The 2010 season is more than halfway over for me. I’ve competed in 5 triathlons and a couple aquathlons, although I haven’t taken the aquathlons all that seriously. Overall, I’m very pleased with my progress to date – it’s the best it has ever been. Naturally, I reflect back on the season about what has worked and what hasn’t. So, what have I learned thus far?
Training with people makes every workout better! Last year I had a lot of me time, too much me time actually. There were other athletes in my area, but we all seemed to be on different schedules and none of us wanted to deviate from our prescribed schedules. Nowadays, I train with people every time I get in the pool, a few times a week on the bike, and once or twice on the run. I still get in solo rides and runs – which are nice at times.
Speaking of running, if I hear the pitter-patter of another runner approaching, I accelerate. That’s great when it comes to racing, but when I’m out for a long, slow run, there’s no need to try to blow by another runner joining me on the trail. I became aware of this condition at the weekly track session; it used to be out front or nothing. Thankfully I’ve developed some restraint, so I can push the pace when it’s necessary.
Having a food log is an integral part of making every workout count. I’ve documented what I’ve eaten before and after workouts and when. As a result, stomach cramps and the similar have become a thing of the past. It definitely takes some time and I’m still documenting, but when I’m an hour or two out from a workout, I know with a great deal of certainty how my stomach will react. It’s also a great way to constantly test race-morning nutrition.
Ice baths are awesome! While they may be uncomfortable at times, the benefits are worth it! I was using the pool at my house for awhile, but summer is in full force and the water is too warm now. There’s always the bath tub, but I’d need bags of ice to get the water within the ideal temperature range. Overall, it’s the best 6-8 minutes you can do to initiate recovery.
Compression socks can be worn with shorts in public. Yes, you’ll garner some odd looks, but it’s a great conversation starter. Old people tend to be the most inquisitive. Heck, sometimes they’re wearing them too! However, I don’t think they’re wearing them because they just finished a 10-mile run. I think people my age think I’m a confused wannabe school-girl…
Continuing the recovery rant, sitting around with your feet up all day is as good as it sounds! Although, I wish there were a safer way to eat while lying down. Smoothies are great, but I’m talking about solid foods. I guess I could just make a normal meal and then throw it in a blender? Hmm.
When you’re body is getting fatigued in a workout or race, just ask yourself, “What would Jens [Voigt] do?” Naturally, he’d say, “Shut up body and do what I tell you!” It has really come in handy for me. For example, on the Wednesday Nighters and most recently on the run at the Metro Triathlon.
Well, these are a few of the lessons learned, but I’m calling it quits from here since I just realized it’s already 9 and I’m getting up at 4:30 to swim as usual.