Some thoughts on triathlon training

Many people like to ask me questions about training, thinking I have all the answers as a pro; but in reality, I am really still in the learning process with triathlon training. I have only been at it for a couple years! Here are a couple quick observations/suggestions from this winter. Feel free to throw in your 2c:

(1) I experimented with some different saddle positions, and lowered my aerobar position considerably. Lots of time tweaking things in the basement! In the end, I winded up all the way back in my old position, more or less. Saddle relatively far forward (3.25 cm in front of the BB, to be exact), Syntace bars with a J-bend, saddle heigth is about 1/4 inch lower than my road position. Fortunately, I was able to adapt to the lower aerobar position, which gets me up to speed pretty quickly on flats and slight downhills. My new bike, the Kestrel Airfoil, is super stinkin fast (especially coupled with the lower aerobars), so even though I am not back to good shape on the bike, my average speed per ride is still pretty good. About 18-20 mph right now.

(2) Never has the weather impacted my training so much! The winter in Seattle was horendous. It seemed like every time I was thinking about going for a ride, it would start downpouring, hailing, snowing, or something awful. I resorted to a fair amount of cyclocross riding, since the lower speed means you can ride in colder temps. Finally, the weather made a turnaround and I can tell it has improved my motivation a lot, and it I think my body is intaking Vitamin D like nobody’s business!

(3) Strength/Mobility: The exercises promoted by Pete Egoscue have been a life-saver as usual. Whenever my back, hips, or knee, or shoulders have any pain, I go back to his exercises and I am back to normal within 30 minutes (mind you I only get to them about 1x/week and my habit is to use them in a reactionary rather than preventative fashion, and they have still kept me injury free for the past three years). I have been around to Sports Reaction Center in Bellevue this winter, and they are helping me work on lateral strength as well as really working over my glutes to improve my stability. Neil over at SRC has some really high-tech equipment to use in Gait analyis that has been helpful and can give some concrete answers in regards to your running form.

(4) I spent most of the winter training as close to my “Maffetone” heart rate and this seems to be working pretty well. It probably isn’t a huge shift from the past. If anything, I was able to teach my body to exercise at a slightly higher intensity during base training. We will see if it pays off down the road!

That’s probably enough for now! Hopefully my chronicles will include some video in the near future.

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