Friday, June 29, 2007

Speed training on a Bike

picture from Cannondale, thanks!

We all think that getting out and ridding is training, we are in our aerobars, going through an 2 hour or more ride. Now this is great but does it build up speed, the answer is NO. As in running or swimming breaking your rides up into hill, Mt. bike, out of the saddle can dramatically increase your speed. Over time you should see an increase 1 to 2 MPH. The best way to accomplish this is in group rides, but this can also be done alone. The short intervals develop your explosive power, improving your top end speed. These are essentially "weight training" on the bike when done at full intensity. If you can increase your top speed over short distances, either your "old" race pace will become easier to maintain, or you'll develop new speed for the distance; your "economy" at sprint, Olympic, and even Ironman distance will improve.
Here is a great workout:
• 1+ hour ride: 10-15 minutes warm up
• 30 minute tempo ride
• 5 minute recover
• 3 minutes on, 3 minutes off x3 (18-20 mph on, 14-16 mph off)
• 5 minute cool down
This is biking BASE PHASE which is used to build the aerobic capacity. Longer duration workouts at slower pace and intensity are predominant. You are building a biking aerobic base and getting stronger.
Try it I am sure you will be impressed with the results over time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Swimming: Master Breathing

Photo, Underwater by Rowell Spencer,
All Posters
I was asked the other day, how do I catch my breath while swimming? First, make sure you breathe out all of your air before you rotate to take a breath. This is not like running or biking where we can get a breath anytime we like, part of establishing a good breathing technique is more swimming and becoming comfortable in the water. The more you swim the better everything gets.
Here are some good pointers:
•On a 100 yard freestyle (4 laps of a 100 yard pool) break up the laps into sections, on the first 25 breathe every 3rd stroke, the next 25 breathe every 4th stroke, next 25 every 5th stroke and last 25 on the 6th stroke. This will take some time to get used to but it is a great drill, especially if you are doing triathlons where sometimes you have to switch up your breathing in a pack full of people.
• Side kicks are great to practice, make sure you are rotating while you are taking a breathe not just turning you head.
• Extend your arms, make sure you are reaching with the opposite arm keeping you moving through the water.
If you would like to know more read The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimmingby Kevin Koskella

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Beginner Triathlete, we've all been there!

This is a great site to get workouts, information about triathlons, training plans, race reports, articles and even a store. When I started out I was Googling and reading a lot about training plans, Beginner Triathlete can up in one of my searches. I followed the "free" beginner sprint 13 week program, this was nice because it ramped me up, to get into the Olympic distance triathlons. There are four different levels; Free, Bronze, Silver and Gold, each has a little more to offer than the next. Which ever route you chose, be assured Beginner Triathlete is a good starting point!
Here is the sample training program that I followed:

*****This original training plan is posted on Beginner Triathlete*****

Sprint 13-Week Training Program

**9/11/02 - This is the program I designed for my mother who is running her first sprint triathlon this weekend. She is 59 years old and started from scratch in the fall of 2001. If she can do it, you can!**

Remember, you may definitely overshoot the mileage by the end of this program, but this program is for everybody and especially for beginners OF ALL AGES!!!. It is not based on speed but on endurance. You can go as slow as you want. This is your first triathlon, and the goal is to just finish and to HAVE FUN!!!

If you need some reference on mileage to minutes: I am a slow, leisurely runner and it takes me 40 minutes to run 4 miles. One runs max 45 minutes in this program, so runners slower than me (and I am slow) can definitely do this program. However, if you find you can do a longer length tri during the middle of the following program, than sign up for a longer one!

By the way, if you can't do all the minutes - DON'T WORRY!!! 45 minutes running or 35 minutes swimming does sound like a lot. Do your best. On race day, you will get a great extra boost from the environment. Being that swimming is first, I know you will be able to do the distance even if you have only maxed out at around 20-30 minutes (just make sure you have done the 0.6miles in the pool as you can't really stop in the event). Biking is easy at these distances - even under minimal training. can stop to walk as much as it is needed if you are allowed. I THINK YOUR GONNA BE ALRIGHT!!!

For a typical sprint triathlon (~0.5mile swim, 12mile bike, 3mile run), here are some results of the best and worst times from ages 15 to 70:

Swim: 10-35min Bike: 30-55min Run: 18-45min Total: 55-135min

Final 13 Weeks!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Core Performance Training

After I bought a pair of adidas sneakers I noticed a free trial to sign up for a core performance training plan. I was a bit skeptical at first but once I logged into Core Performance and used code CP-AGWA, I found that I could customize my training towards endurance/running, soccer, baseball, core lifting, etc. My workout was full of Prehab, Movement Prep, Strength and Regeneration, each one of these has a set of exercises that is pack with exercises. The big thing that I noticed was the Video, this is a bonus, seeing how to do a certain movement is one of the biggest perks that any site can offer. Other stuff they have but I have not used is the "My Nutrition", "My Core reports", and a "My Page" area. Nice site. They email that I received to confirm my user name came from Mia Hamm
Check it out.. Core Performance

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Running efficiently?

You have Nike free and Newton running showing us the correct running stance, and coming out with shoes to help us adjust. So I decided to try something in the last couple weeks, force myself to run on the center of my foot pushing off with my toes. Most people land on their heels and roll through, from heel to toes, after adjusting my style, I know refer to this as LAZY RUNNING. At first I was a bit slower but my time have started to change over the last couple runs. I am running in a pair of Mizuno Wave Creation 8 and they are good shoes but since I changed my running style from a heel strike to a corrected running style things seems have change. The shoe feels heavy and my legs feel fast. I am now looking at a pair of NB 902, they are light and comfortable (I'll let you know how they turn out).

"All accomplished and elite runners run on the balls of their feet.
The foot should strike the surface with the ball of the foot, in a dorsiflexed position (with toes pointing forward not downwards) otherwise this creates a" breaking" motion.
The heel doesn't touch the ground.
The foot on landing on the surface should be "light" not heavy, it then "grips and scrapes" the surface.
The knee is slightly bent on contact with the surface and the foot lands below the centre of gravity - just below the hips.
Think of your leg working in a circular motion from the hip joint.
This brings the heel of the foot behind the body. The hamstrings and gluteus maximus (backside muscles) play a very big part in this movement.
The thigh moves forward with the action of the quads and hip-flexors, the leg is extended and the foot drops again, landing on the ball of the foot as above.
We call this cycling the leg!
The hips and waist should be steady without a lot of side to side movement.
The back should be straight and relaxed, not bent at the waist.
The shoulders should be relaxed, The arms should be bent at approximately 90 degrees and the motion should be from the shoulder not the forearms.
As the arm moves back it should continue to stay in 90 degree flexion.
The hands should be held with the palm facing inwards not down. If you prefer to hold your hands in a fist, the thumb should rest on the forefinger.
The head should be up with your eyes looking ahead not down.
Try not to think about the movement too much. Instead try to feel the cycling motion, and visualise it in your mind while you're running. You will know when you have got it right, you will be able you feel it." More...
Special thanks to BCC health