triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “crossfit

If It’s Broke

Fix it. Fix it now. I am not talking about bikes either.

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In the spirit of my 21 day No Complaint Challenge, which kinda fell off the radar as getting past 7 days wasn’t happening for any of us, I need to vent without complaining. I have come across a couple of situations via various blogs, twitter, and my life that hit at the heart of the problem. Complaining about a situation that is fully caused by your own decisions.

To frame what I am talking about:

One blogger details her experience with an Acne drug and the challenges with that come along with chronic acne. I am sympathetic as I am sure a lot of people are; I was once in High School and dealt with the pesky little things as well. Her comment though of ‘I’m not sure if it was CrossFit that changed my complexion, but I’m almost certain it had to do with it because of the changes in estrogen and other hormones’ I have a hard time with. Why continue CrossFit if you feel that it is causing it, then resort to a pharmaceutical solution?

One of the people I follow on twitter is a avid CrossFit athlete and has made many comments about ‘having to accept the fact that my muscles are part of my body’. We all know that lifting big, and consequently eating big, will increase muscle mass in a hurry. If increasing muscle mass is making you have a hard time accepting your new body image, why continue to brag about PR’s?

I am as much to blame as others, here are my examples:

During my Whole 30 challenge I was following the rules and not eating a snack mid-morning, wondering why I was so hungry. As the challenge, and the elite say, that you don’t need a snack I held off bringing more food. I continued for a couple of days thinking it was all in my mind, but alas, it was not; I was really hungry. Why continue to complain about being hungry instead of just bringing more food?

I have started lifting weights again at the local YMCA; at lunch time. It is no secret that the busiest time for a gym in downtown Calgary is between 1130 and 1300. There are a couple of things that started to bother me, one of them being Crossfit athletes taking up half of the equipment for their WOD. I am talking about the Olympic lifting station, room to jump rope, and the 40 feet in between for all the other lifts.

So it would seem that I am flogging CrossFit athletes. Not intentional believe me.

I changed a couple of things that I hoped would eliminate my problems. I added in breakfast number 2 (or pre-lunch how every you want to slice it) with great success. I am no longer hungry before lunch and it has actually helped with my hunger later in the day. I have also rearranged my strength workouts to the morning, avoiding the rush and not having to dodge everyone and their dog.

Long story short, if it aient broke, don’t fix it. If it is broke, fix it damn it.

Question: Have you fixed something that is broke?

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Crossfit and Triathlon

Lift heavy s@!t.

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As I discussed in my most recent post, strength training, I added Crossfit exercises into my training schedule over the winter season with great success. I took a lot of time researching, talking with other athletes, and experimenting which exercises in order to find the best combination for a triathlete.

It wasn’t easy to find, so I decided to share what I have been doing over the past five months. Not that I am an expert. I think that after reading my blog, that is obvious.

Aerobic Session – 4 rounds (3 minutes rest)
10 x Pull-Ups
20 x Box Jumps
20 x Push-Ups
20 x Inverted Row
20 x (10 left x 10 right) Walking Lunges

Strength Session
3 x (5 left x 5 right) – Turkish Get Up
3 x (5 left x 5 right) – Chop & Lift
3 x (6 left x 6 right) – Single Leg DeadLift
3 x 10 Squat

Seems simple right? It really isn’t.

In attempt to keep this post short, I haven’t included deceptions of the individual moves, saving time for both you and me (awesome) but also giving me inspiration for a variety of additional posts with pictures, descriptions, and links to instructional videos. So stay tuned in the coming weeks.

One last thought and opinion: Schedule your strength sessions, especially the heavy lift, as your second workout of the day. I scheduled a run after a heavy session; you can guess how it went.

Question: Have you integrated Crossfit and Triathlon? What is your experience?


Strength Training

Can it make you faster?

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Over the past 2 years my main goal in training has been to increase my run speed. Looking at my race results, my swim and bike were always around the top of my age group. My run unfortunately was not. Being strong on the bike allowed me to get far enough ahead of the racers behind me that they couldn’t catch me on the run. My slow run speed meant, however, that I wasn’t able to catch the racer ahead of me either.

Fast forward to this winter season, I had a very in-depth discussion with the tri-club swim coach about adding strength training as a compliment to my swim training. As he put it, the average swimmer (that’s me) pulls against 4kg of resistance in the water. Over the course of a season, this means that you will lose muscle mass if you do not lift weights in addition to logging lengths. Then why do my arms hurt so much after a good swim session?

So I took his advice and scheduled 2 strength sessions into my already busy training schedule. I always hesitated to lift weights before. I want to lean out, not bulk up right? Wind resistance people.

One of the great things about life is that sometimes, only sometimes, does the right answer fall into your lap. Having adopted a Paleo lifestyle over the past year, I have always come across Crossfit. Never heard of it? Really? I did some research trying to find the best routine for a triathlete. Finding nothing to go on, I decided to build my own routine using the basic movements for all three sports.

Here is the thing, it worked. It really worked.

I noticed a huge change just after Christmas. I headed out on a run one Saturday evening, taking a route I am all too familiar with; dark, cold, and icy, but best to stay where I know. More on that in a future post. I honestly felt like I had rocket ships under my feet. Over a 7.6km run, I averaged 4:36/km with 245m of elevation change. I averaged just over 5:00/km in the last 3 runs over the same route. Not a bad improvement. So I kept lifting, changing up my routine every couple of weeks as my strength and stamina increased. I will dedicate my next post to the specific workouts and routine I used.

I am not going to pretend it was easy. More than once I walked down my stairs at home backwards, groaned everytime I sat at the kitchen table like an old man, and had a hard time working with a keyboard at the office.

Now, I swim 400m repeats at sub 1:30/100m; that used to be my 100m sprint split time.

I believe that there is no replacement for intervals, escpecailly on the bike and run; if you want to run sub 4:30/km, then you have to train at sub 4:30/km. But I am convinced that strength training can (and will) make you faster.

Oh, and my wife is diggin’ the biceps….

Question: Did you lift over the winter? What was your experience?