Monday Mantra – Mindset

Happy Monday! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments.

“My Mindset Determines My Potential”

Mindset

 

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Workout Wednesday – Pedaling Smooth Like Butter

Happy Wednesday! Welcome to another edition of Workout Wednesday. Every Wednesday I will post a new Triathlon specific workout. If you like the workout, fit it into your training plan for the week. If you don’t like the workout you’re crazy, all of my workouts are brilliant pieces programming. (HAHA)

This week’s workout: One Leg Isolation Drills (Pedaling Efficiency)

Leg Speed

Have you plateaued in your cycling speed gains? If you are pounding the pedals like you are stomping grapes, we need to work on your pedaling efficiency. Working on your pedaling efficiency will eliminate dead spots in your pedal stroke, and increase your cycling power.

When you are cycling with a group, you can tell the riders that have an efficient stroke. Their legs look smooth like butter through the whole stroke. It’s not just about looking good, you can save some serious energy. Most cyclists will pedal 5000 – 6000 strokes an hour, and efficient pedaling can produce energy savings up to 15 – 20%. That is some serious free speed.

Here’s the best part, working on some simple drills a couple times a week will get you quick gains. The focus of these drills is to turn on the correct muscle groups with the right timing. The coordination of these muscle groups will increase your pedaling efficiency. After the first workout you will feel a difference, and within a few weeks make some serious progress. Here’s the bonus; these drills only take around ten minutes, and can be done in conjunction with another cycling workout. (I’m starting to sound like an infomercial).

Here’s a quick video on pedaling efficiency:

 

 

On to the workout:

One Leg Isolation Drills

  • Warm up – 10 minutes
  • 5 X 1 min on with heavy gear/ 1 min easy gear (spin)
  • 3 X Right leg 30 secs/ Spin 1 min / Left leg 30 secs / Spin 1 min
  • 5 min Spin
  • 3 X Right leg 30 secs/ Spin 1 Min / Left leg 30 secs/ Spin 1 min
  • 5 min Spin
  • Cool down

*Focus Points: Smooth circles, Medium tension, Muscle group timing and activation

This workout is best done on a spin bike or trainer. Pedaling with one leg can cause some balance issues, and we don’t want you in the ditch.  During the one leg intervals, keep medium tension on the bike. Don’t use heavy tension, as you will rely too much on the down stroke, and can jack up your knees. Focus on making the smoothest circular pedal strokes you can. There should be constant pressure on the pedal throughout the entire stroke. During the spin intervals, keep a cadence of 90 rpm or higher under light tension, and feel the muscle groups working together. The one leg intervals will force the upstroke muscle groups to activate. When you go back to pedaling with both legs you will feel smoother immediately.

This workout is not meant to be super intense. Keep the intensity down, and focus on great form. The workout above is laid out as a stand alone workout. If you are throwing this in at the end of another workout, just do one set.

Now, go and make some pretty little circles!

 

 

Monday Mantra – Common Things

Happy Monday! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments.

This week’s Mantra –

Do common things, uncommonly well”

Broom

 

Greatness lies in doing common things, uncommonly well. Common things refer to the fundamentals of any skill. To achieve greatness in any pursuit, you must first master the basics. As you progress to greater levels of mastery, you must still go back and reinforce the basics.

In our current fast paced society, we want everything right now. We are looking for the shortcut or the hack to more success. There’s nothing wrong with hacks, if they are used to accelerate learning something new. If you decide you really want to master that skill, you will need to go back and concentrate on the basics.

Let’s tie this into athletics, since this is a triathlon blog. Take running as an example. After finishing their first race, what do most runners want to do? Get faster. They seek out a plan to make them faster that includes more intensity than they are ready for. Then one of two things happens, they either get injured or plateau. They failed to build the fundamentals first. The injury was a result of improper form. Their form also held them back from going any faster. Now in order to keeping progressing, he/she needs to go back and work on the fundamentals of proper form. When they master that, results will come much faster.

In anything we do, concentrating on the common things, is the difference between average and great.

Fantastic Finish Photo Friday – First Triathlon, an Ironman? No Problem.

Welcome to another edition of Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in the awesomeness of your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

This week’s Fantastic Finish Photo is from Richie Gardiner:

 

Fi

Continue reading Fantastic Finish Photo Friday – First Triathlon, an Ironman? No Problem.

Workout Wednesday – 5 Tips for Better Open Water Swimming in the Pool

Happy Wednesday! Welcome to another edition of Workout Wednesday. Every Wednesday I will post a new Triathlon specific workout. If you like the workout, fit it into your training plan for the week. If you don’t like the workout you’re crazy, all of my workouts are brilliant pieces programming. (HAHA)

Today’s Workout – Open Water Swim – Pool Style

Pool Lanes

The number one fear for new triathletes is the open water swim. The thought of jumping in that dark water with arms and legs churning everywhere, causes some serious anxiety.

I have good news and bad news about open water training. The bad news, to get good in open water, you need to practice in open water. You may not have access to open water, or you may be too intimidated right now. Here’s the good news, you can work on some skills in the pool that will translate to open water.

Here’s 5 tips to improve your open water swimming in the pool:

Continue reading Workout Wednesday – 5 Tips for Better Open Water Swimming in the Pool

Monday Mantra – I am an Athlete

Happy Monday! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments

This week’s Mantra –

 

“I am an Athlete”

Wheel Chair Athlete

Continue reading Monday Mantra – I am an Athlete

Sexy in Lycra Part III

Welcome to Part III of the Sexy in Lycra and other benefits of triathlon series. (Part I, Part II) This time we will discuss the different species of triathletes that dwell in our community. As you read through the list, don’t be surprised if one of these species of triathlete is you.

 

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1. Fuel Belt Batman 

Fuel Belt Batman stalks the local jogging paths, equipped for any situation that may arise. Extra water in little tiny bottles? Check. 16 gels holstered neatly?  Check. Cellphone, Tazer, Can Opener, and Pocket Fisherman? Check. Fuel Belt Batman may be only be running three miles today, but he is ready for action. After the run, the Fuel Belt can double as a Dive Belt.

 

2. Amateur Al Roker Al-Roker-900-600

Amateur Al’s race is still ten days away, but he insists on trusting the long range forecasts. He has consulted ten weather sites, poured over the data, and has determined that the worst weather since Noah built the Ark, will happen on race day. Don’t buy into the hype. Like most weathermen Amateur Al is only right 30% of the time.

 

3. Robo Athlete (Cousin of Fuel Belt Batman) 

Robo Athlete’s motto is “if I can’t track it it didn’t happen.” He/she can been seen on the bike with a bike computer, power meter, gps watch, iphone app, heart rate monitor, and maybe a portable weather station. When Robo Athlete gets back to his lair, he analyzes the data for hours. Formulates complex excel sheets to explain the 5 watts missing from his normalized power. Could the cause be the weight of all of the devices?

4. Age Group Result Stalker AGRS

“Hi I’m Joe, and I’m an Age Group Stalker.” The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. The Age Group Result Stalker (AGRS) lurks among us. They look like normal people, but they hide a dark secret. Before and after each race they obsess over age group results. The AGRS will stalk the Athlinks profile of all the racers that finished before them. They will keep a mental FBI  style folder on each of those people for future reference. Next time you meet someone new at the start line, they may already know everything about you.

5. Mid-Pack Sprinter Pipped

The finish line is 200 yards away, and you are getting the pose ready for that perfect finish photo. Just as you are about to cross the line, the guy you passed walking half a mile ago, comes by in a full sprint, and collapses after the line. You just got Mid-Pack Sprinted! He could not let that dream of 37th place go. I know we are all out there to race, but if you aren’t sprinting for the podium, be cool, and let others have their moment at the finish line.

 

Like this post? Check out Sexy in Lycra Part I & Part II

photo credit: Ben Lawson via photopin cc

photo credit: Surat Lozowick via photopin cc

Fantastic Finish Photo Friday – Lisa

Welcome to another edition of Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in your awesomeness from your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

This week’s Fantastic Finish Photo is from Lisa Freeman:First time triathlete Lisa

 

From Bodiam Castle Tri

Lisa:  I was so nervous for my first tri but I needn’t have been. The atmosphere was great, the people were supportive & friendly. I had an epic feeling of fun the whole time. My lasting thought?..that was amazing, when can I do it again?

Awesome job Lisa! How many times do you get to swim in a moat?

Do you have a photo you would like to share? Don’t be shy, send it to firsttimetri@gmail.com, Please add a quick paragraph of what the photo means to you. Please share and be an inspiration to others.