Listening to the Body

As triathletes, we have been taught to go, go, go. We swim. We bike. We run. We lift weights. We race.  God has a bigger plan

Sometimes what we don’t listen to is our body telling us something is wrong, like an injury, hamstring pull or plantar fasciitis, fighting a head cold or a flu bug. Your body is a smart. It has been design to let YOU know when  something isn’t right.  The body is the most amazing machine on this earth.  It is telling your body to rest and heal.

What are you doing to get better? Are YOU listening to your body?  Are you training? Are you resting? Nah, I am good. I am a triathlete. I don’t need rest. Ahhh, think again.

I bring this up today because I am the one that is sick. I must have gotten some flu bug today. I woke up with a headache. Grabbed some coffee. Coffee didn’t even taste good. I got my running clothes on, grabbed the pup and off we went for “Wunning Wednesday” on the trails. It was not pretty. I had some dry heaves and some stomach issues. Made it home. Shower. Put on sweats, sweatshirt, socks, cuddled up in a blanket and slept for 2 hours. I haven’t eaten much today, which will affect my workouts for Thursday, if I am up for working out.

This is my rule of thumb when it comes to being sick or injured:

  • Above the neck (headache, head cold): I try to get out and do something for at least 30 minutes. If it doesn’t feel good after 10 minutes, I turn around/stop, etc.
  • Below the neck: It is a rest day for me. Drink lots of fluids. Try to eat what I can and sleep!
  • Injury: Depends on the injury and also depends on the severity of the injury. I will try a massage first. If it is worse, I will contact Airrosti.

So why did I go run? I thought it was a headache, which in turned to a 24 hour flu bug.

Remember, missing ONE  or two days from a workout will not hurt your fitness.  Remember, to look at the BIG picture of your training and your racing. Taking off one or two days to allow the body to heal is not a bad thing….actually, it will only help.

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Why Triathlons?

4 1/2 weeks out from Ironman Florida. How am I feeling? Pretty darn tired, but I should be tired. Regardless if it is your 1st Ironman or your 10th Ironman.

So, what do you do to freshen things up with your Ironman training? Go for a trail run with your pup. Change up your run course. Go ride with some friends. As an Ironman athlete, we are very selfish. We do what we need to do to get things done.

We also have to ask why we started triathlons? Let’s go back to the time you did your first triathlon. Why did you do?Wunning Wed 2

  • It was a challenge.
  • You did it because it was fun.
  • You did it because you didn’t think you could do it?

Here you are…training for your first Ironman or your 10th, you have to go back to the basics of when you first started doing triathlons. Training for an Ironman,  is a lot of hard work, dedication, time away from family and friends.

Why do I do this? I have a goal. Ironman Kona. I told my mom,  “I was gonna do that race,” after watching Dave Scott and Mark Allen showdown in 1989. Yes, I’ve done six and going on number seven but it still isn’t Kona.

Yes, I’m tired but I see my goal at the end. One of my favorite books is “The Alchemist.” My favorite quote from that book is “Wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” My heart is in Kona. Always has been always will be.

Yes I know why I am training. Do you?

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Triathletes are Lazy!

Let’s be real here…some #Ironman triathletes are lazy.  “What you talking about Willis? I swim, bike and run 140.6 miles.”

Ironman FL 2013Yes. I said it and this is why I say it because I hear this a lot:
1. I don’t want to do speed work. It hurts.
2. I don’t want to do interval work on the bike…too tough.
3. I don’t want to lift. I may get too big and I can’t fit it in my schedule.

Watch out Usain Bolt , Lance Armstrong and Arnold Schwarzenegger , we have a BADA$$ triathlete that is going to kick every ones butt. For you to get better, stronger and faster, you have to do more than LSD (Long Slow Distance).

Suck it up Buttercup…you want to get better, faster, stronger and go farther? Start adding speed and strength into your training plan. You won’t be fast like Usain but you can try! You won’t be riding with Lance in a Time Trial but you can try to ride with some roadies. You won’t get HUGE like Arnold because you are an endurance athlete…YOU WILL NOT GET BIG but putting a little bit of muscle on your’s a good thing!

Maybe it is time to change your game and figure out what you really want to do with that Ironman training.  Go long and slow for 16:59 hours or try to push it a bit and make yourself go faster and cross that finish line under 11 hours!

It is coming up on peoples off season, start looking at your schedule and make a change. I know what I want…#triathlete #triathlon #strength #coach

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Recovery Week is Crucial!

Right now, I am coaching 6 athletes for triathlons. Three are getting ready for an Ironman and three are getting ready for 70.3 Ironman.  The three athletes that are getting ready for 70.3 Ironman are in  Recovery Week.  2012-10-09 13.10.23

When I plan out workouts for my athletes, I use  “Periodization.” Here is your history lesson for the day.

Historically, periodization became popular at the time of the ancient Olympics. Athletes have a very simple logical of training…they train to compete for pre-Olympics and Olympics and then a little bit of R-n-R. Using this kind of periodized training, athletes plan their whole year around specific events. An athlete’s year can be divided into a prep phase, base phase, build phase, and peak phase.

Leonid Matveyev, a Russian professor, started analyzing how the Soviet athletes trained for the 1952 Olympic Games. His work, which scientifically validated periodization, showed that an annual training plan (ATP) should be divided into phases of training with each phase having a specific plan (increase endurance, increase strength, etc.) within that ATP. Each week/phases was then broken down smaller training phases called “macro-cycle” (2-6 week duration) and “micro-cycle” (one week of training).

My athletes have “macro-cycles” of 2-3 weeks. These weeks range from 9-12 hours of training each week. If you are a Master athlete, I will have 2 weeks on/1 week recovery week. Us, old folks, need that extra rest. Under 40, 3 weeks on/1 week off. But when I tell my athletes that it is a recovery week, this is what I have them do:

  1. Active Recovery…still moving that body but try to do nothing more than an hour of workouts.
  2. Testing your speed and skill. I may have them do a 1000 meter time trial test or a 5k run or a 20 min bike to find a new FTP or Critical Power.
  3. Limit the food intake that you will be eating. Not training as hard and don’t need to excess food.
  4. Get a massage…take a couple of extra naps through out the week…time to Rest Up. You have a couple of hard weeks ahead!
  5. Catch up on life: laundry, meet with friends, talk to your spouse (J/K), clean the house…get someone to clean the house. etc.

Recovery Week is CRUCIAL in my world as an athlete and as a coach. Most athletes are Type A personality, so they tend to go harder, longer for a longer period of time. Some of my athletes hesitate to take a “down week” but trust me, they will not lose fitness. This recovery week is only helping them. Athletes feel that if you go hard all the time then you will make improvements. Here is a study from “Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine”, stating quite the opposite…

Look at your own training now. Have you had any time off in your training schedule? Do you schedule yourself rest days? Rest or Active Recovery Weeks? Contact me, if you need help with a training plan for your next race or competition…yes, I will give you down time because I believe and scientifically it has been proved:

Recovery will improve your Fitness!


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Jen Rulon

IM CDA 2014 (Brief) Blog

6 x Ironman Finisher6 x Ironman Finisher.

Who does that? Crazy ass people but there were over 2400 people that started Ironman Coeur d’Alene in Idaho!

This is the Post Ironman Race Report but it is the Reader’s Digest version. I will break down the swim, bike and run on a different blog but I wanted to get out a brief race report for those who are interested in Ironman-Coeur d’Alene.

Ironman Coeur d’Alene in Idaho.

Cold water, Hilly, windy on bike, flat and some hills on the run.

Swim: 2 Loop Swim Course. Time Trial start. You had up to 20 minutes to get in the water. I went in right at 6:45 am. First 200 meters was fine. From 200-400 meters, I panicked. I couldn’t breath. The waves were splashing in my face. I swollen water. IT SUCKED!!! I wanted to quit so bad. I told myself, “HTFU”, took out my ear plugs and swam. Not my best swim time… 1:23:28.

T1: FREEZING!! I was shaking putting on my arm warmers.

Bike: 2 Loops Bike Course. About 5,000 feet of climbing + 25 mph gusts of wind make for a tough day for ALL ATHLETES! Most Pro triathletes can bike under 5 hours on an Ironman course… only 7 athletes did that on Saturday. Hills were not the problem due to having a power meter and knowing what I had to do on the hills. The wind was brutal. Hills going out were tough but fun, fun, fun coming back home. Wind at your back and fast downhills! Bike time: 6:28:59, averaging 17.28 mph.

T2: Arm warmers off, bike shorts off, running shorts on, hat, glasses and off I go.

Run: 2 loop course. Felt AMAZING for the first 14 miles. Got a bit loopy on mile 15 and I needed my Generation UCAN. My goal was to not walk, run and run up the hills. It hurt but I got it done! I PR’d my Ironman marathon time on a tougher course than Ironman-FL! Plus, I had NO GI ISSUES! This is huge for me! Run time: 4:09:30, averaging 9:30’s. I was BONKED from mile 21-24 and had to shuffle up the hills and eat potato chips. BEST. FOOD. EVER.

Finishing Time: 12:12:56. Not my fastest. Not my slowest. I was so so happy with my performance. It taught me SO MUCH about myself as an athlete… Ironman FL is looking pretty good in November!

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