On the 1st Day of Pose Method Running Tips…

On the 1st Day of Pose Method Running Tips...

My Pose Coach gave to me… Learning how to foot strike. 

There are 26 bones in the human foot and it can be broken down to heel (hind foot), midfoot and forefoot. In Pose Method Running, we are looking to land on our forefoot.

Heel Striking: Landing on your heel first

Midfoot Striking: Landing simultaneously and with equal weights on your heel and the ball of your foot.

Forefoot Landing: Landing on the balls of your feet

According to Dr. Romanov and “The Running Revolution,” the only NATURAL way of landing for a runner is forefoot landing.

Here are your drills to feel the forefoot landing:

  1. Take off your shoes. Go to a grassy field (NOT ON THE STREET or CONCRETE) and do 15-20 second running sprints. You automatically will not land on your heels or your midfoot. This is the natural way of running.
  2. Jump Rope Drills – You don’t need a jump rope. We are trying to feel the “Springiness” in our bounce. (More tomorrow) Keep your shoes on and start jumping up and down. Where do you jump? On your forefeet. Now, jump on your heels…YOU CRAZY Coach Jen…exactly, then why would you heel strike when you run?

Remember, working on your Pose Method Running, takes time. When you head out for a run, warm up by doing the jump rope drills. About 15 minutes into your run, find a grassy field and do 6-8 x Barefoot Runs that last:  15-: 20. You will automatically feel how you are landing on your forefoot. When you head back home, give me another: 15-: 20 seconds with shoes on, the way you felt on the grass.

See you tomorrow…

Disclaimer: All of this information would NOT be possible if it was not for Dr. Romanov and his AMAZING team at Pose Method Running. Check out the new book, “The Running Revolution.”

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Should I do a Marathon Before an Ironman?

It is December and it is off-season triathlon training. A lot of athletes will do a variety of activities during their off-season: mountain biking, lift weights (YES!), yoga, mobility work and run a marathon.  Here is a conversation between a coach and their athlete, who is doing their 1st Ironman:  

Athlete: “I am going to do a marathon before I do my Ironman.”

Coach: ”OK. Why?”

Athlete: “I want to see how fast I can go and run the distance.”

Coach: “Do you think you can run your best alone marathon time after you swam and bike in your Ironman? I don’t believe Christian Bustos* did that in Kona in 1992.”

Athlete: ”Well, I have never done a marathon before, so I feel that I need to do one before my Ironman. There is a marathon in the Ironman.”

Coach: ”I realize that. I understand that reasoning. My concern is the recovery time from the marathon, along with possibly injuries.”

Athlete: “What do you suggest? To do a marathon or do not do a marathon?

Coach: “No, I don’t suggest a marathon before your Ironman.”

That coach is me. Here are my reasons of why athletes should NOT do a marathon before their Ironman:

1. Recovery time –

Recovery time from a marathon is about 4-6 weeks. Everything in your body is in recovery mode…muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, immune system, etc. Whether you set a PR for your marathon or you did your first, it is all the same.

There is a scientific study that has taken part of the calf muscle, pre and post marathon. The study showed that there was damage done during the marathon. The study explained that training for the marathon and during the marathon showed inflammation of the calf muscle, along with rhabdomyolysis, which is damaged skeletal muscle is breaking down at a fast rate, along with possibility of having urine in the blood.

Have you ever got a cold or upper respiratory infection after a major event or race? Yes, your immune system is severely damaged.  Check out this study about marathon training and immune function.

2. Possibility of Injury –

Training for a marathon is very hard on the body. The body is in a constant motion for 26.2 miles. For example, running is you and the road. You have to push your body through space and time. When you are swimming, you have the water to help you stay afloat (well for some). When you are cycling, you have the bike, to help you go through space.

As a triathlete getting ready for a marathon, you may plug in some swims and bikes but your focus will be 4-5 days of running. It takes a longer time to recover from a run, then it would from a swim or bike. Every time you hit the ground, think about how the ankle, hip and foot absorb your body weight. There are numerous studies about injuries and running a marathon. Check these ones out: Risk Factors for injuries… or Injuries Sustained by Runners…

3. Lose Quality Training time for the Ironman –

Let’s say your Ironman is in May. You did a marathon in December. It takes you about 4 weeks to recover, which puts you at January. We are starting to increase your swims and your long bikes.  Starting in January, you should be getting into your 4-hour bikes for the Ironman but this is what happens…

Body is fatigue. Mind is fatigued. You may not have the desire to get outside for those long bikes. We are losing some quality bike workouts for your Ironman. You may not have the desire to push yourself.

4. Training for a fast marathon will NOT benefit you for your Ironman-

Running a stand along marathon is completely different than running a marathon after a swim and a bike. Your Ironman run will be slower than your marathon time. Check out Timothy Noakes, “Lore of Running.” He has 15 Laws of Training. Check out #7, “Don’t Race When in Training…” Noakes explains that when you race, you race. Don’t race an event or do a “time trial” before your main race (i.e. Marathon vs. Ironman). “Racing, then, should be only the time-trials, and should only be run every two, or preferably three, weeks apart…six weeks between events would be more suitable for a marathon runner, but once every two months is probably better,” says Timothy Noakes. (Remember he is talking about running but a lot of his laws apply to triathletes).

*Who is Christian Bustos you ask? Christian Bustos ran a 2:16 stand alone marathon in Frankfurt, Germany.  At Ironman Kona in 1992, Bustos was on Mark Allen’s tail for 14-15 miles straight until he puttered out clocking a 2:49 (6:27/mile pace) Ironman marathon time. Mark Allen clocked a 2:42:18 (6:11/mile) that day. I am not sure if Mark Allen has done a straight out marathon. My point is, you will not be able to run a stand-alone marathon pace during your Ironman.

What do I suggest for your off season?

  1. Lift weights. See my blogs about weight training (5 Strength Exercises and How often to Lift). Start building those antagonist (opposite) muscles in the gym, that you don’t use for the swim, bike and run.
  2. Work on mobility. Check out Kelly Starrett’s Mobility WOD Tons of great stuff for athletes.
  3. Sign up for a Masters Swim group. Want to improve your swimming. Swim with FASTER people.
  4. Lift more weights…
  5. Find a Zen. Read. Hang out with friends and family. Go to a movie. Clean those headboards. Focus on your recovery from a successful triathlon season.

I understand why new Ironman triathletes want to do a marathon before they actually do one. It is for the mental aspects of that they can complete a marathon.

Let’s look at your off season…let’s start looking at quality workouts versus quantity workouts. Let’s start looking at enjoying life for 2 months and do something different because in January, you will be right back at it getting ready for your Ironman!

Interested in my ebook or paperback, “Rulon Rules: Strength Training & the Triathlete.” Grab a copy TODAY!

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Ironman Triathlon Strength Coach San Antonio

5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Sign Up for an Ironman

The Triathlon season is approaching. Have you figured out what race you want to do? Have you figured out your season? Most people have but if you are getting ready for an Ironman race and you haven’t signed up for one, chances are the a lot of the Ironman races in the US are full. Ironman AZ 2015 filled up on the spot in AZ and people online couldn’t even get in.

As you sit on the computer looking at to figure out your race schedule, there are 5 questions you should ask yourself before you sign up for an Ironman and your success at the race. This is what I came up with…

What Ironman Should I Do?

  1. Do you want to swim in the river, ocean or a lake?
  2. Do you like flats, hills or mountains on the bike?
  3. Do you want 2-3 loops on the run? Flat or hilly?
  4. Do you want to train during the winter, spring, fall or summer?
  5. Do you want to travel via flight or car?

Let me break them down for you…

1. Do you want to swim in the river, ocean or a lake?

You need to ask yourself,  “How comfortable are you in the open water?” Did you grow up swimming in a nasty lake and the thought of ugly fishshark-pool1 and sharks DON’T bother you? Pick an ocean swim. Did you grow up swimming in the community pool and the thought of swimming with ugly fish and sharks bother you? I would pick a river or a lake.

Ironman FL is one of my FAVORITE Ironman races BUT you are swimming in the ocean. Florida was canceled this year due to high rip tides, so it wouldn’t have been safe for anyone. Ironman CDA is in a lake. My thought…easy breezy but the water cold and choppy this year, that I did have a panic attack in the middle of my race. I would have taken an ocean swim any day. Let’s look at Ironman-Texas. You start off in a lake but then it narrows down to the river. Will you feel claustrophobic? Those are some of the thoughts that I have before I sign up for an Ironman.

2. Do you like flats, hills or mountains on the bike?

You can also ask yourself, “Are you a strong, average or weak cyclist?” A triathlete needs to have a solid foundation and fit on the bike, especially heading on those mountains but also on the flats. The bike is the longest portion of the race AND you can gain a lot of the bike.

When I think of flat Ironman, I think of Ironman FL and Ironman Western Australia. Do you have the core and back strength to stay in aero position about 95% of the time? When I think of hills on the bike, I think of IM-Coeur d’Alene or Wisconsin. There are some flats, but mostly rollers and hills. Do you enjoy heading up those hills but getting reinforced going down hill and flying? When I think of mountains, I think of IM-Lake Tahoe. You may be walking your bike up those mountains. Do you have a power meter? Power meter will keep you accountable for those all of these courses but make sure you are being smart on your ride, so you can go have a decent run.

3. Do you want 2-3 loops on the run? Flat or hilly?

Do you train around hills on your runs or are you running mostly flat for your training? The Ironman runs lately have been at least 2 or 3 loops, which can be a good or bad thing. It can mentally put you in a funk, seeing the same thing OR you can figure out how to negative spilt each loop. You learn to put your head down and “run ugly.” Remember if you went out to hard on the bike, you will have a tough run, whether it is 2-3 loops, flat or hilly.

Ironman FL has 2 loops and flat as all get out. The support is WONDERFUL! Ironman AZ has 3 loops and flat with a little hill. Ironman-CDA has 2 loops, flat for the first 5 miles and then 6-8 has a good 6% hill. Do you want to walk up those hills or opt to shuffle up it?

4. Do you want to train during the winter, spring, fall or summer?

With Ironman Triathlons going on from March to December, you can pick whatever month you want BUT, you also need to look at when you are doing most of your quality training. Do you want to train in the middle of winter, possibly on the trainer, with no friends? What about training in the heat in San Antonio during the summer? Are you a teacher? Is it easier to do your race during the summer, when you are off OR do you want your summer off? Those are the questions you need to ask yourself.

Check out Ironman Website and you will see a race pretty much every month, other than January and February. You can do Ironman Western Australia in December (Highly recommend it). Your heavy training months will be September-November. Check out Ironman-New Zealand, which is in March but remember your heavy training days will be Dec-February. Do you have anyone to train with? Will you be inside training, if you live in the Mid-West?

5. Do you want to travel via flight or car? 

It is very easy to drive to a race. You place all of your stuff in your car, pack it full with bike, nutrition, and race gear, possibly the dog and off you go. BUT, you can’t really do that for all races. (Granted depends on where you live) BUT if you live in the US, and you want to check out a race in Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand…time to fly.

Ask yourself these questions for traveling to a race…do you have a bike box? Do you know how to break your bike down and put it back together for the box? Does TriBike Transport go to the race? (Highly recommend this company!) What do they do? They ship your bike via UHAUL, along with a bike bag and BAM, your bike and bag are there by the time you get there for the race.  I know there are other companies like this. I am not familiar with them. Overseas traveling with the bike can be hard BUT way worth it. Learn how to pack light!

Deciding on an Ironman can be challenging…there are a lot of factors BUT look at these factors and how they apply to you, so you can have the best race out there for yourself. Don’t pick a race because it is about to close or because all of your friends are doing it. Pick a race because you can’t wait to do it and you are craving to do it.   

Side note: I chose IM-TX for 2015 and I had a hard time deciding on doing it. Why? There are factors that I am not a fan of (river and 3 loops on the run) BUT there are different factors that I wanted to take care of first, #kona2015. After Ironman-FL this year, I learned how to HTFU and what ever gets thrown at me, I know I figure it out and make SH&$ happen (#MSH).

Side note #2: I got injured going into IMTX. Ended up not doing it. Interesting though how I knew in my heart, it wasn’t my favorite venue BUT my body decided that for me. Always. Always. Listen to your heart. It knows where it is at!



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My Contribution

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~Walt Disney

Super excited that I was asked to be a part of article: “Offseason Strength -Training Tips for Triathletes.

As you know, I am SUPER passionate about strength training and honestly, I didn’t figure it out until I took a break from Ironman Tri‬athlon training and started doing CrossFit and Strength Training.

As I look back to starting my career as a Triathlon and Strength Coach, I would have NEVER thought I was going to be contributing to a major health and fitness website. Man, if this has what happened with my business in 2014….I seriously can’t wait for 2015.

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What is The Strongest Mile?

Off season…time to lift heavy stuff! Reach out to me if you would like me to design YOUR customized strength and conditioning program!

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