Monthly Archives: February 2014

Did You Know…

…that improper breathing technique during swimming can cause scissor kicks, poor body position, cross-overs and lop sided strokes? Yep, sure can. Its human nature that, if we are unsure of our next breath, we panic. So becoming comfortable in the motion of breathing while swimming is key to “relaxing” in your stroke. And a relaxed stroke tends to be more efficient. And efficient swimming is what endurance swimmers – TRIATHLETES – are made of!! 😉 That’s why RYPE decided that the first swim clinic HAD to focus on understanding how to breath.

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Executing breathing drills during the first RYPE swim clinc

Wednesday morning we had a super fun, yet very anti-climatic first swim clinic. Our clinic focused solely on breathing techniques. Essential, as described above. There was definitely no swimming, very little movement from one side of the pool to the next, and a ton of time standing still while bobbing our heads up and down. Simply getting “easy” with that feeling. Making it very easy to relax your body in the water.

And ya know what the hardest part of that breathing thing is? Learning to exhale completely. So check out this great article on exhaling, how to do it and why its so incredibly important:

http://www.swimsmooth.com/exhalation.html

Then make sure you incorporate breathing technique drills into your swim workouts. Watch your stroke and ease with the swimming improve!

Go ahead and exhale RYPEness!!

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Hop On the RYPE “Train”

Hey there RYPEness!

Yep….I’m geeked…I’m excited….I’m happy…all that! Training is about to start for the Spring Team and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it!

ImageThe game plan for 2014 is set, and for me its just like Christmas morning to get the ball rolling! We had our Spring Team Kick Off this past Sunday…after it being rescheduled twice due to inclement weather. Inclement weather in Charlotte? Yeah, who would have thunk it? And for the two snow storms that we’ve had to come on the exact days that our Kick Off was scheduled makes me think I should have been playing the lottery!

First up on our plate is Tri Latta on June 14th. This is particularly special for me. You see…Tri Latta was my very first triathlon. For RYPE to have the opportunity to train a group of amazing women for a race that signifies the day I fell in love with this multi-sport gives me goose bumps. For some ladies it will be their first triathlon. For some who have done a couple, it will be there first experience with an open water swim. Either way, I am looking forward to seeing each of them cross the finish line, and – fingers crossed – get that same sense of overwhelming accomplishment that I did when I first crossed that exact same finish line.

Next Wednesday is our first swim. Since I know that most women are most apprehensive about the swim, I decided that before we start any triathlon specific training, we would have four clinics that focus solely on swimming….breaking it down to the bare elementary of sport. Regardless of swim ability, revisiting the basic techniques makes you a better swimmer. Period. So that’s what we are going to do! Also…I gotta tell you: I have an amazing team of swim coaches too. And I got them because they just WANTED to help, and they are equally as excited as I am!! It’s like a Divine charge all coming together!!!

*doing the ‘happy dance’ now*

I know I usually provide a blog full of helpful tips or a great recipe…but today I just wanted to write about being excited! I think more people should actually…because when I see or hear or read about someone’s excitement, it just makes me excited! And if everyone was in an excited mood, wouldn’t this be an amazing world to live in?

Imagine that.

So I’m excited y’all! I am excited to see RYPE’s plan being set into motion. I am excited about the group of awesome women that I get to work with. I am excited about witnessing their faces when they cross the finish line. I am excited about seeing that “ah ha!” moment when that one who couldn’t figure out her breathing technique get’s it. I am excited that, as a training ride, we are going to participate in the Tour de Cure; helping the American Diabetes Association find a cure for a disease that severely effects the African American community. I am excited that we have some really cool team nights planned. I am excited that the other day I had a young lady offer to be a run coach…literally she came up to me and said “I want to help with RYPE!” I am excited that we are doing the race that started this whole love affair for me. I am excited that the women training are excited! I’m excited that RYPE is inspiring women to TRI!!!!

EXCITING!

I am really looking forward to blogging about this season. I can tell this is a going to be a crazy fun group!!! Therefore, I’m excited about upcoming blog posts too! Whew…I just cannot seem to contain this excitement!

I see you smiling!

So all aboard this RYPE ‘train’…this is about to be an exciting season!

ImageHyped 2b RYPE!!

Eating To HEART Yourself

Hey there RYPEness,

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women? I read a statistic that said 1 in 4 women will die from heart disease. That fact sounds S-C-A-R-Y! That means, when I stand in my close circle of friends, one of us will die from heart disease…unacceptable. So I am starting a crusade with them…and YOU…to make sure that doesn’t happen. There are definitely some things that you can’t help as it pertains to your risk: family history being the main one. But I believe that this spike in the percentage of women dying from heart disease is directly related to our inability to take our healthy well-being seriously. As mothers, wives, girlfriends, office managers, CEO’s….whatever….it is our nature to want to take care of everyone and everything else FIRST. And as loving and giving and sweet as that sounds, you cannot continue to be “all that” to the peeps in your life if you are now suffering from heart disease related complications.

This month is American Heart Month. Why not use this as your start date to begin taking your healthy well-being more seriously? There are five things that you can do to prevent heart disease, and not one is even remotely difficult to do:

  1. NO SMOKING TOBACCO!! I mean, aside from it killing you on so many levels, its really not cute. And it makes your breath stink.
  2. Exercise for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week. So you are telling me that you can’t make it a priority to set aside 30 minutes to dedicate to yourself and your health? I think you can! And you should…little Johnny and cute Jane will definitely understand!
  3. Eat a heart healthy diet. There are foods out here that promote healthy hearts. Salmon, oatmeal, almonds, RED WINE. HA!  There are so many ways to make sure you are getting these foods into your diet, and they are easy and not time consuming.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight. If you implement steps 1-3, this is a no brainer. Know what I’m sayin?
  5. Get regular health screenings. I think that African American women are doing a better job of getting annual check ups. So we need to keep this upward trend going, because early detection of any issue is always best.

It’s just that simple y’all.

My soror who is not only beautiful, but a SURVIVOR!

My soror who is not only beautiful, but a SURVIVOR!

One of my dear friends is a heart disease survivor (and an ambassador for the American Heart Association), so this topic is something that is near and dear to my heart. Heart disease cannot be taken lightly, and neither can the statistics regarding women and the disease. So tomorrow, start your morning with a heart-healthy meal (we know breakfast is our most important meal!). To help you out, here is a really quick and simple recipe that will leave your heart smiling and your belly full: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/scrumptious-scramble-recipe.html

HEART yourselves ladies! It’s too critical not to.

Inspiring women to TRI…..

Strong Arm’n

Hey there RYPEness,

I am not sure where you might be when you are reading this, but not unless you live somewhere like California, or Hawaii, this winter has been the pits! Definitely not motivating me to be outside doing any sort of running or riding…and definitely not making me want to get in anybody’s pool! BLEH! So I wanted to give you a few things that you can do that will make you triathlon strong once the season rolls around. NOW….I am by no means saying that you can ix-nay your swimming, biking and running completely! We have to find a way to get in a few swim/bike/run workouts here and there, but we can replace some of them with much needed strength training. I did some research on upper body strength workouts for triathletes and found some really good ones.

Muscles are good….and sexy. 🙂  Its pretty self explanatory why having good upper body strength benefits us in swimming. I am sure we have all read how having good core strength helps us in with our runs. And now you know that having stronger biceps and triceps will decrease the amount of metabolic stress on your arms as you ride. You know this because I just told you. WHOOT!!! WHOOT!!!

So, here are two good workouts (each containing 4 strength exercises) I found on the Experience L!fe website. Love this site because it’s dedicated empowering people to become their best, healthiest selves (sounds sooooo RYPE, right?). And I really loved these workouts because they weren’t something that would require me to be in the gym for ump-teen hours on forty-five-one-hundred machines. They are short, sweet and to the point. And not only will they have you triathlon strong, but definitely bikini ready.

#WINNING!

 

Workout A

1) Speed Pushups

May13_wo_speed-pushups

  •  Assume the standard pushup position: hands slightly wider than shoulder width, balls of feet on the floor, body in a straight line from your heels to the crown of your head.
  • Without letting your hips or head sag toward the floor, bend your arms, pull your shoulder blades together, and lower your body, keeping your elbows at about a 45-degree angle to your torso.
  • When your chest is a few inches from the floor, quickly push yourself back up to the starting position.

Easier version: Perform the exercise with your hands on an elevated surface like a bench or countertop: the higher the surface, the easier the move.

Harder version: Perform the exercise with your feet elevated.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Improves upper-body pushing power; useful for the swim start and steep climbing on the bike.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of as many reps as possible in 20 seconds
  • Week Two: three sets of as many reps as possible in 20 seconds
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of as many reps as possible in 30 seconds
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of as many reps as possible in 20 seconds; slow down these weeks and focus on perfect form.

2) Chin-Ups

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  • Take an underhand, shoulder-width grip on a chin-up bar with your palms facing toward you.
  • Lift your feet from the floor and allow your arms to straighten fully.
  • Pull your shoulder blades down and back, bend your arms, and pull yourself up until your chin is slightly above the bar.
  • Lower yourself slowly back to the starting position.

Easier version: Perform the same exercise using an assisted chin-up machine, or have a partner give you a boost as you perform the move.

Harder version: If you can bang out 12 to 15 reps of body-weight chin-ups with no problem, try the same exercise while squeezing a dumbbell between your legs.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Develops the upper-back musculature necessary for a strong swimming stroke and for maintaining good posture throughout the run.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 12 to 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: one or two sets of 10 reps

Can’t do a Chin-Up? No Problem! See ELmag.com/pullup.

3) Alternating Dynamic Lunges

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  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then step your left foot forward about a stride-and-a-half, allowing the heel of your right foot to lift an inch or two off the floor.
  • Keeping your back straight and your eyes looking ahead, slowly bend both legs until your right knee lightly touches the floor.
  • Reverse the movement, stepping your left foot back, and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.

Easier Version: Lower your back knee only halfway down to the floor on each rep before coming back up.

Harder Version: Hold dumbbells at your sides.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Keeps the hip flexors limber and develops the glutes, helping to prevent lower-back pain and injury that can sometimes result from too much time in the saddle.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: three sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 12 to 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

4) Stability-Ball Speed “Olympic Diver” Crunches

May13_wo_stability-ball-olympic-diver-crunches

 

  • Sit on a stability ball, walk your feet forward, and lie back on the ball until your torso is parallel to the floor.
  • Extend your arms overhead, interlace your fingers, and squeeze your upper arms close to your ears.
  • Keeping your arms in this position, blow out forcefully, contract your abdominal muscles, and squeeze the bottom of your rib cage toward your pelvis.
  • Return to horizontal position.

Easier Version: Perform the movement sitting toward the front of the ball so the ball supports your back, and your hands are higher than your knees in the starting position.

Harder Version: Hold a light dumbbell in your hands.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Unlike conventional crunches, this stricter version keeps your spine long as you work the core, which translates into better form on the run and a more streamlined shape in the water.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of as many as possible in 20 seconds
  • Week Two: two sets of as many as possible in 30 seconds
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of as many as possible in 30 seconds
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 to 15 reps, focusing on form

Workout B

1) Stability-Ball Dumbbell Overhead Presses 

May13_wo_stability-ball-dumbbell-overhead-press

  • Sit upright on a stability ball, holding two moderately heavy dumbbells at shoulder height, palms roughly parallel.
  • Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, smoothly press the dumbbells upward until your arms are fully extended overhead and your upper arms are close to your ears.
  • Slowly reverse the movement and repeat for the appropriate reps.

Easier Version/Harder Version: Adjust the weight accordingly.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Improves shoulder stability and strength — both invaluable during the swim and bike stages.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

2) Seated Cable Rows 

May13_wo_seated-cable-rows

  • Attach a parallel-grip handle to the low pulley cable at a seated row station and set the pin at a moderately heavy weight.
  • Sit on the seat, place your feet against the platform, and take hold of the handles.
  • Sit up straight, arching your lower back and lifting your chest slightly.
  • Without allowing your head to push forward, bend your arms and strongly retract your shoulder blades, pulling the handle back until it nearly touches your abdomen.
  • Slowly extend your arms and return to the starting position.

Easier Version/Harder Version: Adjust the resistance accordingly.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Protects against “swimmer’s shoulder” and other issues caused by overuse of the shoulder joint.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

3) Dumbbell Front Squats

May13_wo_dumbbell-front-squats

 

  • Holding two moderately heavy dumbbells, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and your toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Lift the dumbbells to shoulder height and rest them on the fronts of your shoulders throughout the movement.
  • Keeping your feet flat on the floor, your eyes looking ahead and your lower back in its natural arch, slowly squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor.
  • With your weight on your heels, return to standing, keeping your chest up throughout the exercise.

Easier Version: Use body weight only, and, if necessary, only squat halfway down.

Harder Version: Use heavier dumbbells and squat as deeply as you can while keeping your lower back in its natural arch.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Builds strength in the lower body — especially useful for sprinting and climbing during the bike and the run.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

4) Knee-Ups

May13_wo_knee-ups

 

  • Take an overhand, shoulder-width grip on a chin-up bar, palms facing away from you, allowing your legs to hang straight down toward the floor.
  • Keeping your feet together, lift your knees as high as possible.
  • Pause for a moment in the contracted position, slowly lower your knees back to the starting position, and repeat for the appropriate number of reps.

Easier Version: Perform the same movement using a pair of slings, which attach to a chin-up bar and loop around your upper arms so you don’t have to grip the bar. Then lift your knees just halfway up.

Harder Version: Perform the same movement with your legs straight, touching your toes to the bar.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Improves hip mobility, hip-flexor strength and core stability, for better strength and more efficient positioning during the run.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

 

Remember….TRI-ing is Sexy!!! So let’s get it!!!

Hyped to be RYPE!!!