Monday, May 11, 2009

Corrective Exercises - FINAL


As a bonus, here are three exercises triathletes (or any athlete for that matter) should never do again:

1. Crunches - The movement of crunching puts the spine into flexion. The spine does not want this load. The function of the spine is meant to remain stable. Repetitive movement at the lower spine will cause pain or even worse a blown disc. Read any of Dr. Stuart Mcgill’s, a low back specialist, research and you will see why spinal flexion, extension and rotation are a recipe for a blown low back disc. Want a healthy and strong back? Build stability and stiffness and stay away from crunching.

2. Leg Curl Machine – This machine is a very non-functional “strength training” exercise. First of all it is a machine. Machines do not build function. Your movement is constricted on an exercise machine. Secondly, this exercise will work the hamstrings without engaging the hips and the glutes. When you do that it will lead to over dominant hamstrings, thus leading to imbalanced glutes and hips, which can lead to injury. These two muscle groups need to work together. Try the stability ball leg curl instead. This will allow your hips to work with your hamstrings and this will create balance and a strong posterior lower body.

3. Low Back Hyperextension – Have you ever done the “Superman” exercise? Just like crunching this is another recipe for low back pain. Again the low spine is meant to remain stable. When you put unwanted load on the spine it will cause serious back issues. It might not happen the 1st, 3rd or 50th time you perform this exercise but every time you perform spinal flexion, extension or rotation you are setting yourself up for disaster. Stay away from this exercise.

Mike Boyle, “A Joint by Joint Approach”,
Mark Verstegen, “Core Performance”,
Dewey Nielsen, Impact Performance Training,
Triathlete Magazine

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wildflower Weekend race report

It was another great adventure at the 2009 Wildflower Triathlon. We battled camping in the rain, running the tough hills in the hot sun and swimming in the infamous green moss in the lake. We had 2 members finish in the top three in their appropiate age group, we had 2 members finish their first Olympic triathlon and we had one of our members battle a fall in the mountain bike course. The weekend was full of laughs, stories and great comaraderie.

Here is a report of the weekend.

We showed up Thursday to a great burst of sunshine. The campground was at the beginning stages of full excitement. It wasn't too crazy as of yet. People were showing up throughout the rest of the night. We put up our camp and enjoyed the rest of the evening. Friday came quick. At around 3:00am it started to lightly rain. IT would rain off and on the whole entire day. Some of our tents got wet inside but we battled it out. By Friday afternoon the campgrounds were getting full of lean and fit triathletes. You have never seen this many athletes at the same time. They said 8500 athletes were competing over the next 2 days. We cooked dinner Friday night in the rain. Luckily for our club, we have nothing but positive people so we made the best of the night. Saturday morning arrived and Ira, Sandy, Jim, Kendal and Mike were getting ready to compete in the mountain bike course. And yes, the weather cleared up and it was going to be a great day. I was able to get some great pictures of the professionals competing in the long course event. These athletes are machines. Andy Potts won the long course in 3 hours and 59 minutues. Thats 1.2 miles swim, 56 mile bike and 13 mile run. His run was 1 hour 14 minutes which is 5:43 minutes per mile. GEEEEEE! What do these guys eat??? I want to know. It is inspiring watching these guys go.Back to the mountain bike course. Ira was our club's fastest member as he finished the course in 1 hour 5 minutes. This is Ira's only 2nd triathlon. Jim Barnes finished 3rd in his age group. With a mix up in the results, Jim finally got the correct award for this course. Kendal had an unfortunate fall on the course. She was going around a corner and locked up the back break and took a hard fall. She was resilient, got back up, fixed her bike and finished the course. Great job to Kendal for sticking it out and finishing the race. It shows her character and determination to get up and keep going. Congrats to Mike Means and Sandy Roberts for a great race as well. They all represented VTC!Sunday morning arrived and it was Carol Camstra, Scott Nelson, Mike Keller, Steve Hert and myself's day. The weather was nice in the morning but you could tell it could get a little hot as the morning went on. We all headed down to the transition area to set our gear out. There were so many athletes. In fact around 3500 athletes participated in the Olympic course! The transition area had a very positive buzz going around. Before you knew it we were all on the course competing. After we got through the swim, we had Lynch hill to deal with. Lynch hill is a 3/4 of a mile hill with a 10% grade. This is tough coming right out of transition. The bike course is full of rolling hills and some tough climbs. There were cyclists everywhere, behind your, infront of your, to the side. IT was pretty neat seeing everyone compete. The run course was tough. The first mile was rolling hills then miles 2-4 was a pretty steady incline that definitely took a toll on our legs. Once we hit mile 5 it was all downhill so it was nice to see that mark. The best part of the race is running down the finish shoot and hearing the spectators cheer. We had some great results in this event. Carol Camstra was 3rd in her age group. She had a great time of 3 hours and 7 minutes. Scott Nelson completed his first Olympic course (a tough one at that) in 2 hours 50 minutes. He had a great bike leg. Great job to Scott. Congrats to Steve Hert for finishing his first Olympic course. And Mike Keller battled the course and he did a great job as well. Overall this weekend was so much fun. It is not so much about the time racing and competing. It is about spending good quality time with positive and motivating people. We all battled through the ups and downs of the race but even better we all supported each other and were there to share our stories. Good job to everyone and hope we can get more to participate next year!

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