Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Here comes the 2012 Season

This winter has been one of my best, both in my training and personally.  Greg has a new building with a Computrainer studio that has been a huge help with my cycling in the off season.  And we have been able to take a few trips to get outside and ride.  10 days in California and 4 days in Tennessee have given me confidence that my cycling has improved and that riding a Computrainer in the off season can really make a difference.  My swim has gotten better although the changes to my stroke have made for a somewhat long winter.  I can generate more power and faster times in the water, but I get fatigued faster and recovery time is a little longer.  I have been adjusting and by the time the season rolls around I should be good to go.  I am hoping to be a more complete triathlete this year! With the help of run drills and core strengthening, my run has improved without setting foot on a track. I am excited for what the season might hold. 

Some big sponsor news in the off season has come in the form of running shoes.  After posting fast runs off the bike the last two seasons Greg worked out a deal with Scott shoes.  I have been running in Scotts for about a month now and I am very happy!  I cannot wait to race in the new minimalist shoe Scott just released - the race rocker.

The 2012 season could be a big one!!  I just found out I got in to the Mooloolaba World Cup.  If I can do well in Clermont at the beginning of March and then post a good result in Mooloolaba, I might have a chance at getting in to the San Diego WTS race.  If you are not familiar with the San Diego race, it is the last chance Olympic Qualifier.  Any American that finishes in the top 9 automatically qualifies for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  This would be a dream come true, to represent the US at the Olympics. It is still a long shot, but the fact that the Olympics are even on the radar this year is kinda crazy!!  Hopefully Greg and I can muster up a little magic this season and represent the US on the biggest stage in sport!!  I will try to keep you all updated as much as possible as the season unfolds. 

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.   ~Norman Vincent Peale


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Swimming for a non college swimmer...

This past week we had our TEAM IE training camp in California.  The camp was fantastic and we did a big bike focus and had lots of fun with new and old friends; but the experience I have had recently that has been most interesting has been Greg’s new approach to my swim training this offseason.  The best thing about Greg is that he really thinks outside the box when something is not working the way it should. 
Last year, we did a lot of work on my swimming and ramped up my volume and intensity.  The crazy thing is- I barely got any faster, if at all. It was a huge cost of time and energy and the returns appeared to be fairly small.  About a month ago, Greg came to Charlottesville for a week and he was able to get a much better idea of what my swimming looked like.  I believe I was taking about 22 strokes per length at the time, my kick was mistimed and it really took Greg being there for the  week to start to work on it (best coach ever!)  Since that time I have been doing very little conventional yardage and working on my engagement of the water and kick timing with a bunch of drills and fun crazy exercises that Greg made up.  I started doing my 100’s super super slow and the idea seemed crazy but Greg told me to stick with it- so that is what I did.  A month later I am still working up to being successful with this new stroke but I am almost as fast as I was with my old stroke and I am taking 16 strokes per length now and I am a lot less tired when I come into the wall. 
It has been a really amazing and quick transition but a great example of how you need to trust your coach even when things don’t necessarily seem to make sense initially. I am really excited to keep reporting on this topic as I continue to work on this new stroke. 
 I have had a lot of great swimmers video me and critique my stroke- but somehow I think Greg not being a collegiate or pro swimmer (although he is a freaking fast swimmer!) has been better for me.  He can see things differently and he doesn’t take things for granted that swimming experts often assume.  Also, Greg believes that people can become good swimmers even if they didn’t swim in college- most people don’t think this is possible- but if you don’t think it is possible, it will definitely never happen for you.  I’ll keep you posted on this experiment!! I like the sounds of 16 vs. 22 for now though =)
 Thanks again Greg!!