Experts Say…

Sometimes I hear or read things – suggestions about improving my running or riding that I simply don’t believe will be true. I hate when the people deemed “experts” are right. Even though it makes my training day better, it still kind of irritates me. J

About a week ago I went to this great talk about pacing and fueling given by Dave Latourette of Train to Endure at Echelon Cycle and Multisport. It was filled with great insight into pacing and fueling. (No, I am not going to repeat it all here.) One of the things Dave said was basically if your run was too hard it means that you were riding too hard. When he said this, my first thought was “I ride hard to make up for how slow I am on the run. I have to ride hard!” But, I thought about what he said and I decided to dial it back a little bit on my next brick (ride and run).

I took it a easier on the bike, not pushing up that hill as hard as I normally do. Instead, I focused on staying within a specific heart rate zone, only peaking when I went uphill. I didn’t ride as hard as I normally do, but still felt that I maintained a good cadence throughout the ride.

On the run, I maintained what I had been doing in most of our brick-runs, which is to walk the big hills and run everything else. We went out and I felt good…my legs didn’t have the same heaviness they usually do. I was able to run up some of the hills that normally I walked.

Dave was right, dammit! I felt good on both my ride and my run.  Imagine that!

Then there is Carrie Cheadle, the Mental Skills Coach I have mentioned in a previous post. Anyway, I was talking with her about my open water swims and how I get tense and frustrated with myself because I can’t seem to swim as fast/well in open water as I can in a pool. While I spoke about getting frustrated with how I was swimming while I was swimming, Carrie just looked at me, nodding her head like she has heard what I was saying before. After I was done talking, Carrie just said, “When you are tense and frustrated, you are wasting energy because your muscles get tense and then you get more tired.” (I am sure she said that way more eloquently, but that was the gist of what I heard.)

Anyway, I took Carrie’s words to heart and since then have really tried to relax, whether in the water, on the bike or during a run. And, I have to admit, that it has made all the difference. The last time I was in the river was great! I felt good. Better still, I felt relaxed and my swim went well! Instead of worrying about what wasn’t working, I was able to focus on what was working and ended up improving both my outlook and me time.

Here is the thing…people can tell you stuff all the time. In fact, I am pretty sure Carrie has said that same thing to me before. What matters is being open to really listen to what is being said, and implementing the ideas. What is the harm in trying? And, they are considered the “experts” for a reason, right?

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