I made the following video describing how to incorporate stretch cords into your swim routine. Many professional triathletes use swim cords as part of their warm up on race day. This is only one of three ways the cords are beneficial and I outline in the video below how to use swim cords for triathlon training.
Best Lap Swimming Pools in Austin
I did a lot of lap swimming in Austin before the Ironman event in October 2016. After visiting a variety of pools in the city I’ve written a tourist guide for other swimmers and triathletes who find themselves in Austin wanting to know where to swim at the best lap swimming pools in Austin. This is not an exhaustive list but does include some of the highest rated options.
The following list of pools to go lap swim in Austin includes my thoughts on the pros and cons as well as the workout I did when I was there. Continue reading “Best Lap Swimming Pools in Austin”
Choosing a triathlon coach
Choosing a triathlon coach is a process similar to a job interview. Finding the right triathlon coach is an important first step in working toward your goals. If an athlete and a coach are well matched, it is certain that athlete can go on to reach potential. However, even the greatest athletes and coaches can be mismatched and find their results together aren’t optimal. Knowing what you should ask potential coaches will help you find the right fit.
Questions to ask when looking for a triathlon coach
The 12 Week Broken Ankle Recovery Update
It has been 12 weeks to the day since I had my bike accident and broke my ankle. In this 12 week video update, I share a bit about the people that have helped me get back to speed so quickly and kept my attitude in check. Staying positive and engaged in the process of recovery has been the key to getting back in shape quickly.
This injury has helped redefine and motivate my desire to race. I feel like I am among a new generation of athletes who continue to race into their 40s and remain competitive as elites. This isn’t “normal” and there is certainly some resistance to this notion. Although I am more of an outlier at the moment, I don’t think this will always be the case.
I am thankful to have great sponsors and supporters who believe that fast after 40 means REALLY FAST. I love the idea of helping to define what that is and work hard to set the bar as high as possible. I look to my contemporaries, athletes like Jo Pavey and Gunn-Rita Dahle, who are competing as top level elites in their sports (running and mountain biking) to help me decide what level I plan to compete at. The top level.
I am still looking at Kona in 2017.
Looking forward to setting some new benchmarks this season.
Thanks for following along.
xoxo Melanie ???
Triathlon Gear List: Off Road vs On Road
What gear do I need to race off road triathlon?
In this article I compare road triathlon to off-road triathlon gear. Athletes trying off-road triathlon (or ‘cross triathlon’ as the discipline is now defined) for the first time often find they need some new gear to start competing.
This is the typical pre-race gear organization photo for an Ironman event:
Here I am with my stuff before the World Champs in Maui:
You can see that racing an Ironman road event and racing an XTERRA off-road event requires very different gear. I made this list so athletes coming from any distance of road triathlon can figure out what they need to get to start racing in the dirt. Continue reading “Comparing Road Triathlon to Off Road Triathlon Gear”
I wrote this article for www.triathlonmagazine.ca
‘Shoulder prehabilitation’ means strengthening the shoulder’s resistance to injury – thus PRE-rehabilitation. These shoulder strength exercises prepare the shoulder muscles that are the most vulnerable to injury from everyday swimming repetitive movement. Strengthening these muscles improves your posture and body alignment. For swimmers, and triathletes by extension, the most common injuries occur in shoulder rotators so these are the muscles we are focused on.
Continue reading “Shoulder Prehabilitation Strength Exercises For Triathlon”
Practicing Hydration and Nutrition During Indoor sessions – an article which was featured at www.triathlonmagazine.ca
Indoor training sessions designed to practice race-day triathlon nutrition are a great way to help athletes prepare to execute their plan in races – but in easier, more controlled conditions. The objective of these sessions is to get training benefit from appropriate pacing and to nail your race day hydration and fueling strategy. Although indoor training is missing some of the elements (literally) encountered in outdoor training, there is a lot of valuable information to be gained indoors where the variables are easier to control.
Lab-monitored “sweat tests” are available that can help you determine how much sweat you lose at effort and what the composition of your sweat is. A lab test is the most scientific version of the generalized effort I am going to outline. Knowing the exact composition of your sweat under the lab conditions may be useful but nothing is as valuable as practicing with numerous sessions under a variety of conditions to help gain knowledge on what works best for you. These tips will be a good starting point to gather information on your own body.
A Video To Demonstrate a Pre Training Core Activation Routine
This video will show you the exercises that I use to activate and prepare my core muscles for training. Without adequate warmup and activation of the core, your biomechanics will not be optimized in training.
This routine does not take a lot of time so it is very easy for me to do it frequently. This is the first thing I do every morning. I implemented this routine when I was suffering from a hip injury and since then I have had not issues with my hip or low back. However, if I don’t do the routine I am aware that my range of motion through the hips for swimming and running is not as good.
This short, simple set of exercises is EFFECTIVE.
You can do this routine in less than five minutes on the pool deck before swimming so try it at your next training session. You may find that even these simple exercises are somewhat difficult which would indicate your neuromuscular recruitment needs work. Over time you will feel stronger and you will experience better results from training – particularly early morning training. Let me know what you think!
I wrote this article for www.triathlonmagazine.ca and thought it would be good for those athletes just starting to lace up their shoes again. If you have any other questions/queries/requests please ask away at either my Facebook page www.facebook.com/racergirlmel or Tweet away at www.twitter.com/racergirlmel.
How to Restart Your Training After a Winter Break
After the last race of the season, many athletes enjoy a training break. For anywhere from four to eight weeks, athletes might incorporate complete rest with cross training or unstructured triathlon training. It is a good idea to take a real break from the sport and allow your body to rest.
Some athletes avoid complete rest as they believe it will be very difficult to get back to their previous level of fitness, but this fear is unfounded. Taking a break will result in some detraining but aerobic fitness declines slowly. Underlying fatigue from the previous season is more likely to delay improvement than a break from training. The number one priority after every season must be rest, particularly for athletes who race Ironman and can accumulate a lot of residual fatigue, low grade injury and general overload. The minimum post season break should be four weeks and longer if there is injury to resolve. After that time it is good to get back in action.
Here are five tips to have a strong start to your training build after a break:
Things You Can Do To Help Speed Your Recovery
Your body will not be ready to do another workout if it hasn’t adequately recovered from the last one. In between hard workouts, pro athletes will take some steps to speed up their recovery – like completing active recovery workouts – to make sure their body is loose and adequately rested to handle the stress of another hard session. Training is a process of stringing together sessions that challenge the body. In between the challenging sessions the athlete needs to do everything possible to get ready for another one. Here are some common practices to improve the process of recovery.