Monday, November 14, 2016

Week #1 in Review

The first week back to training has officially come and gone. I'm quite happy to be back into structured training!

Unfortunately, I lost my heart rate monitor. After Miami, I recall putting it away somewhere for "safe-keeping." Of course, that special spot was long forgotten over 2 weeks. Other than that, training started off well.

The Swim = 12.2km

I did two 3.1km swims focused on strength using paddles (one day speed, one day endurance)
I did one recovery swim (IM and dolphin kick on back) **dolphin kick on your back is an excellent core workout to do if you don't want to skip your swim in favour of strength!
I did one quality 4km swim with Kim Lumsdon Swim Club

The Bike = 4hr15min

I have been focusing on improving my technique on the bike. I definitely have trained myself to rely too much on my hamstrings and quads while cycling, so I am following the October WattsUp program to improve glute recruitment on the bike. I've been biking with running shoes, focusing on squeezing the glutes with each downstroke, and, most important, ensuring my back is flat and not rounded. Flat back = glute recruitment = more Watts!

I have also been following current November WattsUp workouts for on the bike strengthening and neuromuscular development. Strength using slow cadence/high power and neuromuscular development (maximizing number of muscle fibers firing together) with max power/max cadence STOMPS!

I have almost all the athletes I coach follow similar types of workouts as described above in the early parts of the off season. When out on the road in the summer, or working hard all the time, it's easy to pick up bad habits. It's easy to ride with a rounded back. It's easy to start using compensatory muscles when the primary drivers are fatigued. Doing technique work early in the season ensures that subsequent FTP training is done utilizing the proper muscles. FTP work all the time will not get you stronger.

The Run = 40km

This is where I am trying to make the most gains in the off-season. The run is my main focus for November and December. My workouts during this time are primary designed to slowly progress my weekly run volume up to 60km/week. So that I can be running 60-70km/week in the spring. This past week I started at 40km with two hill repeat runs, 1 long run (12km - haha!) and a short brick run.

Strength = 80mins

Six days a week I include a 10 minute activation/injury prevention routine prior to a bike, run or swim workout. When you run, your feet are either on the ground or off the ground. Your glutes and balancing muscles are being used when your feet are on the ground and your core is being used when they are off the ground. Weakness in these muscles leads to compensation by other muscles and subsequent injury. So, my injury prevention routine is strength training for the core and glutes, as well as including a few balance exercises.

Two days a week I do straight leg deadlifts, lunges and squats. When WattsUp gets its new leg press I will use that, also, because it can be used to strengthen one leg at a time. These exercises strengthen the cycling and running driver muscles: glutes, quads and hamstrings. Repetitive activity often leads to improved strength/endurance in the muscles themselves, but does not strengthen tendons. Overuse injury often occurs in the tendon or musculotendonous junction, usually because the tendons aren't strong enough. Resistance training strengthens both the muscle AND the tendon.

I will look to post an update on my training as often as I can. Stay tuned!

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