breaking away....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Transitioning from Indoor to Outdoor Running

Over the winter months a person gets a little cabin fever building up the miles on the track and treadmill. Needless to say the first warm day seems to scream come out and play. As a coach my job is to be the voice of reason. To put a little damper on the seemingly fun jump into outdoor training.

We spend our winter months building our distance no more than 10 percent per week and making sure every 3rd or 4th week you unload and get recovery and rebuild. This slow method of building is important to injury prevention. When you think of the surfaces we run on indoors, we have a rubberized track, and a shock absorbing treadmill. These surfaces are easy on the body, the track corners are very hard on the knees, but the surface is not that hard and unforgiving.

To begin moving your training outdoors, I recommend starting small maybe 30 minutes in length. If you slowly take your long run outdoors, do the beginning on your regular surface and finish the last 30 minutes outside your first week, then 60 the next and then some of your shorter runs, when you feel the shock and soreness you will understand why a long run outdoors all at once for someone training for a marathon could spell disaster. That hard surface will not only pound your joints and make them sore, the muscles are sore as well, the whole run outside is new to the body so give it time to adapt. By 3 to 4 weeks you should have your long run outside and avoid the possible injuries that come with running training.

If you experience foot pain during running it can become an issue you try to ignore, it is never something to ignore. It can become a chronic injury such as plantar faciitis. The key problem is running form, shoes and tightening of the achilles and calf muscles. Always take the time to stretch, get a regular massage, and when you run try sneaking up on the runner in front even if they aren't there, when you can't hear your feet, you are being nice to them.

Just a few spring tips, now if only spring would show up we could get this show on the road.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Swim Video from all 6 coaches at the TI Coaches Clinic Mar 2011

6 Coaches showed up and we gave it everything we had.  We swam with students each other and synced in with Terry Laughlin and TI Coach Shinji Takeuchi.  For those of you who still don't recognize those names, Terry Laughlin developed Total Immersion Swimming, the easy way to freestyle.  Shinji Takeuchi made swimming art in his 1.7 million youtube video views so far, by swimming total immersion flawlessly and so smoothly.  I have compiled videos of all of the coaches as we were videoed at stages through our Total Immersion Coaches Course in Coronado, California.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Magnesium and Endurance Athletes

I have been in Triathlon long enough to see some of the long time athletes succumb to chronic muscle tension that won't go away.  They finally give up running and become an extra in a team and finally slip back into the routine of their old lives assuming that maybe they weren't built for the sport.  This unfortunately is becoming something I see more of . 

When I take on an athlete I usually have a conversation about nutrition and supplements.  My main concern for those coming into my bootcamp or going on a program is do you take a regular supplement that contains Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Gluconate.  I usually get the response yes there is Magnesium in my supplement.  Unfortunately the Magnesium found in their supplement is Magnesium Oxide a poorly absorbed form of Magnesium and the most common version of Magnesium found in regular supplements.  Calcium and Magnesium work together to deal with muscle contraction (Calcium) and muscle relaxation (Magnesium).  They also work together to form bone, this is a simple explanation as many other electrolytes come into play, but for now my discussion is about Magnesium.

Calcium is usually the most supplemented form of mineral due to the well publicized view of deficiencies of Calcium being responsible for Osteoporosis.  So many foods boast their Calcium content and even go as far as adding extra Calcium, it is good for business.  Calcium and Magnesium work together to form bone.  Pretty much 2 parts of Calcium to one part Magnesium.  That is why supplementation is usually 2 parts Calcium to one part Magnesium.  The problem is that being deficient in Magnesium even a little prevents your bones from forming correctly and prevents binding of Calcium as well.  So a smaller deficiency of Magnesium can cause a larger amount of bone loss.  Factor in that Calcium is heavily supplemented and Magnesium is getting to be harder to get in naturally grown foods due to poor soil conditions.  Add to that your body loses Magnesium when you sweat, but not so for Calcium.  Hopefully  at this point you are starting to realize the chances of Magnesium deficiency are higher than Calcium deficiency.

Think of muscle spasms, most of us get cramping now and then, especially at the pool, too many big push off's from the pool edge after a run can really get the feet and calves cramping.  How about that knot you get in your shoulder or lower back that sidelines training, your calf cramp that won't release, your tendonitis that seems to be ready for you more often than you like.  You are starting to see the real effects of Magnesium deficiency.  Chronic muscular tension and frozen shoulder is where I began my education on Magnesium.  I also learned most medications rid your body of this valuable mineral, I had been on anti-biotics and started to suffer tendon ruptures and frozen shoulder.  It was all interrelated.  I was afraid my Triathlon future was not that long ahead of me.  The frozen shoulder was calcium that had deposited due to the lack of Magnesium to bind with it to put it back in the bones.  When I started supplementing with Magnesium and going to my favorite chiropractor for Graston Technique to break up the calcium scar tissue, that the healing began.  I supplemented with Magnesium Citrate with Malate as the first option.  There are topical Magnesium applications as well as Epsom salts (Magnesium) that absorb through the skin.

Other reasons for endurance athletes to pay attention to Magnesium is that it is essential for the formation of ATP, our fuel for racing and training all hinges on having our body in balance.  Keep your electrolytes up, do daily supplementation and make sure your supplement has Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Gluconate, I have purchased these as stand alones and added them to my mineral supplements to ensure I get enough.  I make sure all my athletes are taking their Multi-Minerals and I would suggest that before you take up chronic overuse of your body you look into how to maintain balance with nutrition and exercise so that you can continue your journey for years, without being sidelined with that chronic injury.

I have added a link to a vitamin and mineral chart which gives you information on all of the vitamins and minerals as well as what foods to eat to increase your levels of these.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Final Day of Total Immersion Teachers Clinic

We are setting out for the last day, we have a level 3 class today and then it is the end of the clinic.  We have been here since Saturday.  What to expect, you should always pack warm clothes, a wet suit or 1/2 suit, the water is cold, so concentrating is not always easy, mindfulness is best done in comfortable water.  You should expect to have a great time.  You will get focus on your swim in ways that improve you as a coach, teacher and swimmer.  You will receive guidelines for running a class and teaching methods to apply to that.

For each drill there is the introduction, remember time is money, use a direct meaningful statement, move on to the demonstration and rehearsal, quickly do manual correction before they try it in the water.  In the water cue up for the drill, discuss whether you are skating left or right, proceed, apply manual correction with verbal directions.  Give direct meaningful feedback as you call on your next participant.  This is the conveyor belt method of teaching, it is effective and can have added repeats in cold water to not only allow for unassisted practice, but to keep the blood flowing.  Do not underestimate the power of suggestion.  Give verbal focus cues, whether drilling or swimming, what makes a swimmer longer, think tall, think extension, think posture, think grow and streamline.  Make each focus a small competition to measure the changes.  This encourages people to test it a few different ways.  Then move on....
There are many drills that can be reused for many issues, knowing what each drill does to create a better swimmer always helps.

Superman, of course who doesn't want to be a super hero, he is tall, fast etc, he has relaxed hands and he is flying high so he is always looking down, he can afford to relax his head and neck and allow it to float.  He keeps a streamlined body and a wide track.  There are two places you need to imprint into your body and mind connection and that is where the hands belong, they will stroke to this position each stroke, so find the perfect place somewhere below the water at 3:15 this allows your shoulders to be internally rotated which lifts the elbow up, allow your hand to relax lower than your wrist, your wrist is lower than your elbow, yes, there are so many cues, whatever it takes to build a body awareness that allows you to swim with perfection.

Skate position, another favorite of superman, one arm forward, one arm hugging the body with hand in the front pocket, this forward roll of the shoulder improves balance, it is important to do this one in rehearsal as it is not natural and will not get the focus it deserves.  The skate position is achieved by pushing off in superman and pulling arm to the pocket position and rotating just off the front, make sure you allow your head to be supported by the water, not held by the neck, make sure your lead arm is positioned in its imprinted position.  Ask questions of the swimmers to make sure they are thinking of all of the focuses to allow this to happen with precision, build through repetition, do not rush the progression.

Spear - after a big superman push off, a shift into skate position, you now pull your hand out of your pocket by moving your lower arm to position the palm of your hand on track in front of your goggles.  Your finger tips should be as far foreward as your forehead.  This position, arm extended, hand in catch position, head weightless and eyes focused down, body rotated off stomach (just enough) and now hand poised in the position that comes just before the switch.  What is that position, forward of your shoulder even with your goggles, the weight shifts foreward to keep your balance and hold your lead arm.

Spear Switch - now your hand is in target, you have checked to make sure your head and hand have not moved you are ready for a weight shift and a switch, and for those of you a little further a toe flick.  The hand reaches forward to drop into its position, like going through a sleeve, you are also rotating your body from one side to the other while catching and holding water on the other side.  Your weight shift begins at the hip.

Swing switch - arm level with the surface of the water, arcs wide of the body until it is positioned forward of the ear.  Keeping your arm in one plane while the body is held at 45 degrees allows this to be done in balance.  You begin in superman, progress to skate.  Pull hand from pocket by raising shoulder to innitiate the swing, once the shoulder is elevating towards the head the elbow is beginning its sweep forward take it to where you are in the same position met in Spear.  This position is front quadrant it keeps your body in balance before the switch.  Make sure the elbow leads the stroke, not the hand.

When you are ready for the switch it is a weight shift to the other side while extending that hand into its imprinted position from superman.  The other arm grips the water as you shift forward towards your lead arm.  Things to think about is moving forward, not down, shift and extend forward to a rotation that is just enough.  Over rotation will cause the hips to stack and takes more energy to stabilize the body.  It will also drop your arm low to a position where your elbow will drop and no longer be in the catch position.

After getting through these initial drills and finding success in maintaing balance and movement you will be moving through the water with more ease.   You will find that the struggles you have had are no longer slowing you down.  By regularly implementing these drills you can achieve success in swim.  You must focus on each drill for what you want out of it.

Each drill has a focus that can be the primary for the drill, this helps you imprint it sooner.  After you master one focal point move to the next each time you practice it.  It becomes a new way of swimming where you micromanage your swim stroke and push for a sleeker faster feel in the water.

My experience at the clinic was amazing.  My hope was to be able to work with swim coaches to grow and learn off them.  My hopes were met here.  I saw a variety of approaches to teaching, all with merit, some more like my own, others were pushing my learning to a new level.  My awareness of issues and corrections is far more clear now.  I realize in a question posed regarding my own swim by Terry, that he made me look at my stroke a little more in depth and come up with connections of issues rather than independent issues.  This clinic connected the dots on seeing the relationship between balance and co-ordination issues.  What may be a co-ordination issue may be affecting the balance and vice versa.

If you have a tendancy to stroke inside your wide tracks you will lose lateral balance, the body will compensate by working harder to regain balance in the water through widening the splay of the legs, by widening your tracks you will correct your legs they will now move into streamline.  Legs are a symptom of something gone wrongin the front quadrant.  Front quadrant swimming allows you to focus on those things closer to the arm and hip action than the kicking action. 

I worked with Terry who explained his swim and its evolution, you saw the simplicity of the teaching and he made it enjoyable to be working in that way.  I also worked with Shinji, who took us through a clinic style workout that he would put together, more efficient and again simple instruction with plenty of practice.  Dave Cameron came into the picture and the swim instruction took on the pool deck approach which I am used to and took it to a new level of focal points exacting the changes of drills, but put into whole stroke.  This approach worked extremely well for a larger class base and all had success, all felt the improvement.  Shane kept us moving through the learning, he kept us learning from the video and from what we were doing. 

Did I improve.  I improved in my swim, in my awareness, and in my approach to coaching.  I have wanted this help for the last few years so that I could be a better instructor to those that I coach back home.  I realize what I have been doing is on the right path and has worked really well.  I have new tools to improve my ability to diagnose things quicker and put in the corrections necessary.  I am excited to be flying home today, no doubt I will write tomorrows workout, however I don't think it will be the one I want to put on, that will require a large amount of tempo trainers, but I have so many new approaches that I am sure my swimmers will appreciate a fresh point of view.  I know I did.

This is one of the newest certified Total Immersion Swim Coaches signing out.  Swim well, swim long, but mostly swim.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 4 of Total Immersion Teachers Clinic

Today felt amazing.  The energy for the morning was more positive with the sun being out.  We managed to get 5 students and all were wanting some help with something we could help with.  We went through our introductions and found some of the participants were previous Total Immersion swimming students coming back for some technique work to keep them on their way.  We had an Ironman in training and a young man looking for an edge for speed.  It made a very great set of students to get all the teachers involved.  Today Terry stayed on deck and had us do the hands on.  It was time to test our abilities and keep the student moving forward while we were keeping our cues GPS like and our progression moving along.  I had a great student eager to learn and took so much correction and rehearsed over and over without prompting as he wanted to get it. 

We videoed everyones swim and went about the lesson, get them into superman glide, get them into skate, make sure they have let their head go, make sure they have relaxed hands.  It was easier on day 2 as we had gone through the dress rehearsal yesterday.  The ratio of coaches to students were more coaches than students, so it allowed for some people to branch off to work on their specific problems.  This is great when you have one coach per student, but not typical of a class situation.  I think each student reaped the rewards on this class.  The overall improvement was across the board and every coach had learned and executed all of their teaching skills attained in the last few days as well as draw from their existing coaching to make it more familiar to their style.

Lunch break came and we had a chance to warm up again and get new perspective.  Once we viewed the videos from the morning going over each persons focus we returned to the pool.  I feel like my student claimed me and was looking forward to continuing into the afternoon.  The work in the afternoon was quieter work.  Everyone was working so well with their students, aside from a few near head on collisions, oops!  The coaches were relentless in their pursuit to get the message through to the students.  The angles were worked, the coaches on deck contributed from their vast knowledge and they got to the point if the point could be gotten to.

It was once again video time.  Those students worked hard, they had a really tough many hours in the pool, the payoff was amazing.  First was our Ironman and his improvement was so easily visible that you could tell he was going home well armed with a sense of comfort in his swim pursuit.  Next was my fellow who was worried about making sure he made me look good, he looked great.  He had improved from above, underwater and in front, he was amazing.  I of course am more invested in his joy, so I felt it myself and needed to share that.  For every happy athlete their is a happy coach.  Then we saw the swim instructor and he was smooth.  We had our speed swimmer and he reduced his strokes and was really excited to see such improvement.

My highlight of the day, their were many, my student was such a wonderful person to work with, he had amazing patience.  To See my co-coaches busy and doing their magic was a great experience.  The time spent outside the classroom today was as rich.  The morning was spent with Beverly playing on the beach, in the evening we revisted the beach with Paul and Scott showed up on a run.  The four of us talked and watched and took in the beauty as the sun set on Coronado to an amazing finish for the day.  Each day here is time filled with living, it is so great to be in a place where it is always better to be outside than inside.  I am making the most of it.

Day 3 of Total Immersion

Today the level 1 of Total Immersion Class was held.  We had 5 students.  We also figured out that this week is full of surprises.  One of the students was an editor for Triathlon magazine, we had a swim coach, a veteran lifeguard, a nurse  who is already working with swim therapy for brain injuries and amputees, and we had a gentleman who will be doing his first 1/2 Ironman.

This is an interesting level 1, we had so many great swimmers you had to reduce your views, look at the pieces not the whole, worry about the progression of skills not the correction for skills they had not worked their way through to.  It was a good way to settle in to imprinting the layers of Total Immersion onto each swimmer.  We rotated through the swimmers and found we all had something to offer.   Terry assisted in bringing our focus back out of the nerves of our first day teaching. 

The cold was definitely not conducive to relaxing or learning, the morning was excruciating, it must have been really disappointing for each student to see some of us in full wetsuits, while they only brought a swim suit.  Terry of course loves his cold water so he was not in any type of wetsuit.  I watched the chattering and kept them moving the best I could.  By afternoon we lost a few students (not to the cold), I was really fighting getting back in the water, but by afternoon the water was alot warmer and those students who stayed worked very hard and had amazing improvement.

Some of us without students practiced teaching on each other, a time for us to also work on our skills.  I really enjoyed the afternoon and seeing so many teaching ah ha moments.  By the end of the day the video as always reinforces the methods, the improvements in swim were amazing.  Grace in the water is always a joy to see.

Today we are moving into Level 2 of Total Immersion, new students, new experiences, new learning opportunities, I am having an adventure.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Total Immersion Coaching Clinic Day 1-2

Time is precious and all the time we spend here is really precious it is important to take the time to understand all the aspects of teaching, learning and training.  We understand them, but they all interrelate.  Core, Co-ordination and components, Core is balance and posture, co-ordination is the ability to co-ordinate in swim that is rotating and breathing, doing things on one side and then on the other, we always have a side that works and one we don't communicate with as well.  Components, our arms, and legs.  Break down any physical skill and it always begins by mastering core, then move to co-ordination, then to components.  I felt very comfortable in the progression of swim we covered today, as you master your balance, then you must co-ordinate between one side of your body and the other.  If you do not have your balance it shows up if you have moved on too fast.  This is where some people seem like fast learners, but their progression through the balance may have been seemless and therefore they move on, it is a matter of focus and patience it is there for everyone.

We were able to practice, learn and to teach.  We observed, we gave feedback and all the while the teachers were learning from their students on whether their cues were meaningful, the students were learning they had habits which kept popping up as the lessons progressed, in fact we were so much like our students back home that it gave some of us the empathy on how trying and not always succeeding can feel a little humbling.

The lessons we learn today are already becoming our workouts of tomorrow.  Our work with the tempo trainer today became a new success method for teaching that appeals to the results oriented students.  We love stroke count and time on the clock, now how about timed strokes so that the outcome is dependent on the strokes, if each stroke takes a set amount of time, if you reduce one stroke, you have increased your speed by that stroke time.  Your efficiency is also going up.  we worked with pacing based on stroke count.  The video analysis as always is great feedback.  The ability to see what you were trying to achieve and to see those same problems still creeping in the odd stroke.  

The best moment of the day was swimming stroke for stroke with Terry, maybe it was a little magic he was working, but the smooth effortless stroke of his swimming partner was so evident by the end of the day you already can see the transformation of each swimmer into a sleaker more efficient swimmer, it was beautiful to watch everyone swim with such grace, ease and precision.

Today involved more input for all parties, it was nice to hear some of the voices of those who have been more reserved on input.  Everyone joined in the discussions today and when we got to our career path, you can see that some people are still limited in thinking inside the box.  Matt has the potention to break into an area of therapy that has some hurdles, but I think a push is what it may take for him to realize that he possesses something that is unique, that is enriching to the clients, he just needs to be inventive in his way of pursuing a facility.  I see him having the most effect on peoples health through water therapy, to learn balance in a weightless environment to assist in transferring that onto land would be a real skill, one people would seek.  He could enlist a University for study on the effects of balance and water therapy on rehabilitation of brain injuries. 

Paul is so calm and so endearing that I find he was answering a calling and filling a need all at once, his path is already ahead of him and I think he is set to start right away.  Can't wait to hear about the amazing group swims in lakes in the near future.

Scott has his plan set and in glossy, I saw his excitement and anticipation on getting the show on the road.  I love that kind of enthusiasm, he is enjoying every moment of this experience as it is getting him closer to his goals.

Tomorrow we meet our first group of students.  They are in the First Level Course of Total Immersion, it will be a great day for the students and teachers alike.  Those who come for a total immersion class are always so motivated to learn that the hard part is over, they are looking for change already, they are open to change, they are ready to learn.  Bring it on.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 1 at Total Immersion Teachers Clinic

San Diego is beautiful and yet a little reluctant to just let the heat in, the sun can tan you, but you shiver.  Not the total focus, but it kept coming up all day, tomorrow I use the wetsuit, I have a bit of a base tan, so I am happy. 
What you learn when you close your mouth and open your mind.  I have to say the winds nearly die down when I close my mouth, so it does make it easier to open your mind to new ideas and thinking.  What you think you are going to get, your perception and what you actually get are always so different, you never know what you are meant to learn until you figure out what the lesson really was.
I met my Total Immersion Coaches in Training, my second Triathlon teaching coach amazed me when she said she had so much to learn from all of us, I thought to myself, how strange we are here to learn from you.  Okay I loved her for that because she opened me up to realizing we learn from our experience and those around us, not always from our teachers.

I am going to say I met Beverley a day early getting off the plane and was immediately relieved to see someone who wanted to share her story as much as I needed someone to talk to as well.  I think I could have closed my mouth more often to listen.  I had an amazing day, shopping and planning our big adventure, she became the comfort zone in this new experience.  Beverly is the touchstone to her triathlon swimmers and those who come in contact with her in the pool, she works her magic by carding her would be students.  She recognizes someone who is struggling and understand they do not need to if only they would accept her help, a true angel whose wings spear through the water moving her forward, I think she is going to be moving forward in her life in ways she never imagined, I see her success I think before she does.

Terry was exactly how I assumed he would be a quiet teacher who mentored calm in the way he tries to teach calm.  The edges were smoothing out in the room just as he started to tell us his journey to Total Immersion and his reasons for the pursuit of self awareness and improvement.  I would spend more time talking about him, but to say it the best way I can, if it weren't for his method and his focus on something as simple as swimming and using that as the means to have people calm their brains and get into their body for even a second, to be in the now for the nanosecond, to know if they have actually made their body still, balanced, poised and at the ready, to control the chaos for all but that moment to feel true bliss in your spirit and your accomplishment.  He has brought an ability for those whose inner child may have missed the opportunity to learn to swim, he has brought a method that allows them to learn at any age how to be in control of self awareness and improvement by just deciding to focus on the goal, however small, if you can make that achievement you can build on it, you can constantly improve.  This is something we need written for parents, the micromanagement of daily life with children, to focus on the smallest needs in search of creating the best environment for our children to learn and to grow.  Apply the technique to anything in your life, if you make it your focus, it you give it your attention, you can improve on anything.

Shane followed suit, he was more involved in his lifes experience and how ultimately he did many interesting and important things and now this was the culmination of some of the pursuits coming together.  He is also a Triathlon Coach, so I see the passion we share there.  He lives in a place where life is about the simpler messages having larger meaning, and that the focus on that is more important, he is very right that way.  He is more learning through body and harmony with your body, this is the pursuit we all need to make more time for.

Then Scott spoke and I realized these people in this room were all amazing, their backgrounds, their knowledge, the way each one of us overlapped the other in ways we never would have imagines, but no surprise it all brought us to the clinic in the pursuit of bettering ourselves to prepare us to teach this to others.  Scott had a background in teaching and also went on many paths of self discovery which were to say the least very amazing and made you envious of the experiences he has had already, what else will his life bring him.  His teaching path I think is just opening up to his real calling, his ability to self direct his teaching and move to his true beliefs not those society imposes on us every day.  He is no doubt  a gifted teacher, from his swimming, he is also a gifted athlete.  I see him being a real beacon in the sport of swimming, he will attract many people to his teaching.

Matt, an occupational therapist with an interest in rehabilitating stroke victims, sees the benefits of Total Immersion, anything that would improve the brains ability to communicate subtle things to the body would prove immensely valuable to someone who has lost that connection, how empowering to see the application of mindful learning of the body applying to rewiring a person to their body.  Matt lives locally, he is quiet and yet again I see a calm in him that must allow his patients to completely be at ease in their difficulty with someone who has an understanding and open heart.  He is a true healer.  I see him applying his commonsense approach to bringing the joy to people who feel lost with their struggles and moving them through a calmer life with real achievement.

Paul has an energy of peace around him, he is also another calming person in the room, he has a background similar to Scott and yet still very diverse, he was a teacher, who also became a buddhist monk.  He has come full circle and is looking to teach a mind body approach to swimming which brings with him his lifes experience, I could only imagine the ways in which he can get people in touch with themselves sooner in their pursuits to listening to their bodies. 

Maria has a passion for teens, she is inspired by them and she inspires them.  She has their trust and their best life in mind when she trains them.  She funds through scholarship her disadvantaged athletes with travel scholarships for events.  She is so involved with them you see they are her children, she wants to share their succes with you, she is passionate and is no doubt the brightest light in those teens eyes, the mentor they will remember for a life time.  The ideal of a coach.

Me, haha, so I was there, surrounded by these amazing people and I had to ask myself, what would I say about myself, how would I define my path to this place.  I start with the obvious, I am a type A personality always looking to improve and find my peace with that.  I am the mother who learned through her daughters health problems that there is no time on this earth to look forward to there is only now.  What you do in this moment may be your last, or the last you share with someone who you love.  How do you make right your wrongs, you just try to live your best life now.  I am looking to create positive experiences, to reward my family's life with good, with calm with joy.  I love to see when people change what they believe to be true about themselves, I like to see them realize if they could be wrong about the truth they had written about themselves, what else could they change.  Once people figure out that thing they said they could never do, is something they now can do very well, what other things in their life, did they just accept as fact incorrectly.  What are we doing when we lower our expectations of our experiences on earth?  We are limiting all the possibilities, we are limiting all the positive achievement, all the experiences we could have, we isolate ourselves and say we can't.  I say we can, if you think you can't do something, you make it so.  If you believe you can achieve, that moment when a person gets it, they let off a bright amazing glow, to be near them when they do this, is the gift I get for pursuing this teaching path.  Those moments are precious and you understand that person has felt a moment of pure joy.  Now ask yourself, isn't that what you have been looking for.

You don't need to bungie jump, you don't need to do an Ironman, or a marathon, you just need to ask yourself what is it that would fuel your passion for life.  Most of us have that secret we keep to ourselves and say I would, but I wouldn't be any good at it.  When you take one small step at a time and make sure you build a strong foundation of knowledge and you plan your goals, you look at the path to success, you never vear far from it, you will get to that goal. 

The day was not like any other day, I spent a day learning more about life and that what we are hear to do is to learn to communicate in ways that people will understand.  To make us better teachers, we must observe and be open minded.  I had an amazing day.  I also got drilled on technique and swallowed some water, so for those in my lessons I am feeling a little like yourselves.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Swimming , Biking and Running Training.

I have a number of athletes that are really serious about the hard long hours in the pool.  I get if you are trying to podium and you have an uber fast bike and run and swim is dragging you down this makes sense.  I am referring to a number of athletes with a mediocre bike, a mediocre run and an average swim as well.  They are spending 1/3 of their time swimming more than 1/3 running and the remainder on the bike.

I am just going to send a small reminder, you start your swim at the beginning of your race, when you are rested.  You will be in the water if you are an average swimmer approximately 40 minutes in a 70.3  you will be on the bike 3 hours and your run 2 hours, this is a good finish time in a 70.3 for someone who is not spending their life training for the event. 

If you look at this split your swim makes up just over 11 percent of your total time.  Your run is 35 percent of your time, and that leaves 54 percent for you bike.  If you apply some logic and think specifics your training should mimic time commitment based on the importance of the sport for time.

Your swim sets could be a couple, a short hard, a technique swim and an endurance swim, for 1/2 your long swim time is still not that time consuming.

Your swim should be done when you are fresh, it takes good concentration to swim well, don't do junk miles, focus on form throughout your swim.

The Bike never happens fresh in the race, get used to a couple bikes post swim to get the legs ready for the transition to bike.  Make sure your bike volume is up and you are getting some hills and intervals in on other days.  The bike is something that is easier on the body, so overtraining is not as big of an issue.  Don't forget to practice your pacing so that you are doing your run bricks right after and you are able to understand how hard you can push the bike without it costing you the run, use the long bike as a place to practice nutrition, it is here where you consume the most of your calories, you should train that way.

The run, always falls at the end, however you don't need to train it there all the time, you should think of putting your swim and bike ahead of the run during training when you are doing multiple workouts per day, the bike can be a good warm up for the legs before the run.  The run should also have some hills and intervals as well as your long endurance run. As running produces the highest volume of injuries try to be careful building your run, no more than 10 percent per week increase on your overall volume and your long run.  You should also be thinking about things such as running surface, do not expect to move from a winter of training on the treadmill to running outside for your long run on the first warm day, that increase in hardness of your running surface can leave you injured even if your volume built up slow, you need to think about the small things.  New shoes are the same phase them in slowly so you are adjusting your body slowly to the new change.  The run happens at the end and its success hinges on your doing your nutrition correct, your running gear correct and your bike pace, correct.  Focus on your nutrition and bike pace during your training so you have the perfect race strategy come race day.

When your need is to learn how to swim that may outrank your bike volume if you are limited in time, so I understand when you need to know you will make the distance the time commitment to swimming increases it is the one part that is about being able to complete the remaining part of your triathlon.   If your swim is a good time, then think about picking up your bike more often, the more successful you are at getting your bike speed up and also having the recovery you need to then do your run right after requires really good endurance on the bike.  Run volume should be related to the distance you are running, the longer your run the more limited your excess running becomes, running a Marathon doesn't require over distance training, whereas you can get away with that on the bike and swim.  Running still poses the many dangers of overtraining injuries.

Be smart this year, write out meaningful goals and look for times that are equally ranked across, the more even your split placing the higher your overall placing will probably be.