Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Training Partners

Triathlon is designed to be an individual sport. By its very nature, it tends to be so. The training required to complete a triathlon, particularly longer races, lends itself to solo workouts. With the exception of specific races, drafting is prohibited on the bike, forcing us to ride our own race. And even when we run next to hundreds of others, we must go the distance alone.

Due to my schedule, I tend to do a lot of my training alone, as well. While there are others in the pool when I swim, it's difficult to be social with my face in the water. I can occassionally find others with whom I can ride bike, but those options become more limited as the distances increase. And I've always been a solitary runner. (Unless I'm helping someone through their first marathon, then I'm all about running together).

This doesn't mean that I don't have training partners. Much of my sidebar is filled with the raceAthlete sponsors. Some of them I actively use. Others are there for me to consider. My tri club is full of people I will meet up with during races. And I participated in WIBA 2007 with dozens of other tri bloggers.

Now, I'm adding a new group to my sidebar for actual training partners. It will be dedicated to those things outside of raceAthlete that have contributed to my training. They have provided some product, tool, or service (sometimes free of cost) that has greatly aided in my journey.

The first two companies that I am adding are Accelerade and SwimSmooth. I agreed to try Accelerade and provide some feedback. I've used it for several weeks, now, and it was the fuel source for my recent half-IM PR. I'll be posting more on it as time allows, and I have several articles on their Accelerade Edge web forum. I have been quite pleased with the benefits of the product, and suggest you check out their site.

Months ago, I posted a short clip from Paul Newsome's SwimSmooth video series. The specific clip focused on visualization and showed Olympic gold-medal swimmer Bill Kirby in the pool. Paul contacted me, provided a few articles he thought might also benefit my training. His short video clip was beneficial, and the video series is amazing. A couple minor adjustments made after watching the DVDs already improved my stroke. And I plan on spending a great deal of time in the off season (a few short weeks away) going through all the drills on the videos to see how much more improvement is possible. Whether you are a total novice or highly experienced swimmer, the SwimSmooth series is worth checking out. We spend so many dollars trying to eek a few seconds out of our bikes, and a few dollars will go a long way toward improving our swim times, often saving far more time than we gain by shaving a few ounces off our bikes.

So, keep an eye out for other Training Partners in the sidebar. While we might train and race on our own, we always have those training partners who help us along.


Brent Buckner said...

Thanks for the SwimSmooth link and review!

Vickie said...

I was unable to view the swim video downloads at work but will look at them at home. I too have found that correcting your stroke or form in swimming or running not only takes time off your workout, but helps in saving energy.

TriBoomer said...

Training Parnters, eh? What a cool idea!

Stay tuned...

Tri-Dummy said...

I LOVE Accelerade. Been drinking it the past 2 years. To quote Tony the Tiger..."IT'S GRRRRREAT!"

Lula said...

This is great info to know.