Just Breathe

In the past two days I took a Vinyasa flow yoga class and showed up for a coached swim workout. Both are, sadly, rare occurrences in recent weeks. I’m glad I did make the time, because I remembered how much I enjoy and learn from both things.

While we were swimming fast 100s, my coach, Gerardo from fortiuscoaching, asked what I was thinking about while I was swimming. I didn’t have an answer, because I thought that my mind was pretty blank. But, after another rep or two, I realized that the only thing I was thinking about was the sound of the bubbles as I exhaled. I paid attention to my breath and used it to moderate my effort across the series of fast 100s.

That is the same thing that I had been focusing on the night before at a class at TruYogaLA. In a Vinyasa class, the instructor focuses on helping students sync movement with breath, and learn to breathe through discomfort as it arises. It also gives the student something to focus on throughout the series. I know that there are lots of endurance athletes who don’t incorporate yoga into a training plan, but because of the benefits related to the mental aspect of training, I’ll try never to let it fall by the wayside. 

Breathing through pain is very useful while racing, and I’m making it a point to practice this skill and incorporate it more during the upcoming season. It’s a simple way to make some important gains. As Corey from Fitamorphosis says, “Namaste Bitches!”

(Work it harder, make it better)

N-n-now that that don’t kill me

(Do it faster, makes us stronger)

Can only make me stronger

(More than ever ever after)

I need you to hurry up now

(Our work is never over)

‘Cause I can’t wait much longer

Since I’ve been trying to up my triathlon game this season, I’ve tried a few new things. Coach G has been mixing it up in the workout department, I’m on a steady diet of Pur Pak, Bonk Breakers and beer (that’s not new) and I’ve been dedicating a little more effort to strength training.

I can thank Christine of Balanced Strength for helping me through injuries in the past, and teaching me how important foundational strength is key to staying healthy in endurance sport. I’ve taken that lesson and started working out with Corey at Fitamorphosis. He, and Kanye, have taught me that which don’t kill me, will only make me stronger.

I believe that he deserves lots of credit for the recent improvements in my racing and training. With the increased muscle mass, decreased fattiness, and much better core strength, I’ve been able to hold my form better on the bike and during the run to allow for faster times and less pain. Sometimes you really need a football coach to yell at you to work it harder, make it better, do it faster, make me stronger. Our work is never over, thank God.