S - 11,800 yards
B - 218.6 miles
R - 53 miles
Time - 21.03 hours
I was reminded recently by a question posed on facebook by "Run with Theoden" of a thought I'd been having recently. The question was posed through Theoden's page by a runner asking if crossfit was a good "cross-training" option for a runner. The response was mostly mixed in terms of positive, negative, or no-impact but it made me realize how many misconceptions there are about training.
I responded with "the best way to get better at running is by running" which, for the most part, is completely true. ChuckieV (a well respected triathlon coach) recently tweeted "for an Ironman it's simple really; train more and you'll become faster. If you're already training as much as you can, train faster. Voila." While obviously not quite as simple as that, most good triathlon coaches would probably recommend using your available training hours to train for the swim, bike and run portions of the event. There is no cross-fit portion of a triathlon. There is no yoga involved in your T2. There are no pilates requirements on the run. It may sound like I'm painting a black and white picture and, to a certain extent, I am.
I've read a lot of blogs recently and many of them revolve around years' in review. This has happened several times but I'll frequently see something like this: 600 hours of swim, bike, and run training this year. 50 of "XX". Or maybe broken down more specifically: 100 hours of swimming, 200 hours of running, 300 hours of biking, 50 hours of "XX". Seeing that on serious triathletes is always surprising, especially among ones with glaring weaknesses. Say you're a really bad swimmer, how can you justify saying you take it seriously when you [basically] wasted 50 hours of your year in terms of your development as a triathlete? If an athlete had spent 40 of those hours swimming instead of farting around in the gym or on a yoga mat (maybe literally in the case of the latter...!) they would have increased their swim totals by almost 50%!
Now, after saying that, I enjoy yoga a lot. One of the main reasons I rarely do it is because it makes me too sore done as frequently as I do it. I do not think it benefits me in any way other than as a bonus strengthening session of certain (never used) muscles. I do not become more flexible from yoga, I do become sweatier and dehydrated. If I desired increased my strength (including core) I'd probably add a quick, <30min program after a run at home once or twice a week. I'm sure that is all that would be necessary.
Anyway, my rant is over. If you want to get better at running, you run. The only people that need other stuff are the ones that are already running as much as they can and are looking for that extra %. The best way to get better at biking is by biking. Weights have been scientifically proven to have no impact on endurance cycling. Swimming is a different story to a certain extent, but the best way to improve is by swimming more. Obviously with this one there are more limiters and technique is exceptionally important but still, getting in the pool more is a GREAT way to start your improvement...
ChuckieV is a relatively unknown (unless you follow triathlon very closely...) coach but has produced some great articles about training.
ChuckieV - There are no secrets
ChuckieV - Miles make champions
My week was fairly boring and it involved a great deal of training and some travel as well. I started off the week in Charlotte and got some good training done there despite the frigid temperatures the first couple of days. On Friday afternoon I made my way down to Atlanta, GA to visit my best friend from college and meet his girlfriend and spend the night there before heading down to Fort Morgan, AL on Saturday afternoon to spend some time at the beach house doing some work on the rental house. I woke up on Sunday and got motivated to ride really far to make up a bit for missing Saturday's ride and ended up doing a huge out and back, which was fun. I need to get my tri bike set up again as the flatness of the terrain here makes my back sore on the road bike...
And a late addition to include one of my new favorite songs from a sadly underappreciated band