Sunday, January 22, 2012

Training on the road?

The next few weeks are gonna be hectic in terms of traveling for work. I will be visiting Milan a few times, then London and finally Istanbul. Business travel is definitely not easy to combine with Ironman training. Apart from being away from your bike and your pool, the hours working while away always seems to be more intensive and combined with massive company dinners (or even night life), these weeks are challenging, though not impossible.

First, I always look for hotel options with a decent fitness center, a pool or grounds to run (thanks Google Maps) - right now Milan is at hard subzero degrees, so I´m ruling out running outdoor. Basically all you need is a treadmill and potentially a static bike.

Use your global network to get info on good pools or trails. Maybe you have a friend in Italy, who can guide you to a good pool or awesome runs, around or out of town.

Lately I have picked up a jump rope - you would be amazed how fast this challenging little thing can tire you down, especially the calves. Further it teaches you coordination and balance. Hey, it worked for Ali - it´ll work for you too. And it´s easier and lighter to bring than your 20 kg Kettlebell.

Sticking to a good diet is difficult while on the road. For some reason, business dinners always tend to be mighty big, full of processed calories and loads of wine. In the business world it is (for some odd reason) still looked a bit down upon, if you order a Cesar salad, while your colleagues feast on Foie Gras and Creme Brule! There are no excuses, and the food will be amazing - but I will do my best to stick to less intake and still enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

What? Teach an old dog new tricks?

Oh yeah - so I promised to talk a bit on improving running technique. Actually, around 2 years ago I did an effort, watched some YouTube and figured that land forefoot was more efficient than landing on the heel, which indeed is very true - and to some extend that got me slightly faster.

However, filming a bit with coach Aleksandar, made him burst into stuff like "Your technique really stinks - I mean, that is really bad". I was absolutely still hitting the ground somewhat in front of my center of gravity, I pushed my chest forward as if I tried to get to some imaginary finish line first - but worst of all was that my lagging leg (the one behind) was really hanging way behind me, which got me completely our of balance.

Not how my lagging leg (right) is hanging way behind me at impact

With a good, or at least better, running technique your point of impact should be right below or slightly behind your center of gravity. Which means that you basically needs to move less mass (yes your body weight) over the point of impact and hence, forward movement will be need less effort, which again means that you move faster - I guess that´s what we are all looking for.
You seek to eliminate all movements or activity in each running step, that does not support forward propulsion.

So - Aleksandar has developed these 9 steps to better running technique, somewhat inspired (though he will probably refuse) by the Pose Running Techniques. The idea is to get from one pose to the next pose, as fast as possible, which means you need to pick up your lagging leg faster or earlier.

Here - at impact (right foot), my lagging leg (left) is in a much better position to fire again and already moving forward


 After a few weeks of implementing this, the results have been astonishing. I am surpsied how these 9 steps actually starts being a natural part of my run. And I frankly feel I run much easier, slightly faster (this of course takes a bit more than a few weeks)  - my legs are not so "banged-out" after longer runs. It´s well worth the effort- trust me on that!

If you are in Denmark, Aleksandar offers these free Shoot Out sessions, where he takes people through the techniques. In most other mayor cities you can find Pose Running coaches who can teach you the techniques. And of course, are you in Barcelona - let´s just go running :D

Thanks Aleksandar for the great advice here - this will sure have a big impact on how I will run further on, avoiding injuries and hopefully keep me running for many more years!  Cheers 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hey Ho - Let´s Go!

OK - so 2012 has finally kicked in, which feels great. Spent a few weeks over New Years on Lanzarote working volume and having fun times in a warmer, though tougher climate - I still can´t figure how you can do a 5-hour round trip on the bike and have that darn hard wind in your face all the time.
Anyhow, here´s an update on 2012 for me - read and weep:

2012 Dreams, Goals & Plans 
So - starting from the top, Hawaii is still the biggest dream. It´s hard for me to put that down in words, but I want that so, so bad - enough said! I learned so much last year, that I want to put into action, improve and just have fun. In the end, that´s what it all is about, right? Further I feel that I have a huge amount of support surrounding me, which is amazing!
My key IM-race this year is Ironman Frankfurt the 8th of July, which offered 100 entry tickets or slots to Hawaii, but cut it down to 75 now. This potentially (or actually literally) means that I need to race in 9h20m or faster to get even close to qualify, at least top 15 in my age group in European Championship. So overall the plan is to train better and race harder. I will be doing 3-4 Half Ironman during spring time. Expect to see me in Banyoles, Terres d´Ebro and Half Maresme, with a strong preference for the great races here in Catalunya and to avoid travelling too much!

New Team - Where is the Limit?
The WITL-boys invited me to their team, which is just fantastic - nothing less. These folks are the people who originally got me hooked on triathlon (Thanks again, Josef), has a pure and strong passion in everything they do, and I share their philosophy on non-profit and just happy-go-lucky-attitude around building this club. Already after 2-3 months we are almost 400 members, amongst which many are good friends; Pep, Toni, Josef, Ferran & Ferran & Ferran and I daily meet new inspiring training partners!  I think this can go really far and the team has my full support - we will not take any prisoners!

New Philosophy, Concepts & Sensations
So - I already posted around my collaboration with Out Of Bubblegum and coach Aleksandar. We have now had around 8 weeks in the field and I feel quite some changes in my whole set-up and physical and mental well being:
  • I swim stronger: Instead of doing longer, boring sets, I now work more drills and much more intervals - its insane how tired I am after 2500m sets, burning feelings in the shoulders, and physically I can see that I have put on some swim-muscle, without moving much weights this year. My legs are much better, which means I move smoother in the water and helped by a higher cadence, I just move faster from wall to wall.
  • I bike on fresh legs:  Last year I was so exhausted at this time of the year, after long hauls on Lanzarote and trying to keep up with the tough crew in the Argon 18 Mafia, which eventually spiraled into over-trained legs and exhaust. Now I do shorter stuff (1-2 hours), loads of intervals enabled by the SRM watts and I can track that my improvements since September have been dramatic. I will be fun to actually start competing again to see if the legs can hold through 90 or 180 km, but battling the Finnish National Team on Lanzarote gave some good signs that this is actually working.
  • I run easy: During Christmas I spent some days working with Aleksandar in freezing Copenhagen to improve my running technique. Aleksander talks about 9 steps to better running, somewhat inspired by the Pose Running Techniques. I will post a bit more on this shortly, but I already now feel that I am moving faster and easier forward. It´s honestly amazing that you can teach an old dog new tricks with quite few pointers which indeed makes loads of sense.
  • I feel much better:  Obviously all of above makes me feel in better shape, which is a very fine feeling. But apart from that I sleep like a champion (less stress in the body from long trainings maybe?), I have more time to do other stuff, things are great at work and I am madly in love <3. 

Tune in soon - there´s some interesting news on gear, that I can´t wait to share!   Hugs T