Archive for January, 2010

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treadmill or road

January 31, 2010

I am not a big fan of the dreadmill…. who is? We are outdoor athletes. We love our fresh air and the moonlit streets before 5am. January tends to bring those days where a 3+ bike and a 2 hour run seem to be done in place. Yet at the same time we go so far.

So when do you make the call to run on the dreadmill? In my opinion, when it’s unsafe outdoors. Streets that are too slick, too snowy or when the temperature is too cold for a long run. As my friend Boon used to say, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear”.

Here are a few tricks I use to make dreadmill running a little bit easier:

1. Location: I like the treadmills at the Iron Butterfly in Victor NY. They are in front of the window overlooking the road. I can at least look outside.

2. Pace: Unless I am doing a very specific pace workout, I don’t pay attention to mph or pace per mile at all. Each treadmill is calibrated slightly different. If you want to get crazy about it, here is a treadmill conversion chart which I’d use again if I was doing a specific pace workout. Otherwise I go by heart rate.

3. Breaks: Every 30 minutes I hop off for a pit stop, pretty much purely for my sanity.

4. iPod: a definite must here. I hit shuffle and let my 2,000 songs inspire me. This is the only time I run with an iPod.

I am not a people watcher. I work with people all of the time so I use the time I spend in training or at the gym as my time. I always feel like I am in my own little world, for once I am not in charge of anything, so I relish the feeling of blending in. If I happen to walk by you and not notice, it’s purely because I am in that world! HA HA!

It’s been a very good few weeks of training. I am not yet to the point where I feel physically caught up with the volume. We’ve made so many changes to my run and bike mechanics and fit that I still feel that I am in an adaptation phase. My fatigue level is high so I am making sure to get enough rest and to nail the nutrition down.

In 2 week we begin the vertical phase of training as we head towards LoneStar. YEAH!

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Dialing In

January 29, 2010

I have been processing and processing the mental lessons from my visit to the Wizard last weekend, as well as the physical. One of the big things we changed were my heart rate zones. We adjusted them by just a few numbers based on the testing we completed. Then Jesse tweaked my bike position ever so slightly…… it’s amazing when the smallest things can make the biggest difference in such a short amount of time. 

Truthfully when I got my new bike a few seasons ago I would often tell Kim and Kelly how I just didn’t feel like I did on my Cervelo P2K. Was it because of the wheels? (I previously rode 650’s). Was it that Little Blue as I called him….. was just made for me? What was it about my Cervelo P2C which is named Garuda….. (god of the wind) that just didn’t sit right. I chalked it up to me the machine. And some of it was that.

As it turns out I was riding just a little bitty too high of a heart rate for my endurance rides. At QT2 we call the endurance zone zone 1… which is most people’s zone 2….. zone R is your zone 1. doesn’t matter. We all have our systems, but when I refer to my zone 1 or endurance zone I mean what is likely your zone 2 effort.

Please send me a self addressed stamped envelope for the award you have earned if you understood that psychobabble.

So we dialed in t o my HR, and  it clicked. I never thought four numbers over the course of a week would mean Jack. Turned out it meant Jack and Jill. Add into that little change a slightly (and I am talking slightly) move forward with the seat, one spacer drop in my aerobars, an even slighter narrowing in of the aerobars, and bam. THERE is the flat back I have not seen in a while. THERE is the three hour trainer rides where I don’t leave aero position. THERE is the position in which I don’t need butter your bootie udder whatever-it-is-called. THERE is the position that I don’t even need padded bike shorts.

I thought I had lost that. I have missed that feeling.

Oh baby. I smiled to myself. We are dialing in.

The Wizard does not refer to limiters as weaknesses. Or weaknesses as limiters. He calls them dials. The limiters are dials that need more turning. For me it is body composition, running biomechanics and now that we know which type of athlete I am (anaerobic, neutral, aerobic…. I am anaerobic which means I need more base work) we have dialed that in.

Ooooooochiemamma. Training gets better every single day. In my millionth year of this sport I am still learning, still growing, and I have a season I am about to freaking attack.

The mojo is brewing.

I ahve a few great reads to suggest to you:

The High maintenance Athlete

The QT2 Baker’s Dozen

Kerri W’s Rock and Roll Marathon Race Report (she broke 3 by the way! And she had the fastest amateur marathon in Kona) My favorite race report EVER.

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Cooking, Planning and Playlists!

January 28, 2010

Our business items of today:

  •  Click here to learn about our beginner triathlete program for the 2010 Pittsford Triathlon!
  •  The Sports Kitchen; Healthy Cooking for the Busy Athlete, is a cooking class specifically for athletes! Join us for three consecutive Tuesdays; March 23, 30th and April 6th as Lauri Boone, Sports Nutritionist and RD teaches us the ins and outs of easy athletic cooking! Week one we will learn how to jumpstart our day with an easy great breakfast, week two we learn how to prepare lunches and dinners for home or on the go, and week three we learn how to make our own sports bars, drinks and snacks. There are only 12 spots available for this (6 are already taken and we announced yesterday). Cost is $90 for the three week series. Call 585.248.9070 to sign up!

One of the many questions I get asked is ….. how do I fit it all in? The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter how busy you are, when you are passionate about something whether it is fitness, music or art, then you find the time. I follow a few simple rules when planning out my week:

1. Consistency in training; The Wizard keeps my weeks generally the same. I know that every Thursday I have a long ride and every Friday I have a long run. My weekends are lighter. (I am currently training about 18-20 hours per week of very easy base work.) Knowing what happens each week in terms of training helps.

2. Consistency in work: I have a relatively set work schedule. At the hospital I generally work one night, and one evening, most of the time this does not change week to week. I also teach 3 yoga classes per week, always at the same times. My work from home I do all of the time! I coach many athletes who have revolving scheduled, we keep as much of a consistent week as we can. They let me worry about scheduling as they let me know their work schedule each week.

3. Sleep first. When scheduling the week I first schedule in sleep. I have been notorious for doing massive amounts of stuff on very little sleep. As I have gotten older I realize the importance of sleep, its recovery. So I make sure I schedule in at least 7 hours of sleep per night and a 20 minute nap every single day. That power nap is the KEY. 20 minutes no more no less.

4. The early bird gets the worm. I train very early. As an example Thursday I have a 4 hour ride that begins at 4:30 am. I take a 30 minute break and then hop back on. So the whole ride, then T run is done by 10am, and I am to be to work by noon.

5. Plan and prepare ahead of time.  Wednesday night I prepared all of my long workout nutrition, my recovery drinks and meal, my food for a 12 hour shift at work, got my clothes ready for both bike, run and my transition to work. My scrubs are in the bathroom ready to go. This makes busy days a lot easier. On Sundays I pack my workouts up for the week. My swim bag has fresh towels, I have a stack of 5 towels I then swap out, I make sure I have enough training nutrition, I mix what I can ahead of time and store it in the fridge. This way I grab what I need day to day. I also have Luc’s school clothes ready for the week, I fold them up in order of to be worn, and we go through his school lunch menu to determine which days he can buy and which days I make.  A lot of planning ahead makes the day go so much smoother.

6. Flexibility: Just as it is important for me to be consistent in my life I also have to be flexible. What happens if Luc is sick and I am scheduled for a long workout and a long day at work? Simple. I move my stuff because I am not going to park him on a couch so I can ride the trainer for four hours. In this case…. I hope that’s an obvious thing….. but you never know….. it pays to be flexible.

7. Excellent nutrition.  Since I have been eating in the Core my energy from day to day is stable, consistent. I don’t have highs or lows. I plan out every meal because with my background I have to. You can see that a lot of planning takes place on Sundays! (By the way if you have not read “Race Weight” by Matt Fitzgeralsd it is a must.) Part of my big secret is that I drink 80 ounces of water per day and I have actually cut down on coffee, bringing in green tea. That also has helped me to stabilize my energy levels.

On another topic I was recently asked what’s on my iPod? Which iPod? Like I have a small problem with Lululemon, I have a small problem with iPods. 2 shuffles, a Nano, a Classic and an iPhone should just about cover me. I do not load music on to my iPhone, as it makes me too accessable!

Some of my favorite tunes while riding the trainer are (the only time I use music when running is on a treadmill)

Love Today  by Mika

Becoming Insane by infected Mushroom

Everloving by Moby

Dream about me by Moby

** Anything by Moby is pretty great**

** Anything by Michael Franti**

** Anything by Bond, particularly the 1812**

Mai Ah Hee by O-Zone

Snow by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Turn your head by Live

Love Generation by Bob Sinclair

Love of the Loveless and Fresh feeling by Eels

Take me to the Clouds Above by Run DMC and  U2

I Like the Way by the Bodyrockers

Golden Path by the chemical Brothers

Hung Up by Maddonna

The Scientist by Coldplay

Marvo Ging by the Chemcial Brothers

I’ll Fly With You by Gigi D’Agostino

Discoteque remix of U2 by David Holmes

In the Sun by Michael Stipe

Harder Better Faster Stronger by Daft Punk

I See You Baby by Groove Armanda

** anything by U2**

Clubbed to Death by Rob Dougan

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Pittsford Triathlon Training Program For Beginners!

January 27, 2010

We are really pleased to announce our Pittsford Triathlon Beginners Training Program is open and ready to roll!

Please click here for more details!

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Run Mechanics

January 27, 2010

There was a plaque on the desk of the Wizard that read:

 “No one gets in to see the Wizard. No one, no how, no way!”

Well I did. And I am still processing all that I have learned. We really dialed in my LTHR and the new zones feel very good on the bike and the run. My bike position feels incredible, like I flipped a switch and went back home. Everything feels terrific. I am especially pleased with the improvements I have made to my running biomechanics. I can’t wait to show Coach T (and maybe he’d stop leaving snarky comments here when I finally become a runner! 🙂 ).

Over the past few months I have studied and studied running biomechanics. Chi running, Pose Method, video video video. I have gotten out the old protractor and studied the angles of the good runners, learned what to watch for, it’s a new dimension to being an athlete and being a coach that I am in love with.

You see we all pound out the miles. I might be the queen of working hard. But it doesn’t matter how hard I work, if my biomechanics are not good. Now you can’t just assume you have poor biomechanics, so you have to bring in help. You have to go to someone who knows what they are doing, who has the eye for it. Who understands that running analysis is more than watching someone run.

You really do need to record it, and have the ability to measure the angles and slow the images down.

I think everyone has seen this video analysis done on Mirinda Carfrae running from you tube. The analysis that comes along with it is very very good. They give a ton of detail. Maybe too much. For our purposes turn the volume down and refer to a few simple points (all which I have learned by working with the Wizard)

  • At 1:23  take a piece of paper to your monitor and you can line her toe up with her nose. The Wizard has taught me this is the ideal angle of leaning forward. When you think of leaning forward the position you want to assume is that of a ski jumper. The distance between your lowest rib and hips should remain the same in front and back. Meaning you don’t lean from the waist, you lean from the ankle.
  • At 1:58 of this video you will see her right leg has a lot of “kick” to it. This should happen naturally, this is not something that you need to make happen. This will happen naturally with open hip flexors and proper form. Then notice how she brings her knee forward. This can be hard for those with a lot of muscle mass in their legs (like me) because we have to really drive the knees forward. But this should happen naturally as a result of good position. There is really no push off from the back. This is where I am personally limited so I am working a lot on hip flexor flexibility and I am on Power Cranks for this reason.
  • At 2:58 you notice the rotation of her upper body. Her arms are bent less than 90 degrees. Her hands are closer than her elbows. She pulls her shoulder back, which makes room for her elbow and then her wrist. At 3:06 you can see that she brings her elbow directly behind her. So the torso turns, the shoulder pulls back, making room for the elbow and then the wrist.
  • The rotation comes form the core, not from the shoulders. This is why rotational / FUNCTIONAL strength is important. Straight crunches do not repeat this movement. Rotational / functional ab work enhances rotation. This is why I harp on FST. For the record the core is also what adds power to your swim and cycling.

Again this is not something you automatically assume you are or are not doing. Get taped running. When taping make sure that the camera is on a tripod (I use a bar stool) so the camera is still. Get a view from the left, right, front and back. Go to someone who knows what they are doing. That has the ability to measure right on the screen for you what the angles are and what they mean.

When making changes make them slowly. And run slowly. Just like in anything else change does not happen over night. I have been working tirelessly on my form over the past 8 weeks and it really showed in my analysis on Saturday. I was told that I am “really looking like a runner.”  YAY!

Running mechanics are hard to change. They are tricky to change. We all stay away form them because changing running mechanics is risky business. As an athlete it helps to have a good feel for your body. As an athlete you have to be comfortable with watching yourself on video. Believe it or not that is the number one reason athletes won’t work on mechanics…. they don’t like how they look on camera.

Get over yourself.

I recently had an athlete cycle through some computrainer testing who had an absolute breakdown when I needed weight to compute the results. Same person wanted to work on body composition but would not allow themselves to undergo a caliper test to determine their BMI! How on earth can we improve something when we don’t know where we stand?

So get over yourself. If you really want to make improvements you have to take a raw, deep look at your mechanics, your body composition, everything. It might be ugly. But we are adults .

Like I have said before, the upgrades I need to make in 2010 are completely free. I have all the toys, the computrainer, powermeter, I have all that stuff. It’s helped me to work harder. It’s helped me to understand my athletes. Where I ultimately failed  was with the basics. No matter what my V Dot or my LTHR or my body composition was I was never ever going to improve running the way I was running. Now, we’ve got things moving.

 

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Some images from Boston

January 26, 2010

Boston was great. I had such a good time. The best times are just pal-ing around with the boys. Saturday night we went to the Prudential Center and did something we never do…… went into stores. I was excited to go to a Lululemon store….. but I teach at a studio which is also a Lululemon Boutique…… of which I get a nice discount….. and I have more Lulumemon than any one human being could possibly imagine (like 26 pairs of pants…. we won’t even count the tops…..). So I got myself out of there before I caused any damage.

Over at the Oakley store the guys tried on some new shades…… pimp style……..

What I loved bout Boston in contrast to New York is that it was busy but not insane. There were lots of people and there was a lot of history. Navigation was easy as pie.

While I played at the Wizard’s on Saturday the guys went to the Science Museum where there was a Harry Potter exhibit. Harry Potter was a big hit as evidenced by the new lid:

On Sunday we went to the Aquarium. I am an Aquarius so this was mandatory. There is something about fish and the seas that fascinates me. The freedom of being a fish and swimming combined with the danger of what is lurking around any shadow or corner.

I learned about all kinds of jelly fish, which is appropriate considering I have been stung by so many during races!

And I am sure I have swum by several of these guys…..

Now we are back at home, my birthday has come and gone and it’s back to the week ahead. The biomechanical work continues and I am filled with a sense of excitement like never before. It’s amazing at the age of 36 I am still a baby in this sport. With lots of room to grow, to fall and to explore!

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Birthday Girl

January 25, 2010

We are home. And today is my birthday, I am thirty six years old and thrilled about it. I get to be in a sport where aging is celbrated while Sasha Cohen was called an elder of her sport…. figure skating….. this weekend at the ripe old age of 24.

WOW.

We had somewhat of a hair raising ride home last evening, as we came upon a frightening car accident on the I-90. The opposite lane experienced a 12 car pileup and I found myself stupidly vaulting the median to help accident victims. It was by the grace of God that I was not hurt skating across the thruway. Sometimes I hate that I am an emergency nurse because I react to these situations without even thinking about it, putting myself in harm’s way and even worse my family. I wish I had a pause button on me. Needless to say while the event was occurring my heart rate remained abut 40 and for the subsequent 5 hours afterwards it was at least 200.

This morning as I dive into work with coffee at my side I am still buzzing from such an incredible weekend. Over lunch I am going to again pour over my notes from my assessment. I still can’t believe the progress I have made in running. I have it on video. I learned so much about myself as an athlete and why things have resulted in the results I have given over the past few years. In this perspective it all makes sense.

What’s most exciting is that the goals we have set are not pulled form thin air. We have the indicators, we have the targets, every single one of them is within my reach.

Today I am going o spend a lot of time systematically pondering these results. Every change I have to make is free. No equipment upgrades, nothing like that. Biomechanical and body composition changes. This is so exciting.

We had so much fun in Boston. We traveled all over via the T line. We laughed, we froze, we saw some really cool things.

More to come. Tonight I get to have birthday cake!