Active Recovery: Recovery done in between interval sets in a single workout, or recovery done in between difficult workouts. The recovery is light, aerobic activity that is meant to flush out the lactic acid accumulation that results from hard exercise and speed up the rebuilding process.
Anaerobic Threshold: The point in which your body is producing lactic acid faster than it can clear it, or the point in which you become breathless during exercise. Think of pouring oil into a funnel--Anaerobic Threshold is the point that the oil starts to back up in the funnel and won't drain as fast as you're pouring it.
Cardiovascular Drift: An increase in heart rate at a constant exercise intensity that usually results from dehydration, fatigue, and the redistribution of blood flow from non-working to working muscles. This is more pronounced in hot weather (and humidity), as well as in longer races (>90 minutes).
Clearance Run: A type of active recovery--a run done in between difficult runs to keep the body fresh and sharp. These are short, aerobic efforts that will prime the body for the key workouts of the week.
Commitment: Making a promise to yourself that something will get done. You can make a commitment to others as a way to strengthen the action, but at the end of the day it all starts with you, and what someone else says or does has no bearing on your actions and level of commitment.
Diet: A word that should be stricken from the English vocabulary. It typically implies some type of restriction for a finite period of time, which never, EVER, works. Yes, it may work short term, but after that period of time passes that you dieted for, what happens? You spiral into utter confusion and slowly, but surely, you gain all the weight back and then some. It's a virtual certainty. Only when a commitment to a lifestyle happens will you ever achieve lasting results.
Distance per Stroke : Count the number of strokes it takes you to swim from one side of the pool to the other and try to reduce it. Focus on staying long and gliding through the water. Get the most out of each stroke possible.
Dynamic Stretching: Controlled movements done before exercise to loosen up the muscles. This is not ballistic stretching. The movements take the muscles through the complete range of motion. Key areas are the hips, hamstrings, trunk, and shoulders.
Electrolytes: Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, Potassium. All of these things are lost in sweat and must be replaced. Use Endurolytes by Hammer Nutrition (either in capsule or powder form) to help replace these during exercise. These minerals can make or break your performance and should not be overlooked.
Excuses: By far the most over-used excuse--"I don't have enough time." What you're really saying is "I'm not willing to make it a priority." 2B Athletes are honest about what they're willing to make a priority in their lives.
F-Pace: Foundation Pace in swimming. Your 2B Coach will calculate the time range based on your time trial results. The subjective feeling is that it should be an easy pace and should feel conversational...if you didn't have your head in the water :)
Gray Area: Stay away from this area at all costs! Too difficult 2B completely aerobic but not difficult enough 2B a Tempo Workout and pull up the Anaerobic Threshold. Use a heart rate monitor and you should be able to avoid this...
Heart Rate: The best indicator of intensity during exercise. Period. Heart rate tells you what the body is experiencing--pace tells you what the body is accomplishing. The body will accomplish nothing if you're not able to monitor what it is experiencing.
Heart Rate Monitor: A window into the physiological stress on the body, or in plain English--a tool that allows you to monitor your effort during exercise instantaneously. It is your body's speedometer. This is one of the most important investments you can make if you're looking to improve your fitness. Don't overlook it.
Interval Workout: An inteval workout consists of high intensity "work" periods, followed by lower intensity "recovery" periods. Tough workouts to do--mentally and physically. But, if structured properly in a program, they are very useful in boosting fitness and giving you that added "edge" on race day.
Kicking: Swim drill. Can be done on your back, on your side, or upright in the deep end of the pool (most difficult). Try to keep a short, compact kick that comes from the hip flexors. Most amateurs will kick too much "from the knees," which does little for propulsion and efficiency. I would also chuck the kickboard and go without it.
Lactate Threshold: The point in which your body is producing lactic acid faster than it can clear it, or the point in which you become breathless during exercise. Think of pouring oil into a funnel--Lactate Threshold is the point that the oil starts to back up in the funnel and won't drain as fast as you're pouring it. The terms Lactate Threshold and Anaerobic Threshold are often used synonomously.
Lactic Acid: Think of this as a poison that seeps into your body during hard exercise. You can tolerate it in small amounts, but if there's too much of it, it'll ruin you. You can build up your tolerance to lactic acid through Interval Workouts and Tempo Workouts.
Limiters: Areas for improvement that are keeping an athlete from achieving peak performance. These can be mental or physical, but unless they're improved, the athlete will never achieve their full potential. Remember--the true champion will spend more time working on weakness than showing off strength.
Maximum Heart Rate: The highest heart rate (maximum exertion) your body can have during exercise. It is neither practical, nor necessary, to actually do a test to find out this number. It is usually an estimation based off of one's anaerobic threshold. If you have a very high fitness level you'll be in the ballpark of your maximum heart rate on tough interval workouts, but you'll still not actually approach it.
Mental Edge: Your ability to overcome your own demons, persevere and get the job done--to the best of your ability. People that are mentally strong have confidence, self-belief, a willingness to accept failure, and a burning desire to succeed. In sports, this is often this difference maker and it is too often overlooked as an integral aspect of training.
Metabolism: Your internal furnace, or how quickly your body burns calories at rest. Contrary to what people may think, this IS changeable based on lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise. Rid yourself of the notion that you were born with either a slow or fast metabolism. You CAN train your metabolism to work for you!
Muscular Endurance: The ability of a muscle to repeatedly contract over a sustained period of time and a strong resistance to fatigue during exercise. This is often a limiter for people that are in their first 1-3 years of endurance sports.
Off Stroke : A swim stroke that is not freestyle. This can be either backstroke, breaststroke, fly, or even sidestroke. It doesn't matter if it looks ugly and you don't swim it well...the idea is to a) get more comfortable in the water, and b) move your body in different ways to help clear lactic acid from other workouts.
Periodization: The manipulation of frequency, intensity, and duration in a training program to achieve optimal performance for a "peak" race. Periods of training are divided up into Macrocycles, Mesocycles, and Microcycles. Almost all coaches work with some form of periodization, yet there are still large variations in what combination of the three variables will yield the best results.
Pickups: Gradual accelerations that can be inserted into the warmup of a Tempo Run, and periodically in an advanced Foundation Run (to keep the legs turning over during a long run). Pickups are guided more by feel, but they are accelerations of no more than 20-30 seconds that are similar to "controlled sprints."
Polar Pro Trainer 5 Software: The best training software on the market for monitoring, analyzing, and qualifying your fitness. It will tell you, conclusively and objectively, whether your fitness is improving (or whether you just think that it is). Compatible with the higher end Cycling, Running, and Multisport Polar products.
Process Cues: Cues that you focus on during the race to help you achieve your best performance. These are things that are rehearsed in training and are conscious self-talk thoughts on specific movements. For example, a runner may focus on staying relaxed in the shoulders and light on the feet. A cyclist may focus on pedaling circles, and a swimmer may focus on an early elbow bend.
Pulling: Swimming drill. You can use either a pull buoy and/or paddles. But the idea is to focus on the "catch" part of your swim stroke and the early elbow bend necessary to propel you forward. Do this slooooowly to ensure you're doing it right.
Recovery Drink: Typically contain a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbs:protein and plenty of electrolytes. They are best taken within 30 minutes of exercise--the sooner the better. There are many good recovery drinks out there--my favorites being Recoverite (by Hammer Nutrition) , or PowerBar Recovery.
Running Drills: My favorites are 1) high knees, 2) butt kickers, 3) skipping, 4) bounding, and 5) strides. Written explanation is difficult so please check back in the future for a video tutorial on how to perform these running drills.
Running Economy: The oxygen cost to your body when running. Running economy can change at different paces. Think of it like your car's miles per gallon--it may guzzle gas in the city but be more efficient on the highway. The speeds that you typically train at can have a large effect on your running economy and where you become most efficient.
Sacrifice: Giving up, replacing, or losing something in the favor of something else. Some type of sacrifice is always necessary to attain a goal, and the higher the level of goal, the greater the sacrifice. Determining whether one is willing to sacrifice is a key determinant of achievement.
Single Leg Drills: A cycling drill designed to increase your pedaling efficiency. You want 2B able to feel a little resistance on the cranks and spin at a cadence of about 75-85 with only one leg clipped in (the other one hangs out on the side). Your focus is on making circles and eliminating "dead spots" in your pedal stroke. For most people, this will occur between the 2 o'clock and 10 o'clock position in the pedal stroke, where the hip flexors are not pulling the pedal over the top.
Static Stretching: Isolating a muscle and holding a continuous stretch for 20-60 seconds. Very beneficial for flexibility POST-exercise. More studies are coming out that show static stretching pre-exercise can make the body more susceptible to injury. Therefore, stick to dynamic stretching during the warmup, and static stretching during the cooldown.
Stepback Week: A week of lower volume/lower intensity training that allow the body to recover from harder preceding weeks. It also allows the body to prepare for an increase in volume/intensity in the following weeks. Stepback weeks are a necessary component to prevent overtraining.
Strides: From a standing position, start running and gradually accelerate up to top speed...hold this for a brief moment and let your body "glide" until you've slowed to a walk. Rest and repeat. You'll need about 60 yards 2B able to appropriately do strides. You can build up to 8-10 strides and you'll usually do them before an Interval Workout, or after a Foundation Run or Progression Run. Strides SHOULD NOT fatigue you. They build neuromuscular speed--thus making you feel sharp and fast.
Stride Length: The distance of each stride while running. Stride length can be improved greatly by bounding drills up hills. Forceful push off (hip extension) is a key driving factor to having a long stride length. Elites can have up to 1.0-1.3x their height in stride length (Wow!), whereas normal runners will be about .6-.8x their height. These numbers indicate that, even if it doesn't seem like it, faster runners do a tremendous job of pushing off while running.
Stride Rate: The number of footstrikes you take per minute while running. Most elite runners will take 90+, us ordinary mortals should shoot for 85-90. Upper end Polar watches will tell you this from your running data, otherwise you can count your number of footstrikes (I typically count for 15 seconds and multiply by 4). It is very economical and efficient to run at a high stride rate and it should be practiced often on slight downhills of a -1% to -3% grade.
T-Pace: Threshold Pace in swimming. Your 2B Coach will calculate the time range based on your time trial results. The subjective feeling is that it should feel difficult and it is tough to hold your form. You'll need to stay focused on your process cues to make sure you don't fall into bad habits.
Tempo Run: A sustained effort at, or slightly above, one's anaerobic threshold. This is a key workout to improve the body's ability to tolerate lactic acid accumulation and maintain a consistently fast pace during fatigue.
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