Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Drafting in the Swim: Feet or Hip

From thewaterisopen.com

"The best position for a draft swimmer was found to be directly behind an active lead swimmer at a distance of 0.50 meters between the toes of lead swimmer and the hands of drafter, with significant reductions in both passive drag and oxygen uptake when drafting." Without having access to the entire study, we believe the conclusion is valid under the specific circumstance of swimming in a flat-water race in relatively clear conditions in a relatively straight course.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Avoiding the Overtraining Trap

From Fast at Forty

There is a very tenuous relationship between fitness and success and fitness and failure. When training is going well, it is so easy to push yourself over the limit by turning easy workouts into hard ones and making the hard workouts harder. Come on, you know you have gone out for an easy ride with the group and it turned into a slug-fest.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Look at Chris Lieto's Run

From Xtri.com

Ideally, the head is neutral with the lobe of the ear aligned with the shoulder joint, mid-trunk, trochanter, and slightly anterior to a mid-line through the knee and lateral malleolus (ankle). The goal in coaching is for athletes to achieve these positions “comfortably” by improving mobility, stability, flexibility while re-learning foundational (narrow adjustments) techniques.
Each year Chris has proficiently focused on improving and is a textbook and impressive example of someone who has worked elementary form and stability at a most consummate level.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Challenging Conventional Thinking on Weight/Reps

From Sweat Science

They found that the first (high weight, low reps) and third routines (low weight, high reps) were the same on most measures of protein synthesis, and the third routine was even better on some measures. Those new proteins being synthesized are what accumulate, over time, to produce bigger muscles. So as long as you’re lifting until can’t lift anymore, you’ll do as well or better with light weights as you would with heavy weights....This is some serious heresy being proposed, and it’s important to note that they didn’t actually observe bigger muscles, just cellular markers. The researchers themselves note that “a training study in which these distinctly different exercise loads are utilized is clearly warranted to confirm our speculation.”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Running Tired: Mental Tools

From Bobby McGee

Focusing on anything other than that which can propel you forward faster during fatigued running can be called lost focus. Focusing on fatigue, or trying to think dissociatively, i.e. of something else to get your mind off the task at hand, when racing or running hard, leads to reduced access to fitness & ability. Focusing on how you are running (the mechanical movements) is also ineffectual, as this is a cognitive process that occurs so much slower (it is chemical), than the natural (electrical) flow of a reflex (unconscious) action. Thoughts on getting limbs & body into optimal position to gain maximum benefit from power application & elastic return are excellent ways to focus. Focusing on a feeling or image is also very powerful, especially when fresh. At the start of an endurance race, focus on mood words like, easy, smooth, powerful, relaxed, will help you to not interfere cognitively with your body’s natural ability to perform. In triathlon this would be relevant mostly in the swim & on the bike if a draft legal event. However, when fatigue sets in, it becomes useful to think objectively about what to do, especially if your form has deteriorated.

Climbing on the Bike: Sit or Stand

From Joe Friel

I was asked in a tweet last week if a rider should sit or stand when climbing a hill on a bike. I wish I could give a one-word answer, but that isn’t possible. As I’ve said so many times here in responding to reader questions, my answer must often start with “it depends.” This one is no difference. Here’s what this answer depends on…

Monday, August 9, 2010

Most Common Run Problem: Cadence

From Running Times

And while there is no perfect form, there are basic elements of good form, including landing over your center of gravity, a light, rapid cadence, minimal lateral rotation and, easier to spot than quantify, relaxed body position. What deviations from this basic model do experts most often see?

Daniels says that in young and old runners alike he's worked with, "The most common form problem was stride rate --bounding over the ground too slowly, with long strides. Runners are often told to work on a long stride, but that is more a function of getting fitter rather than just doing it. I never had a runner perform worse when I felt they needed a faster rhythm and they actually did learn to use a faster cadence."