Foam Rolling - Five Important Minutes for Triathletes

Self-myofascial release, or self-massage, is the technical term to describe foam rolling. Triathletes benefit from foam rolling because it targets a specific point on your body that is suffering from muscle tightness or knots. There are major benefits to using a foam roller and the good news is it isn’t time consuming and you can do it while watching TV! Why Use a Foam Roller? Nearly all triathletes have good reasons to partake in foam rolling. For one, stretching by itself isn’t always sufficient enough to release muscle tightness. Sometimes you need a little extra oomph. And if you have a knot in your muscles, just imagine tying a knot in an elastic band. You can stretch the band and…

3 Steps for Getting Over a Bad Workout

If an athlete tells you that they haven’t ever had a bad workout, they’re lying. Let’s be honest; it happens. Don’t let a poor workout derail you. Here’s what to do instead: 1. Be Reflective Okay. It didn’t go well. So let’s look at what might have caused the “bump in the road.” Look back at your previous workouts, last few nights of sleep, and recent nutrition. If you can identify factors that interfered with your workout, you might be able to make adjustments so that it doesn’t happen again. Can’t seem to pinpoint the cause? Still keep record of it so that if a similar issue arises later in your training cycle you can analyze the days leading up…

Triathlon Training and Foam Rolling: Good Idea?

Ah, the foam roller—that dense foam cylinder that you see in the athletic store or the gym.  You may have seen someone use it or maybe you have ventured to try it for yourself.  But if you are like most triathletes, you still shy away from the foam cylinder as you deem it unnecessary or uncomfortable. In that sense, foam rolling can be likened to stretching—something you should do but aren’t really sure if it’s worth the time or effort. Let me assure you, it’s worth the time! The success of your next triathlon training session can be greatly enhanced by your diligence in using the foam roller. Foam rolling can be an integral and important part of the recovery…

The Top 3 Triathlon Recovery Methods You Should Consider

Triathlon recovery is an absolute truth in every athlete’s training program, and most multi-sport competitors are keenly aware of this. However, many triathletes only consider the most obvious recovery methods: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. But what about the triathlon recovery methods you may not be using? 1. Active Recovery While rest is obviously essential, believe it or not, staying active actually does more for your recovery process than sitting still. The latest research suggests that an easy spin on the bike, a low-intensity run, yoga, or even a short, brisk walk can work to “flush” your legs of metabolic waste products (Ertl, par. 1). These are Zone 1 (or below) activities performed at a conversational pace without any intent…

3 Steps Toward More Effective Triathlon Training Recovery

“Anyone can work hard. Do you have the discipline to recover?” – Lauren Fleshman, U.S. champion in the 5000 meters, 2006 and 2010. After finishing a beast of a workout where you hit all of the intervals and managed to keep your pace despite fatigue, your mental confidence should be high and you should be another step closer to reaching your goal. And you will be – if you recover correctly. Sadly, many athletes do not understand that without proper recovery their grueling sessions are doing more damage than good. After a tough training session, your body is in a fatigued state. You have broken down tissues and muscles, and your energy stores are depleted. The following three steps will…

Triathlon Training Intensity: Know When to Back Off or Take Off

Triathletes typically have Type A personalities. We’re goal setters, “go-getters,” and overachievers. Instead of training for one sport, we train for three.  Our grocery carts replicate the fresh produce and meat department, our cars look like a sporting goods sale, and there’s never a time when we’re caught up on laundry or washing water bottles. We spend a wealth of time researching how to eliminate a few more ounces on the bike and pouring over cadence, power, and heart rate data. And we have the ability to push through uncomfortable training in order to make athletic progress. But the personality characteristics that are associated with these activities can also get us in trouble. We have to know when to back…

Take Heart in the Latest Triathlon Training Metric

Triathletes religiously track Heart Rate (HR). As they should. It’s a great stress metric. It monitors the stress load a body is used to handling as well as what load it can take during strenuous training. Unfortunately, relying on your resting heart rate isn’t the most accurate way to know if you’ve recovered from your previous workout. But take heart (literally) because there’s a relatively new heart-related metric in endurance training. It’s Heart Rate Variability (HRV). And, simply stated, if you're not using it yet, you will be. The Importance of Heart Rate Variability HRV offers a window into the “flexibility of our nervous system” which can be used to guide an optimal triathlon training program. As triathletes well know,…

Is a Post-Workout Stretch Necessary in Triathlon Training?

You’re crunched for time as it is.  You wake up well before the sunrise to get your morning workout in and then maybe try to squeeze in another session over your lunch break. With so many responsibilities to balance, just getting in those quality workout sessions is a large task.  So do you really need to take more precious time to stretch post-workout? In short, yes.  Your post-workout doesn’t need to take 20 minutes, and toe touches may not be necessary, but ensuring a proper cool down that incorporates lowering your heart rate and increasing circulation is important. Stretching is a key component to that cool down routine.  While there are conflicting reports about the specific benefits of stretching, most…

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