Monday, July 25, 2011

Fierce Twist Interval - Yoga for Triathletes

So this is a yoga interval that is designed to build strength in the legs while relieving tension in trouble spots like the low back and piriformis. This is a pretty intense interval so modify where needed by using a yoga block. One time through is plenty, but if you feel motivated you can go for two passes. Enjoy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Yoga Interval For Triathletes, Cyclists And Runners

Here is a short yoga video (or yoga interval) I shot for triathletes, cyclist and runners. The cool part is it really works the psoas, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. It is meant to be a restorative interval but it can also be used to strengthen the legs in a balanced way. And the best part is it only takes about 5 or 6 minutes to go through 2 or 3 times. Although in truth this simple interval is pretty challenging so one time through may be plenty. Restorative, strengthening yoga in 6 minutes or less? How's that for effective time management?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Iron Brother's Sprint Tri Day 2

Ouch. That is what my body was saying during the second race on day 2. Make that "OUCH!" So the swim seemed better than yesterday and my time was a good 30 seconds faster. I had no major issues on the swim, the water was still a bit choppy but I think it was a little cooler than yesterday so instead of swimming and fretting over how hot aka miserable I was I was able to concentrate on more important things like realizing my muscles weren't enjoying being asked to race again so soon. But that was about the worst of the swim. I was just wishing I'd slept in.

The bike on the other hand was another story. It was way windier today out on the bridge than yesterday especially on the section a couple of miles back into the park. And my legs hurt from the first turn of the pedals out of transition and continued to scream for the entire ride. The only reprieve I allowed them was at the turnarounds. After the first lap I seriously considered getting off my bike and waiting about 25 minutes and going back into transition but I didn't. My heart rate was right where it should have been and aside from the soreness from the day before, I was riding well. With this in mind I pushed the second loop harder and negative split by about 45 seconds and came into T2 in 6th place in my age group.

Out of T2, I really felt my effort on the bike and was sure I was running a lot slower than yesterday. And that may have been the case, but I think I found my stride opening up a bit sooner and clicked my way up from 6th place into 4th in my age group with an overall pace of about 8:20. I'm sort of amazed by that since I had to go to the bathroom again (which took 49 seconds) and because I know my first mile had to be somewhere north of 11 min. I practically walked out of transition.

All in all, I think it was a good solid weekend of training. Both races where within 5 seconds of each other in terms of overall time so I feel I had a solid effort both days.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Iron Brother's Sprint Tri Day 1

Let's just say my preparation for this race consisted of 3 swims and 5 bike rides in the last 3 weeks. This was not intentional. I had a stomach virus that had me off of all training for 10 days. But still, it doesn't bode well for a weekend of 2 back to back sprint tri races.

Let's also say I mis-read the race info about packet pickup and missed it when I got to town on Friday evening by going to the wrong location. I have no excuse for this. I looked at the instructions 3 times and mis-read them each time. I had to call and ask an exception to be able to pick up my packet race morning. This is in an Ironhead race is a big "NO, NO."

Then two minutes before the transition closed I realized I'd left my swim cap in the car and had to sprint back to the parking lot barefoot to get it. Swim cap in hand I then sprint barefoot to the swim start just in time to get into the water with my wave.

In retrospect, I think I was trying to make things hard on myself so that if things did not go well, I'd have a ton of excuses.

I'm not usually this forgetful or negligent. But even acknowledging all this I have to report I had an awesome race. My swim while not fast by any means, really high winds made the water very choppy. But I was able to sight and hold my line very well and have a strong swim in challenging conditions. The last couple of times I've done this race the swim has destroyed me. I've gotten sick at about 100 meters in, I've had problems sighting, I've gotten a mouthful of gasoline, and I've come out of the water completely exhausted barely able to stumble into transition. Like Dory and Finding Nemo, I just kept swimming and then ran into transition and got on the bike.

On the bike I took some time to get my legs under me and drink some fluid. The course is relatively flat with only a couple of very short hills. One is as you leave the park and go out onto a bridge and ride about 4 miles out to the next hill which takes you up to the turnaround. The cross wind wasn't too bad going out to the turn but coming back it was brutal. But to my surprise I was actually riding really strong. I caught and passed a lot of folks in my age group and swim wave and never saw them again. One the way out I was riding with a very high cadence to use my aerobic capacity and warm up my legs. I went into the big ring for about half of my trip back to the park on the way back and then when the winds picked up went back to aerobic, high cadence riding. On my way back out for my second and final loop I went back into the big ring and pushed it a bit but I wasn't suffering at all. I was well under aerobic threshold at about 147 bpm. After the turn I dropped the gearing again but kept the pace high. Even on the way back the highest my heart rate got was 149 and so I was really pleased. My legs weren't burning and there where no signs of cramps so the only issue I would face on the run was the fact that I needed to go to the bathroom.

I got back into transition with about a 54:00 bike split for the 19 mile course and I was really happy with that. I racked the bike and knew there was no way I could wait the entire 5k to wait on the bathroom so I ran off course after about 400m and went to the public bathroom. I split my watch when I went in and came out and it took exactly 1:01. I'm fairly confident my run pace for the first mile was "SLOW". Even without the pit stop. But after the first mile I realized my legs weren't tired no matter how hot it was out on the course (and it was hot, probably about 90 degrees at this point.) Did I mention on my way up to DFW my car thermometer read 113 degrees? It is freaking hot up here even in the morning. Anyway, I started running faster and faster with each passing moment and wound up running about a 25:00 5k complete with bathroom break. I'm happy with that as it is probably my fastest 5k split in a tri since I started racing again 4 years ago. I also wound up finishing 5th in my age group, I think my bike split helped a bit there. So now we'll just see what I have in my tank for tomorrow. Hopefully, I won't forget anything...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Running Notes

So I've been running. A lot of running. More running than I've done in years past. I think it is paying off. Even after about 10 days off due to a stomach virus. So I finally managed to run an 8:45 pace at MAF. Believe me this is no small feat given the fact the average temperature here in Austin has been over 100 degrees for the last 3 weeks. Even when I've gotten up to go to the track in the morning at 6:30 it has been over 80 degrees and 80 percent humidity. This is not ideal weather to attempt running with a low heart rate. It has actually been so hot that the buttons I use to turn on my treadmill have stopped working due to the console warping.

So since my treadmill wasn't working properly and the track was too hot, I've been doing a lot of running on the trails. Primarily a place called the Hill of Life and the Riverrun Trail. And the stairs off of Town Lake. Oddly these workouts have actually made me look forward to running more. And as a result I've run. A lot.

I wish I could say this was planned. You know call it a running "specific" block in my training but honestly it wasn't. So now I'm left to admit my cycling which is normally my default workout has been almost non existant. And my swimming? Well let's just say I've done that even less than I've cycled. I say all that to say this. I'm about to race this weekend. 2 sprint Tris in 2 days. We will just have to see how this goes. At least this time I've been running enough to know no matter how bad the swim and the bike might be, I might be in for two of my best triathlon runs in years.