Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Routine Race Week

This week I have a number of high school cross country athletes getting ready for the state meet, and a number of athletes competing at Ironman Cozumel this week. It's interesting how much similarity there is in the race week approach for high school cross country runners and Ironman triathletes.

This week is especially challenging, due to the holiday. Kids are out of school for the week, which means they tempted to change their sleep patterns, staying up late or sleeping in, and sitting around on the couch, munching on snacks they don't normally get to eat. Changes in sleep and diet patterns during a race week is NOT a formula for success, no matter what you're preparing to race. I hear athletes starting to carbo load, which is simply changing your diet, unnecessarily.

Try to keep things as routine as possible. Might be difficult with the holiday, and the normal diet change that happens with Thanksgiving dinner, as well as travel to your big race. But try to resist changing your diet dramatically, and keep the sleep patterns at night the same. Napping during the day is fine, and I encourage that, but stick to what the body is used to, as much as possible.

Good luck to all those competing this weekend!

Coach Vance

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ironman Tapering Tip

We are entering the final week or two for many Ironman athletes, with Arizona this Sunday, and Cozumel the following. Some athletes I consult with by reviewing the program they write themselves, and I give feedback on that. When it comes to tapering, it can be as much art as science. Many athletes struggle to find the balance of what is enough, what is too much.

Here's a tip for tapering for Ironman; if you are going to risk overdoing the volume, make sure it is more on the bike than the run. If you really want to do more, add more bike volume, do less run volume. Running in general poses more risk of injury, and requires more recovery time. For example, instead of doing a 90 min run 1 week out from the race, do 60 mins and then add some bike time, say 30-90 mins spin afterward.

Best of luck!

Coach Vance

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Principle of Unending Improvement

"You must believe and adhere to the principle of UNENDING IMPROVEMENT and the setting and achieving of even higher goals." - Joe Vigil, San Diego USAT Arts & Sciences Symposium 2012

This quote from Joe's presentation in San Diego recently hit the spot with everything I agree and do. I am constantly using data from the athlete's workouts to determine the exact next step, so we can have "unending improvement," skipping over any performance plateaus.

With the increase of depth in the sport, more talented athletes in it, the difference between accomplishing goals and not is becoming a smaller and smaller margin. We can't afford to train poorly, or waste training days with too much recovery, too much training stress, or injury. Data will help you to do this. If you're not using data to do so, you do not believe and adhere to this principle.

Coach Vance