Building some muscle

High kick and block
High kick and block (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During winter I decided to train kickboxing. I did some morning cycling on the resistance trainer and also strength workouts, but I wanted to upgrade my sport endeavours with new sport and I was always keen on martial arts.

The kickboxing gym was near by so it was really a no brainer. It is a gym owned by Alen Štritof (currently European champion in K1 72kg – MTA version). Very nice change from working out alone and Alen is really knowledgable and keen to learn new stuff.

Anyway – I stopped after two months due to too much work and I just could not dedicate fixed time to training. It is different if I train triathlon since I can do cycling or running anytime during the day (let’s forget swimming for now :)).

Although I stopped training quite soon I still did some shadow boxing and boxing bag workouts so I continued doing Kickboxing (although no sparring which is crucial). And I also follow Kickboxing and Muay Thai literature and I cane across excellent article on building muscles for strength and not looks (as in Body building).

The main points are:

  • building strength requires 1 to 5 reps of muscle workout with 3 to 5 minutes of rest in between workouts to “best ‘spark’ from your neuromuscular system and the best strength gains”.
  • to also make the bulkier muscles and also work on the strength you need to do 6 to 8 repeats with pauses of less than 2 minutes in between.

This is not exact science of course, so test it for yourself to see if it works for you.

 

Trying to tri

Olympic Swimming Pool Fast Lane Category:Outdo...
Olympic Swimming Pool Fast Lane Category:Outdoor_swimming_pools (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am in triathlon for quite some years and my latest plan is to do an Olympic distance and try to continue with Ironman distance – at least once :)

The main problem I had, until, yesterday – I have no background. I mean – I wasn’t competitive swimmer, cycler or runner. I was more or less not active – or better, I was not competitive in any sport.

I still think that competitive swimming background is the best background to have – or at least, good knowledge of swimming.

You see – I live in Slovenia and here swimming pools are scares. You can get to a pool – which I like to call dipping pool. A lot of people playing in the pool or just standing around. You can imaging it is not possible to train in such crowd.

Another thing is – indoor swimming pools – I have to drive for an hour in each direction (which is a lot for Slovenia), just to get to swimming pool. So I use swimming pool in school and I don’t mind it being small. I have problems with usage time. I can only use it on Wednesday from 4pm until 5 pm and Thursday from  6am until 7am…. If on business trip? Tough luck.

So I’m missing swimming sessions like crazy (and if you remember – I have no swimming background). Therefore my swim performance at the race is bad and I am always disappointed. Every sprint distance race I took part of – my swimming was bad and it showed on the result.

And I wasn’t happy with it … it went so far I decided to just train until I’m satisfied with my swimming performance and after that I will compete in a race.

That was – until yesterday. Finally I managed to go to swimming session and wanted to see if I can manage Olympic distance swimming (1500m) and not bother with style of swimming. With mixing freestyle and breast stroke I managed to do 1800m so I’m ready, but there was something else.

During swimming it dawned to me, that I can complain as much as I want and I will not be able to change situation.

Let’s check what I can change. I can’t get an indoor swimming pool with decent opening hours – at least not currently. But I can train, like crazy, running and cycling. So why not concentrate on that and try to do swimming as much as possible.

So here it is – le grand idea: speed up running and cycling. I know – no rocket science, but it took me some time.

 

Happy triing.

 

Tendon injury and stretching as a solution

 

Français : Rupture du tendon d'Achille ou tend...
Français : Rupture du tendon d’Achille ou tendon calcanéen gauche (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Read an interesting article about achilles tendonitis. It looks like stretching doesn’t help.

There is a success with:

  • soccer specific balance training
  • shock absorbing insoles
  • hormone replacement therapy

You still have to consult your doctor – of course.

RoadID for safety

 

RoadID logo
RoadID

I hate it when insurance agents come knocking and say I need insurance “for safety”. Come on, who are you kidding.

I find RoadID different kind of “safety”. It is not for me to feel safe, but rather for me to feel that if anything happens to me, people I cherish the most will get notified ASAP.

It is long time ago I bought my first RoadID and during that time my wife changed the phone number. So, what did I do? I bought replacement ID and voila … everything back to normal.

I so much love the product, that I was really happy to become the affiliate – so that’s why the link has “data” for RoadID to know that I am sending you there :).

Supplements. Yay or nay?

You are training some time and read avidly all the material available on and off the internet. Supplements are popping all over the place. Mind you – supplements are big, huge business.

So of course – you need them…. wait. What? Since they are huge business – you need them?

I was playing with a thought about supplements – this and that, glucosamine for joints, vitamins for health, fish oil for Omega 3 and although I can’t say if they help or not – here are my thoughts:

1. Are you sure, that source of the supplements is good? Are they fresh or just shelved for long time?

2. Do you need vitamins? Do you have lab results, to support the decision to get the vitamins? Are you sure that vitamins are without harmful add ons?

3. Are you sure you can’t use like … I don’t know … regular food? Even if you supplement like crazy and your diet sucks – it won’t help you.

 

Yoga for the win

Some time ago I was doing yoga … let’s call it … full time. Well, every day. It was yoga in daily life. I didn’t even know there are different ways of doing it.

After some time I found out all the different names and ways of doing it…. and after some more time I even got some info that you can use yoga to prepare yourself to run, cycle even swim better.

Training peaks, for example, published great exercises. And they are not the only ones. Even Runner’s world has their way of doing it.

Mental toughness above all

When starting running I was all action and that continued with triathlon also. But after a while I started to lag behind. You see, my swimming is really slow. I was never a good swimmer and the current problem is I don’t have access to a swimming pool near by.

All that leads me to doubt my execution during the race, so I started to look into mental toughness routines.

One of the best advices I heard are from former U.S. Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine and they are:

1. Control breathing: inhale through the nose into the belly and exhale through the mouth.

2. Positive mindset: Don’t put yourself down. Try to think of positive thing to say to yourself and do a positive statement (Don’t use no).

3. Mental imagery: This one is hardest for me. The idea is to make a mental image of you finishing the race with a positive attitude.

4. Set the right goals: Why are you doing it? You don’t need to have big goals. The goal might be just to finish the race. Or improve your previous finish time.

When I was running 21k my goal was to do it under 2 hours. This was actually a goal for me to start training for a marathon. And since I managed to finish my last 21k just under 2 hours (1:57:53 to be exact) – the marathon training started.

One addition to goals: I try to break the running the race to achievable goals: 1k per goal :)

The idea for the post came from an article posted in Running World.