Ever wonder what the life-guards are thinking when you are doing your early morning swim workout? I always did. Well…
Today I found out and it wasn’t pretty. I trust this kid, he is a lean 25 year old grad who is a lifeguard at the gym I work out at. He also happens to be a swimming coach, spinning instructor, and a triathlete (and he mentioned something about Nationals). After talking shop for a while he asked if he could critique my swimming stroke. The results are in and besides my entire swim everything is 100% perfect…. I’m not discouraged, I have a few months to work on these weaknesses and come back stronger this year for my second triathlon season. Here is what he said.
Catch & Finish
Vary Intensity of Workouts
Other than that, everything is great.
PS In my own defense he was critiquing me after I worked out 5 days straight logging 20+ miles running and 50+ miles biking, but that’s no excuse. I’m humbled and determined to try harder!
Stay tuned for an update soon (if I don’t drown in my self wallowing).
The best way to become a better runner is to run….of course.
Accumulating lots of miles (volume) will certainly help you become a better athlete.
With increased volume there is also an increased potential for injury or burnout. The experts say to increase weekly volume (for up to three weeks) no more than 10% of the previous week, recovering every fourth week with fewer miles before slowly increasing mileage again.
The progressive volume of running may look something like this:
Build-Rest and then Build Back Up – Repeat.
This seems to be the best bet (according to the experts) to give yourself a good pre-season base as well as increase volume for a longer race.
What else can you do to increase (or maintain) fitness without risking overuse and over fatigue of your muscles (mental and physical ones)?
Consider adding some cross-training to your weekly workout routine. Mix it up. Here are some potential benefits I have experienced:
If you choose to cross-training…. Start slowly. If you train 4 days a week, try swimming, cycling or cross-fitness strength training one of those days. Your legs (and feet) will thank you for it.
Once you acclimate your body to cross training you can even try to mix up your workout with multiple activities (often referred to as BRICKS, by triathletes), where you swim/bike, bike/run, run/bike, bike/swim, run/swim, etc., with little or no rest between each set. These are called BRICKS because you are stacking workouts (like bricks in a wall), they make you tough like a brick wall, and because your legs will feel like a “ton of bricks” in the beginning of the second session, especially bike to run.
This should keep things interesting and fun. If you try it, please let me know how it went (good or bad). I would love your feedback.
PS I am currently training for a 50K using this “marathon” plan by Hal Higgons (only with added swimming and cycling volume) compared to last year where I logged 50-60 miles during my peak weeks. I will report back and let you know if the cross-training helped improved my performance from last year’s 50K.
5) Older but Faster
6) Encourage Others
This year I started the new year with a 5K run – my third one so far!
It’s a friendly run/race hosted by my running club, the Sparta Runners Club.
But I figure if I’m going I’m going to go for it.
I love spending the first day of the new year with my running club, who inspire me and motivate me to run throughout the year.
The best part was that my wife and kids made it to the race this year :-)
Still trying to break 20-minute 5K!
Will this be the year?
Have a happy and successful new year…
Practice Different Paces
“A lot of people understand only two levels of pacing: Running as fast as they can or easy jogging,” North says. To get a sense of what different paces feel like, try this short workout: Warm up easy for 10 to 15 minutes. Then run one mile at marathon pace, four minutes at half-marathon pace, three minutes at 10-K pace, and two one-minute segments at 5-K pace, with 90 seconds of recovery jogging in between each interval.
Runners with a goal race should do workouts at their goal pace, says Boston-based coach Jeff Gaudette, so they’ll know what to expect on race day. For instance, three to four weeks before a half or full marathon, do five to 10 one-mile repeats at goal pace with one minute recovery in between. Three weeks before a 5-K or 10-K, do 12 x 400 at goal pace with 30-second jogs in between. Your body will learn that the pace naturally feels easier early in the workout or race.
A half or full marathon race
(5 – 10) x one-mile repeats at goal pace with 1-minute rest
5-K or 10-K race
(12) x 400 at goal pace with 30-second jogs in between.