Monday, February 11, 2019

the yikes zone...

Before I discovered triathlon, when I was a youngin in my 30's,  yes I am old.  I was an avid downhill skier.  Instead of triathlon camps I went to ski camps, yes I am a camper at heart.   My last camp was the Steep and Deep Camp in Jackson Hole, WY.  I was nervous as get out for the camp as I was likely, and as it turned out, the least accomplished skier.  Our Coach was simply bad ass and her goal was for us daily, yes daily, to get into the "yikes" zone. That was out of our comfort zone.  For me, that meant a narrow chute, Corbets Coulier, that was a drop of 10 feet, followed by a quick right turn to avoid
smashing into one of the rock walls and another big jump on the mountain.  The camp was 5 days.  Day 1 we laid out our "yikes goals"  Each day I attempted my goals.  I was in the yikes zone but chickened out for 2 days at Corbets and on day 3 I woke up and just f'ing did it!  I was scared out of my mind and did it, no crashing.  But the jump was scarier and each day I tried and skied off and did not do it.  Day 5 I was on the hook for it, I tried and bailed 4 times and then waived the white flag. But at 3:45pm last run, I went for it and I crashed hard... but I tried.  Nothing broke but my ego. But I at least was all in 

Shortly after that I started in triathlon and on one of our annual ski vacations I was bombing the moguls and clipped and edge and bit it hard, yard sale kind of wipe out and my knee tweaked and everything hurt, I was 30 days out from Oceanside 70.3.  My passion for skiing was morphing to triathlon.  I was no longer willing to risk the injury, I was working so hard at my triathlon goals, I did not want to get sidelined due to a skiing injury.  I tried skiing blue runs, dialing it back, but shocking that is not me.  I am all in, in line when the lift open, ski until my quads are burning, taking risks, skiing the moguls, small jumps and going fast!  So I hardly ski anymore. 

But I do love triathlon!  And while I am not a fan of taking risks I descend fast!  But that is about fun.

Last week I felt like I was in the yikes zone, not in the same way as dropping into a chute but in an out of my comfort zone kind of way.  Coach is challenging me in new ways in the swim, bike and run.  It's about power and top end work, a place I don't go to very often.  A workout that looks easy in TP but man can 15 seconds in the pool cause a burn, 30 seconds on a hill or 20 seconds standing all out on the bike cause a lot of pain.  Max  HR's and burning that makes you want to curl up for a few minutes.   The volume of training is not high and the workouts while burn and cause 180bpm did not seem to take a toll.  But they did, I found myself Sunday with a high resting HR, as in 10 bpm high, feeling sluggish, hungry and grumpy.   

Dare I say, we are onto something?  The jury is out, but come March 3, 1st race of the season we will see!  April 6- the season opener Oceanside 70.3 is the real tell!   This is my 5th season with my coach and well he's definitely got my attention.  People often switch coaches for a change, we ge tired of the same workouts, the same progressing.  A  good coach will keep your workouts and program-changing so the athlete continues to grow and stay interested.  

And as I am always learning as a coach, my athletes are seeing some different training as well!  Change is good.  Some feel, hey this is working let's not change it up, but how do get better without change?   And well with goals of getting better at 52, it's lofty I know.  Maybe I will not beat my best Oceanside 70.3 time, but I have goals about where I want to place and how I will execute the race.

Speaking of skiing.... if you did not see Lindsay Vonn's last run, I encourage you to watch it. And to read this  - what a legend!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Garmin swim rant....

I am 99% sure I have ranted on this before...but I am ranting again.  

Yes, a Garmin is great for tracking your swim yard!!! Yes, a Garmin can track your times.  NO, you should not be hitting the button every time you come in and send off. 

As a masters swimmer and a masters coach the #1 observation I have on this topic is in lane 1 and lane 2, the 1:15 and 1:20 send-off lanes, I see 0 as in NO ONE, pushing buttons as they come into the wall or as they send off.  What I do see coming in is tough and look at the clock and an underwater streamline off the wall that does not include pushing buttons.  

#2 the intervals are tight (when swimming on base or even more on -5) the focus is on swimming not buttoning (new word I made up)

Learn to use the clock and understand your times.   

The further down the pool, as in lanes on a slower send-off, the more I see of obsessive Garmin button pushing.   Connect the dots...

Sure, use the Garmin to track time and distance!  

If you have set you HAVE to remember the times then likely is an all-out hard set and use the  "button pushing" effort to streamline and get to the wall faster. 

I had a soul-crushing swim set this am.  LOTS of ALL OUT, did you get ALL OUT, 25's.   I can recall my times for 30 x 2, not each one but I could report back to my coach where I came in for most of them, how I felt gasping for air , and what the progression was.  I started my Garmin when I dove in and stopped it when I hopped out- I have total swim time and yardage and I use my brain for the rest. 

Got it?  
Any ??? 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

When the off season is moving to THE season

Image result for its the new year now what
I started this blog Jan 2 and now it is Feb 5, fkc!  I have tried to finish is so many times... every time I need to edit it a bit due to lag time.... but I am putting it out there now. 

I wrote this article for D3 Multisport- 

 " The Off Season is Ending, Now What?"   You can read the article above for more insight but it has generated some questions and thoughts from others.

The bottom line is that its almost February and regardless of whether it is -30 or 88 degrees it's time to get focused!   Sure there are the exceptions but most are looking forward and 2019 is upon us. 

If you have not laid out your season's goals, its time.  I have all my athletes do it and we review them.  At the minimum identify your A races and goals for each-  whether those be time goals, nutrition or mental goals, lay them out.  I encourage a stretch goal (go big), a reasonable goal and what if everything happens plan.   So call it A and B goals, I don't do C goals, but I do think about how to handle "THAT' race, you lose your goggles, your chain is off and you have a flat, you drop your nutrition, you forgot socks and you hit 11 porta potties- what will you do?  Quit or roll with it.  The big goals are good to have- I have mine printed out and on my trainer and in my bathroom- a daily reminder of what I really want!  

You are "fat"  I put this in italics as I am sure you are NOT fat, you may feel that way due to some extra holiday lbs.   Well, get on the scale, assess the damage and then figure out what needs to change.  Likely you gained it in 4-6 weeks, so take the same approach to lose it.  The best way is to log your food and drink!  My Fitness Pal.   OR maybe you need to gain muscle?   What are you eating and when?  

What is your weakness and what are you going to do about it?  If you complain about your swim every year, but you continue to swim 2x a week on your own and say you are a terrible swimmer then guess what you will have the same swim.  Is it the bike or run or strength- what is YOUR plan, that is different, from last year to get better?

Asses what worked last year and what did NOT.  Don't keep doing the same thing and expect a change in performance. 

How about life goals?  Do you need more sleep? if yes, how will you get it? 

Alcohol-  people can argue all day on whether it is good or bad.  Honestly, it does not really matter - what matters are your goals?    I can argue that it does not help you lose weight nor does it help performance.   Only you know if you need to or if you should cut back.  I do encourage everyone to quit for 3 weeks- give it a go.  "test the brakes" per se.

I don't encourage you to QUIT everything- it's just not sustainable.  More along the lines of this below- when we do extremes it generally works for a few weeks and then you don't just fall off the wagon you are eating 3 boxes of thin mints at midnight with a bottle of vodka.  

Cut all sugar
Cut processes sugar- candy, sweets
NO processed foods
Limit what you eat out of a package when possible
NO alcohol
No alcohol for 21 days but if you  have a beer don’t flip out
I’m getting up every day at 5am when you have been up at 7am
3 days a week I will get a workout done before work
Lose 20 lbs
Lose 5 lbs – 1.25/week
Train 20 hours a week (when you have been training 5)
Increase by 10-20% /week

Be smart, get on track and get after it!