Posted in Coach's CommentsJanuary 28, 2012
On Friday I was lucky enough to present at the Hospital for Special Surgery's "Treating the Multisport and Endurance Athlete" symposium. While I often speak about the ways that strength training can reduce the risk of unjury, the HSS audience was made up primarily of physical therapists, who are already quite aware of that. After all, they're the ones treating patients with the injuries that are caused by muscular weakness and imbalances. Instead, I focused on the performance enhancement angle. While there are still some coaches who argue against strength training for their endurance athletes, I'd humbly suggest that most runners, cyclists and triathletes can benefit from some (not much) time in the weight room, and that much of the resistance from my peers and colleagues who don't see the benefit is born out of a lack of understanding of the potential benefits as well as the best training methods.
Here are a couple of key slides from the presentation.
In both cases, the runners showed improvement in running economy (the metabolic cost of going at a given speed) independent of any improvements in VO2 or lactate threshold. In other words, with the same oxygen consumption, the runners were moving faster after strength training than before. While at first glance it would also appear that exlposive training is of greater benefit, I would caution against reaching that conclusion based only on this data. In fact the difference in subjects – male vs. female, x-country runners vs. road runners – may have also accounted for the difference. What is clear is that both groups benefited from strength training.
These studies are particularly interesting as well. Cyclist who added strength training to their existing riding saw no improvement in time trial performance or time to exhaustion. Those who cut back on their riding did see an improvement. Since most riders decrease their mileage in the off-season, adding a resistance training program in the winter months seems like a perfect complement to the decreased saddle time.
While nothing is going to replace the necessarily miles for runners, cyclist and triathletes, these studies are cause for optimism that strength training can be an effective supplement to keep endurance athletes healthy and get them faster.
Posted in Blog,NSQ's Blog,UncategorizedJanuary 24, 2012
How Tom Brady can help you with delivery and recovery:
Know when to throw a lateral and when to go deep: If the goal is to score a touchdown, remember that you are concerned with forward movement, whether that movement occurs on the ground or in the air. They told me to push with all my might—think of this as the largest bowel movement. In retrospect, I think I was asking the doctors to go for the long pass. Not only was I trying to shoot Simon and my uterus out, I was trying to make them airborne. A lateral pass would have sufficed and saved me the trauma to my body.
Do research before game day: I am sure Tom Brady studies and analyzes how his opponents play. We did a half-day childbirth class about a month before the delivery. At no point did I ever practice breathing properly. I was kind of thrown for a loss when it was time to push. There is a real art to pushing. From your face isn’t it. Another thing not to do—let the pressure inside build so everything explodes—and for the record, I did NOT poop on the table.
Posted in Coach's CommentsJanuary 24, 2012
Because someone had to get the talent in the family, my sister Rachel has created the new website Woman Redefined. They're looking for submissions from women about athletics and fitness. Here's more about the site.
Woman Redefined began as a look at words commonly used to describe women. We wondered if words like “shallow,” “pushover” and “underhanded” couldn’t be used to our advantage. Our goal was to take negative terms and cast them in a positive and athletic light.
We decided to broaden the project to include stories of women who have redefined themselves in a way that is related to fitness, athleticism or the outdoors.
We hope that you like what you see. If you are a woman, we would love for you to share your story.
Posted in UncategorizedJanuary 23, 2012
Thankfully there was no snow at this weekend's Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon. That allowed City Coach's Adele Laboz to return to racing with a clock time of 1:40:22, which was good for 2nd place in her age group. Plus, Adele also continued the trend of runners submitting artwork.
Posted in Team Race ResultsJanuary 23, 2012
Saturday's Manhattan Half Marathon was supposed to begin the season for us. Unfortunately, Mother Nature wasn't in a very cooperative mood, and blanketed Central Park (and the rest of our fair city) with a few inches of snow. In the interest of safety NYRR turned the race into an untimed "fun run". That didn't deter Luke McCambley from running an impressive (albeit unofficial) 1:18:30. That's a swift time under any circumstances and even more so considering the conditions.
And not only is young Mr. McCambley a fast MOFO, he's talented too. Check out his artistic representation of the day as well as his overly critical commentary.
Bridget McKenna, Jessica Purcell-Zebrak and Steve Zebrak each ran the race as well though they chose to stick with the "fun run" theme rather than racing it.
Posted in Coach's Comments,FavoritesJanuary 18, 2012
I woke this morning and planned on a happy and productive day. Then I opened my internet saw this in Men’s Health Magazine:
Gain speed by walking.
Add a walking break of 30 seconds to 2 minutes after each mile you run. This prevents muscle fatigue, says Jeff Galloway, an Olympian and the author of Running Until You’re 100. “I typically see my runners drop at least 13 minutes from their marathon times because fatigue is so drastically reduced,” says Galloway.
I know I’ve been down this road before, but since publications are still writing about Gallowalking, I’m still rebutting it. In the past I’ve quoted authorities like Pete Pfitzinger and others who point out the flaw in Galloway’s theory from a scientific point of view.
Posted in Blog,NSQ's Blog,UncategorizedJanuary 15, 2012
On the day that I found out I was pregnant, I was scheduled for a 2hr run. I peed on the stick praying for it to be positive. I was about 2 days early in the recommended time frame for testing. Patience is not my strong suit and so I tested early to see if I was indeed pregnant, and if I could get out of the long run (if I tested negative, obviously it was only because I tested too early). Voila, positive, and so here’s how “training” ensued:
First trimester: Continued to swim, bike, and run, but took a number of days off because I was very tired. I found my energy levels to be low in the first month or so and did what I could. The swims alternated with deep water running, and I felt particularly slow. I no longer cycled outside for fear of being doored or any other mishaps, but did hour long sessions on the trainer. I had good and bad days with running. Sometimes I could easily run 5 -7 miles at sub-8 pace, other days I would run 3-4 miles, and I use the term run lightly. The first trimester, and pregnancy in general, is a good time to put down the watch. I didn’t care about hitting any splits per se, but I was curious to chart the decline in my fitness. (Again, put the watch down!) That said, I didn’t write anything down. I do remember doing some “time-trials” on the track and was able to clock a 6:40 mile and 90 second 400. In general, I didn’t wear a heart rate monitor and trusted myself not to workout to the point where I had difficulty having a conversation. I am sure my heart rate went over the prescribed 140 bpm, but not to the point that I was fighting with the fetus for oxygen. Weight gain: 10 pounds
Second Trimester: This felt better, thankfully, as I wasn’t constantly nauseated. My runs felt better and I even did a few long runs up to 90 minutes without any problems. The first time I felt compromised was about 20 weeks when my pelvic area felt very sore. I invested in a girdle and it helped. I still ran but alternated days. Repeated time trail: 6:47 mile and 93 second quarter. I also ran with Ali Feller in the NYRR mini and clocked 48:56 for the 10K at 17.5 weeks. Swimming is where I allowed myself to get some intensity. I trained with flippers and did interval training—actually doing sets. Again, the time meant nothing so I went on effort. It was good to feel like I was doing something without going crazy. I stopped biking, as the seat was very uncomfortable. I did some elliptical and recumbent bike as well as lifted light weights in the gym. Weight gain: 5 pounds
Third Trimester: I ran up until 34 weeks but was only running about twice a week (Simon was born at 37 weeks). Some days the pelvis felt really weak. Other days I would get a gift and feel surprisingly great. Lots of swimming, some magazine-reading gym time, and few runs. Notable performances: 31 weeks pregnant: (2 extended bridles, 1 reservoir) 20:42; 20:11; 12:30 ave 8:07 per mile for 6.5 miles. 32.5 weeks pregnant: (2 extended bridles, 2 reservoir) 22:09; 21:18; 13:30; 13:12 ave 8:36 per mile for 8 miles. Weight gain: 6 pounds
I enjoyed being active while I was pregnant, and assure you that everything counts. I felt fit and strong going into labor.
Posted in UncategorizedJanuary 15, 2012
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. – Dr. Martin Luther King
Posted in Assistant CoachesJanuary 3, 2012
Shane has been with City Coach for nearly ten years. Before that he was an assistant coach with Nike Running and a Running Specialist at Niketown NYC. In addition he oversaw the operation of New York’s first Computrainer studio for City Coach from 2005-2008. Shane is a USATF Level 1 Certified Coach, with experience coaching track and field from elementary to high school.
During his scholastic career, Shane was a competitive sprinter. In addition he is the fastest man in heels, as proven by his two victories at the Regis & Kelly High Heel-a-thon.
Posted in AthletesJanuary 2, 2012
As with so many of our other athletes, Sara Bibi manages to balance her busy personal and professional lives, while continuing to excel and improve as an athlete.
- Hometown: born and raised in Brooklyn, NY
- Family: Wife to a great guy who is supportive of all my running madness (even though he thinks I need a doctor!) Mother of 5 crazy but great kids: Ikie-21, Jeanette-19, Barbara-16, Nicole-12 and Jake-6. Family definitely comes first but running completes me!
- Occupation: Part owner of “Breeze”, a designer swim and resort boutique in Brooklyn, NY
- Weapons of choice: shoes: Brooks Adrenalines, Saucony racing. Garmin 405, hot yoga and smart water
- PR’s: 1mile 5:56, 4mile 26:52, 10k 44:40, half marathon 1:37:28, marathon 3:53:27
- Attitude: no pain no gain
- Diva Half Marathon Sept 2010 – the only race I know of that hands out hot pink boas and jeweled tiaras @ mile 12, and offers glass of champagne to finishers while firemen award them with medals!
- Sherox triathlon july 2010- was the last person out of the ocean which prompted me to sign up for much needed swim lessons!
- NYC marathon nov 2010- first full marathon- calf cramped up 3x and I hit the wall @ mile 18- can’t wait to do it again!
- NYRR Al Gordon Snowflake and NYRR Gridiron – got awards in both these races for coming in 2nd place for my age group!
- Get a photo in a City Coach singlet!