Friday, March 30, 2012

This is my last Ironman....well maybe

The past two years when training for my Ironman race in May I have said that it was my last Ironman.  Each time I have signed up for another Ironman after finishing the race.  I am here again in the midst of my training for Ironman Texas in May and I am telling you this is my last Ironman!  It is about at the height of the training when my life is ONLY work and training that I feel this way.  Today I spent the day training 6 hours and 20 minutes.  Then I got a massage that was not very relaxing (mostly because I was exercising for 6 hours today and I was so tight she had to work alot of things out).  Tomorrow I have to ride about 2 hours and Sunday I have to run 14 miles and swim for about an hour.  Doesn't that sound like an fun weekend?  That is exactly why I don't want to do another Ironman. 

Training for an event like an Ironman is no joke. It is hard work and all encompassing.  During the height of training your life becomes work, train, eat, and sleep.  Most times you don't have enough energy or time for anything else. 

I do however try and maximize my time when I train. Today my training called for an 85 mile ride and 4 mile run.  I had a repair guy scheduled to come by the house between the time of 8 and 12. I also had to fit in walking the dogs at some point in the day.  I didn't want to start my ride late in the day and I was not sure of the exact time the repair guy was coming.  So I decided at 8:30am to ride on my trainer until the repair guy came.  It was exactly two hours and he came and it took only 15 minutes for him to repair my car windshield.  I took Daisy for a 3 mile run when he left.  Then I got back on my bike only this time outside for 50 miles.  I came home and took my other dog Tigger for a 2 mile run.  I am sure I burned close to 5,000 calories with all my training. I don't think even if I tried I could consume enough calories today to replace everything today.  During my ride I was so hungry all I could think about was Grimaldis pizza.  As soon as I was done with my training sure enough I went to Grimaldis pizza.  I even got Reese's cheesecake for dessert.  So far I have consumed 3829 calories today.  During training today I consumed  about 800 calories of carbo pro, cliff bars and gels.  I am still in about 2000 calorie deficit however it is only 7pm so who knows maybe I will get close to 6000 calories.  Training for an Ironman increases my appetite dramatically.  I typically don't lose weight when training for an Ironman because I am always hungry.  I try to eat healthy options but sometimes long training days like today call for the good stuff.  It is funny because I kept thinking about how good the pizza would be while I was riding.  When I got the pizza it was good but not as good as I imagined on my ride and their pizza is my favorite pizza. I am just glad I was able to do my long brick today since the weather was beautiful.  Tomorrow and Sunday are supposed to be really windy with winds up to 50mph! 
Today I finished my long brick and only had 3 small glitches during the training.  While on my trainer my dog Tigger likes to bring me his ball to throw.  He plays this game as he sits there with his ball in his mouth he stares at me.  I go to grab it and throw it and he turns his head away so I can't reach the ball. We go through this a few times then he lets me have it to throw it for him.  This time I had enough and didn't want to play the game so he dropped it near my bike while I was riding on my trainer.  Sure enough it bounces right to my rear wheel! It hits my wheel and gets shot out the back side of trainer. Fortunately the only thing that happened was the tension was released and there was a tread mark on his ball.  The other near disaster was outside on the bike. I got hit in the face by a large bug.  Luckily it didn't sting me or anything.  Once when I lived in Atlanta I got hit by a bee between my eyes and got stung.  My face was swollen for days and I had to go to the doctor and get some type of shot to help my face get back to normal.  The last thing that happened today was losing my favorite polar water bottle on the ride.  I guess the day could have been worse:)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

When And Why You Should Water Run

Incorporating water running into your training may be the best thing you can do to get to race day injury free. I have done it and I recommend it to clients all the time. If you have any injuries that seem to be aggravated when you increase your mileage then incorporating deep water running into your training might be the missing link in your training program. Here are some good examples of when I would recommend deep water running:
  • Training for something such as a marathon can require up to 40 miles a week of running.  Many times I come across a client that has had several injuries. Many times as they increase mileage they have various issues.  With these clients I will decrease the mileage outside by one or two days and add deep water running on those days.  They will still be required to do their long runs.  One or two of their shorter runs will be done in the pool.  The schedule will typically be 5 days of running broken down as 1 long run, 3 medium distance and 1 short run when training for a marathon.  I would have the client do one short run and one medium distance in the pool.  How many days I add of deep water running would always depend on the individual and their specific condition.
  • If I have a client training for an event doing all road/trail running and they begin to have issues with any part of the body such as hips, feet, or knees I will have them substitute water running for a few weeks and eliminate road/trail running all together. 
  • If someone is coming back from surgery or serious injury then water running in most cases is ideal to get their fitness back or maintain their fitness while healing.
How do you even begin to water run? Water running is not as exciting as outdoor running but it can be a really great workout. If you focus on your form when running in the water then you can simulate actual running very close.  You will need to get a water belt to keep you afloat.  You will need to find a deep water pool so that when running your feet will not touch down.  Most community pools have a deep end.  These are great places to water run because they are inexpensive.  When you begin deep water running you should focus on the movement and form.  Try to imagine you are outside.  Think about the following:
  • Lifting knees forward with a slight lean forward.
  • Don't let your arms cross your center line.  Keep elbows back slightly.
  • Do intervals.  I usually recommend harder effort for 3 minutes then easy effort for 2 minutes.  This will keep your heart rate up and also make the time pass quickly.
  • You can use an ipod in the water if you get a water case. I know people that clip it to their hat and have not had a problem.  
  •  Try to simulate your normal running style.
  • Don't 'paddle'- Keep a loosely closed fist and let your legs move you forward.
  • Try to let the bottoms of your feet to kick the water behind you.
  • Take short, quick strides. A fast cadence intensifies the workout.
  • Expect a lower stride cadence. Remember water is more resistant than air and your pace will decrease accordingly.
  • Your heart rate will be about 10 percent lower than at the same intensity on land.
If you are in the midst of training and have a slight set back in your running because of an injury, don't think its over and you can't continue to maintain your run fitness. Water running may be what you need to get you to race day feeling good and injury free.  You will be able to maintain your run fitness and let your injury heal at the same time.  Give it a try!