Training or not, that is a question

English: The face of a black windup alarm clock
English: The face of a black windup alarm clock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went for a run on Wednesday, continued with cycling session on Thursday and running on Friday.

Took the Saturday off and since I was working on that day – it came handy. Unfortunately work involved a lot of standing so I already had some aching leg muscles, but nothing major, so the plan was: running on Sunday, again.

And then the Saturday night came and I went to bed after setting an alarm clock for 7 am, to start a morning run… but during the night calf cramps appeared in my left leg and they stopped only if I was lying on the side.

After waking up (before the alarm clock) I just removed the settings for the alarm at 7am since legs “told” me, not to go for a run.

When waking up in the morning I used Horse balm for the calf and ate pumpkin seeds for magnesium. I would use magnesium pills or ointment, but have nothing in the house (need to buy some :)).

Anyway – might go for a run, tomorrow :)

Warming up, stretching and muscles

Collage of varius Gray's muscle pictures by Mi...
Collage of varius Gray’s muscle pictures by Mikael Häggström (User:Mikael Häggström) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have heard recommendations to stretch before a workout, which sounded a bit odd since I always took stretching as a relaxing activity and the last thing I need before workout is relaxing muscles (not talking about mind here).

Some time ago I talked with an osteopath ( also masseuse, teacher …) and he confirmed my suspicion (not to mention peer-reviewed articles). To start an activity you need to fire up muscles with warming up and stretching should come at the end of the workout.

So there – and I even saw a video recently talking about stretching hamstrings before a run.

Oh, well.

Knee pain and how to fight it

English: Right knee.
English: Right knee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Found an interesting article about research on voleyball players and patellar tendinopathy aka knee pain. Researchers found out that you can fight the pain by doing isometric exercises.

Apparently the easing was felt immediately after the workouts and the positive effect of the exercises lasted even after 45 minutes.

The proposal is to “Try using isometric muscle contractions to reduce tendon pain immediately and get them to use it regularly throughout the day to reduce pain,” as Ebonie Rio from Monash University in Australia said.

You can find isometric exercises on knees all over the internet. For example here.

GI issues and triathlon

Left: sweet cider. Right: apple juice.
Left: sweet cider. Right: apple juice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe the title “GI issues and running” would be better, since I get GI issues mostly when running…. although swimming after eating dairy product is a no no too.

When training I tend not to eat at least two hours before I go for a run. I usually go for a run in the middle of the morning and breakfast is already far far away, so I’m good with that.

I also found out that going for a run immediately doesn’t help with my run, but it helps with getting me fast to home :/

So during the time I am training I don’t really think about sport drinks and other sport related beverages, foods and stuff I don’t even know where they come from. I was wondering what to eat when I did my first 21k and if I remember correctly I tried to eat gel (got it free).

With gel, or anything you want to eat, during a race you really need to experiment during your training, just to see how the stomach is coping.

But …

…the word on the streets was that you don’t need to eat anything during first 2 hours of running and since I managed to squeeze in 21k in 2 hours .. voila. Perfect for not eating during the run… and IT WORKS. And since I hate eating artificial stuff, or at least, stuff that are really far away from the “real food” it was really good. But since I’m currently preparing for marathon (and olympic triathlon) I guess I will have to look into “let’s get something beside water” and I will have to try mixing water and honey or water and apple juice. Honey or apple juice should be in really small ratio to water (to 6% or something).

As I said – testing, testing, testing. The first test will be with long, long cycling tour.


Swimming and shoulders

Sjsu swimming pool
Sjsu swimming pool (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I wrote in one of my previous posts I need to work on my swimming and with current swimming pool situation it is a real pain in the area “where sun rarely shines”.

So when I have time I try to do as much swimming as possible. I know that is not smart, I know it is not the way to do it, but it’s just the way it is.

Anyway – when doing rare but long swim trainings in the pool I have a shoulder pain and I already have a plan to create a daily mobility routing, but I didn’t get there yet.

My first idea was to do boxing bag workout, but talking to my trainer friend, it is not really a good idea, since different muscles are used for that.

After some googling I found nice article about shoulder pain with some crucial workouts for that.

I just need to add that to my daily routine :)

Oh, and for workout with elastics – I will use old bicycle inner tube (in line with my budget way of doing a triathlon :) ).


TrainingPeaks. What’s it good for?

Absolutely everything :)

I’m just half kidding. You see, it is really a long time ago I started using TrainingPeaks. When I “upgraded” my running I really wanted to see how far I have ran.

The best solution was to get GPS watch, I just could not get myself to run with the GSM. Anyway – I bought Timex Ironman  GPS Global Training.

Here is the new shiny watch, but how to get data from it? It was the first time I have heard of TrainingPeaks. Yes, is is really a long time ago and since I didn’t really know what to do with data and used it just to see how long and how fast have I ran I somehow hated it. A lot of possibilities and I just didn’t know how to use them.

After some time of using TrainingPeaks and reading about it I decided to try with Premium (payable) option and used it for a year.

I am currently, again, on free version and people from TrainingPeaks have also upgraded the application to a nice App version (as they call it). The reason I ditched the Premium has nothing to do with TrainingPeaks. I just could not get myself to train as I wanted and thought – why pay for a service I don’t use, but it looks like things are going to change. I want to use possibility of creating a workout library and create a weekly plan depending on work I have to do during the week and my feel on Sunday.

Creating workout library is (of course) available only in Premium edition. Oh, well…


Yoga Class at a Gym
Yoga Class at a Gym (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Depending on what is your reason to do yoga – here is a (let’s call it) more manly way of doing it. It’s called Broga.

It is more or less, yoga where you don’t need to feel ashamed by your body look… on the other hand – why be ashamed of your body? I don’t get it.

Anyway – checked the videos on the web pages and it looks cool. Give it a try.

Triathlon is so expensive

hybrid bicycle, lightweight construction.
hybrid bicycle, lightweight construction. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I did my first triathlon I used the bicycle I had at the house (it was a hybrid bicycle), swimming trunks and swimming goggles and running shoes, I used for running training. All in all – not that expensive.

What is my point? Triathlon is as expensive is you want it to be. You can, of course, buy super duper triathlon bicycle and the latest trisuit. Buy the best neoprene that swims by itself, but pack rubbish “machine” aka “untrained body” and you will still loose.

I propose that you squeeze as much as it is possible from the gear you have and put your mind to fine tuning the training (or get a proper trainer) and when you are absolutely sure the gear is stopping you – and have money to spend – buy better gear.

Remember: The most expensive stuff – bicycle and neoprene – can be bought used.