April 2008 Women's Training Chat with Coach Amy

author : Amy Kuitse
comments : 0

Discussions on long workout recovery food timing, foot numbness after a run, open water sighting, swim training for a 750m race, favorite wetsuit and the ability to do a half Ironman.

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[Amy Kuitse]  Welcome to women's chat. It's a nice way to communicate with other BT'rs and in this chat...questions specific to for women in triathlon.

[lisazapato]  So one thing I wonder is, I recently started going for much longer rides than usual, like 3-4 hours.  When I come back, my husband has all this STUFF from his Ironman training, protein powder, Recoverite, or whatever, and I don't know what I should be taking afterwards. He just says, "sure, I guess you can have some protein powder."

[Amy Kuitse] Get in some protein/carbs post workout.

[lisazapato]  Can I wait like half an hour? I usually just want to sit for about that long before doing anything.

[Amy Kuitse]  You can wait for 1/2 hour before you take something in, but don't wait much longer then that. We have a window of up to 45' that our body will really take the carbs/protein for replenishing our system.

[lisazapato]  Do you find that you all can take in recovery food/liquids right after or does it depend on what you've just done?

[Amy Kuitse]  I find that after a long hard run I struggle, but still seem to get something in within that window of time.  Following a race...forget it! I know that isn't good and I constantly work on it.

[AdaBug] I have been having tingling numbness in my feet after mile 3 in my runs, talked to many people about it, going to Fleet Feet tomorrow to get fixed for wetsuit AND get more info about my tootsies.

[Amy Kuitse]  Tingling and numbness after 3 miles into the run?

[AdaBug] Yup, started when I did a 1:20 run a few weeks ago. Bought new shoes, changed some, but didn't totally help.

[Amy Kuitse]  Could you loosen the front part of your shoes? Do you use orthotics?

[AdaBug] It is loose enough I think, I don't crank down except some on the top for heel slippage.

[Amy Kuitse] Do you dig your toes into the front of the shoes?

[AdaBug] I just went for orthotics, tried them Friday for 1 hour, kept having to adjust, left foot was ok for a while, but still after some time didn't help much---in fact my legs were tired Sunday. Fit is fine according to the Runner's Roost fitter.

[Amy Kuitse] That can be common coming off the bike, this isn't following a ride though is it?

[AdaBug] Um, well, no, not immediately coming off the bike...everything from ankles up was great, but feet were traitors.

[Amy Kuitse] I was wondering with the orthotics if they are pushing your feet up and into the front of the shoe. Is that happening to you?

[AdaBug] Well, possibly, I took them out for my run today, and didn't have them for the practice race, but had new shoes...I dunno.  One opinion said it's a mechanics thing BUT more subtle than pronating.

[SSMinnow]  I do have a question about OWS, how do you sight?

[lisazapato] And when there is sun, I can hardly do it, my goggles get foggy and I'm all discombobulated.

[Amy Kuitse] I would try to sight from the same side each time while you are learning so you can become more comfortable, work on sighting in the pool too, pick out something on deck to sight for.

[SSMinnow] I have read to do it during the recovery phase, but that seems backwards. I usually breathe first.

[Amy Kuitse] I time my sighting with breathing.

[AdaBug]  I started closing my eyes when my face is submerged, then opening when I breathe, sighting objects on the deck......is that "kosher"?

[Amy Kuitse] You are right that it is a challenge if it is sunny, but if you keep your head turned slightly more to the side and don't raise your head quite as much that can really help. You could even put an object on the pool deck so that you practice really focusing on that.

[lisazapato] Is it possible to sight buoys on your left if your breathe on your right? I *can* breathe on my left but I lose probably 5-10s/100 and I'm not as comfortable.  But I think for one of my upcoming races it's a counterclockwise course so I hope to sight on my left by turning a little extra or something, while still breathing on right or maybe, if that doesn't work, breathe on my left only when I want to sight? What do you think?

[Amy Kuitse] I bilateral breathe and sight off my left side. So my pattern goes something like this: right stroke, left stroke, right stroke, and as my left arm comes up my head raises slightly. I sight, breathe, and follow through with the left arm. Do you bilateral breathe or practice that?

[lisazapato]  I can bilateral breathe, but I think my lungs aren't good enough yet, because I eventually run out of breath. Especially because I also do flip turns, and if I'm doing like 200 or more, each flip turn increases my deficit. Or if I'm going "hard" I can only bilateral for maybe 50 yards.

[Amy Kuitse] I really think it is beneficial to practice bilateral breathing for having the ability to breathe on both sides for the reasons you mentioned: sun, course direction, etc.

[SSMinnow]  If my first race is 750M, how much distance should I be doing in practices?

[Amy Kuitse]  I would recommend swimming 1500-2000yds. Your long swim could be 2000yds.

[lisazapato]  And when you swim - should you be doing it all in a row, or like sets of 100's?

[SSMinnow]  Split into different sets? Like should be doing 750 all at one time?

[Amy Kuitse]  Just like with biking/running, going longer distances in the swim improves our endurance and strength.  I don't think you need to be swimming 750 yds, you could really do some 100, 200, 300's. to work on that specific distance and one day a week you could swim long. Start with your long swim being 500 straight, then 750, then 1000.


[lisazapato] Ok, sounds good. I've been wanting to try a 1000 yard TT but mostly I do sets of 100's and ladders up to like 400 or so. Maybe I will try a ladder to 800.

[AdaBug] OWS again, out there in the blue, sight using landmarks? Like mountains? Or just buoys?

[Amy Kuitse] If you are swimming on a course that the water is smooth and there are a good amount of buoys, I'd site for the buoys if you are breathing on the same side as the buoys. When the water is choppy and there are lots of people, landmarks are good. High landmarks are good as they will keep you on course.

[Amy Kuitse]  Do you all get a chance to OWS outside of races?

[AdaBug] I am bilateral and comfy, just was thinking that as a strategy, knowing the landmarks might be good as well as the buoys.

[Amy Kuitse] If you have a hard time finding a lake to swim in see if you can do OWS the day before the race then this is a good way also to get your "landmark" for sighting during the race. It isn't always easy to get into the water at the race site the day before unfortunately.

[lisazapato] Do you have a favorite wetsuit Amy?

[Amy Kuitse] I love the Blue Seventy. My first wetsuit was an Ironman Stealth and still have it...it's 7-8 years old and is just made well. I have a full Blue Seventy, but also have a sleeveless. I prefer to swim in a sleeveless because of my shoulders, but I know there are greater benefits in the full.

[lisazapato] In water that's ~65 degrees, would you say a full is necessary?

[Amy Kuitse] The Blue Seventy is light, goes on / comes off well.  I would go with a full in 65 degree water, I think it keeps you warmer...I know that sounds silly, but depending on what you are like as a swimmer and how you handle cold water, you are more than likely going to want a full.

[lisazapato]  I am sort of toying with the idea of a HIM in September. But, I am not sure yet. I will see how things go over the next few weeks, partly because I don't want to do it if I can't do it in less than 6:30. I don't think I have the patience to slug it out.  I'm also doing a century on June 21.

[Amy Kuitse] With a century under your belt you know you will have the bike miles in. Where are you with the swim / run?

[lisazapato] I swam competitively in junior high so that means I'm comfortable in the water but I didn't do it long enough to be really fast. No matter what, on any given day, I can knock out 1:55/100 for maybe 1000 yds.

[Amy Kuitse] If you are ready to take on that HIM you will know, nothing wrong with waiting another 1-2 years. Here's the good news: you don't have to worry about swimming fast for the HIM, just steady and confident!

[lisazapato] I feel like just because I am comfortable that is an advantage! And with the run, I've done 3 half marathons, but none of them fast.  But also, I've never really trained hard until this year.

[Amy Kuitse] Do as you said...see how the next few weeks go and then decide. You are right, comfortable is an advantage. You relax and don't waste as much energy. Good on the 1/2 mary's, you know the distance and again...steady is key.

[lisazapato] I think I'll do a 10k in a few weeks to test out the run, and then also do some bike routes a few times over a few weeks to see if I get better.

[Amy Kuitse] I think that sounds like a good plan.

[lisazapato] Thank you Amy, for answering all my questions.  I appreciate it! Have a good night.


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date: May 6, 2008

Amy Kuitse