Thursday, December 29, 2011

Swim Stroke Analysis

A few weeks ago, our local triathlon club, The Louisville Landsharks, held a 100 x 100 swim relay challenge. Teams had to complete 10,000 yards as fast as possible. Our team was able to complete the challenge in around 2 hours and 20 minutes (1:24/100yd avg. pace) and finished in second place out of eight teams.

At some point during this relay, I was video taped by fellow Landshark Jeremy Brown with his cool underwater camera. I finally had a chance to download this video and take a look at my underwater stroke mechanics. I'm sure a trained swim coach would be able to pick this apart better than me, but I did notice a few things that I need to correct.

Here's the full video. It consists of two segments, I'm in the black/white shorts.

So the first thing that I noticed was that my legs are separating when I rotate to breath. Here's a screen shot of what I'm doing:

Here's what it should look like:

Looks like I'm over-rotating a little as well.

Next thing I noticed was that whatever side I am breathing to, my opposite arm pull is crossing over my mid-line. In the picture below, I just completed a breath on my right side, my left arm is crossing over my body's mid-line:

Here's what it should look like:

If you look at my right arm pull when breathing on the right, it's a whole lot better:

Looks very similar to the ideal position:

So I would love to have some more feedback on my stroke. If you or anyone you know has any pointers, please leave a comment below. Thanks!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Food Guide for the Holiday's

So this time of year it's easy to pack on a few pounds. Everywhere you look, there are homemade candies and cookies. Not to mention all the holiday parties with all the food and adult beverages. Plus, that Santa guy is  around so much, he just makes you want to be fat and jolly. So how do you survive without gaining weight? Here are a few tips...

  • Don't try to lose weight between Thanksgiving and New Years. Maintaining your current weight should be a will be hard enough just to do that!

  • Set aside 10-15 minutes, 3-4 days  a week to exercise. I'm not talking about going for a walk or getting on the treadmill for an easy jog. In order to get the most out of the short amount of time that you have, do some quick intervals. Such as jumping jacks, burpees, running in place, quick push-ups, quick squats, mountain climbers, etc. Do these repeatably for 10-15 minutes with only about 20 seconds rest between each. Burns lots of calories (6 times more than aerobic exercise).

  • Don't over-indulge. It's easy to go back for a second or third helping when everything tastes so good, but try and limit yourself to one plate full.

  • While filling up your plate, make smart choices. Eat only your favorite foods and don't stuff yourself with things that you can do without.

  • Save some room for a dessert. Don't eat until you are stuffed. If you are eye-balling a piece of pie or a gingerbread cookie, leave some room for it...try to avoid that feeling of being uncomfortably full.

  • Going crazy at one or two meals over the course of the holidays is ok. If you want to go all out on Christmas dinner or if the food at your work party is the best thing you've ever tasted...go ahead and eat. One large meal won't make you gain weight...just go light at the next few meals after your indulgence.

Most importantly, enjoy the holidays...knowing that come January 1st, you are going to eat healthy and exercise on a regular basis. If you limit yourself now and don't enjoy any holiday sweets, it will make eating healthy in January harder.

Friday, December 16, 2011

True Financial Cost Of Doing an Ironman

So people are always asking me how much I trained for Ironman. They want to know how many hours a week I devoted to swimming, biking and running. I spent about 12-15 hours a week training...which is about half of what the majority of Ironman triathletes do. I've shared my training strategy before, so I won't go into it now.

What I want to cover here is what my family sacrificed financially for me to train for and complete an Ironman. So here's quick rundown of my triathlon related expenses from 2011:

Hammer Nutrition products (mostly gels and Perpetuem)- $270.10
Recover-Ease - $79.98
Athlytes (electrolyte capsules)- $46.96

Bike Gel Flask & Spare Flask - $ 28.66
Swim Jammers (shorts) - $ 20.94
Tri Shorts - $70.00
MyAthlete Tracking System - $44.95
Scape Sunscreen -$26.98
Goggles - $49.27
KT tape - $43.85
Race Number Belt - $12.76
Foam Roller - $42.95
Spare tubes, CO2 cartridges - $18.57
Indoor Bike Trainer - $289.77

Race Registrations
USAT Membership - $39.00
Shelbyville Sprint - $45.00
Taylorsville Tri - $100.00
Cardinal Tri - $125.00
Ironman Louisville - $603.75
Ohio River Open Water Swim - $35.00
TriFest - $70.00

Triathlon Dominator Training Program - $97.00
Swim Coaching - $280.00
Bike Fit - $175.00
Deep Tissue Massages - $150.00

So the grand total ends up being $2,765.49!

Worth every penny!

This list doesn't include my new Argon E-112 bike, which I probably wouldn't have purchased if I wasn't doing Ironman. I needed a true TT/Tri bike anyway, but I most likely would have put it off another year. The bike ended up costing me a little over $2,000.00 - so factor that in if you want.

What I also don't have shown here are all of the things provided to me at no charge by my sponsors. This includes three pair of running shoes, socks, tri jersey and shorts, six PT sessions, and straight cash. So without Swag's, Dr. Rudy Ellis Sports Medicine Clinic and Air Equipment Company, this would have been much worse!

Doing Ironman was a fantastic experience and I loved every almost every minute of the training and racing. I will do one again someday I'm sure...just not in 2012!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ironman World Championship on NBC

This Saturday NBC will air their coverage of the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship. The actual race took place on October 8th in Kona, Hawaii. Why someone (NBC, ESPN, Fox Sports, Versus, etc.) can't seem to find a way to show a live broadcast of this race, I have no idea. I understand that NBC wants to show you all the back stories and be able to show human intestest pieces, but why can't they do both. Someone could broadcast the race live and then NBC could do their production to be shown in December, as it always is. It's not like those really interested in the race don't already know who won and how it played out. Ok, I'm off my soap box now.

Here's some of what you will see at 4:30pm on Saturday:

  • The amazing story of cancer survivor Teri Griege. She completed the 140.6 mile race despite going through chemotherapy for the majority of her training and having with 12" of her colon and much of her liver removed.
  • Legend Lew Hollander. For anyone that has watched this broadcast in the past, this name should be familiar. Lew is 81 years old. If my memory is correct, he's completed this race 22 times now. His goal is to live to be 120...he's well on the way.
  • Another guy in the 80+ age group is France Cokan. He came to the US as an immigrant in 1959 with $11 in his pocket. This IM was is 44th!
  • 23 year old Firefighter Jonathan Roth. He was diagnosed with Familial Polyposis at age 16. He had to have his entire large intestine removed. For those layperson, the large intestine is where all the nutrients from food is absorbed by the body. I could see where this would make doing an Ironman a challenge! Not only did he finish the race, he did it in just over 10 hours!
Along with these stories, they will also show some of the pro race. Spoiler alert! Here's how that went.

Here's a preview of the NBC broadcast. I recommend you record it. I know I will...and I will watch it several times over the next few months. I find it very motivating!

In other news, I did run that Santa Sprint 5K last Saturday. I started out too fast (6:31 first mile) and then struggled to hang on. My lungs and legs were burning like crazy the last mile and I nearly vomited at the finish line. My time was 21:41 (6:58 min/mile pace) - my GPS showed 3.14 miles...I could have done without that extra .04! I'm not sure how this fared overall or in my age group. It was a small race, so it might be a few weeks before results are posted.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Santa Sprint 5K

It came to my attention last week that the company I work for was one of the sponsors for a little 5K here in Louisville. So even though I'm not exactly in shape to run a 5K (been training for endurance races for over a year and I'm still about 10 pounds heavy), I'm going to lace up the shoes in the morning and run 3.1 miles.

The race is called the Santa Sprint. Although I can't find a map of the course, it's described as being "flat"...which would be nice. The race runs along historic Frankfort Avenue in the Crescent Hill and Clifton neighborhoods and is celebrating it's 16th year.

Proceeds from the race go to United Crescent Hill Ministries. UCHM is a community outreach group that offers programs for youth and seniors as well as providing for the underprivileged on Thanksgiving and Christmas. If it wasn't for this great organization and my company being a sponsor, there's no way I would be doing this race...I'm definitely not feeling fast!

Depending on the weather, I may or may not be pushing my 2-year old in a stroller. If I do, I have no clue what my time will be. If it's too cold and I end up running solo, I'd like to break 22 minutes...a far cry from my 20.03 PR.

In other news, the dates for the spring Shelbyville Triathlon Series have been released. The four-race series will take place on January 29th, February 19th, March 25th and April 15th. I usually just do one of these races, but this year I'm planning on racing all four. Riding outdoors in January and February should be interesting!

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