A quality that we can all truly appreciate is when a person / program is dedicated to not wasting time and energy.
I have watched athletes thrive on the Playtri concept that maximizes every minute an athlete has in and outside of their health and fitness goals/workouts.
I want to highlight on one aspect of getting the absolute most out of your efforts and workouts: THE WARM UP AND COOL DOWN!
Who wouldn't want to take advantage of the warm up/cool down, if I could promise - NOT ADDING A SINGLE MINUTE INTO YOUR WORKOUT-
I could teach your body and mind to be more efficient muscularly (both in technique and speed), metabolically (more fat efficient), and mentally (prepped as well as increasing the recovery rate between workouts)... you would be crazy to not implement these quick and easy modifications to your workouts.
3min Dry Land (this is also a really fantastic way to train the mind/ body year round for those races that do not allow an in water warm up)
25 easy jumping jacks or jog in place to increase heart range and range of motion
15 reverse big arm circles/side to open the chest and shoulders
15 torso twists/ side to wake up the core and hips
10 reach down/ squat down to initiate hamstrings
10 calf stretches / side to lengthen the calfs
10 side and runners lunges
25 jumping jacks this time a little faster than at the beginning of the warm up
Within your normal warmup: after the initial 200 or so yards/meters, simply add 8-10strokes that gently picks up the pace to begin to increase heart rate and response.
You can also do this within your warm up kick set. Add 5-10sec of just a bit faster kick and then return back to your normal warm up pace.
Again this is simply to wake the body up- not looking to set any new records!
Note to Self: this a great warm up pre race as well that can both be done in pool and open water races.
Put on your snorkel during the cool down.
Every swim should have at least 150-200yd/meters of a cool down. We are all very tired at the end of our swims. By putting on the snorkel, you are able to easily remind / train your body through fatigue to stay on top of the water through a continuous kick and consistent stroke. This is a huge advantage in open water toward the last few hundred meters.
Regardless if the workout is a training pace (zone 2-3) or race pace+ (zone 4-5), your warm up should be at least 5-10minutes long. Research has shown us that in the older athlete or an athlete who is increasing their load count on a week to week basis should allow their body a longer warm up with a few exercises to stimulate and prepped the body for the main sets effort.
10-15min warm up routine
5min: easy spin
2min-5min: 20sec single leg drill/ 20sec single leg drill/ 20sec easy pedal- focus on a smooth pedal stroke, reducing all 'dead spots' while ensuring you are pulling the pedal through the back half of the stroke
3min-5min: 15-20sec high cadence/ 40-45sec easy pedal- to wake up lungs and prep legs for some work
Every workout must end with 5-10min easy. Instead of just pedaling, go into a very easy gear and keep a 90+rpm.
Metabolically- increases fat efficiency
Muscularly- increases circulation and is the simplest/ cheapest form of recovery
Mentally- allows the body to relax after a hard workout= the body will be less resistant to the next workouts' stress as you have "tricked" it and it will recall the ease of the cool down over the previous effort
Those that grew up running already know the advantages of an easy jog, followed by drills, and finishing up with some strides or pick ups prior to their main workout. Watch the runners prior to their big events- they don't simply jump into the race- they allow the body to ease into the day, while daily revisiting drills and technique, and finishing up with some pick ups that initiate the effort in a controlled manner.
10-15min warm up routine
5min EASY jog (at least 90sec-2min slower than your workout pace)
3min-5min: 20sec single leg drill/ 20sec single leg drill/ 20sec easy jog
2min-5min: 15-20sec pick up/ 40-45sec easy jog
Just like the bike, instead of pedaling, walk it out for at least 5 minutes!
Increase your body's natural ability to burn fat and recovery rate while encouraging the body to recover quickly so that tomorrow you can jump into your next session without hesitation!
Notice- I did not add a single minute into your daily training. Our goal for you - stay healthy and consistent while maximizing your time and efforts!