Summer is here, which means race day may be just around the corner.
Whether you are into 5K’s, obstacle races, or triathlons, the gym is a great place to get the most out of your training efforts. VASA has everything you need to succeed. We want to give you just a few tips to help each leg of your race; and if you don’t race- try these anyway! You’ll be amazed at the improvement you can make in your personal performance.
Let’s begin with the swim.
Swimming is an overall great sport for anybody. It’s gentle on your joints and is great for recovery. Plus, for most of us, it is INTENSE! If you are a beginner, you’ll want to start slow.
- Take one lap at a time so you focus on form. If your form is correct, you will exert less energy and be more efficient in your distance and eventually speed. Don’t get to the point where you are so tired that you have to doggy paddle.
- Think long. Reach through your fingertips and keep your fingers webbed together. Point your toes and kick from your hips, not knees.
- Practice strokes and breathing on the wall of the pool- when you become a pro, you’ll want to take a breath every 3rd stroke.
- Use resistance to increase your speed and train body parts independently.
- Put a buoy between your legs and do an arms only swim.
- Hold a kickboard for a legs only swim.
Onto the bike ride.
You may get to sit down for this one, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Learn how to use your bike and use it well. Make sure your seat is properly adjusted so that your toes barely touch when standing. You don’t want your knees to be too bent while pedaling- doing so prevents your glutes from fully helping with the movement. Using an exercise bike in the gym, you can get an extra edge when it comes to the real thing.
- Bump up the resistance and use intervals. You can start with whatever interval is comfortable for you. You may want to start with 20 seconds at a high intensity followed by 20 seconds rest. Other common intervals are 20:10, 45:15, 60:30. Keep in mind that the longer the resistance time and the shorter the rest time, the harder it will be. Please note that “rest” doesn’t mean stop- just pedal at a comfortable and somewhat easy pace.
- Work one leg at a time to make each leg strong independently. This may feel a bit awkward, but it works! Rest one foot on the middle bar while the other does all the work then switch.
Finally, the run.
If you want to increase your running speed or endurance, your choices are endless. Resistance and intensity are your tools. On the treadmill you can set the speed or incline; on the ground you can add weight, push/pull plates, run in a resistance band, and play with intervals.
- Just like the bike, pick your choice resistance and set your interval. Work up to a longer work period and shorter rest period.
That does it for your 3 events, but there are other ways to help your performance.
That’s right. You don’t just have to swim, bike, or run to get better at those events. Cross training is equally helpful when it comes to your race time. What is cross training? It’s basically practicing something else to help your actual goal. So don’t forget to continue other forms of weight training and cardio.
- Consider activities like jumping rope or shallow water running.
- Squats, lunges, the leg press, and similar exercises are great for keeping your muscles primed.
- Yoga and pilates will keep you limber and will reduce your chance of injury.
It’s smart to cross train twice a week and don’t forget to give yourself a rest day.
Your body needs to take a break to recover. If you think you’ll get behind, go for a walk or do something easy. If you work hard most of the week, the time you take off will actually be a time to heal and repair.
You are ready. Now get set. Let’s see you go!
Happy racing and improving. You are #vawesome