May 2008 Triathlon Training Chat with Coach AJ

author : Coach AJ
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Discussions on race day butterflies, long Ironman training bricks, training in the heat, hydration, going hard in a short race, and hammering the swim.

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[Coach AJ] I'm here if anyone has a question on training or racing, fire away!

[ScotinSeattle] Racing. Any tips on how to settle butterflies?

[Coach AJ] Butterflies are common, and are a good thing in my opinion. If you're not nervous, something is wrong. Realize that butterflies are always going to be with you. Think about it this way, if you have butterflies, that's good, and when the gun goes off, they go away. If it causes GI stress, think through your prerace nutrition. It's more a coming to terms with it more than anything. I always have butterflies, even before a fun 5k!

[gettinfitnow] I was wondering if it was really necessary to do a long brick day for an IM, like 80/18? A friend of mine really thinks I need a 12 hour day, but the weather is so hot. It's been over 100 when I get off the bike. I did 6 miles yesterday after 60 ride and was miserable because of the heat. If I do short runs after, then long runs early the next morning will it be enough? I am afraid I am just surviving and not getting quality in if I run that long in the heat.

[Coach AJ] Quality is the main component to good IM training. I think short (45' to 1) after the bike, maybe 2 times a week. Then the long run is sufficient to up your endurance. I like to split my longest ride and run by at least 1 day. That way both big sessions are quality. That usually means a long ride on Saturday, then the long run on Mon. or Tues. The super long day 12 hours + can do some serious damage and take quite a long time to recover from.

[Coach AJ] On super hot days you really have to be on top of your hydration. If you do get dehydrated on the ride, it can take a day or 2 to get fully rehydrated, and that will cost you in your following sessions.

[Lucy] The night before my first HIM I woke up like 4 times to pee!

[Coach AJ] Lucy, be careful! Too much water pre race can deplete your electrolytes. In addition, having to get up that many times to pee cuts into your swim time.

[Blueraiderzone] You can have too much water prerace? How do you know how much is the right amount?

[Lucy] It wasn't all water I was drinking- Gatorade/water...I was sipping bottles all day.

[Coach AJ] The right amount is when your urine is relatively clear, and you are going about every 4 to 5 hours. Your body tries to remain in homeostasis, or at it's normal level. Lots of water ups your blood volume, which the body rids as urine. Everyone is a bit different, but basically you don't need to super hydrate.

[sue7013] I sweated off 5# in 90minutes running yesterday.

[Coach AJ] For humid races, I like to take ice from the aid stations and put it in my shorts. It cools down the legs, and shocks the system a bit! Yes, try it once and you will do it every time you get the chance. Plus the ice helps keep any inflammation down and cools you down because the ice is near or on the femoral artery.

[Blueraiderzone] I have my first tri one week from tomorrow. I feel I have train well. I have looked at the results from last year and I think I have a chance to be very competitive. It's a sprint (200yd swim, 8.5 mile bike, 2 mile run). It is actually a warm-up for a tri I have in 3 weeks that is twice as long. What type of advice might you have for me?

[Coach AJ] In such a short race you can afford to go hard from the start. Focus on your race, execute your plan and enjoy the process. Then recover well afterwords, an ice bath or massage and some good stretching. The following days should be light. Take the lessons you learn from the race this week you can apply to the coming race. How well did you execute your plan? Did your nutrition go well? How was your pacing strategy. Between the races, just focus on getting in 2-3 quality sessions per week.

[Triathlynne] Speaking of going hard from the start. I am a swimmer and was thinking with this next race coming up I would go all out in the swim but I was not recommended to do that. What do you say?

[Coach AJ] The question is what will you gain by going 100%? If you feel you can gain enough of an advantage, AND hold on for the bike and run, it may be a good plan. If however the energy expenditure from drilling the swim will hurt your ability to be strong on the bike and run, then dial it back. You also have to factor in your personal racing preference. Do you like to lead or do you like to hunt them down?

[Triathlynne] I "try" to hunt them down. I just recently bought a new bike and I think I can do well in this section now. It's just the hate of having everyone pass me on the run. Makes me feel totally miserable.

[Coach AJ] Think of the finish line, not just 1 component. Just because you have a new bike doesn't mean you have to go all out. Try holding back on the bike and having a strong run.

[Triathlynne] I really just want to beat myself to tell you the truth. I'm not good at being competitive.

[Coach AJ] Triathlon is a personal endeavor. The only person that has to be happy when you finish is you. Take on a different challenge and see what you can do if you use a different strategy.

[Triathlynne] I think I will. I'll challenge myself to run for at least 20 minutes without stopping! I'm just hopeless at it. I can swim and swim and swim and swim. But run a mile. Bleh.

[Coach AJ] Take your weakness and make it a strength. That's how you improve.


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date: May 30, 2008

Coach AJ

USAT Level 1 Coach
"My coaching philosophy can be summed up in two words: listening and balance. By combining these two elements I feel I can help each athlete achieve their full potential."

avatarCoach AJ

USAT Level 1 Coach
"My coaching philosophy can be summed up in two words: listening and balance. By combining these two elements I feel I can help each athlete achieve their full potential."

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