Don’t ever do nothing half-ass - use your full ass.
This SwimBikeRunFun blog is designed to help more women get involved with triathlon and multi-sport racing. It is also designed to keep those already involved in endurance racing engaged in new ways and experience Tri Fun as a collective of women empowering women.
I am not a skilled writer, blogger, and suck at punctuation and tense.
I am a people lover and a storyteller….and here is my first stab at sharing my “Ya ain’t using your full ass” experience a few years back and highlighting why having a strong core and easy routine is important for female triathletes, cyclists, and runners.
About 6 years ago when I signed up for my first open water swim triathlon- I was smack dead in the middle of peak training for the Austin Marathon. I quickly realized that I needed to add cross-training into my schedule and use my recovery or lite days for triathlon training.
As a beginner triathlete, back then I had only a handful of triathlons under my belt and they were all pool swims, I was concerned about the swim for tri race I signed up to do. I had never done an open water swim race before.
Winging it - I decided to tweak my marathon training plan and use rest days to get in an easy swim and sneak in a hot tub session for some good muscle recovery.
Winging it again - I thought it would be a great idea to cycle instead for my Sunday recovery run and give my feet a break.
Viola - I’m running, splashing a bit, and spinning a little - yeah baby I am Tri Training!
My mindset - this is what I needed to do to get me through until after the Marathon and I can focus exclusively on a real triathlon training plan.
After two weeks of swim bike run mayhem - I was doing laps one morning with another member of #SwimBikeRunFun lady gang - she said is the most “Bless Your Heart” voice - “stop wasting your time swimming while you are still training for your marathon and increase your time with the weights - specifically your core. You look like a banana 🍌”.
Insert side-eye and an audible What@##$!
This is when being part of a Tribe - a collective sisterhood of women who like to #doepicshit - really paid off. I was the “new kid on the block” per se and Andrea was an accomplished triathlete and certified coach.
She pointed out that I had too much drag and was not streamlined.
Readily excited for the in the pool feedback. I said how do you fix that?
She said let start by Pulling our belly button into our back. Kick from your hip
I just could not get it right. My left side/hip especially did not snap or recover as rapidly as the right (Look - I don’t know all these fancy swim terms - so just use your imagination). I tried squeezing my butt hoping it would get me tight and right. Nope.
She said what are you doing? I am sucking in everything. I am tightening my core and squeezing my butt and I can’t breathe as a result lol. She said C - I know your problem - you have a weak ass core. Flabbergasted - was the look on my face. She said let me explain and demonstrate.
After a few poolside drills and exercise, I realized that I was half-assing it 😂 🤯. She sent me an email (that is what we did back then :-)) that included a core routine and explained to me the benefits of having a strong core for marathon and triathlon training. It is the foundation to be strong, quick, and remains injury-free.
Then she said this in the closing line: If you have to skip a workout or short on time - do this routine. I called Andrea immediately and told her naively - I am not in search of a six-pack and really need to work on my weakness - which was swimming - if I had limited time.
She said trust me - if you strengthen your core it will make you more resilient, make training easier, and prevent injuries. And I did.
For two weeks I did them 2x per week and once after a short run. Wow‼️
I fell in love with these core exercises because they were easy to do, I could do them anywhere, they only took at the most 15 mins to bang out, they did not require any equipment and it worked all the big and small core muscles simultaneously.
Can I share a little secret for the #Strava & #Garmin data geeks: I saw my run times improve ⌚ like 12-22 sec per mile and I was not as beat down after a tempo run. I bet you all experienced or should experience the joy of when you normally run 10 min miles and then suddenly see you clocked a 9:15 pace for a few miles when you checked your run times.🥳
About a month later - swimming laps with Andrea again - she smiles and said - looks like you are using your full ass know and graduated from a banana shape to a canoe (she really said missile - but I got some hips so canoe it is)
Quote: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Injury prevention is so important for triathletes and endurance runners. As people cardio machines who swim, bike, run excessively - we should take time to make sure that we are fitting in strength training and to focus on our core. Save the infographic to your phone or keep the YT video in your favorites for quick reference until you memorize the routine by heart.
Andrea did not create this workout - she adopted it from Oiselle. It’s been excellent for strengthening our core and preventing common endurance athlete issues and injuries - like hamstring pulls and IT band tightness among the #SwimBikeRunFun tribe.
I am sharing this because - I could not find relatable stuff like this online back then - had it not been for being part of a Triathlon club or Tribe of like-minded women - I would be still making banana splits pool side and struggling in my swim. Hope this exposes, educates, and empowers some new women into endurance sports. And if this last sentence sounds familiar - it's the creed for national Women's Tri Club Fastchix Nation.
Truthfully, Sally inspired me to share this memory. Back in 2019 she got a group of us triathletes together for a special private coached strength workout designed for women triathletes in one of those fancy performance gyms. It was amazing, sweaty fun and the food and swag were to die for.
Speaking of a Triathlon Tribe, I am hosting a Triathlon Clinic and Social in March 2021, barring all things are permissible in regards to the pandemic, come join me and have some Tri Fun with some other like minded women who are supportive and packed with good vibes.
Until next time,
~FlossyGlossy ✌️ ~