Yoga Therapy

Today was my first session of Yoga Therapy and I am hooked.  I feel like this will be something that will truly help my triathlon training.  Yoga therapy isn’t quite yoga and isn’t massage therapy. I would describe it as physiotherapy-yoga style, retraining the neuro-muscular patterns in my body. Essentially re-learning functional patterns.

There are 2 distinct areas in my body that needs work:  my left shoulder and my right hip.  Since these 2 areas are distinctively different, I chose to work on my left shoulder first.  It’s the area that causes me the most grief.  

I was given 3 exercises to practice till my next session.  The hardest one for me will be to active my rhomboids, retracting and protracting my scapulae without using my levator scapulae or my lats.

As I work through this journey, I will share my successes and challenges with all of you.  I am looking forward to a great triathlon season this year.

Till next time, have a great active week.

 

It’s recovery week, What does that mean?

This week is my recovery week. What does that really mean? Well, in theory, it should mean that I should be getting more rest with reduced volume of training. But, for me…that doesn’t always happen.

Looking at my schedule on Sunday night, I noticed there were a few less workouts on my training plan this week. There were only 7 and yoga vs the usual 9 and yoga each week. The Duration of some of those workouts are also a little less than usual, but I did notice something. While the duration and the quantity of the workouts decreased, there was still intensity in each of the training sessions.

Tuesday’s running set was 3 x 10 minutes as 4 minutes at threshold, 2 minutes low tempo, 2 minutes all out and 2 minutes super easy.

Wednesday cycling set was 4 x 8 minutes as 1 minute just below threshold and 1 minute just above. The whole set needed to be 85 or higher CAD.

Sunday is a 15 km run with 6 x 1 km at 3 different paces.

Most triathletes are a little crazy and well, I fit right in. I tend to keep myself quite busy. Always on the go. I would really 30 hours per day instead of 24 to get all the stuff I would like to get done each and every day.   So, on my recovery week, I tend to over schedule my week. I schedule meetings and plan outings and try to squeeze in all the little things that I don’t have time to do during the regular training block weeks.

I do usually schedule an appointment with my health care team on my recovery week. All part of the self care maintenance that needs to happen to stay healthy enough to stay in this crazy sport in the long term.  That may be my naturopath, chiropractor, massage therapist or physiotherapist. That is more what my coach would like to do with my spare time.

I feel like last year, over-scheduling my calender and trying to get too much done on recovery week didn’t seem to work that well. I was more tired after the recovery week than I should have been. I would start my next block of training completely exhausted. That’s not a good plan. I’m pretty sure that’s not what the coach wants to hear either.

This year will be different. I will make it different…well at least I will have to try. I will have to come up with a plan and build in some accountability to make sure I get more rest on recovery week.  For that, I need to hear what other triathletes are doing.

What do you do on your recovery week? Do you rest or tend to over schedule your week? What is the magic formula? How to you make it work?
I would love to hear from you. Email your voice memo to Trichatlg@gmail.com

Till next time, have a great active week.


	

IT’s easier to train when you are prepared.

It’s Tuesday night on a recovery week and I am feeling good. The preparations for the things that I need to get out the door are completed. My clothes are laid out and my meals are prepped and my supplements are all ready to go.

As a triathlete, commuter and busy mom, I am out the door at crazy o’clock in the morning. In order to get a few more minutes of sleep, I have to be prepared. More than once, have I missed a workout because of my lack of preparation. Lunch not made, no protein powder packed, no clean workout clothes, no work appropriate clothes.
When I finish the laundry, I do the same thing that I ask my kids to do. I stack the clothes that I will need for the week in a plastic dollar store bucket. That saves me from putting my clothes away in the closet in the first place and saves me time in the morning because everything that I need is there, pants, shifts, undergarments and socks.

I do the same for my food. If it’s planned,then it’s much easier to eat well and in my case, well, eat enough. I don’t mind eating the same thing for a whole week, which makes it quite easy for me. This afternoon, I cooked enough quinoa for 5 containers of 3/4 cups of quinoa. I bought cherry tomatoes that I have divided between 3 other containers and a few mni cucumbers for each day. I did the same with the dressing. Cut up carrots and mini humus containers will also make it in my lunch bag this week. In the morning, all I have to do is open the fridge and fill up my lunch bag. Easy peasy.

Supplements are also part of my regimen. Seeing a naturopath, there are several supplements I need to take with food. Since most of my meals are not eaten at home, i needed to find a convenient way to carry them with me. The container needed to be big enough to hold Omega 3’s. One of my colleagues said it reminded him of the container his grandmother had.

The key to getting out the door on time in the morning is to make it easy and convenient. While not every triathlete has the same life and challenges that I have, I am sure there are others who have found little hacks that have made their lives easier. I would love to hear them. What does that look for you? You can share your stories by sending your voice memo at trichatlg@gmail.com.

March Break Shannanigans

Here in Ontario, we have March Break the middle week of March. The kids are off school for a week. For the first time in many years, I have decided to take a week off to spend it with my family. That also meant no workouts for me this week. A whole week with no workouts. I guess i’ll chalk it up to a recovery week, even thought I am not sure my coach will see it that way.

I was sick the weekend leading into our vacation. Fever, cough and chills, I stayed in bed and on the couch for almost 2 days. I wasn’t sure this vacation thing was going to happen. But, resting allowed my body to feel good enough to enjoy family time.

Planning this trip, there were many things we wanted to do, but we were not sure if Mother Nature would cooperate. We wanted an outdoor active vacation. A vacation where we could move and play. Quebec city, Timmins, Mont Tremblant and Muskoka were among the contenders where we could snowshoe, cross country ski and snow tube.

In the end, we settled on Niagara Falls. We absolutely love Niagara, It’s my 10 year old’s favorite vacation destination. We have been there many time in the last few years and have stayed in many hotels. It didn’t matter where we stayed, but we wanted somewhere with a pool. My husband made the reservations and found a good deal on a hotel with a pool.

We spent a lot of time in the pool. The 3 boys loved the pool as well as the other kids staying in the hotel. It was too busy for me to swim. I tried. I really tried, but it just wan’t going to happen. One child thought it would be funny to jump in the pool just above my head every single time i swam a length. I looked around and the parent was no where to be found. After the 8th time, I decided my safety was more important than getting my workout in. So, NO SWIM for me.

No problem I thought, at least I had brought my outdoor running clothes…yeah…the huge snow storm made it unsafe for me to run outside. NO OUTDOOR RUN for me.

No problem I thought, at least I had brought my indoor cycling and treadmill friendly clothes….yeah…no gym in our hotel. Say What? Yeah, no gym in our hotel. NO GYM WORKOUT for me.

In the end, I had fun with my family. Really enjoyed my time with them. Today is another day.

Released

On a cool rainy friday morning, I attended an extra yoga class. I have to say that I absolutely love my yoga class. Jessy Thomas from Bala yoga has been my yoga teacher for the last year. Even thought I know so much about my body as a triathlete, I am constantly learning something new. My body is leaning to use the right muscles for the task and relaxing the muscles that just tend to take over.
Today, for the first time in many years, I was able to sit cross legged on my sits bones, flat on the mat. That may not sound like a huge deal but I have been working that that little thing for the last 3 years. Three years. (pssst…that’s a long time to release one little muscle).
All the hard work has finally paid off. A huge victory. I am certain the release will positively affect my training and my racing season this year.
While I achieved this first goal, I still have a lot more work to do. I will keep going to my yoga class, at least once a week (more when my schedule allows). I will keep moving forward. I will keep practicing.