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Strength Training. The Triathlete. Race Week.

We have a lot of athletes heading into races in the next couple of weeks. Please look this over as you are heading into your races! 

A couple of months ago, we talked about Peak Phase and why we need to “maintain” our muscles heading into our peak week. Peak week is truly hard because, since you are putting so much emphasis on the swim, bike, and run, it can be VERY hard to get to the gym. Click HERE for last week’s article, as it is crucial to get there!

Today, I want to chat with you all about Strength Training for Triathletes in the Race Week.  This will be a very simple and very easy blog:

It is RACE WEEK: You do NOT lift weights! 

Yes, I said it, and 100% believe it. If you lift weights during race week, it will only HINDER your race. If the ego gets in the way, you may try to push harder than you should; keep that for your race! If you do go to the gym, I would suggest doing some mobility work (foam rolling, lacrosse ball, etc.). It it NOT necessary for you to lift weights the week of a race.

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I hope you enjoyed this series of breaking things down. Next week, I will put it all together and show you an example of a week of workouts for a triathlete, starting at base phase!

Also, check out my top two Strength Training for Triathletes Blogs! Click the photo below:

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What is My Why for Coaching?

What is My Why for Coaching? To Coach Serious Triathletes on How to be a BadASS and cross that finish line with a smile.

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Plantar Fasciitis and Calf Smashing: OUCH!!!

Plantar Fasciitis, or “PF,” has got to be one of the worst injuries for an athlete, runner, CrossFitter, or any human being. It can make or break your physical aspect and also your mental aspects. You wake up in the morning and the first step off the bed hurts like a “SOB”. You attempt to go for a run but those first couple of steps are so painful that you have to turn around and walk home. It hurts to do a box jump at your CrossFit gym or even to jump rope. Let’s look at the meaning of the words composing PF:

Calf AnatomyPlantar: the bottom surface of the foot

Fasciitis: inflammation of the fascia

Over the last couple of weeks, I have had a lot of athletes bring up PF: That they have had it, or that they are having heel issues. One of the major reasons why people have PF is due to the tightness in their calves and Achilles tendon. Look at the photo to the right. Look how the Achilles connects down past the foot. Tightness in the calf muscles and Achilles will hinder an athlete in their running and box jumps over time.

What are the steps to take care of that PF? Here are a few things that I have done to take care of my calves and prevent getting PF:

  1. Foam Roll the Calves
  2. Lacrosse Ball your Calves
  3. Calf Smashing with a bar (See Video)
  4. Calf/Toe Raises: Remember the old school calf raises. 3 x 15-20, toes facing front/ toes facing one another, like a pigeon/ heels facing each other, like a duck.
  5. Take a golf ball and roll in on your foot; still need to work on those calves though!!

Three weeks ago, I went to a Mobility Certification Seminar with Kelly Starlett from San Francisco CrossFit. Kelly is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, and the guy is a genuis. He makes you want to be a better athlete and a better person through being aware of your body, posture, and how to hold yourself, whether you are setting at a desk, blogging, or walking through the grocery store. Since my cert, I am more aware of how I stand, walk, and sit. Don’t watch the K-Star’s video about Flip flops. So sad.

Anyway, I have learned so much over the years about PF, but Kelly has a great video that brings together all of the things to do for your calves and to prevent PF for an athlete. Check out the video below, and hopefully this will take you on the road to recovery.

All you have to do is take 10 minutes out of your day: 5 mins on your right calf, 5 mins of your left calf. The next day, work on your gluteus. The day after that, work on your quads. The list goes on and on. But that is OK. The human body can handle a lot of stress and pressure, but how about doing something for that human body for once, and treating it with care!!!

Dear __________,

I love that you help my heart and lungs through triathlons, running, cycling, and swimming. I love that you do strength training with E-Fit to make my muscles nice and strong. I love that you eat healthy stuff for my body. But what I do need from you, 10 minutes a day, is mobility work: Foam roll, lacrosse ball, and smashing. I have a lot of knots in my fascia; just take care of me, so we don’t end up in the hospital together for a knee surgery or a back surgery. I sort of like where I am!

Love,

Your Body 

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Five Questions to Ask a Strength Gym as a Triathlete

By now, you have figured it out: I am a huge advocate for strength training for triathletes, runners, cyclists, and swimmers.

As a triathlete, there are a lot of options for you, especially in San Antonio. There are over 60+ CrossFit gyms, Personal Strength Training Gyms, “Boutique” Gyms, and Strength Training Groups. If you live elsewhere, you will probably see a variety of the same. So, where the heck do you go? Start doing your research and make sure that the gym or the studio you go to is designed to help you reach your goals.

Strength for Website

Today, I came up with:

Five Questions to Ask a Strength Gym/Coach as an Endurance Athlete:

  1. What is your background?
  • Such a crucial piece of the puzzle. Some personal trainers will go online and get their certification. They will also get a certification over a weekend.
  • Make sure their certification is a legit one. One of the best ones out there is NSCA – CSCS. Very well respected.
  1. How long have you been doing strength? What other activities do you do other than strength?
  • Check out their personal background as an athlete versus their professional background.
  • Maybe you don’t want to go to a specific Olympic lifting gym because they may not have the knowledge of what a triathlete needs.
  1. Am I able to scale certain workouts according to my ability?
  • This answer should automatically be YES! If a coach does not allow you to scale, then look for another gym.
  • For example, in back squats, I would LOVE to see everyone go butt below parallel BUT as a coach, not everyone can do that, so I adjust according to how low they can go.
  • Form is crucial in my eyes. If they are not doing it correctly, then that coach needs to adjust ASAP.
  1. How do I time my strength workouts so they will not affect my other (main) workouts?
  • Most coaches should be able to help you out with this question if they understand the concept of periodization. (Another question!)
  • Here is my two cents: Give yourself at least 6 hours in between workouts.
  • 8 weeks from your “A” race: Do your swim, bike, and run first. This is when you are getting into the specificity of your training.
  • 10 weeks + from your “A” race: Go ahead and knock out your strength first. If you have to do your swim, bike, and run afterwards, due to time, that is fine but make sure it is an “easier” workout. I don’t want you to sand bag your strength, nor your swim, bike, and run!
  1. My goal is ________. Will you be able to help me reach that goal?
  • This answer should automatically be YES! Tell the coach what you are training for, and then they have an idea of how to help you out and maintain your fitness and strength!

Interviewing a personal trainer, a coach, or a gym (global, CrossFit, boutique, etc.) can be crucial in the endurance world. You have goals! You want to make sure everyone is on board and that you are able to go into a workout with ease with the coaches or the personal trainers that are helping you.

I truly feel that these questions are for ANYONE who wants to start up a strength program. Strength training is crucial for the human body, especially as we age. A person’s max strength will decrease steadily with aging. Think about how you get up from a chair now.

Think about a 50 year old versus an 80 year old and how they get out of the chair. The strength of the quadriceps has decreased drastically if you don’t work on strength and/or resistance training.

So, you ready to start your strength training? Are you in San Antonio? Go check out The Tribe Strength and Conditioning Gym! First Class is FREE: You will NOT be disappointed!

The Tribe San Antonio

 

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Run Your Own Race

Most of my life, I have been a goal setter. I always had big goals and desires at a very young age. I was a Midwest girl born in Detroit, MI, but raised in Whitewater, WI, a very small town, and that never seemed to stop me, since I knew what I wanted. In 7th grade, I made the decision that I would be working with marine mammals. My love and passion were over the top for all types of marine mammals, and I KNEW in my heart of hearts that I would make it happen.

Why did I know? That is just who I am: I knew I would make shit happen. I knew I would succeed at what I wanted in life because it was MY DECISION to make it. Now, getting through this journey was not an easy journey, but music fuels my soul and I remember listening to Garth Brooks’ “The River.”

“You know a dream is like a river

Ever changing’ as it flows

And a dreamer’s just a vessel…”

“I’ll never reach my destination

If I never try

So I will sail my vessel

‘Til the river runs dry…”

I am happy to say that I made a 14-year career out of working with marine mammals, and they were some of the best years of my life. Those moments with the animals will always be in my memory, and no one can take that away from me.

Motivation for rethinking my life came in the last six months of 2008, with the death of my father at only sixty-two years of age, and two miscarriages.  In that crisis I relied on three important resources:  1) A renewed interest in religion and the power of prayer; 2) Support from my family and friends; and 3) Self-help in the form of physical activity, whether it was running, triathlons, CrossFit, yoga, dance classes, cycling, or swimming. I lost that desire to make shit happen in my world, after my losses. I knew that if I didn’t go back to “Sailing my Vessel” for my other passion, inspiring people through health and fitness, that I would never “reach my destination.”

When I decided to leave my “dream job” to go back to school to get my Master’s in Kinesiology, pursue my passion of coaching endurance athletes, develop a strength program specifically for endurance athletes, and aim to elevate San Antonio to be a healthier place, I got a TON of questions and comments:

  • Why would you leave Sea World? That is a dream job.
  • Won’t you miss the animals?
  • What? We don’t get to see you swim anymore?
  • I will miss you being here with us.

What I realized was that if I stayed in my “dream job,” would it be my dream job anymore? Why would I stay, if I weren’t as passionate or happy about my job? I needed to go back to that 7th grade girl from Wisconsin and make “shit” happen since it was MY DECISION to move on and inspire people on a daily basis through coaching: Mind, body, and soul.

As a triathlon coach and an athlete, I always tell my athletes – and I go by this motto as well: ”RUN YOUR OWN RACE.” Don’t worry about the athlete behind you or ahead of you. Concentrate on what your goals are for this race. If you look funny running, who cares? If you backstroke the whole time in the swim portion, who cares?  You do these events because YOU CAN. YOU made the decision to do it. YOU are the one that is making “shit” happen.

keep-calm-and-run-your-race

 

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