Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Bike = Happy Rider

We now have more daylight hours than darkness and with the extra hour of light after the normal workday, more and more people are out on their bikes.  Now would be a great time to take care of your annual maintenance on your bike(s) so you can enjoy the increased riding time and be safe on the roads knowing your bike is in good working order.  Here are a few links that may be helpful as you prepare for a great spring/summer of riding.

Bike Maintenance specific to Road/TT Bikes

Bike Maintenance specific for MTB

4 Easy bike tune up tips

For the home mechanic

Keep the rubber side down and have a great week!

Coach Eric

Monday, March 18, 2013

Just Breathe!

It’s another beautiful Saturday morning on the front range and your preparing for a moderate to hard training session with your buddies.  The beginning of the workout starts off easy allowing the body to warm up at a “social pace”.  This means that the effort is easy enough so you can carry on a conversation without gasping for air.  Before engaging in the main part of the workout, it is most beneficial to include what I call a “transition period”.  Here is the time to include 2 or 3 efforts with equal amount of rest where you gradually increase your intensity to a moderately hard effort for 20-30 seconds up to 1 minute depending on the demands of the workout.  This will further allow the body to profuse more blood to the working muscles, opening up capillary beds as well as elevating heart rate.

Now your ready to get to the meat and potatoes of the training session, the intensity starts cranking up, but you feel like you can’t get enough air.  Yes, I know there is less oxygen here at 5000 feet, but what I am referring to is what are you doing with your air in particular your exhale?

Of the three disciplines in the sport of triathlon, swimming posses the most challenges in this regard since your face is in the water making air not as readily available.  But, this is the perfect opportunity to exhale some, not all of your air to keep the breathing rhythm.  Your body knows to breathe in, so focus on making your exhale more effective to balance the inhale.  Imagine cycling or running and holding your breath for 2-3 seconds at a time.  You will find that you get tired very quickly.  This is the challenge the novice swimmer faces most often.  As soon as their face is in the water, they hold their breath.  This interrupts the breathing rhythm creates unnecessary tension in the body and a tense body will usually gravitate towards sinking.

Here are a few some simple things to try on your next swim to help make your breathing a bit easier.

Face in water = exhale some not all of your air, blow bubbles
Face out of water = inhale air, not gasp!
Relax your neck much as possible and breathe from your belly.
Breathing pattern does not have to be static.  Left side, ride side, every 2nd or 3rd stroke.  Water conditions and level of effort will determine what is best for you.

When breathing is relaxed and rhythmic, you will be able to work on other parts of your swimming stroke that in time will have you going faster, farther, & with less effort. 

Make it a great week,  
Coach Eric

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Journey

Spring is coming, Yahoo!!! It is a magical time of the year when things lying dormant, come to life once again. A time for new beginnings, more daylight and spring- cleaning Ugh!!! Below are a handful of quotes, sayings, etc. that may help inspire, motivate and encourage you on your many spring journeys.

Put character first
Celebrate your progress
Find what you love and do it
Focus on what you are here to give
Patiently seek the good in everyone & everything
Just do the next right thing
Live what you believe
Be disciplined

"What ever you can do or think you can begin it. For boldness has power, genius and magic in it". -Goethe

"Having what we want doesn't necessarily cause us to thrive, having what we need, causes us to thrive" - Matthew Kelly

"I believe that nothing disappears forever, and less so deeds, which is why I believe that it makes sense to try to do something in life, something more than which will bring one obvious returns" -Vaclav Havel

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

"Have the courage to live with the integrity that stabs deep".
-Mark Twight, Big wall rock climber and author

"Listen to the inner voice that is on the other side of your ego". -Anonymous

"Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tide and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire".
- Pierre Teilard de Chardin

"Inspiration seldom generates action. Action always creates inspiration".

"Acceptance liberates us. It sets us free to enjoy the moment"
-Matthew Kelly

"If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you.
If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you". -Anonymous

"Stay in the moment and in the present, which is really where life is happening and the magic is" - Courtney B.

"Failing can be artistically beneficial". Movie line from "The Last Minute"

If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
If you are anxious, you are living in the future.
If you are at peace, you are living in the present. -Lao Tzu

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent but the most responsive to change". - Darwin

Last, but certainly not least............
"What could be more worthy of your life than to apply yourself to the task of building a handful of truly beautiful relationships?" -Matthew Kelly

If you made it this far, thank you and I leave you with a quote of my own...
"Embrace the magic of spring and the new beginnings it brings". - Coach Eric

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stress + Rest = Progress!

One of my favorite authors, Matthew Kelly has a saying he calls “carefree timelessness”, such a simple yet powerful statement.  I drew the inspiration for this article on a training break as I spent the morning lazily wandering along a river taking pictures of my friends fly-fishing.  The landscape was stunning and as the morning progressed, large billowy clouds slowly formed on the mountaintops surrounding the valley.  The sound of the leaves rustling in the gentle breeze was both soothing and cooling and the thought of a nap crossed my mind on more than once occasion. 

From an athletic standpoint, we call this a recovery day or in some cases a recovery week.  It is just as important to schedule rest and recovery days, as it is the hard training days.  Rest is when the training adaptations occur and too much training without taking into account recovery, can lead to injury and burnout. Stress is the combination of workouts that challenge both your body and mind.  Rest comes in the form of easy training days or complete days off from exercise.  Progress is made when you have the optimum balance of stress and rest. This balance will be different for every individual.

When setting up a training plan for an athlete, balancing the stress and rest of training is a top priority.  First and foremost is the age of the athlete.  Let’s face it; we just don’t bounce back like we did when we were kids.  That said the adult athlete can still perform at a very high levels of intensity, but is just takes longer to recovery from those efforts.  Other things to be considered are current level of fitness, number of years in the sport, past or present injuries, demands of job, family obligations and how much can they train versus how much they are willing to train.

But, what if you’re not training for an event?  What can you do to add a little rest and recovery into your day?  Try taking time to check in with yourself, hitting the reset button and putting the fast paced world on hold.  It does not have to be a long period of time by any means even five minutes will do.   Some people find mornings are best to check in and set your intentions before beginning the day.  Others may find a mid-day break is just what they need before diving back into the afternoon to do list. Or maybe you prefer some quiet time in the evening to unwind and decompress from it all. 

Really it can be pretty much anytime that works for you.  One of my colleagues, Cris Dobrosielski, has a saying that I really like, “small consistent change, over a significant period of time, leads to monumental results”.  Five minutes may not seem like a lot, but it can have a big impact over time if you are consistent.  So, keep searching to find your optimum balance, not only sport, but in everything you do in life.

Make it a great week. Spring is coming soon and will have more daylight, than darkness come March 20th.

Coach Eric