Friday, September 14, 2012

A little advice for the Savageman competitors

Savageman is here! Many of you will be repeating a part of Savageman for the 6th time and some of you for the 1st time. Regardless of your level of experience I thought I would give some feedback on what may have been going on with your body this week as well as some key advice for the run. Maybe it will help, maybe it will not but its worth typing it up for those that need it for whatever reason. And if anything, read the very end for one last bit of encouragement/inspiration. From within!

During the final week, you can't under-do but you certainly can only overdo.

I hope everyone enjoyed a nice taper the last week or 2. I should have blogged about this at the beginning of the week but time got ahead of me. So its too late to explain how to take a proper taper for those that are beginners that may not know how, but I can explain why and what you may have felt during this time.
Why?: Week after week you are putting in lots of miles and intense training. This wears on the muscles and damages the muscle. The high mileage also depletes levels of hormones, muscle glycogen, and antioxidants. A taper period is certainly not a time to be lazy but to cut back on the mileage and intensity so that these levels can return to optimal levels and so the muscle damage can also be repaired. As a bonus, immune function and muscle strength improve, which lowers your chance of catching a cold or getting injured just before the race.
(but stay clear of the kids as they are bringing home lots of germs from school ;-) LOL.
Felt: (Many have made comments on this so this is why I felt a need to do a tiny blog on it.) Don't be surprised if you feel some new aches and pains during the tapering period. It's a normal part of the process as your body repairs itself from months of training. You may also feel a bit more fatigued at the beginning of your taper as your body is working hard to recover those damaged cells but you might feel a bit more energized and jittery towards the end as the body is storing lots of energy getting you ready to explode on race day. Hopefully that is what all of you will experience tomorrow and/or Sunday.

Advice for the RUN:
This run is a challenging course due to the uphills, the downhills and the footing on Fire Tower Rd.
·        Chest and Head up, DON’T SLOUCH
·        Look ahead of you, not down (except FTrd, watch your footing)
·        Keep hands loose, no fists
·        Push legs off and up hill, instead of into it
·        Stay relaxed the first 2/3rds of hill and accelerate last 1/3rd . you will be surprised at how many people you will pass at the top that may have passed you at the bottom.
·        Carry your pace over top. Push too hard at the bottom and you will be dead at the top
·        Exaggerate your arms to power up it. Elbows 90 degree
·        Shorter stride and land under center of gravity

(Be careful to not take the downhills to fast or heavy footed as it will haunt you a few miles later.)
·        Do not overstride as most do on downhills. Land foot under center of gravity! Overstriding can cause injury but will also put undue stress on muscles that can hurt your pace later in race
·        Keep a high cadence
·        Keep shorter strides
·        Keep soft knees
·        Quick light steps (don’t pound the surfice)
·        Glide down the hill, smooth, avoid pounding

That is all I have time for now. I hope this little bit helps. Especially knowing why your body may be feeling different this week.

But the most important advice I can give – HAVE FUN!  No matter what level of triathlete you are – enjoy the moment. Enjoy that you can be out there doing what you are doing!
Not everybody has the courage to do something like this or even start to try. You are already past that! Whether you are a part of a relay or doing the whole tri- short or long. You got to this point when some don’t get started out of fear. Don’t be shy and don’t ever be embarrassed about what or how you do, just do it! And get out there this weekend and finish what you started! It will be something you will remember forever as........
 “What was hard to bear is sweet to remember.” Unknown.