Monday, July 4, 2011

If Only... How To Improve Your Tri Experience

The other day my friend was talking about how he could improve his triathlon finish time. As he looked over previous race times, the conversation went like this: “You see here, if I could just get faster on the bike – I could really improve the overall time. And look here on the run, you see, all I need to do is increase the pace and stay consistent.” And then, as he looked at the swim times, “If I could just get a bit faster in the swim… then I’d really improve my time!”

The magic formula – just get faster in all three disciplines and you will improve your time! Genius!

If it were only that easy…

There are definitely other factors that play into improving your triathlon performance. Nutrition, sleep and proper recovery. These are areas that I have flat out neglected. Over the years, I’ve never gotten the rhythm right. In fact, I’ve been pretty lousy about it - evident when I ended up in the ER after collapsing at the Women’s Half Marathon in November. The cause – dehydration. Probably also didn’t help that I didn’t sleep very much the week before, and not a wink the night before.

Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 U.S. Olympic triathlete, says proper sleep is the most critical part of his training. Robbie Ventura, former pro cyclist, told a group at David’s World Cycle, sleep and rest were the most important part of his improved performance. There must be something to this sleep thing! But oddly enough, going to bed on time can be more difficult than getting up at 4:30 AM for a training!

Tonight – I will be in bed by midnight. Improvement indeed! (more like 12:30 - but that's still improvement!)

Another thing Jarrod swears by is massage therapy. In an interview earlier this year, he told me about craniosacral therapy. He described it as one of the most relaxing and beneficial massages – especially the night before a race. This unique massage/ therapy somehow removes the tension and anxiety from his body, unlike anything he had experienced before.

Intrigued, I scheduled an appointment with Emily at West Orange Massage Therapy. It was two days before my first triathlon this year; I was in the middle of car buying negations; and I basically felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. We started with a basic muscle loosening massage… I chatted away, telling her about everything and anything until…. All of a sudden she did something to the back of my neck, and within moments I felt this release. Emotions and stress – as if they were tangible particles inside me – seem to rush through my body and pour out the back of my neck. It was truly like nothing I had experienced before. I wanted to tell her how amazing this was – but I literally could not speak. My body was so relaxed, I couldn’t talk! This was an absolute first in my life!

The following days I thought about the massage – and the emotions I felt afterward. I clearly needed another one – and soon!

My name is Colleen, and I am addicted to craniosacral therapy! It is by far the most relaxing therapy I’ve ever experienced. If you haven’t tried it – I really recommend it.

Now – did it make me a better triathlete? Not sure yet. Has it made me a better mom? A better car-buying customer? And an overall less stressed human being? I’d definitely say yes!

If you want to try it - now is the time! Living Social is running a deal (July 4th and 5th) for 50% off for new customers. (All massages and facials - not just carniosacral!)

Let me know what you think! And if you’ve had it before, how would you describe it?

No comments:

Post a Comment