Running to Tri

Alden_Tris's picture
Saturday, April 30, 2016 - 12:45

With the first major set of training and racing behind me, it's a good chance to recap the early year. This year, I started training off with a distinct run focus. I had a goal of setting a new PR in the half-marathon distance while building towards the Boston Marathon. During Boston, my goals were simple and straightforward: sub-2:50, learn something from the race, have fun, and recover to be ready for tri season. 

Dr. Todd has been keeping my body fit and ready for all the work Coach Earl (Tailwind Endurance) had me doing. We ramped up the run mileage while getting in some quality swims and rides. Some people might be against an early season marathon and what it can or can't do for training. This provided me with an early season set of goals and focus so that I could constantly work towards achieving something. Being in the NE, there are not many options for early season triathlons so running races make sense. It's now 2 weeks on from Boston and I can say that my body is ready to go and I'm geared up for triathlon season. Post Boston, my quads were shot, knees were a bit achy, and calves were beaten up. During the initial recovery days, two things really jump started my recovery. First, I swam on Wednesday, two days after Boston. After the swim, I realized how great it was to be able to cross train. The floating around, stretching, and no impact exercise loosened up my body. I got out of the pool and could walk down the steps without having to turn around. I could bend over and actually stretch my legs without my back hurting. All of this from just the one swim. 

Cross training is so important. As triathletes, we have the ability to exercise in multiple ways. In addition, strength training is critical to the body's ability to absorb workouts and recover from them. I have been able to get out for a few runs and steadily feel my legs coming back. The first one was tough but I made it through and immediately went to the roller. 

The second part that helped the recovery was the visit with Dr. Todd coupled with all the roller work. It takes 5 minutes to roll around and the impact is huge. This helped break down some of the lactic acid and loosen up the muscles. Dr. Todd helped with movement issues and general tightness in my legs and lower back. The power and flexibility came back and I feel pretty close to normal now. 

Running to triathlon season gave me a great run base for the start of the season. I have some work to do to develop the bike power I'd like to have. But, my season goals are later in the year and I have plenty of time to get there. For now, it's time to focus on bike strength and maintaining the run capabilities coming off the bike. The first test and gauge of tri fitness will come in about 3 weeks at JerseyMan. I'm looking forward to getting the new bike out and racing the Ventum One as well as seeing where my early season fitness is. The run build has been great and broke up what could otherwise be a long stretch of training by giving me an opportunity to focus on near term goals while developing the long term strategy for the season. Now it's time to get going!

Race Weekend

Alden_Tris's picture
Friday, April 15, 2016 - 19:15

Wrapping up a solid week of recovery and heading into race weekend, this is a good time to review the run build to the season. My goals for the early part of 2016 were to build the run fitness, try to set a new half-marathon best, and come to Boston ready to enjoy the race. While it might seem a bit odd, the Boston Marathon is not a primary goal of the season. The goal surrounding this race is to throw in a demanding run and then focus on recovery to get to the tri season in the best shape possible. 

Together with Dr. Todd, we've been working on stabilizing my core, strengthening the hip flexors, and helping the body deal with the different strains of training. As a teacher, I enjoy a spring break just like my students. This was prime time for an uptick in training and intensity. As a result, Dr. Todd and I saw a bit more of each other recently and really worked out the kinks. This week has been both a mental and physical recovery week. We worked on the hip flexors, paid attention to a tendonitis issue in my left foot, and loosened up my back. I went for a pre-race tempo run today and floated along for 3 miles at 6:15 pace. It was a great feeling. 

Races present all types of possibilities and opportunities. Boston has a clear place in the season for me and is a launching pad for the rest of the year. I'm looking forward to the race, spending some time outside cruising the streets of the greater Boston area, and especially the NormaTec boots on Wednesday morning. Thanks for all the race week work, Dr. Todd! See you on the other side. 

The Roller Is Not Just for Post-Workout Recovery

Alden_Tris's picture
Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 20:45

Rollers can be great to help work out kinks during training. An achy muscle, tight back, or sore ligament can definitely be addressed through some targeted rolling. But, that's not it. I've come to find that the roller can actually help pre-workout as well. Rather than spending time on a slow warm-up, I've started to roll out my legs before rides and runs and it's been a huge help. I can start my workouts with clear legs and a focus in the body to be more effecient and effective. 

Several years ago, I wrecked on my bike and banged up my shoulder. It still causes me some problems. Dr. Todd listened to this, watched my movement, and gave some pointers on using the roller to stretch out the shoulder area and break up the scar tissue. This is particularly important based on the swimming stress put on the shoulder as well as the core development we're focusing on during the off-season. By pairing the roller both before and after workouts, I'm looser, a bit more flexible, and more effectively ready to go for workouts. It's been great to utilize a training tool in a more productive manner and add to recovery. 

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