery – LOL

I was supposed to do IMTX which I knew wasn’t really an option so I had to withdraw.
I was supposed to do IMFLA 70.3 but still wasn’t ready
I’m signed up for LP, but will not be ready so had to withdraw

I was tempted to punt Madison too considering I haven’t been running… Jim thought it was a good time to get back in the game though and see. Additionally, Tanya was going there to race and I was going to be there all weekend and didn’t feel like watching again.

I agreed, but wanted to keep training all week. The last thing I wanted to do was taper for a race that I wasn’t ready for when all I want to do is regain some fitness.

Couple of the options going in were:
-       Just do the swim and Bike.
-       Do the swim and bike and od a run/walk pattern.
I really didn’t want to risk anymore injury setbacks (it's been almost 3 years of injuries – I’m over having them)

In my mind, I wanted to start at the back swim and ride great then do one of those options. However, I didn’t want to have to swim over people, and given there was several miles of bike path at the beginning of the bike, I didn’t want a lot of crowds to deal with there. Additionally, Scott Iott asked if I would start towards the front with him to help pace him on the swim, so I went up front.

Swim -
I liked the rolling start, it was nice to not be pounded. I think most people set themselves in the right spot which was nice. My pacing and effort was a bit forgotten so I trusted some of the swimmers around me after hundred yards and just drafted. I figured even if a touch slow (which in the end I went around them) the day wouldn’t be about a min here or there in the swim for me.
26:57 (1st AG)

This is where the day got interesting. I had done literally NO course recon other than listening to some thoughts from others. I really didn’t care because truly it was just going to be a hard effort. In training if I try a new course, I would just use the course management skills I know how to use. If I come to a hill, ride it like I would a hill, etc. So I rolled with that.

It was a tough, hotter very windy day. It ended up being over 2K feet of climbing.

The issue was in the first 3 miles both my nutrition which included my Infinit nutrition (salt and carbs) were tossed. I was left with 1 bottle of coke and a single gel. (I couldn’t stop and get them, they rolled into a ditch under the bridge). I tried to get stuff at the aid stations but the volunteers were doing that thing where they don’t put there arm up with the nutrition so I ended up getting cliff blocks which are hard to navigate on super bumpy roads. The point is I just didn’t get all the nutrition I probably needed.

Whatever, it was just a training day and I have practiced being light on calories in training I told myself. Thank God I had practiced that because I was feeling it for sure.

I wanted to bike a bit better, but had to start finding places to relax and conserve power. I ended up with only 285 NP but the first 90 min was closer to 300 so you can see where I dropped off a bit. Ride ended up at 2:18

Now here is where it gets interesting. I had a 3-motorcycle escort and from what I could assess and was later confirmed, about 6-7 min lead…

So, revisiting my original options. I would feel like a total dick not starting the run. Literally EVERYONE hears my name coming in, cyclists waiting for me to start the run…. SO, I reluctantly started.

Run… Well Walk run, well more walk than run (not really but kind of)
I didn’t want to have to explain the cyclists my walk run strategy so I thought I would just run steady and smooth until (hopefully soon) people would pass me and I could hide in a crowd. I used to try to run sub 6:20 pace so when I started out at basically 8 min pace, I was being conservative.
 The cyclist would keep encouraging me to stay strong they are still a way back, and I would sometimes explain, that no, in fact I wanted them to hurry up and catch me. LOL

While I was feeling NO INJURIES for literally the first time in years, my quads were so locked up and cramping it literally was almost impossible to move them. I have no idea it was from the lack of nutrition, or the fact I truly haven’t run, but this was my reality.

Please someone, come catch me.

Mercifully, Ryan caught me about 20 min in and then a few more started to come by and I could start to really do my run walk. I wanted to do 4/1 but it wasn’t lining up well with eh aid stations and I NEEDED some hydration and was even trying to eat pretzels and chips to get the salt.

A few guys would pass and would think, let’s go, lets run with them, I just couldn’t. People would encourage me and tell me I looked strong (probably the same people who say child birth is beautiful). While I appreciated the encouragement, I knew I looked like shit. I saw some 12 min miles in there, those were fun…. Then I just wanted to try to break my bike split which I did – BARELY. OMG. 2:14.

So that’s where I am. My swim and bike seem to be back to par. My run, just hasn’t been worked yet. I need to assess how and what I need to do to get that back. Still deciding that, but I felt good that once I do get my run going again, I can still play at the front for a bit.