Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You Asked... Leg Training

I answered...

Goodness knows the legs get plenty of punishment while training for either a triathlon or a marathon. I have noticed that with all the pedaling I am doing on my bike, the swimming (which also uses legs) and of course running, that I am developing a much harder profile to the outer sweep of my quads. I happen to love this look, not just on me but on anyone who trains this hard. In my opinion “it’s HAWT!” Since I love lifting so much and my weight training coach (that would be my husband, Robert) isn’t cutting any slack in the gym anyway I keep up with regular heavy leg work. With the power I develop doing weighted walking lunges, plate loaded leg press, leg extensions and the rest of the leg training I do I find my legs are stronger and can power me up hills better whether on a bike or on foot. One of my favorite exercises on the bike is to do a warm up and then practice clipping and unclipping my feet from the pedals. I will unclip one foot and put it on the trainer or bike somewhere out of the way and pedal with the other foot for 40 strokes. Then I unclip that foot and clip the other foot in and repeat the drill. I will do this increasing the tension on the bike until I just can’t pedal any more. It is also a great way to practice clipping in and unclipping which will help when I am on the road. Do you know how many people have fallen off their bikes because they forgot to unclip one foot? Lots! It will probably happen to me too, but so far so good.

Although you didn’t ask, when it comes to arms, back, shoulders and chest I keep up with that too and can actually feel the muscles powering me through the water as I swim. Freestyle swimming or the front crawl as it used to be called requires the use of shoulders, back and biceps at the beginning of the stroke when the hand is plunging into the water above your head. The muscles scoop away water and then as you draw the arm down by your side the powerful triceps muscles kick in. It is exciting to feel the strength of the arms at work in the water.

I would love to hear your stories about training, cycling and other fun fitness stuff. And don’t forget to tell me your funniest moments. I will share mine if you share yours!

Keep it tight,

P.S. Check out our cycling team... they're doing so well!!! womenscyclingteam.blogspot.com


Heather said...

Here are some "newbie" mistakes I made at my first triathlon: 1) Didn't practice 180 degree turns clipped in enough...tipped over still attached. 2) Didn't check to see if brake had been pushed tight on back tire after tip over....after race I realized why all the mountain bikers were passing me with ease on the last miserable hill! 3) Chew gum during bike and run...keeps the mouth moist. But do it with mouth closed unless you want some extra protein in the form of bugs! 4) Practice transitions...I have tipped over putting on cycle shoes after the swim....you tend to still be bobbing up and down if you're doing an open water tri. Good luck and have fun!!!

Pensguys said...

Run hills, hills and more hills! I ran a half marathon in Atlanta and trained here (different city) on many, many hills...big hills, little hills, rolling hills. It really helped during the race when lots of others were complaining about the hills. Then when I came back home and recovered and started running again, I had gotten SO much faster on flats!

Lisa R said...

I think everyone falls at least once when first getting used to clipless pedals. I did on the Brooklyn Bridge last year, too busy gawking at everyone and now I have my own Brooklyn Bridge scar;) So be prepared;)

I'm really excited reading about your training because I plan on doing my first triathlon this summer too. You're such an inspiration to me. I've lost 80 lbs and am still losing:)

Trainer T.s Fitness said...

I practice inclines every day, I think this is part of the reason I don't have shin splint problems.

I also think that yoga belive it or not has helped my back and when running long distance keeps my core tight.

Both of these really relieve my distractions so I can just enjoy the run and my breathing.

tochi said...

great post! i would love to run again, but frankly, my knees hurt or 'give out' after about a quarter-mile for NO reason. it's now affecting my free-weight squats. It's a mystery to me. never had any knee injuries or surgery.

besides, i did discover quite recently that eating rice (yes, rice!) makes my joints feel stiff and tender.

any other suggestions on what to do?

Ripped Chix said...

Yes, hills are great training. I have been an avid lifter for the past 10 years, started running ayear ago to train for a Tri, then a few months later a half marathon. My knees hurt too, and I really let me weight training go, I think it was a mistake, so back to the gym and still running, much happier. Try those knee bands they really do help.

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you Tosca!!! I really appreciate you answering my questions!! You're SO dependable for great information. I wish you all the best with your training and race. I know you're going to crush it!!!!!!