Archive for the ‘Training Tips’ Category

Swim: The Catch Phase

A good catch can set up the pull phase. Meaning, following entry, extend and catch(flexing the wrist to 30 degrees). This position of the wrist helps properly position the high elbow(bent) pull phase.

Categories: swimming, Training Tips

Drill for running cadence

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

During your outdoor runs consider this:
When you sense a negative grade(-1% to -3%) or slight decline during your run use that time during the run to work on cadence and foot strike. Don’t extend or reach with your foot try to keep it under you and speed up the cadence. Try it only if its a slight downhill of course.

Categories: Training Tips

Some Ideas for Winter Training

January 13, 2011 Leave a comment

A few ideas for winter training:

  • During these winter days when you feel like running outside or meeting the group at Simon Pearce on a Sunday morning (come on you know you want to;))–try placing some of your running clothes in the dryer for a good 15 minutes prior to leaving the house. When you slip them on they’ll be nice a warm.
  • During those winter nights when you crave carbs try munching on some rolled up slices of roast beef. It is a lean low fat option.
  • What to do with those race medals. ….Make coasters. Glue felt onto the bottom of those larger and wider medals. Even some of the smaller ones will look nice on the furniture.

Get on the trainer or treadmill tomorrow. If you have snow shoes give them a go!

Remember to lift the snow(pace yourself and rest periodically) with your legs or push it(some good resistance work!)


Categories: Training Tips

Drill ideas for swim and bike training sessions

December 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Bike Drill:

You have probably been involved in a pace line where a rider assumes the front and the riders behind draft off of each other significantly reducing their energy costs by ~30%. After a good 2-5 minutes the lead rider gives a signal, which has been decided by the group prior to the ride, and moves to the left and the second rider then assumes the lead role. This is repeated to allow each rider a turn as the lead.

During the winter, while on your trainer or spin bike, imagine riding in a pace line and for 2-3 minutes for 3-5 times become the lead rider. This means you’re pushing yourself at a lactate threshold level (perceived exertion of about an 8 or a 40k race pace).

Swim Drill:

Drafting in the pool? Yes, just like a pace line on the bike, you can save significant energy in the water as well. So much so you feel that your speed is slow and you must “coast” to prevent from touching the feet of the swimmer in front of you. A study reported recently that drafting during the swim can also improve cycling performance during a triathlon, if done correctly.

So grab a partner, or 2, and do loops switching lead swimmers after each 25m(yds) for a good 250 m(yds). At times practice sighting as well.

Enjoy the winter!

Categories: Training Tips

Why am I so sore following a long run outside but not as sore following a bike ride?

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

To answer this question we must examine the different muscle contractions.

When we move a weight up and down, as in arm curls, there are 2 types of muscle contractions – Concentric Contraction(Cc) and Eccentric Contraction(Ec).

The Cc occurs when we lift the weight. During this phase of muscular contraction there is shortening of the muscle with an increase in muscular force. When we lower the weight the phase of contraction known as the Ec occurs. During this phase there is a greater force generated in the muscle and a lengthening of the muscle.

It is the Ec phase of the contraction that prevents the weight from being dropped or prevents us from falling down the steps or a hill. It is the lengthening with the muscle force that causes greater soreness following exercise.

Let’s look at running on a treadmill with no grade. During this session there is not much Ec occurring. Now compare that to running down a hill outside. During this type of movement there is much “braking” or Ec occurring in the quads and if we’re not conditioned for it (doing downhills frequently) the next day we will have greater soreness versus the treadmill session.

If we look at triathlon training there is not a whole lot of Ec occurring during the swim and the bike but there is during the run when going down hill.

The take home message: During training spend time with Eccentric Contractions. However, remember there is a greater risk for injury if we do too much of one type of training. So, always vary the training. Use flat treadmill training one day and outside rolling hills another day.


  • Running hill repeats (using negative grades on a treadmill if it has that capability)
  • During wt training lowering the weight slowly (emphasis on the “negative” phase of contraction)
  • Using a stability ball can help as well


Categories: Training Tips

The “Bedside Exercise Log”

February 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Keeping a log helps with consistency. Whether it be a diet log or an exercise log keeping one is important to success. It can be as easy as placing checks on a calendar each day you exercise or as detailed as you want it to be with heart rates, exercise times, running and bike routes and swim drills. But recording your sessions will be motivational. You can review each week, month, and year. You can list your weight and go back to a certain date and compare.

Keep it by your bedside so you can easily write a quick note. It may look like this: “biked 20 min” or “35 min run” or “5 mile run”…..just 2, 3, or 4 words or figures will do.

Categories: Training Tips