Tag: coaching tips

What do HR Monitors do and why would I need one?

HR monitors utilize your personal data to calculate your different target HR zones from which you should train or exercise from. Well…what does that mean?

Basically, if you are a runner and you always run a 10K at the same pace and the same HR, you won’t get faster; simple as that. Our bodies need adaptation and periodization in training; we need to push beyond our comfort zones and train at various intensities as well as break down the body to enable it to recover, adapt and become stronger, faster, etc.

Let’s say you run your 10K at a 10 sec per mile faster pace this week. Now you know you are running at a faster pace but if you have a HR monitor on as well, you are then able to have two variables to aid you in your tracking of fitness. 1) pace 2) Heart Rate. The goal in training is that you will adapt the body to be able to run that faster 10K and maintain at a lower HR. The first time you run faster your HR will most likely sky rocket a little…but as you adapt and settle into your new pace and new training routine, your HR will also adapt and your fitness will improve over time.

There are invariably dozens of other training zones and factors that enable you to reach optimum performance in whatever your discipline is. The more you understand the why and how of what you are doing, the less time and effort you will waste on the “quantity” and the more time you will spend on the “quality” of training. If you are a squash player, understanding the HR zone that you stay in during a match allows you to “train” your system within and above that zone.

If you are an endurance athlete or triathlete, understanding ALL of your training zones and how much to train within each and at what part of the season is crucial to your growth as an athlete. Understanding aerobic and anaerobic capacity, sub-lactate and lactate zones, etc. are all part of the puzzle. The biggest blunder in endurance sports is in the mindset that “more is more”. Training smart and not necessarily more is how you will reach your goals this season. And, starting out with an understanding of your HR zones and how to train within them, in combination with strength and stability work, is your best start!

If you would like to better understand how to take out the “garbage yardage” of your training and start training with purpose and quality, or, if you just need help getting started, email our Outdoor Adventure Coach, Brandyn Roark and she will help you pick out a HR monitor or just teach you which zones you need to train within.

Bump, Set, Spike It!

Volleyball is an excellent form of exercise. Not only is it fun and competitive, but you can burn up to 700 calories per hour. It is a great polymetric workout, and uses big muscle groups such as your glutes, quads, shoulders, and core.

There are three components of the game. Passing, setting, and hitting. Otherwise known to the average person as bump, set, spike!

Passing is essential to the game. If the team cannot pass the ball, they cannot win the game! Learning how to pass the ball should be your first priority when learning to play. Your goal is to have your pass go right to the top of the setter’s head without making him or her move. It is important to focus on your platform angle and moving your feet to the ball. Perfecting these two things along with repetition will start to improve your passing skills and help your team tremendously.

Setting the volleyball is one of the most difficult skills to teach and takes a lot of practice to master. The setter is the quarterback of the team. They run the show and call the shots. The key to setting is to keep the ball on your fingertips and not ever touch it with your palms. Make a triangle with your thumbs and forefingers and practice setting against the wall. This will start to help you gain a soft touch on the volleyball.

Hitting the volleyball is usually the team’s third contact. The best way to go about learning how to hit is to split it up into separate parts. Approach, positioning, arm swing, and timing. Hitting takes good coordination and lots of work to master. For a player, this is usually the most popular component to practice and master!

Perfecting each of these three components will help take your team to the next level. You cannot have one without the other. They are essential to the game and needed to get that great BUMP, SET, SPIKE!

Are you looking to tune up your backyard volleyball skills? Or maybe you want to learn more about the game and improve your court awareness? Volleyball is an excellent way to have fun and get a great workout. Working with our Personal Fitness Trainer and former Pac10 volleyball player, Stephanie Weishaar, can help take your game to the next level.

Maximizing Your Swim Workouts – Learning the Coach’s Lingo

Understanding swim lingo can be a challenge. In some cases it’s similar to learning a new language. Instead of spending your quality workout time with your feet on the pool floor we’ve assembled a “user manual” to help guide you to more swimming and less interpreting of a written workout that may be posted.

  • S: Swim-Typically most swimmers resort to “freestyle” or “crawl” stroke during this, but swim truly means swim, just move through the water.
  • P: Pull-arms only (add a pull bouy in between your legs, paddles are used here too IF written in th workout)
  • K: Kick-legs only (with a kick board, with fins, with zoomers, without kick board, so many options)
  • OTF: Other than freestyle
  • DPS: Distance per stroke: getting as much “length” with each arm stroke
  • Drill: There are lots of drills to choose from, choose the ones that would benefit your stroke the best. Just think of the crazy movements your coach has you do all the time.
  • I.M.: Individual Medley: This consists of all four strokes in the order of fly, back, breast, and freestyle.
  • F: fly
  • B: backstroke
  • BR: breaststroke
  • FR: freestyle
  • Descend: Get faster on each one
  • Descend within the distance: Get faster within
  • Bilateral Breathing: Alternating sides that the breath is taken on. This would mean taking a breath on “odd” numbers of strokes. Three, five and seven are most common.
  • Length of a pool: Pools are typically 25 yards, 25 meters, or 50 meters (SAC is 20 yards).
  • Length: One way down, ending up on the opposite end of where you started.
  • Lap: Down and back in the pool, ending up where you started
  • How many laps for a mile: 1650 yards (66 lengths OR 33 laps in a 25 yard pool); 1500 meters (60 lengths OR 30 laps in a 25 meter pool); 1500 meters (30 lengths OR 15 laps in a 50 meter pool). Seattle Athletic Club Downtown is a 20 yard pool. One mile: 1650 yards (just shy of 82 lengths OR 41 laps).

Swim sets defined:
10X50 “on” 1:00
Defined: You start a 50 every minute and repeat 10 times. This includes your REST period.
If you swim the 50 in :45 seconds you get :15 seconds rest.
If you swim the 50 in :55 seconds you get 5 seconds rest.

10X50 with :10 seconds rest
Defined: You swim 50 yards and take :10 seconds to rest and then do it again. Repeat this 10 times.

Descending sets:
5X100 descend :10 sec rest
Defined: Get faster on “each” 100.
Ie: First 100 1:45,
Second 100: 1:40
3rd 100 1:35
4th 100 1:30
5th 100 1:25
*all with 10 second rest after each one
*This is an example of descending by 5 second per 100.
*The first on is slow and the last one is fast.

5X100 descend within the 100 with :10 sec rest
Defined: Getting faster “within” each 100. The first 25 yards is slow, the middle two get progressively faster and the last 25 is FAST. There is 10 seconds rest after each 100.

5X75 going 25 drill/50 swim with :10 sec rest
Defined: The first 25 of each 75 is a “drill” of your choice unless specified, the last 50 is regular swim. There is a :10 sec rest period after each 75.

If you have any questions on your swim workouts or need some variety in your training or even a lesson. Please contact Aquatic Director/Multisport Coach Teresa Nelson.

Choosing a Personal Trainer – Be Your Own Investigator!

Adriana Brown, Personal Fitness Trainer How do I figure out who is best to whip me into shape? This is usually the first question a new to training member asks themselves after they decide they want to step up into workout sessions with a professional. There are some first steps you need to take before you pick the perfect match!

  1. Do your research! Make sure that you are choosing a professional with high qualifications, and good experience.
  2. Talk to other members that train, find out how other members chose their trainers, what they like about whom they train with, and any other suggestions they might have.
  3. Talk to a fitness director/manager. The head of the training department knows the most about what each trainer has to offer as well as access to all the trainers schedules. If you are looking for a trainer with certain passions/areas of expertise the manager would be able to tell who your best fit is.
  4. Watch and listen. While trainers are on the floor with their clients see if the trainer does exercises that interest you. See if the trainer’s personality fits well with your own, if you like the way they encourage and instruct their clients.
  5. Try it out. You don’t have to pick one trainer, try a few. You are paying for a service and you have the ability to test the waters and see what you like. Pick a few trainers that you think may be right for you and then you can continue to train with more than one or narrow your choice to just one.

Picking the right trainer will help you to achieve your goals and will help you stay on a routine schedule. This should be about you, so don’t feel bad if you don’t find the right trainer for you right away.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #10 Visualization/Believing

The great athletes know when they have given their best, put in the time, listened to their bodies and believe that they are ready. They show up on race day to execute what they have prepared to do all season and nothing distracts them from this mission. The race becomes the “easy” part because the “hard” work has already been done. They have mentally and physically prepared themselves for their race and have no doubts. I know an athlete is ready when they can give me a detailed description of how their race will unfold to a T. They have it all lined up, have visualized it over and over and know exactly how they will feel, look and breathe each step of the way.

Train on, keep believing, follow your journey.

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #9 REST

Great athletes know when it is time to REST. It is a balance of work, family, play and train. Athletes forget to REST when training is not calling and good athletes know when it is time to put the legs up . Recovery is also the additional element on swim/bike/run!

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #8 Communication and Logging Workouts

Communication and Logging Workouts
Documenting your journey, your workouts, your successes during training, along with the things that didn’t go so well, helps you and your coach see where you are going and what can be improved. If you look back on track workouts from months prior or the year prior and see your improvements then it should give you that extra confidence to know you are showing improvements. Most athletes use the races alone to determine their success, as a coach we see the stuff going on day in and day out that are making you a better athlete. Write down your journey, it is fun to look back to see how far you have come.

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #7 The Journey

The Journey
Athletes come into the season excited, ready to train, wanting to give it their all. It is usually the coach that is telling them to hold back. Success does not come overnight, it is a process and the athlete that recognizes this as a journey to their goals and takes on their training with patience recognizes several things along the way. There are highs and lows. Athletes that take on these challenges are the ones that find the reward at the end of the season. Too often athletes want to go, go, go and they are missing the fun and the journey along the way, before they know it they have run themselves into the ground and are done before their season even starts.

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #6 Listening to Your Body

Listening to Your Body
This is for in training and in racing. Recognizing signals that something is “off” and dealing with it.

Your training program is a guideline, but if something feels “tweaky” knowing that your body needs a break at that time rather than trying to push through the workout to “do more” can lead to injury later. As for racing, listen to your body cues and respond to them appropriately instead of waiting until it is too late (ie: fueling properly, pacing well, and staying on your game plan for the day).

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #5 Considering Factors and Elements

Considering Factors and Elements
From experience, I can tell you that no race is the same, even if it is the same race from the previous year. In the sport of Triathlon, there are so many variables on the course that play a roll on race day. Bouys drift, swim distances are mis-marked, winds blow in all directions at different times and shifting intensities, road surfaces change with weather, etc. The good athlete considers these elements before beating themselves up over not getting a PR or not showing time improvements. In fact, the good athlete keeps their head in the game at these times, while the less experienced athlete throws in the towel before the race is even complete. Mentally prepare yourself for all conditions so there are no surprises on race day!

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.