Thursday, June 18, 2009

Swim Clip = Faster Split

(Photo taken from
Although I have sent the link of this clip to many of my athletes, I decided it was worthy of putting on the blog. I believe it was produced in the US and translated for a Japanese group-hence the interesting figures on the title screen.

I want to point out that this swimmer, in this clip, is using a modified front crawl kick known as trudgen kicking. Typically the flutter kick is used with front crawl. The trudgen kick however, can be a very useful kick to use especially when used in triathlons where there are slight to large waves. The trudgen kick takes the appearance of a scissors kick and is typically implemented somewhat asymetrically, coinciding with one arm of the pull. The use of this kick in wavy open water swim conditions can allow the swimmer to actually pseudo-body surf the waves as the swimmer crests each passing wave. In essence the swimmer will ride the wave and give a short quick kick at the crest to ride the wave similar to the way a body surfer or boogie boarder would.

I personally used the trudgen kick, inappropriately, when I was learning how to breathe during the front crawl. The danger of using the trudgen kick in order to thrust your upper body out of water in effort to take a breath (which is why I was utilizing it), is that you will ultimately swim very asymetrically and risk overuse injuries in the shoulders and elbows. As I later learned, proper body rotation (sculling) illeviates the need to get the head out of the water when breathing.

Check out this clip and note the body rotation, pull and kick. This swimmer swims very smooth and makes it look effortless...that's because he's utilizing great technique. Watch the clip and visualize it when you are swimming in your next session.

<Click Here.>

-Coach K

Friday, June 12, 2009

Red Bull for the Tri Soul

(Taken from
With just under a month until race day for the 2009 Lifetime Fitness Triathlon, I am sure you are all getting pumped for the big day!!!

In case you are just a little less than pumped about the race and need of some are a few great events that will get your heart rate going.

To Read the full Article CLICK HERE.

Monday, June 8, 2009

BuffTri Recap

Despite a balmy 49 degree forecast athletes covered the hillside at Sturgis Park, in Buffalo MN. Over 1,500 participants turned out for the Buffalo Triathlon in Buffalo MN. The race was scheduled for Sunday June 7th at 9am. The water temperature was 69 degrees so wetsuits were an essential commodity for the swim. There were two race distances a sprint, and the international or olympic distance.

A robust elite wave started off the race at 9am sharp, the pack included the likes of 70.3 World Champion Terenzo Bozzone
. Swim heats started 2 minutes apart with 10 year groups of males and females. The swim was a loop around a rubber-ducky lined course. The bike was a loop as well, which graced the rolling hills of the country side. The run, an out and back, took racers alongside the shore of Buffalo Lake.

Despite my feelings of under preparation, I had a great race. All things considered, it was not my personal-best, but it was a nice day for a race even with the cold temperature. The swim was freezing and my head felt a bit whoozey getting out of the water into the transition. The transitions were difficult because the cold slowed down neurologic functioning of fingers and acute body movements. I think I wasted the most time tightening my shoe laces at T2. Going into the bike I felt really strong. One difference for me however, was that the wind was the exact opposite direction as when I had ridden the course the Tuesday before. Keeping my head low and staying down in the aerobars, even on the hills, allowed me to average just over 20 mph and came in to T2 in a nice position. The run was amazing, considering the volume I had done in training. Finishing it all up I felt encouraged and spent!

What a wonderful day of athletes giving it their all. It was so good to see a few athletes that I coach, and they seemed to have had great races too. A proud coach I am. Way to go athletes!

-Coach K

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Buffalo Triathlon Overview

With less than a week leading up to the Buffalo Triathlon, I am starting to wind-down my harder intensity workouts and set the cross-hairs on race day. Although I feel fit, the old saying goes, "it's always the contractor's house that is in greatest need of repair"...maybe the same could be said for this coach and his training volume.

I drove to Buffalo last night to ride the bike course. I had a support car drive with me to draft off, but the wind and the hills were no less noticeable. The swim, a 1500 meter out and back, routes along the shore of Buffalo Lake taking you out and around the race-iconic rubber duckies.

As you exit the swim the race goes south on Cty Rd 25 and does a good amount of hills until you get to the 8 mile this point the road flattens out and the wind pushes from the side instead of the headwind. Turning around at the half-way point you get a tail wind for most of the return trip back to the transition.

As you come back towards the transition, you will start to see the runners. The end of the bike overlaps the run course for the last few miles. The run is an out and back on 35 coming back into Buffalo after taking you along scenic Buffalo lake shore. The run is relatively flat, however there is a slight uphill on the way out and a steeper uphill/downhill at the turn-around.

I was encouraged at the completion of my ride. With a good amount of intensity work in my training program, I was able to scurry up the hills pretty good. My suggestion to other racers would be find a good gear for uphill climbing and just shift back and forth on the chain-rings from large to small as you go descend and ascend the hills at the beginning (not really changing the rear gear at all). As you enter the flat stage for the middle third of the course find a harder gear in back with the smaller chain-ring in front...this will help you keep your cadence high without sacrificing speed on the flats. You'll be able to see the finish on the ride back before you get hold on, race fast, and have fun!

-Coach K

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Welcome to Coach K's Tri Blog

With over 10 years of experience in racing and training in triathlon, I bring a wealth of experience to my athletes. I have coached swimmers and triathletes for 8 of of those 10 years helping my athletes to personal best's and division titles.

I work with athletes in-person and online through a comprehensive approach to training and racing. I work with athletes in both specific and long-term goal formats. Whether you are hoping to win your age group at a target race this season or to work towards a more balanced fitness life, I am excited about working with you and helping you attain your goals!

-Coach K