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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I need to post ...

Struggling a bit with what to write.

I had an article written that described my thoughts on optimistic vs. pessimistic outlooks based on our current political and economic situation. I couldn't pull the trigger on it because I was basically just validating my optimistic perception and my focus on rather trivial things while telling others who seem to be licking their wounds from 2008 how to put on a smile and march ahead. I don’t want to minimize what some people are going through. I’m thankful that my situation is great, partially because I don’t put a large emphasis on monetary and material possessions, and partially because my family and I are in good health. I’m optimistically looking forward to many things on the horizon.

So what’s the latest?

Christmas was fun and not at all stressful. We kept it fairly modest (as always) and managed to stay home for the entire holiday. That’s the great thing about having kids … you can use them as bait to draw the grandparents to you instead of having to travel. Sometimes you have to play hardball, but in the end they will cave!! Santa brought me a used treadmill that was purchased from a friend of mine for $75 dollars because the digital display doesn’t work. My workouts come as RPE so actual numbers aren’t important … only feel + time. If it bothers me too much to not know my pace, I will get a foot-pod for my Forerunner 305, but so far I’m good with it as is.

Training is going well. I haven’t taken a day off since the 26th of November yet I feel very fresh. The last two weeks have had over 17 hours of training and my lightest week this month had 14.5 hours. My running health continues to restore. I actually have a 1 hour run this week! Swimming is going great. I’m looking forward to a substantial improvement over last season. We’ll see what the bike fitness looks like if I can find a way to get out and ride with JB and crew. Looks like those boys go pretty hard!

My body has been responding well to the training load this month and I’m starting to look lean and mean again. It’s funny that I actually gained weight in the buildup for the ironman. I think I was eating for the Ultraman! I’ll do a body comp soon to tell for sure but I would guess that I’m around 8% body fat now which is how I raced for most of last year. This is still a bit heavy for my liking. If I can exercise a little will power in my choice of foods I think I can get to around 6% without too much trouble. This is where I would like to be for the upcoming race season.

Work is work. I hope when the kids get in school my wife can pickup a few more group fitness classes or personal training clients which would allow me to work part time instead of full time. Colonial is supportive of this in the IT department and it would fit my lifestyle much better. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Monday, December 22, 2008

How to recover from ITBS

After much research and experimentation I'll now publish my thoughts on the most effective approach to coping with Iliotibial Band Syndrome. It should be noted that this is a nasty little injury and must be attacked in an aggressive manner as it will not go away on its own. It's also a deceptive injury that left me dejected many times after thinking that I was "cured". It seems the more you read writings of and talk to elite triathletes, the more you come to realize that this injury tends regress and resurge at various times and must be dealt with accordingly.

So here it is ...

Core / Stability and Strengthening.

If your IT Band flares do this everyday for two weeks, especially before your run, then 3 days a week after that. This first set of exercises was sent to me by my coach and pro triathlete Jonathan Caron.

Squat 2X15 and place a ball or block between knee and squeeze it!!! Very important!

As warm up, 3X2min on each legs….simply balance..nice posture…stand tall, work on keeping both hips stable and even…you can use different toys for balance..challenge yourself… it as to burn!

Start on the ground like this…hold for 5-10 sec…alternate legs and repeat 5-10 times… hips need to be level…butt in…nice and straight like a beam!

Next progression as you get better..use a ball and do the same kind of exercice…balance on one legs and lift the other one…my butt should but in more!!! Always keep strong and nice posture…!!

Same thing…but on the front! Lift one leg..keep for 5 sec…repeat alternating legs…5-10 times…challenge yourself until it burn well…

Progression now using a ball!!!

Hold this position from 5 sec…repeat 5-10 times…alternating legs on the floor… nice posture again…butt in…hips level!

I call them whales! Lift both legs and arms…repeat 2X12….

More exercice of balance to do when done…as a cool down… lifting the leg at the front, then on the side, then backyard…a few more pic of the same exercice

More Core Stability, Strengthening and Stretching

This next set of exercises came from Chris Olson ...

Stretch. I do 10-15 min of stretching. I make sure to get the quads and hammies really stretched out. I always do this before any strength work.

I don’t do all of the following every night, but as I have more troubles, I do more.

1. Ankle weights. Lying on my back with 10# ankle weights on, I raise each leg 6-10” off the floor keeping the leg straight. I do 10-12 reps and 3 sets for each leg. Next I lie on my side and raise the leg in the same manner for the same sets. Then I lie on the other side and do the same. I finish by lying on my stomach and do the same. You’re targeting the small muscles around the hip joint.

2. Resistance band. I lie on my side with a resistance band (big rubber band) around my knees with my knees bent at about a 30* angle. I lift my knee with my feet together…kind of like a clam opening if that makes sense. I do 3 sets of 10-12 reps on each side. Again targeting the muscles on the outside of the leg near the hip.

3. Ankle bands. I really can’t describe this one well…wearing ankle bands I take big sweeping steps across my living room. [EDIT: I took this to mean the monster walk]

More Stretching

The other thing I make sure I do everyday and before each run is the runner's stretch

Loosen Dense Muscle and Breakup Scar Tissue

For these I use both ART treatment from our local practitioner, Dr. Renick, on a regular basis and I do Trigger Point therapy. For the TP therapy you don't necessarily have to use their specific tools. You can substitute a tennis ball or ball of duck tape for the TP massage ball and you can use a hard foam roller, rolling pin, or PVC pipe in place of the quadballer and footballer. I'd recommend ordering the Hip Dysfunction Kit if you want the Cadillac version.

The main focus of these treatments should be on the hip and calf as the IT band pain in the knee is only a symptom of a problem somewhere else in the kinetic chain. Read this and click on all the links:

Quick Update (2-09-09)

It's been a few months and I'm happy to report that my running form has never been better ... even setting a few PRs. I wanted to add a few helpful items ...

Dynamic side plank (very important to lift the hip up and down 20 times each side x 3)

Crunches on ball (front and each side 30 each x 3)

Awesome article from Joe Friel on the importance of core strength for running and specifically how weak core muscles cause ITBS even in runners with a neutral gait:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New local races

A new race just minutes from home ... gotta love it!!!! - And it's an early season race!

From Setup events:

We are currently planning to add two new events to the SCTS schedule. Both will be pool swim sprint distance events with one being planned for downtown Columbia and the other being held near downtown Greenville. Full details on both these events will be posted to the web site once all details are in place. The downtown Columbia event is scheduled for Saturday March 28, 2009 while the Greenville event is scheduled for Saturday June 27, 2009.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Staying the course

Busy laying the foundation these days ... This week was over 14 hours training (LOVE IT!!) and brings us another week closer to the 2009 triathlon season.

Am I freak? Why does triathlon dominate my thoughts??? All I can say is that I love the sport and everything about it. Okay, well, that's just the way I am I guess.

Jonathan is kicking my butt into shape in the pool, although my workouts seem meager compared to some. For me they are good. This week was four 3km workouts for 12,000 meters total. There were some mentally challenging sets in there. I feel myself getting fitter and I can tell that I am getting faster. I had a goal to get faster in the water this winter and I think this is happening. Paris Island will be the first true test.

Running is still coming back slowly. It's two steps forward one step back with this IT band injury. I had a question posted in the comments of my last post about my claim to beating ITBS. Unfortunately I don't have a definite answer just yet. I'm getting better but it's a slow process. As soon as I know I'm over it for sure I'll post a list of everything I tried and what worked and what didn't. Jonathan is sending over some core work for me to do that he describes as "a challenging stability workout...very annoying and painful" - I'm looking forward to it!! On the positive front I managed to get through a 5 1/2 mile run in 40 minutes today without resorting to a run/walk mix, although I did have to stop and stretch 4 or 5 times. I think that put me over 20 miles for the week! :-) I used to say that I didn't like running. I'll never say that again ... I guess sometimes you don't know how blessed you are to be able to do something until that thing is taken away!

On the bike front the 09 Scotts have been delayed until February so I'll be hanging onto the 08 Plasma for a while longer as I don't like to be reduced to just a road bike. I'm looking forward to the ride around the lake on Jan 4th.

The family is doing well. The kids are getting AMPED for Christmas. Speaking of amps, that is something my son wants for Christmas so he can really crank up his electric guitar - lucky us :-) The girls want an assortment of horse related stuff including large stuffed horses and My Little Pony stables, the Bratz horse, etc, etc, etc. If it's horse or dance related, they'll take it! I'm thinking about letting my son take karate lessons. He and I watch a little Van Dam classic last night and before long he was down to his Sponge Bob boxers doing flying karate kicks to the couches and pillows at 90 miles per hour.

Anyone know why old people whistle so much in the locker room? If your old and are heading to the water aerobics class (redundant??) then chances are when you hit the locker room you're going to rip off whatever golden oldy is floating around in your head. This totally kills my pre-swim mental build up and post-swim mental cool down. Would you mind people?????

Work is crazy as always. We will be pushing the final iteration of a major release of our software (Harmony version 7.0) this week to QA. This may mean some nights working until 7:00pm if necessary. I'm proud of the work my team and I did for this release!

My goal for next week ... stay the course - put in another solid week of training and continue to get back to health with my running.

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's the weekend

YAY!!!! Here's what I have planned:

A few hours on the road bike

Some running

Some celebrating my birthday!

It been great getting back into training lately. My coach is awesome and has done a great job of maximizing every minute of my available training time! This week will have somewhere around 16 hours of training (when you add in a few hours of strength work). I'm sooooo happy to be running again pain free!! Never again will I have ITB - I've learned my lesson and will keep my strength in balance and stay flexible.

Swimming has been going well but also kicking my butt. When I add in my swim from last Sunday, I've swam 12,500 meters in my last five session over the past 6 days. I was struggling to get through my cool down set today!? The suffering is okay by me because I am feeling my swim fitness getting elevated.

I'm registered for a few races for next year. I'll do the B2B full again which I consider a "practice" ironman and will be my "A" race of the year. The long term goal is to qualify for the World Championship in 2010. To do this I need to be able to go sub 9:30 on a flat course (somewhat slower on a hilly course). I think that is a stretch for 2009 so we will use this year to learn the distance better and get faster before I attempt to qualify the following year. As part of the preparation for the B2B I will do the 70.3 race in Augusta. I decided to go with this one instead of the SC Half based on the advice of my coach with the premise that 6 weeks between the races is better than 5. This will give us 2 hard weeks after the half ahead of a 4 week taper. I really want to go 4:30 or below at the half.

Like last year, I intended to get enough series points to win my age group in the SCTS in the first half of the year (March - June). That is unless I decided to get my rear handed to me in the Open division. I have a few running races coming up that should help me make this decision ...

Have a great weekend everyone and GOOD LUCK to all you studly people racing Kiawa this weekend!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Local SCTS Triathlete - Peter Kotland - Ultraman

Check out this article on local athlete Peter Kotland featured on SlowTwitch:

Who says the SCTS isn't a competitive series??? If I race in the Open division next year, this is who I'm up against. Hmmm, maybe I should stay age group ...

And look, he's wearing a T-Shirt fron the Run In in G-ville!