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Tip of the Week

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Tip of the Week

Postby natellerandi » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:21 am

Shore up your weaknesses.

A recurring topic but with a twist. Nothing earth shattering necessarily, but certain to cause some people to think out-of-the-box.

When an athlete has a weakness, that athlete tends to look at the solution in a linear sense. For example, a triathlete with a weak run leg will most likely log more miles running in an attempt to run better. Makes sense, right? And typically that approach can - and does - work. But this is also a one-dimensional view.

What if this athlete learned how to swim and bike better so that he/she got to the final leg of the race having used less energy to get there, or having put less stress on the body the first 2 legs and, thus, hit the run with "more in the tank"? Wouldn't that, too, result in a better run performance? I think it would.

Or, if more run volume is the way the athlete wants to go about it, how about doing some off-season hiking in place of more running? Nothing breaks the body down like higher run volume. Why not avoid the pounding by hitting the trails instead and getting in some hikes? You don't have to hike for the full day. Certainly you can, but an hour's hike can be a killer workout, too. But you don't live close to any mountains or you live in the flattest place on earth, you say? No problem. Crank the treadmill up to 8% or 10% or 15%. Hiking is about going uphill and is, in essence, doing an extended series of step-ups. This hits the the entire leg from foot to glute - what a great workout! And what a nice break from the rigors of in-season workouts.

I guess an underlying message here is to find innovative and refreshing ways to target your weaknesses. Do some research and put together a brand new strength routine, like something you've never done before. Maybe this is the season to do all body weight exercises and forgo "pumping iron," or visa versa. Maybe hitting the stairmaster will help you climb better on the bike. Maybe it's time to learn to swim more efficiently rather than swimming more in order to get faster. Maybe your not very flexible so yoga is the ticket to becoming more efficient in your sport.

The list of "solutions" is really endless when it comes to working on weaknesses. My guess is that if we can stop thinking linearly - "to get faster at running, I need to run more" - then we'll have more fun in our pursuit of our goals, be more refreshed mentally and physically when we start training and racing in earnest come 2011 and, quite possibly, we'll have snuck up on our weaknesses and eliminated them.

Happy Training,
Nate Llerandi
natellerandi
 
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