Monday, May 28, 2012

The Advantage of Forced Change

This year our venue for my TriJuniors regular Tuesday night track workouts was under construction, and we had to look for a new one. We were able to secure a much nicer venue, at the time we wanted, but they would only be able to accommodate us on Wednesday nights instead.

At first this was quite frustrating. I didn't want to change what I was doing as a coach, as I felt I had a good rhythm with our program. Changing what I was used to was uncomfortable to say the least. 

Then we started the new workout, and restructured the week we use for training. It was interesting to see how in many cases, the change was actually advantageous to the training I was writing for our group. Of course, at first I didn't even want to consider that possibility. Changing what I was used to was wrong, bad and just plain annoying! 

I preach a lot here about athletes changing what they do, and their unwillingness to do so in many cases, despite the clear benefits. I learned that lesson again myself. We are seeing the benefit. I changed training structure and approach because I had to, it was forced upon me, and low and behold, it was probably the best thing to happen to us. 

Seek out change, force yourself to try something different. If you're not happy with your current results, what do you have to lose?

Coach Vance

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Show me the heel-striker

This was last weekend, at the ITU WTS Triathlon in San Diego. These guys are running very fast. The reason? They don't let their feet spend much time on the ground. Even Huerta, who looks like he's about to heel-strike, isn't actually, as he quickly moves the foot more under his hips, from a supinated landing to toe-off. 

Want to get faster at running? Perfect the foot-strike. Go on runs where all you do is pay attention to your foot-strike. When the heel contacts first, the foot can not get off the ground until the forefoot lands, and then it can toe-off. That takes time, a lot of time when you add it up over hundreds/thousands of foot-steps. If the forefoot to mid-foot lands first, that will reduce the time, so the athlete can spend more time propelling themselves. More propelling means faster.

Focus on perfecting your foot-strike to be more mid-foot to forefoot, and you'll be faster. 

Coach Vance