Here are a few questions this week. I’m on my way to Melbourne so I wanted to get this out quick.

Q: With so much wet weather I’m spending quite a bit of time on the windtrainer. Could you please tell me – does 1hour on the road = 1hour on the trainer? I don’t want to do more or less than I should be when I complete my given session on the trainer when it’s not possible to get out on the road. It’s a basic trainer not a computrainer……. (yet!!!) Tracey

Answer: Hi Tracey,

Thanks for your questions and it is a great one, as I get asked this a lot from my athletes when the ‘rain’ comes out to play! Unfortunately there is this myth out there that since you have to be on the ‘boring’ trainer and there is no stops (sigh.. resting) that there is some ‘magic’ formula that should reduce the time on the trainer compared to what would be planned on the road.

Here is where an attitude shift is needed (not saying yours, but collectively). Trainers are massively underrated because athletes find them boring. Hmm swimming down a black lane lap after lap is also boring, in fact Ironman racing isn’t that exciting for the most part because it goes for so long.

Ok.. change the attitude from ‘boring’ to this is hugely beneficial in a numbers of ways.

Here’s whats in it for you and why when the heavens open up (as they have been doing lately on the rainshine.. I mean sunshine coast).

The time on the trainer is CONSTANT work. Meaning you get fitter than out on the road and it’s super time efficient.

It’s SAFE. You can put your head down and get it done without the worry of cars etc.

If you’re finding that it’s mentally challenging to knock out a long ride on the trainer – then this is one of your limiters that you get an OPPORTUNITY to work on. This is an additional bonus benefit that you’ll be able to draw upon come race day. A trainer teaches you about patience. It teaches you to turn off the ‘noise’ in your head and get the job done. This will be super beneficial to you come race day.

While a trainer is not as fun or inspiring as being out on the wide open road it provides immense benefits. So the next time you find yourself ‘stuck’ inside due to the elements, smile and revel in the fact that you have just been given a huge opportunity.

I’m on my computrainer twice weekly and I don’t always plug it into the screen. Just the stand alone mode. Now any trainer will do but I’m a big fan of the CT. Outside of that, you need the ability to apply huge amounts of resistance and fluid trainers just cannot do this. So my other recommendations would be Minora Magteqs or some of the Elite trainers (SuperCrono HydroMag or PowerMag) with the cable resistance ability allow you to load up the resistance to go ALL OUT and only get 40-45rpm which is what we need to be able to do.

Q: Thanks Kristian, another question to ponder if you get the chance is what techniques or focuses should I use to attain a stride rate of 96 per minute?

Cheers mark

Answer: Hi Mark.

As you have probably come to realise, I believe developing your stride rate is fundamental to running performance. I think of 3 things main things when I’m running. Relax (shoulders and jaw as tension here creates BIG energy expenditure), breathe (not hyperventilate) and leg turnover. When I get these things right my run form is much better. Foot lands mid or flat and under the centre of gravity i.e. the hips.

To attain the desire stride rate we make use of tools available. A treadmill is another underrated piece of equipment. Used at 0%.. because I want it to assist my leg turnover will help develop a more natural, fluid and higher stride rate. I just got one of these precor treadmills from workout world and it has a decline function up to -2%, amazing how effortless that makes training my turnover. (side note: I still after years of working on my stride rate, keep it as a focus). The other thing you can use is a slight downhill. Both of these ‘tools’ will enable you to run at a quicker turnover than on the flats.

Lastly it takes TIME to develop and it all depends on where you’re starting from. If you’re in the mid 80’s. A treadmill will become your best friend but it has to be set at 0% grade. And it should be noted to run EASY in the 90’s or mid 90’s can actually be hard at first. That is another reason why I like treadmills so much is you can run at the same or slightly faster pace thus getting your muscles and nerves used to firing at a higher rate for less aerobic cost. If you have nerve damage go to Neuropathy Relief Guide, to learn about the supplements that help with nerve pain.

Hi Kristian,
Thanks so much for the QnA I am learning a lot. I have a question which I am sure some others must suffer and wonder what causes it. When I race I swell up, hands & arms especially.  I thought it only happened to me in longer triathlons but it happened the other day when I did my first Olympic distance, what is the cause please?

Thanks, Caro

Answer: Hi Caro,
The first thing to note is this condition is not dangerous but it not well understood why it happens. The swelling is known as edema. If it doesn’t go away a few hours after running then you should get it checked out by your doctor. However if it is only happening in races it could be related to the increase in blood flow where the blood vessels open up and become too diluted. Another reason could be dehydration and it is important to note that just sucking down water will not hydrate your muscles. We need electrolytes in our systems. So using some like Hammer Endurolytes in training and racing can help.

From what I have researched is that it is more of a nuisance and that you can do some things like take off your rings, loosen your watch and periodically lower your arms and shake them out (something I actually do) and clench and unclench your hands at times.

Finally I had another couple of questions by one of my readers but the email has vanished into thin air. I know it had something to do with my
thoughts on Crossfit and repetition. I know it was a good question but itdidn’t save into the file and all my searching has come up naught. If you could kindly resend I will answer it.

Have an awesome weekend. Good luck to all the athletes racing Ironman Melbourne and Mooloolabah Olympic distance (hope the water recedes as some roads are under at the moment).

I’m off to Melbourne (excited… just a little) and will update on Monday.

Kristian “providing the answers” Manietta