DPS versus High Turnover

The questions of stroke style is a hot topic in the Tri world these days.  Should you swim a distance per stroke style or use a high turnover rate to generate speed?

Consider an approach that utilizes both styles.  DPS or distance per stroke teaches us to take full advantage of each stroke, thereby maximizing effort and achieving a low stroke count.  DPS encourages good strong form and efficiency while getting the most distance out of each stroke.  Drills to improve DPS include catch up and one arm.  Develop your DPS by drills then try this DPS stroke set:  4x50 with 20 second rest between using DPS skills, reduce the number of strokes on each fifty.  Off season and early season is the time to learn good swim form and muscle memory working on your DPS.  Use drills, stroke  improvement sets and pull sets to build a good foundation with distance per stroke.  

Once you have developed your DPS skills then you can speed up the entire process by sharpening high turnover form.  High turnover is similar to a high cadence on the bike.  While keeping strength and form learned by DPS, work on a higher cadence/stroke rate, especially as race season approaches.  A good high turnover stroke set would be:  10x25 at max effort.  Try to get your arms extended as fast as possible, while maintaining proper form.  

A balanced combination of DPS and High stroke rate should lead to better swim times.   

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Run - the Injury Comeback

Returning to a run program after an injury can be tricky.  You must make sure that what you are doing does not cause further injury and you need to maximize any pain-free activity to hasten your return.

Once you can walk pain free and can jog lightly for three or four minutes employ some of the following activities for about four weeks as you slowly, safely return to a run program.  

  • If unable to run consider ramping up swim yardage to focus on form, fitness and overall improvement.
  • Use a walk/run program to re-adapt tendons, ligaments and muscles to the run-specific movements. Keep effort zone 1 easy and start with one minute jog, three minute walk intervals and work your way up.
  • Incorporate power walking into your schedule.  Best done on a treadmill, raise elevation to 5-10 percent and keep good form and posture.  This is a good low impact activity.
  • Work the elliptical.  It mimics run motion without the pounding impact of the road.  Keep cadence nice and high and work on regaining run form.
  • Deep water running.  Use a flotation belt and simply run through the water.  Maintain tall posture and don't let your feet hit the bottom.  Use positive visualization to see yourself back "on the road".
  • High cadence, easy gear riding is always a great supplement to running.  The pedal revolution mimics the run motion and a high cadence will help maintain and increase cardiovascular strength.

After about four weeks of measured and careful efforts, you should be able to resume a run program.  Remember to start slow, be patient and increase workload safely.

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Thoughts on Illness and Training

As Triathletes we live our life pushing limits.  It's what we do.  The downside to this lifestyle is that we often find ourselves on a razor thin line between top fitness and illness.  Here are some thoughts on how to handle training when illness hits.

First, consult with your medical team.  Be honest and make sure they know the extent of your training activities.  Most people have no idea how much we train as Triathletes and that includes your Dr.

Second, this is tough to hear but do what your med team tells you to do, including taking some time off.  

Third, if you are down for any length of time let it go.  Don't beat yourself up about workouts missed and most importantly do not try to "make up" for lost time when you do feel better.  

Next, make sure that you keep your fluid intake high and eat a healthy diet. 

Finally, when you are cleared to resume your life consider a slow sensible and measured comeback.  For example if your first bike ride back is scheduled for a 6 hour "suffer-fest" consider cutting it back to 2-3 hrs of easy, endurance riding.  Take this approach with your first three or four workouts back and you will be back up to speed (pun intended) in no time.

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From Cold to Hot!

Now that we have left the Winter behind us warmer weather has now approached.  Heat and humidity wreaks havoc on our systems so plan ahead for your training days.  Now is a good time to do a sweat test and make sure your hydration/nutrition plans are always on top of the game.  

 If you are fairly new to the sport of Triathlon check out this article from our sponsors Infinit Nutrition on a Beginners guide to nutrition.  

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=761

The more you know the more you are going to want to know and you can find good info on Infinit Nutrition's site.

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Neoprene Caps & Booties - Where to find them locally

The water is much colder in the early season so protection for feet and head is always a good idea.  Our friends at Transition Tri have Neoprene Booties and Caps in stock for those that need to make this purchase.  Check them out.  Here is a bit about them with there link for your convenience.

 

Transition Triathlon - We're a swim shop, bike store, running store and much more, all under one roof.  You don't have to be a triathlete to shop with us.  If you're passion is swimming, cycling, running, yoga, Crossfit, hiking, adventure racing, etc, we've got great technical apparel, footwear, gear and nutrition to keep you going strong.  Located just steps from the W&OD trail in Historic Downtown Leesburg.  www.transitiontri.com 

 

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Early Season--Open Water Swimming

It’s April and it’s time to get back into open water. Most areas of the Northeast suffered through an unusually cold winter and spring so you know the water’s going to be cold. Still, time marches on and race season approaches. Here are a few thoughts about prepping for early season outdoor swims.

First, stoke the internal fires. Make sure to eat & drink properly about three hours before swim start. You want all your energy sources to be at full capacity when you hit the water. Top off your glycogen with a gel or energy bar , taken with about 8oz of water, roughly 15 minutes before entering the water.

Next, prep for the actual swim. If you have a full wetsuit, wear it. A neoprene swim cap plus regular swim cap over it will help to retain some body heat. Wear a sweatshirt over the wetsuit  along with a warm hat, socks & shoes until you are ready to swim. Do some light stretching/ movement to promote blood flow before the plunge . Then as you get ready to enter the water take a warm bottle of water (bring it from home, maybe in a thermos) and pour the water into your suit from the neck, making sure to hit as much skin surface as possible.  Also, make sure the water is warm to hot…not scalding. The warm water creates  a better barrier of protection than the cold lake water!

Enter the water slowly, acclimating as you go. Wet down your arms, neck and face slow enough to adjust to the cold and catch your breath if need be. Give your heart rate a chance to slow some, then start your swim. Do not stand around too long!

The swim at Colburn Body Concepts is usually about 650 yards. Swim one lap then jump out and warm up and repeat the process. If you are really comfortable, try two laps. Also, rest assured, we always have safety kayaks on the water. If you get too chilled or have any difficulty, give a yell & wave a swim cap. We’ll always come to your rescue.

Follow these tips for successful early season swimming & come August, you can brag to your buddies about your April outdoor swim yardage. 

 

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Beautiful Day at Lake Millbrook

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Thanks to our friend and Diver Rich, we would not be ready for opening day on April 27.  Without Rich's help we would not be able to have our swim course set with marker buoys.  We now have a five buoy course and are excited to see how it works for all swimming at Lake Millbrook.  Thank you again Rich for volunteering your time to help out Colburn Body Concepts prepare for our training season.  

For all racing early this year and especially racing at Kinetic, April 27 date should be on your calendar!  We look forward to seeing you out there!

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No April Fools here!

Open Water Swimming will open at Lake Millbrook Quarry April 27!  Hope to see you out there this season to train in open water.

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"Second Season" Training Thoughts

“Second Season” Training Thoughts

Before you start really hammering the bike, swim, run miles consider doing some repair & rebuild work first. There will be plenty of time in the early spring to lay in a solid base of training in all three sports.

Remember, you’ve spent anywhere from four to six months breaking down your body with hard training & all-out racing efforts. Now is the time to repair & rebuild.

There is ample evidence that shows that a good strength program employed now pays off big during the season. Better strength & balance has been shown to improve running & biking economy. A recent study in Norway showed that eight weeks of strength training improved work efficiency in cyclists by 1.4 percent, and a 2009 study from Brazil found that heavy weight training improved efficiency better than more explosive strength training.

Listen to Bryan Hill, physical therapist & owner of Rehab United in San Diego, “ You’ve spent the season breaking down your house; now you have to repair it. In the winter you can increase lifting volume & intensity and not worry how it’s affecting your training, whereas during the season if you smash yourself at the gym, you’ll pay for it on your next ride.”

 Hit the gym now for an eight to twelve week focus on weight workouts. You may need that extra muscle to carry you up the podium steps this summer.

 

 

 

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2014 Swim Season - Opening Day April 27

Its hard to believe another race season is upon us.  Winter just doesn't seem to end and I know I am itchy to get back outside to train.  I must say I am not looking forward to the cold water that awaits me, but with early season races it is a must.  

April 27 is our opening day at Lake Millbrook quarry and we are excited about our sixth year of hosting OWS at this venue.  

The water temps at Lake Millbrook Quarry will be quite cold, mid to low 50's so be smart and plan ahead.  Here are some tips to follow to ensure you have a safe swim.

A Long sleeve wetsuit is recommended along with a neoprene cap and bootie socks if you have them.  Be sure to dress in warm clothes before you leave your house and stay dressed until you are ready to enter the water. Fill an old/clean gatorade bottle with hot water before you leave for the swim.  It should still be fairly warm when you arrive.  Just before you enter the water you will pour the water into your suit in the front and down the back.  This helps your body to stay warm as you enter the water and does not have to work harder at warming the cold water that enters your suit.  Slowly entering the water will allow your body to adjust to the change in temp.  Limit your time in the water to about 15-20 mins at a time.  Exit the water to warm up and then continue in this manner until your distance or time is complete.

We hope to see you out there this season and train safe and smart everyone!

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Thoughts on Second Season Training

Let’s talk about the run. Fall & winter seem like a great time to bang out big miles, running through the woods, a gentle snow falling & temps nice & crisp. You might even schedule a winter or early season marathon. Not so fast. “The off season can be a great time for a weighted emphasis on one of the three disciplines, but it should always be approached with a focus on becoming a better triathlete,” says Coach Matt Dixon of Purple Patch Fitness. Accumulating big miles during your rest and recovery phase exposes you to early season injury and/or burn out. While a heavy run program might help you become a better long distance runner, it doesn’t necessarily translate to better triathlon running. This year, think outside the box a little.

 

A school of thought that makes sense to me says that instead of progressively longer/slower bike work and running, substitute shorter sessions that boost lactate threshold & improve power. At this time of year we can only ride so far every week to boost fitness. If you’re riding five hour sessions in December, how do you progress through July? There are not enough hours in the week to handle that type of training load and the risk of injury and burn out increases greatly. With proper rest and a good foundation, volume is added pretty easily as spring turns to summer. Same thought with running.

 

For now, think about short, quick work sessions with lots of max effort intervals, both on the run and the bike. Push the VO2 and get the HR into the “red zone” now to increase high-end fitness and speed. This approach should jump start fitness, minimize workout time and lay a good foundation for the longer, higher distance workouts to come. See you in the Pain Cave.

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Slide Board Class

Slide Board Class

Our 

Slide Board Core Class starts on January 6 and we only have one spot left.  If interested please contact us for more information.  Happy New Year to all!!!!!

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The Four R's

The Four R's

The Four R’s of the Second Season

Triathletes are always looking for an edge. Quicker, lighter , faster drives us to train harder, ride longer & micro manage our food intake. But is this philosophy a valid one for the non-racing part of our season? Science & experience seem to be saying “No.”

Before you crack open a carton of ice cream in front of the tube, consider some alternative training methods for the winter. I like to follow the 3 R’s of off season training: rest, repair & rebuild. As a coach I add a fourth R for read. I take time to catch up on the latest trends and ideas.

Take some time for active rest after you finish racing for the year. Sleep in a little. Enjoy a steak & an adult beverage here and there. Don’t be a slave to a workout schedule. Too many of us fall into the trap of trying to maintain peak fitness all year round. However without proper rest & recovery we are merely setting ourselves up for possible burnout or injury. We can only swim, bike & run so much. A couple weeks down time after a long race season will allow your body to recover & start repairing any damage caused by weeks of peak training.

There is no concrete formula for figuring out how much down time you need. If you’re an older athlete & your knees are creaky, for example, wait until they feel good again. If you were really tired at the end of the season, skip the early morning workouts & sleep in until you feel perky again. And certainly, if you were dinged up from racing, let the injuries heal. This is a time to shift focus a little bit to overall health and fitness, family time, neglected chores, career & enjoying the Holidays. There will be plenty of time resume a structured training program.

“OK…so after the R&R gets old, what kind of training should I do?” you ask. In future articles we’ll look at some general guidelines for training, diet & workout focus for this important time of year.

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Colburn Body Concepts Thanks all 2013 Open Water Participants

Colburn Body Concepts Thanks all 2013 Open Water Participants

Well, today Oct 6 was Colburn Body Concepts last Open Water Swim at Lake Millbrook for the season.  It has been an awesome year of training for all and we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that came out to support us at Lake Millbrook this year.  We hope you found that training at Lake Millbrook was not only the most awesome venue that you have been able to swim train in but it also enabled you to PR your swim times.

Thank you again for your support and we hope to see everyone next April.  Hopefully it will not be snowing when we decide to open.

CBC is always looking for testimonials from those who love Lake Millbrook as much as we do.  Feel free to send me an email with your thoughts and experiences about your swim at Lake Millbrook and we will be glad to quote you on our website.

We would like to wish all late season racers, "Godspeed".  Remember to take the time to rest and recharge so you will be stronger next race season.

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"The Best Ever" Ironman 2013

"The Best Ever" Ironman 2013

I am writing this article on the morning of my 58th birthday, two and a half weeks removed from Ironman Mont Tremblant. IMMT was my 11th Iron distance race, and so far, my best.

I’ve had better times, higher placings, raced in prettier locales, been much fitter & had many less aches & pains than this one. So why was this race the best?

There are a number of reasons. I entered IMMT to experience the joy of being able to attempt the distance. At any age, let alone 58 years, a race of 140.6 miles is a daunting undertaking. I’ve had good luck, an understanding partner, caring  mentors, and the will to press on as age related injuries start to take a toll. I still love the journey & I am grateful to still be “on the racecourse.”

This year, for the first time ever, my wife Stephanie trained & succeeded at the IM distance & the time we shared suffering through a hot Virginia summer paid off as we waved & laughed & cheered each other through the long day. So much for growing old together on a rocking chair somewhere!

We shared a big house up in the woods of Northern Quebec with friends, training partners & coaching clients of ours, a communal vacation built around a very demanding endurance race. We shared meals, stories and much laughter in the days leading up to & following the race. The fact that everyone made it across the finish line just reinforced the group dynamic.

Regardless of outcome, getting to that start line of IM represents the culmination of anywhere from eight months to three years of training. Thousands of hours of swimming, strength work, running, biking, coaching & lifestyle changes are required. To embrace the training, to love the journey, to share it all with people you care about, to realize that every day you can climb onto your bike is a gift….these are the reasons I entered this race & why this was the “best ever.”

 

As I wrap up my sermon on the joys of triathlon & drive home the point that there is more to racing than Age Group placements, podiums & fast times I will break with tradition at the end of my story. I will not be telling you my times, my splits, my heart rates, the elevation charts, how many times I threw up or any of the other info we always include in our little race reports. (Of course, that info is available at the IMMT site & my bib was #2605). Remember to race & train because you love it & it brings you joy; no other reason needed.

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Approach Open Water Swimming with Confidence

Approach Open Water Swimming with Confidence

As many know, we hold Open Water Swim training spring through fall every year in Haymarket, Va.  We started this venture 5 years ago and every year we find the value of helping all Triathletes critique their open water skills.  Open water can be intimidating to even the most experienced swimmer at times.  

With that said, there are several areas to think about when swimming in Open water.  First and foremost we know that swimming in a pool is much different than swimming in a lake, river or ocean where there will be currents, swells, wind etc. Practicing in open water is the best way to over come any anixieties one might have on race day.  Here is an informative article through USA Triathlon written by Coach Kevin Danahy. http://www.usatriathlon.org/about-multisport/multisport-zone/multisport-lab/articles/success-in-open-water-swimming-082713.aspx

Like most things in our sport, the best way to improve your Open Water swimming is to swim in Open Water.  See you at Lake Millbrook Quarry.

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First Ironman...and so it was!

First Ironman...and so it was!

Wow,  I heard "the voice of Ironman" Mike Reilly say....."Stephanie Colburn from Ashburn Virginia...You....are.....an Ironman!!!

A week later it is just starting to sink in and here are some random thoughts.

I never thought I would say that a 140.6 mile race was fun but with proper training and a mentally tough attitude and a large dose of good fortune Ironman Mt Tremblant was just that.

The support from the town, the volunteers, the weather etc, etc....was so inspiring, there was no way you could not enjoy the experience.  

From the morning fly over from the Canadian Air Force to the fireworks at Midnight (and I did finish well before midnight) the day was a blur of excitement and activity.

When I started this process a year ago, I was filled doubts and healthy fears about the distance and was sure that this would be my only attempt "EVER" at the IM distance.  So I offer this as proof at what a great experience this race was.  Never say Never, there could be another IM in my future.  (OMG.....I can't believe I just wrote this)

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1st Ironman - And so It begins

1st Ironman - And so It begins

So with less than 2 weeks and after 1 year of training, my first Ironman is almost here.  Mt Tremblant is around the corner.  You seem to always ask yourself "Did I get enough training in?"  "Am I ready?"  Well I can answer yes to these questions and hope all the luck is on my side on race day!

Good Luck Ironman Buddies!!!

 

 

 

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Kinetic 70.3

Well the first Tri of the season and it was 70.3.  What a great race Set Up Events puts on!  Everyone had a great day and even had AG podiums to boot!  It is always a good thing to suffer in company!!

Great race everybody and congrats to Rob for his 3rd Place finish in his AG!!  

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Opening Day for Open Water Swim!

Colburn Body Concepts and Rehab to Racing want to thank all participants that braved the 50+ degree water on opening day!  It was a great day for all and everyone had a great training day.

We look forward to another great day April 28!  

Train on everyone!!

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