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The strength training you should be doing

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 3 days ago

“Strength training doesn’t have to be hard.” Really?

Jason Boivin, assistant coach with the McGill Varsity Swim team and coach at McGill Triathlon Club, believes there is a big misconception in the triathlon community that your off-season dryland sessions need to leave you sore and drenched in sweat. “It doesn’t have to be difficult, you don’t have to fry yourself at the gym,” says Boivin.

Athlete training hard at the gym.

Capability vs Capacity

“The way I see it, if you can’t properly lunge or brace yourself while doing functional movements, how do you expect to run well or stay injury-free?” says Boivin. The off-season is the time to learn to move properly.

Swimming, cycling and running are all very unidirectional and repeative. It is important then to do a variety of dryland exercises that help develop muscles that may be neglected in “normal” triathlon training.

Related: Adopting a long term approach to triathlon training

By doing a variety of drills, you will be able to increase strength and stay healthy.  Also, the off-season allows you the time to integrate new habits into your routine.

The movements to do in a strength program

  1. Upper body pushing
  2. Upper body pulling
  3. Squatting
  4. Single Leg
  5. Bending/Hinging
  6. Core

Above are six different movements that are the foundation of any strength program. But, before you lift any weight, it is important to assess your ability to move. To do this, try doing the following drills to assess how you move. Make sure to use a mirror or have someone join you at the gym to give you feedback.

Upper body pushing

Exercise: Dip

Starting position for dip. Photo: OPEX Movement AssessmentEnd position of dip. Photo: OPEX Movement Assessment

Dips may be one of the best upper body pushing exercises because it involves strength relative to bodyweight and flexibility.

This drill can be done on a fitness apparatus at a gym. From a straight elbow position, lower yourself to approximately a 90-degree bend in your elbows. Then fully extend. Make sure not to lower shoulders past elbows.

Count to three on the way down and come up in one.

Upper body pulling

Exercise: Chin-up

Starting position of chin up. Photo: OPEX Movement AssessmentEnd position of chin up. Photo: OPEX Movement Assessment

The chin-up complements a dip (above), helping to balance both the extensor and flexor muscles of the shoulders and elbows.

This can be done on a fitness apparatus at a gym. Your hands can be in pronated (palms facing away) or a supinated (palms facing you) grip. Begin with arms fully extend and then pull yourself up. Feel free to use bands or assist machines to help complete the drill.

Count to three on the way down and come up in one.

Squatting

Exercise: Air Squat

Air squat. Photo: OPEX Movement AssessmentAir squat weight centred in mid foot. Photo: OPEX Movement Assessment

A squat is very functional in daily life. Squatting is involved in grasping, stopping or pressing objects below or above us. It is also a common exercise people use to develop leg strength.

Begin with a leg stance slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Make sure your toes are slightly out and have your knees track over your feet when squatting. Keep your weight in the middle of your feet and have equal bending in knees. To perform this exercise properly, make sure to maintain a stable torso.

Count to three on the way down and come up in one.

Single leg

Exercise: Forward Lunges

Forward lunge. Photo: OPEX Movement AssessmentFoot and knee position aligned. Photo: OPEX Movement Assessment

From a standing position, step forwards and back using leg. Tap the opposite knee to ground (or allow to hover over surface). Hands on hips.

What to watch for? Stable hips during the entire movement. Knee tracking over feet, and not moving side to side. With your torso on top of your hips, you should be able to draw a straight line from your shoulders to your hips.

Perform the movement continuously.

Bending/Hinging

Exercise: Waiter’s Bow

Waiter's Bow. Photo: OPEX Movement AssessmentWaiter's Bow. Photo: OPEX Movement Assessment

Like the squat, being able to bow or hinge at the hips is vital to other movements in daily life and training.

From a standing position, bend at your waist only with a slight 30-degree bend in your knees. Bend until your back begins to round.

This may be a very simple drill, but a lack of ability to do bow effectively may increase the risk of a lower back injury.

Count to three on the way down and come up in one.

Core

Exercise: Leg Lowering Abs

Staring position of Lowering Legs Abs. Photo: OPEX Movement AssessmentHalf way position. Photo: OPEX Movement AssessmentLower until low back moves from ground. Photo: OPEX Movement Assessment

This drill is important because it is an easy way to assess your ability to hold the pelvis in place while the legs move around it.

Lying on your back, bring your legs up. Make sure your feet are aligned with your hips with straight knees. By contracting your abdomen, lower your legs until you feel your lower back moves from the floor. Then return to the starting position. The goal is to lower your legs to 45 degrees or lower (relative to the ground).

Count to three on the way down and come up in three.

The round up

Once you have done a number of sessions working on understanding the movement, muscle activation patterns and technique, you can then begin incorporating doing the movement with a weight or resistance band.

As you master these movements, more complex drills can be integrated into your sessions.

The post The strength training you should be doing appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

La natation 101

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 4 days ago
Antoine Desroches. Photo: Jerome Bergeron.

La natation est une discipline complexe, il ne suffit pas de nager souvent et longtemps pour être bon, il faut avoir la bonne technique et être le plus efficace possible dans l’eau. Voici quelques conseils pour devenir un meilleur nageur.

  1. Analyser la technique

Il est difficile, voire impossible, d’améliorer sa technique si on ne se voit pas nager. La prochaine fois que vous irez nager, demandez à un ami de vous filmer. Vous pourrez donc regarder la vidéo plusieurs fois, le regarder au ralentit et décortiquer votre mouvement pour bien analyser votre technique.  Si vous pouvez faire une clinique technique de natation avec un entraîneur c’est encore mieux.

Voici le vidéo filmé par Bart Coaching de Swimsmooth Montréal lors d’une séance de technique : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puKf7dGs5PY

  1. Regardez des vidéos de natation

Après avoir analysé votre technique, prenez le temps de visionner des vidéos de natation sur Youtube. Cela va vous aider à mieux comprendre comment vous pouvez améliorer votre technique.

La nageuse Américaine Katie Ledecky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ybjx2RucjM

Michael Phelps : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ugLmlrUkMY

Sun Yang : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvM3JYC–hM

  1. Prenez le temps de nager lentement

Pour bien améliorer sa technique il faut être capable de nager bien lentement. C’est Alex Sereno, l’ancien entraîneur de Katy Tremblay, qui m’a appris cela. En effet, c’est relativement facile d’avoir une bonne technique lorsque l’on nage à un bon rythme, mais lorsque l’on nage lentement, presque au ralentit, il est beaucoup plus difficile de maintenir le tronc droit et d’avoir un bon « catch » avec la main. Vous pouvez faire quelques 50 m ou même des 25 m en nageant très lentement, en pensant à votre technique et en comptant vos coups de bras.

  1. Nagez avec un band

Si j’avais à choisir un seul équipement à apporter sur le bord de la piscine, je choisirais mon band (élastique). Le band est un élastique que vous mettez autour de vos chevilles pour vous empêcher de kicker. Vous pouvez utiliser une vieillie trippe de vélo et la couper. En vous empêchant de kicker, le band vous force à avoir une bonne traction avec vos bras et un tronc droit. Également, contrairement au pull qui ne vous empêche pas complètement de kicker et qui vous ajoute de la flottaison, lorsque que vous nagez avec un band vos jambes ont tendance à descendre vers le bas et à se promener de gauche à droite. Vous devez donc faire un effort pour maintenir vos jambes à la surface et votre tronc droit.

  1. Nagez les 4 styles

La grande majorité des triathlètes nagent seulement le style libre étant donné que c’est le style que l’on utilise lors des triathlons. Par contre, nager les 4 styles peut grandement aider votre technique et efficacité au style libre. Par exemple, le papillon est très bon pour la force des épaules et du « core ». Le dos est excellent pour améliorer votre flexibilité des épaules. Étant donné que l’on est souvent courbé sur nos barres de triathlons et que l’on nage principalement le style libre, les triathlètes ont généralement peu de flexibilités des épaules donc nager le dos au début et à la fin des pratiques peut grandement améliorer votre souplesse. La brasse peut aussi aider à améliorer votre traction et votre sensation de l’eau; ce qu’on appelle souvent « the feel for the water ».

The post La natation 101 appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Triathlon’s Three R’s

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 4 days ago

To avoid burnout this off-season, it is important to give your body time to recover, recharge and refocus. This may look a bit different for everyone, but surging back into training after a long race season is a mistake. In the 2018 November/December issue of Triathlon Magazine Canada, Melanie McQuaid shares five ways to improving this off-season while still taking an off-season break.

After a long race season, it is time to rest. But how?
  1. Mobility: Inadequate mobility creates inefficient movement patterns. Improving sport-specific technique starts with addressing any restricted mobility in the body. Whether the limitation is in the shoulders (swimming), hips (running and cycling) or ankles (running), a focus on mobility improves technique and injury-resistance. Flexibility is a component of mobility, referring to your muscle’s ability to stretch, but mobility is a broader term referring to range of motion. This means a focus on mobility is not necessarily a focus on flexibility. There is little debate that inadequate range of motion will reduce athletic performance, whereas stiff and inflexible muscles may not. Building a mobility routine that ensures you have at least the minimum required range of motion is key to unlocking athletic potential and good technique. Mobility exercises
  2. Agility: Agility refers to balance, coordination, speed and reflexes. This training of your nervous system focuses on improving motor patterns in the body. Xterra racing requires much more agility than a full-distance race, but some work will improve performance and injury-resistance for athletes in all triathlon disciplines. The offseason is a great time to work on agility because a fresh nervous system allows for quality agility work. Agility work does not have to be a specific workout in the gym – team sports like hockey, soccer, squash and competitive dodgeball can help. This type of training can also be a fun off-season social session.
  3. Strength Work: After an initial period of rest, progressive strength work creates sport-specific improvements. Inadequate hip and glute strength is the leading cause of running injuries. Spending time eliminating functional weakness is important, particularly if an athlete is prone to injury. A consistent program of overall strength work is important for all athletes, but especially those over 30 years old. A decline in skeletal muscle starts at 30. This atrophy accelerates in athletes over 50, and there is a steeper decline in male athletes versus female. Therefore, a consistent strength program is crucial to maintain lean muscle in older athletes. Group dryland sessions at a local gym.
  4. Habits: It takes 30 days to make a habit stick. Committing to an improved routine in the offseason by incorporating healthy habits will start the new season off on the right note. If any food habit changes are necessary, they are best incorporated during the off-season. Changes in diet are safer and more effective outside of a heavy training block, because negative energy balance is a risk factor for injury. Making diet changes outside of a key training period ensures the athlete doesn’t create negative energy balance by under-fueling sessions. Other habits to consider include morning mobility routines, daily affirmations, weekly food prep sessions, evening foam roll sessions or setting times for training log entries. Choose one thing that can make an impact and stick to it for 30 days. Don’t try to overhaul everything at once. Small, permanent changes have a larger impact than major temporary changes.
  5. Mental Health: Having a healthy attitude toward sport makes the experience more fulfilling. The ups and downs of sport performance are what makes success so rewarding. Take time to identify: Who are the people who surround and support you; What is important to you and the path you want to follow; and Why that path is valuable and the goals and meaning behind it. Knowing the answers to these questions creates sharp focus and helps define goals for the coming season. “Who” creates safety and support for weathering adversity; “what” helps define the journey; and “why” makes the process meaningful. Taking time to answer these questions helps with goal-setting and managing perspective for athletes. While the off-season is time to take a step back from rigorous swimming, biking and running, you can still create a foundation of improvement. Focusing on mobility, agility, strength, habits and mental health is a great way to start the season off on the right foot.

The post Triathlon’s Three R’s appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Dr Trimes > Pourquoi je ne progresse plus

Trimes 2 weeks 4 days ago
Dr Trimes, après plusieurs saisons en triathlon, c’est la première fois que mes résultats stagnent. Même si j’ai l’impression d’avoir maintenu la même forme que dans le passé, je semble avoir atteint un plateau, certains me disent que cela arrive et que mon corps est fatigué. Quel est votre avis? Évidemment, c’est une question très…

Becky Adlington set for Nottingham Mixed Relays

220 triathlon 2 weeks 4 days ago
Olympic swimming champion to race her debut tri in 2019

Allen, Slater Take 4th Stop of TREX Triathlon Series

DIRT TRI 2 weeks 4 days ago
ANOTHER BEN ALLEN MASTER CLASS, WHILE PENNY SLATER THROWS DOWN THE GAUNTLET, IN BENDIGO

BENDIGO: Round Four of the TreX Cross Triathlon National Series headed south to Victoria at the weekend, with Bendigo playing host to the country’s ultimate off-road event.

Ben Allen further asserted his dominance on the competition, with his second title of the season, having won in September at Port Stephens.

Allen led after the swim and bike legs, to finish his run in a total race time of 2:12:06.

Ben Allen

There was a tight podium tussle with Rowan Beggs-French and Leon Griffin dueling for second place.

Griffin led Beggs-French by one minute 18 seconds out of the swim leg, but Beggs-French gained major ascendancy on the bike, before capitalising on the run, finishing in a time of 02:15:33.

For Beggs-French it was his return to racing after an injury-plagued 12 months.

It was just great to be back out there. I’m totally stoked with the result. Now I can set myself for a big season,” he said.

Griffin rounded out the podium with a third-placed 02:17:22

Penny Slater

Meanwhile, Penny Slater ran rampant in the Women’s event, with a nearly 10 minute win, across the Crusoe Reservoir course.

Slater won in a time of 2:33:16, after blitzing the field on the bike leg, putting more than 8 minutes on her opponents, in that discipline alone.

Kate Bramley fought valiantly to claim second spot, in a time of 02:42:25.

Jessica Henderson rounded out the podium with an energetic exhibition of cross triathlon performance, finishing in 02:50:08

The Bendigo MultiSport Festival is proudly supported by The City of Greater Bendigo.  For full results. Videos and photos go to:

What is the deal with vitamin B12?

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 4 days ago

What is Vitamin B12 and what does it do?

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin required for proper red blood cell production, neurological function and DNA synthesis.

Because of vitamin B12’s influence on red blood cells and oxygen transport in the body, it plays a vital role in a triathlete’s energy levels, health, training and performance.

Recommended dietary intake of Vitamin B12?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends an adequate intake of 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12. However, depending on your diet and activity levels, you may consider supplementing your diet with a B12 vitamin or multivitamin.

High vitamin B12 foods

Where do I get Vitamin B12 from?

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products such as poultry, fish, eggs, red meat, and milk products. Generally, B12 is not found in plant foods, but most branded cereals are fortified with the vitamin.

If you eat a balanced diet of meat, greens, carbohydrates and fruit, you will meet the daily recommended dietary intake of B12. However, if you have any dietary restrictions, for example, removing animal products, a vitamin supplement is suggested.

Related: Why iron deficiency isn’t just a female issue

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Antoine Desroches, a Canadian professional triathlete and top-five finisher at Ironman Mont-Tremblant, is a vegan and has had to supplement his diet with a multivitamin to ensure his general health and performance. “Early on in my career, I was showing symptoms of overtraining,” says Desroches. “I was tired and getting sick often. Despite all the training, I wasn’t ‘healthy.’” Following a blood test, Desroches discovered he was iron deficient and was recommended to supplement his diet with an iron and B12 vitamin – both influence red blood cells and oxygen transport.

Vitamin B12 supplementation may be beneficial.

Vitamin B12 and performance

In the past, vitamin B12 has been advertised as a performance enhancer or an endurance booster. However, research shows no beneficial effect on performance in the absence of a nutritional deficiency.

Despite no significant increases in performance, no adverse effects have been found with excess vitamin B12 intake from food and supplements in healthy individuals. This is because vitamin B12 is water-soluble and readily excreted from the body.

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms

Though your risk of vitamin B12 deficiency is increased with a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is not limited to these restrictive diets. You may be B12 deficient if you experience the following symptoms, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss. But it is best to get a blood test done before making a self-diagnosis.

Other symptoms associated with B12 deficiency are numbness or tingling in your hands and feet, difficulty maintaining balance, depression, confusion and poor memory.

Recommendations

There are a lot of opinions out there, but at the end of the day, you know your body best. Getting testing done, along with a consultation from a dietitian or sports nutritionist, you can take steps to improve your overall health, energy and performance.

The post What is the deal with vitamin B12? appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

An off-season swim set

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 5 days ago

— by Lauren Brandon

There is a time and a place for every type of workout, especially in swimming. One day might be an easy day that solely focuses on stroke technique, while another day involves a lot of sprinting. Another workout during your weekly swim training might be a strength day, while your final swim workout focuses on race pace. These are all important swim days that should be included in your training, but sometimes, especially during the off-season, it is nice to mix it up.

The following set includes a bunch of different aspects of swim training, and it makes your workout go by very fast. If you want to do a 4,000 m set, then you will do the following workout as written. If you want a 3,000 m set then do 10×300’s, and if you want a 2,000 m set then change it to 10X200’s. Have fun : )

Workout: 10 x 400’s- rest 20-30 seconds in between each 400

#1: 400 choice swim

#2: 400 (50 kick/50 swim) x4

#3: 400 (25 drill/50 perfect stroke/25 fast) x4

#4-#6: 3x 400’s descend 1-3 (easy, medium, fast) pull with paddles

#7: 400 (50 free/50 no free) x4

#8: 400 with fins (25 dolphin kick on your back/ 25 free/ 25 sprint free/ 25 free) x4

#9: 400 (descend each 100, so get faster after each 100)

#10: 400 choice (swim or with equipment, mix it up as you please)

The post An off-season swim set appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

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