Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Tri Tips (very beefy)

Half Ironman training is tricky.  You can't relax on one sport thinking you'll make up for it by going faster in the others.  It just doesn't work that way.  And to add insult to injury, if you train with single sport specific groups, you're bound to be dropped by at least one group because, let's face it, those other guys are just doing one thing ALL THE TIME.
1 drop baby shampoo + 1 rinse = fog free goggles

Here are some discoveries I've made along my HIM journey.

1.  Get a VO2 Max test from a qualified administrator.  I've used Endurance Rehab in North Scottsdale for years.  The test results will give you tons of information on how you should be training.  It will tell you if you are burning carbs instead of fats.  It will outline your specific heart rate zones.  It will detail what is going on in your body so you can maximize your training instead of exhausting yourself.  It's the best $150 you will spend on tri stuff.

2.  Train smart.  Once you have your proper heart rate zones established, map out or talk to a coach about formulating a plan for success.  If you are just jumping out on random road rides or runs, you are not making the best use of your time.  You need to have a scheduled plan of build weeks, recovery weeks and taper weeks.  Share your goals with your Master's swim coach, too.  And document your training.

3.  Eat to train not train to eat.  That Denny's Grand Slam breakfast after a long ride is really tasty, and you deserve it, but it's probably not conducive to your training plan.  Try and eat like you know you should.  It's not rocket science.  We all know what to avoid:  processed foods, fast foods and caffeine, just to name a few.

4.  Practice race day nutrition.  Try it all now, before the day of the race.  Endurox, Accelerade, Cytomax, Heed, G2 -- find what works best in your tummy.  Buy trial size packets at your local tri store. Then check out what nutrition will be on the course and see if you like it.   BTW,  I am anti mixing 1000 calories into one water bottle.  More on that another time.

5.  Transitions.  Most of us triathletes do the standard bike-to-run brick.  But how often?  What distance? Mark Allen recommends short 3-4 mile transition runs after the long bike.  He advocates the long run the day before a long bike to avoid fatigue and injury, instead of  massive 50 mile bike/10 mile run bricks.  Make sense?  Bobby McGee, a USAT Certified Level III coach, goes a little further.  He suggests getting in as many short transitions as possible.  Bike for 10 minutes before you start your run.  Get in a short 1 mile run after every bike.  Bring your bike to the pool and ride home.  Nothing crazy.  Just get the feel of transitions so it becomes second nature to you.

6.  Above all, remember, you GET to do this.  No whining.  Stay positive.  Smile.  Enjoy the training then enjoy the race.  And thank those volunteers.  It's good karma and we all need that.

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