Saturday, September 24, 2016

Kona Diaries – Day #3 (14 days till the big day)

After one monster day yesterday, today was time recover and rest up. I slept in until 6:30am this time without waking up. 8+ hours of sleep is ALWAYS good and I may finally be on island time!

With banana in hand (That’s what happens when you get like 20 bananas for $2), I headed to the pool again. I certainly have love/hate relationship with swimming, but there is just something about swimming here in Hawaii. Even though I felt like I was swimming through mud for majority of the swim, I was still so happy to be swimming (and working on my tan lines).  

The pool was also a bit more crowded with a few super swimmers quickly demoting me to the turtle status 

But no worries - there are always paddles and buoy to assist in keeping up with fishes! 

Few pool PRO sightings this morning included Leanda Cave, Heather & Travel Wurtele along with their coach Paolo Sousa on deck. No big deal, it's a very similar crowd I am used to swimming with at my YMCA (bahahahaha) 

2500 yards later, it was time for breakfast on the patio. Did I say how much I love the place we are in this year? 

I am a creature of habit so my breakfast today was essentially identical to yesterday’s minus the papaya. I saved papaya for snack this time.

I have also upgraded my water bottle - staying hydrated here is a mission of its own!

Post breakfast I got some work done, took a 30 min nap while in my recovery boots, and followed that up with a snack before heading out for a quick 1 hour recovery ride.

Best napping spot! 

Papaya time - nom, nom 

Today was a bit overcast, but it sure was hazy and humid! Even after training in super hot/humid conditions all summer back in Boston, Kona heat & humidity is just like no other.

Even the coach ventured out on the Queen K today :)


The Queen K was super busy especially when heading back into town! 

It was fun flying by all the cars even when just recovery spinning. You can see the "energy lab" where dreams are either made or crushed far on the left

Until "this" was blocking the shoulder! Apparently they have duck tours in Kona, who knew? Although this one wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. 

And the spin ended where it will all begin in just 14 short days.

Hello Dig Me beach. This too will long very different in a few days as more and more athletes keep coming in. That seawall to your left is crowded with people on race morning and to get a spot on the wall as a spectator you gotta be pretty dedicated and early to claim it! 


The calm before the storm. What a magical place. 

And this is the T1 where thousand of bikes will be racked the day before the race. 

It sure looks nothing like what we are used to seeing with a few thousand bikes there instead!

After riding, it was lunch time! It was a bit of a late lunch and I couldn’t even wait to shower.

Turkey/ham, bread & butter (my favorite) pickles sandwich, and a whoooole bunch of chips and carrotts with hummus (not pictured). I did have a lot more chips than what you see too but you get the idea - more carbs and protein - gotta feed the beast :) 

Then it was time run a few more errands – Hello Wal-Mart! After Costco, that’s your next bet – it’s a super Wal-Mart and it’s “super”cheap in comparison to most other places here on the Island. I think we are finally done with running errands for the next 2+ weeks.

Post errands, it was time for recovery boots again! My legs are really feeling the big day yesterday so the more love I can give them the better.

Dinner followed shortly after and the bed was calling my name.

 BIIIIIIG bowl of salad with cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes topped with lots of protein and fat - leftover steak tips from yesterday plus chicken and almonds, cashews, cranberries and feta cheese 

"Aaaaaah Fudge Nuts"

I was really craving dessert so one of my favorites to the rescue! It's essentially just like a brownie. 

I washed that down with a protein "shot" and it was of to bed. 2 weeks to go but who is counting? ;) 



Friday, September 23, 2016

Kona Diaries - Day #2 (15 days till the big day)

With a BIG day on tap, I was excited to make it past the dreaded 3am wake up. I made it to 5:30am and to your surprise woke up hungry! My body was looking for that lunch again. I resisted the urge to stuff my face with another delicious breakfast, and headed off to the pool for a shakeout swim – is there such a thing?  (I did eat a banana to hold me over).

 Welcome to the Kona Aquatics Center where one can swim outdoors & FREE of charge! 

You won't see this often as this place turns will turn into a "zoo" of triathletes in a few days

 They even have a pool for kids 5 and under. Sometimes I feel like that's where I belong! Am I the only one? 

 
But NOT today. Today was a great day and I felt absolutely awesome! Of course the swim was super short (1500y). Go figure! Today I had a bigger fish to fry though. 

Post swim, it was time to re-fuel and fuel up for the big session of the day! 90 min ride, followed by a 20 mile run! My last long run pre-race. Woof!

It wasn't breakfast with a stunning view, but it was one awesome breakfast if I say so myself. I love a GOOD breakfast with lots of carbs AND protein! This sure hit the spot.
2/3 of a cup of oatmeal (I like Old Fashion Oats) with dark chocolate chips on top (once they melt - watch out), banana and local Hawaiian granola. Side of 2 eggs and black forest ham, and half of a local papaya! 

With such a long and hard session coming up, I have also added Beet Juice. My secret (or not so secret) to success. I don't drink beet juice every day, but I do before every hard or long session and I do follow a beet juice loading protocol pre all my races. 

The Beet Boost - beet juice in a powder form and perfect to travel with! I like to mix mine with apple juice because I am not a huge fan of pure beet juice taste. 

Little downtime to catch up on work, and couple hours later I was off for my 90 min ride. I rode a bit later in the day so that I could start my run roughly around the same time I am hoping to be getting off the bike on race day and test the body in the “heat” of the day.

It was definitely much warmer today than yesterday. Bright blue sunny skies and definitely no overcast which was the case yesterday. Proof that you really just never know just what exactly race day will bring – well besides some sort of heat, wind and humidity.

My ride was also right on the course and I just rode 45 min out and 45 min back. The point of this ride was to induce some fatigue in the legs before starting the run. Legs were feeling good and strong – just how I like it but since this was just an appetizer for what was to come I was keeping my effort in “czech”, and the power right around the lower end of my Ironman pace. I even stopped at the turn around point and took a few pictures (Those of you that know me know that I don't usually do that) 

It was windy, but not super crazy windy. It was definitely much more windy past the airport, which is how it usually works. 

My 1st course tip and words of advice: 

If you are new to the Island, and have the chance to ride the course but maybe don’t have time to do a long ride because by the time you arrive you are in full taper mode, drive closer to the airport (you can park at the Kona Mountain Coffee place) and ride from there.  That way you can experience the unpredictable winds that Madame Pele serves up daily. Plus they have not only great coffee, but also bathrooms. I say score ;)

But back to my ride.

I am not sure where exactly I turned around but I didn’t see any goats! Just Mr. Flash without his dancing shoes (race wheels will be going on shortly)

My 2nd course tip and words of advice: 

You can always see just how bad the wind is as well as its direction by watching the little bushes and the direction they are being blown. BUT don’t get too mesmerized and keep an eye on the road at the same time!

Czech out the bushes. If you are heading left to right, you are in business! If not, prepare for a stiff headwind! This also means that 45 min out, doesn't always equal 45 minutes back! 

Also trying to cross the Queen K is like playing Russian roulette! Be careful! Watch out for the rumble strip and turtles in the middle of the road (no - NOT the animals bur rather reflectors)

Today was a fast day on the bike, and 90 min and almost 34 miles later it was time to run.

VERY Interesting fact: 

Not to get too side tracked but I also met one of the bike course draft marshals today while out riding. As I was starting my ride him and his friend pulled up next to me in their truck and wanted to know if I was a pro. Once I said "no" they pulled away, but I caught up with them at the next set of lights, and they wanted to know what AG I was in. I told them and we went our separate ways (I can’t quite keep up with cars climbing up Palani) only for me to see them parked on the side of Queen K waiting for me. Doug the draft marshal was waiting outside of his truck with PowerBar gels and really insisted on giving them to me. I appreciated the nice gesture and asked him to catch all the cheaters come race day only to find out that the entire 112 mile course is covered by only 12 draft marshals – WHAT? And yes that includes pro’s and amateurs! 12 draft marshals for a World Championship race – I can only imagine how many less there are for any other – WOW! I hope I see Doug on race day but I bet my chances are very slim! I guess I am not shocked, but I would really like to think that this number should be way higher.

But anyways, back to the KEY session of the day.

I started my run right an Alii Drive at about mile 1.5 of the actual course. I ran another 1.5 miles toward the turn around on Alii Drive and then turned back a few miles before the actual U-turn on race day so that I could get in the “fun” miles of the course on the Queen K and the Energy (energy sucking) lab.

I was also very lucky to have coach Jorge with me on the bike the entire time so that I could practice my fueling and didn’t have to carry a suitcase of water bottles with me. He also had Coke! Can you say jet-fuel? I do run my Ironman marathons solely on PowerBar gels, Coke and Water. Gatorade just doesn’t sit well in my tummy.

Alii Drive cruisin' 

I was cruising and kept the pace super consistent even though I knew I was definitely getting hot, hot, hot. Jorge had coke but he didn’t have ice (I need to some research so I can make him carry a portable ice machine – I wonder if something like that actually exists) so cooling off wasn’t easy. Once up on the Queen K is usually when it gets real and it did just that! 

I guess I just didn’t realize just how uphill the first part of the run on the Queen K is. Sure there is the famous Palani climb but after that – the road just keeps going up and up and up. Nothing steep, but just long and gradual. I am talking maybe miles 11 through 17 on race day. Somehow riding that section from top of Palani to the Energy Lab on my bike doesn’t seem that hilly but on foot is different. You would think I would know this after having done this race 3x already, but I guess I am somewhat oblivious at that point in a race to really remember. I will remember now. 

Look look, I have both feet of the ground ;) 

Momentarily taking a break from the Queen K, I hit the energy lab around mile 10.5 – come race day it comes at mile 17, and I went 1.5 miles in and then back out. It sure lived up to its name today. Going in it was nice and windy and I felt great only to turn around and have ALL the wind & air disappear completely! How is that possible? ha

Thankfully I have no photos of me from the energy lab, because Jorge wasn't allowed. You are not allowed into the energy lab on a bike (only by foot or in a car) so he had to wait for me at the entrance. I really wanted to steal his bike when I got back out and trade places! No such luck.

Time to bring it home – it should be all downhill right? Errrrr – somehow you always tend to feel the gradual climbing rather than descending. I really wasn’t feeling so hot anymore mostly because even though I drank and drank and drank, I was definitely overheated and probably dehydrated (I am a sweat machine), and I had a splitting headache. My legs were feeling fairly strong, but that headache was awful. I somehow willed my way back home using every trick I could, and although I let the pace slip a little bit it that  really wasn't much considering how I felt. Even my damn feet were cramping which really didn’t make my favorite descend (Palani Rd.) enjoyable at all! Thankfully with about a mile left Jorge showed up with cooooooold water and I was able to really cool of so I could bring it home strong (er). 

In the end – I call this “heat acclimatization” by fire! I probably should have waited couple more days for this workout BUT that would be too close to race day so it was what it was. I now know literally every inch of that run course and will use that to my advantage come race day!

As soon as I got home, I downed one of these bad boys to jump start recovery.

Just 8ish oz of milk (I use coconut milk) with 20g of whey protein (chocolate flavored of course). You can also make an actual smoothie but this is FAST and perfect if you will eat a regular meal soon thereafter. 

I had yummy dinner not too long after! Unfortunately I was too hungry and ate it all before I thought about taking a photo but it was again a great balanced dinner consisting of steak tips on the grill marinated in a Hawaiian teriyaki sauce (YUM!), with a side of potatoes (lots of potatoes – I am Czech afterall and we do love us some potatoes), and asparagus!

I also had an apple, and one of these super good Protein Plus Coconut Macadamia balls for post dinner snack, and banana and another protein shake right before bed. I really find it not only jump starts recovery when consumed within that post training 20 min window, but it also facilitates overnight recovery and prevents the middle of the night munchies.


And there you have it. With such a big training day behind me, I hope to get even more sleep and get another few steps closer to Island time! I wonder what Day 3 will bring :) 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Kona Diaries - Day #1 (16 days till the big day)

Since my last race – Timberman 70.3 back on August 26th, it’s been all eyes on Kona! There is always an eye on Kona, but with 6 weeks to go, it’s ALL EYES on Kona! When the going gets tough, and the fatigue sets in, I go back to “Moments”; THE moments, MY moments & MY experiences that I have been privileged to have on the big island the last 3 years I raced here.  The tough times, but also THE positive breakthroughs through ALL my training AND racing!

I like to reflect & visualize 

It isn’t always easy, and although I feel extremely privileged to have this opportunity for 4th time, there are days when the couch or my bed sound sooo much better than swim, bike or run.

Since for the first time, I have the job flexibility that allows me to work remotely, I have been lucky enough to come to Kona early – YES, I am already here, which means my last big block of training will happen right here, on the race course. So instead flooding social media with pics and posts every 5 minutes, I thought it would be interesting to give you a daily insight into my training with just 16 sleeps before the big day!

Day 0: 

I arrived in Kona late Tuesday (9/20) night. My journey began on Tuesday morning 3am Kona time. Few flights later - Boston – Atlanta – Los Angeles – Kona, I arrived on my favorite island almost 24 hours later.  Being stuck in the middle seat on an airplane for the last 6 hours meant no shut eye, and I was ready for bed!  At least I had my snacks although it was a close call.

The almost confiscated "snacks" by Boston homeland security (few turkey/cheese & pb/j sandwiches missing from the photo). Apparently I had too many? 

My bags arrived safely. Renting a car was a very pleasant and speedy experience which isn't always the case here on the Island. People are nothing but always pleasant here always, but they do take their time.  Island time is island time and I love that except after I have been sleepless for far too long. 

Trying to jam my way too heavy of a suitcase and bike bag along with couple carryons into that car however was the exact opposite. I guess I need to hit the weights a bit harder next year ;) Very dark drive while half asleep later (there really aren’t many street lights here in Kona), I was “home”!

Day 1: Wednesday – September 21st (16 days until the big day)

First full day on the Island. I really didn’t need an alarm clock because I woke up literally every single hour on the hour, and finally got out of bed around 6am because I was absolutely starving. My body was ready for lunch – I mean breakfast! Jet leg is real, and I am glad it wasn’t more than a mere 6 hour time difference. 

First stop – Breakfast at Lava Java. Getting here before most athletes hit the town, meant the best table in the house!

Breakfast with a view and absolutely no wait! 

Next up - bike building with a quick stop do Bike Works (If you have any bike needs while here on the Island those guys will probably have what you need! That store is awesome and very conveniently located!)

My Quintana Roo PR6 is easy to put together but it's always nice to have help! 

Then it was nap time! Jet lag is real ;) 

I love my "Elevated Legs" recovery boots so much I brought them with me :) 

45 min later, I went for an easy 1 hour shake out ride on the Queen K! It felt good to be re-united again although I am sad to report I have yet to see any “Ironman in Training” signs (I guess I’ll have to wait for those for one more week?)

Kona isn't all about the lava rock! 

 Quick shower (or maybe not), I headed down to get my first (of many) Acai Bowls at Basik Acai right on Alii’ Drive followed by lunch or dinner (my body still has no idea what time it is) at another island favorite – Da Poke Shack (also located on Alii Drive).  

 These Acai bowls are the bomb! 

I waited a year for this! Da Poke Shack - YUM! 

I also had a shakeout run on the schedule, but with still feeling a bit off and with a BIG day of training coming up tomorrow, I decided to get all the errands out of the way instead, so as of tomorrow I wouldn't have to worry about much else but training, relaxing and of course doing some work.

With that said, with full bellies, we headed to Costco! The way to do food shoping here on the Island if you have the privilege of making your own food! Prices are much more reasonable and even Costco here carries local food!

For anything that’s not suitable buying in bulk, we headed to Safeway, which is now open 24 hours AND has chickens in the parking lot! Chickens that climb trees apparently!

Can you find the chicken? 

Food shopping madness at Costco and Safeway was followed by accidentally running into a stunning sunset! This will never ever get old. This is one way to snap me back into Aloha time!

Sunset over the swim course

 I just can't get enough 

And the sun is gone 

Before I knew, I was just trying to force myself to stay awake past 8pm! I made it to 10 before it was lights out. Hopefully that will mean I won’t be up at 3am tomorrow because I have a big day (of training) on tap! 



What did I take out of my last race before the big dance?

Since the biggest race of my season is quickly approaching, it's time to get that one last race report I did a few weeks ago (Has it really been a month already?) 

Back in August, I raced one last time before buckling down and putting my head down for the final Kona training block. It was somewhat local (no bike dismantling or flying required) Ironman 70.3 Timberman. Timberman and me go way back! 

 I raced and peed on a borrowed tri bike

 Something was apparently falling from the sky 

And I was sooooo excited to make my very first Ironman 70.3 podium (I was 5th)

This year was my 4th time doing this race, and you can say I was very much looking forward to unleashing the beast and finally having a strong race from the beginning to end. As always I wanted to win, and for the first time since 2013, I wanted to earn my spot back to the 70.3 World Championships this time in Chattanooga, Tennessee!

Why? Because having a women’s only race one day, and men’s race the next day sounds like a great time, and I am really hoping it will for a change make for a clean race!

But back to Timberman. The lead up itself has been a bit rough. I had some great sessions, but also plenty of “holy shit did I forget how to swim, push watts on the bike, or run” sessions.  Although I did feel the best running, my overall confidence was a bit shaken, but I also knew deep down, that I was ready. My pre-race routine is just that – a routine, and I know it with my eyes closed.

"Flash" ready to be dropped of for the night

It was a beautiful day on Lake Winny and we really couldn’t ask for much better. It was warm, but it wasn’t sweltering hot and humid like it’s been for majority of the summer (perfect Kona prep) or like it’s been in the years past for this race.  

The Swim: 33:30

One of the highlights of the day! Course PR, but most importantly I felt awesome the entire 1.2 miles. I was in control. Sure – I would have loved to be faster (that will never stop), but I have genuinely never felt happier about coming out of the water feeling like I did – fresh, and so happy that I finally executed a strong swim from start to finish. There was absolutely zero breast stroking (sadly I can’t say that about any of my other races (I tend to resort to breastroke when I really feel like I am getting of course- it’s just easier to straighten out and really see what’s up), I drafted feet, I caught feet, and I stayed with those feet the entire 1.2 miles. I swam around people from slower waves all while staying on course and perhaps maybe even swimming a bit too easy, but I was SO happy! After a few pre-race struggles in the pool, this was big for me.

T1: 2:23

I bypassed the wetsuit strippers, only to proceed to get the wetsuit stuck on my timing chip – oops! I didn’t quite fall over, but it was close.

At least there were no mishaps getting on the bike! Let's do this! 

The Bike: 2:28:50 

It’s been a while since my cycling legs came out to play, so I was really hoping they were going to show up! Having done this race in the past, and having ridden this very course in training many times, I knew exactly what I was in for. Bonus was the freshly repaved roads making this course almost pothole less for entire 56 miles. 

One of those NEW smooth as butter roads 

Just like I felt great on the swim, I felt very strong on the bike. Thank God because I almost forgot what that felt like.I was able to stick to my power targets or even higher, and I just felt really good! I reached the turnaround point and was able to increase my power even more. It was effortless. I spent the entire time yelling on your left, and that never stopped for 56 miles! (Side note: I honestly believe Ironman is overselling races, and I wish they just drew a “safer” line somewhere). The course was extremely crowded and I witnessed many athletes riding very reckless. Every downhill, every aid station, every traffic light and intersection was coned off, creating very narrow path for us athletes – you know the athletes to the right, cars to the left deal. It honestly made me feel less safe even though I am sure the purpose is otherwise and the intentions are great. Flying downhill at 40+mph while passing athletes from previous waves going much slower to all of a sudden having to squeeze into a narrow coned of section is just crazy! I watched some athletes try to weave their way in and out of the cones, some just missing cars, or some just being forced to ride their brakes and stay behind the significantly slower riders. The coned of aid station deal was even worse. People completely stopping to pick up bottles leaving those that didn’t even need to re-fuel to again navigate a very unpredictable behavior of other riders while being to again force to slow down for no reason. And we won’t even talk about the turns, it was a mess.This for me is a race and being forced to use brakes because other athletes don’t know how to take a turn or move over and ride to the right instead of left is very frustrating. (Rant over)

I kept working hard, and watched my power going up and up and up while still feeling awesome. It was around mile 40ish when I noticed that my bike was making an odd noise. It would come and go and so I just pedaled on. Once I hit the climbs in the last 10 miles of the race it became very apparent my rear brake was rubbing – now what! I had no tools to fix it and so I just rode on. The slower I went the more I felt it, so I just tried to go as fast as I could! Maybe that’s why my watts kept going up, but in the end my speed apparently not so much! (My wheel somehow became untrue during the ride - go figure) 

I rolled into T2 feeling like a million bucks! I had just hit my (in mind a bit too aggressive) power target, and I felt even better than my usual self for the entirety of the ride, yet I was very disappointed with my time! Sure – it was the fastest female amateur bike split, but it was so much slower than I had anticipated (like 4+ minutes slower), and then what I have ridden on this course before. Somehow that didn’t bother me until a bit later. I was really happy with my effort and my power! 

T2: 1:48

I was so happy about the power numbers I just effortlessly put out and how good my legs felt that I actually ran past my bike rack in transition – dumbass! Thankfully I realized it quickly, and didn’t lose too much time trying to find my running shoes!

The Run: 1:3828

Woof! Big big disappointment yet encouragement at the same time. How can that be?  I started running and felt great! Sure it was sunny and warm, but my legs were on point! I was holding back a bit the first few miles, as I just do better that way, and was going unleash the strong running legs I have been feeling in training after the first couple of miles. Except I never did.

I knew I was running in 3rd, and had plenty of time to catch the usually fast running Team Coeur badass Amy as well as whoever was in 2nd, but mentally I wasn’t ready to go to that place. I have no idea why, it’s not like I didn’t have carrots to catch. I had essentially settled into my Ironman pace – the very same pace I have been doing for majority of my long training runs. In the end my pace was very consistent for 13.1 and I could have kept going but this wasn’t an ironman, this was a 70.3! Duh!
   
 A little too late to try to pick up the pace! 

So yes – I was disappointed because I just ran slower in a race than I have been doing in training, yet I am encouraged my running legs are and will be where they need to be to finally post a kick ass Ironman run in Kona.

Final Time: 4:44:59 (3rd AG)

One of my training partner in crimes who pushed me all season this year! Only couple more weeks till he crushes IM Louisville! Goooo Bash! 

3rd this time but the maple syrup trophies have shrunk and Timberman no longer has a stage for us to get on. 

In the end, looking at my overall time and placement spells a big disappointment, but when actually re-playing the race in my head and analyzing the data along with how I felt, Timberman 70.3 had given me a great dose of confidence for what is to come.

"The strongest people aren't always the people that win, but the people who don't give up when they lose!"

I failed to win, but I achieved my goal of claiming my spot for 70.3 Worlds next year, and I am excited to see and race in the home town of one of my sponsors – Quintana Roo! As always, thank you to all my sponsors/supporters as well as the amazing on course support by all my teammates, friends, and coaches! Only few more weeks till THE big one! 




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Post-Season has arrived – now what!


For a lot of athletes on the east coast, the triathlon season has or is coming to an end, and many are left wondering what to do with their all of a sudden free time that was once spent training!

We at E3 use block periodization to your training, which means that your training program is divided into phases & blocks so that we can set specific fitness targets, address limitations (i.e. muscle imbalances) and set your goals.

In short, your season is divided into 4 different phases highlighted below, so that we can maximize your time availability for optimal fitness gains and help you become the best version of yourself come race day! In this blog, let’s focus on “Post-Season” & “General” phases of the training plan as those are the two phases that most of you find yourselves in now that your 2016 season has ended.

PHASES:

Phase
Description
Post-Season
Period for body/mental re-composition & rejuvenation followed by specific targeting of weakness, addressing skills and functional imbalances.
General
Period for Training catered at addressing athletes limiters and start the buildup for the next period.
Specific
Period for Specific Training for the main events demands.
Competition
Training during racing season & between competitions.

Both, The Post-Season and General phases are then further divided into training blocks with each block again having its own focus.

BLOCKS:


Block
Description

Post-Season
Break
Block of complete rest for body/mental re-composition post-racing season
Foundation
Block focused to prepare the body for the load/work ahead and start addressing mobility/stability limiters

General
Preparation
Block focused to develop skills/technique and start addressing limiters (sport specific, mobility/stability)
Progression
Block to develop important non-specific fitness & start building up adaptations  for specific phase (Your A race)

How long each of these phases lasts depends on you, the length of your season, your health as well as your future goals but could be anywhere around 6-8 weeks for Post-Season, and as many as 12-16 weeks for your General Preparation Phase assuming that we are working with you on a 12 month basis. The length of these phases/blocks is of course adjustable based on your needs, goals and limitations but a 12 month approach would be ideal.

So what does that really mean?

  1. This is the time to sit down with your coach and take a look back at your racing season – what worked & what didn’t. Being objective and honest with yourself is key here as it will only help with the next step! Planning for 2017! 

  2. It is time to decompress both physically AND mentally. Time to rest the body, but also the mind!  I know losing what feels like ALL the very hard earned fitness is a scary proposition (I have been there), but believe me – it is absolutely necessary if you want to come back stronger/faster, mentally refreshed and hungry for more swim/bike/run fun!


    This doesn’t exactly mean just planting yourself on the couch for couple months, but it means to take a break from structured swim/bike/run and have fun doing some of the things you didn’t have time to enjoy during the season (maybe you like to hike, play soccer/basketball, go explore on your road bike without any distance, time or power numbers to hit, take walks on the beach – you get the point). Most importantly whatever you do, remember we do this for FUN so you should find it invigorating and mentally refreshing! This is your “Post-Season” phase and your “Break”. 

  3. Perhaps you ended the season while pushing through a developing shoulder or foot injury yet you kept swimming, and running through it.  Now is the time to NOT swim or run but instead get yourself sorted out before getting back at it. That easy swim or easy jog now, isn’t going to help you 10 months from now during your A race. Now is NOT the time to play with fire and put your health along with the entire 2017 season on the line. Now is the time to treat your body extra special, keep the intensity low, and get 100% healthy!The fitness you think you are losing by not swimming, biking or running will come back faster than you think if you just let your body fully recover. So go see a professional for the required treatment, get your mechanics analyzed and start addressing functional strength, mobility limitations and/or technique-skills that led you to the injured list to begin with.

    If you are looking for a soft tissue specialist I know just THE guy! Dr. Pete Viteritti of Kendall Square Chiropractic is THE best. (http://visitdrpete.com/)

    This block of training is your “Foundation” and can be anytime between 4-12 weeks depending on each individual athlete, their overall health, as well as future goals. If you are lucky and don’t have any injuries to attend to, the training during this “Foundation” block remains simple although structured with low intensity and more geared to addressing functional strength & technique/skills limiters.

  4. Once we have built the foundation so your body can handle more workload (volume+intensity) or if you were injured and are now 100% healthy, recovered, and have done foundation work, then we can move to the “General” phase of training and what we at E3 call “The Preparation” block followed by “The Progression” block. This is a great time to focus on your sport specific weaknesses, and start building the fitness toward your upcoming races.  

    • Let’s say running is your weakness and your goal is to do an Ironman next season. This may NOT be the time to sign up for a fall marathon, and train like a runner. Why not? Because remember: 1. Ironman racing is a different beast, 2. Marathon training can be too much load for your body to handle this early and/or 3. Overdoing it now, may lead to burning out later in the season. We want you to think like a triathlete, and we want you to become a better runner in the context of triathlon! (Just because you can run a fast stand alone marathon, doesn’t automatically mean you will run a fast marathon in an ironman). This is not the time to keep increasing your run mileage, unless you want to end up being completely burnt out by the time you get to the meat and potatoes of Ironman training. (You should however eat some meat & potatoes – remember, we are all about getting and staying healthy and meat and potatoes are good for you … so is ice cream). Instead, this block could be a great time to work on your speed, your running strength, your mechanics or to continue building endurance, but again this depends on YOUR needs.

    • To the contrary, let’s say you a great runner but weaker cyclist. Now is also not the time to sign up for that fall marathon, and crush your competition unless of course that is your main goal for next season. However, if your goal is to crush your triathlon competition, it’s time to focus on that weakness – cycling! It’s time to focus on short and intense workouts instead of those long monotonous trainer rides! Save those for when it counts! Now is not the time to completely fry yourself mentally by staring at a blank wall for hours upon hours.  There is time for that too, but the time may not be now. Why? Because if you want to ride faster than you did this past season, a.k.a you want to improve your weakness, you have to actually ride faster in training! 

      • Riding for 4-5 hours in “x” zone or at “y” watts over and over again will yield very modest gains if not that same “2016” speed. 

      • In order to get to faster a.k.a find your ”2017” speed you must strain your body in different ways to force new adaptations. It’s not going to happen by riding in “x” zone or at “y” watts all post-season unless you plan to and ca double your load later on. If you can do that – great, but my guess is you will simply run out of time, may need a new job and your family may forget your name. Not much of a balance is it! 

      • So that’s why now (when the volume of your overall training is much lower than when you are nearing race season) –now is the time to step up your game to get to that “2017” speed.  How? By getting out of that “x” zone or “y” watts and making that zone “x+1” and those watts “z+1” for shorter periods of time. And don’t worry, you will sweat just as much in 1 hour while accumulating similar workload as you would in 3 hours of riding at that same old 2016 “x” zone or “y” watts.  It’s fun, it’s hard, it works, and you will have more time to focus on recovery. Try it.
         
      Just a little puddle of sweat and some quality time with my favorite brands of trainers - CycleOps. (https://cycleops.com/)Czech them out AND their new Virtual Training App! You can be riding on our favorite roads, or climbing your favorite hill from the comfort of your own "pain cave" or in my case living room. 

    • And let’s face it, most of us can spend more time in the pool! If you didn’t grow up swimming, the more often you can get to be in the water, the better even if it’s just 1500 yards at a time. Now is the perfect time for swimming to take more of a front seat!
       
              Just keep swimming, just keep swimming 


  5. Now is also the time to focus on strength training as it won’t be taking any time away from your swim/bike/run and being sore and tired from strength training won’t affect your key swim/bike or run session! Remember, I just saved you a few hours on the bike ;). Strength training will not only help you reduce the risk of injury, but it will also improve your fast and slow twitch muscle growth helping you to become more of an efficient cyclist and economical runner.
    1. As former bball player I shouldn't be afraid of jumping up on things, but these box jumps get me every time! 

  6. Eat, Eat and Eat! This is a very touchy subject for many, but it is completely ok to gain a few pounds, and not stress about it! This should be a post on its own, but having a healthy relationship with food is important 365 days a year. If you have that, you won’t feel the need to all of a sudden completely overeat because you all of a sudden don’t have a race on the schedule. 
 This is a whole lot of goodness! 

And my favorite all year around breakfast of oatmeal with dark chocolate chips melted on top, fruit of your choice and granola! 

These are just a few KEY guidelines that will hopefully help you approach your postseason and will set you up for a successful 2017 Season. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We would love to help you and are currently accepting athletes for 2017.


 “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” -- Michael Phelps