Sun & Ski Rotating Header Image

6 Offseason Tips for Triathletes

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

Sun & Ski Triathlon

Though triathlon is indeed “a” sport, triathletes must be able to do the three sports (swimming, cycling and running) in a manner that gets them across the finish line in the least amount of time. As a triathlete, you may or may not be aiming for a spot on the podium but you probably want to be fast—your personal definition of fast.

In order to be a fast triathlete you need to train like a triathlete, even in the offseason. You need to train for the demands of the sport of triathlon. Your winter or offseason training needs to compliment your training in the competitive season.

Here are six strategies for your offseason training to help you be a better triathlete when race season rolls around.

1) Optimize the number of workout sessions or your workout frequency.

If you have a single-sport history, say swimming as an example, more than likely you swam six days per week and sometimes you swam twice per day. If you try to apply that template to cycling and running for your triathlon plan, aiming for six sessions per sport per week, is a sure recipe for injury or overtraining issues.

Triathletes should aim to do two to three workout sessions per sport, per week. This means you will swim two to three times, bike two to three times, and run two to three times. If you are new to the sport, or it is your offseason, one or two workouts per sport each week is a great start.

As you gain experience, get closer to race season, and increase your triathlon performance aspirations, there may be times when you have four weekly workout sessions in one, or more, of the sports.

2) Strength train for triathlon, not body building.

There are differing opinions on the value of weight training in the offseason. I think most triathletes gain value by adding strength training to their offseason program. The value is increased power output on the bike, reducing the likelihood of injuries by correcting muscular imbalances and working on core body strength and stability.

In the weight room, focus on multiple-muscle movements that complement the sport of triathlon. Minimize the exercises that isolate a particular muscle.

3) Plan fast workouts.

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing six workout sessions per week or nine; plan to go fast in some of them. Your body needs the stress of fast workouts—and recovery—in order to make gains.

In the offseason, make the fast segments of your workouts short with long recovery intervals. Miracle intervals on an indoor trainer are a good example of this principle or the speedy segments can be just simple 20-second accelerations. Because the fast segments are very short and you can keep the number of repeats low, you can include some speedy segments in nearly all of your workouts.

I will say there are some coaches that make the offseason completely aerobic—no efforts above the aerobic level, whatsoever. I am not one of those coaches and I believe keeping some fast training in your routine in the offseason is critical.

4) Remove threshold intervals in the offseason.

Though you should keep some fast segments in your training for most of the year, do not keep flogging yourself with the same old lactate threshold workouts year-round. Repeating high-intensity workouts day in and day out leads to boredom, risk of injury and certainly a plateau in performance.

When do you begin to add threshold training back into the fold? The answer depends on your short term and long term goals.

5) Plan key workouts.

Make your “hard” workouts count towards performance increases. These hard sessions should be considered key workouts. A key workout can work on improving your speed, endurance or in some cases both. Depending on what you’re doing in the weight room, a key session may be a strength session in the offseason.

A good rule of thumb is to limit your key workouts to between two and four per week—total in all sports.

6) Consider a single-sport focus in the offseason.

If your swim is your weak link in your races, try swimming four or five days per week. Keep your swimming and cycling workouts easy and limit them to only one or two per week. If cycling is your weak link, try adding a weekly group ride as one of your key workouts. If running is your weak link, add one more run session per week, but keep an eye on injury indicators.

In all cases of single-sport focus, consider spending four to six months training for a single-sport event (a swim meet, a cycling event or a running race) while keeping the other sports maintained at a minimum level.

With some key changes to your training routine and consistency in the offseason, you will be a better—and faster—triathlete next season.

 

Article by Gale Bernhardt

Happy New Year! Let’s Go Running!

163507_10151625238032650_1864180161_n (1)

Another year brings another set of lofty resolutions, and you want to set fitness goals and wellness priorities that will really count in 2014. Running can be the perfect segue into a healthier, happier you.

“For someone who’s looking to go from couch to 5K, the first thing I would suggest is that they get fitted for shoes,” says Jimmy Boyle, Marketing Manager for Sun & Ski. “The key is getting into the right footwear, which a representative can recommend by analyzing a customer’s gait.”

Whether you’re a neutral runner, an overpronator, or a supinator, experts at Sun & Ski can tell you which model running shoe is right for your form. Sun & Ski also has the latest styles and technologies like the Brooks‘ Ghost 6 and the Newton‘s Gravity Neutral Trainer.

Connecting with a local running club and signing up for a race is the next step to becoming a runner, suggests Boyle. A great place to find a group of like minded runners is on the site Meetup.com.

“Running is sort of terrible when you first start,” he says, “but if you put something on the calendar and train for it with others, you’re more prone to get out there and run.”

Once you’re up to speed, you’ll be ready for any after-work jogging invitation that comes your way!

Even for the veteran runner, the holiday season tends to interrupt proper diet and exercise. Now is the time to get back on track by replacing sugary sodas with water at lunch, and setting a training schedule that’s easy to stick with.

Boyle says that the proper running apparel can make all the difference, especially in winter conditions. Moisture-wicking fabrics like synthetics and wool will keep your clothes from getting wet and heavy, and will help prevent chafing.

Other key accessories just make the experience better and safer: A water bottle or hydration belt, like the Sprint Palm Bottle ($14.95) or the Speed 2 Hydration Belt ($50) from Nathan, to keep you hydrated; an easy-to-use GPS watch, like the Soleus GPS Fit Sports Watch ($99), to help you track your progress and stay the course; and a reflector light, like the Nathan Photon L.E.D. Running Vest ($35), to increase your visibility at night.

Now is the time to get out there and run, so here’s to a happy and healthy you in 2014!

Keeping Junior On The Road

Green BowOne of the best gifts you can receive on Christmas morning is a brand new bicycle. A bicycle, and everything that comes with it, is the perfect gift to be found under the tree. Maybe you remember when you received your first bike on Christmas. I sure remember mine!

Now that Christmas has come and gone, let’s talk about how we can keep your little ones safe, and how to keep their bike in tip-top shape for many years to come.

Safety

About 300,000 kids go to the emergency room each year because of bicycle related injuries. The most important safety precaution you can take for your little one is to make sure they have a properly fitting helmet. Regularly inspect the helmets for cracks or dents, and replace the helmet if you notice any damage. Only buy helmets that have a sticker certifying that it “Complies with U.S. CPSC Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets.” It’s also important to make sure they never wear a hat underneath their bike helmet and that the straps are adjusted snugly. For more information on bicycle safety and a kid friendly safety guide, visit KidsHealth.org.

Suggestions: Kali Protectives- Chakra; Giro- Rodeo

Care & Maintenance

The best thing you can do to care for your child’s bike is to make sure it is cleaned regularly. Fortunately, cleaning a bicycle is less troublesome than cleaning the house or washing your car! It’s a good idea to have the bike cleaned weekly, especially after every ride in the rain or mud. We suggest using a specially formulated cleaner to get the job done, but a bucket of water with mild soap can be an effective substitute. Use a brush to knock off all the stubborn dirt and wipe the bike dry with a rag. After washing, remember to lube the chain with bike chain lubricant. Apply a light coating of lubricant to the chain while turning the pedals forward. After the chain has been covered completely with lube, use a rag to wipe off any excess lubricant.

Suggestions: White Lightning Wash & Shine; White Lightning Epic Ride – Light Lube

Trading Up

We all know how quickly our young ones grow and outgrow everything. You can expect to upgrade bike sizes about every 2-3 years, or until they reach the age of 13. We suggest introducing geared bikes once your child turns 11 or 12. Fortunately, Sun & Ski has you taken care of with our Kid’s Bike Trade-In program. Every 2 years, come in to the store with the last bike you purchased from us and get ½ off the next size bike!

Suggestions: Sun & Ski Kid’s Bike Trade-In Program

Follow these three simple suggestions and you will keep your little ones safe and happy from tricycle to sports car!

Kick start your new year with a running resolution: How to get in shape for 2013

Kick start your new year with a running resolution


Another year brings another set of lofty resolutions, but you want to set fitness goals and wellness priorities that will really count in 2013. Running is the perfect segue into a healthier, happier you.

“For someone who’s looking to go from couch to 5K, the first thing I would suggest is that they get fitted for shoes,” says Jimmy Boyle, footwear buyer for Sun & Ski. “The key is getting into the right footwear, which a representative can recommend by analyzing a customer’s gait.”

Whether you’re a neutral runner, an overpronator or a supinator, experts at Sun & Ski can tell you what model is right for you — and what’s hot right now, like Brooks‘ Pure 2 and new models from Newton that are as comfortable as they are vibrant.

The next step, Boyle suggests, is connecting with a local running club and signing up for a race. Both the West End Running Club and the CityCentre Running Club are free, socially-focused organizations that meet weekly in Houston.

“Running is sort of terrible when you first start,” he says, “but if you put something on the calendar and train for it with others, you’re more prone to get out there and run.”

Once you’re up to speed, you’ll be ready for any after-work jogging invitation or Flash Mob Race that comes your way — even with just a few days notice. Sun & Ski will launch its second Flash Mob Series in March, so stay connected on Facebook for dates and locations.

Even for the veteran runner, the holiday season tends to interrupt proper diet and exercise. Now’s the time to get back on track by replacing sugary sodas with water at lunch and setting a training schedule that’s easy to stick with.

Boyle says that the proper running apparel can make all the difference, especially in winter conditions. A moisture-wicking fabric keeps your clothes from getting wet and heavy and prevents chafing.

Other add-ons just make the experience better and safer: A water bottle or hydration belt, like the Sprint Palm Bottle ($11.95) or the R30 Hydration Belt ($43.95) from Fuel Belt, to keep you hydrated; an easy-to-use GPS watch, like the Soleus GPS 1.0 Digital Training Watch ($79.93), to help you track your progress and stay the course; and a reflector light, like the Nathan Streak Reflective Vest ($26), to increase your visibility at night.

Now it’s time to get out there and run. Boyle suggests Memorial Park and Terry Hershey Park for the best trails in Houston.

By Promoted Series Correspondent
http://houston.culturemap.com/newsdetail/01-15-13-houston-kick-start-your-new-year-with-a-running-resolution-how-to-get-in-shape-for-2013

The Sun & Ski Cure for the Winter Time Blues

How are you supposed to switch gears from sunshine and wakeboarding to ice covered lakes? When summer ends, it can sometimes be hard to make the adjustmentto cooler weather.

Why not try investing your downtime into a new sport this winter?

Believe it or not, snowboarding can actually make you a better wakeboarder.The skills you can develop while snowboarding can translate to help improve your already impressive wakeboarding skills.

Some of the areas that snowboarding can help you improve include:

  • Strength – Snowboarding requires you to move in ways similar to wakeboarding. This means you will not lose all the progress you made over the summer.
  • Turning – Snowboarders shift their weight using their toes or heels, which differs from wakeboarding. However, if you can work to develop a strong snowboard turning technique, it will most likely improve turning when you wakeboard.
  • Focus – Just like wakeboarding, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings when snowboarding. Maintaining this level of awareness all winter will help you stay alert when you start wakeboarding again.

If you do plan on hitting the slopes this winter season, you’re going to need the warmest snowboarding and skiing clothes. Shop for the top brands and you’ll be sure to start off in style. Here’s a list to get you started:

  • Men & Women’s snowboards
  • Men & Women’s skis
  • Men & Women’s Ski boots
  • Men & Women’s ski and snowboard jackets
  • Men & Women’s ski and snowboard pants
  • Ski Goggles

Invest in only the essential items and grow your wardrobe when you decide you’re going to stick with the sport. Shop Sun & Ski for a wide selection of name brands including The North Face, Spyder, Canada Goose, and more to get you started.

Running Like Clockwork – Houston West End Running Club

West End Run Club

Fitness. Fun. Philanthropy.

FFP Running Clubs has joined forces with Houston’s newest public house in the Uptown District, The West End to host 2 mile, 3 mile and 4 mile runs.

Meet at The West End – A Public House, 5320 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77056. Every Tuesday at 6:00 PM, rain or shine.

The West End Run Club is FREE to join with free post-run snacks and drink specials for runners.

Sun & Ski Sports will be hosting a raffle with prizes the first night!

- – -

Join the West End Running Club facebook group.

The Best Running Surfaces

Are you wondering what running surfaces are best for you? What is the difference between running on grass and running on cement? Different running surfaces have different effects on your running shoes and body. Below is an overview of a few running surfaces so you can decide what surface you should be on this season.

Hard Surfaces

Cement and asphalt are the most popular hard running surfaces because they make up most roads and sidewalks. While these surfaces are accessible, they are not always the healthiest choice. Running on cement and asphalt creates a hard impact, increasing the likelihood of damage to both your running shoes and body. It’s best to stay away from these surfaces to avoid injury and overuse, but remember to do some limited training on them if you plan to compete in a road race.

Soft Surfaces

Grass is one of the lowest-impact surfaces you can find. It can be good for saving your joints, but be prepared to work your muscles harder. Remember to beware of uneven ground as you take advantage of long stretches of grass.Grass is good for speed work and allowing your joints and bones to rest.

Another soft surface is the dirt trail, one of the healthiest running surface choices. These usually run through forests, making for interesting scenery and a safe surface. While you’ll need to watch out for roots and mud, dirt paths can increase the life of your running shoes and allow your body to stay healthy as you maintain your desired mileage.

Softer is usually better when it comes to running surfaces. You can add life to both your body and running shoes as you become conscious of your surfaces.

When you need new men’s running shoes or women’s running shoes, Sun and Ski Sports is here to help you maintain your healthy running lifestyle.

How to Clean Your Running Shoes

That last run may have been invigorating, but the muddy trails you splashed through probably weren’t that great for your running shoes. But they’re just battle scars, right? Your shoes need to be properly worn in when you’re running, don’t they?

While it’s not bad to have a favorite, worn-in pair of running shoes, it’s important that you take care of them. Occasionally, this might even mean cleaning your shoes to ensure they last longer.

Follow these simple rules to keep your favorite men’s or women’s running shoes in proper working condition:

Take them on and off properly
After a long run, the first thing you want to do is rip off your shoes. Resist this temptation! It’s important that you don’t take your running shoes off without untying the shoe laces. Loosening them before you take them off will prevent stretching and damage.

Never put your running shoes in the washing machine
Your shoes will get dirty, but the best way to clean your running shoes is with a scrub brush, soap and cold water. Then simply let them air dry.

Properly store your running shoes
It’s important to keep your shoes in a cool, dry area of your home. They need to properly air out after each use. You don’t want to store your shoes in a locker, gym bag or trunk of your car.

Dry wet shoes
If you do happen to find yourself running through puddles, it’s important to let your running shoes completely dry before putting them on again. Simply loosen the laces, take out the insoles and let them air dry. Placing your shoes in direct heat can dry out the leather and other materials.

What do you do while your favorite running shoes are drying? Well, that’s the perfect time to shop for a new pair of men’s running shoes or women’s running shoes from Sun and Ski Sports. Having alternate pairs of shoes will make your running shoes last longer and give them time in-between runs to properly dry out.

Stage 21: Wrap-Up

In case you were wondering about the champagne and stuffed animals, the final stage into Paris is historically more of a celebratory parade than a bike race. The parade into town, in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe, is reminiscent of the home-comings of victorious armies in bygone days.

The finish was also a bit of a formality, with HTC once again proving they have the best lead-out train in the world, and ‘Cav demonstrating that he is the best of the fast men.

This year’s Tour was filled with the dramatic, and the traumatic. I’ve compiled a list of a few key take-aways from le Tour; things to keep in mind to help with your own training and racing.

  • Life happens. In the Tour, it’s crashes and illness. Often it’s the same for us, but sometimes it’s a sick kid, a pressing work project, or even a spat with your spouse that derails your plans. The riders who crashed out of this year’s Tour aren’t bewailing their fate, they are planning their next race and using this as motivation – a good lesson for all of us.
  • Nothing is ever certain. This is why we race, to find out how things actually unfold. Voeckler should never have had the yellow, nor kept it for 10 days, much less finished 4th. His teammate, Pierre Rolland, was never a candidate for the Top 10 or the White Jersey. Contador was supposed to win, and Cavendish wasn’t supposed to make it over the mountains. Don’t be afraid to try, as history is filled with examples of people doing the impossible.
  • Never give up. It’s taken Cadel Evans years to achieve the top step in Paris, years when the critics said it could never happen. As Churchill said, never, never, never give in. There’s a reason these stories inspire you, because we were made to overcome. Keep plugging; good things will happen.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the Tour as much as I have. I hope this brief commentary has provided a bit of perspective and insight. Mostly though, I hope you were inspired by the beauty and struggle of the sport. Sport is a microcosm for life, and it’s lessons are more far-reaching than the obvious. Here’s wishing you the best in sport, and in life.

Steen A. Rose is an elite cycling and triathlon coach. He started coaching in 2003, and has been an Elite Coach with Training Bible Coaching since 2009. Steen is also captain of the Sun & Ski/Subaru Cycling and Triathlon teams. He has been racing since 1997, holds a Category 1 license, and has 13 state championships, 3 national medals, and 4 international podiums to his credit. He can be reached at srose@trainingbible.com

TdF Stage 20 / Overall – Goals

- With guest writer Rick Wetherald –

You couldn’t have designed a more exciting end to the 2011 TdF if you tried. Coming into the final time trial, Cadel Evans had a large – though still managable – 57 second deficit to yellow jersey wearer Andy Schleck. The situation dictated that both would start the race with the highest motivation and aspirations, and that the whole cycling world would all be glued to the TV waiting for time checks.

There were many doubters over the last three weeks when it came to both riders’ tactics. The arm chair critics were saying the Andy/Frank duo should have attacked more and harder. Cadel should have spent his energy attacking instead of pulling the favorites around the windy Pyrenees and Alps. As it turned out, though, the Schlecks simply couldn’t attack, because Evans’ calculated and controlled pace always kept the brothers from summoning enough energy to do so. Those same critics predicted that Cadel may have used too much energy chasing in the slopes of the Alps, but he showed Saturday that he knew all along what he was doing and exactly how much energy he was using. The Australian put forth an inspiring effort to not just take the yellow jersey, but leave the doubters eating their words, and besting both Schlecks by a staggering two and a half minutes.

What can you, average joe bike rider, learn from Cadel Evans’ performance during the hardest part of the toughest race in the world? For those who were paying attention to the details, Evans was putting on a clinic in managing resources. We’ve all done a long group ride or race where we went out too hard. It’s almost a requirement for new endurance racers to suffer the consequences of an over-ambitious start. Some athletes will grow out of this phase, and learn to preserve their efforts, and some will continue to go for the early glory at the expense of the result that matters. Next time you line up for a ride or race, decide what your ultimate goal is. Consider the near future and how today’s ride will help you during the coming weeks and months. Then decide where you want to be at the finish of this day. Work backwards from there and plan ahead on what you are going to do during every phase of the day’s effort. Though Cadel was behind on time in the mountains, he knew just how important the final TT was, and he metered his effort accordingly. Stick to the plan, and you’ll give yourself the best chance to reach your goal.

Here’s hoping we can all see our own personal version of the top podium step in Paris.

Rick Wetherald is a pro mountain biker, elite triathlete and road racer for Sun and Ski / Subaru racing, elite coach for Athletes on Track, coordinator for the TMBRA Kids Kup series of mountain bike races, and doctoral student at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. Rick has been racing for almost two decades, and has been coaching athletes of all levels for 7 years. Rick can be reached at rickwetherald@gmail.com .