February Triathlon Training Chat with Coach Kevin Konczak and Mike Ricci

author : KevinKonczak
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[chirunner134] I have a muscle imbalance where my right leg is too weak. Is there anything I can do during the run to make sure I am not under using while I am running?

 

[KevinKonczak] I'd think you could think about a stronger toe-off while running & just be conscious about it while you are running, and spend some time in the weight room to work on those weaker muscles you have the imbalance on. When you run on the track (if you do), you could switch directions to balance out the inner leg/outer leg. One leg is always shorter going around the track...shorter stride that is. But they aren't something you ever would want to OVER-do.

 

[mikericci] Chi - also you can do more plyometrics on the weaker side - like one leg hops, stair hops, bounding etc. And like KK said, more work on the weaker leg - for example MORE step-ups with the weaker leg.

 

[KevinKonczak] Yes on the plyometrics. But if you haven't done them before, careful, the extra explosion of power could cause a weak leg to get easily injured. Plyos are great for building power for sure.


[ron] What would be the differences to shallow running vs deep water running?


[mikericci] Ron - my opinion is that deep water running is for athletes who have an injury and can't use impact surfaces for running - such as pavement or the treadmill. Running in shallow water still has some impact. If you were to do drills or bounding in the shallow water that would be useful, but this would have to be with an UNinjured athlete. (more at Shallow & Deep Water Running )

[1st Timer in NY] Should you have already ran the distance in training before racing that distance? e.g. I might enter 15k but have never done more than 12 k in training.

[mikericci] 1st timer - what is your race coming up - which plan are you using?


[1st Timer in NY] Race is Mar 11. I currently am using 20wk OLY and would use race as my LDS run that week.

[mikericci] So - how long is your March 11th race? What is your current long run?


[1st Timer in NY] Race is 15k current long run is about 7-8 miles.  It will be my first organized event of any kind...if that matters.


[mikericci]
Ok - so you have 4 weeks to move up 2 miles? You shouldn't have much problem. Each week should see you bumping up the long run 10 minutes or 1-1.5 miles.  You could easily be up to 12-13 miles by the time the race is here.


[1st Timer in NY] So you would recommend reaching that distance in training before attempt to race it?

 

[mikericci] Overdistance - I would recommend running LONGER than the 15k you are racing. Make the training HARDER than the racing. That's the first rule of getting better at this stuff.


[Writebrained] At the Chicago Tri last August, there were tons of flat tires. Any tips or tricks for avoiding flats???

 

[KevinKonczak] Clinchers with Slime (although heavier) for tires, keep the eyes open better like going thru a mine field, and avoid the very edge of the course where junk seems to accumulate.


[chirunner134] Can 2 Olys back-to-back weekends greatly slow me down for the second Oly? Or would it be helpful to see where my Oly speed is. Or would the sprint be better for the first? I just never done an Oly before.

 

[KevinKonczak] Ideally, if #2 race is Oly, you could do the sprint for the first one. You're just checking all the details for the big A race anyhow. Plus, you'll recovery sooner in that week you have between. You can do both evenly effort-wise, or make one your "A" race out of the two, and one your "B" race...which one is more important? Are they just training races for a bigger race? What are your expectations?


[mikericci] Chi- lots of theories on this - the last stuff I read on this said to NOT TRAIN between the races if you can believe that but I still think you need to do something in between the races...

 

[KevinKonczak] I think you need to do something between of course as Mike said, but if anything, just to help with recovery from the first race.  Use the first race as a lead-in race, check your pacing, nutrition, equipment, and use it to fine tune everything. Then give it a check on the 2nd race.

 

[rkreuser] OK, on the 8 wk winter maintenance, run focused....not much speedwork or tempo, lots of zone 2.  Almost through it, thank-you-very-much. Anyway, I'm antsy to turn some base into speed. When does that happen, say, leading into a late April oly?

 

[mikericci] Right - the emphasis is on VOLUME and FREQUENCY - if you try to add speed or intensity to VOLUME you get INJURY.

 

[rkreuser] Mmmmhmmm. I just don't think I can last much longer doing 9 minute miles. I wanna go.

 

[mikericci] Take a look at the next plan you'll be doing - I bet there is some speed/intensity in there...

 

[rkreuser] I think there is. It just can't get here fast enough.


[mikericci] Speed work is the icing on the cake and you still need to bake the cake. If you add the icing without the cake, you won't like the taste. If Mark Allen can run 10 minute miles, I am sure you can handle 9s.

 

[KevinKonczak] There is a happy "medium" of volume vs. speed...it is usually just to maintain where you are at though. A little of this...a little of that...without delving too much into either one. I usually use that for longer periods when not tapering or in a Build Phase.  Frequency though...to volume, yeah, OUCH!


[rkreuser]
Yeah, well, it's tough because I watched a whole bunch of my peers go low in marathons and halves today.

[mikericci] February Champions. You want to be fast now or when it counts?


[KevinKonczak] Don't worry about the peers. You all aren't on the same training plan or individual level at any time of the year, or with the same lifestyles.


[rkreuser] Man, I hope you're right.


[KevinKonczak] Don't measure yourself against others. Only yourself.


[mikericci] Yeah - well, unless the rules of physiology has changed you'll be good to go - trust the plan.


[rkreuser]  I just magically hope that these 9's convert easily into 7:15's.

[mikericci] 2 minutes slower per mile is about right.

 

[mikericci] I run 7:30- all the time - when it comes time to race, I am in the low 6s. KK trains at 6:40 pace, races at 5:30-5:40 off the bike.

 

(rkreuser pushes the beer and girl scout cookies away.)

[Writebrained] What are some of the biggest mistakes you see age-groupers making?


[KevinKonczak] Inconsistency in training. #1.


[mikericci] Writebrained - this is a lay-up question! Answers are: not enough rest, not enough sleep, not eating right and training too hard - not in the right zones.

[KevinKonczak] Big training days followed by a lull in several days is common too. Lack of communication if working with a coach is a personal one I've run across. You need to listen & talk about your training with someone more experienced or a coach to keep tabs on it all--and keep from doing too much, too soon, or not enough...and NEVER ever make up a workout. You move on, and if you miss too many, you just have to re-adjust your expectations/goals. No way around it. You will need to adjust the in-between training if you are on a gradual structured program. Adjusting repeats & effort levels, etc. Like if you were doing...40 miles (long ride), then 45 the next week, then the plan was to do 50 the following week, but instead, you only did 10 miles 1x that week, yeah, you may need to go back down before going back up again. Just to be safe.


[rkreuser] Allright...to a fun topic...what's the latest in gear? Do we all need to sell our Zipps and get aero helmets, or what?

[mikericci] Power meter before the toys!


[rkreuser] Or get swim snorkels and bento boxes?

[mikericci]
Snorkels, yes!


[KevinKonczak] Aero helmets are hot. But research in wind tunnels say I think what...1-2 minutes on a 40k Mike?


[rstocks3] I have a lot of trouble with the snorkel and flip turns.

 

[mikericci] rstocks -the flip is tough with the snorkel - you have to blow very hard on the flip to keep the H2O out.
 

[mikericci] Bento boxes - I've had one for years - great additional tool for the long distance racer.
 

[KevinKonczak] Power meters ARE THE biggest craze right now though, that & aero helmets.


[rstocks3] I'll try it some more this week. I have a question about a race dilemma at the end of March. IMWI in Sep is an A race and a marathon on 5/6 is what I am planning. 1/2 Mary on 4/1 with an option of a 10k.  Masters swim meet and a 15k basically in my back yard on 3/26.  The 2 weeks of 3/26 and 4/1 which would you recommend?  The swim meet and the 15K are 3/26, I would only do one.

[mikericci] You should be racing LESS.

 

[rstocks3] IMWI is the main goal. It sounds like the swim meet is in and the 15K is out.


[KevinKonczak] Swim, 1/2, Mary, IM take lots of rest between those. Maybe some hiking after the Mary for a week or two instead of running.

[chirunner134]
I am just coming back from knee injury. Caused by a tight IT band. How many miles should I start with?


[KevinKonczak] I'd start with aqua jogging!


[mikericci] 2 minute walk - 2 minute run - try that - and do a few cycles - maybe 5?

[RafeOsha] How long can you take off from a training plan before you have to adjust the plan.....assuming a 1-time thing like stopping an achy IT band from being a real problem? I plan to take the time I need to heal, but just wondering when I need to start changing planned workouts.
 

[mikericci]  rafe - try doing some aquajogging while the ITB heals.

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date: March 22, 2007

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KevinKonczak