Injury Recovery: Stage 6: Perseverance (Otherwise known as Patience)

If you’ve been (or are) an injured athlete, you know the exhilaration of getting to start the sport you love again. But this is also the time where the real work starts. There is a grieving process with injury, and it is not unlike the 5 stages of grief. That may sound dramatic, and I’m not trying to liken this to a terrible tragedy or loss, but being injured comes with its own process, and the stages often have similarities to the 5 Stages of Grief.

I like to call this return to sport Stage 6: Perseverance (also could be named Patience). At this time, more than ever, it’s important to balance holding yourself back and pushing yourself to progress. It’s a delicate balance, and looks different for each athlete.

I ran without my watch or power and just focused on running by feel at a sustainable, endurance effort. I find this kind of run is important during recovery, so you can get back to being able to tune into your body. And, since your pace is probably not what you’re used to, it removes the pressure a little bit!

I want to stress that I have been working up to this for months, and would not suggest that you jump right into a 5x5 interval right away if you have not been running for a while. Consult your healthcare professionals and coaches to ensure your plan is safe and effective for your return to sport!

Here was my run today:

·       10 minute walking

·       Dynamic Warmup Exercises

·       5x5 minutes running with 2 minutes walking between

·       I got to add an extra 5 minute interval if the first 5 went extremely well, with no discomfort or other symptoms, and they did!

·       5 minutes walking and cool down stretches

Today was a good day! But don’t be fooled, I’ve had my bad days as well. Last week, I set out to do 2x1 mile for the second time. The first time had gone well so I had high expectations. I didn’t even make it through the first mile. I’ve had enough bad runs over the past year that I am quite used to this by now, but that can be disheartening. When this happens, you just have to keep on keepin on.

I’d love to hear your experience of injury, your questions, advice, etc. Send me an email at anne@triityourway.com, or contact me here.

To your health!

Anne

Podcast Interview with Sara from Knead to Run Massage

  • Recently I did a podcast interview with Sara Kotila from Knead to Run Massage in Exeter and Portsmouth, NH. (Click on the image to listen!) She wanted to get my thoughts on how someone would get into the sport of triathlon.

This interview was awesome for a few reasons. First, I'm obsessed with podcasts. I subscribe to tons of podcasts about a variety of subjects. Partly, this allows me to absorb information without having to sit down and read, which is a rare opportunity for me these days. So it helps feed that need! But also, there are so many podcasts about all the topics I'm interested in...sports, nutrition, family, habits, happiness, entrepreneurship, you name it.

Secondly, this interview allowed me to have a fun conversation about something I live, breathe, love. I work a lot on my own, so having a colleague to chat with was so much fun! Sara was a pro, so easy to talk to and she made me feel super comfortable.

But the biggest reason this was a great thing is that it reminded me why I got into the sport and why I got into coaching. I LOVE what I do. I do not take it lightly or forget often that I am SO lucky to be able to combine my passion and hobby with my work, that also allows me to be home with my two little ones a lot. I literally wake up every day excited to work. But sometimes, I get caught up in the "to do" of my work, balancing that with taking care of my kids, running them to and fro to school and daycare, getting in my own training, and spending time by myself, with my family...you know the drill. You're busy too! So sitting down with Sara, and then again listening to the podcast, made me stop and think about how I truly have the best life I could ask for. Not without challenges, but the best challenges.

And that, folks, is why doing this podcast made my day!

Interested in talking to me about coaching? Email me at anne@triityourway.com, or send me a message here and I'll get back to you!

To your health!
Anne

 

8 Key Focus Points for Your OffSeason

Another racing season is coming to a close for many of us. This period is not only crucial recovery time (both mentally and physically), but it’s a great time to reflect on the season’s triumphs and challenges, and to plan for the off season and the next season.

Read on for some important end of season tasks you should be doing, plus what you can focus on in your training during the early off season, to make sure your offseason is as effective as possible.

There are a few end of season tasks you should do to wrap up the season before moving on to planning next season’s goals and offseason training.

1)      Clean and store your gear properly: This includes your wetsuit, tri kit and other items that you won’t be using during the offseason (bike gloves, helmet padding, shoe covers, transition mats, etc can get pretty dirty). Cleaning and storing these items properly will extend the life of your gear and ensure it’s ready to go when the season starts up again. Check the manufacturer’s website for instructions for your specific gear, especially when it comes to the more delicate items.

2)      Get your bike cleaned and tuned: With so much training and racing going on, our bikes can take a beating. Often there isn’t time during the season to get it tuned up, and bike shops get pretty jammed in the spring, so fall is a great time to do this. Get your bike serviced at your LBS (local bike shop) so you know it’s in tip top shape and won’t sit there with dirt and grime all winter.

3)      Get a trainer wheel: Swap out your race/outdoor training wheels with a trainer wheel so you aren’t putting all that wear and tear on them. The trainer wheel doesn’t have to be anything special, just something that will replace your regular wheel and extend its life. You can get just a tire, but having a separate wheel means you don’t have to change the tire several times, you can just quickly swap out the wheel.

4)      Schedule a transition period: Transition is the longer period of rest and recovery after your priority race(s) are over. This period could happen multiple times per year, but often fall, as triathlon season ends for many of us, is an ideal time to have a longer transition period before jumping back into offseason training. This is a great time for mental & physical rest, time to reflect and set goals, sleep, spend extra time with family, sleep, catch up on chores and sleep some more!

Early Off-Season Focuses

There are a few things you should focus on in the early off-season. This lower volume, lower intensity “break” from heavy training is a great time to focus on the following:

1)      Technique & Skills: Since your body needs a rest from the high volume and/or high intensity of the training season, this time is perfect to work on technique. Shorter, easier sessions with a heavy focus on skill building and technique are very important. You want your higher volume in the winter to give you the most benefit, so improving form and technique right now is important. This could mean meeting with a coach to watch you swim, bike and/or run. It could also mean lots and LOTS of drills. Watching videos of experts and pros and taking videos of yourself and comparing them is also helpful, but when in doubt, schedule some sessions with a coach for some expert feedback.

2)      Nutrition: Everyone’s favorite thing to talk about! It’s easy to fall off track with nutrition immediately after the season is over. You’ve worked hard, you’ve been intentional about nutrition to fuel your racing, and maybe you just want a break. The list of reasons to stop focusing on this (most of which I’ve used myself) goes on and on. Now is the time to reinforce good habits and make sure you’re keeping well balanced habits so you can fuel your offseason training.

3)      Sleep: Other than nutrition, sleep is one recovery tool that many athletes tend to sacrifice throughout the year. We all tend to have a lot we want to accomplish in our days and sometimes sleep is the first thing to go. Getting solid, consistent sleep is crucial to be able to handle your training load, recover faster, and ultimately, perform better.

4)      Setting priorities and performance goals for the next season: Choose which races are the most important to you, and specific & measurable goals for those races. Your training will be focused on your goals, so setting your goals first is important. You may want to finish your first Olympic race, your first marathon, etc. You may want to set a 3 minute PR at a race you did this past year. Whatever your goals are, write them down and make sure your training matches those goals. If you have a coach, your coach will be aware of what those goals are and make sure your training is focused on them. If you don’t have a coach, either meeting with one for a brainstorming session or finding a plan that is focused on the specific distances you want to complete can be helpful.

 

It can be easy to neglect some of these things at the end of the year. However, spending some time now will ensure that you go into the coming year prepared and ready to crush your goals.

To another great year of training and racing!

 

~Anne

Why (and HOW) You Should Push Yourself in 2017

Have you ever seen someone training hard and looking strong and determined, or crossing the finish line of a race with a look of joy and accomplishment on their face? Someone reveling in the hard work and the feeling that comes from striving for and reaching a physically challenging goal?

Have you ever been that person?

Do you believe that you could be that person?

For a long time, it didn’t even occur to me that I could do something like that.

Read More

Winter Weather - How to stay warm & safe, and have the most fun in the cold!

Many of us are heading into cold winter weather. Since I have a self-diagnosed allergy to treadmills and would prefer to exercise outdoors than indoors in almost any kind of weather, I often get asked for tips and ideas for how to stay safe and warm in the winter weather. Making sure you're properly prepared for the conditions will ensure that you can get the most out of the winter season!

Here are my top tips for staying warm, safe and comfortable in winter weather. 

1) Layer, Layer, Layer: I like to do a base layer made of a tech material that will wick away sweat, and then layer on from there, depending on the weather. Your core will warm up as you get moving, so wear an extra layer that will be easy to remove when you heat up.

I always make sure my hands, feet and ears are well protected because if they are not, you can bet I will be miserable! I prefer tech materials and wool because they do not hold the moisture like cotton does. To me there's nothing worse than being sweaty AND cold at the same time!

*See the caption and photos at the bottom of the post for some specific brands that I like to use

2) Proper footwear: This could technically be included in the clothing category, but I feel it deserves it's own discussion. Footwear includes socks (again, I prefer wool), warm/water resistant or waterproof shoes or boots and, if necessary, some sort of traction control on your shoes so you don't slip. You can find YakTrax or Microspikes for various types of activities online or in your local running/sports store. This year, I'm considering investing in a pair of winter running shoes with traction that is built in!

3) Take a Buddy: This is a great idea to do at all times, no matter the weather. If you're going on a trail or in cold (or hot) weather conditions, having a buddy with you is always helpful. If you're heading out by yourself, make sure a family member or friend knows your route and approximately when you'll be back. I always tell my husband "the time to start worrying if I'm not back yet is X"

4) Protect your face and exposed skin: Wind, sun and cold can do a number to your skin. The sun is surprisingly strong in the wintertime, especially when reflecting off the snow, so I always put on face lotion with sunscreen, as well as lip balm with sunscreen. Nothing like chapped, raw skin to make you not want to go out in the cold again!

5) Lighting: If there is even a tiny chance you will still be out and about in the dusk or dark, bring a headlamp or flashlight with you! My husband and I recently took our daughter and our dog on a hike. We decided to take a loop that ended up taking us longer than expected. Thank goodness I had my headlamp, because my husband was carrying her in the backpack, and it was great to be able to keep up our pace and not worry about tripping hazards on the trail. I personally like the Black Diamond Sprinter, which is adjustable, and has a light on the front and on the back. It's also rechargeable!!

**Bonus tip: Take notes from one year about which clothes worked best for what weather. You'll be glad you did the following year when you can't remember at what temperature you need that extra pair of socks or the thicker tights! Everyone is different, so making your own custom cheat sheet is a great tool.

My cold weather ensemble includes: Cold weather tech material  Underarmour  mock turtleneck, thick running shirt over (various brands) and then a variation of my  REI  running vest,  Canari  cycling jacket/convertible vest (in neon yellow!) and heavy duty  Columbia  winter jacket. I use an  Athleta  headband for anything down to about 20 degrees, and below that I use my balaclava (also from REI), an incredibly flattering face mask (as pictured I have it pulled down but it goes all the way up over my nose!). 3 different thicknesses of running tights keep me warm the whole winter long, no matter the temps.  *None of these brands are sponsors, I list them in case you want to look for a similar item!  The layering continues with the hands and feet! A thin pair of  Smartwool  gloves underneath thick mittens and a pair of tech 5 toed socks under Smartwool socks allows the moisture to be wicked away. And if I get warm, I can take one layer off.  Don't forget your proper shoes/boots along with some  Yaktrax  or  Micro/Nanospikes ! They both have different versions depending on what activity you're doing.  Enjoy your winter!!

My cold weather ensemble includes: Cold weather tech material Underarmour mock turtleneck, thick running shirt over (various brands) and then a variation of my REI running vest, Canari cycling jacket/convertible vest (in neon yellow!) and heavy duty Columbia winter jacket. I use an Athleta headband for anything down to about 20 degrees, and below that I use my balaclava (also from REI), an incredibly flattering face mask (as pictured I have it pulled down but it goes all the way up over my nose!). 3 different thicknesses of running tights keep me warm the whole winter long, no matter the temps.

*None of these brands are sponsors, I list them in case you want to look for a similar item!

The layering continues with the hands and feet! A thin pair of Smartwool gloves underneath thick mittens and a pair of tech 5 toed socks under Smartwool socks allows the moisture to be wicked away. And if I get warm, I can take one layer off.

Don't forget your proper shoes/boots along with some Yaktrax or Micro/Nanospikes! They both have different versions depending on what activity you're doing.

Enjoy your winter!!