Operation – Gains

Since the big return of the long course mojo and since making the official commitment to #IMWA2017 (click here for a recap), it’s been an eventful couple of weeks in Shenanigan’s land. From starting to get back into a routine with regular swimming, biking and running – hold the press! I’m actually starting to like swimming – to being struck down with the flu from hell (laryngitis!) and spending a week moving from bed to couch, and back again. Never a dull moment here!

I’ve also been riding into work – because #commuterlyf. Not only does it save me time – I kid you not, riding to work shaves at least 20minutes off my commute – it’s also a great way to add extra “training” into my day. Work can get pretty hectic at times with deadlines, meetings, events and races to attend, so I need to optimise my time and “move” whenever I can. I figure: why waste time sitting in traffic when I can get extra kilometres in by riding or running into work. Win!

Another new thing I’ve added is strength and core training. Watch out, Arnold Schwarzenegger! Ha! Strength and core training is not something I’ve done consistently before, and while I realise Ironman is all about strength, in the past I’ve relied purely on my swim/bike/run training to get me strong enough for race day. But, as the quote by Albert Einstein goes – ‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results’, for me to improve I need to do something different. And let’s face it – I’m a weakling. I mean, I have trouble opening jars – embarrassing much!

Strength-for-endurance-logo

So, to get me started with my mission to get strong, I decided to get in touch with strength and core training guru, Kriss Hendy from The Strength For Endurance Network. I figured that rather than simply hitting the gym and pumping iron I need some guidance. Also, there’s not a lot of extra time in my day to hit the gym, and I don’t have the extra cash to burn on expensive gym fees. So Kriss and The Strength For Endurance Network are perfect! Kriss and I have spoken about my goals, and he has set me up with a program to get me started. He has sent me the StrengthForEnduranceKIT for me to use at home and has set me up with the video tutorials to make sure I’m doing things right. Brilliant! I can do strength training from the comfort of my own home while watching the latest episode of House Of Cards! I’m all for that.

I asked Kriss to share his thoughts about getting me started –  

Margs recently approached me asking for some help with a strength program in the lead up to Ironman WA in December. Her request came at a great time – just after the launch of our StrengthForEnduranceKIT and with the distance between us making face-to-face training somewhat irregular, this was the perfect way to get her started. By using the equipment provided in her StrengthForEnduranceKIT and the online training video tutorials found in the Members Area, she will be able to walk herself through the first steps to strength training at her own pace.

In these initial few weeks, our main focus is to get Margs familiar with the basic movement standards that we look for in any healthy athlete, for example establishing her full range of motion through her joints. I want to get her comfortable with the language and exercises/drills that I will be asking her to perform on a regular basis.

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Getting started with the support straps

support straps

Any strength and weaknesses or imbalances and tight areas that she may have will be highlighted in these first few weeks as we work through a basic mobility and strength program. With a busy full-time job, time is often against her, so I will be encouraging her to focus on shorter sessions, but on a more regular basis. Even 10 minutes of mobility a few times a week will go a long way to keeping her body happy and moving without restriction as she gets back into her Ironman training. Having had some time off, her muscles may have become lazy and ‘switched off’ so we will be looking to activate these so that her run, bike and swim are as efficient as possible.

I will also encourage Margs to use the ‘Video Feedback’ that we have available to all our athletes, as this will allow me to analyse her movement and better explain to her areas that she could improve.

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So, I’m pumped (no pun intended)! I’m excited to see what changes I’ll see and how strong I can get – hello six-pack abs! More importantly, I can’t wait to see how this improves my swim, bike and run.

Stay tuned.

~ Margy Margs

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Margaret Mielczarek

Margaret Mielczarek is the deputy editor at Australian Triathlete Magazine and writes the web series 'Shenanigans of a Deputy 2.0'. She is a passionate age-group triathlete and four-time Ironman finisher - currently in training for Ironman number five!

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