January BT Chat with Tri Coach Kevin Konczak

author : KevinKonczak
comments : 0

Discussions on bricks, bike steering when reaching for hydration, and flip-turns.

[KevinKonczak] Any questions?  I'm all yours ladies...


[Lucy] Christine is freaking out over her HR today.


[KevinKonczak] Sometimes it is good to pack away the HRM this time of year to just listen to your body dictate breathing easy & low intensity. If you struggle, you are likely going too hard even at a slow pace.


[Lara] My main question is bricks. How soon before the race do I need to start them.  first race this year is April 8th..  last year was horrible..  so I'm starting ALL over again.


[KevinKonczak] Bricks, try one now, if it really hurts & you can't run easily, start them regularly.  Don't get caught doing them too late. I do enough bricks here & there to keep the legs used to running after a hard effort...if I need more now, I do them.  If I'm in shape enough all winter, I don't need them until later.


[Lucy] I hardly wear the HRM.  When I put it on at first I was surprised at how low it was.


[Lara] Ok...how many times per week (minimum)?  I usually do my biking on the trainer in the evening.


[KevinKonczak] Purpose of a brick is to get the legs used to running on dead legs.   I'd do only 1 brick a week. Bricks are hard on the body, you have a long ride, or run, swimming, and weights...it all takes a toll. So 1 is fine. If you have trouble now, it will be much better come April & you'll feel like Carl Lewis by then.


[KevinKonczak] What kind of race Lara?


[Lara]  Just a sprint 500/12/5k, pool swim.  The only tri I've done also had a pool swim but they started with a run then bike and then swim. My first race I NEVER did a brick. Didn't even know what it was, so I was surprised after T2.


[KevinKonczak] You'll be fine  But try one now, and if you're destroyed after an easy pace brick run, then time to incorporate that into the program (or have your coach put it in the program if you have a coach.)


[Lara] Ok.. thanks..  I'm using Mikes sprint RPE plan


[KevinKonczak] You don't need to run hard on the run bricks.  Just get used to running on rubber legs so you don't freak out.  Good, Mike's sprint plan.  Should work great. Training is like layering clothes.  You lay one workout on top of another day's workout(s), and they eventually get you into such great shape & technique (if you practice form workouts which you should...) and on race day it all comes together.  Bricks are a good way to "layer" it so you're not surprised badly on race day--but

surprised nicely at how well you did.


[Lara] I can easily do all the distances he recommends before starting the program.  But I haven't been working out or training on a regular basis since August.  Is it too much too soon?  I haven't had any problems with week 1 of the program.


[KevinKonczak] I don't know the details of his sprint program (I wrote the D3 Iron Program for BT.com), but if you can do the distances, and those are sprint distances, you are not doing too much.


[KevinKonczak] If you find pain or injury coming up, then that is a for sure sign. But if you can do it easily & recover quickly, you may expand your horizons for the fall & consider an Olympic distance race.


[Lara] Thanks.  I'll make sure I watch for bad pain and injury.


[KevinKonczak] Once you master that distance, aim for a half Ironman race if you want adventure & to learn more about your body & you as a person...it's an eye opener!  Then at IM distance...it starts to get, shall I say...spiritual.


[Lara] I'll keep that option open.  I would like to do a HIM next year.  Doing an Olympic this year will help.


[Celeb_ithil] I'm going to try an Oly this summer, I'd like to know how to work on balance on the bike. I have difficulties steering with on hand, and cannot stand while pedaling.


[KevinKonczak] As in reaching for a water bottle?


[Celeb_ithil]  Yep... I found myself avoiding to drink on the bike.


[KevinKonczak]  Grab the bars near the stem, where the center of control/steering really is.


[Celeb_ithil] Background: Learned how to bike at an older age as a kid, fell badly a few times, afraid of heights. Didn't bike at all the past 10+ year, until last year when I decided to do a tri.


[KevinKonczak] One thing they teach you at the Oly Training Center even for transitions (running the bike/next to it) is to grab next to the stem or by the seat.  So if you're reaching for a bottle, same thing, the stem area.


[Lucy] Why do some folks use the seat when they roll their bike into the Transition area? I tried that for practice and it seems so hard.


[KevinKonczak] You need good balance to do that with one hand, like flip turns or anything, it takes practice.


[Lucy] So like starting the bike with shoes on.


[KevinKonczak] Pros usually do it. Rarely do you see AG'rs do it well.


[Celeb_ithil] I cannot do flip turns either.


[KevinKonczak] Have you practiced the flips Celeb?


[Celeb_ithil] Tried a few times... ashamed to say that I used to be in the school swim team.  But I did breast stroke


[KevinKonczak] I mean, dedicate 2 or 3 weeks every time you swim, with the goal of mastering flips.  Like a bike, once you learn to ride them...you don't forget.


[Celeb_ithil] If I started to do too many flips, I get dizzy.


[KevinKonczak] Do you have Vertigo?


[Celeb_ithil] Not sure... I do get motion sickness some times


[KevinKonczak] Check with your doc?  Don't know how they diagnose that...


[DerekL] DK, it's a clinical diagnosis, but you can put people through some maneuvers to try to induce it. Look up Dix-Hallpike maneuvers


[Celeb_ithil] I figure since most tris are open water, flip turn is not mandatory.  I'd work on  bi-lateral breathing first.


[KevinKonczak] Although mastering flip turns will get you a better even pace for longer intervals, less rest...and better aerobic workout because you aren't "stopping" at each end.


[Lara] Can a pool be too shallow for flip turns?  My pool is about 3ft at one end and I'm afraid to do a flip turn at that end.


[dexter]  Lara I have done flips in 3 ft you get to watch the bottom go by close.


[Lucy] 3ft flip turns shouldn't be a problem You should be sort of tight when you flip. Arms don't move much.


[KevinKonczak] Flips...arms overhead, elbows tight against ears, feet slightly apart when planted on the wall, and then feet TOGETHER in a pike position coming off the wall.


[Celeb_ithil] Kev:  I do all that... but my body would turn 270 degrees relative to the wall


[KevinKonczak] Start early enough so that you are balled up when feet plant on the wall, use your legs as springs to push off.


[KendallF] The only time I've tried them, I suck water into my nose.  I don't seem to have enough air to exhale the whole way to prevent this.


[KevinKonczak] Kendall: try a nose plug. Or exhale as you begin your flip. Celeb: have a swim coach look at your flip, join a Master's group. Or visit one once in a while & ask the coach to see what you aren't doing right.


[KendallF] I've just started at Master's this past week. I am floundering in enough other areas but I will add the flip turn, eventually. 


[KevinKonczak] A good Master's coach will be more than willing to help with form/drills/flips.  A bad one will just give you the workouts & say GO!


[Celeb_ithil] I need good form for freestyle.  Do well with breast though... I can swim breaststroke almost as fast as free.


[KevinKonczak] A coach will answer your questions, not just give you workouts, that would be called a 'workout provider.'


[Lara] Before I join a masters group is there a pace I should be able to maintain?


[KevinKonczak]  No, there are beginning Master's groups & regular/mixed groups.  Contact your local pool for availability.


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date: January 29, 2006