Burrrrrr, it seems like a fitting night to sit down and write my first blog post. The temps are plummeting, the winds are howling and snow is in the forecast, what else could a transplanted Canadian ask for. Some deep thought and contemplation went into my banner photo. Do I do the typical mass start into the water tri start, the cool dude on the bike, the runner crossing the finish line with arms raised or do I go in a slightly different direction. Well its me, I don't particularly follow the norm and honestly thought the pic was beautiful. We typically will read, peruse and unwind in thought at the end of the day so a picture of the setting sun over the Atlantic taken from our favorite beach seemed fitting to set the mood for reading a blog.
This time of year we are all busy with so many things, shopping, parties, wrapping and of course, getting back to training. We have begun to plan our races for next year, set up our training schedule, for some search for a coach and start the preseason or in CWP speak, Prep. Please forgive me as you read this entry and those to come. While I may be triathlon coach extraordinaire, my command of grammar, spelling and the English language as a whole has a lot to be desired.
As we return to a more regimented training routine there are a few do’s and don’ts we want to keep in mind as we get back to a more regimented training schedule.
1) Don’t Be A January Champion
While it may be very tempting to jump back into training with all guns blazing, this is a recipe for disaster. I doesn't matter that you are race ready on January 1, in fact that is the last thing we want. If you feel you can go out and run a PR as we start the season, your body will be shot come race time with you suffering from either burn out or injury. Doing a lot of high intensity work, especially running, and ignoring further developing your aerobic base will lead to burn out and injury as the season progresses
2) Do Address Body Composition.
We at CWP hate to hear the four letter word “DIET”. It’s not about losing weight, cutting calories or obsessing what the scale reads but rather losing fat and increasing lean body mass thus improving body composition. This is the time of year to do this because as the season progresses the physical load of training makes it nearly impossible to make progressive gains and not impair recovery and performance whilst trying to address body composition. We want to determine what we would like our race weight and % body fat to be. We then need to see what our current weight and % body fat is. From there we can see the % of body fat we need to lose, thus determining the number of fat pounds and giving us a true and realistic goal. As we work towards this goal, 'check-ups' need to be done to insure we are losing body fat, not muscle mass as our weight drops.
3) Don’t Forget Strength Training
As the training load increases and life stresses build, strength training is one of the first aspects of training that is dropped. Please, please, please don’t let this happen. Strength training not only builds muscular strength but also helps to build muscle, tendon and ligament resiliency for the training load soon to come. This resiliency helps to prevent injury but also helps keep form and performance as fatigue sets in late in the race.
4) Do Focus on Form and Technique
All three disciplines with triathlon have their own level of required skill and technique for optimal performance. The pre-season is the perfect time to work on your form and technique, especially in the pool, during your sessions to establish that perfect muscle motor map. Work on perfecting your catch and body position in the water, constant tension on the chain while riding and a high cadence on the run. This focus will mean improved proficiency later in the season and lead into increase speed, decreased time and a new PR come race time.
5) Don’t Ignore Your Weakness
We all ignore, push aside or just don't do those things we don't like and the same is true in triathlon training. We all have aspects of our training that we hate be it big gear work, hill repeats or 100’s on short rest. We hate these because they are hard to do, cause discomfort or cause a great deal of stress but that is the exact reason we need to do them. These areas are our weakness, those stumbling blocks which prevent us from reaching our goals. Work on your weaknesses, embrace them and work hard to make them strengths.
6) HAVE FUN
Above all, remember why you are doing this, to be healthier, see what you are truly capable of, to see how hard you can push, all the while with a smile on your face. Now is not the time to get bogged down in the monotony of training. Mix it up, try new things, experiment a little with the overriding purpose of becoming a better TRIATHLETE.
While this list is by no means comprehensive it gives you a few bullet points to think about as you start our the 2017 season.
If you have any questions regarding these ideas, looking for a coach or a total newbie and wondering where do I start, just drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-299-6145.
Happy Holiday and until next time,