Monday, June 18, 2012

If you got over your fear of injury

"Do you think I could be a fast runner?"
"I think you could be fast if you got over your fear of injury"
This is the conversation on the drive home from church yesterday.  I asked my hubs the question , and he responded so fast I was left speechless. Speechless because I knew it was the truth. 
Which left me looking back at the times I did push the limits.
First 5k ,Memorial Day of 2007, I ran so hard by bad knee was sore for 2 weeks. From that time on I decided to never run that hard again, thought that my knee was just not meant for fast running.
Then 4 years later, I ran a trail race, and near the end I was head to head with another chick. Going into the race I just wanted to have fun, but she thought she could pass me up in the end, I just wasn't having none of that. I ran so hard (and won) that once I crossed the finish line I vomited so hard that I pissed my pants. Totally NOT the greatest feeling, though my knee didn't hurt, I was in enough to scare me into pushing my limits.
But this is not who I want to be.
 I have grand dreams. GREAT crazy amazing dreams, and I know deep inside that they are possible. The ONLY thing holding me back is myself. Yah, I've got a bum knee. But I know what I NEED to do to strengthen it, its up to me to suck it up and get it done. The biggest thing right now for me to do, is to believe in myself. I have a great support team, awesome husband and little babes that look up to me. Gods blessed me with an athletic body, a body capable to achieve great things. What needs to happen now is to condition my mind, CREATE my goal and figure out how to get there. Bodies heal with time, now its time to battle the MIND.
Yeah, there will be times when I breakdown, but these trials will only make me stronger.
Today on twitter a PRSFIT NATION teammate posted this quote:
 Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Its time to get up, shake it out and keep truckin.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How the Triathlon Seed was Planted

"Are you training for a triathlon?"
"No, I am not sure what that is."
"Well I see that you bike here to swim sessions, and I'm guessing you run. So I figured you were a triathlete. In triathlon they race starting with a swim, followed by a bike ride, finished with a run".
"Oh, no, thats to intense for me."
What I was mentally thinking "Lady, you must be out yo mind"
That conversation happened when I was 19. I lived in Ocala, FL. I had come up from college after blowing out my knee. I could barely walk around the block without knee pain, so I needed something to do and joined a highschool swim session, where I embarrassed the crap out of myself daily (all I could do was doggie paddle). To get to these swim sessions (and because the schools PT said biking would strengthen my knee) I bought myself a mountain bike from Walmart. This is where I developed a love for biking, there in the long roads in Ocala I started picking up mileage on my little mountain bike. On Saturday mornings I would see herds of cyclists and triathletes battle the heat and zoom by all the horsefarms that dotted the roads. The triathletes were my favorite,  they were so cool in their aero bars. At the time I didnt know they were triathletes, to me it was just cool handlebars. So I pretended to be like them, I would get down real low on my handle bars, try to tuck in and bust out as fast as my legs would take me. But I could never keep up with the roadies/triathletes on their fast bikes, and ended up riding alone. Alone but content, every ride trying to beat the previous time it took me, or just beast it up the "hill" of Florida. 
This is where triathlon entered my life.
Fast forward 2 years later. I'm living in Jacksonville , FL. Fell in love with a strapping Naval officer and became engaged. By this time my bike was left behind in Ocala. I biked only in my apartments gym center, and instead of swimming, just lounged poolside working on my tan. 
Then a blue Felt triathlon bike came into my life. Now it wasnt mine, but my Fiances. He purchased it as his last big gift to himself as a bachelor. I was impressed. Impressed because when I saw him in the bike, down in aero position, he was one of the bikers I wished of racing down back in Ocala. I learned that they weren't just "roadies", they were triathletes. So I tagged along to the triathlons, and watched. Judged myself against the other woman. I saw big girls, little girls, bikes with tassels, big clunky mountain bikes and of course the svelt flashy tri-bikes.
This is where the seed was planted. If they could do it, I could do it.
Join Coach Rebecca & Coach Christina for #TriTalk on Twitter, Wednesday nights @ 8pm eastern time. This weeks topic is Triathlon Inspiration: What planted the seed for YOU to start triathlon?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Why Strength Training Matters to a Triathlete

6 hours on the bike.
5 hours running.
Countless laps in the pool.
This is just a few examples of what a triathlete does and the amount of time spent training. With all the time spent in each disciplines of the sport, why should one spend extra time in the gym hitting the weights?
Slouched shoulders, hunchback, lower back pain and IT band syndrome are just a few of the problems that occur as a result of muscle imbalances which stem from the lack of a well balanced training regimine.
Lets take a look at 4 time world Ironman Champion Chrissie Wellington

Great form. Looks strong.
 This is how we all look like when we train (or daydream looking like). Arms in aero position, shoulders protracted, back in flexion. Now lets think about the 6 hours (or so) put in a week in this position. That is a good amount of time that the muscle adapts to this position.
Now lets stand up, relax and recognize that there may be a tendancy to keep the same “rounded” stance. Hunchback, slouched shoulders, and overall a terrible posture. Combine sitting hunched over a keyboard daily for hours on end, and you can begin to understand the amount of time our muscles can develop an imbalance.  Unfortunately, this is a common problem within the triathlon community, but can easily be avoided or fixed with a strength program added to your training schedule.

Now, lets talk about the lower body. When a coach/trainer puts together a strength program they should look to incorporate movements and exercises that are performed in all 3 planes of the body.  To give a basic understanding of a plane:
 one can lift their arm straight in front of them (plane 1)
 lift the same arm out from their side (plane 2)
 then from straight out of side bring the arm across their chest (plane 3) 
These planes are used to describe the range and direction of  movement of the body.  Unless complete at rest, our body is at any time (such as exercise, sports, daily living) moving within one of planes. The sport of triathlon encourages movements predomintately in 2 planes (front-back and up and down), which can leave major muscle imbalances (side-side) and can ultimately lead to injuries. These imbalances are most noticed when one is having pains in the hip & knee, which can extend from lower back to the calve muscles.
So take a look at your week and add in a total body strength workout.  Think about literally stepping outside the box of your normal movements and incorporating an exercise on a different “plane”. Also if you already have strength workouts in your schedule, DO THEM! They are just as important as your long runs on Sundays.
As always, be healthy, train smart and have fun
Coach Chris ( "coach", did you notice that :) )
*** You can also find this post located at the PRSFIT BLOG ***