Blog

Keeping Your Hip Flexors Happy!

Imagine this scenario. You are in your final weeks of preparation for your A race - a 70.3 distance triathlon. This weekend, your Saturday ride is a preview of the bike course at race intensity followed by a short brick run. The race is a three hour drive from your house, and so you wake up and immediately hit the road. You get out of car and jump on your bike. You start easy for the first 10 minutes and then settle into your race pace. You finish the ride feeling good, grab your running shoes and set off for a quick 20 minute run. You are feeling strong, so you decide to kick it hard at the end. Training is done and so you hop in your car and make the three hour drive home, reflecting positively on how good your fitness is. That evening, you are feeling a little tightness in your hip flexors, the group of muscles which connect your upper legs to your lower back, hips and groin. You figure you’re just tired from the day and don’t think much of it. Off to bed for another day. You wake up a bit more stiff, but figure it will work it’s way out and so you set off on your session for the day - a 10 mile run with race-pace intervals. No time for a warm-up, you just start running. At the beginning of the run, you are feeling some pain in your upper legs and groin area, but it seems to ease up as the run goes, so you do the workout as planned and all seems ok. You head home and decide to rest, sitting on the couch. Then it happens, you go to stand up and feel a sharp pain in your hip and upper leg. You try to walk and the pain worsens. You can’t walk without a limp. Lifting your knee to your chest is difficult. You can’t hop on that leg. Now you are in a panic - what just happened????
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Manage Self Doubt. Don't Let It Manage You.

Self doubt can be an athlete’s worst nightmare. It can impact your workouts, keep you up at night, and taunt you on race day. At some point, all athletes will experience some form of self doubt in their career, and it's important to learn to fight these feelings so they don't debilitate us. As I always say, mental toughness isn't something athletes are born with it's something they learn over time and something there is ALWAYS room for growth in. Below are some tips when you are experiencing self doubt.
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Making the Runner-to-Triathlete Transition

One of the things that make triathlon so interesting is the diversity of the athletes who come to the sport. Triathlon can be thought of as the “melting pot” of all sport. There is not one athletic background that can “make” a triathlete. An advanced swimmer, cyclist, or runner, may have some advantage starting up in the sport, but the training approach, as well as the mental outlook, of what made them an advanced athlete in that sole sport, may have to be adjusted, once initiating triathlon training.
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Translating Pool Fitness Into Open Water Success

We swim countless miles, staring at a black line, going back-and forth, back-and-forth, with lane lines on either side of us. And then we go and race, and gone is the black line. Gone are the walls, every 25 seconds. Gone are the lane lines that keep us on path. Gone is crystal clear water. Oh, and now there are what feels like, a few thousand people surrounding us, trying to occupy the same space! YIKES!
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The Anatomy of a Pemi Loop

Jesse Kropelnicki, founder of QT2 Systems LLC and it’s multiple brands, has always sung the praises of hiking. He often talks about hiking for a faster Ironman finish. I submit to you the idea that hiking won’t just improve your Ironman time, but also better prepare you for an ultramarathon (talk about specificity here!), a marathon, an endurance cycling event and even, when all is said and done, life in general. In other words, if you haven’t already, take a hike!
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Racing Ironman Lake Placid? #wegotthis

2018 marks the twentieth running of Ironman Lake Placid. Both beautiful and challenging, this course is one that most athletes won’t soon forget. While its hilly course isn’t really a great choice for a PR, it is a race that rewards the patient athlete who races smart.
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Gravel Cycling - There Are No Wrong Answers

What’s with this buzz about riding gravel? Are you getting burnt out with road cycling races with dwindling rider numbers? Or have you been doing triathlon so long you have calloused forearms? Sick of so many cars buzzing you? Well here’s a way to mix it up AND increase your bike fitness. I started dabbling in gravel about 4-5 years ago while I was still racing on the Ironman circuit and chasing Kona. Each year I got more into it and then in 2015 after making it back to Kona, I decided to just follow the motivation – and it was 100% directed at gravel cycling and skimo (a topic for another day!). I started out as a cyclist and skier so it’s been incredibly fulfilling to come full circle.
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Indoor Training For Outdoor Results

The Northeast: the land of spring showers, blistering summer heat, fantastic foliage, and snow…lots of snow. We get it all! Everyone has a favorite, of course, but who doesn’t love the changing of the seasons?! Answer: this guy! In my ideal world, we’d be constantly living at 65F, mostly sunny, light breeze. After all, minus some potentially cold waters, this would be ideal training weather! Nonetheless, this is New England and, because of the weather, the beat-up roads, and the road rage of rush hour traffic within a 50-mile radius of Boston, we spend time inside training.
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Getting Athletes to Kona - Part One

For many triathletes, the “dream goal” is getting to Kona. That’s not the goal for all triathletes, of course. But that dream is prevalent enough so that you can assume just about everyone toeing the line at an Ironman has at least toyed with the idea. And then, if an athlete is serious enough about the sport to hire a coach, you can bet that a Kona qualification is something floating around in their mind.
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Periodization Defined

If you consider yourself to be anything beyond a “casual runner” or “beginner triathlete”, you probably have heard of the term “periodization”. Periodization is an important in training to ensure long term improvement, avoid plateaus, and make sure the athlete is in peak condition at the appropriate time in their season. Without periodization, an athlete can achieve solid fitness, but reaching their “peak potential” at the time they want it to happen, will be unlikely.
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Imagine this scenario. You are in your final weeks of preparation for your A race - a 70.3 distance triathlon. This weekend, your Saturday ride is a preview of the bike course at race intensity followed by a short brick run. The race is a three hour drive from your house, and so you wake up and immediately hit the road. You get out of car and jump on your bike. You start easy for the first 10 minutes and then settle into your race pace. You finish the ride feeling good, grab your running shoes and set off for a quick 20 minute run. You are feeling strong, so you decide to kick it hard at the end. Training is done and so you hop in your car and make the three hour drive home, reflecting positively on how good your fitness is. That evening, you are feeling a little tightness in your hip flexors, the group of muscles which connect your upper legs to your lower back, hips and groin. You figure you’re just tired from the day and don’t think much of it. Off to bed for another day. You wake up a bit more stiff, but figure it will work it’s way out and so you set off on your session for the day - a 10 mile run with race-pace intervals. No time for a warm-up, you just start running. At the beginning of the run, you are feeling some pain in your upper legs and groin area, but it seems to ease up as the run goes, so you do the workout as planned and all seems ok. You head home and decide to rest, sitting on the couch. Then it happens, you go to stand up and feel a sharp pain in your hip and upper leg. You try to walk and the pain worsens. You can’t walk without a limp. Lifting your knee to your chest is difficult. You can’t hop on that leg. Now you are in a panic - what just happened????
Self doubt can be an athlete’s worst nightmare. It can impact your workouts, keep you up at night, and taunt you on race day. At some point, all athletes will experience some form of self doubt in their career, and it's important to learn to fight these feelings so they don't debilitate us. As I always say, mental toughness isn't something athletes are born with it's something they learn over time and something there is ALWAYS room for growth in. Below are some tips when you are experiencing self doubt.
One of the things that make triathlon so interesting is the diversity of the athletes who come to the sport. Triathlon can be thought of as the “melting pot” of all sport. There is not one athletic background that can “make” a triathlete. An advanced swimmer, cyclist, or runner, may have some advantage starting up in the sport, but the training approach, as well as the mental outlook, of what made them an advanced athlete in that sole sport, may have to be adjusted, once initiating triathlon training.
We swim countless miles, staring at a black line, going back-and forth, back-and-forth, with lane lines on either side of us. And then we go and race, and gone is the black line. Gone are the walls, every 25 seconds. Gone are the lane lines that keep us on path. Gone is crystal clear water. Oh, and now there are what feels like, a few thousand people surrounding us, trying to occupy the same space! YIKES!
Jesse Kropelnicki, founder of QT2 Systems LLC and it’s multiple brands, has always sung the praises of hiking. He often talks about hiking for a faster Ironman finish. I submit to you the idea that hiking won’t just improve your Ironman time, but also better prepare you for an ultramarathon (talk about specificity here!), a marathon, an endurance cycling event and even, when all is said and done, life in general. In other words, if you haven’t already, take a hike!
2018 marks the twentieth running of Ironman Lake Placid. Both beautiful and challenging, this course is one that most athletes won’t soon forget. While its hilly course isn’t really a great choice for a PR, it is a race that rewards the patient athlete who races smart.
What’s with this buzz about riding gravel? Are you getting burnt out with road cycling races with dwindling rider numbers? Or have you been doing triathlon so long you have calloused forearms? Sick of so many cars buzzing you? Well here’s a way to mix it up AND increase your bike fitness. I started dabbling in gravel about 4-5 years ago while I was still racing on the Ironman circuit and chasing Kona. Each year I got more into it and then in 2015 after making it back to Kona, I decided to just follow the motivation – and it was 100% directed at gravel cycling and skimo (a topic for another day!). I started out as a cyclist and skier so it’s been incredibly fulfilling to come full circle.
The Northeast: the land of spring showers, blistering summer heat, fantastic foliage, and snow…lots of snow. We get it all! Everyone has a favorite, of course, but who doesn’t love the changing of the seasons?! Answer: this guy! In my ideal world, we’d be constantly living at 65F, mostly sunny, light breeze. After all, minus some potentially cold waters, this would be ideal training weather! Nonetheless, this is New England and, because of the weather, the beat-up roads, and the road rage of rush hour traffic within a 50-mile radius of Boston, we spend time inside training.
For many triathletes, the “dream goal” is getting to Kona. That’s not the goal for all triathletes, of course. But that dream is prevalent enough so that you can assume just about everyone toeing the line at an Ironman has at least toyed with the idea. And then, if an athlete is serious enough about the sport to hire a coach, you can bet that a Kona qualification is something floating around in their mind.
If you consider yourself to be anything beyond a “casual runner” or “beginner triathlete”, you probably have heard of the term “periodization”. Periodization is an important in training to ensure long term improvement, avoid plateaus, and make sure the athlete is in peak condition at the appropriate time in their season. Without periodization, an athlete can achieve solid fitness, but reaching their “peak potential” at the time they want it to happen, will be unlikely.

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