Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Take home exam

So I have been tied up doing this take home exam they gave us. Holy smokes I thought it would be easy being a take home exam. WOW was I wrong! I have spent 6-8 hours on this already and that was just on the multiple choice section. now I have 15 essays and sample cases to write.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beer Goggle conversations

OK so I went out with a bunch on my fellow students for an evening and we drank Plenty! This is the conversation that ensued: WARNING!! THIS IS A Freakishly sometime racy conversation!

After about the many pitchers amongst us, which is probably a bad idea since athletes tend not to drink too heavily on a normal basis, One of the guys from Utah made mention he is Bi-sexual to the group. Don't ask how we got to this point but I assume it had something to do with the the other milder but strange conversation going on. He then said its not so weird because a great majority of men from Utah have some level of Gay tendency but due to the extremely conservative Mormon church it is hidden. OK So if I was in a stupor before this point I was starting to come out of it. Then he made a statement that studies show that most men and women show bisexual tendencies in preference but that they hide it. Women more so then men. Then the women piped up saying that could be so, then one of them said there would be limits tho because she would have no problem licking a woman's breast but could not kiss her on the lips..get this... because its too personal. (???)

big {GULP} followed by silence

OK so I am fully awake now. And could not help but ask for clarification. "Do You mean you would lick a womans breast like this ( demonstrate by licking my hand) or with some passionate GUSTO!?" I asked. Sorry folks I just HAD to KNOW! The repercussion of this is just too important! (OK maybe there really weren't SERIOUS repercussions but I just HAD to know!)

She replied she has never done it but she can say that she would have no problem licking good. I made sure to wipe my mouth in case any drool dripped out ( you know all teh beer!) although after this conversation I don't think it would have made a splash( pardon the pun) in anyones mind at that moment. NOTE Ladies this type drooling thing is just about automatic in any Homosexual male Republican or Democrat under the right conditions. Beer and a sudden erotic statement count as one of those conditions.

That conversation served as the highlight of the evening and we all said it was time to head home after that lol.

Thank God for Hotels at walking distance lol

Tri Coach training Day 2 and 3

Well day 2 and 3 went fairly well, lots of good information. the presenters during this session were not as exciting in their approach but the info was great. My attitude could also have something to do with the fact that I was out drinking with a group of the other students the night before, so the morning was a struggle to stay focused. So it didn't help to have a monotone talker. But after some coffee I was good to go!

Here are some Highlights:

Saturday, March 28

Communication, Ethics and Risk Management ( ie Dont get sued!!)
Yep Pretty much how not to get sued and how to protect yourself if you do get sued. IE health forms, training logs etc record what you said

Sports Psychology & Mental Skills

Real interesting. Made a statement that 90% of athletes do better in practice than they do in the actual race or event. This is due purely to how the race stress affects their performance. Made mention that its good to play music when running but not always. there is a mental battle played out on a competitive race that an athlete needs to know how to win. If they are always distracted or need music to motivate themselves then they have not fully been traininging for the race. Not against using music at all but said there should be certain workouts that as a coach we make sure the athlete is not using it Like during race simulators.

Periodization and Planning-Practical Application

Repeat of the prior days work only we got together to build a training plan for a sample athlete. This was good except They used an Elite Athlete for teh example, which doesnt make sense sinse Level 1 coaching does not involve Elite athletes. They gave us a weekly hour range up to 25-30 hours to work with. NO Age group athlete has that kind of time. But anyhow the emphasis was make sure to combine hard workouts followed by a Recovery type workout. Example morning HARD run, should then be followed by a Swim that afternoon since swimming is less harsh on the body. We went over several different means to do a plan, But the key is Recovery needs to be built into all schedules. Improvement comes from Adaptation, adaptaion comes after stressing the muscles and then letting it rebuild and recover. If you never rest, then your body cannot fully recover. This eventually leads to OVER-TRAINING.

Other things leading to Overtraining: Too many races, too many HARD workouts, Monotonous overly repetitive training over extended periods, Stress at home and work are major contributors also.

What to do if over-trained? First get a medical checkup to rule out any medical condition, second Rest! If your race is close as in a few weeks away, then adopt a maintenance schedule to try and maintain your fitness. But you have to work in some rest. Maybe this means an extended taper. If over-trained an athlete will not Improve further but CAN lose fitness. Rest is what is needed. I specifically asked Bobby Mcgee after his session to discuss this because I have an Athlete that I just started to coach who is dealing with this. Who is Bobby McGee? He is the USA Olympic Triathlon teams Running coach and Sports Psychologist as well as a Level III tri coach. Since this athlete is training for Marathon I figured who better to ask than an Olympic Running coach :)

Running Skills and Economy Training

Went over the general skills and assessment of athletes at Running. gave great pointers on drills and such like teh Kenyan Running drills. Other things like fall forward when running, high cadence is important the stride length is what changes when going slow or fast.

4:15-5:30pm Triathlon Specific Training and Key Workouts

Make sure to work in Tri Specific stuff, Like transitions, not just the Bike to run that everyone thinks of but also the swim to Bike, which is generally the longest transition for folks. Also bring up things like have athletes practice putting their goggles on in the middle of the swim. This may be needed if your goggles are kicked out of place. deal with teh stress in training NOT in the race.

Sunday, March 29

8:00-9:30am Cycling Skills

Good stuff and pointers. Criticality of a Bike fit. Make certain to write down the measurements when done. You never know when you will need to readjust the bike seat because it slid down or if you travel and you have to rebuild the bike.

Make sure to do rides in a variety of terrain. to get experience but find the terrain that is closest to what the race will be ( ex hilly or flat).
pedal stroke, work to get power throughout the pedal cycle not just pushing down. do single leg pedal drills. Make sure to focus on the non-dominant leg because we all have tendencies to use one leg more than the other. If you want to see some fast improvement in power, work on the non dominant leg.

Swimming Skills and Economy Training

Again make sure to throw in workouts to simulate Tri conditions. Such as Start with Fast and hard drills, then go to the longer sets. This simulates the swim start which is usually fast and gets everyones HR up. Do NOT send a newbie to a MAsters swim course unless there is some focus for beginners.

A beginners focus should be on Form and technique, and should not be stressed about finishing laps like all others on the Masters team.

Overall I really enjoyed the course. There was such great instructors that were truly leaders in the field. In fact most if not all are current Olympic team coaches Such as Bob Seebohar, John Crawley Bobby McGee ( former Olympian and the teams current running coach), Susan Williams 2004 Olymoic Bronze medalist and the first American to medal in Triathlon. Just good stuff all in all.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tri Coach training Day 1

Well day one was Brilliant. If you like, scratch that, Love triathlon you should do this course just to get more information that you can use yourself. More notes to come later but here are some highlights! (Note: the instructors are awesome they are the TEAM USA coaches and they coach the folks like Sarah Haskins, and such) What I felt really good about is that allot of my philosophy that I have picked up over the years seems to match quite well. I have been doing the right things so far for my athletes. This is Great news! But I have already learned some other things of what to do and what NOT to do that are really of great help.

Friday, March 27

8:30- 9:00am Introduction to USAT Coaching Certification Program 9:15-10:45am Triathlon Nutritional Strategies

KEY! Nutrition needs to be tied to training phases. We all know this but this was a real good emphasis. And they demonstrate why.

11:00-12:30pm Exercise Physiology

Note: Sports and Triathlon specifically is getting far too tied up with technology. Focus on the basics FIRST then worry about aero-wheels. Far too many athletes use these as crutches and fail to focus where they need too.

12:30-1:45pm Lunch

1:45-3:15pm Periodization and Planning

BASE BASE BASE At some point in the year ALL athletes need to have a block of base training. All pro's do this without it, the body is not being trained properly. But also when going slow go really slow, when going hard, go really HARD. Make the workouts count.

Along these lines there is specificity. meaning if you are running, then run. No stopping to interrupt and do anything else. Your workouts have to have a goal. Pushups in the middle of the run disrupts those goals. That energy you have should be used for having a quality run workout, not spent to do strenth training.

3:30-5:00pm Triathlon Specific Strength Training

Not what you would think, Its more about functional strength training and not Weights. New phrase Neuro Muscular Adaption training. You OpIron and RwP Triathletes Folks, keep your eyes on your training plans :)

You can stop the static stretches. Dynamic stretching is beter and safer.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tri Coaching Certification

Well I am at this moment sitting at JFK Airport, waiting for about another hour to get on a flight to Colorado where this weekend I will be attending the USAT Triathlon Coaching Level I Clinic. Pretty excited about it, it looks to offer much excellent information. Here is the outline from the agenda they sent:

Friday, March 27

8:30- 9:00am Introduction to USAT Coaching Certification Program 9:15-10:45am Triathlon Nutritional Strategies

11:00-12:30pm Exercise Physiology
12:30-1:45pm Lunch

1:45-3:15pm Periodization and Planning

3:30-5:00pm Triathlon Specific Strength Training

I am interested about what they will say about periodization. I assume they will teach the standard Prep/Base/Build/Race yada yada yada. Also Nutritional strategies are of interest.

Saturday, March 28

8:00-9:30am Communication, Ethics and Risk Management ( ie Dont get sued!!)

9:45- 11:15am Sports Psychology & Mental Skills

11:15-12:45pm Lunch ( What the!! 11:15?! Brunch?)

12:45– 2:15pm Periodization and Planning-Practical Application

2:30 – 4:00pm Running Skills and Economy Training

4:15-5:30pm Triathlon Specific Training and Key Workouts

Sunday, March 29

8:00-9:30am Cycling Skills

9:45-11:15pm Swimming Skills and Economy Training

11:30-12:00pm Certification Process/Exam Distribution (I believe its a take home exam)

Overall Pretty excited about this. I feel this will provide some excellent info that I can apply the athletes I am coaching both for OpIron Multisport, and Race with Purpose ( We have an great program we are planning for 2010)

Now to the real negative, I am leaving almost springlike weather in NY to fly into a Colorado Snow storm WTF!!

So Why do I think this is necessary? Well to be honest I put myself in a potential clients position and you have to wonder what qualifications does someone have to coach? Meaning is it experience? Knowledge? What? Whats to stop a quack that happens to know how to sell from starting a coaching service online with little experience? Nothing really. Well hopefully verifiable certification will help. It tells athletes that I am serious enough about coaching that I have taken the steps necessary to get the official credentials. Its no different than when you hire someone for a job. Will an accountant be a better accountant because they have a CPA? Maybe not, but it tells me that the person cared enough to at least learn a minimum of base knowledge on the subject. He/She had to take a fairly hard exam for it and display some knowledge on the subject.

Well I think this is the closest officially recognized certification(If not the only) for Triathlon Coaching that we have in the US. As such I figure it shows a level of commitment on my part. There is also the additional knowledge gained ( although not expecting much more on the side of planning since I have read just about every book on the subject and have actually used this info for a couple of years.)

Overall I am psyched. Should be a good time.

Ok thats it for now, will keep you guys updated

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Avalanches can be dangerous!

It was disastrous! Not to me really but to my training! Once we came across this Avalanche I couldn't help myself! There were just too many opportunities to play!

Oh and dont think Christine (aka Holistic Guru) didn't get into the act!

Here she is being a foul mouthed Bostoner. "What da FAaaCK" Cursing the Avalanche that is impeding our hardcore training.

How can you tell she is from Boston? Take a good look at her Primo riding sox!

If those aren't Boston red Socks I don't know what else they could be!

Believe it or not we were actually here to sherpa for the Race with Purpose marathon team that is prepping for Boston. Thats right we have a whole Team that qualified. This years 30% of the RwP marathon crew qualified. Here is Why because they let NOTHING get in their way!

During this time we did manage to disperse a water or two lol

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My HR Zones

So recently I conducted a field test to calculate my HR Run Threshold test using a field test. Now to actually put that to use I need to work out the different zones. Here is a good method. My testing I came up LT @ 178. So based on that

Zone 1 = % Lactate Threshold: 65%-84% 115 - 150
Zone 2 = % Lactate Threshold: 85%-91% 151 - 161
Zone 3 = % Lactate Threshold: 92%-95% 162 - 169
Zone 4 = % Lactate Threshold: 96%-100% 170 - 178
Zone 5a = % Lactate Threshold: 100%-102% 179 - 181
Zone 5b = % Lactate Threshold: 103%-105% 183 - 187
Zone 5c = % Lactate Threshold: 106%+ 188 +

To be honest I never really track the difference between 5a- 5c its too minute. As such I always just use:

Zone 5 179+

Zone 5 is short interval work or Hill repeats, Its for anaerobic endurance.

The following section about the HR calculations was Cut and Pasted from Here. Aside from the term "lactate recycling" which thelatest research now shows that may not be the case and that Lactate may not be the "bad guy" after all but instead the opposite. The end result is still that at that level of effort our muscles sort of want to die, no matter the culprit. So it still counts! ANyhow it gives a good description of whatteh different zones mean and are used for.

Note: Heart Rate Zone values are based on running. For each zone, subtract 10 beats per minute for biking and 10-15 beats per minute for swimming.

Zone 1: Recovery
Also known as: Overdistance
Intensity: Very Low
% Lactate Threshold: 65%-84%
RPE Scale: 6-9

Used for: These are the easiest workouts, used to promote recovery after harder workouts. It is also generally the intensity level used during the recovery period of interval work and long slow distance (LSD) runs.

Zone 2: Endurance
Also known as: Extensive Endurance
Intensity: Moderate
% Lactate Threshold: 85%-91%
RPE Scale: 10-12

Used for: Used for long, endurance workouts and easy speed workout; builds and maintains aerobic endurance.

Zone 3: Lactate Threshold
Also known as: Intensive Endurance
Intensity: Moderate Plus
% Lactate Threshold: 92%-95%
RPE Scale: 13-14

Used for: Used for Tempo workouts, training in Zone 3 is usually done in the preparation and base phases. Generally, in the later phases you want to bump up to Zone 4.

Zone 4: VO2 Max Intervals
Also known as: Anaerobic Threshold, Race/Pace
Intensity: Race/Pace
% Lactate Threshold: 96%-100%
RPE Scale: 15-16

Used for: Intervals, hill work, and tempo work. Intervals in this zone generally have work-to-rest ratio of 3:1 or 4:1. Training at or slightly below your Lactate Threshold (a.k.a. Anaerobic Threshold) helps your body lean to "recycle" the lactic acid during high intensity work.

Zone 5a: Threshold Endurance
Also known as: Superthreshold
% Lactate Threshold: 100%-102%
RPE Scale: 17

Used for: Intervals, hill work, and tempo work; typically used after some Zone 4 time has already been done. Zone 5 workouts are very short because it is difficult to maintain this level for any length of time.

Zone 5b: Anaerobic Endurance
Also known as: Speed Endurance
% Lactate Threshold: 103%-105%
RPE Scale: 18-19

Used for: Intervals and hill work to improve anaerobic endurance. Intervals in this zone generally have work-to-rest ratio of 1:1, for example, a 20 second sprint followed by 20 seconds of easy recovery (Zone 1).
Zone 5c: Anaerobic Capacity
Also known as: Power
% Lactate Threshold: 106%+
RPE Scale: 20

Workout SWAP!

OK so I saw that Tuesday was going to be a slightly late day, knowing this I knew that by the time I got to the pool which would be at best 8PM - 8:30 PM that would at best leave me 90 minutes if all went well. However the more likely scenario would be that Get there to find the pool closed for 15 Minutes so that the 14 yr old lifeguard can go take a break to go eat, Text their pals, hang out in the front making an effort to stay awake ( I swear that job must be BORING!), which has happened to me already a few times. SO I decided to take preventative measure and swapped workout between Tues & Wednesday Hoping that today I will have more time to swim later.

So far so good, yesterday I had a ripping great training day. And today I have planned to do a 1 hr hill repeat workout on the treadmill during lunch at work, and then head home ON TIME to make my swim workout. Crossing fingers that no unplanned emergencies ( As opposed to the planned emergencies ;) comes up.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Training week of 3/9

Monday: Day Off

Tuesday: swim speed / run 60 minutes Fartlek run.

Wednesday: indoor workout workout should be 45-60 minutes-do next in strength progression series keep hr low 120-145 / run easy hr 140 range 60 minutes, you can move this outdoors and add time before and after.

Thursday: long run 2 hours, by time, feel free to run trails. hr 135-155.

Friday: swim endurance, go long. ideally building to 3000.

Saturday: 4 hour ride, 30 min brick run

Sunday: Swim endurance 3000+, ride 5-6 hours

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Running on Cobblestone streets

Well I have to say that Running along these old brick and cobblestone roads in Utrecht are not exactly ideal. Pretty easy to twist the foot. But one thing here does make it almost priceless. Running in the AM along one of these ancient canals that run through the heart of the city. Complete with boats tied up along the bank. Knowing that these stone steps and the canal has been there for hundreds of years. As the sun comes up on the cobblestone path along the canal with the gondola, you know you are in Europe. Pretty freaken cool.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Too Funny!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Life in the Lower classes

OK so I was forced to travel to the Netherlands with the regular folks in steerage...err...I mean economy. You see I am here for a conference, and my company has implemented a Business class over 6 hours and work related ONLY policy. This flight was 8 hours but since it was not for a specific project, but instead educational, never mind I am one of the presenters, I could not take my beloved Business class seat.

Now I fly much, and generally it has been in Business Class so this was a bit of a culture shock ( They would not let me into the Business Lounge!!), but to make matters worse there were these items:

1) March 2, 2009 the biggest snow storm on the eastcoast occurs and Javier has a flight.
2) In the great wisdom of travel management, My company decides they want to stagger the Corporate Amex bills and thus initiat a process where on my way to the airport I find out that my new corporate amex is in the office and that the one i have now has been cancelled. I find out because someone in the office calls me to warn me that a notice was sent out at work. DOH!!
3) So now after being the phone with Amex for an hour they tell me they will overnight me the new card to the hotel, it will be there by the 6th. Its now the 2nd.

Me: you know thats 4 days, not exactly overnight

Amex: Well the international desk folks are out of the office right now, and I dont think they can get a card in to you overnight when they come in.

Me: so bottomline, you can't "overnight" it to me...ever, you are just saying that

Amex: Sorry, but yeah thats basically what it comes down to I guess

Me: so OK there is nothing you guys can do to "uncancel" the card at least until I get the new one?

Amex: Nope. It says here on your record that the card is cancelled and it would take longer to uncancel it than to send you a new one.

Me: OK so how can I check in?

Amex: Perhaps you have another card with you?

YESAmex is suggesting I use a competitor. Anyhow after another 30 minutes of finagling and being passed onto a better customer service dude, he redeems Amex by calling the hotel and arranging to have my stay authorized using the new card number that I do not have yet.

However until I do get my card all my expenses meals are going on my debit card which SUCKS!

So now I get to the airport, and find that although my flight is delayed, I luck out that the earlier flight was also delayed and that I could get on it. thus by some trick of fate I end up leaving at almost the same time.

So I check in and head towards the business class lounge, when with a pang of regret I realize I will not be able to go into the halls, of comfort and joy that have over the years of my international business travel given me comfort with free wine and beer. Those people at the front desk would merely scoff at my SILVER ELETE status if I tried to use that angle. There would be no sympathy.

So I headed on over to the gate, where I saw all of the economy travellers, who could not sit down for long due to the seats that seem made to keep you from falling alseep, they somehow manage to always have a metal bar jab you if you lean to far to the left or right. WTF?! Everyone fighting for the last outlet in the wall to be able to plug intheir laptops. It was barbaric!

Seeingthis inspires me to make one last ditch effort to get in business class on the cheap, I head on over to the counter in front of the gate with my winningest smile possible and ask if I can be put on the list to get bumped up ( if you outright ask for it you are looked upon as somewhat of an ASS, just an insider tip from me to you). The woman just looked at me with a half closed eyes and said they ar overbooked, no upgrades.

As I left I sought out one last shot at dignity, "Say with my Silver Elete Status can I board with the first class folks?", she said YES! VICTORY!!! I finally get some recognition for my loyalty! I can board with the important people!

So as I get onboard, feeling pretty important again, I see an immediate problem with my seat, it is right in front of a wall. In otherwords it will not recline. In this case it did slightly, like one inch, and when it did that it would slam into the wall behind me. So I have to sit like his for 8 freaken hours! No other seats available! This just never ends!

For a movie they were showing "Slumdog Millionaire" a movie I had been wanting to see! Its an Oscar winner! However as the movie starts I realize they are speaking Hindi ( I guess) and that the movie is subtitled...in DUTCH!! ( I was flying KLM the Royal DUTCH airlines, owned by the French BTW).

So basically the flight sucked. The only good things was that they let me drink wine and beer freely on the flight so I arrived this morning with a crook in my neck and a hangover. Can't Wait for this conference!

So now I am off to take a nap.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Disaster waiting to happen?

OK so I was planning a 3 hr indoor trainer session this morning, as I was setting up I discovered that I had no bike shorts to be seen anywhere in the tricave where I keep most of my workout clothes nowadays! So I went looking further and lo-and-behold this is what I saw:

Thaaats right a pile of laundry with about he majority of all of my workout clothes, including my cycling shorts AND my tri shorts. ( Admit it!! You are very familiar with this scene!)

Realizing that if I do not get a workout in early in the morning as planned I could easily end up getting caught up in the daily grind and my workout could end up floating off in to the netherworld ( coincidentally I am in FACT going to the Netherlands tomorrow :), So I decided to piece together an appropriate ensemble and did a 2 hour run instead. I still plan on doing my trainer session today after doing laundry. But this way I can be sure to get a workout in.

The process of gobbling together clothes for a workout gave me a flashback to the incident on March 15, 2008, Specifically the following section of that story was pertinent:

- I show up at race wearing a mishmosh of athletic gear because in a wonder of stupidity, I left 80% of my athletic gear in the old dryer on the day it was being carted off as the new dryer was being installed! So today I just threw on my only shorts with the last 2 surviving underlayment and top. (Thank God my summer stuff was still in the drawer because I have not been using them). I am sure I made an intimidating appearance!

Needless to say I immediately started to do laundry as soon as I got back from the run.

BTW Coach Adam makes a guest starring appearance during that episode, so check it out. http://www.operationironman.com/2008/03/scarsdale-15k.html