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intro - lets build a great 2015 triathlon year
Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:44 am bladest1
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So I thought, as my first ever blogging post that I would round up 2014 and evaluate my first year in triathlon! Before I start its therefore important for me to introduce my self, to coin a phrase "my journey" and where it has lead me to this point. To start with i'm no Ali Brownlee or Javier Gomez, as i have said last year at 31years old it was my first year of triathlon and first of many other things come to mention it, first as a parent, first at doing any exercise what so ever and probably the most important to my future my first under 100kgs! Well in my adult life at least.

Its true that triathlon has done many things for me but the most important is that its given me the chance to put things right! So where it take me in 2014? A total of 7 sprint distance triathlons completed up and down the country as far South as the cornish coast which for me as far inland as Nuneaton is quite a journey. I started the year on a vintage 1999 Peugeot Racer on a budget which I managed to rattle pretty much every nut and bolt loose in my first race to finish the year on a carbon rocket ship Time Trial bike (worth every penny)

Ive astonished my self with cascading swim,bike and run times which fall like stones every time I go out, its fair to say I have the bug!! My training has changed, my home life has changed my nutrition has changed, I now spend pretty much every waking moment thinking about how to go quicker or how to race more efficiently. Its not just me either I was approached by one of my in-laws friends at one of the many Triathlons I had dragged everyone along to "you've infected everyone with this" he said! He was right, it was only that point did I start to become say to the fact it was all anyone talked about!

I think what I would like to stand for in the blogs I write is "its achievable" don't get me wrong I feel that there is carrying amounts of effort that different people need to put in and the outcomes may not always be the same but its achievable to train, live, love and compete!

So where I am I now..... well its 2015 and my season is off and running.... well jogging..... well something like jogging! its fair to say I have kept up with a winter training schedule I set for my self and I've been getting in the miles on the road and the meters in the pool. In fact my swim is at its best its been for a long time! But its also fair to say i'm about 5kgs to heavy again and I have indeed enjoyed xmas. But i'm back on it now and the nutrition has been tightened up (post to follow) and the training is back in force all be it with a recovering IT band issue.

In fact I couldn't have started my year of any better than with a run with a 2 time Commonwealth Champion! During my winter training camp (holiday over new year)(my wife hates me calling it that)
I was fortunate to bump into non other than Jodie Stimpson, also enjoying some down time with her family. Friendly, approachable its not everyday you meet your sporting heroes and even less often they offer to train with you!

There I am looking slightly podgy but beaming from ear to ear! You can imagine the day after new years eve going off at 4:17 per/km was a bit keen.. well it was to me! Jodie glided along as I was left at the 5km point in her wake! I returned back not disheartened but full of motivation for the year.
Swim,Bike,Run ,Smile

Living with Patella tendonitis
Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:42 am bladest1
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So my off season is going well my goals are beginning to seem closer and fate deals me a cruel blow....

Its a Saturday run session with my triathlon club on a running track local to me and the winter training schedule of run long but slow is well and truly in my mindset, concentrate on your form and don't run to fast... and then it happens, a burning feeling in my right knee followed by shooting pains from my hip and outer knee joint.

Why me, why now, this year was going to be perfect.... and I suppose thats it really isn't it! We never visualise getting injured or being unable to train and in fact we spend so long thinking and visualising the exact opposite. The first part of getting over any injury and on the road to recovery is being able to detach from this "normal" mindset and adopt another one. It is only at that point will you focus on the important but boring procedures of getting fit again, the stretching, the physio, the nutrition changes... It is not until these thoughts become your goals that you can ensure no other damage is done.

For example, last year I suffered with IT band issues and although I had identified the problem and I had began a sort of recovery, the need and the desire and the focus on training had still not gone away. So light training, taking it easy! was never going to happen and the longevity of the symptoms were almost certainly prolonged.

So what is Patella tendonitis?

Well by the very nature of the ...itits bit on the end it is an inflammation meaning something has been angered! usually through another injury changing you biomechanics or from an over use of a particular movement or impact, running, cycling are to blame in my case!

So what is the solution to Patella tendonitis?

Rest- Well your probably not going to be shocked by this but rest is the primary and indeed only solution! What comes with rest is some ways in which you can encourage recovery to happen in a more timely and efficient manor!

Ice- Every day or indeed evening icing the effected joint will help stimulate blood flow to the area and it is this blood flow that increases the nutrients being carried to the area and therefore increasing the productivity of the healing process

Physio - This is a new one for me... and probably the reason i'm in this mess in the first place, Releasing the muscles that put tension on the tendons and therefore reducing any chance of further damage and stimulating repair, I have found a great physio through my club! I think this is something of preference but make sure you trust the person and they come with some sort of recommendation.
I'm one of those people who wouldn't take my car to a backstreet garage if I could afford a main dealer repair and I think your body is as important if not more! The physio I use also uses Ultra sound technology to help stimulate blood flow to the joint.

Vitimin C - A great way to booster your immune system and encourage collagen production which inturn is the way you repair tendon tissue.

Stretching regularly - Again probably one of the reasons i'm in this mess but stretching has been highlighted to me (the hard way) in being a way to both help repair this injury as well as staving off any other damage both present and int he future. Stretching should include all of the muscles directly above and below the joint! quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes etc... There are so many on youtube theres no point in me going through any here but look them up!

Foam Roller - Some people love them and some people hate them! I am a believer in them as long as the use of them is not prolonged and does not do anything to damage the blood flow to the injured area.

Fact, they definitely release tension in the muscles and connective tissue around the injury, thigh, hamstring, calf, IT band and therefore are good in my book!

Diet- At the point of dispart it would be easy to reach for the chocolate or grasp at the wine, but think of the recovery you are about to undertake, running for the first time on that fresh and improved tissue, all vunrable and new! To be a few kilos lighter would only be of advantage to possibility of a long lasting repair! That also means cutting back on your building nutrition, the extra proteins, carbs and calories you were taking in to keep your fuel stores full!

So what does the future hold for a person suffering from Patella tendonitis?

This is the part of my blog that I believe will be different from others, and that is to say that life should not stop and inactivity should be adopted! Now I am no professional but in comment on my own case I have found that my recovery has not been completely debilitating. Yes it is true that total rest from the movement that has caused the inflation is paramount! however upper body, core training is a great way of keeping you in shape and will actually allow you some time to build on things you probably have been building on already!

For example my plank has gone from 30seconds to almost 2mins 30... My lat pull down and bench pressing has improved and in my case I have been able to swim and my 400m TT time has come down by almost a whole minute.

I know this is a well used quote but by focusing on what you can do, what is in your control and forgetting about what you can't do and is not in your control, you will only remain as focused and not become disillusioned.

Recovered? ...

Probably the most important point about ...itis injuries is to understand that the point in which you felt the pain is a long time after the problem occurred! therefore the run until it hurts is not a good mantra to adopt! Besides if you have had this injury you will know that when your muscles are warm the pain seems to easy and sometimes disappear, therefore recovery runs should be short and slow building in intensity over a long period, pain during or the day after should be telling you your not ready, no pain should be saying you got away with it today and count you lucky stars and don't push it.

Frustrating as this can be it will only make you a better athlete, you will focus on your form more listen to your body more and have a better understanding of what really makes you tick!
Swim,Bike,Run ,Smile

Winter warm up swim session 1
Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:42 am bladest1
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Recently I've been training with three different triathlon clubs in their swim sessions whilst I work on my Patella issues, One thing is clear... that the rule book to swimming is one of the most multi interpreted pieces of work ever!!!

The dodo egg of all of this is the illusive technique to guarantee the swimmer feels the water?? You only have to look at the shapes and sizes of the people around you in the swim lanes to extrapolate that swimming is (at age grouper level) 80% technique, Drills, aids and demonstrations will only take you so far in your quest to catch the water and heave your body past it, the rest relies on the three P's practice, pool time and perseverance.

It's for this reason I believe in following programme, as it succeeds in giving you all three and still is triathlon specific.

Equipment needed:- Finns, Hand paddles, Pull Buoy

400m warm up - freestyle 70% -400m
This is great for all of the early season sprint triathlons to see where your at stamina wise, warm up should be slower than race pace

50m catch drills - 15s rest inbetween - 200m
1- One arm drill 25m one arm and 25m the other
This encourages breathing at the right time and introduces breathing bilateraly
2- Sculling 25 m with arm at water entry point and 25m with arm at mid point of catch (chest level)
This promotes the feeling of the water around your hands
3- 50m Fist 4 strokes with fist closed and 4 with fist open
This Promotes feeling of the water along forearms and biceps
4 - 50m hand paddles
this promotes feel of the water around your hands

200m - Pull Buoy Free style - 200m
Great way to simulate wetsuit swimming and to put in the practice the catch drills without using to much energy kicking

50m Leg drills - 15s rest inbetween - 200m
1- 50m Catch up with rotation
great way to kick and rotate try and concentrate on the amount of kicks each arm stroke and increase if you can
2- 50m over take
So a great way to overtake in triathlon is to kick hard, this can only be done in small bursts. If swimming with a group pair off, the person infant should be swimming at 60% so not make it to difficult and you should overtake each other twice a length, if swimming on own kick hard from 5 seconds twice a length and time your speed increases over your normal 25m time
3 50m push and glide
pushing off from the pool edge is a luxury in pool based swims but it should not be overlooked this can safe you lots of time and give you the edge on your competition! see how far you can get down the pool when pushing and kicking only. tip, try drafting a partner and kicking off the wall! the draft caused by the person infant allows you to move further and faster in the water without extra effort make up valuable time.
4 -Vertical leg kick with fins 30secs x 4
In the deep end of the pool kick to keep your self buoyant in the water whilst vertical and with your arms crossed over your chest, finish set with 50m of pool with finns on

200m - Finns and Paddles Freestyle - 200m
This one really gets the blood going but also makes you feel like a hero flying through the water like an olympian, gets you used to speed and what you should be aiming for!

4 x 100m Drafting - 400m
Its a pretty dark art in swimming and a loop hole to the triathlon rules that allow this blatent use of someone else's power. But done correctly can be a massive advantage. Ideally this is done as a group of 4 and each person takes a turn at the front, on your own this is difficult but not impossible, public swimming pools are rarely empty and no matter how slow the other people are you can still brush up on this skill and feel the benefit. The key to this part of the session is to maintain some sort of sighting (raising your head out of the water) in a pool there will only be one direction but come open water you will need the practice of recognising landmarks even when you in the swell of the other competitors!

Total 1600m - If this doesn't get your triathlon juices flowing I don't know what will!?
Swim,Bike,Run ,Smile

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