Greetings, its been a couple of weeks since my last entry and I actually decided to take a week off training just to allow the body to recover. I’m constantly reading advice along the lines of rest and recuperation being just as important to a triathlete as the actual training. It’s funny, just knocking back and doing very little physically sounds pretty easy to do but you’d be surprised how it nags at you. You see you’re so used to training 4 to 5 days a week and your body is ticking over nicely that its a shock mentally and physically when you take more than a couple of days off in a row. The enforced rest goes against your natural inclination to build your own momentum especially if you’re seeing improvements but to just forge on regardless and not rest is foolhardy and a recipe for injury.
Speaking of injuries, I may have alluded to a persistent calf niggle in the aftermath of a calf strain I acquired initially in August, well while I have managed to return to running in anger (on grass) I decided to have some physical therapy on the offending leg. Now I hadn’t been to see anyone for physical therapy in a few years bit again have noted that the pros indulge in various forms of massage therapy, needling, and manipulation to keep them from getting injuries. So I popped along to a place off Grafton street on Saturday. I had decided in consultation with my physical therapist that I would receive a combination of sports massage and deep tissue massage. What followed was 45 minutes of prodding, massaging and not an inconsiderable amount of pain, but it generally felt good. My therapist Debora from Italy was only a sprightly looking young girl but my god she had arm strength that would rival a Bulgarian weightlifter. I think at one point she was kneading my quadricep with her elbow which was particularly sore as it was pressing right against my thigh bone, so there was a lot of breathing through teeth on my part at that point. My calf muscles were confirmed to be quite tight and have yet to run this week as I was told they would be tender for a few days but I will resume running tomorrow or Thursday.
In the meantime I have been plugging away in the pool. My swim fitness is certainly coming on but am still struggling to hone my technique. Had another look at a video of myself swimming and my arms seem to still be too low on recovery and when entering the water. The result is that my elbow is hitting the water first and this dropped elbow is killing my forward momentum. I feel like I’m not rotating enough through the shoulders and hips which would give my arms clearance over the water during the recovery phase. If it sounds very technical thats because it is 🙂 There are so many different things to think of when swimming. The whole learning process reminds me of learning to drive a car when you’re trying to familiarise yourself with the accelerator , clutch, brake, handbrake and indicators all while watching out for oncoming traffic and pedestrians. It can be overwhelming as can trying to time your stroke with your breathing and your kick with your arm turnover all the while trying to stay streamlined and flat in the water !!!
To help me focus on my stroke I have decided to buy a snorkel.
Now this is a slightly different snorkel that you might have seen before as it is orientated towards the front. It will allow me to swim and focus on my stroke without the added complication of having to worry about breathing. If I can focus exclusively on my stroke for portions of my swim sessions it will allow me to acquire the muscle memory such that proper technique becomes second nature. Thats the idea anyway!!
I also bought a new toy, a triathlon watch, but more on that later.
As for the 3kg weight gain, that is true. When I take a week off, I really take a week off, but thankfully when I’m active I tend to burn calories for fun so all that weight which would have included water is already gone, but it goes to show you just how easy it is to acquire the lbs if you aren’t keeping active !!!
The snorkel I bought : http://amzn.to/2ig3YaW
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