Monday, July 11, 2022
Sunday, July 10, 2022
My history with training and competing in the heat had not been a good one. I love to train and race in the heat but I had problems with heat exhaustion and cramping once the temperature got over 80°. In 1989 my 2nd Ironman I ended up requiring 11 L of IV and overnight trip to the emergency room before attending the awards ceremony the next morning. The following year I qualified for the wine Ironman and suffered heat exhaustion and went unconscious at mile 18 of the run .The problem living in a northern climate is that it is never hot long enough to fully acclimate.
In 2012 when we relocated to the hot and humid environment of Central Florida I wondered if my triathlon career might be coming to a close. I either had to figure this out or suffer and struggle for 8 months of the year. After many hours of research and implementing different strategies, I started to figure it out and came up with a few ideas. This venture into heat acclimation even got me a chance to write about it in the upcoming MMA book to be released in August.
This summer I decided it was time to take it to another level. After researching ways to keep the core temperature in check, I came across the use of slushies that can both keep core temperature down, provide fluid and electrolytes by using Gatorade and electrolyte salts and with the crushed ice feature on the fridge. I started using this during run workouts with good success but needed to figure out how to keep the insulated bottle cold enough to make it to the run of a triathlon. I figured out that you can make a slushy solution in an insulated bottle, put it in an insulated lunch bag with ice packs and it would last about 2 hours which would allow me to get to the run of the Sprint triathlon. I could leave the bag in transition and after jumping off the bike grab my bottle and off I would go.
The 2nd part of my heat experiment this year was to installing a hot tub (honestly, I did this for science). I researched hot water immersion and sauna protocols for heat acclamation. I began using the hot tub each night and using it immediately after hard runs were my core temperature was elevated 3 times a week. This wasn't exactly pleasant but I'm pleased to announce that it seems to be working. After using these techniques for the last few months I have found my training and racing in the hot humid heat of Cleremont to be improving.
Also more to come on the use of the hot tub not only for heat acclamation but for recovery and improved sleep.
Monday, June 18, 2018
1. Do easy training sessions at the hottest times of the day. Keep the intensity and volume low.
2. Do trainer sessions on a hot garage to maximize heat stress. Use a fan to keep the air moving.
3. Mow the lawn or do yard work in the afternoon when its hot and humid.
4. Adopt a road way, and plan to clean it on hot humid days in the Florida sun :)
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
If you are new to the sport, ot have been racing for several decades, there will come a time when you will no longer go as fast as you once did. We know we can keep this decline minimal for quite a while, but how we handle it can make all the difference in out outlook toward the sport and lifestyle we love.
Training and racing triathlon is not a zero sum game. The irony is that the sport attracted driven type A personalities, but to be successful, one needs to take a long term view, and as Joshua Medcalf says in his book Chop Wood/ Carry Water, you need fall in love with the process. As we age as athletes, we can begin to appreciate good health and the ability to push ourselves. Over time there will be a decline in performance, which we cannot control. What we can control is the rate.
I have come to enjoy racing and training more then ever before. I no longer take health and the ability to train for granted.
what i have learned is that when I focus on the process and enjoy it for its own merits, the outcome are almost always favorable. The medals and trophies will collect dust, but the lessones learned out on the road last forever.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
I try to fit rollers in at least once a week throughout the year. I find it helps smooth out my pedal stroke and improves my efficiency on the bike.
Before moving to Florida, I would spend a lot of time during the winter using rollers and a stationary trainer. After relocating to warmer climate, a began using them, not because I needed to be inside, I chose to be inside. With thunderstorms often in the summer afternoon forecast, rollers became a great option when getting on the road was possible.
Here are some useful ways to get the most out of your rollers.
- Recovery rides- using rollers for recovery rides allows you to control the intensity, and work on a smooth efficient pedal stroke. It's easy to pedal with the light resistance and high rpm's on rollers. Too often when athletes try to ride outside for the recovery rides intensity gets too high, hills or headwind. Using a stationary trainer for recovery rides is often boring and doesn't allow you to work on efficiency or balance at the rollers do.
- Develop handling skills- in the beginning just staying upright on the rollers is often a challenge for many athletes. Once you get used to them, you'll notice a smooth and efficient pedal stroke. You can then work on developing advanced skill such as riding no hands, or one leg and pedal drills.
- Making the most of daylight hours- when you're rides are often asked shortened due to less daylight in the early morning hours or early sunset in the evening. You can extend your workout by coming inside tossing the bike in the rollers and doing you warm-up or cool down.since there is no set up time, it makes for an easy transition.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
I can only assume this is either due to lack of information, or lazy coaching .You see to create a well-designed 6 week plan for an athlete, takes the same amount of time as it does to create a 6 week training plan and I can only guess that coaches and athletes do not want to create the extra work required to increase performance.
There are many reasons why athletes need to create a year-round strength training plan that will help reduce injuries and increase performance.It is often cited that this takes too much time during the training week and takes away from swim, bike, and run training . But a well-designed program should only take about 40 minutes to complete and be done twice a week . this type of plan should include movement skills, core training, mobility work , as well as strength and power-based exercises.
There are many reasons other than increasing strength and power in the prime movers that one should perform regular strength training workouts .
1. Create muscle balance- swimming cycling and running are all cyclical activities which use specific muscles that are often over worked and shortened. A properly designed strength training plan will help create muscle balance, improve posture, and decrease the incidence and severity of over use injuries .
2. Improve athleticism- through basic athletic lifts such as squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, you become a better athlete. the added benefit here is when these are done with barbells, dumbbells, or kettle bells you also improve the stabilizers of the core hips and shoulders which are critical in preventing injuries .
3. Improve movement economy- this has been proven in the laboratory and research time and again in all endurance sports that an increase in strength and stability can improve movement economy from about 5 to 8% . this is free speed with no additional training required.
4. Masters- after the age of 35 endurance athletes lose muscle mass at the same rate as sedentary people even know they are training aerobically. this is a proven fact in this alone is enough reason for athletes to strength training around. the loss of muscle mass and Masters athletes correlates very closely to decrease in speed often seen. one of the best ways to maintain speed as we get older is to a quality well-designed strength training plan.
These are just a few the reasons to incorporate a quality well designed strength plan into your off-season as well as in season training plan.
Below are a few links to some additional articles on strength and conditioning for endurance athletes .