Angela Naeth MPT BsHSc - Elite Triathlete, Physiotherapist by trade
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Chuckie has been preparing me in more ways than one for camp: longer, hillier run sessions, some long strength work in the pool, and testing me with what he calls "harshness". I tend to call it being just plain mean. I know it's for my own good because sometimes I feel I'm too soft and need to get in the ring to fight with all my might. He often says my mind is in shambles and that I need to focus more. He's right, I think. I hope Doc can help!
Weakness I know is something that will not be tolerated on Team TBB. I'm ready to train hard physically. But mentally, I might need to start at the beginning. When I worked as a pediatric physical therapist, I helped kids gain enough strength to learn to walk. I saw so many kids (not infants) take their first step. Each one of them had the mastery of a warrior and their eyes showed it. Their confidence level grew with each step and they were determined in achieving their goal of walking to my open arms. They weren't engulfed with worry, even when their home life left a lot to be desired. They took one baby step at a time…with total focus at the task at hand.
I'm 26 now, almost 27 in a month's time. I'm new to the sport but am no spring chicken! I have a sense of eagerness to get the job done and I love pushing the limits. So what is holding me back?
Worry it seems. I worry about what I need to get done, what I need to do, and what I should/could have done. With all this worry, I don't focus. I don't just swim, bike or run while I swim, bike or run. Don't get me wrong, I have days where I know I'm on fire and it's easy to keep my mind free of clutter. But that's the thing. I want more of them. I want to say I give it 100% everyday, every workout, every moment.
My mind tends to spread itself all over the map rather than focusing on the 'X'. With the move to the Philippines for training camp and having a new coach, I'm more than excited, I'm stoked! But I've made some minor mole hills into major mountains.
The stress of going to LA and getting my visas in order took a huge toll on my body physically and mentally. The traffic was crazy and quite honestly overwhelmed me. My training lacked and my mind has been elsewhere, though I'm not sure where. I traveled back to Canada for a quick weekend trip. The travel to/from California, organizing my stuff I packed from another move last year, spending time with family, and then trying to get in some sort of training was hard.
This past week, here in Lompoc, I've been packing, organizing what needs organizing (then reorganizing it), trying to get my head back on straight, and living in a house that is now being renovated by the owner – all of which has left me feeling a bit overwhelmed. I realized this when I broke down during an indoor ride. All the stress that had been building needed to be let out and doing big gear work was only exacerbating the problem. After a good sob and some chill time in a warm bath, I went straight to bed for some much needed 'R & R'. Since then, I've been worrying too much that I won't be ready for what Doc will throw my way. I guess only time will tell. It always does. But I'd like to have my say in it!
I'm a fighter at heart and know all this nonsense I've created will pass. Reading what I just wrote makes me look like a head case. (I'm not Doc, don't you worry!) I'm sure some might agree to, this, but I know I'm stronger than what I think would be perceived. I've been able to race (and race well) under a lot of stress. Boulder Peak was my first race back after a broken toe, relocating to a new place at a new (higher) elevation, finding a place to live, etc. And I won. For Worlds 70.3, I was in NO way ready to race. I was having some foot issues, I didn't run much at all for the last 4 weeks prior to the race, and I was living on a friend's floor, where it was quite stressful at times (not just the floor!). Maybe my problem now is that I have too much time to worry about the 'what ifs' and I'm stressing over the things that will eventually work themselves out. I expect that Doc won't give me much time to think. I look forward to that!
Chuckie has helped me a lot in both my mental and physical game this past year. I know Doc will help me achieve 100% confidence in my abilities as an athlete. I've read a number of articles and re-read the team's forum, and I can't even come close to naming how many athletes he's helped achieve their best. I hope he's up for the task once again! I know I am. Enough crap, enough cobwebs and enough worry!
And this is why I'm excited to go to camp, and to be a member of Team TBB…to be with a coach that has produced more world class athletes than probably the years I've been alive. To be on a team that far surpasses any other tri team (are there any others?!). And to be attached to a group of sponsors that are fully dedicated to the team. Team TBB is not only a step in the right direction, but the only step. What more could I ask for?
My main point here isn't to give kudos to an already well-known team but to say, I'm here for one thing – to achieve, and to be, greatness!
Three things I know so far that need to be done on my part:
1. A lot of hard training
2. Clearing my head of the nonsense
3. Not only have the eye of the tiger, but gain the strength and one-set mind-body mastery so that I can kill my prey with one swift leap and a quick chomp to the jugular!
I'm a beginner at best and one thing I do know is that I'll be damned if I don't give it my all. I'm in the fight to win! One thing's for sure, something's clicking in this head of mine…and that's the clock!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I’m less than three weeks away from my first-ever trip to Asia! If all goes as planned I’ll visit at least two new countries in the next few months. I know nothing about the Philippines but I’m told it’s hot, muggy and densely populated. For a Canadian girl, everything but home is hot, muggy and immensely populated!
As I start the whole packing process I’m surrounded by piles of what to bring and what not to bring. I can’t decide what belongs in each pile. Every time I travel I bring more than what I need. But just as it is in training, more isn’t always better! The airlines won’t let me bring any more than two bags, at least not without charging me an arm and a leg, so I’m forced to bring only the essentials. Bike…check. Helmet…check. Traveler’s checks…check, check, check.
My list of what to bring won’t all fit onto a passenger jet, let alone a couple of bags and a bike box. I’m thinking about taking a ship to Subic Bay. The question is, will I get there on time?
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I'm very excited and equally as nervous! Chuckie has been trying to help me prepare for Sutto's style of training (which, as far as I can gather is not exactly easy). I've been doing some longer hillier runs and some hard bike intervals...trying to sit on Chuckie's wheel. I'm told Subic Bay is hot and humid so I've been overdressing anytime I'm back outside! I don't know quite what to expect but I am assuming the training will be tough (not that it has exactly been a cakewalk under Chuckie!). But I believe this new venture will be a step in the right direction toward my dreams and goals.
I plan to keep this blog up and rolling, as well as starting a new blog on the Team TBB website. Be sure to check it out at the end of the month or in early February! At this time I hope to race primarily in North America, but under Doc's guidance, he will have final say. Good thing I finally got my new passport!
See you at the races, whichever ones they may be!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I stepped in the massage room, fully prepared to strip to my underwear. To my surprise he had a mat on the floor with a bundle of pillows set up. He said, "lie on your stomach and make yourself comfortable."
"I don't need to take any clothes off?"
"No, no. Just lie down and use the pillows to help with your back [prevent hyperextension]."
OK. I've never lied on the floor for a massage, let alone while keeping my clothes on. I followed his directions with hesitancy.
The next thing I knew, Joachim was standing on top of me and massaging my hamstrings with his feet! With his toes, heel and ball of his feet (he changed feet here and there), I was massaged from the hips down! It was amazing...but gosh, so incredibly painful at times. I had feelings of nausea when he hit some knotted spots, and like a true athlete, I gritted my teeth and held back from saying anything. He managed to hit a number of sore spots (especially my quadriceps!) all with just his feet. Each of my quads is one big sore spot!
"Where did you learn this?" I asked dumbfounded.
"Up my sleeve!" He smiled and looked at me with a sense of pride. Apparently Joachim discovered this technique at a seminar he attended last year and found it very beneifcial for athletes and those with a lot of muscle mass to get through. It saves his hands as well!
After the massage, I booked another for next week. The massage was one of the best I've had. Not relaxing, but gosh, my legs felt like pillows afterwards (and they feel great today). It will do wonders for me if I keep repeating this weekly. The more you go to massage and work out the muscle soreness, the better your muscles are able to perform, and as I'm told, the less pain I will have while getting massage. I'll keep gritting my teeth until that happens!
I did have the rest of the day for recovery and warming up my body. Chuckie drove me over on his motorbike (he wanted to see if Joachim was all that he was cracked up to be) and we froze the whole way there and back. I'm being literal about this. WE FROZE. We looked and felt like Dumb and Dumber on their scooter escapades into "Aspin". Next time, I'll be covering my self head to toe with winter clothes. Winter clothes in California? Who knew!
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Well, sort of. I've learned a lot from Chuckie: how to train, race, and recover. I've learned never to give up the fight and how to be in better tune with my body. But I'd have to say, I'm still a rookie and will be for quite some time. There is a lot to learn in this sport.
I started the new year right by joining Chuckie and one of his local athletes for a long ride. It was a beautiful day here in California (high 70s). After 5 hours ride time I was ready to get off the bike. It's been my first long ride outdoors. Swimming is now going back to the bottom of the to-do list and I will start to build toward having a more balanced training approach. This week I've swum a mere few hundred yards, although hard! Finally, a chance to let my eyebrows grow back! That makeup is expensive!
1. Some athletes have the feel for the water (i.e., Chuckie, who glides across a 25 yard pool in seven strokes) and others don't. I'm one who does NOT. If you're like me and simply don't have the feel for the water, "good" swimming goes out the window and the focus needs to become lengthening your stroke and getting the power!
The Secret: PADDLES, BUOY, ANKLE STRAP.
Things to think about when swimming: Power comes from the belly button past your hip. For some swimmers a straight arm and one-side-breathing is the best way to create the necessary momentum and rhythm needed to swim fast. (I'm not a fast swimmer but these tips are helping me get there!) It's all about how much you can generate with each stroke! You have to think in terms of "how efficient can I get with each stroke?" and do that consistently for thousands of them!
A great swim set:
a) 60 x 25s with ALL GEAR; 3 fast followed by 1 recovery one on a 10-second rest interval.
1. Running every second day is one the best ways to help aid in recovery. Often, running 2-3 times a day is better than running everyday, as long as it's backed up with that much more recovery. This isn't for everyone but for females an important aspect to consider. Females lose calcium faster than males, and the 'pounding' from running causes a lot of acidosis in the body. Running one day on/one day off can help with this and provide the body with enough time to recover and replenish itself.
2. Strength is an important aspect to consider in your running. A great way to incorporate strength is running hills prior to a harder workout. This will help recruit more muscle fibers - those you will want to call upon in the next workout! The goal is to fire them, not tire them.
More to come!
A Team TBB "Secret" Workout:
1. Repeat Hills - Introduce strength into your program by finding a short hill and doing hill repeats. Work on "grinding" up the hill at a lower than race pace cadence (maybe 20RPM slower) while seated in your race position. (Start with a higher cadence so as to not injure yourself during the first effort or two.) If no hill is available, such strength work can be done indoors on the turbo trainer. The key is to collect time each week: the more that is done, the more you will benefit from it on race day.