Friday, September 4, 2015

17 Reasons You’re Not Getting Faster

17 Reasons You’re Not Getting Faster 

warning- if you are not a triathlete, skip this blog :) 

I read articles daily from Triathlete, Ironman,com, Outside Mag and many other triathlon/fitness related sources.  Thanks to my family I read articles (they deem worthy) from the NYT, WSG and other such heady sources.  

But this article, published yesterday online, is one of the best I have read in a long time.  Hit the nail on so many heads, so to speak....  

I'll answer each of these personally and than make my "coachie" observations.... I do challenge YOU to read each one and have an honest conversation with yourself.

1: You don't practice transitions-  when I was new to the sport I practiced a lot- I was that nerd that on a Friday before a race would jump in my pool with my wetsuit ON, run to the driveway, strip and hop on my bike, ride around the park and then transition to my run.  I would do this time and time again. Mind you I was racing Sprints and Oly's but I did do this before a 70.3.  So....since then I can tell you I have practiced on 2 different occasions - both with my Coach  Mike Ricci - who happens to be quoted in this article.   Is this necessary for Ironman, I say NO.  But for 70.3's and anything shorter absolutely- think about an extra 1:00 off your run split- you'd take that right- well than practice a few times before your next race.

2: You are not drinking enough coffee-  NO way.... I excel at #2

3: You are going too hard on recovery days.  Guilty for many years but I get it now.  Frankly my hard days are so hard now, I cannot go hard on recovery days.    A good analogy here is many, many triathletes train every day at a 5 or 6- steady steady when they should be training some days at a 1 or 2 so on the other days they can go 9 or 10. When recovery days are too hard you cannot dig really deep when you need to.  When I do a recovery ride my watts are 40+ lower than Ironman watts.  

4: You're not committed enough.  I'm committed, just ask my husband -  I think he wishes I was a bit less committed.  But you know who you are - late night before a key session?  you need 100% of what you have to make it happen- 7 beers will not help!  Off season, get drunk and fat! 

5: You are not fueling long rides properly.  I have this nailed- 200-250 calories/hour without fail, after a solid (clean breakfast) of 300 or so calories and a thoughtful dinner the night before.  But I see so many who skip breakfast or throw down a pop tart, bring 1000 calories on the ride and only consume 400 on a 5 hour ride.  About 4 hours in they bonk hard.   Steady calories are key- no 700 calorie dump 3 hours into the ride with a sandwich.  Practice it!  

6: You're not doing this swim session: 1500 yard TT  I admit I am NOT doing THAT swim session but I do a lot of suffering swim sessions.... the bigger point here I think is not going quality sessions that test your true fitness against the pace clock

7: You approach your run training wrong.  Before I even read this I was nodding my head yes, because I am somehow sure I assume I must be approaching run training wrong.  Well I take that back  "triathletes must do hills"  I do hills, love hills and especially hills OTB (not) 

8: You're not doing yoga.  UGH right I am not doing yoga and I should be doing yoga.  enough said

9: You're not maintaining your bike: I sort of maintain my bike, as in I clean it when there are copious amount of sugary substance running down the frame and jamming my components.  BUT I always get my bike cleaned and tuned pre: race- thank you Nytro!   Light road grid = 1-3  watts- Clean your bike or pay someone else to do it

10: You're cutting corners:   ie: not warming up, cooling down or strength work. Dang it here again we see a quote by "Ricci"  “When you’re working out in three sports, you need to be careful of all the moving parts, which isn’t easy,” Ricci says. “Working on your limiters, mobility and strength are all important.” He recommends out of season, lift three times per week with core work and mobility every day. During the race season, strength train twice a week, with mobility and core work every day.  This is a big one for me - strength that is - I don't do it.  I do mobility every day, I do core 2-3 x a week and I do strength 0 x a week.  October this will be in my wheelhouse and I am committed to carry through 2016.

11: You can't turn off the internal chatter.   Like at mile 10 of the Ironman " I suck at running"  "why didn't my parents put me in Steeplechase- they are all the fast runners" "  I will never run like X I am too big"    etc.... Working on this one for positive mantras

12: You are too competitive.  I reigned this one in years ago.  Early in my racing I would continually "win the workout" and than upload my workout with a litany of excuses as to WHY I rode so hard, when the workout was not that hard.  My coach at the time Kevin Purcell responded one time with " do you want to win the workout or qualify for Kona.  It's your choice but you can't do both"    Roger that.. I learned to let others go.  So my riding partners now probably calling BS, admittedly there are days I cannot let others go but on the days this is imperative I don't put myself in that situation - because I know sometimes I just can't do it/

13: You are choosing the wrong races. I get this one.  Hard, hilly and cool weather that is my strength! Thus my best races have been CdA, St George, Wisconsin. Whistler and hopefully Tahoe.  But next May I am toeing the line at IM Texas because my coach is making me  so I can "learn" how to race in hot, humid conditions.

14: You're too hairy - LOL Marcus?   Not an issue

15: You're racing too much - HA considering I have raced once in 9 months I'd say NO.  This has never been an issue for me- frankly I probably don't race enough.  I have athletes who are prolific racers- it makes it hard to nail quality workouts, prepare for races etc.... there is a balance to be had- find what works for you and your coach.

16: You don't know your "why"   I know mine...  Because I can, because the bar can always be raised, because there is no other feeling like finishing an Ironman and because I love to go hard!

17: You are not using technology to your advantage.  As the owner of a power meter, Gramin 1000 and Garmin 920xt - not an issue.  I use it, understand it and am continually learning more about it.   If you have a power meter, make sure you are getting the most out of it.  What is your FTP? How often are you testing it?  What is your cadence, HR zones, do you use them and how?   Be a student of the sport. When I bought a PM I bought  Training and Racing with Power  and I read everything training peaks had to offer on the topic.

So my takeaway is..
1- get back to yoga
2- commit to strength
3- drink more coffee - ok not really
4- work on the positive mantras
5- clean my bike
6- while not address- work on my run form- I know it as does anyone who sees me running :)