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Archive for February, 2007

Your inner self

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

I had a bit of time to think today while on the bike trainer. I was pedalling in my garage with a temperature of -10°C,…with only a cycling jersey and shorts. I was still sweating despite the cold ambiant air, giving some idea of the intensity of the effort.

I was thinking how important it is to understand what is going on within one’s body when training and racing. A lot of people focus on factors happening outside themselves (aid stations, weather conditions, spectators, what other athletes are doing),…when the answer to racing well I believe comes from listening and understanding our ourselves. How does your body move? You should think,…am I fluid, am I efficient? Remember that your energy is precious,…conserve it however possible – and use it to move you forward, not to fight, resist or work against yourself. Don’t stress, only makes you tight and flustered,…things beyond your control do and will happen (like flat tires, missed nutrition, lost water-bottles),…champions always find a way to win or do well despite things going wrong. They let be the things they can’t change, and focus their energy on things they can, while doing so with purpose. The winning formula comes from within – I’m a big believer in this.

Best be off to work.


Water running

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Today I had an early morning water run.  It almost didn’t happen,…as the lifeguards forgot to unlock the men’s changeroom door to the pool.  For 15mins the pool was populated by only female bathers, with a bunch of antsy men awaiting by the door.

Water running is great,…excellent for recovery, and flushing the legs.  You have the option of making it into a cardiovascularly intense workout without impacting the joints and muscles.

As a side benefit, and to kill two birds with one stone,…I like to scull with my arms while my legs are going through the running motion.  Sculling is a great way to enhance the “feel” of the water.  I like to play with sculling at varying speeds and amplitude, trying to nail down the right motion yielding the greatest authority or catch of the water.

Also particularly important is to work on opening up your hip angle while water running.  As triathletes, our hip flexors have a tendency to get tight, forcing us to almost look like we are ‘sitting down’ while running.

An example of someone sitting down while running (maybe not the best example, but best I could find for a 2min search):

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You want your hip flexors to allow for proper extension of the hip, while also allowing for easy and fluid bent knee recovery.  Like these guys,…their left knees are able to bend, even with their hip open in full extension: Image hosting by TinyPic

Here’s a great stretch to help with this.  It stretches rectus femoris,…a muscle that crosses two joints.  If you stretch this, it effectively allows for easier hip extension and knee flexion at the same time.  I consider this a KEY stretch for triathletes:

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Time to get serious: IRONMAN ARIZONA

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Last week and this week is a building phase in preparation for Ironman Arizona.  Training has been going exceptionally well, with some clear signs that everything is heading in the right direction.  Two simple signs are 1) I’m hitting the KEY workouts and nailing them,…including the swimming (if swimming isn’t suffering then my energy for sure is high), and 2) I’m feeling rested and mostly recovered.

Peter’s plan for me in prep for Arizona is different from the prep he had me do for IM-Canada, and IM-Florida.  This time of year, we don’t have the luxury in Calgary to bike outdoors, so all my riding is on the bike trainer for now.  The workouts have more intensity, but total to be less overall hours.  I’ve also joined a track team to help accelerate run fitness – I’m determined to turn my run from a weakness to a strength.  Never being complacent,…and shifting paradigms – that’s what it’s all about!