Runner's and Triathlete's Web Digest - March 3, 2006
- A FREE WEEKLY E-ZINE OF MULTISPORT RELATED ARTICLES.
The Runner's and Triathlete's Web Digest is a weekly e-zine dealing with the sports of running and triathlon and general fitness and
health issues. The opinions expressed in the articles referenced by the Digest are the opinions of the writers and not necessarily
those of the Runner's Web. To comment on any stories in the Digest visit our Forum at:
The Original Runner's and Triathlete's Web was founded in January of 1997 and is not in any way associated with the two UK "Runner's
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Visit the Runner's Web at http://www.runnersweb.com The site is updated multiple times daily. Check out our daily news, features,
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3. Road Runner Sports, the world's largest running store at:
4. National Capital Race Weekend - Ottawa, ON May 26 - 28, 2006
5. Toronto Waterfront Marathon. September 24, 2006.
6. The Toronto Marathon, October 15, 2006
7. LifeSport by Lance Watson - Professional Coaching
Lance Watson has been coaching triathlon and distance running since 1987. Over the years, Lance has coached some of the most
successful athletes in the sport of triathlon and duathlon. A Human Kinetics graduate (sport psychology minor), Lance has had the
opportunity to work with and be mentored by numerous world-class swim, bike, run and triathlon coaches and liaise with many top
sport professionals (scientists, psychologists, nutritionists, therapists, etc.)
Lance has coached at the 2000 Olympics, 2002 Commonwealth Games and 2003 Pan American Games. He has been head coach at several
national-team events and coached at various Ironman, ITU World Cup and world championship events. As well, he was an award recipient
as "Triathlon Canada Elite Coach Of The Year" four consecutive years from 2000-2003. He was the 2004 Olympic Team Head Coach
The Runner's Web is a member of Running USA, The National Professional Organization for the Running Industry.
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Advertise your event on the Runner's Web.
TRAFFIC CONTINUES TO GROW
Year Session Total Session Daily Pageviews Total Pageviews Daily Hits Total Hits
2005 2,749,670 7,753.35 14,652,389 40,143.53 45,586,536 124,894.62
2004 1,786,510 4,881.17 9,564,629 26,132.87 34,204,661 93, 455.36
% Increase 54% 59% 53% 54% 33% 34%
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Training: Free two week GOLD membership offer from www.RunnersWebCoach.com
www.RunnersWebCoach.com, in partnership with HDO Training, offers the ultimate in online personal training. Our fully personalized
interactive training programs provide daily workouts and activities geared toward helping you reach your specific fitness goals,
whatever they may be. Our community puts you in touch with like minded users across the globe, and in constant contact with our
staff of fitness experts. Furthermore, our training tools, personal video instruction, daily emailed workouts, and so much more
give you everything you need to succeed.
For THIS WEEK ONLY, RunnersWebCoach.com is offering a free, no risk, 2-week trial of the Gold Community Membership (generally $14.99
per month). To try out our award winning fitness software all you have to do is logon to www.runnerswebcoach.com and click the join
now button. Sign up for a free Basic membership, and then all you have to do is ask RunnersWeb's own Ken Parker to be your workout
buddy (search for username: runnersweb45).
Once you are Ken's buddy you will be automatically upgraded to a free Gold Membership within 24 hours - nothing to buy, no credit
cards to enter, just 2 weeks of award winning training FREE.
So what is so great about RunnersWebCoach.com? Read on..
Interactive, Personalized and Fully Customizable Workout Plans
Runnerswebcoach.com is the ideal way to get fit - your way. Our advanced software schedules a complete personalized workout routine,
designed by elite athletes and personal trainers, based on your individual fitness goals and profile.
The training plans are fully customizable and personalized to your specific goals - whether that be loosing weight, toning up, or
running fast. Furthermore, the routines we provide are completely flexible around your schedule and you can change your routine at
any time using an easy to use interface.
Runnerswebcoach.com also allows you to add your own workouts to form your own routine - you can even add a complete routine from
your existing personal trainer or coach.
Find Workout Buddies - Share Your Fitness Goals!
Runnerswebcoach.com Members gain access into our exclusive fitness community with thousands of like-minded people looking to improve
their health and fitness!
Here you can find "Workout Buddies", send them messages, or even team up to reach your goals together.
World Class Coaching Help
Runnerswebcoach.com is a world class personal training solution. Our goal is to service you and help you reach your fitness goals no
matter what level you are.
Our team of elite athletes and personal training staff are always available to provide expert help and advice on using
Runnerswebcoach.com, scheduling a routine specific to your needs or to answer any question you may have regarding your fitness
Interactive Tutorials from Experts
Using the latest web technology, Runnerswebcoach.com brings world class trainers directly to you. Each workout offers a streaming
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In addition strength workouts are accompanied with a 360 degree interactive animation illustrating optimum training form.
Monitor and Plan Fitness Progress
Runnerswebcoach.com includes a wealth of features that allow you to monitor and plan your progress simply and effectively.
Real-time graphing, powerful reporting and easy-to-use calendar views motivate and optimize your training experience.
Take advantage of the RunnersWebCoach.com Special Offer
As a special introductory offer, HDO has offered to give every RunnersWebCoachT customer a FREE two week GOLD membership. However,
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All you have to do is sign up for the free package and add Ken Parker (username is runnersweb45) as a workout buddy. HDO will do the
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This is a no-risk offer. If you choose not to continue, do nothing and your membership will be downgraded to the basic package. The
basic package is still a great resource!
The gold membership gets you customized personal training, coaching videos and nutritional analysis, while platinum members receive
one-on-one individual coaching from HDO's staff of personal trainers.
Ready to learn more?
To create your free GOLD account, go to: www.RunnersWebCoach.com.
Runnerswebcoach.com has round-the-clock staff ready to provide the quality customer service we pride ourselves on.
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Online: Live Help
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If you are interested in prize money races in the USA, a new web site will be of interest.
www.PerformanceRunner.com is dedicated to helping the top elite and sub-elite runners in the country reach their goals. There are
numerous online race calendars available, but before now, none of them focused solely on the races that offer prize money.
PerformanceRunner.com currently features 645 different US races with prize money at the finish line. You are visiting the only site
online that has compiled this information and made it publicly available, free of charge.
In making this elite race list available, PerformanceRunner.com has two main goals:
Increased Competition: By making this race information readily available to top runners, it increases the likelihood of better
competition at these races. With better competition will come better individual performances and, eventually, more successful US
distance running as a whole. In hopes of enticing more top runners to compete at the same events, we want you to know where to find
prize money. Running for prize money adds an extra element of competition to any race, which leads to new PR's.
Athlete Support: Training to compete at highly competitive levels is expensive. Until you become a sponsored runner, winning prize
money is essential in supporting your lifestyle.
PerformanceRunner.com will always keep race information as up to date as possible, though you should confirm the various details on
the official race sites. We will always feature only races that can help accomplish the two goals above; the races that can make you
into a stronger competitor.
Visit PerformanceRunner.com often to find your next race, sign up for the PerformanceRunner Newsletter to receive important running
information, and get your name out to the public by becoming a PerformanceRunner.com Featured Athlete.
Welcome to PerformanceRunner.com. Dedicated to Faster.
Up until April 1st (April Fool's Day!) you can get a FREE subscription to Geezer Jock Magazine.
Check it out at:
If you feel you have something to say (related to triathlon or running) that is worthy of a Guest Column on the Runner's Web, email
mailto:webmaster@... or leave your comments in one of our Forums at:
http://www.runnersweb.com/running/forum.html or from our FrontPage.
We have 1,577 subscribers as of publication time. Forward the Runner's Web Digest to a friend and suggest that they subscribe at:
RUNNER'S AND TRIATHLETE'S WEB CONTENT PARTNERS
* Sports Nutrition by Sheila Kealey.
Sheila is one of Ottawa's top multisport athletes and a member of the OAC Racing Team and X-C Ottawa. She has a Masters in Public
Health and works in the field of nutritional epidemiology as a Research Associate with the University of California, San Diego. Her
column index is available at:
* Carmichael Training Systems
Carmichael Training Systems was founded in 1999 by Chris Carmichael.
From the beginning, the mission of the company has been to improve the lives of individuals we work with through the application of
proper and effective fitness and competitive training techniques. Whether your focus is recreational, advanced, or you are a
professional racer, the coaching methodology employed by CTS will make you a better athlete. Check the latest monthly column from
* Peak Performance Online
Peak Performance is a subscription-only newsletter for athletes, featuring the latest research from the sports science world. We
cover the whole range of sports, from running and rowing to cycling and swimming, and each issue is packed full of exclusive
information for anyone who's serious about sport. It's published 16 times a year, including four special reports, by Electric Word
plc. Peak Performance is not available in the shops - only our subscribers are able to access the valuable information we publish.
Check out our article archive from Peak Performance Online at:
* Peak Running Performance
Peak Running Is The Nation's Most Advanced Running Newsletter. Rated as the #1 Running Publication by Road Runner Sports (Worlds
Largest Running Store) , Peak Running caters to the serious / dedicated runner. Delivering world class running advice are some of
running's most recognizable athletes including Dr. Joe Vigil (US Olympic Coach),
Scott Tinley (2 Time Ironman Champ) Steve Scott (3 Time Olympian) and many more. This bi-monthly newsletter has been around for over
13 years, and in the past two it has been awarded the "Golden Shoe Award" in recognition of it's outstanding achievements.
Check out the Peak Running article index at:
Lance Watson is "Just The Winningest Coach in Triathlon". He has been coaching triathlon and distance running since 1987. Over the
years, Lance has coached some of the most successful athletes in the sport of triathlon and duathlon.
Check out the Lance Watson Online Article Index at:
Running Research News:
RRN's free, weekly, training update provides subscribers with the most-current, practical, scientifically based information about
training, sports nutrition, injury prevention, and injury rehabilitation. The purpose of this weekly e-zine is to improve
subscribers' training quality and to help them train in an injury-free manner.
Running Research News also publishes a complete, 12-page, electronic newsletter 10 times a year (one-year subscriptions are $35); to
learn more about Running Research News, please see the Online Article Index and "About Running Research News" sections below or go
Check out the article index at:
THIS WEEK'S PERSONAL POSTINGS/RELEASES:
We have FOUR personal postings this week:
From: "djsteveboy" <djsteveboy@...>
Date: Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:35pm
Subject: New Music Mix podcast geared toward runners djsteveboy
Just a quick note to let you guys know about a new music podcast geared toward runners called "Podrunner." It's an hour of
high-energy, fixed-bpm dance music every mixed by me, dj steveboy. My wife is a runner and I've been making these for her for years,
and I thought, well, why not podcast 'em for others while I'm at it? There's no talking, no sales pitch -- just great music to help
you groove while you move.
There'll be a new mix every other week. The first mix is 150bpm. If you're interested, the links are below. Hope you enjoy!
Direct RSS Feed:
iTunes Direct Link:
From: Cicero II Omero <omerophoto@...>
Date: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:07pm
Subject: Re: [RunnersWeb Digest] No Runner's and Triathlete's Web Digest Today omerophoto
Thanks a lot. This website has been a great help to me and to our running club.
From: Dave B <ldbartho@...>
Date: Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:07pm
Subject: Re: [RunnersWeb Digest] No Runner's and Triathlete's Web Digest Today ldbartho
This is just a note of THANKS!!! I really enjoy your
digest and appreciate all the sound information.
PLEASE keep up the GREAT JOB!!!! My running continues
to improve both physically and mentally because of
DATE: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 16:05:05 -0000
SUBJECT: Looking for info for Race Directors
I am port of a group of new race directors, resurrecting a 5k race. We need a little bit of guidance and direction in this endeavor.
Does anyone have RD info we can use for our team.
Looking for Steps to take, who to see/contact, when etc...
A timeline on when would be great.
THIS WEEK'S DIGEST ARTICLE INDEX:
1. Working out with all the wrong moves
Gyms are filled with sweaty exercisers defeating the purpose. Here's how not to be one of them.
2. Multisport: Does Flexibility Enhance Performance?
3. Athletics: The Myth of LSD
4. Four Ways to Improve Running Biomechanics
5. Aging: Too Old to Benefit From Exercise? Pish!
6. From Runner's World
7. Joe Henderson's Running Commentary - Marathon Fever
8. Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
9. Exercise and weight control: Myths, truths and gender differences
10. Sunscreen 101 - a highly scientific study
11. Cycling Running Energy
12. High-Fat Diets and Exercise Performance
13. Tall Tales in HR Training
14. Less is More:
So did you stop, stretch and smell the roses this week? If not here's another great reminder that less can be more.
15. The Off Season - You, Your Bike and Speed
16. How to Plan your Training and Racing
17. Rub out chronic muscle tears
18. Altitude Training for Improved Cycling Performance
19. You're burning calories right now
Using sensors in underwear, scientists can accurately zero in on small everyday tasks.
20. High-tech, hard-core exercising
A new approach to getting fit is becoming a big hit with some athletes and former couch potatoes as well.
21. Is your stride stiff enough?
22. A Pain in the Butt
Prevention and Treatment of Piriformis Syndrome.
23. Love your knees
24. Cross-Culture Running
Tales of Racing Abroad.
25. Digest Briefs
RUNNER'S WEB WEEKLY POLL:
Which of the following changes to triathlon and duathlon do you support?
* Allow drafting
* Allow fixed times for transitions and do not count it
* Change the swim/cycle/run distances to equal duration
* Make the duathlon a run/cycle instead of run/cycle/run
* None of the above
You can access the poll from our FrontPage ( http://www.runnersweb.com) as well
as checking the results of previous polls.
Post your views in our Forum at:
[Free Registration Required]
LAST WEEK'S POLL RESULTS:
"Which of the following injuries (conditions) have you had:
Answers Votes Percent
1. Patellofemoral Syndrome 42 14%
2. Pulled Hamstring 26 8%
3. Iliotibial Band Syndrome 45 15%
4. Shin Splints 41 13%
5. Stress Fractures 27 9%
6. Exercise Induced Compartment Syndrome 25 8%
7. Achilles Tendonitis 31 10%
8. Plantar Fasciitis 29 9%
9. Hip Bursitis 31 10%
10. Mononucleosis 12 4%
Total Votes: 309
FIVE STAR SITE OF THE WEEK: LisaBentley.com
Official Site of Lisa Bentley, Ironman Triathlete.
... to the official web site for Canadian super-smiler and Ironman triathlete, Lisa Bentley. With eight career Ironman wins, Lisa is
one of the most successful Ironman athletes ever! What's Lisa up to now? Check out her Race Schedule to see where she will be racing
next and stop by the News page for reports of her racing as we receive them! We hope you enjoy your visit!
Check out Lisa's site at:
Send us your suggestions for our Five Star site. Please check our list of previous Five Star Sites available from the Five Star
Window under the link "Previous Five Star Sites" as we do not wish to repeat a site unless it has undergone a major redesign.
Our Photo Slideshow is updated on a random basis. Check it out from our FrontPage.
BOOK OF THE WEEK: Perfect Distance Ovett & Coe: Ovett And Coe - the Record Breaking Rivalry
by Pat Butcher
'Few athletes have captured the world's attention as did Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett in the early 1980s... it was their fierce
rivalry, more redolent of professional boxing that middle-glass running, that transformed their clashes at the Olympics into
unmissable events. A runner himself, Pat Butcher has chronicled the way these two swift men spurred each other to glory and
redefined their sport in the process, though ultimately for worse rather than better.'
Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe presided over the golden era of British athletics. Between them they won three Olympic gold medals,
two silvers, one bronze, and broke a total of twelve middle-distance records. They were part of the landscape of the late seventies
and early eighties -- both household names, their exploits were watched by millions (in an age before video, satellite and Sky
Sports, the BBC Nine O'Clock News was often interrupted to accommodate their successes). As far apart as possible in terms of class
and upbringing -- Ovett is the art student, the long-haired son of a market-trader from Brighton, a natural athlete; Coe's formative
years were spent under the rigorous training routine of Peter Coe, a self-taught trainer who referred to his son as 'my athlete' --
their rivalry burned as intense on the track as away from it. The pendulum swung between the pair of them -- each breaking the
other's records, and, memorably, triumphing in each other's events in Moscow in 1980 -- for the best part of a decade, until the
final showdown at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 . . . Twenty years on, Pat Butcher, a runner himself and athletics correspondent
of The Times in the eighties, has spoken at length to both athletes; to Coe, the Tory MP, and to Ovett, whom he tracked down in
Australia. He writes in depth about the British obsession with and dominance of middle-distance running, the mile, and speaks to
many of the great 'milers' down the years, the likes of the Swedes Gunder Hagg and Arne Andersson, John Walker and, of course, Roger
Bannister. The Perfect Distance is both a detailed re-creation and a fitting celebration of the greatest era of British athletics.
Buy the book from Amazon at:
THIS WEEK'S NEWS:
1. Working out with all the wrong moves:
Gyms are filled with sweaty exercisers defeating the purpose. Here's how not to be one of them.
By John Briley, Washington Post
Are you wasting precious gym time? Perhaps even courting injury? Here is some of the dumbest, most counterproductive or dangerous
stuff people have been spotted doing on the gym floor.
. Failing at the core: Failing to engage the core - essentially, the muscles in and around your belly - is "probably the biggest
mistake most exercisers make," says Jason Carden, fitness director at Washington, D.C.'s Thomas Circle Sport Club. Keeping a mushy
middle increases risk of back injury and prevents you from building a strong foundation.
The fix: Use your abs to pull your bellybutton in toward your spine and tighten up - and hold it throughout a movement. Or tighten
as if bracing for a belly punch from a (small) child. Mayo Clinic experts recommend coughing lightly to get that tight-belly
. Loafing: Roger Mack, a master trainer at Tysons Sport & Health Club in Virginia, ungenerously estimates that "about 99%" of
customers "don't even get their heart rate up" on the treadmill, meaning they are devoting a lot of time yet burning few calories
and making little improvement in heart-lung health.
The fix: Using the heart-rate device installed on many gym machines, or counting your pulse at your neck using the second hand of a
watch, estimate your heart rate. Determine your (very rough) maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Your target heart
rate is 55% to 65% of that number. If you're 40, your maximum heart rate is 180 (220 minus 40) beats per minute; your target will be
99 to 117 beats per minute.
Working out at 55% of your maximum won't make you miserable, but it's enough to do some good. If you get ambitious, buy a heart rate
monitor so you'll always know if you're working hard enough.
. Using lousy form: Many exercisers pull weights up too quickly, using momentum or leverage. Carden gives the example of people who
elevate their shoulders from the bench as they reach the top of a bench press repetition - a flourish that transfers pressure from
the target muscle (the pectoral, or chest) to the shoulder, raising the risk of injuring the rotator cuff.
The fix: Choose a weight that lets you do eight repetitions slowly, in perfect form. Your eighth rep should be hard enough that your
form starts to fall apart. That's probably far less weight than you now use. Live with it.
. Aping the wrong apes: Given how many people make mistakes at the gym, Carden says, it's dangerous to mimic other exercisers. For
instance, some women follow men's workouts, Carden says, even though they often seek different results.
The fix: Ignore alien orders. Develop your own workout with a trainer, or at least read a good strength training book aimed at the
sort of exerciser you are. That guy waddling around with the fat "lifting" belt? He's a fool. The gal doing rapid-fire crunches with
her fingers laced behind her head? She doesn't exist.
From the LA Times at:
2. Multisport: Does Flexibility Enhance Performance?
By Marlon Familton
You might have caught news articles about a recent study arguing that stretching doesn't prevent injuries. In a report published in
the March 2004 issue of the "American College of Sports Medicine Journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise," researchers
looked at studies that compared stretching along with other strategies to prevent training injuries.
"We could not find a benefit," said Stephen B. Thacker, director of the epidemiology program office at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention said in a recent interview. "Athletes who stretch might feel more limber, but they shouldn't count on
stretching to keep them healthy." He said.
I think these researchers must have been in the forest looking at the individual trees. The fact is that you need adequate
flexibility to balance your body and move into correct postures, particularly those required by cycling. If you have tight
hamstrings when you move low into an aero position, your back will be the looser. It will have to compensate with excessive flexion
putting your discs at risk. So stretching tight hamstrings would directly help avoid injury.
As an athlete, you need to consider your body as a system, not individual parts. Let's look at what happens in the body and why
stretching is important.
Joint Motion Inside the Body
Arthrokinematics is a basic term in kinesiology that describes how the motion occurs on the articulating surfaces of joints. In
short, your bones need to move around in their sockets in a certain way. In figure one, joint A has poor dynamic stability. When the
upper bone moves, it merely rolls across the surface of the joint and winds up at an extreme end range.
More...from the Runner's Web at:
3. Athletics: The Myth of LSD:
By USAT Level II Coach, Mike Ricci
Most of us have heard the acronym 'LSD' and we know that it stands for 'Long Slow Distance'. I decided to write this article about
LSD to debunk a few myths. I don't think of 'Long Slow Distance' as being as slow as most people think. Years ago we were taught
that running slow would make us faster and I admit that I harped on this when I first started running. What I have learned over the
years is that LSD or "running slow" is relative to each person.
Having started running at the back of the pack, it took me some time to improve, but to be honest it caused me to use more brain
power than aerobic power. I was walk-on at my college for the cross country team because they needed a seventh man. Most of my
teammates ran at 5:15-5:35 per mile pace for a 10k. I started out at 7:00 per mile pace and one of my goals was to break 40:00
someday - a blazing 6:25 pace! That is pretty slow especially in the world of cross country running. I had a lot of work to do to
reach my goals.
I didn't start out with a heart rate monitor, knowing my max heart rate, VO2 max or anything else. I knew that my five mile time was
34:50 which makes my pace just about 7:00 per mile. From here I worked backwards and decided to run about 1:00-2:00 slower per mile
for my training pace or somewhere between 8:00 to 9:00 pace. I typically ran 10 mile runs in 85-90 minutes and for shorter runs I
ran 3 mile runs in 25 minutes. My running wasn't anything blazing fast; it was just simply 'running'. I ran hard enough to stress my
system, and easy enough that I could repeat it day after day and week after week. Those two facts were the keys to my improvement:
Frequency and Repeatability.
More...from the Runner's Web at:
4. Four Ways to Improve Running Biomechanics:
Before reading this article, please understand that there is no such thing as "perfect" running form. Since everyone has different
limb lengths, varying muscle fiber sizes and angles, diverse masses, and separate running distance requirements, no single athlete
will run the same. But there are *characteristics* of a good runner that remain fairly constant from person to person. Allow me to
introduce you to four, and present a drill to improve each.
1. Increase knee range of motion during the swing phase. This means that your right knee should be more flexed (towards your butt)
when your right thigh is flexed forward during the run, as opposed to your right knee being more extended (away from butt). Same
goes for the left, of course. Think of it this way - if you were swinging a weight attached to the end of a stick, you could move
the weight faster with less effort if the stick were shorter. In this case, the stick is your leg, and the weight is your foot. By
having your knee (the stick) more bent (or shorter), you are able to move the weight (your foot) much faster with less effort. The
result will not only be a faster swing time (meaning a faster foot turnover), but also reduced fatigue in achieving the desired
Drill: Heel-to-butt kicks. During your normal run, begin to exaggerate knee flexion, touching the butt with the heel during each
stride. Do 20 touches for both the right and left legs, then continue in your normal gait pattern.
2. Maintain flexible quadriceps and hip flexors. These are the muscles along the front of your thigh that act to straighten the leg.
If they are tight, insufficient flexibility can inhibit your ability to fully extend the leg in the push-off phase of the running
Drill: Platform stretch. Ideally, your pelvic bone should be tilted backwards when stretching the quadriceps and hip flexors. To
achieve this, find a platform or elevated surface that is approximately at knee height or slightly higher. Facing away from the
platform, and standing on your right leg, bend your left knee and lock your left foot, shoelaces down, onto the surface. Hold 15-30
seconds, then switch.
3. Deliberately focus on pushing backwards with each step. This will not only incorporate your gluteal and hamstring muscles in the
push-off phase of the running gait, but also keep your center of gravity consistently rolling forward. Rather than focusing on using
the muscles around the knee to provide the driving force, focus on running from the hips.
Drill: Lean-fall-run. Stand completely still and as tall as possible. Without bending the knees, let the entire body lean forward
until you "fall" toward the ground and are forced to take your first step forward. Transition directly into a short 10-20 yard run,
continuing to lean forward and push backwards with the hips.
4. Avoid excessive ankle and hip flexion. Do not bend your knees or flex your ankles excessively during the landing phase. While it
may seem that this decreases joint impact forces, there is no empirical evidence that runners who bend the knees more have less
injuries than runners who do not. However, there is evidence of increased time spent in contact with the ground, which decreases
your elastic rebound from the ground and the overall power of each stride. You will naturally avoid excessive knee and ankle flexion
if your focus on minimizing footstrike time.
Drill: Cadence counts. During your run, count the number of right footstrikes achieved in a span of 20 seconds. There should be 30
or more, indicating a cadence of 90 or higher. Increased cadence indicates decreased ground contact time.
Focus on making these changes to your gait pattern, and you will notice a marked increase in efficiency and economy. As you prepare
for race season and design your weekly and monthly training plans, look into the triathlete training specials offered by Pacific
Until next time, train smart,
Triathlon Training Overview:
5. Aging: Too Old to Benefit From Exercise? Pish!
People are never too old to gain health benefits from exercise, a new study suggests.
More Vital Signs Columns Researchers divided a group of 64 volunteers with an average age of 84 into three groups. The first group
exercised by walking, the second did resistance training, and a control group did no exercise.
After 16 weeks of regular exercise twice a week, the exercise groups had lower systolic blood pressure, improved upper and lower
body strength, improved hip and shoulder flexibility and improvements in tests of agility, balance and coordination when compared
with members of the group that did not exercise.
All of the participants, who ranged in age from 66 to 96, were healthy enough to take care of daily tasks on their own, but some
exercisers used canes or walkers during their sessions. Three-quarters of the participants were women, and only five participants
were younger than 75. The study appears in the February issue of The Journal of Aging and Health.
Ross Andel, a co-author of the study, suggested that the exercise program would also be suitable for older people who had greater
handicaps. "Based on our findings," he said, "it is reasonable to expect that a similar exercise program would be successful in
older individuals who have difficulties in activities of daily living." Dr. Andel is an assistant professor of gerontology at the
School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida.
Both the resistance program and the walking program led to significant improvements, leading Dr. Andel to suggest that the exercise
itself, and not the type of exercise, provides the benefit. "It is at least as important to exercise in advanced age as earlier in
life," he said.
From the NY Times at:
6. From Runner's World:
* Coach's Corner 1
When you practice running with a lighter, quicker turnover, you become a faster, more efficient runner. An increased cadence also
decreases your risk of injury, because your feet spend less time pounding the pavement. Try counting the number of times your right
(or left) foot hits the ground during a 30-second period. Jog for a minute or two and repeat the 30-second drill eight times, trying
to increase your count by one or two footstrikes each time.
Coach's Corner 2
* To Hill With It: "Think of a hill workout as a running-specific weight workout. The exaggerated knee-lift, driving arms, and
pronounced toe-off necessary to run up hill strengthens you every bit as much as hitting the weight room. Hill running also works
the cardiovascular system as your heart tries to keep pace with the increased energy required to fight gravity." -Ed Eyestone
* Injury Prevention 1
A Shoe Thing: "Don't let your shoes get worn down. Beat up shoes increase injury. Alternate between two pairs of shoes and buy new
ones every 300-500 miles." -Jeff Galloway
* Injury Prevention 2
Piriformis syndrome: Massage tight areas deep in the hip and backside. Lie down on the floor, and place a tennis ball under the
affected buttock. Rest your weight on the ball for 10 seconds, move over an inch, and repeat until you've massaged the entire
problem area. It hurts a little at first, but eventually loosens the muscle and speeds healing.
* Performance Nutrition 1
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme are packed with health-enhancing antioxidants. To get more antioxidant-packed herbs in your diet,
consider these five easy preparation tips:
* Oregano: Sprinkle in spaghetti sauces, over pizza, or on French bread.
* Dill: Sprinkle over baked salmon, along with onion and lemon.
* Thyme: Splash thyme and garlic onto poultry, green beans, or add to soups.
* Rosemary: Use when cooking or grilling shrimp, scallops, pork, chicken, or filets.
* Peppermint: Mix peppermint into your favorite cookie, cake, or brownie recipe.
* Performance Nutrition 2
Feel Fatigued? Try Iron: Eat dark-meat poultry, beef, beans, lentils, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, and figs with vitamin
C-rich foods to boost iron absorption.
If you're iron-deficient you can boost your aerobic capacity by simply increasing your iron intake.
* Editor's Advice 1
Fast-finish training: "You can practice fast finishes every day as part of your normal run. Mimicking your race speed for a small
part of your daily run can improve your final kick at the finish of a race. It also teaches you how to make a longer, more
sustained, more controlled push for the finish."
-Michele Ervin, RW assistant photo editor
Editor's Advice 2
Fool Yourself: "If you procrastinate heading out into the winter mix because you don't like the cold weather, try this trick: Heat
your body up BEFORE going outdoors. You can throw your running clothes in the warm dryer prior to going out, or you can do some
jumping jacks or pushups to get your blood moving."
-Tish Hamilton, RW executive editor
* Training Talk 1
"Initially, moving to a higher level of fitness means moving up a little on the scale of perceived effort. Getting into better
cardiovascular condition means working those systems at a higher rate than rest for some period of time. It means requiring your
entire body to do more than it's accustomed to doing, and doing it for a bit longer that it wants."
-From No Need for Speed by John Bingham
Training Talk 2
"I've experimented with various gels on training runs and have run several marathons using them. I feel that they are a very useful
product. Depending on the brand, they provide 80 to 120 calories per packet, theoretically enough to get you another mile down the
-From Smart Running by Hal Higdon
7. Joe Henderson's Running Commentary - Marathon Fever:
At first I thought that my accidental marathon, Napa Valley 2000, had left me off easily. The post-race pains were no worse or
longer-lasting than if I'd trained right, maybe because I'd run so slowly and walked so much.
Normal running resumed soon, probably too soon. Long after the soreness was gone, the tiredness persisted.
My defenses stayed down, so low that they couldn't repel a mysterious illness. Its symptoms were flu-like -- low-grade fever,
persistent cough, heavy fatigue -- and they hung on for two full months.
I ran almost nothing for those months, and began to worry that I'd never feel better. Just getting from one end of the day to the
other was a "marathon."
My doctor never identified that illness. The best he could do was rule out the worst possibilities.
The long-lasting fever finally cooled. More months passed as I inched back toward normal runs. You appreciate those more after
you've lost them for a while, or what you thought might be forever.
After recovering fully, I still avoided making the efforts that racing required. Almost six years passed without a run longer than
an hour. Only a few times each year was my pace faster than comfortable.
I still went to races, but now mostly to watch other runners. "Why aren't you running?" they would ask.
Two answers. The first, "I forgot to train," usually drew a laugh. The second, "I like to run too much to race," brought a look of
bewilderment, as if I were speaking poorly translated Swahili.
More...from Joe Henderson at:
8. Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine:
* Endurance Cyclists Must Strengthen Their Legs
An Australian research team has shown why training for strength is important for cyclists. Untrained men who were not cyclists used
a hack-squat apparatus (a weight-lifting machine used to strengthen the legs and buttocks) to lift 85 percent of the heaviest weight
that they could lift once, five times in a row. Then they rested and repeated the sets of five. They did this four times, in three
sessions per week. They did no cycling during the strength-training period of the study. They were given cycling endurance tests
before and after. The study concluded that the strength training made men far more efficient in cycling (Medicine and Science in
Sports and Exercise, July 2005.)
Efficiency is the amount of energy a person uses to perform a certain amount of work at high intensity. However, strength training
did not improve the men's aerobic capacity: the ability to use oxygen or circulate blood. So strength training did not improve heart
or lung function, but it did give the participants extra power to push the pedals harder, which helped them ride faster.
Top-level competitive cyclists train for endurance by riding for three to eight hours a day. They usually cannot push heavy weights
with their legs because their cycling schedule does not give them time to recover from strenuous weightlifting workouts. Since this
study used untrained cyclists, it does not suggest that professional cyclists should change their training methods. Competitive
cyclists gain tremendous leg muscle strength just by climbing steep hills very fast, which exerts as much force on their leg muscles
as weightlifting and makes them very strong.
* Principles Of Training
You will not become a better athlete by doing the same training regimen each day. Athletes train by taking hard workouts on one day,
feeling sore on the next, and not taking another hard workout until the muscles stop feeling sore.
It's called the hard-easy principle. If you want to become stronger or faster or increase your endurance, you have to exercise hard
or long enough to make your muscles burn. Then your muscles will be sore for one or more days. If you try to exercise hard when your
muscles are damaged, you will tear them and the muscles will weaken. If you wait for the soreness to disappear, your muscles will be
stronger than they were before your workout. As you continue to take stressful workouts only after the soreness disappears, you will
become progressively stronger and faster and have greater endurance. Athletes in most sports train once or twice a day in their
sports, but they do not exercise intensely more often than every 48 hours.
There is a difference between the good burning of training and the bad pain of an injury. The good burning usually affects both
sides of your body equally and disappears almost immediately after you stop exercising. The bad pain of an injury usually is worse
on one side of your body, becomes more severe if you try to continue exercising and does not go away after you stop exercising.
* Dear Dr. Mirkin: Is honey more healthful than sugar?
A: You may have heard that honey is better than sugar because it's a quicker source of energy, a richer source of minerals and less
fattening, but actually, honey and table sugar are almost the same. Both contain two simple sugars called glucose and fructose.
Table sugar has its sugar bound into one molecule, but it is split immediately in your intestine to two single sugars. Since honey
and table sugar are processed the same way, honey is not a quicker source of energy.
They are equally fattening even though ounce for ounce, honey has fewer calories than sugar. Honey contains water which has no
calories and refined sugar does not. A tablespoon of table sugar has 64 calories while a tablespoon of honey has 46 calories, but to
obtain the same amount of sweetness you must use enough more honey to make the calories equal. Honey does contain iron and calcium
while table sugar does not, but to meet your needs for iron, you would have to eat 10 cups of honey a day, and for calcium, you'd
need to eat 40 cups.
* Low-Carbohydrate Diet Slows Time Trial
A recent study from South Africa shows that eating a low-carbohydrate diet slows extended sprint performance of cyclists
(Journal of Applied Physiology, January 2006).
Competitive bicycle racers ate a high fat or high-carbohydrate diet for six days followed by a high-carbohydrate diet for one day
and completed time trials on their bikes. Then they ate the opposite diet for six days followed by a high carbohydrate diet for one
day and repeated their time trial. Diets did not affect their times or power output for 100 kilometers (62 miles), but the high fat
diet slowed their sprint performance over one kilometer (0.6 miles.)
Muscles get their energy from sugar and fat stored in muscles or from the bloodstream. The limiting factor in how fast an
endurance athlete can exercise is the time it takes to transport oxygen from the blood in the lungs to the muscles. Muscles require
far more oxygen to burn fat than to burn sugar for energy. So when a muscle runs out of its stored sugar, called glycogen, it
becomes less efficient, hurts, is difficult to co-ordinate and slows you down.
Many previous studies show that it doesn't make any difference what an trained endurance athlete eats on the week before
competition because the muscles of trained athletes store the most glycogen when they reduce training for several days, regardless
of what they eat. Any sprint that takes less than 50 seconds is not affected by diet, because you can work up to 50 seconds
anaerobically, without requiring additional oxygen. This study shows that a high-fat diet before extended sprinting hurts
performance. A high fat diet causes muscles to burn a higher percentage of fat. Using fat for energy requires more oxygen than
carbohydrates do, and how fast you can sprint 0.6 miles on a bicycle is limited by how rapidly you can deliver oxygen to muscles.
Restricting carbohydrates before a sprint taking more than 50 seconds increases oxygen needs which slows you down.
9. Exercise and weight control: Myths, truths and gender differences:
By Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D.
"For all the exercise I do, I should be pencil thin!"
"Am I the only runner who has ever gained weight training for a marathon?"
"Why does my husband shed pounds when he exercises and I don't?"
When I listen to athletes complain about their lack of success with losing body fat, I hear abundant frustration: "Why can't I do
something as simple as lose a few pounds!" Why? Because weight loss isn't simple and often includes debunking a few diet and
exercise myths. Perhaps this article will offer some insights that lead you to weight-loss success.
Myth: You must exercise in order to lose body fat.
To lose body fat, you must create a calorie deficit. You can create that deficit by adding on exercise (which improves your overall
health and fitness) or by simply eating fewer calories. For example, sick people commonly lose body fat, but they don't exercise;
they create a calorie deficit.
Similarly, injured athletes can also lose fat despite lack of exercise. The story "I gained weight when I was injured because I
couldn't exercise" could more correctly be stated "I gained weight when I was injured because I was bored and depressed and I
overate for comfort and entertainment."
Myth: The more you exercise, the more fat you lose.
Often, the more you exercise, the hungrier you get, and:
* the more you eat, or;
* the more your believe you "deserve" to eat, or;
* the more you want to eat as a reward for both getting to the gym and surviving the workout.
But if you spend 60 minutes in a spin class and burn off 600 calories only to reward yourself with 12 Oreos (600 calories), you'll
wipe out your weight-loss efforts in less than three minutes!
More...from Active.com at:
10. Sunscreen 101 - a highly scientific study:
Mirror, mirror on the wall, why oh why do I have to be the fairest of them all!
When I was growing up I knew I was fair skinned, but being from the upper Midwest meant, so was everyone else. When I migrated to
warmer climates as an adult I began to realize just how fair I really am. Then I started running and during longer distance runs it
became apparent I needed to take sunscreen much more seriously. One of my son's favorite things to do now is count mama's moles.
I'm being totally serious; I know just what Fred Savage felt like in Austin Powers III.
Mole! There's a big Mole!"
Trouble is I have very sensitive skin as well. My skin reacts to certain chemicals in sunscreen called "Absorbers" with a red rash
that burns. So does my son by the way. I will never forget putting "baby" sunscreen on my 10 month old and watching him turn
florescent red within minutes. After that lovely day, I have taken to testing sunscreens on myself, on my friends, and finally on
my son. I have been helped along by my father-in-law, who is a Dermatologist specializing in skin cancer (one more reason for me to
wear sunscreen). What to do with all this tremendous knowledge I have collected? I feel it only "fair" that everyone benefit. So,
below is a list of sunscreens and sunblocks that work very well for runners. There is something here for everyone, so do your skin
a favor on your next run and try one of these out. If not, maybe I'll add a link to my Father-in-law's Practice.I warn you though,
he's a lot more expensive than any of these sunscreens!
Drugstore Deals - great deals for body coverage that lasts.
Hawaiian Tropic Ozone Sport spf 60 - for those long days in the sun this stuff is cheap and works great. An Epinions reviewer says
"Hawaiian Tropic has proved spreading tar on a child will block the sun's harmful rays." I wouldn't put this on my face because
removal is quite a workout in itself.
Banana Boat Sport - The best thing about this line is the variety. They have spf 15, 30, 50, a sport spray, and sport stick. If you
don't like the typical scent of sunscreen this may not appeal to you. I might put the lotion on my face, but not the spray.
Bull Frog Quickgel spf 36 - May not be the easiest to find but a great cheap sunblock. The gel dries quickly and doesn't leave a
weird residue like other sport gels I've tried. I don't know if I would put this on my face, but its good for arms and legs.
More...from You Run Girl at:
11. Cycling Running Energy:
Whenever you exert a running effort you push against your internal metabolic resistance to effort, which I call energy. You will
always experience a measurable amount of energy during a running workout. If you happen to have a lot of energy, your effort
encounters little resistance and you feel like you're flying. But when you're out of energy, even an easy run can be tough to do.
The ability to distinguish different levels of energy is one of the most important skills in running. Being successful in the
competitive game depends on coordinating your training effort with your fluctuating sense of energy. Thus, your energy is not merely
an arbitrary factor that sometimes hinders performance and sometimes enables it. Rather, measuring and accommodating fluctuations in
your energy should be the primary focus of the training process.
Fortunately, you don't need a special energy monitor to measure your energy. All you need to do is take a run and feel it: no
energy, little energy, some energy, ample energy, or abundant energy. The interesting thing about running energy is the way it can
change from moment to moment during a run. Most runners have noticed, for example, how they can start off with only some energy, but
after a while they develop ample energy-even enough for a hard workout.
This changeability of energy is a quality of its cyclic nature. Left to its own designs, your energy always fluctuates from the
start of a workout to the finish. First it contracts, then it expands, then it contracts again. These fluctuations form the basic
cycle of energy pictured in Figure 3-1.
More...from BC Endurance Trainings at:
12. High-Fat Diets and Exercise Performance:
Eat More Carbohydrate!
The ability to exercise for long periods is largely dependent upon the availability of energy sources, typically carbohydrates and
fats. Fat is the primary fuel for low intensity exercise and is stored in large amounts within the body, while carbohydrate fuels
higher intensity exercise and is stored only in limited sites as glycogen. It is well documented that fatigue during endurance
sports is closely related to depletion of carbohydrate within muscle and that increasing carbohydrate intake increases endurance.
Much, although not all, research also suggests that high fat diets are associated with cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and
depressed immune function. These facts, taken together, have led exercise professionals to recommend high carbohydrate diets to
seriously training athletes.
No, Eat More Fat!
There is a line of evidence, however, which suggests that seriously training athletes need not be so restrictive of their fat
intake. Many of the previously mentioned studies have used sedentary or moderately trained research subjects. Well-trained endurance
athletes demonstrate enhanced ability to use fats for energy at rest [Calles-Escandon] and during exercise [Karlsson].
Muscle glycogen levels are directly related to exhaustive exercise. It is apparent that one of the main effects of training is to
spare glycogen by enhancing utilization of fats. Consistent with this idea is the significant depletion of intramuscular fats during
strenuous exercise and the increase in enzymes which control fat oxidation in trained subjects [Karlsson].
Endurance ability has not been adversely affected by high fat diets in some studies [Phinney], and in fact high carbohydrate diets
may lead to greater utilization of carbs during exercise [Jacobs], thus obliterating the "sparing" of carbohydrates that training
generally produces. The possibility that increasing fat in the diet might enhance fat utilization during exercise therefore is
intriguing. Work done at the University of Buffalo attempted to determine whether sedentary individuals differed from well trained
subjects in their ability to use fats during high intensity exercise. Indeed, well trained subjects were better able to utilize
fats, thus maintaining work output despite glycogen depletion [Pendergast]. Furthermore, trained runners given a moderate to high
fat diet [35-55% of total calories] for 2 months improved running performance, presumably by increasing fat stored in the muscle and
by lower lactate production [Pendergast].
More...from NISMAT at:
13. Tall Tales in HR Training:
Over the course of time, it has been demonstrated that that if one repeats an idea or concept frequently enough, it can become an
accepted notion regardless of its basis in truth. People that accept these mantras are often ignorant of the facts, while the
purveyors of these concepts often point to happy believers as evidence of their truth.
In the world of endurance and cardio-vascular training, one such example is that of using baseless heart rate training concepts as a
method for training.
Many of you will recall the exercise charts that appeared on gym walls or on the panels of pieces of exercise equipment which showed
a formula of 220 minus your age as a method for determining your various training zones. While the appearance of HR as a training
tool signaled the beginning of more scientific approaches to training, it naturally took some time before valid heart rate based
training methods supplanted demonstrably false formulas.
Thankfully for training purists, the 220 minus your age formula has been thoroughly discredited but for the most antiquated of
trainers and the general gym world which loves to put up fancy looking charts in spin rooms. Yet, amazingly, the random and patently
false 220 method has been reborn in some dubious training quarters, where an equally random 180 is used as a subtraction point for
determining HR training zones.
Indeed, these days there are several widely advertised training programs that use HR based training calculations which have no basis
in science or reality.
HR should be one of the fundamental training tools in any substantive program. However, like any tool, heart rate training methods
are only useful if properly applied.
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that methods which use arbitrary HR calculations such as the concept of 180 minus your
age to determine performance training zones are fundamentally flawed. A training program based on sound training principles cannot
have at its core a formula that is demonstrably false.
It is not difficult to demonstrate why a one size fits all pie in the sky isn't this convenient phoney-baloney burn fat too numeric
calculation (whose acronym is BS) does not work. The BS-180 method runs into serious difficulty when one considers the following:
Age is irrelevant to HR training zones
Heart rate zones are clearly sport specific
Heart rate zones are unique to the individual
Age is entirely irrelevant in determining training zones.
More...from Michael McCormack at:
14. Less is More:
So did you stop, stretch and smell the roses this week? If not here's another great reminder that less can be more.
I swam today with two great coaches and both said essentially the same thing. During the winter, during the base phase of triathlon
training, less is certainly more.
Luis Vargas, who coaches with Mark Allen Online, made that point that on current long runs my heart rate (I'm 42) should never
exceed 140 bpm. He said that often on his training runs with Mark Allen they would actually walk up hills to keep their heart rate
below this threshold.
The idea behind this proven training method is to teach your body to burn fat and not sugar.
Wes Hobson, a former long-time pro, ITU champion, and coach basically echoed the same training philosophy. But I'll let him explain.
Below is his take on winter training. You can also listen to him explain more by clicking HERE for my interview with Wes. You can
also learn more by visiting his web site HERE.
Wes Hobson on Winter Base Training
During the winter months, if I was your coach and I oversaw your training, I would rather see you swim 500 meters of near perfect
freestyle than 3,000 meters of inefficient freestyle. I would rather see you bike for an hour at a cadence that is efficient for
you, than see you ride four hours with inefficient pedal and power output. I would rather see your running form efficient and proud,
than seeing it breaking down in several areas.
We are triathletes. We are self-motivated and self-disciplined. No one forces us out of bed every morning to drive to swim practice
in the dark or to go for the morning run when there is a chill in the air. This is a great attribute you have, but it can also
contribute later in the year for not improving your performance.
The winter months is a time to improve your form in all three disciplines so that later, when it is time to train your body at a
higher intensity, you will be more efficient with your energy usage and perform better. I often see athletes training too hard early
in the year, only to burn out both physically and mentally weeks before their big race. It is important to set your goals and to
have constructive workouts during the base phase.
More...from EveryMan triathlon:
15. The Off Season - You, Your Bike and Speed:
Lee Zohlman, USAT/USAC Certified Coach
It's pretty unanimous that the bike is most athletes' favorite part of triathlon. Whether they are fast, slow or middle of the
packers most people enjoy the exhilarating feeling of flying down the road in a full aero tuck watching the scenery pass them at a
bullet's pace. No matter what level rider you are, the off season provides a time for a single sport focus, so why not make your
bike your weapon this off season. You'll be able to put in the hours since your swimming and running volume will be reduced. No, I'm
not just talking about riding more miles, although you will be. I'm talking about what type of workouts will help you go faster next
season, what you can do take weight off the bike and what can you buy to get more aero and have less drag. We'll <br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)