Friday, June 20, 2014

How to Practice Open Water Swimming in the Pool

Another great one from Training Peaks
For the majority of all triathlons you will be swimming in open water. This is typically a source of anxiety and fear for many athletes as training for the open water is often limited. While not perfect, it is possible to prepare for race day in a pool? Here are some drills and games that you can do in the pool to be prepared.


The first, and perhaps most obvious, thing you can do in the pool is to practice sighting. In a short course pool (25 yards or meters) pick your head up twice each lap and sight on something at the end of the pool. In a long course pool, sight at least five times per lap.
What’s most important here is that you don’t just go through the motions. Be sure you actually focus on what it is that you’re looking for. You can even have a lane mate at the end holding up fingers for you to read.

Swimming Straight

How often should you sight? Well, that depends on how straight you swim. When you’re in the pool, going fast is what gets you to the next wall more quickly. In open water, speed is not enough. It’s your velocity plus your trajectory that determine how quickly you get into T1. In a lane by yourself, push off the wall and swim with your eyes closed. Can you make it to the other end without hitting the laneline? (Make sure you know your stroke count so you can open your eyes before you get to the wall if you happen to make it all the way down the lane!) If not, how far can you go?
If you start in the middle of the lane and drift to one side by the other end, that’s not too bad, but you’re still off course about a meter over a length of 25 meters. If you’re consistent, that would work out to about 20 meters off course every 500 and then double that because you’ll have to swim back onto the course. So that might cost you 30 to 60 seconds every 500 meters. But what if you hit the lane line after only a few strokes? You might be costing yourself several minutes over 500 meters. The solution is sighting. If you can swim four strokes before veering off course, you should be sighting every four strokes. If you stay on course through 10 strokes, sight every 10.
Now put these two elements together. Swim with your eyes closed but open your eyes to sight every 4, 6, 10 strokes. Now can you make it down the lane in a straight line? You’re onto something important! Sighting may slow you down a bit, but it’ll keep you in a straight line—that makes for a faster swim split.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

CRAMPING, Are You Fueled?

This article from SlowTwitch is great!
Deadspin featured a mostly fun but partly serious and thoroughly entertaining piece in exercise-induced cramping, prompted by LeBron James’s muscular malfunction during one of the recent NBA playoff games. The piece was called Everything You Know About Cramps Is Wrong, And Gatorade Is Full Of Shit. I admit a vicarious schadenfreudish peace washed over me as I read about a corporate titan brought low. (We had a 52-post thread on LeBron’s cramps.)

But in Gatorade’s defense, it’s caught in a bind. It cannot sell the perfect sports drink for exercise in convenience stores. That drink would not taste good enough to be sold at retail to those reaching for a sports drink to wash down Spicy Nacho Doritos (cornerstone of the lunch of champions – the formercornerstone, ideally).

Some months back I was rounding into pretty good running shape. Then, 4 miles into an 8 mile loop, my calf seized. And I mean exactly 4 miles in, so that I had to get back exactly 4 miles on that calf, which did the calf no good. I tried everything. Stretching. Walking. Waiting it out. That camp would not unseize. Further, for the next 6 weeks I was “crampy.” I cramped swimming. I cramped walking around the house. I woke up crampy. It was not just in my calf, I was crampy systemically.
Cramps are a mystery, and I can’t prove it but I suspect cramps are the proximate cause of a number of other injuries. I wonder whether a lot of trunk and torso related strains – high hamstring, psoas, hip flexors – might not occur because of a cramp during exercise that we play through, that spasm exerting extra tension on the connective tissue.

There are too many glib, single-etiology responses by those who think they have the answer to why we cramp. If you go on our reader forum cramping is caused by under-hydrating. No, it’s caused by over-hydrating. No, you cramped because you trained or raced beyond your capacity. No, cramping is mental.

How do we not cramp? “Train more, race smarter,” according to one Slowtwitcher. Compression gear. Salt tablets. Electrolyte replacement (no, not that brand, this brand!)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sara Gross finally captured her first Ironman title in Brazil

First, well done, you deserve the win. Second shame on all negative post. The interview from Slow Twitch,one thing that was not pointed out in the article is the age groupers that are doing this time and time again. 

In the picture shown how many are drafting, 11 by my count, we all go to the briefing, but once on the course everyone forgets the rule. Many new comer to the sport are guilty of this, or are not sure what is legal or not, let me speak from experience, if you are thinking is this legal then it is. This is not your Sunday ride, some of us want to do well, stay to the right, if someone has caught you let them pass, they are faster than you, trust me if they caught you they are, move over. This sort of thing happens when a race course has two loops, most of the time you have no choice, you have lapped or caught the slower group, they are out just to complete, not podium, SO MOVE OVER. Sara a professional, keeps her cool, congrats, you deserve the win, stop hating and just see it for what it is a race, unless you fix the course problem and bad etiquette this will continue to be a RACE problem not a athlete problem. Get it right, train hard be one of the AG winners then through your stones, you won't.