This next year I want to revisit Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons and work on my speed and less on endurance. Not only will this help give my body a break from the long training days but I can start to hone in on my racing weight and performance before knocking out the Ironman. A triathlete friend posted this motivation quote today and I just had to share it!!
My plan involves the following phases to get myself ready.
1. Get to a base level in all three sports, here is what I’m shooting for per week
a. Swim 4,000m (3: 2x1,200 & 1 1,600)
b. Bike 3 hours (3: 2x45 min & 1 90 min)
c. Run 14 miles (3: 2x4 & 1 6)
2. Slowly add 1 Interval day during the week, with 1 discipline at a time starting with the bike and then swimming. For running I won’t be able to do this until mid February when Winter Warriors is over & I can get on a treadmill on Thursday nights which should be right about when I hit this progression.
3. Continue working on strength & core every week. Do not let this drop off!! Possibly get back in studio for some Yoga too.
4. 8-10 weeks out from race follow a structured plan to get race ready. I don’t have my calendar set yet but I am looking at doing the Fremont Sprint Triathlon July 15th and the Winnebago County Olympic Triathlon on Aug 27th and possibly an early season one like Elkhart Lake on June 11th (sprint & Olympic options)
In trying to get faster I have been doing some research at nights to help me come up with ideas on how to get better in each of the three disciplines. I pretty much know what I’m doing with my speedwork for running as I have done it before but I need help in the other areas. I am completely self-coached so I need to learn what I’m doing before I attempt to do this without injury.
Name the first sport you think of where flexibility is key? Most people would likely say gymnastics, which is in fact true. But you most likely wouldn’t think of swimming as your first answer or your second answer. I have learned that to perform better in the pool, you need to work on your flexibility. As triathletes we are notoriously inflexible as 90% of the sport is single movement and limits our mobility if we don’t work on this.
I found some really great ideas on how to improve your swimming time simply just by gaining flexibility. You don’t have to just hit the pool and swim a bunch, in actuality this may hurt you as you can end up with overuse injuries and you are only teaching your body bad swim habits. When you get tired your form goes and the longer you swim with bad form the more it becomes habit. Pull buoys are great to use as aids when you get tired during a swim set, it keeps your body in the correct alignment so you can continue to swim.
Here are the few stretches that I found on you tube to help specifically with swimming. Thanks to Joanna Zieger for the tips!! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NphQCsEikiU)
Each of these you don’t need to do long, just 30 seconds or so and take a break between sets of each.
1. Ankle Flexibility – Sit on your ankles
a. try to work towards getting your feet flat on the ground
2. Hip Flexibility – Hip Circles & Side to Side
a. work towards getting the process smooth, don’t let your hips drop & focus on keeping them straight
3. Mid-back flexibility – Pole rotation
a. Use a pole or door jam, grab with both hands and twist from your hips away from the object
b. Do on both sides of your body, again keep the hips level and watch your shoulders as well
4. Shoulder Flexibility – Shoulder blade squeeze
a. There should be little movement in the shoulders, the movement should solely be coming from your back
b. Think about squeezing a pencil in between your shoulder blades
5. Lateral Flexibility – Arm raise
a. Put your arm up & extend by lifting through your lats, not your shoulder
b. Your shoulder should not be coming closer to your ear, this is key to ensure you are using your lower rib cage/lats to induce the lengthening of the arm
I want to start implementing this into my routine once I get my current strength routine down to see if it pays off in the pool. If anybody else actually reads this I hope in some way it was able to help you out.
So far this week is going great, I received my jacket from Fleet Feet Sports at the Tuesday night fun run last night and I'm looking forward to wearing it this winter. It's a Mizuno Breath Thermal jacket and winter is sinking in here in Wisco.