December BT Chat with Kevin Konczak, Tri Coach

author : KevinKonczak
comments : 0

Discussions on St. A's training, diet, strength training during the winter, tri/road bike training, swollen feet, swimming strategy and spinning for IM's.

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[KevinKonczak] Anyone have a training or racing question? Off season training is great when you mix it up with things like Nordic skiing or snowshoeing. Got a couple hrs in today of xc skate was a bad left over habit from NCAA.

[SayleBoat] I am very new to tri. I have recently purchased a bike and a small amount of gear, and am ready to enter my first sprint in March of '06. I am 6', 255lbs., a little overweight. Is the 12-week sprint program the best for me? Also, what does a diet look like.

[KevinKonczak] While I'm not a nutritionist, I think diets are bad for you. Eat a decent diet of lean meats, veggies, and fruits, lots of water. Take out some of the soda most folks get. That's 200 calories a can, of junk. So a sprint is good to start. Especially since you don't want to start out putting big miles on joints & muscles when you're carrying an extra backpack of weight. When you're leaner, and have some sprint experience, and if you want to move up next season (2007 or late 2006), then go for it.

[KevinKonczak] Start small, think BIG for possibilities.

[SayleBoat] Should I stick to strength training, or low weight, lots of reps??

[KevinKonczak] Low weight, 60% body weight to adjust, 3-4 sets, 15-20 reps. 2-3 x a week. When you feel you are ready to add weight w/out pulling something or too much pain the next day, slightly increase it.

[KevinKonczak] On the diet thing, ever wonder why there are so many? They don't work. The only thing that will keep & take off the weight is a good lifestyle, which includes expending as much calorie as you take in. ANYTHING but will put the weight on. Why not just eat normal & treat yourself once in a while (to keep it fun), and just make sure you burn it all off--what you put in your mouth?

[SayleBoat] Thanks Kevin!!

[Writebrained] What % Tri-bike VS Road bike in training? I'd think you want to train as much as possible specific to the TRI bike but many say they log most miles on road bike (comfort). Your thoughts?

[KevinKonczak] It is preference early season, since I'm 'poe' & have only 1 road/tri bike, I do it all on a tri bike. If you can afford a road bike, early season up until a month before on road is great. You'll see folks around the mountains like Tim DeBoom riding mostly his road bike until right up to a good 3 weeks before a race.

[Writebrained] Got it. Thnx.

[KevinKonczak] Lots of pros here ride road bikes in winter, and switch to get the comfort zone & adjust to the steeper seat just before the races.

[PirateGirl] I'm doing strength training during the winter per the winter maint. plan. Should I keep it up throughout the year or drop it when racing starts?

[KevinKonczak] How old are you? I mean, the older we get, the more strength training we need to keep up our bodies over the years.

[PirateGirl] 28

[KevinKonczak] You want to taper off when you start your taper for a "A" race, and pick it up after you've recovered shortly...a good 4 days for Oly Dist. Longer from IM.

[KevinKonczak] But keep the weights up all winter, but keep some speed in there on the run or hi rpms on the bike 1x a week because the lifting will shorten the muscles quick.

[PirateGirl] Great! Thanks!

[grvfrog] 8:16 pm: I have a question. Yesterday I did a 31 mile trail run. I felt great the entire way and to be honest had too much energy in the end. I stuck to hammergels (and an oreo cookie at the last aid station) and water. I didn't even get so much as a blister from the run. However, later in the day I was so swollen, my feet were tight in my shoes and I couldn't even pull up my jeans, I felt like a blowfish, is this a normal thing for people? How can I avoid this?

[KevinKonczak] You take the shoes off & they blow up. Just like mine in Ironman races. Yes, that's normal. Raise your feet & get a massage, sleep with pillow under the lower half of the legs.

[KevinKonczak] Blood pooling to the legs.

[grvfrog] It felt like my entire body though, it was weird, never had that happen after a marathon or anything before.

[KevinKonczak] I just go down to Boulder Creek where the water is like 50 F & stand in it after long runs. You can get a garbage pale & fill it with cold water (new of course).

[grvfrog] I'll try your suggestions though, thanks. We got in the car shortly after the run, no massage and had a little over 3-hour ride home, that's when I discovered I was a whale.

[Cavu9] Then you recommend ice baths too?

[KevinKonczak] 31 miles is more than a marathon. BIG difference when you get there past 26 miles.

[runnergirl29] Ice baths work great once you get over the initial shock!

[Cavu9] Yes...shock is a good word

[KevinKonczak] Well, yes. IMNZ has ice baths waiting for finishers even, ice is good. I know I only care to go up to just below the hips. Too shocking for me otherwise.

[grvfrog] I'm a fan of ice baths too, but haven't done them in a very long time, guess it's time to start them up again.

[Cavu9] Can you over do it?

[KevinKonczak] Yes, only 5-10 minutes of cold water if you can stand it. You can damage skin otherwise from too cold of water/ice. When numbness sets in.

[mtnchick13] What about achy running mileage was only 30 some miles a month and last month I did 70 and now my knees aren't liking me....will this go away soon?

[KevinKonczak] 30 some miles a month to 70 is HUGE jumps. You want a 10% increase per week. 10 miles week 1. 11 miles week 2 total. Or adjust according to where you start.

[mtnchick13] I was following a new plan and didn't realize all the miles until later.

[KevinKonczak] Even by months 30-70 is big. Toss the plan out. 30 to 70 if you're starting out is not right.

[Writebrained] What's the biggest mistake triathletes make on the swim (training or racing or both)?

[KevinKonczak] Being too tense.

[Writebrained] Example?

[KevinKonczak] You get stage fright from 1,000 people, lock up & your stroke is all off, rigid, you can't breath from fear, and then you put your head down & don't pay attention, and end up 1/2 mile away from the pack because you're too frightened of getting belted in the face. Learn to take hits in the water, relax, it's a 'natural discomfort.

[rkreuser] Man, the can't breathe thing happens to me all the time, I tread water for a sec, then it's better.

[KevinKonczak] From the wetsuit or tension?

[rkreuser] Tension...with an assist to the cold water. I don't FEEL tense. But the washing machine just takes you there.

[KevinKonczak] I found the best suit for me (we're all different) is the Ironman brand with the stretch back panels. I can breath fine.

[KevinKonczak] Let me answer this. Say the line is to the right...I mean. Start on the left side of the pack. Don't get in the middle. Learn to bi-lateral breath so you can keep an eye on the pack & not drift too far. That should help a lot.

[KevinKonczak] Ride the edge of the pack so you get draft but not in the "belting" position. Yes, you see the buoys to the right, the pack to the right, and you can judge how far you are from those. As for the ahead buoys, you should be getting a good view of them by not being right on the buoy line.

[grvfrog] Yeah, I think the first part of the swim is one of my main concerns for IMAZ...but everyone tells me to get to the side and at the back...I'm a horrible swimmer.

[KevinKonczak] Avg. IM swim times around 1:00-1:15 is the biggest group. If you're over 1:15 it should not be as bad for getting. Check you lead, if they aren't matching up with what you think is a straight line, switch to feet that go your speed that is going straight.

[max] I have a question....For someone doing mostly 1/2 IM & IM distance, how beneficial are weekly spinning classes? It seems to mostly consist of high speed sprints and intervals for an hour. Is this a waste of time that could be better spent doing LT work, timetrialing?

[KevinKonczak] I'm not a big fan of spinners. They are boring & like you said, high intensity I like to make up my workouts as I go along. The good ones I modify & send to my athletes as bike workouts on a trainer...or a computrainer program is good. I'm always making up workouts each week. Ones I've never done before.

I'll sit in the back of the group and sometimes push a big gear, or crank up the resistance for some climbing simulation...I'm kind out of touch with the class though.

[KevinKonczak] They must have a purpose though. A reason/goal for the workouts.

[KendallF] I am thinking about a trainer...wondering if there's a middle ground between the $100 ones and the $1k+ computrainer. I don't know the minimum necessary to be useful...figure I want mag because I'd like varying resistance.

[KevinKonczak] Yes, feedback on watts, HR, and courses you can ride.

[grvfrog] I don't like spin bikes because I can never get the bike fit exactly how I want it.

[KendallF] Exactly, Gina...I rode one this week and HATED it.

[KevinKonczak] If I had the $$ for a CompuTrainer I'd have one. I got a $45 one from Play It Again. Nothing like riding your own bike. Fluid trainers are good too. I have Kreitler Rollers, not enough resistance for me--the mag did a better job at tiring me out.

[grvfrog] I'd go with a fluid trainer over a mag trainer because the mags are so much louder.

[KevinKonczak] Yes, fluid is more shhhhh.

[waterandsound] Kevin, I am a first year triathlete and St. Anthony's will be my first race. (April) I can ride 50 miles no problem, I run 10 to 14 with no major issues. I have been helping one of my team members train for IMAZ. He is doing a lot of slow and long of course. The mileage is a little higher than what I do. Is it ok to train with him since I am not doing any speed work this year? I am pretty athletic and i am 5'9 155 so no weight issues. I am not doing any 15+ mile runs for sure.

[KevinKonczak] You'll have a great base, but be weary of not doing enough speed work. Long stuff can make you slower if you just do slow stuff.

[KevinKonczak] St. Anthony's...try one high intensity workout 1 x each week to two weeks to keep an edge.

[waterandsound] I have been training for about 3 months, no real structure just 3x all sports. I hear so much about no speed work and base the first year.

[KevinKonczak] I'd suggest using Feb-March 5kms for the run speed or track session. 3x is all you need now. If you were doing IM, that's different. Most people can do an Ironman or half ironman, the problem we see is they overtrain. They think they need around 25 or more hrs/week, they don't. Oly Dist. 8-10 hrs a week is good.

[KevinKonczak] 1 long run, 1 speed or tempo, technique work on the swim & 1 speed swim, 1 long swim. 1 long bike, one with hills/intervals.

[waterandsound] I am doing about that much. I rode 3 hours today and that is the average ride every Sunday

[KevinKonczak] That's plenty for Oly. You can do a 1/2 on that.

[KevinKonczak] Well folks, time to shut it down for me today, thanks for joining us on!
[Writebrained] Thanks!
[waterandsound] See ya Kevin. Thanks
[grvfrog] Thanks kevin!
[max] Cool...thanks Kevin
[jldicarlo] Night, Kevin.

[KevinKonczak] You bet. I have some training plans to write. Night all.


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date: January 1, 2006