Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Swim Tips from Coach Ben Greenfield


"Top 5 Triathlon Swimming Problems And What You Can Do About It"

Let’s face it.

An open water triathlon swim can be a bit uncomfortable.

Whether it’s the large crowds of people pushing or elbowing on the beach or in the water for precious space, the physical adrenaline rush of the race start, or simply the fact that swimming is potentially the most “dangerous” part of a triathlon, swimming problems are something every triathlete has to deal with.

Heck, I’ve personally been racing triathlons for nearly ten years, and I still get nervous before mass triathlon swim starts  - not to mention a little apprehensive about what type of open water conditions I might experience. I’ve spoken with many experienced professional triathletes who still have occasional “panic attacks” during the swim, in which they simply need to stop swimming for a little while, tread water, and catch their breath and their nerves.

There are 5 primary problems that tend to be issues during the triathlon swim. So here they are, along with what you can do about each one.


2)    Cold Water

Ideally, you should know weeks or months before a race that the water will be cold, and if this is the case, you can condition your body with cold showers, cold baths and swims in cold water. The more cold exposure you can get, the less the cold water will bother you or cause you to be “breathless”.
It can sometimes be more energetically demanding to warm-up in cold water before a race, so I often resort to the dry-land warm-up I described above if the water will be cold, rather than warming up in the water. And remember -  you should have also already warmed up for the run, and if transition area allows for it, the bike too – so you’ll be plenty warm by the time you actually get into the water.

In addition to a full sleeve wetsuit, you can also stay slightly warmer with a neoprene swim cap and booties (and some races even allow gloves, but ask first).



Click here for Tip #1 
Stay tuned for more tips from Coach Ben Greenfield

Swim Tips from Coach Ben Greenfield


"Top 5 Triathlon Swimming Problems And What You Can Do About It"

Let’s face it.

An open water triathlon swim can be a bit uncomfortable.

Whether it’s the large crowds of people pushing or elbowing on the beach or in the water for precious space, the physical adrenaline rush of the race start, or simply the fact that swimming is potentially the most “dangerous” part of a triathlon, swimming problems are something every triathlete has to deal with.

Heck, I’ve personally been racing triathlons for nearly ten years, and I still get nervous before mass triathlon swim starts  - not to mention a little apprehensive about what type of open water conditions I might experience. I’ve spoken with many experienced professional triathletes who still have occasional “panic attacks” during the swim, in which they simply need to stop swimming for a little while, tread water, and catch their breath and their nerves.

There are 5 primary problems that tend to be issues during the triathlon swim. So here they are, along with what you can do about each one.

1)    Inadequate Warm-Up

The less prepared your body is to swim, the more likely you are to get short-of-breath, experience a panic attack, or simply have a less than stellar swim. An inadequate warm-up also means you may not be prepared for water temperature, water conditions, buoy sighting and other open water swim variables.

So what’s the perfect warm-up? If you are allowed into the water prior to the race, you should do 3-5 minutes of easy swimming, in which you stop a few times to adjust your goggles and make sure you know where the buoys are. Then thrown in 3-5 progressively harder efforts that last about 20-30 seconds each. Really go hard on these – as hard as you plan on starting for the actual race. Then cruise back to shore and get ready for the race start.

If you have no time or no ability to get in the water for a warm-up, then you can use my favorite “dry land” warm-up: 5 sets of 25 big, explosive jumping jacks, each separated by 5 push-ups and 5 arm swings in every direction. This is an easy one to remember and you can do it just about anywhere.


Stay tuned for more tips from Coach Ben Greenfield!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipes for the Endurance Athlete


Eating healthy during the holiday season is often a challenge.  Finding recipes to replace the delicious all-be-it fattening dishes can be an even bigger challenge.  Here are a few suggestions that may help you make it through the holidays without losing ground on your training and diet plan.

Sweet Potato Gratin with Pecan- Crumb Topping
PREP TIME: 15 mins
COOK TIME: 1 hrs 15 mins
TOTAL TIME: 1 hrs 30 mins


SERVES: 8
Ingredients
3 lb sweet potatoes
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 C fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
1/3 C pecan halves, coarsely chopped
1/4 C chopped scallion greens
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
Directions
1. Heat oven to 400F with rack in center position. Prick potatoes several times with fork and wrap each in foil.
2. Roast potatoes until very tender, about 45 minutes. Carefully unwrap foil and halve potatoes. Scoop flesh into bowl. Mash potatoes with butter, zest, juices, garlic, allspice, and sea salt to taste.
3. Toss together bread crumbs, pecans, scallions, and Parmesan in bowl.
4. Reduce heat to 375F and grease a 1 qt shallow glass pie plate or ceramic baking dish. Spoon potatoes into dish and top with crumb mixture. Bake until crumbs are golden and potato mixture is hot, about 30 minutes. (Recipe Home)


Cranberry- Pear Sauce
PREP TIME: 7 mins
COOK TIME: 28 mins
TOTAL TIME: 35 mins
SERVES: 8
Cranberries are weight-loss superstars. Studies have found that they contain organic acids that may help dissolve fat deposits, plus enzymes that may boost metabolism. Too bad we tend to dump sugar over them to temper their tartness. The pears in this dish add sweetness, which means you can use half the sugar found in most canned sauces.
Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
12 oz fresh cranberries
3 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Directions
1. In a large saucepan, bring 1 cup water, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil. Stir well.
2. Add cranberries, pears, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until cranberries burst.
3. Remove from heat. Serve at room temperature or chilled. (Recipe Home)



Maple- and- Spice Brined Turkey 
PREP TIME: 30 mins
COOK TIME: 2 hrs 0 mins
TOTAL TIME: 14 hrs 50 mins
SERVES: 12
AVERAGE RATING: 5/5
No Description
Ingredients
BRINE:
2 cups kosher salt
2 cups pure maple syrup
1/4 cup black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 tbsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 bunch fresh sage, roughly chopped
TURKEY:
1 turkey (12 to 14 lbs), thawed if frozen
3 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
3 tbsp butter, at room temp
6 sprigs thyme
Directions
1. Rinse turkey inside and out, and remove neck and giblets. Place turkey in a large container, and fill with enough water to cover the bird completely. Remove bird, add brine ingredients to water, and stir until salt has dissolved. Place turkey in brine, and chill for at least 12 hours but not more than 24.
2. Remove turkey from brine and discard liquid. Rinse and dry turkey, then put it in the refrigerator uncovered for 8 to 12 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine a third of the onions, carrots, and celery with 1 tablespoon butter, and place in the cavity of the turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Scatter remaining vegetables and thyme in a heavy roasting pan, and pour 1 cup water over vegetables.
4. Smear remaining butter over bird. Place bird, breast side down, in pan with vegetables, and roast for 45 minutes. Turn bird on its side (thigh side up) and baste. Roast 15 minutes more. Turn to the other side and baste again. Add 1 cup water to the pan, and roast another 15 minutes. Baste and turn bird so the breast faces up; roast 45 minutes, or until meat registers 160°F on a meat thermometer.
5. Remove turkey from oven, and let rest 20 minutes before carving.  (Recipe Home)

Do you have some recipes of your own for the athlete in training?  Share your recipes with us here!