Now is the time of year that so many people are looking at their calendars and ironing out what their plans are for the next 3 months, 6 months or for some the next several years. Depending up what your goal is and what your level of experience is drastically determines the path that many will take. You don’t see too many people go out for their first run, ride or swim and say I am going to go for an Olympic gold in the next Olympic Games. This is one of those things that some spend multiple years if not a decade or more preparing for with the proper training, nutrition, lifestyle and focus to get to that point. Much like the Olympic Gold medalist we as weekend warriors or age group athletes need to be realistic with our goals. Some organizations have systems in place to help bring many individuals down to reality, however, there are some that are not set up that way and often end up leaving people ill prepared for an event that is way over their head. Ten to fifteen years ago I would have said that this was marathons with people getting injured with the distance or even the extreme circumstances of death because of their lack of preparation. Many people are still looking at Marathons as a “bucket list” item but there seems to be a large shift to triathlons due to the sheer number that have become available and the massive population of triathletes and the amount triathlon is publicized this seems to be the newest “bucket list” item. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think triathlons are an amazing thing for many people whether you are racing or participating it is a great motivation for many to become active. My bigger concern is the over glamorization of the event in the sense that you see a lot of the very inspirational moments on race day. From the winners crossing the line in record time, the masters competitors pushing their bodies to even the double below the knee amputee who finishes his first Ironman many are lead to sign up for the event. The thing that is not shown, much like the gold medalist, is the great deal of preparation done by all of these individuals and that they have worked long and hard to make it to where they are today. There have been countless hours put in staring at the bottom of a pool at 5:30 in the morning for a masters swim, endless hours dazing as they tap out time on the trainer and an endless number of shoes worn out pounding on the pavement. The most important thing though is the progression that so many of these individuals have made to get to this point. Many and hopefully most started modestly with a sprint triathlon, working to an Olympic distance and then maybe into a half IM to finally reach a full IM distance and then better yet, they did well enough to qualify for the most prestigious triathlon event of all, Kona. So, as you sit down to consider your event schedule for the year think about your progression of events and be realistic. If you have swam your whole life but never ridden a bike without training wheels or run to the end of the street don’t sign up for an Ironman this year or if you have been on walks with your dog a few times don’t sign up to do an Ultramarathon in the fall. Learn the skills of your sport(s) first and what it takes to get to the point you need to be at and then make that decision of your progression. Not only will it help to keep you grounded but more importantly it will help to make your event much more enjoyable and keep you wanting to come back for more.
Okay, so to often we as cyclists and triathletes are afraid to talk about one thing in particular when it comes to bike fit. What is that? It is what some like to refer to as numbness “down there.” Let’s be honest, whether you call it your soft tissue, genitalia, Johnson, Va jay jay or any other little pet name you have for your nether regions, it doesn’t matter! Your “down stairs” is an important fact about being on a bike as one of your main contact points with your machine and for most of us an important factor off the bike too! Now, let’s be logical about this before we just go Huffy tossing our valuable bikes. Start off with a proper bike fit performed by a knowledgeable and capable fitter. With that done and no relief in sight the next option is your saddle choice. There are so many choices it can often seem daunting, and RIDICULOUSLY expensive if you don’t find the right saddle on the first go around, but the biggest thing to keep in mind is that there are two things worth the money. Your helmet to protect your head and your saddle for your “down stairs.” You can’t repair or replace those two things if they are broken! Keep in mind there are several fit systems that are out there designed to help you find an
optimal fitting saddle more quickly and effectively which include, but are not limited to, Bontrager, Fi’zi:k & Specialized. The main factors in saddle fit include the Width, and the curvature of the top of the saddle and some are designed specifically for certain positions. Many of the great saddle companies are now using a very scientific design to their saddles and use such things are pressure sensors to better measure the displacement of a rider’s weight on the saddle. You can thank these researchers, doctors and bike geeks for all of their hard work because you no longer have to deal with discomfort, pain or numbness.So, I recently got a new Time Trial bike and had a four hour ride. Up to hour 2 I thought, “This saddle SUCKS!” and “Oh my god!” Well after 3 hours I thought, “Maybe I’m getting accustomed to this saddle.” I was very wrong! I got off the bike and from then on could not feel my nether regions. For hours this continued and since this is the first time that I have ever had this happen I knew that I had to discuss this here. Since so many are either embarrassed or afraid to bring it up what better forum than to those of you who read this blog. For those of you that come across this scenario every weekend, or even every ride, I do not know how or why you even continue to ride a bike! So… know this: You do not need to live with this pain nor should you.
So, once you find that dream saddle what do you do? First of all you enjoy riding your bike and being able to have the wonderful sensation of feeling after a ride. Then the next step is to buy a couple more of those saddles. It might seem crazy but saddles have a lifespan to them! The materials break down and lose their original form and can potentially lose their comfort. Much like shoes, cars and so many other things they are constantly trying to improve (sell more) items and this newest “improvement” might not be one for your body so save the headache of searching for a new one and stock up!
On Thursday, December 8th Science of Speed opened it’s doors for our Grand Opening party! The support and turnout of the community was outstanding and we hope to have the opportunity to work with each and every cyclist, triathlete, runner and motocross racer in some form or fashion to help you all reach your peak performance capabilities.
Our Tallahassee Facility offers many great options for all athletes. Our world class equipment gives every athlete the opportunity to test just like the professionals do. The Retül system offers unparalleled levels of accuracy to your bike fit and the same system utilized by the Olympic Training Centers, N.A.S.A. and a great number of well respected research Universities is brought into our arsenal of equipment to provide you precise and accurate VO² Max testing, for the run and on the bike, that many other public facilities simply can not provide.
Like so many other triathlete’s out there, http://www.usatriathlon.org/news/blogs/collegiate-recruit-blog/020812-justin-intro.aspx
This December we will celebrate 3 years of cycling and triathlon coaching in Tallahassee, Florida. We have had many great successes from creating a name as “The best bike fit around” FREE 30 minute consultation Basic Coaching
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
Year after year, person after person we see many athletes do the exact same thing. They log their base miles, begin their steady intensity, join in on the exact same group rides and then slowly build up to an event. Some athletes participate in the exact same event which may be a century, a bike race or some thing as grandiose as an Ironman triathlon. With the thought of the same course or same type of intensity we know of some athletes who even utilize the exact same training plan year, after year, after year, after… well, you get the point!
In 2016 we want you to challenge your status quo, we want you to test your limits and we want you to reach new goals. Over the years we have found a rhythm with our coaching and that rhythm is much like our athletes physical abilities, our approaches to increasing performance and fitness must change. The workouts might be similar in philosophy and name but the timing, frequency and quantity are always modified to help each athlete reach their peak performance when best possible.
So, have you just come off of your base training? Are you looking at an early season event where you hope to perform well? What are you doing now to guarantee the best results for that event? We hope it isn’t the same thing that you did last year!
You might be a triathlete, a cyclist, a runner or a general fitness enthusiast looking to shed a few pounds but we challenge you to break that Insantiy loop and mix your early season training up with one of these workouts:
RUN: THRESHOLD LADDER
Warm up: 5 minutes (rpe:5/10) 4×7:30 Run Ladder w/5min RBI: 2min Steady State Run (rpe: 7/10), 2min Tempo Run (rpe: 8/10), 30sec Fartlek Run (rpe: 9/10), 1min Tempo Run (rpe: 8/10), 2min Steady State Run (rpe: 7/10) Cool down: 10min (rpe:5/10)
BIKE: VO2 INTERVALS
Warm up: 10-15 minutes at Endurance pace(rpe:5/10) with several 30 second Threshold Intervals (rpe:8/10)
Intervals: 8x2minute VO2 intervals (rpe:10/10) w/2min RBI
- Be sure that these are a maximal effort from the very start. Your legs might fatigue but that is no reason to decrease the intensity.
Cool down: 5-10 minutes
- Take ample time to allow for core temperature to decrease.