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Slow down to speed up

Oct 9, 2011   //   by admin   //   Recovery  //  No Comments

Recently, I managed to grab myself an extra twenty minutes to run through my mobility drills.  Rather than my normal morning rush, I started the session with 10 deep, controlled breaths.  Eyes shut but taking in the atmosphere (early morning, recent rain, the feeling of the deck beneath my feet), I immediately relaxed.  I then ran through my normal drills but incredibly concious of body position and the feeling & stretch of muscles, leading to a much better session.

This same approach can be equally applied to the triathlon disciplines.  Take your time, and focus 100% on how your body feels, whether its rolling through pedal strokes and trying to feel any dead spots, or feeling the water against your hand and arm as you develop your front crawl catch.

Practically, this probably works best as part of your warm-up and cool-down.  In the pool, focus on your full-stroke and identify problem areas.  Think about each part of your body in turn – how it feels against the water, where it is, etc.  Then pick a drill from your repertoire to focus on that area for a length or two.  Repeat the focused full-stroke swim and identify the changes, then back into the drill.  Mindful practice like this will lead to far greater improvements in technique than just banging out a warm-up at 80% of full speed.

The same applies for running and cycling – think about your technique as you warm-up.  When running, focus on body and head position, cadence, a light foot-fall, how your foot is striking the ground and arm swing.  Run through a series of basic drills to emphasise each of these.  On the bike, look for cadence, aerodynamics and dead-spots through the pedal stroke.

Nutrition basics

Sep 25, 2011   //   by admin   //   Nutrition  //  No Comments

EAT REAL FOOD

 

The basics aren’t that hard.  Like much of the 24/7 triathlete philosophy, we like to make things simple.

Fruit & veg.  Meat & fish.  Food your grandmother would recognise.

How is it that in just a few short years, eating these basics has become abnormal?

They’ll be plenty of nutrition discussion to come.  The Paleo diet, intermittent fasting, low carb, … the list goes on.  No matter where those posts go, we’ll come back round to the basic instruction – ‘EAT REAL FOOD’.  It doesn’t have to be complex!

 

 

 

Approaching the off-season

Sep 20, 2011   //   by admin   //   Recovery  //  No Comments

The majority of northern hemisphere triathletes are coming to the end of their season, so the important question of the day is

 

what should I be doing now, that will give me the best results next year

 

First of all, take a well-earned break.  Having a couple of weeks (or more, if you want to) of rest & recovery is essential for your body.  It’ll help you overcome all the little niggles that you’ve been carrying, and you’ll come back to training mentally refreshed and fully motivated.

Use the time you get back from not training sensibly.  Catch up with your non-triathlete friends or do the things you’ve been putting off for 6 months – you should finally have the energy for these.  If you are going to work-out, do something different – take out the mountain bike or join your mates for team sports.

Secondly, get organised.

  • Swap your summer and winter kit over.  Find the reflective vests and over-shoes that you haven’t worn since May
  • If you have a summer & winter bike, get you summer bike properly cleaned & serviced.  Check your winter bike is ready – mud-guards on, tyres in reasonable condition, etc.  Make sure your turbo trainer is set up correctly and your ‘pain cave’ is set-up with any distractions for the hours you’re going to be spending in there.
  • If you learnt to swim as an adult, technique will be the main thing holding you back.  Use this time to research local coaches and book in for some individual lessons.
  • Think about how you can address your weaknesses.  Need to get stronger?  Ask around to find a decent S&C coach.  Constant niggles?  Find a sports masseur.

All these things done now will avoid frustration when you’re ready to start your training, and you’ll be able to launch back in with enthusiasm.

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