FEATURES

Getting Un-Crazy...

Crazy-Brain-266x300.gifBy Jene’ Shaw (triathlon.competitor.com)

Prepare for battle with a pre-race brain ‘audit.’

You’ve paid up to $700 to race—so why let your brain f@#k things up? This question from sports psychologist Dr. Simon Marshall, Ph.D., was the basis for the brain training program he developed to help athletes combat pre-race anxiety, appropriately titled “Calm the F@#k Down.

From the stress of family drama to actual race execution, there’s a long list of issues that can leave you feeling a little crazy. You’re not, of course, but Marshall explains that you’re undergoing a temporary loss of equilibrium. The good news is with the help of external assistance using tools and skills you already have, you can return to a state of self-reliance in time to race your best.

Marshall, who is the husband and coaching partner of two-time XTERRA world champion Lesley Paterson, started with the principles of crisis intervention—or, in this case, “acute sport psychology intervention”—and came up with a program to address issues you may have leading into your biggest race.

For the six days before, Marshall will spend 15 minutes combating potential issues: distraction control for expo time, start-line visualizations, race checklists, final pep talks and more....

Stuff About Loving Your Body...

hanna-and-pig.gif(Photo - This pic of Hanna with her boyfood, Sean Cooley, and a random pig has nothing to do with this post. It's just a really cool shot.)

By Fit Gingersnap, aka (Hanna Grinaker)

There are several good reasons to make healthier choices, and I betcha you could name ten. For instance, we know that if we eat whole, clean, nutrient dense foods, we will feel better. We also know that exercise is powerful in terms of calming the mind and rejuvenating the body. And a side effect of following these guidelines will often be a reduction in weight–although one should never deny a massive plate of sweet potato fries on occasion. Through a healthy diet and regular exercise, our bodies will become slimmer, our sinewy muscles will start to pop, and belts for the jeans that at one time didn’t fit will become necessary. In theory, there is nothing wrong with wanting to transform our bodies into healthier, sexier versions of our former self.

But in reality, our reasons for wanting to lose weight — especially as women — stem much further than anything other than the physical results we see as a byproduct of this lifestyle. Oftentimes, our desire to lose weight is not out of self-love but fraught with self-hatred...

Getting Good at Resting...

RESTING.gifBy Jason Gootman and Will Kirousis (usatriathlon.org)

Do you ever watch nature shows and notice how much time the wild animals sit around doing nothing? Do you ever wonder how your “lazy” house cat, Frisky, can jump 10 body lengths up onto the windowsill? Sure, his body is constructed for that kind of movement, but undoubtedly, what seems like “laying around all the time” is a big piece of why ole Frisky can do such stupefying physical feats. The best triathletes are like this too — they’re as good at resting as they are at working out, since rest plays a big role in the improvement process. It’s when you rest (and sleep) that your cells adapt to the demands of exercise and grow stronger.

Rest can be hard to define, but you know it when you experience it. You’re absorbed in a good book, watching a funny movie, laying in a hammock with your husband — and not trying to get anything done. You’re content just being there chilling out. Rest ...

Travel & Training Stuff...

jump-rope.gifImprovised Training While Traveling...

By Heather Lendway (Heatherlendway.com)

Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to escape snowy Minnesota and head to Florida for the week to attend a work conference. Fortunately they had a fitness center with some weight and cardio equipment so my training wouldn’t be affected too much. The website for the hotel also advertised two “lap pools” but I wasn’t going to believe it until I got there to see for myself. One of the lap pools looked more like a large leisure pool; the second actually had two lane lines so it was somewhat legitimate. It was hard to tell for sure what the pool length was but I would estimate approximately 33 meters.

Adjusting my swim workouts for the unusual distance wasn’t too bad and made for another random week of swimming. If you’ve ever swam in a 25 yard or meter pool and then gone to a 50 meter pool, it typically feels like you’re drowning until you adjust. The first couple workouts I felt mostly like I was drowning in the pool, but it got better as the week went on....

Trainer Workouts That Don't Suck...

trainer-girl.gifBy Susan Kitchen (usatriathlon.org)

Postseason or offseason has arrived. This is the training cycle following your last race of the year. Temps are getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and many triathletes are turning to the bike trainer, a great tool to execute a solid workout, free of traffic lights, cars and worrisome weather. With a trainer, it’s just you, your bike, and a healthy dose of motivation. Rather than viewing your trainer workouts as a dreaded chore in the pain cave, think quality over quantity to make the most of your trainer time.

In the offseason, training stress is low, but it’s important to remember that quality winter training sessions establish the foundation for your next season. Focus on developing cardiovascular endurance, improving pedal stroke efficiency and building up bike-specific strength, and you’ll come into spring strong — and ready for a great season....

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