Monday, February 2, 2009

Endurance Sport Basics!

As a coach, I have worked with all types of athletes. Whether you're aiming to go Pro, are a top ranked armature, a middle of the packer or just getting off the sofa for the first time in years, the basics are the same. You must set your goals, have a plan and be flexible.

Set Your Goal(s):
* Your goal must be specific
* Your goal must be measurable with a date
* Your goal must be realistic and achievable
* Make your goal something special to you
* Make having fun part of your goal

Have a plan of action:
* Does some research and determine the steps it will take to achieve your goal
* With the help of a coach or on your own, write-out your training plan
* Recording your progress is important. You can do with one of the myriad of training logs out there or, again, with the help of your coach
* Remember that things are always changing – be prepared to adjust your plan or goal if changes occur that make if necessary to do so.


* Have fun! Even the “burn” can be enjoyable.
* Rest!! Remember that your rest days are just as important as your workouts.
* If demands on your time make you skip a workout don’t worry, but make sure you get in your Quality workouts. Your coach or training program will tell you which workouts are the most important.
* Remember to keep balance in your life: Take time for your family and other relationships and to explore other joys of life besides training.
* Listen to your body. There’s no need to
* Do you own workout rather than trying to keep up with or slow down for others.
*EAT! Food is your fuel … and good nutrition is a major tool used to get to your goal (see previous Training Tip on post-workout nutrition for more information)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Winter Training on the Treadmill

I coach folks from all over the world not just in Santa Monica, CA, where, I have to admit we're having extraordinary spring-like weather. I've been planning much of their workouts around the weather and have avoided scheduling treadmill sessions as much as possible. But when its have been Siberian-cold for nearly a month, the elements can wreck havoc on your will. Taking it inside is not such a bad idea.

Here is an article I found, By Patrick McCrann, that speaks to running inside and summarizes that which I tell my clients. I hope this helps you stay warm and keep you spirits up!! Enjoy.

With the weather taking a turn for the worse, more and more folks are turning to the treadmill as a safe (and warm) way to stay in shape and maintain their running fitness. While running on a treadmill can be repetitive or even a bit boring, the treadmill is a fantastic training tool when used properly.

Remember Christine Clark, the woman from Alaska who stunned the running community by winning the U.S. marathon trials for the 2000 summer Olympics? She did the majority of her running on a treadmill and managed a great race.

Your winter training could prepare you for a great race if you take the time to really plan out your approach. Here are a couple of things to remember for those winter treadmill runs:

# Your heart rate values are different on a treadmill. Without external stimuli like hills, wind, heat, etc., your heart rate will be lower. It also makes a difference that the treadmill is pushing your legs instead of you pulling your body forward. As a result, at any given pace you'll notice that your HR is lower on a treadmill than on the open road. You can counteract this effect by manipulating the grade periodically to stimulate your aerobic system.

# Use a minimum of 1% grade. Running at 0% grade is similar to running on a slight downward slope. It's also very difficult to maintain solid run form on a flat treadmill, so kicking it up to a minimum of 1% means that you?ll have a better chance of getting into your normal running style (foot strike, body lean, etc.). Note: As you increase the grade for hill workouts, be sure to cut back a bit on the speed. We all slow down a bit as we head uphill, but the treadmill won’t unless you tell it to.

# Mix it up! Just as you have different weekly routes, so too should you have different treadmill locations and routines. I have a part of the gym where I run the hard workouts and a part where the fun/easy workouts are done. Also feel free to mix up the incline and pacing to stimulate different muscle groups. It's very easy to settle in and just watch the TV. You can't do this on race day, so don't do it during your key workouts!
# Consider cross training. Incorporating a basic weight routine is a great way to make sure your legs maintain their in-season strength through the winter. This doesn't have to be a bodybuilding routine; think squats, leg extensions, leg curls and calves for 15 to 20 repetitions each. Alternate a set of leg weights with an upper-body exercise (such as bench press or back extensions) to add variety. You should also consider other great "winter appropriate" exercise -- cross country skiing is a fantastic low-impact, highly aerobic workout.

# Get outside once a week, weather permitting. There is no substitute for the real thing. Even if you have to wait until midday on a weekend for the temperature to climb, do it. Just one outdoor session a week will help you maintain your "feel" for the road.

Training through the winter isn't easy, even with treadmills. If you mix up your routine, it will help you stay fit and sharp and will have you ready for next season in no time!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Use Indoor Cycling Drills to Get Your Spin Down

I know the weather is frightful just about everywhere other than here and everyone has turned indoors to train on the bikes. Here’s an excerpt from an article by Coach Marc Evans that I used as the basis for my indoor rides and training programs. For those of you who cannot find a coached indoor spin and are on your own, here are some drills that will help you tremendously when you get back outside. Enjoy!

“The workouts always began with the athletes in the small chain ring, where I would have them concentrate on various sectors of the spin and revolutions. Those sectors being the downstroke, backstroke, upstroke and overstroke. Soon, I had them "spinning" at what I called "HRPM Spinning," or "high revolutions per minute." Sometimes they'd reach 130 rpm's.

I found this type of spinning to be most effective in teaching a most efficient spin and thus, included this regularly. In particular, after anaerobic threshold, V02 and lactate efforts, I had the athletes spinning at minimums of 100 rpm. During race-pace intervals the rpm was 90.

Perhaps the best drill I used was the "One Leg Spin" or OLS. Simply, I had the athletes emphasize the spin with the right leg and let the left follow without force. Then switch over to the left. Over time, I realized the best way to teach this was when using the small chain ring and say, a 21 cog. This gearing forced the athlete to remain focused on the spin where a more forceful gear would not.

"Descending One Leg Spinning" then became the drill of choice. Start out with say, 10 with the right and 10 with the left, then nine right, nine left, eight seven six and so on. Follow the drill with a normal spin for about 60 seconds.

You can do this drill on the road or trainer, and along with dozens of other possible drills you can make your turbo training fun.”

Here's a workout in detail:

1. Warm up in small chain ring at hrpm spinning start a 90 end at 105 for 20 minutes.

TF Drills 2 (4 x 2 minutes) two sets of the following:
- Work the downstroke (forward and downward)
- Descending One Leg Spins from 20
- 4 x 30 seconds alternating One Leg Spins
- hrpm at 110 and 115 for 1 minute each

Anaerobic threshold
- 6 x 6 minutes at 40K pace plus 1 minute rest
- Or, 8 x 3 minutes plus 30 seconds rest

- 3 x 3 minutes at 100, 110 and 115 rpm

Warm down
- 10 minutes of one-leg spins alternating every 30 seconds