Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Providence 70.3, the Flu, and "Alternative Training"

What a great finish line ending?

We went down Saturday to Providence(other photos here) with S2's John Rymes and aR's Ryan Kelly. We did all the logistical pre-triathlon mazes: dropping off gear bags, bikes and registering etc. Due to issues with our hotel we ended bunking up all in one room which may have actually worked out well since they now didn't need to pick us up in the morning. I dropped the three of them off at the swim start which was interesting to see since no one was allowed wet-suits so the usual triathlete tuxedos were not seen. Rather a bunch of individuals splashing around. While I went back and gorged myself with the free continental breakfast, Amber, Ryan and John all put together good swims and headed out on the bike course.

I timed it so that they would be arriving at the Bike-Run transition soon after I got there and sure enough without twenty minutes, I see Ryan come in. He arrived into transition 5th and left 3rd with a very fast transition. Amber arrived a bit after, right with Annie Gervais, who went on to run her way to a second place finish, but did not have such a fast transition.

Amber post-race, pre-sick
Amber looked strong out there but it was so hot that she did struggle a little bit on the run saying after that she just couldn't get her legs to turn over. She ended up finishing 6th overall(5th pro) with a time she was disappointed with but one that I would have been ecstatic. Either way this was just a nice last hard effort before Lake Placid in two weeks.

Amber 3 miles ahead of the runners going in the other direction
We then made our way home, stopping at Not Your Average Joes for dinner. I then quickly packed up and made my way up to the White Mountains to be ready for the Presidential Traverse the next day. Just as I am dozing off, I get a call from Amber who was crying. Apparently after I left she got violently ill and was throwing up and very dizzy. I quickly packed my things back up and drove back down to her. She spent the rest of the night and most of yesterday alternating between sleeping and getting sick. It may have been heat stroke, food poisoning, a 24 hour bug or separation anxiety but only now is she starting to feel better at all.
I think this was her body's way of getting a much needed before Placid. Perfect way to taper.

Speaking about training strategies:

After the good response from my last post on my run, swim, run workout, I have decided to let people in on some of my other workout secrets.

1) Abdominal Tightening: I know that Amber and Greg Whitman both have touched upon numbers 1 and 2, but I would like to defend these stances. Abdominal tightening, while probably burning an inconsequential additional calorie or two, is a main foundation of lumbar stability. If I can engage my core throughout my day, I can re-educate those muscles to fire even when tired. Like at the end of a marathon.

2) Breath Holding: Come On! People live in tents or in Colorado to get the benefits of anoxic breathing. Easier way to do it? Hold your breath. As silly as it sounds, if done correctly and frequently enough, you'll be stimulating the same body responses to produce more red blood cells to compensate for diminished oxygenation.

3) Garages: Good to park your cars in. Better to use as a safe and cool place to do hills and speed workouts. My 2 favorite workouts are:
       a) Run up the stairs, sprint across to other stair well, descend 1 flight, sprint back, and repeat to the bottom. That's one rep. Do 5-10. 
       b)Run the ramp, sprinting the up ramps and recovering on the flats. Descend via stairs. Do 4-8.

4) Single Leg Stance: Standing on one leg challenging your balance as well as strengthens your proximal hip musculature. I try to sneak in times throughout the day where I'll stand on one leg. Or better still: stand on one leg, engage my abdominals and hold my breath. Who says I can't multi-task.

5) Bricks: Regardless of distance I bike, I try to run afterwards. This does two things: a)it gets you're legs used to running off the bike and b) it allows you to simulate the fatigue of a longer run without all the pounding.

6) Jeremy's Boot Camp: Okay so this one is new to me, but I have now attended three sessions, and think I'm a convert. The amount of different muscle groups utilized during a forty five minute session is amazing and it's crazy that I'm not only fatigued but also winded when I leave. It definitely hits some of my big areas of deficits quite nicely.

7) Hiking: I don't go hiking nearly as much as I would like but don't discount it. The cardiovascular benefits of the ascent combined with the eccentric strengthening on the descent makes the fact that you're out in the wilderness having a blast all that much more enjoyable. Not challenging enough? Throw some water(or beer) in your pack and you've got instant resistance. And if it becomes too much, you can always dump it(water) or drink it(beer).

Amber stretching a bit

8) Tapering: My Favorite part of any training program is the week before a race where I can sit back and relax. Seriously though, rest is a much needed and often under-appreciated aspect of training that needs to be part of everyone's routine. Where else will your body be able to recover and get free HGH?

UP NEXT: Danny: Chet Warman 151 Gap Ride(Saturday) and the Stowe 8 Miler(Sunday). Amber: LAKE PLACID!!!

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