Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Information is Key

Over the past few months I have been attempting to change my swim stroke while building a solid base in all three sports for the upcoming season.  During these months I have struggled with adapting my new stroke in the water and unusual fatigue.  Neither one has derailed my training but they have made the last few months a little interesting.  Greg and I have had a few days where we struggle to communicate how I am feeling and what type of workouts I should be doing. We keep moving forward but sometimes at a very slow rate.  Hopefully with our new information better days or on the way.

Greg and I had an amazing opportunity to spend a few days at the Olympic Training Center.  I had some testing done and we gathered information in other areas of my training and life to maximize my athletic potential.  I met with the strength and conditioning coach at the OTC, had my blood test results analyzed, had my swim stroke analyzed by Dr. G, had a movement screening, met with a nutritionalist, and met with an offsite allergist.

We knew going in that my swim stroke needed work, but we were curious to find out to what extent.  The power profile and video that Dr. G is able to capture is amazing. The biggest corrections I need to make are:
1. Keep my head "down."  In-line with my body.
2. Develop a better catch.  I slow myself down a little instead of accelerating during that phase.
3. Kick more.  This will help me go faster by providing more forward propulsion as well as keep my feet from falling down and causing additional drag.

Aside from the visit with the offsite allergist, the rest of the information was mostly positive.  Overall my strength, blood profile, and functional movement is good.  As with everything in life, there are always items that could use improving.  I discovered my glutes were a little weak, but that can be fixed with additional strengthening.  Living in South Bend does have its negatives; with the lack of sunshine my Vitamin D levels were still within range but a little low for an athlete.  This can be adjusted by taking a simple Vitamin D supplement, which I suggest to anyone living in an area with few sunny days.  The nutritionalist gave me a few pointers to help keep my energy up during and after a long or hard workout.  I have to think about eating for today, as well as fueling for tomorrow.

The best news of the trip came when we went to the offsite allergist.  I have been to the doctor recently and even met with two doctors, counting the allergist, while in Colorado Springs.  No one saw any major problems until I received a CT scan of my sinuses.  It showed a polyp as well as a major sinus infection. Why is this good news you ask?  Because knowing this is a huge relief.  Greg and I now know what was causing my unusual fatigue. My body was fighting a massive sinus infection while trying to train at a high level.  After a 3 week course of antibiotics, I am feeling better and my training is improving.  I know have a better understanding as to why Greg is always hounding me about information and trying to gather as much as possible.

As I head off to Clermont this weekend for my first race of the season, I look forward to racing again and hopefully it can be a great start to the season.

"Always desire to learn something useful." ~ Sophocles