Transplant Athlete
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
  From Coach Jason

Hi guys! It's that time of year again. The air is getting colder, the leaves are starting to fall. Little by little we break out those: vests, windbreakers, and tights. Except for those of you doing Ironman Florida, we are into the off-season for triathlon and cycling.

The off-season is a good time to relax a bit, enjoy some quality time from those friends and family members we've swam, biked, and ran away from; as well as enjoy activities away from triathlon. It is also a time to work on your limiters. Coaching guru Joe Friel likes to refer to weaknesses as "limiters." Why? Limiters are the things keeping your from your goals. Whether your goal is to: finish, set a PR, or winning your age group limiters are what keep you from doing so.

How can I go about this? When training your limiters, you need to reduce activity in the other sports. Sport specific fitness and muscle memory can be maintained with 1-2 workouts/week in the other sports. For some of you, swimming is a limiter. Things you can do in the off-season to make it less of a handicap are: 1) shorter, more frequent workouts 2) doing your drills and technique work perfect (100% right is perfect, 90% right is wrong; you're only reinforcing poor technique) 3) Place drill work in the beginning and end of your swim sessions 4) Swim with a Master's Club 5) Learn some different strokes (this enhances your feel for the water) 6) Get your stroke filmed underwater 7) Go to a swim clinic 8) Observe a good swimmer and try to emulate his/her technique 9) Improve your flexibility in your trunk, shoulders, hips and ankles 10) Strength train

If your cycling is a limiter, some ways to improve are: 1) Strength train 2) Improve flexibility, core stability, and strength 3) Plyometric training 4) Technique, technique, technique 5) Improve your bike handling 6) Get a better bike fit (more power, better aerodynamics, bio-mechanically sound avoids injury and increase power transfer). 7) Increase your volume

If running is your limiter this is a great time of year to focus in on it. I feel that running faster improves your economy by: improving muscle coordination, increasing cadence, and teaching your nervous system to fire faster. There are 5K's, 10K's, Half-Marathons, Marathons all through the winter months. These are a great way to occasionally get some intensity and run improve your running. Other ways to improve are: 1) Running drills 2) Cadence work 3) Getting yourself videotaped 4) Plyometrics 5) Strength training; flexibility, core work, stability 6) Running clinics 7) Trail runs 8) 1-2x per week/speed work (speed work not interval work) i.e.-strides, fartlek runs, tempo runs, sprints 9) If your limiter is running off the bike, then consider keeping an aerobic brick workout 1x per week (:30 min bike, Zone 2 or 50-60%, followed by ! :30 min run, Zone 2).

What else can I do to improve? Develop your flexibility and core strength. Check out the book: "Core Performance," by Mark Verstegen, www.coreperformance.com . Take up Yoga or Pilates. Develop a progressive strength training regimen with the help of a coach or trainer. Go to a triathlon camp or clinic. Develop a better nutrition plan. Develop an Annual Training Plan, monthly, and weekly plan. Throw out "Mixed" or "Random" training schedules for a "Periodized" plan. This will help alleviate injuries, burn-out, and improve your ability to peak for your priority races.

Yours in triathlon,


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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