Welcome to my Blog!
I’ve always wanted to send a newsletter to my athletes. Just something quick & informative to help my clients with their athletic journey. Then I realized I already had a blog in place where this content could be distributed in the fastest, most helpful way. Plus, it can be an open forum where we can all share ideas, so if there is a topic you would like to get more information on or you would like to add your observations/experiences in the newsletter, now is the time! The newsletter will go out once a month and will generally feature short pieces on training, gear, nutrition, mental skills, and then a “Client Corner” where I’ll focus on one of my athletes & you all get to be the stars!
Melissa Wu is helping me with this task, so loads of thanks goes out to her for making this little idea of mine actually come to fruition. How she finds time to do this in between saving all the homeless, abused animals in Palm Beach County, and taking first place at FAU’s triathlon this past month, I don’t know.
I hope you enjoy our new “Step up and Tri” newsletter.
Wetsuits: When & where to use them. Is it safe to train in them in the hot summer?
While the rest of America may still be solidly entrenched in wetsuit weather, down here in Florida, I would say we are done with the wetsuits until December. What if you are traveling to a race up North, should you take your wetsuit with you? I vote yes if the water is going to be below 78 degrees or if it is questionable. Better to have the suit and not need it than to encounter 75 degree water and wish you had it. And remember, you can still wear a wetsuit in races if the water temp is between 79 to 84 degrees; you simply won’t be eligible for points.
Whether or not you wear a wetsuit is going to depend on the individual:
Pros: While you may not save any time wearing a wetsuit in a short swim (due to the added time in transition), you may indeed go faster in the water for less energy, it is much easier to deal with rough water in a wetsuit, and if you have practiced taking off the wetsuit, then you won’t lose much time in
transition at all.
Cons: If you are a strong swimmer, you find it hard to get out of the wetsuit, the water is calm, it’s a short course, or you feel constricted in your wetsuit, then I would not wear one as the amount of time you save may well be lost taking the thing off in T1. Try it both ways in your practice bricks and decide for yourself.
For longer distance swims the wetsuit is certainly a benefit- your body position is more streamline and saves energy, and it is MUCH easier to deal with rough water, and of course you will be faster in transition if you are not so cold coming out of the swim. For many athletes the wetsuit makes for
increased confidence and perception of speed- so go for it!
Always practice in your wetsuit before race day so you know where to apply lube so you don’t get a painful wetsuit hickey and so that you have practiced both pulling it up high enough (to minimize the feeling of being constricted) and getting out of the damn thing! I have often found that athletes do not take the time to inch the suits up high enough (front and back) and this can really make you feel as if you are being strangled. I swim better when not being strangled. You?
It seems we all need help on this one.
How much should you really drink on the run? That will depend on what you are doing and where you are doing it. We can take in both more calories and liquid when we bike and less of both when we run, due to the higher metabolic costs of running than biking. Even though we burn more calories running, we generally can’t process those calories as well both because of the bouncing motion of running and due to decreased gastric blood flow at higher intensities.
You have to experiment in training (at the same intensity and in the same temperature as both of these will alter how your system processes what you put in your gut) to figure out how much you liquid and calories you can tolerate. The range is 20-33oz of liquid and between 100 to 240 cals. Some athletes will fall outside this range, but they will only know by experimenting in training.
Biking: I drink a little over a bottle an hour when the temp is over 80. My liquid has my calories also: 224/hour. What is your preference?
Run: 3.5oz/10 minutes and I get 150 cals/hour from that liquid.
Athlete’s Upcoming Races – Go Get ‘Em!
Bonnie – Mud run, Miami. Military style obstacle course. Fun stuff!
Franny- Mud run, Miami. No tutus today, ladies.
Melissa C-W- 10k in Canada. Coolish up there.
Adam- WPB TT. Gonna show those S. Floridians how they do it in Sanford!
Tracey- Gulfcoast Half Iron! You go Girrrrllll!
Orlando- Ironman St.George. Oh yeah! He is ready for those hills!
Jim- Naples Road race. Taking it to the big dogs…
Raul- He’s crazy and races every week!
Melissa W- Florida 70.3 AND Escape from Alcatraz! Damn, she’s tough!!
Mark-Club Med Olympic- his first!!!
Are You Mentally Prepared?
One of my new favorite tools– the mental map with strong, positive self talk written on it- you can then recall each statement as you pass that spot during the race:Client Corner
Hi everyone. This is Melissa Wu. This month, Dara asked me to write a little something about myself to kick off the “Client Corner.” It’s my honor to be included in this newsletter. I’ve had the privilege of being coached by Dara for almost two years and I’ve had the even greater honor of being her friend. I hired Dara just weeks before my first Ironman in 2009. I was a bit freaked out to say the least. In true Dara-style, she smacked me straight, gave me the tools I needed to compete at this distance & cheered me on like there was no tomorrow! I’m forever grateful to her for making that first IM such an amazing experience & can’t wait to see what she and I can pull off this year! I’ve got three key races coming up: IMFL 70.3, Alcatraz and IMAZ. I know Dara doesn’t want this “Client Corner” to be just athletes tootin’ her own horn but since I’m helping her publish the Blog, I can get away with it I wonder who she’s going to pick next month? Stay tuned.
Ask me anything?
Soon, I’ll have a Facebook page so we can stay in touch even more. Keep an eye out.