Monthly Archives: April 2013

OK…..its POOL time!

Hey there RYPEness!!

I came across a really good article on swim drills for triathletes. However, I think these same drills are good to do even if you are not getting ready for triathlon event.

 

Swim Drills for Triathletes

By Lisa Wolf

drillsEach time triathletes hit the pool deck, they are ready to challenge themselves and work towards the goal of getting faster and more efficient in the water. To many, this means long distance sets for endurance or speed sets for increased anaerobic development. One of the most overlooked areas in training is the use of swimming drills. Taking the time to “break apart” a stroke (and yes, sometimes that includes strokes OTHER than freestyle) by learning to do something slowly, with specific focus, can reap benefits during a race.

Here are a few swimming drills to spice up a workout to improve technique, as well as to provide a bit of recovery between sets:

Kicking Drills
I concede that kicking during the swim portion of a triathlon should be kept to a minimum to conserve leg strength for the bike and run but that doesn’t mean that you should never kick during practice! These drills work on body position as well as kicking. Remember, a good flutter kick is about 12-16” deep in the water. Only your heels should be popping out on the downward kick. And don’t forget to kick UP and DOWN with flexible ankles. Don’t drive the kick from your thighs — it should be hip driven and snap your toes down with you knee bending slightly. The advantage of a solid kick is that it creates the balance needed to have a good stroke rhythm.

  • Body Position Drill #1 – Hands on the end of the kickboard, arms fully extended and kickboard flat on the water. Head should be down between the arms, ears even with the arms and gentle flutter kick. Lift the head up to breath. This reestablishes the correct horizontal plane for minimal drag and combats “uphill” swimming.
  • Body position Drill #2 – Repeat the same drill but move one hand to the middle of the board, the other remains at the side. Kick gently and rotate to breath. Keep the head down (ear at arm) and focus on gentle rotation to breath. See how little of your face you can keep out of the water, maybe only to the point past your nose. Repeat on the other side to promote bilateral breathing comfort. For weak kickers, fins may assist in finding the correct body position.
  • Tombstone drill – Put the kickboard out fully extended in front to look like a tombstone and start     kicking. The goal is to keep the maximum amount of the kickboard in the water you can handle. It is an excellent body awareness and balance drill while stressing the legs.

Stroke Drills
A triathlon swim is all about efficiency and stroke rate. The best way to think of this is that you want to get the maximum distance per stroke with the most efficient stroke rate to maintain “steady state swimming.” It takes practice to find the perfect ratio between the two but working on creating excellent technique will assist in getting the most out of your swim.

  • Fingertip Drag – swim with high elbow recovery and “drag” fingertips forward in the water from your exit to your entry point out in front. Relax your arm and hand in the recovery phase to keep it loose and engage the upper back muscles (traps/lats and rhomboids) to ensure you are not swimming with just your rotator cuff and shoulder muscles.
  • Crossover Drill – Repeat Kickboard Drill #2 but swim with a single arm. If you are crossing over in front of your face during your entry, you will hit the kickboard with your hand. Focus on entry outside the shoulder and away from the board. This will decrease the chances of shoulder impingement/injury. Switch arms to practice both sides.
  • Fist Drill – Swim with fists lightly clenched through the full stroke. Notice the forearm position (high elbow, or “EVF”- early vertical forearm, under water) and feel the water on the forearm. Do not drop elbow. Pull water straight back past the hip with minimal sculling.
  • Breathing Pattern Drill – swim set of 4 x 200, breathing every 3 strokes on odd 25s and every 5 strokes on odd 25s. You must slow down to do this drill correctly and be able to keep the pattern. Don’t forget to exhale slowly underwater so you can grab a full breath on the breathing portion. You most likely will have to hold your breath for a second or two, especially on the 5 strokes.
  • Water Polo Drill #1 – swim 25s (or partial 25s) with your head out of the water looking forward. Do not swing your head from side to side but focus forward. This will help develop the neck/back muscles for open water sighting. Be careful if you have neck or lower back issues and don’t overdo this one.
  • Water Polo Drill #2 – in the deep end of the pool, tread water with breast stroke or eggbeater kick (alternating one legged breast stroke kick) with your hands on your head or above water. This will drill will simulate the treading done at the beginning of an in water start. Build up from 3 x 30 seconds to 3 x 2:00 over time.
  • Buoys and Turns #1 – practice swimming 5 strokes of freestyle and then 3 strokes of breast stroke for several 25s. This allows you to practice slowing down/speeding up if you encounter a crowded area around a turn buoy or have to maneuver around a group in a straightaway.
  • Buoys and Turns #2 – swim 4 strokes of freestyle and cross your arm over your body and swim 3 strokes of backstroke for a 25. Not only is this the beginning of a backstroke flip turn (bonus), it allows you to practice adjusting goggles during a race with ease as well as working on mastering a fast turn around a buoy.

Each and every swim practice should include drills. It allows you to refocus on technique at key sections of the workout. As you tire, technique begins to suffer, so taking a few minutes with any of the drills is a productive use of your valuable time.

Lisa Wolf is a certified coach with USA Triathlon and USA Swimming. Her swimming background also includes a Level II ASCA certification and Level II certification with USMS.

 

Have a great day RYPEness!

 

Let’s run…better!

Happy Tuesday RYPEness!!

These up and down temperatures are definitely making it a little harder to stay consistent with a training program. I know if you are like me and you step out to some frigid temperatures, the motivation dissipates like morning dew! HA!

Let me be clear: I DON’T LIKE COLD. PERIOD.

Nonetheless, you still have to do it. And even after the cold permanently breaks way to consistently warmer temperatures, there are still other things that creep up that will take you off or your game plan. I came across a sweet article (full article here), and they had some great tips, 27 to be exact. So I thought I would list their tips for you, adding a few little extra jewels here and there!

1. Run with others. To make sure you do a workout, there’s nothing like the social pressure of knowing someone else (or a group) is waiting for you. Bonus: It’s often more fun than running alone, especially if you’re doing a long run, or a speed workout on the track.

Tuesday Night RYPE Runs will cure your run alone blues! Check us out on the Realizing Your Potential Everyday Facebook page for official event listings and times!!

2. Try something new. The fitness world is full of new and fun-filled events, and they don’t all require a 3-week trip to Borneo and a survivor diet of grubs and lizards. Don’t let yourself get bored with an endless string of 5K and 10K races. Cary Stephens, an attorney in Corvallis, Oreg., found himself drawn to “scrambles,” an off-road running adventure. (To learn more, visit http://www.bigredlizard.com.)

3. Run like a tortoise. We can’t lie to you. This isn’t a sport of instant success and miracle shortcuts. Patience pays off, often in a very big way. At the beginning of a marathon training program, many participants can’t imagine themselves running more than 5 miles. Twelve to 16 weeks later, voilà: the cheering crowd and unbelievable exhilaration of reaching a marathon finish line. Stick with the program. Repeat: Stick with the program. Prepare to be amazed.

4. Take a break. To every thing, there is a season. You don’t have to run every day, every week, or even every month. Many top runners visualize their training year as a mountain range. It has peaks and valleys—recovery periods when they let their running taper off, so that they can build all the higher in their next training period. For healthy, consistent training, your body needs regular—that is, weekly, seasonal, and annual—recovery periods.

5. Eat a healthy breakfast. We can’t emphasize this one enough. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, because it fuels you for the entire day. To skip breakfast or eat a skimpy one is like failing to rehydrate and refuel after a marathon. You wouldn’t do that, would you? Well, your night’s sleep is like a marathon to your body, because you don’t get any fuel while you’re sleeping. So carbo-load at breakfast. And add a little protein.

Eating granola and yogurt has been a GREAT source of fuel for me in the mornings! Although this article calls for a little protein, I actually require a bit more. So sometimes I sneak in a piece of bacon (or two) to get me going! MMMMMMMM……BACON!

6. Get cozy with frozen vegetables. This isn’t a nutrition tip. It’s an injury-prevention tip. If London Marathon winner Paula Radcliffe can take ice baths after a hard race, you can stand a bag of frozen peas against your sore knees for 15 minutes. Nothing reduces inflammation and holds injuries at bay like ice. Result: You stick to your training program. Don’t like veggies? Fruit works, too. Try a small bag of frozen blueberries or strawberries. Or one of the many commercial ice wraps, often with handy Velcro straps. (You can find a good one at http://www.contourpak.com.)

7. Find a coach. Maybe the kind who yells at you every once in a while. (But probably not.) Point being, a coach’s first job is to motivate you in a way no one else can. Second job: To lay out your training program. Third job: To prevent you from straying from the program, probably by running too much or too fast. You can find a coach by asking around, calling running stores, and checking the Internet.

8. Join the “X” revolution. Despite the many proven benefits of cross-training, we still know too many runners who only run. C’mon, folks. We love running, too. We know all about the “specificity-of-training” rule, but we still skip the occasional running workout to get in some cross-training. Mainly strength training, bicycling, elliptical training, yoga, stair climbing, pool running, rowing, and walking. Why? Not because we think these routines will make us faster in our next half-marathon, but because they make us fitter and less prone to injury.

Sounds like this is telling you that you NEED to do a Triathlon! Training for a triathlon, by default, forces you to cross train, because the event itself is a cross training event. Your training week will consist of two – three days of running, two – three days of cycling, and a couple of days of swimming (yes, there were will some two discipline days!). And this cross training not only serves the purpose mentioned in point #8, but it also helps us sculpt those sexy bodies! The Enka Triathlon is on our list…join us.

9. Keep a log. Your training log is a great source of the kind of motivation that builds consistency. It beckons to be filled in, reveals the secrets of your training and racing successes, and provides lots of inspirational quotes and useful tips. At least it does if you’re using the new Runner’s World Training Journal, available at http://www.rodalestore.com. Check it out.

10. Enter races. You don’t have to race to be a serious runner, but, geez, there are so many good reasons to enter races. Jeff Galloway, RW columnist, says that entering races, especially marathons, “scares” people into training the way they should. That’s a good one. But we also like the sense of community you get from races. They help you realize that you belong to something big, and that there are more people than you imagined who share your running and fitness goals. Besides, it’s good to go for the burn every now and again.

SO VERY TRUE! Running for the sake of running and being healthy never keeps me inspired for long. I am just being honest here. I KNOW that making our healthy well-being a priority is what RYPE is about. However, we are all realist here, and realize that most of us dont tick that way. After a while, the act becomes mundane, not unless we put a carrot at the end of the journey…that carrot being crossing the finish line feeling good, strong and EMPOWERED!

11. Pay attention to your shoes. Some things should be obvious, and this is one of them. But it’s worth repeating, if it keeps even one of you from getting injured. Most shoes wear out after 300 to 500 miles. You often can’t see the wear, but, your knees, hips, back, and Achilles tendons know it. Give your old, worn shoes to a local Salvation Army or similar group, and get yourself to a running-specialty store for a new pair. (While you’re there, buy some reflective gear. The days are getting shorter. Make sure you’re visible on the road this winter.)

Remember…GO SHOPPING! Good running shoes are your best friend, because your feet are the only pair you will have. Treat them well.

12. Run early. You want to get something done? Do it early in the day. Everything gets tougher later in the day when various tasks and responsibilities start ganging up on you. In a recent Runner’s World Online survey, the two most popular workout times were 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.

13. Practice good posture. Not just when you’re running, but all the time. This is especially important if you’ve got an office job, and are sitting at a computer all day (like us). Make sure your keyboard and monitor are properly positioned, and sit straight but comfortably in your chair. Some of us have recently started sitting on those large Swedish exercise balls, which encourages good posture because you have to use your legs and stomach muscles to keep from falling off. Good posture can improve your running efficiency and decrease injury risk. Ergo, better consistency.

14. Use the fridge. In two ways. First, be sure it’s always stocked with those key foods you rely on for healthy nutrition and snacking: sports drinks, low-fat yogurt, fruit, nuts, carrots, etc. Take your pick. Second, put something inspirational on the outside of the fridge: a picture of you and friends at a race, a training plan, a great quote.

15. Schedule it. You’ve got your Microsoft Office calendar, your PDA, your Day Planner, your napkin with the scrawled list of stuff you absolutely, positively have to get done today. Be sure to write in your workout. Carve out an hour in your day. The experts all agree: Your exercise is one of your most important daily activities. Make it happen. The President of the United States exercises almost every day. You should, too.

16. Subscribe to our free e-mails. We send out several free e-mail newsletters each week, and they’re guaranteed to inform and inspire you. Go to http://www.runnersworld.com/newsletters, where you can pick the one or the several newsletters that most appeals to you.

Do this! Subscribing to healthy lifestyle newsletters and blogs (like this one!!) can bring you a wealth of information to help you along your journey. Education is key!

17. Get your clothes ready. And your shoes. Root through your closets and drawers the night before a morning run to select and organize the running gear you need. Another good trick: Have a complete bag of running gear (and a dry shirt and towel) always at the ready in the trunk of your car. You never know when you’ll be able to use them.

18. Run on different surfaces. See how many different surfaces you can run on in a week: Asphalt, gravel, trail, grass, track, treadmill, beach. Each stresses your leg muscles in a slightly different way, helping to prevent overuse injuries. (If possible, avoid concrete, the hardest and least accommodating surface for runners.)

19. Take a trip. Reward your training and racing successes with a special running vacation. Take in an exotic international marathon; many runners have had good luck with a trusted provider, Marathon Tours (www.marathontour.com), which can offer guaranteed entry into those difficult-to-enter events. Or, organize your running partners into a relay team, and enter an exciting and fun-filled road relay like Hood to Coast (Oregon), the Hana Relay (Maui), the Lake Tahoe Relay (California), the Cabot Trail Relay (Nova Scotia), or the Lake Winnipesaukee Relay (New Hampshire).

I could not agree more! I find that when I sign up for a good race in a cool place I seem to train better! I am excited about the trip, and even more so about crossing the finish line in an exotic place where I can bask in the glow of my accomplishment! RYPE is rolling to Jamaica this December to run in the Reggae Marathon/Half Marathon/10K. Doesnt that sound awesome? Can’t you see yourself crossing that finish line and being handed a cold cup of water and a Red Stripe beer? I can!

20. Stay flexible. We like that word—it has so many important meanings. Here, we’re talking about a regular stretching program to keep your legs limber and injury-free. Or yoga and Pilates routines, both of which are enjoying a huge surge in popularity. Pick the approach that works best for you. You need to prevent injuries if you want to improve your training consistency.

I try to make it a point to do a Yoga class once a week. Its good for the muscles, it tones you up, and helps clear your mind of unnecessary clutter and stress. Try it!

21. Run before you get home. If you can’t run in the morning or at lunch, at least try to run before you get home from work. Stop at a favorite park or trail on your way home from the office, and do a workout there. Or arrange to meet some friends for a run at 5:30 p.m. Once you’re at home, it’s hard to get out the door again for a workout.

I have derailed myself PLENTY of times by stopping by the house “quickly” before heading back out to run. Something about the comfort of home that removes any motivation to do what I was supposed to be doing.

22. Stay hydrated. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Get plenty of sleep. We know: You’ve heard all this stuff before. Okay, we’ll stop. But just remember that the simplest, most basic advice often makes the biggest contribution to improved consistency.

23. Adopt a runner. Sometimes, the most motivating and rewarding thing you can do is to reach out to someone else. It could be someone close: at work or even in your family. Or your club might receive occasional calls from new runners, or those who want to begin. Offer to help. Beginners don’t need a mentor with a Ph.D. They need encouragement, a personal connection, and the kind of basic training, nutrition, and injury-prevention experience you already possess.

24. Start a running streak. We don’t mean that you should run every day like. In fact, we don’t advise that for most runners. But we like the idea of running the same road race every year, like Jack Kirk, who has completed the Dipsea Race in Mill Valley, Calif., for 67 years in a row. Or you could run one marathon a year, every year. Or you could “collect” states by racing in a different state every year.

25. Join an online community. Many running Web sites, including ours, have forums or message boards where runners exchange information, opinions, and greetings that develop into digital friendships. Often, these blossom into “encounters,” where the online friends agree to meet at a particular race. Along the way, they encourage each other’s training, and lend a sympathetic ear when that’s what you need most.

Active.com is a great source for information on healthy living. BUT….Realizing Your Potential Everyday is all about bringing your great tips and tricks, fun destination races, recipes that are nutritious, easy and fun, and a group of really cool sistahs. Check us out too….Realizing Your Potential Everyday!!

26. Establish a pre-run routine. You warm up at the start of a race, and at the beginning of a workout, but it’s also helpful to warm up for your warmup, so to speak. Follow a routine. Sixty minutes before your run, reach for a bottle of sports drink. At run-minus-30, get up and take a 3-minute stroll to loosen the legs. At run-minus-10, listen to a favorite psych-up song. Include any other short activities that work for you. Psychologists say these routines help us develop the healthy patterns we want.

27. Don’t obsess about it. Hey, we wish every day went as planned, and every run fit perfectly into the scheme of things. But stuff happens. Life has a way of playing tricks on all of us, both the unexpectedly happy variety and that other kind. Don’t worry about the runs you miss. Sometimes the best advice is simply to run with a smile on your face, and to enjoy and appreciate every workout. Come to think of it, that’s always the best advice.

So….I really hope these tips helped you. I definitely pulled away some jewels that I can incorporate! I also hope to see you out on the RYPE trails one day…like next Tuesday maybe if you are in the Charlotte area!

Hyped 2b RYPE!!

Happy Easter Monday!!

Hey there RYPEness!

I hope you had a wonderful Easter Sunday with family and friends…I know I did!

Mondays are always tough for me. I love the weekend, dont too much care for the work week. LOL! Yes…I AM  girl that likes to have fun. But to have fun well, you have to work for it….right? To reach your goal…whatever that is…you HAVE to work for it. You must remain focused and motivated to push past obstacles, overcome bearers, move through your own procrastination and self doubt. You must remain MOTIVATED to achieve that which you set out to do!

So as you move through this week, I want you to think about this AWESOME father and son team. I know that most of you have seen them on commercials, billboards, or even caught one of their Ironman races on television. I want you to keep them in the back of your mind for those moments when doubt creeps in, or when you are in that last mile of your long run and ready to quit, or when you are searching hard to find the energy to get out of the bed to do that 7am workout. This story is still one of the most amazing and remarkable accounts of pure determination, love and strength.

motivational

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/news/story?id=2631338

Have a remarkably RYPE week.