Sunday, September 26, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
- I have a lot of base in swimming, biking and running. I have years and years of training under my belt. Some people start competing in triathlons and then one year later think they are super human and take on too much. I have been training for most of my life starting at the age of 15 with working out in a gym. I have been competing in endurance events for just over 10 years.
- My training progressed slowly for each event. I developed a progressive training plan. I didn't just start running 60 miles a week. I slowly built up to this with recovery weeks incorporated into the plan. I have done the same thing with my swimming event that I am currently training for.
- I listen to my body better than anyone I know. If something starts bothering me (even slightly) I take action immediately. I will either take a day off or go easy that day instead of hard. I will get a massage, focus more on stretching, or get ART (active release therapy).
- I have a great support team. I get stretched once a week from Nancy Dickenson. She is a client I coach and a great asset for me and an expert in flexibility. I get massage from Jessica who is the best massage therapist and does great work for athletes. I get ART from Dr. Satterlee at BioMechanics of Las Vegas.
- I have incorporated strength training in my schedule for over 20 years. Strength training is one area most endurance athletes overlook.
- I make sure I get enough sleep when I have heavy training volume. I sacrifice going out with friends because I know I need a minimum of 8 hours of sleep. Lack of sleep means lack of good recovery. This will lead to lower immune system and injury. If your muscles don't recover then they can be more susceptible to injury.
- I have always taken great supplements to help my body recover and keep my immune system strong.
- I mentally plan my events in my head as I complete each training session. This gets me mentally ready for the event. To wrap my mind around running 50 miles or swimming 8K is tough. I think about the race during my training sessions and it helps me believe I can finish the event. For example today I swam for 90 minutes. When I was done with my swim I thought to myself that I could have easily kept going. This gives me more confidence as my race gets closer.
Remember when you make changes in your training you need to listen to your body. Your body will adapt well if you take care of it. Learn the difference between good fatigue or muscle soreness compared to something is wrong type of fatigue and muscle soreness. There is such a fine line between those that at times it is hard to distinguish. It is better to be safe then sorry. Being sorry can set you back for months at a time. Taking one day off to let your body recover is better than being forced to take months off because of a sickness or injury.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
In my job it is essential that my clients have goals to achieve. I train people that want to live healthier lives and improve their health and fitness. The best way to do this is through long term and short term goals. It is essential that your goals are something that you can achieve. It would not make sense for me to be out of shape and overweight and say, "My goal is to do a 50 mile run in 6 months." A better approach would be to give a 6 month goal to running a 10K or half marathon and progress my goal from that point. Sometimes it might seem like you can achieve a goal and then something sidelines you and you may need to modify it. Rather than just saying I can't do it, you should re-evaluate it and modify it. I have had to do this many times in my life. It is OK to change your goals if things are not going they way you planned. This is life and it happens. The important thing is that you don't forget about it and give up!
I am challenging all my clients that I train in the gym to set a short term health related goal. Each goal will be a goal that could progress into a lifestyle change. Each person has their own challenges with living a healthy life. Just giving up something for a month is great but what do you do after that? Losing 5 lbs is great but can you keep it off? Likely you can't if you have not made significant changes and continue to set goals. My clients will begin with a 30 day goal.
In talking to my clients about this monthly goal they will be working towards we discussed a variety of things they could do. Some clients are challenged with drinking wine several times a week. Giving up wine for a month seems like a good goal but I disagree to a point. It is a good goal if you can maintain it. But do you have to give it up forever? NO not at all. As an example I like to drink beer sometimes. I don't drink it weekly or daily. I may have a few in a month. So I don't limit myself totally but I do not drink it every weekend. If I did I am sure I would have a weight problem. Another client said her goal is to make it to all of her training sessions. This is a great start for her because she has had a hard time getting to them lately. Everyone has such different challenges toward their goal of living a healtheir life. I have many clients that come to EVERY training session but their challenge is food related or not getting enough cardio.
When setting a health related goal ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it something I can achieve?
- Do I have a timeline?
- Is it something I can sustain overtime?
- If I accomplish it how will I feel?
- Do I have a good plan to help me achieve this goal?
- Do I have a good support system to help me with this goal?
- What is my long term goal related to this short term goal?
I am excited to hear some of the goals my clients will have. I will talk about them on an upcoming blog post. I will also talk about the success stories at the end of the 30 days. I am confident there will be many of them.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Some important reasons are listed below:
- Most spin instructors NEVER ride outside and would not know how to design a workout specifically for a triathlete. Even if they did most people would find it really boring.
- Spin classes are typically fast, high intensity, high aerobic effort. When you are just beginning to build your endurance on the bike you should do some training at a lower intensity. People flock to spin classes because they love the fast pace, group environment, specific music each instructor chooses, and they love to sweat.
- You will get ZERO bike handling skills. How will you learn to maneuver your bike if you are never outside on it? You need to get this experience to be safe when riding outside around other cyclists.
- Spin bikes are impossible to set up like a triathlon bike or your own bike. I see people that try and set up their spin bike with handlebars really low and they lean on them like a tri bike. This is NOT necessary in spin class. You have NO aerodynamics and don't need to add the stress on your back by leaning over like that for an hour. I ride outside and I set my spin bike so I am comfortable. I don't even try to simulate my tri bike because I could never do it.
- Some instructors will do really crazy things like trying to get you to work your triceps, abs, or butt on the bike. If you want to work your abs then don't try and do it why you are doing your cardio! It should be done separately.
Triathletes need to be outside on their own bike. It is so important to learn bike handling skills on your own bike. If the weather does not permit you to ride outside then the best option is to get a trainer for your bike. You can find trainers between $150-$2,000. Most beginners will do great with a trainer in the price range of $200-$300. Kinetic is a great brand. The fluid trainer is less noisy then the wind trainer. The comutrainer is a great trainer but is much more expensive. If you are riding indoors on your own bike on your trainer you should look at getting Spinerval DVD's. These provide you with great workouts designed for cyclists and triathletes. You can find them at http://www.spinervals.com/.
Spin classes are great for the some people. They are great for runners or other athletes who want to do cross training on non-running days. They are also great for people looking to lose weight and add variety to their cardio.
I would avoid instructors that do the following:
- Isolation's - holding specific movements for long periods of time with lots of tension. This puts unnecessary stress on joints.
- Pedalling super fast with very little tension. I am not sure how people do this but they do it and seem to like it. It is so bad for your knees and does not really do anything beneficial.
- Trying to isolate any specific muscle group while riding! This is really stupid. As I said before if you want to work abs then do abs, if you want to work triceps then work them with weights. You get the point. Spin class should be a form of cardio not strength training or a core workout.
Spin classes can fun but if you are training for a triathlon skip them and get outside on your bike! Don't forget to get properly fit on your own bike. If you are riding on your own bike and not fit properly then you could be doing more harm to your body then good. The investment of $300 to get fit properly will be well worth it. It will save you a lot of money that you may spend on doctors or physical therapists if you are not properly fit on your bike. If you live in Vegas you can use Gregg at http://www.endurocoach.com/. He is the BEST!