November 17, 2018

Does Workout Recovery Matter? By Nicole Bryan

Does workout recovery matter?
    
Do you include a workout recovery plan as part of your racing or workout program? You should! Here’s why: long term sustainable exercise happens through the delicate and very individual balance between exercise (workload) and rest (recovery.) Depending the distance you’re racing or your workout goal, your training program should not end with race day or goal day, it should actually extend anywhere from one day to three weeks after. Ask any athlete who’s been involved in long term racing or sustainable athletics and has remained injury-free, you’ll find the common thread to be that of allowing sufficient recovery from hard racing and tough workouts.

Accept your need for recovery as part of your exercise program. Better yet, program it in. Keep your schedule on the calendar just as you do when in your heavy or building training period, just write “off” or “30 minute jog.”

Here are a few ways how to decrease the stress of accepting and respecting your recovery period as an essential part of your training program:

Cross Train. Choose an entirely different mode of exercise all together. Change the angle at which you’re working your muscles. If you routinely do high-impact, try non-impact exercise. If you regularly partake in exercise over 90 minutes, set a recovery limit of fifty-percent of your average weekly workouts. If you’ve been wanting to try a different workout, now is the time to do it when the new workout won’t interfere with your race program.

Rest. That’s right, rest! Do less, do nothing, do whatever whenever the mood strikes you. Resting not only applies to your body, but to your mind as well. This includes psychological and emotional rest. When we are racing or focused on completing a major fitness goal, our mind works just as hard. Get caught up on movies, sort through paperwork, play puzzles with your kids. Sit. Rest. Relax. Many are afraid of rest for fear that they’ll lose all their fitness efforts over night. Rest assured, you won’t. In reality, the contrary is true, you’ll come back to your sport and fitness with more enthusiasm than before. Let yourself miss your activity!

Tend to the details. During your recovery period is a great time to tend to those tiny details that during your heavy training were tolerable, but just barely. For example, that nagging foot discomfort you’ve been tolerating (go see your doctor), or your slightly-off hydration plan (research other alternatives), or those biking shoes that just getting worn out (try out new equipment.) This is like your rainy-day activity list. Tiny details that you just never have time for during your training. Get them sorted out now, so when your recovery period is complete, you’re ready to go.

Catch up. Catch up with other areas of your life that may have been neglected during your heavy training period. Re-introduce yourself to your spouse, to your children, to your boss, to your friends. Go ahead and make that time active if you’d like, but activity is not the priority. Get caught up on your desk work, yard work, and the kid’s homework, anything other than variables that have to do with your race or goal.

Bask in your accomplishment. You’ve worked hard to reach your goal, why not allow time to enjoy it before darting off to begin your next training period. Read articles on your sport, send fellow athletes your race pictures, share your race report in a blog post, chat with other participants, and plot out your next race or fitness goal undertaking; have some fun with your accomplishment! There are ways to stay connected with your sport, your training buddies and current events, without the physical demands required by logging the miles in race prep. So go ahead, hone your verbal, written and artistic skills for a change. Brag a little. You’ll inspire fellow athletes, and yourself.

Thank You for Encouraging Healthy Lifestyles

Encouraging health living by example is a powerful trait. Check out the following businesses who believe in healthy living and are passionate about sharing the benefits with others. Simply visit their website to learn how they can assist in your healthy lifestyle!

JOIN US on Twitter every Monday at 5pm(Pacific)/8pm(Eastern) for our Motivational-Monday Fitness Chat!

THANK YOU to our December Fitness Chat Sponsors!

Flip2BFit. Peak your kids interest to be active through the innovative games. Ideal for the whole family to play on a weekend, for a group activity at a birthday party, or for teachers to have on hand as a rainy day activity. Their games encourage self-esteem all realized through the spin of a wheel and the flip of a card! Follow them on Twitter @Flip2BFit.

Drink Chia. Drink Chia is an innovative all natural chia seed beverage that offers an alternative to sugary and stimulant laden drinks. Drink Chia provides enhanced hydration, endurance and immune system support. They are the only chia drink that has the power of chia with B-complex vitamin, selenium and zinc as well as being rich in plant sourced-omega-3 fatty acids. Follow them on Twitter @DrinkChia.

All3Sports. All3Sports is your triathlon training and racing solution! You’ll find everything the sport of triathlon requires including apparel, bikes and wetsuits. You’ll also find everything needed for the independent sports of Running, Swimming and Cycling. With one click to their website you’ll enjoy top products complete with professional knowledge and excellent customer service. For new product and special promotion information, follow them on Twitter via @all3sportscom.

Triathlon Open-Water Swimming Tips by Mark Kleanthous

Swimming in open water is very alien for most people. Beginners, experienced triathletes and the elite all sometimes get nervous from open water swimming.

For the majority of most people it is almost impossible to sink when wearing a correctly fitted triathlon wet suit. Just try to dive down in 1.5m swimming pool wearing a wet suit, then try and touch the bottom. Being relaxed in a wetsuit will give you the biggest improvements in performance. It is perfectly normal to become nervous, your mind is telling you to not swim in open water to avoid going into the unknown.

Two important principles for open-water swimming success:

Practice swimming in open water. Firstly do not venture out too far. Stay close to the edge where you can easily get out of the water. Try and float on your back in a swimming pool and see how much effort it takes, then repeat with a wetsuit on and you will soon realize how easily you float without any effort. You will have considerably more confidence in open water once you have experienced the art of floating.

Never swim alone and always swim close to others. Make sure you have already discussed an emergency action plan and you know the address of the entrance for emergency services to arrive THE BEST safety decisions are always made before you get into the water.

Here are three how-to tips to gain comfort swimming in open water:

Swim in all different conditions; calm day’s windy days, dull days and bright sunny days. Learn to love and experience what Mother Nature decides to throw at you. Frequency of open water swimming builds up self confidence.

Before you venture into open water, practice in a pool breathing on both sides. Learn the water polo style of looking ahead. If possible, swim is an adjacent lane to an aqua-cise or fun swim session and the pool will have more waves than normal. This will better prepare you for open water swimming.

Sighting or correct navigation is easy to learn. Find out how often you need to look up before going off course. You may need to look up every 4, 6 or 8 strokes. The more you swim in open water the less often you will need to look up and still swim in as straight line. If you swim 2 metres in the wrong direction you will at least need to cover another 2m to get back on track. Use 2 points as reference, a buoy and a tall building or tree directly behind the buoy. Make sure when looking up to sight, you kick a little more to keep your body vertical in the water and avoid the legs sinking.

Mistakes to avoid:
-Only start swimming in open water only when YOU are ready, not when others are ready. It is much better to wait a few extra weeks for the water to warm up then try and swim in freezing cold water and lose any confidence you have. Taking the plunge too early can set you back months.
-Avoid swimming close to rocks, weedy areas,  boat traffic and harbour walls where there is no place to exit the water.
-A wet suit can make you over confident, and will not prevent you from drowning.

Mark Kleanthous is an open water swim coach and has his own lake for individual coaching. He has competed in more than 450 triathlons and has competed as an elite and recorded some of the fastest T1 & T2 transition times overall. Mark Kleanthous has competed in triathlons for 30 consecutive seasons and crossed the finish line in more than 450 triathlons including 35 ironman events. He is the author of The Complete Book of Triathlon Training and is a full time sports and nutrition coach. Mark can be contacted via his web site www.ironmate.co.uk.

Master the Swim by Mark Kleanthous

There are many things you can do in a swimming pool to prepare yourself for open water swimming.

If you improve your technique you are more likely to swim in a straight line. Anyone planning on open water swimming should first practise straight line swimming in a pool.

Any imperfection of stroke technique, like pulling your arm across the body will send you off course every single stroke. Most swimmers benefit from a faster stroke rate when swimming in open water, just like mountain biking on a rough road. A quick but efficient stroke during open water swimming is essential because you need to be able to adjust your stroke to the conditions, if you’re unable to do this you’ll have a slow laboured stroke.

An average triathlete takes 1.2 seconds to cover 1.0 metre so every metre that is inefficient, you have wasted at least 2.4 seconds going wrong and correcting. During an open water swim triathlon if you deviate you will also bump into other swimmers who are going in a straight line, this will slow you and other swimmers down wasting even more time and energy.

1- Avoid drills that cause you to glide, as this should be avoided when open water swimming. Do not try and slow your stroke down during pool swimming in the belief that this will mimic wearing a wetsuit in open water. Swim with fingers open during the warm up and cool down and at any time you are getting fatigue and your arms are aching or you feel your stroke is slow and laboured.

2 – Swim with your head out of the water polo style during every other work out.  Aim to practise this for half of each length for at least 20% of the total distance of the water polo style segment. This is a very time efficient and demanding work out. If you plan to cover 2,000m in training then you need to incorporate a total of 400m, half length sprints then half lengths water polo emphasis. Recover for half the time taken and repeat. Many triathletes slow down to recover during a competition because they failed to practise this during pool swimming training.

3 – At least one session a week swimming in a pool should involve either treading water in the deep end or during the recovery. No standing in the pool or tumble turns or pushing off from each end. Start floating in a star fish shape away from the edge and make sure you u-turn at each end without touching the sides. During open water swimming you will be constantly swimming and there will be no ends to push off or places to stand up during a swim.

Mark Kleanthous has competed in more than 450 triathlons and has competed as an elite and recorded some of the fastest T1 & T2 transition times overall. Mark Kleanthous has competed in triathlons for 30 consecutive seasons and crossed the finish line in more than 450 triathlons including 35 ironman events. He is the author of The Complete Book of Triathlon Training and is a full time sports and nutrition coach. Mark can be contacted via his web site www.ironmate.co.uk

Triathon Tip: Running fast off the bike by Mark Kleanthous

Competing in triathlon takes specific training.

See listed 4 of my best tips for running fast off the bike:

1.  A back-to-back session is your best way to stimulate running fast and effortlessly straight after a cycle ride.
A threshold bike which should be very hard @ 95%+ and take 30-55 minutes on the same course each time to compare changes in fitness. Choose flat courses where you will not need to stop and keep your heart rate high all the time, on hilly courses your heart rate goes high then drops too low on the downhill’s for this type of session. Many people run faster after these sessions. By running very fast for 400 after the bike it should make the actual race pace seem a lot easier.

Ironmate suggests 2×400 2×600 1×800 2×600 2×500 2×400 = 5,800 m

Short recovery between each interval should only be 20-30 seconds so you only partially recover to simulate race conditions.

2. Pushing a slightly bigger in training also helps. The idea is when you run off the bike in a triathlon it is much easier. However, this should not be done at the end of a bike to run session during a race.

3. Cadence running also helps. What stops you running fast after the bike is length of stride so to overcome this increase your stride with a shorter cadence. Part of your drills should include shuffle cadence high leg turnover but short strides, it takes a while to get good at them, but not many people do them, just like one legged riding on the turbo to improve economy.

4. Refrain from drinking fluid the last 5 minutes of the bike. Another problem with not being able to run fast straight after the bike is drinking in the last 5 minutes of the bike or in the first few minutes of that run, this only puts more stress on your body resulting in you slowing down or taking a lot longer to get going. Another quick note: don’t drink unless you are thirsty in the final 10 minutes of the run because this fluid will not be absorbed until you have crossed the finish line and can slow you down.

Mark Kleanthous has competed in more than 450 triathlons and has competed as an elite and recorded some of the fastest T1 & T2 transition times overall. Mark Kleanthous has competed in triathlons for 30 consecutive seasons and crossed the finish line in more than 450 triathlons including 35 ironman events. He is the author of The Complete Book of Triathlon Training and is a full time sports and nutrition coach. Mark can be contacted via his web site www.ironmate.co.uk

5 Factors for Triathlon Fitness written by Mark Kleanthous

This article is sponsored by RecoFit. FREE SHIPPING through April 30, 2013- simply enter the word “health” upon ordering!  Want to perform better and recover faster? Get to know RecoFit Compression Gear! Their technical-fit and uniquely designed gear helps you get more oxygen to your muscles, reduce swelling and delay fatigue. RecoFit is the only compression gear that cuts their fabric in a cross-grain process; this means effective compression and no-slip positioning! Their breathable material disperses body heat and moisture, and has a negative ion charge to help oxygenate blood. As an American-made durable product, RecoFit’s specific manufacturing method allows users the exact amount of compression, exactly where they need it most. They offer 4 cost-effective products targeting legs, as well as arms. Founded by an athlete, tested on athletes, and made for everyone! Contact your compression experts directly at Recofit@gmail.com or via phone 303/415-0580. And be sure to join the RecoFit Facebook community at www.facebook.com/recofit and follow their Twitter feed via http://twitter.com/recofit. Discover the RecoFit difference for yourself!

 

5 Factors for Triathlon Fitness written by Mark Kleanthous
 

There are five main factors that contribute to fitness in triathlon – aerobic threshold endurance, nutrition, economy, strength and recovery – but your approach to them has to be balanced. Neglect one and your performance will suffer.
 

Aerobic threshold endurance

The use of intense aerobic-threshold training (which effectively, means training at your predicted triathlon pace) is perhaps the best way to get fit – the more you do the easier the training session gets and the faster you become. However, the problem is that we have a limited tolerance to it, and the result can be over-training. Therefore, not all your training should consist of intense, aerobic-threshold work-outs, also known as a ‘key work-outs’. Unfortunately, it is a common mistake to do too many of them with more than eight weeks to go before a triathlon.

Nutrition

In order to compete successfully in any triathlon event you must be able to load your body with all the fuel necessary to propel yourself across the required distance at the desired speed. But this factor isn’t only important when racing, because in order to complete your training successfully your body must be constantly carrying the correct amount of fuel. By that I mean the type of carbohydrate that can be accessed and fed to the muscles during training, as well as when racing.

Economy
 
Top triathletes all have one thing in common – they don’t waste energy doing things they don’t need to do. Having 10% extra energy is not good if you use up 15% more running compared to a fellow competitor. Economy of movement is something that can be learned early and needs to become automatic.

Strength

Strength is important in all sports. However, what is required in triathlon is sport-specific strength to the level required. For example, resistance training using hand paddles, cycling up hills and running off road is more specific than weight training.

Recovery

Full-time athletes are obviously more successful than those who work full time because they can dedicate more time to training, but another equally important reason is because they are able to take more recovery time. Most injuries and illnesses are caused more by the lack of consistent sleep, regular massages, healthy food, stretches and cool downs than anything else. These recovery essentials  not only help you recover from work-outs, but more importantly they allow you to tolerate a greater amount of training. Fitness is about being able to recover as you train; the quicker the recovery the greater the effect it has on fitness.

This article is written by Mark Kleanthous. Mark has competed in triathlons for 30 consecutive seasons and crossed the finish line in more than 450 triathlons including 35 ironman events. He is author of The Complete Book of Triathlon Training and is a full time sports and nutrition coach. Mark can be contacted via www.ironmate.co.uk

Come Chat with Us and Let’s Play!

When: Beginning MONDAY March 18, 2013.
What: Motivational Monday LIVE TWITTER CHAT; Summer Shape-Up!
Where: Twitter #HealthyWayMag
What time: 5pm(pacific)/ 8pm(eastern)

YES, YOU CAN! Yes, you can have fun and get in shape at the same time. Making your fitness fun means motivation sticks with you. When you’re motivated, every workout happens. This means exercise consistency is right on, and consistency is where results happen! Meet others who share your commitment to get in shape at Health Your Way Online.

Our Motivational-Monday Live Twitter Chat’s are every Monday 5pm(pacific)/ 8pm(eastern) beginning next Monday March 18th. Our focus is to offer you Summer-Time Shape Up tips, accountability, support and FUN! So, come play with us!

This 7-week Chat Series begins with co-host Jessica Matthews. Jessica is a health and fitness expert, @acefitness Exercise Physiologist, fitness blogger, yoga educator just to name a few. Follow her @fitexpertjess and get inspired to get fit by checking out her blog Fit for Life, http://community.weightwatchers.com/Blogs/UserBlog.aspx?blogid=1158298. Prepare to be motivated!

We are proud to introduce the Sponsors of our Motivational Monday Summer-time Shape-Up Chats. Check them out and learn how they can help you realize all your health and fitness goals this summer!

Today’s Miles.Wear your miles and go the distance! Check out their website, www.todaysmiles.com. They love running so much, they wear the number of miles they’re running on their shirts! Join them and get motivated. Be sure to follow them on Twitter as well, @TodaysMiles_com

Obstacle Course Racing Magazine.If you love obstacle racing then this magazine is a must-have for you! They are the worlds first Obstacle Racing Magazine. You’ll find News, Interviews, Race and Gear reviews, Training Tips and an Event Calendar. Get all the latest in #OCR news with www.obstacleracingmagazine.com. Find them on Twitter @ObstacleMagUSA.

Flip2BFit. Flip2BeFit simply put is your Fitness in a Box solution for incorporating fun and fitness into your daily life! Flip2BFit is more than just a board game, its fitness, nutrition, education and eye opening self-esteem building all realized through the spin of a wheel and the flip of a card! Order yours today for hours of family fun time. http://flip2bfit.com/ and check them out on Twitter @Flip2BFit.

ENERGYbits®. This high protein, low calorie snack gives unlimited energy as it is 100% organic spirulina algae. Spirulina contains as much gram for gram of calcium as milk, as well as containing 5 times more iron than spinach. Read more about the many health benefits here, http://www.energybits.com. Be sure to follow them on Twitter @ENERGYbits for more tips.
We are honored to announce that Brand Manager Jeff White will be joining us as Co-Host of this Chat!

ViewSPORT. Because they recognize the power of sweat and hard work, they focus on motivating athletes. When athletes and fitness lovers wear our apparel and sweat, hidden motivational messages appear. Check out their products at www.viewsport.us. Motion Revealed with Sweat Activated Technology (SAT.) Find them on Twitter @ViewSPORT.

LOCKLACES. Made for competition, Lock Laces are the only patented performance lacing system engineered to meet the demands of endurance athletes like runners, triathletes, and marathoners. Unlike other products, Lock Laces sustain simple compression across the top of the foot increasing the amount of oxygen available to the muscles to help manage fatigue. Take a look for yourself at www.locklaces.com. Follow them on Twitter @LOCKLACES .

Getting fit takes time, so why not have FUN while you’re doing it?

Triathlon Race-Day Tips

This article is sponsored by PRO Compression. At PRO Compression, foot comfort runs in our veins. We’re all about giving our customers an edge, providing you with socks that will enable you to perform better through improved blood circulation for the most extreme run, weekend jog or golf outing. Wear PRO Compression socks while flying to events, while sleeping, and during and after the races to help increase blood flow, reduce inflammation and remove lactic acid. Athletes tout PRO Compression as their socks of choice due to the built-in “stabilizing zone” for added support and the socks’ slightly padded heels and toes that eliminates hot spots and blisters. PRO Compression socks should play a major role in all athletes’ racing strategy. Our socks are the result of years of innovation and designed to keep you ahead of the competition. A better footwear choice is simply not available. For more information on PRO Compression socks and other compression products contact Eric Smith at: eric@procompression.com. Use discount code YOURWAY20 for 20% off any Marathon Compression Sock or Trainer Low Running sock at http://www.procompression.com/

Triathlon Race-Day Tips by Nicole Clancy

Miles are logged. Techniques perfected. Form practiced. Food and hydration dialed in. But what about planning the logistics of your race-day prep? There are lots of race-day details that can lead to either a chaotic day or a smooth stress-free day. Here are a few athlete tricks and tips to insure your race-day goes smoothly.

Race-day prep begins well before the gun goes off at your actual starting line:

Plan for an early evening. A few weeks before heading to your race location, Google restaurants in the area. Look up the menu online to make sure the meal selections meet your needs. Then go one step further and make reservations. Eat early to allow for proper digestion. You may be too nervous go to sleep early, but you can rest and relax. Watch a movie, chat with friends. Lounge guilt-free!

Gear-details. Writing your name in your wetsuit is a great trick. Let’s face it, transitions are hectic and for shorter distances your transition belongings may be accidentally shoved to another area or placed with another athlete’s belongings. Packing a few zip-ties may also prove helpful. These simple plastic-fasteners, found at every hardware store, may come in handy if your zipper breaks on your wetsuit, if your numbers need to be refastened to your bike or if your goggle-strap snaps, for example.

Be aware of the weather forecast. Know the temperature and wind conditions as both of these specifically can alter your bike, swim and run efforts. Do you need to pack arm or leg-warmers for the bike leg? Layers you’re able to peel away with one hand and easily store in your jersey while riding, is your best bet. There’s nothing worse than shivering your way through a race or overheating due to lack of planning.

Read (don’t skim) the athlete-instructions information. You’ll decrease stress by answering such questions as, location of athlete and spectator parking? What time does transition area close? Have there been course changes? Where is body marking located? Where is family reunion area located? Are they providing shuttle busses to the start? Leave these instructions with your spectators, so they have all the information in-hand to better assist you.

Set out your Sun Block and Anti-Chafing product. Placing these items on the bathroom counter to apply in the morning, before even leaving for the race venue is a great time-saver. Once these two important tasks are completed, there are two less actions to remember to do in the transition area.

Finally, race day is here! Here’s how to arrive to the starting line with less stress:

Stick with your tried-and-true breakfast. Following the principle of ‘nothing new on race day,’ eat exactly what you did during training. Call ahead to your lodging and ask what arrangements are available, keeping in mind the early morning race start time. A good rule is to always bring food with you from home, and don’t forget utensils!

Pack simply. Don’t overload your transition bag. Stick with your essential gear, and keep items easy to see and grab quickly. Keep in mind also, that your hands may be cold coming out of the swim and therefore dexterity to pick up some items may be compromised. Another trick is placing a colorful towel right below your bike to make your transition space visible as you may be disoriented from the swim. The towel also allows you to step immediately onto the towel to wipe dry the bottom of your feet without adding even an extra second to your transition. Keep transitions simple, simple, simple!

Bring an extra swim cap. Although race-wave colored caps are required, if the water is cold consider wearing your own cap beneath the race cap to increase core temperature.

Rack your bike in an easy gear. Racking your bike in an easy gear allows your legs a few critical minutes to spin easily when first out of the water. Doing so, increases blood flow to your leg muscles as you settle into your bike leg. Placing your helmet (with the strap unfastened) cradled in your aerobars or handlebars is a great tip and allows easy access to secure your helmet as your first action in the swim to bike transition. Hydration/fuel should already be mounted on your bike or in your gear bags.

Warm-up in the water, if possible. At a minimum splash water over your head and face to acclimate to the water temperature and conditions. A proper warm-up will allow you to relax into your swim faster, and hold your swim line easier for a more efficient swim and a faster time!

Thank a volunteer! They are there to help you enjoy a better race experience.

It’s time to toe the starting line. You are ready.