Monday, September 28, 2009

An Analysis: Injuries & Water Running

Water running, aka Aqua jogging. Why do it? Can you really get a in a good run workout? Can you do it without looking like a total geek? Since I know I can't be the only one out there dealing with an injury that prohibits running, I thought I would share my thoughts on water running.

The Injury: When you have an injury that prevents you from running sometimes the psychological strain of not being able to run can be worse than your physical pain. I know I'm not alone on this one, I loath not being able to run, especially when I see others out there on a nice day running when I can't!! Sometimes it takes an injury to make us realize how much we love to run and that it's an essential part of our daily life. Although you may be keen to return to running, rest is an important part of your recovery, so don't rush it. You may need to cut way back on running -- or eliminate it entirely, as in my case -- until you recover from your injury.

So what to do in the meantime? I don't want to lose too much of my run strength/speed if I can at all help it! The answer: Water Running!

The Facts:
  • at sea level, air is 784 times less dense than water=it's MUCH harder to run in water than in air!
  • The buoyancy of an object in water is exactly the same force as the weight of the displaced water=you float, therefore reducing impact on joints, limbs, muscles.

The Gear:

  • A pool with a deep end--I like to do the bulk of my workout in the deep end but us the shallow end to do drills and strides and to check my form from time to time (only if you don't feel any pain with the impact).
  • water belt--Some people don't use the belt but I find that it really helps me focus on my form and prevents me from cheating! And yes, you will look like a geek!
  • an old, but clean, pair of racing flats. I always clear them with the lifeguards before I jump into the water with them on! I like wearing shoes for the added resistance and I find it gives my feet more of a sensation of running and stops you from pointing your toes!
The workouts:
  • Believe it or not, you can get a really good workout water running. I find I really have to push it to get my HR up and have read that your max HR can be 10% lower running in water than on land.
  • You can do your 'long slow distance' workouts (low heartrate running) in the pool, although these get a little boring. Thankfully my pool has music playing and there is usually some bad swim technique for me to critique in the lap lanes while I run!
  • You can also do intervals in the pool. I find these workouts go by fast as you are always changing your pace and have to focus on technique and form throughout to really get a good workout.

Here is a sample workout (short but sweet):

Warm up: 10' easy jog, drills and strides (yes, you can still do these in the water!)

Main set: 6x(3' hard running, 2' recovery)

Cool down: 10' easy

There you have it! For those who are injured, you can still run, although it will have to be in the water, but just think how good it will feel to finally run on pavement!!

Back to the pool for me!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fully & Completely

It's been awhile since my last update. I've been busy, tired, lazy,unmotivated...all the excuses. Actually, the jet-lag really kicked my butt this trip. Think the 2 week turn around to Australia really messed up me up!

Went to the Tragically Hip concert on Monday. We were 2nd row, so close we were part of the show! It was a great concert, I've seen them before but this was by far their best concert--Gord Downie (lead singer) sweats more than me during a high intensity indoor trainer ride! For those that don't know the band, they are a classic Canadian rock band. They are on tour right now, hitting the US in October/Novemeber and then heading to the Netherlands in November...Amsterdam, Utrecht, Groningen (where some of my family lives), and Eindhoven! The first 3 days of fall in Calgary have been 30, 33 and tomorrow is supposed to be 28 degrees Celsius(80-92F)!! Crazy! I'll take it--normally the daytime high right now is 15.

What a view! Check out the mountains on my ride today....beautiful blue skies! I rode straight into the mountains today--they were calling me from the house today!
Injury report: leg still aggravated. X-ray negative, so that is good. Might have an MRI next week.
That's all to report for now!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Goldie

Ahhh, the ups and downs of sport.

Here's the race report: I was violated in the swim, seriously, thoughts of "say NO, then GO, and TELL someone you trust" came into my head when I was swimming. Not sure if it was the due to my start position (as many of decent swimmers who started near me came out of the water with me too) or if I was just too tense being stuck in the chaos, or if my swim was just weak. Anyhoo, got onto the bike and ended up being second chase group that didn't want to work together and lost almost 2' to the lead group of 7.

Now for the run, here I should explain first. I've had some left leg pain since I stepped on a rock at the Calgary 70.3. It's manifested itself in various aches and pains, from my heel, to my calf & glute medius, and finally to my tibialis anterior (or what I call shin splints). I was pretty optimistic that I would be good to go on race day, I'd raced the Aquathon and felt ok after but race morning, my 'tib' was not too happy with me. To keep this short, the run into the swim hurt, T1 was not comfortable and T2, not good. I ran one lap to see if it would ease but it didn't. I made the decision to pull out--not wanting to do any further damage in hopes I can still finish off the season in Clearwater (70.3 World Champs) in November. Now, I won't even type what I think the problem might be, since I'm hoping it's not that, but I'll be getting it all checked out once I get home. Disappointing, yes, earth shattering, no. I just have a new game plan now.

Now some pics: Yours truly in Surfers Paradise--not a cloud in the sky the entire time there. Beautiful beaches, but the whole 'scene' is not my style...maybe if I were 21 and backpacking....

The skyscrapers in Paradise, quite a contrast from Noosa!
Me, after my first surf lesson--complete with a certificate! It's as hard as it looks people! I was definitely not a natural! At one point the instructor jumped on the board with me to help me stand up....It was kind of like when you first learn to ride a bike without training wheels, you remember; when your Dad runs with you and says he's holding onto the seat but he actually isn't and then you realize he's not and start to wobble and crash...I managed to get up, and stay up, thinking he was still with me, then I looked back and realized he'd let go and got so excited that I began to wobble and down I went hard in about a foot of water (it was low tide)!

It was fun, and I want to try it again but I'm sore and banged up today from the board kicking my butt for 2 hours!
That's about all for now. I am currently in Auckland taking the milk-run home. Will keep you posted on the status as soon as I know.
I may have one more flat white for the road.....
-SOrry for missing practically everyone who was down in the Gold Coast, we were staying a little farther from the race site than I thought & my internet/telephone access was limited. Hope everyone had a good race!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Leaving Noosa....

Sigh, I head south to the Gold Coast tomorrow, my last day in Noosa. Here is are a few of the reasons I love it here:
  • My first workout of the day is usually completed by 7:30am
  • Due to the early start, I have a good excuse to go to bed at 8pm!
  • Beaches named Sunshine and Sunrise
  • The National Park and it's sandy trails and beautiful views is a 7 min jog from here
  • Squad swim group--I always seem to step up my game for Max (the coach) while I'm swimming here!
  • Always a bike group heading out every morning
  • Bike lanes all around Noosa Heads
  • No buildings over 3 stories
  • The brilliant stars at night

That's all for now, a 3hour drive to Surfers Paradise (where the Dutch team hotel is) and then race day on Sunday.

G'Day Mate!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Made it!

Well, I've actually been here a few days. Noosa is still the same, except a little cooler in 'winter', although Sept 1 is officially the first day of spring!

My first order of business after my long flight to Auckland (on the upper deck of a 747!). A flat white and a kiwi for Breakie.
Ahhh....doesn't get much better than this...ocean temp currently 19-20 degrees.
My ride for the week in Noosa...I call her Molly. Note the pink flamingo on the front fender!

A few more days here and then I meet up with the rest of the Dutch team on the Gold Coast. Race day is Sept 13th (the 12th in North America!).
Hope all is well!