Swim Faster without working harder.

If you want to run faster, simply increase your foot turnover.  Bike faster?  Increase pedal speed.  Faster hockey shot?  Apply more force to the stick.  Swim faster?  Not so easy, right?  Swimming unlike many sports is almost entirely based on good technique.  According to ASCA Level 5 coach, Scott Bay, "the secret to faster swimming is learning to relax."

Easier said then done you say!  Bay explains that finding free speed is a matter of "relaxing the parts of your body that aren't helping you swim and preventing them from robbing you of energy."  Muscles that are actively engaged when they don't need to be are using up valuable oxygenated blood that should be going to the muscles that are propelling you forward.  The trick is to not waste any motion that is not related to faster swimming. One way to focus on "swimming only" muscle movement is to develop a keen feel for the water.  You want to "feel" and be aware of any tension throughout your body.  Bay says "carefully monitor your entire body and make a mental note of which muscles are flexed and which are relaxed."  Tense legs, for instance, divert more oxygen -rich blood from the prime movers of the swim stroke.  The same tension could lead to counter-productive cramps as well.  

Remember too, that a rhythmic, relaxed breathing pattern provides much needed resources to swim muscles.  Do not give in to the impulse to hold your breath while swimming.  Think of oxygen as your fuel and remember that holding your breath requires its own effort and it flexes many muscles that are not helping your swim motion. 

As you swim, try to conduct a head-to-toe body check.  Make sure your hands and feet are relaxed, don't over stress your legs.  If you feel tension, relax those body parts "creating the tension that are not doing any of the work for swimming."  

Relaxation, breathing, releasing non-productive tension.......it all requires you to be a "thoughtful swimmer." Relaxation in the water should be an ongoing process and takes a mindful approach.  It will not happen overnight.  Mindful swimming takes time and patience but can be achieved...faster times await!

It's like my niece Megan says, "Relax.  You got this."


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New Cave Discovered in Leesburg

CBC Endurance Training is pleased to announce a new alliance with Plum Grove Cyclery.  Located in the heart of Leesburg at 120C East Market St, Plum Grove has been building, fitting and servicing bikes in the community since 2000.  They work with brand new bike enthusiasts to mountain bikers to Ironman Triathletes.

Our first venture, kicking off January 14, 2017 is "The Pain Cave," a demanding triathlon centered indoor bike trainer class.  Running anywhere from 90 minutes to a grueling three hours, these are early season sessions designed to jump start fitness by combining power, endurance and intensity.  CBC Club members are urged to attend; all you need is your bike, shoes, trainer and a towel.  You will certainly need on to mop up the sweat!

Tom and Mike at Plum Grove have offered a spacious heated workout room, featuring a restroom, changing room and even some lockers for our use.  Best of all, it's all in a Bike Shop!  A full service bike shop featuring parts, repairs and a ton of advice from two of the best "bike guys" in Northern Virginia.

We can hardly wait to get started!  How about you?  

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Time to stock up on your Infinit Products

With the 2017 race season coming up fast you might want to take advantage of Infinits Bogo Sale.  Check out all there nutrition products at  http://infn.us/a/Xd68B3uw 

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To Slack or Not to Slack

Let's face it, most of us are not professional triathletes or even at the elite level.  Training everyday gets tedious at best and sometimes you just need to be a slacker.  We are "only" human after all.  Couch time is good in moderation.  

At CBC Endurance Training, we recognize the need to take "slacker breaks" sometimes.  It feels good to sleep in once in a while and that extra piece of pie or frosty beverage tastes extra good.  A good way to approach the down season is to acknowledge that every workout is not an "A" session this time of the year.  If your body is telling you "I need a day off," go ahead and take a rest day.

A great way to keep sharp at this time of year is to double down on your weakest sport and rededicate yourself to get better.  Swim volume can help build a base for early season, as can coached sessions correcting form and improving efficiency.  

Attention to strength and core work can lay a great foundation for a strong and injury free spring and summer.  You don't need to invest giant chunks of your time either.  Forty-five to ninety minutes a week spent improving your weakest sport or building overal triathlon strength will certainly pay big dividends when the "real" training starts later this winter.  

In the meantime, enjoy the occasional "hooky" day.

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Race the Run

At CBC Endurance Training we've built a reputation for taking our athlete's real life circumstances and weaving successful training plans and hopefully, race results.  Our mission statement is simple:  "strength, balance, results"

We work with single moms, tech folks with heavy travel schedules, parents and professionals trying to balance a very hectic life.  We also work with athletes with injury problems and physical limitations.  Most Age group athletes can relate to at least one of the situations outlined above.  Correspondingly, our eight years of coaching experience has taught us that, generallly speaking, run training seems to be the neglected sport given time constraints and training hours devoted to swimming and biking.  

The run leg of triathlon sometimes is reduced to a survival march, a painful shuffle to endure.  It is time to change that thinking and start "racing the run."  "Its easy to fall into a pity party" and simply conclude that you are not a runner when you start to slow down, says Jesse Kropelnicki, founder of QTS Systems and coach to many fast running professionals.  

Following are three important areas of improvement to turn your shuffle into a race day weapon.  

1. Fuel smarter to run faster - "the number one issue, by far is race fueling on the bike," Kropelnicki says.  "There's not even a close second."  findings reveal that most athletes are not drinking nearly enough sports drink or taking in enough sodium.  Proper fueling levels need to be established well before race day and practiced on every ride.  Work with your coach or nutritionist to start formulating a plan.  Good fueling on the bike sets up a successful run.

2. Pace the distance - the problem with triathlon running is that it comes after a swim and bike ride.  Many age groupers go out way too hard on the bike, then suffer greatly on the run.  Proper pacing involves parceling out effort over both halves of the bike leg.  Equal splits is a good goal achieved by smooth, consistent pedaling and constant monitoring of your effort.  Kropelnicki suggests watching power output (if you race with power) and/or using Heart Rate to judge effort.  Avoid big spikes in Heart Rate, keeping your effort consistent.  

3. Train more for durability - Most Triathletes are not putting in enough volume.  At CBC, run volume is managed closely especially for athletes running on cranky knees or other structural problems.  Volume is built slowly, safely with peak volume coming two to six weeks before your race.  Run training intensities are generally race pace or slower on longer runs and threshold type paces for shorter runs.  Work closely with your coach to establish the best run program for you so that you can "Race the Run."  

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