Sunday, August 21, 2011

Recovery e21 and the Breaststroke Kick

During my Kona training camp, Michelle (I now know why she goes by Mama Simmons, that's her drug-pushing name) turned me onto this magical little pill. She told me not only does it ward off cramps, but it also helps you to push and work the muscles even under fatigue. Hmmm...I consider that performance enhancing, but Michelle assures me that this pill has been used by Olympic athletes who come out clean after drug testing. As a trained scientist, I can't say for sure if this pill actually does what it claims, because Michelle told me of its benefits before I took the pill, thus, I could be experiencing the placebo effect. I'm going to take e21 at IM Canada because regardless if it truly works or not, my body seems to think it works. During long training sessions, when I felt the bonk come on, I would take two pills and almost immediately (much faster-acting than salt tablets), I was more mentally alert and my muscles felt like they were firing better. However, Michelle warns not to take too many over the course of a weekend, I believe 10 is the limit, or you might get the runs. Thus, I still take salt tablets but supplement with e21 during more dire situations.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with my massage therapist extraordinaire. He charges a pretty penny but he is worth it because after two years of this nagging glute injury, he was the one that finally shed some light on the the probable cause. Even though we train for three different sports, evidently, our bodies can still be weak. According to him, all of my movements are in one plane (mostly forward and back), thus the muscles I use to move in that plane are really strong. However, since I don't move in the side-to-side plane very often, those muscles are weak, and supposedly the glute muscles are used for lateral motion. Not only are my glutes weak but parts of my hip and inner thighs are week too. Thus, he suggested I play more volleyball, soccer, and ultimate frisbee. Really? He obviously does not specialize in OCD ironman athletes, otherwise he would know we have no time for such nonsense. He did mention yoga would be great, and that, I'm doing. But I had an "A Ha!" moment while swimming a month ago. I grew up as an IM'er only because I was really strong in the butterfly and the backstroke. My breaststroke, as my coach used to say, is unfortunate. In fact, some people used to ask how I was able to swim in the reverse direction during the breaststroke leg of my IM (when your competitors go by you that fast, it makes you look like you are going in reverse). Not only is my breaststroke kick weak, my legs feel like they are going to rip from the hip socket when I kick breaststroke. I now know that my breaststroke kick is weak because my glutes and my hips are weak (and evidently, having a badonkadonk butt does not mean you have strong glutes). Thus, I need to do MORE breaststroke kicking. Thus, I make it a habit to do some breaststroke kicking during every swim session, especially if I just got done running; the kick totally loosens my hip up and it feels like I'm stretching. So much for thinking I was done with breaststroke when I retired from competitive swimming.


Teresa said...

The breasstroke is SO hard....feet are not supposed to move that way!!! But yes, so great for lateral movement....only during warmup and cool down:) See you this week...with the e21 and all!!


Michelle Simmons said...

Glad the e21 is working for you! I'd call it my 'secret' but it's no secret that I use that stuff all the time. I took ~10 of them yesterday on that 100 mile ride and was still there sprinting at the end, and then 8 today on my long run today and felt good at the end. The difference for me with that stuff is black and white. :) But anyway, my limit is 20 over the weekend... more than that and I'll spend a good but of time in the bathroom on Monday morning. Though I suppose that might be worth it for a good weekend! :)

Beth said...

My legs feel like they are going to rip from the hip socket when I breaststroke too!!! I figured it was because I was doing it wrong (likely still true) but it's probably also because I have weak lateral muscles. Never played any other sports that require anything but running straight ahead! :) Happy breast-stroking to you! :)

Kim said...

I think I might actually look into this magic little pill. I have plenty of clients who complain of cramping / fatigue and maybe this is something that could help. Thanks for mentioned, and I did know about the 1 plane, but I didn't know why I stink so much at breaststroke kick - who knew! That was it! Ok.. fine.. I'll do more of it in practice.. geezzz Kiet.. always making me work!!

COUNTDOWN = 6 days!

Libby said...

I'll have to try e21! sounds awesome. as for straight plane weaknesses.... welcome to my life all day every day. and I'm not talking about me. 8 hours of athletes with the same problem :) played soccer two winters ago just for that reason. It blew me up bigtime but was awesome for fitness speed and strength. if I didn't suck so much that no team wanted me, I would totally play again!