Friday, April 30, 2010

...and my torso is along for the ride...

This is one of the many (and I mean MANY) things that go through my head while I am swimming/biking/running.

In this particular case, my torso is along for the ride when I am running. This is the cue that really works for me. Hahahahaha!!!

Here's a selection of a number of other cues/things I tell myself when I am training:


  • "Don't swim like a crucifix." (Asked if I was religious because I "swam like a crucifix" in Australia. Hahahahahaha!!! I think about this one a lot --- LOL!)

  • "Clench that butt" -- if you clench your butt you WILL kick straight and not break at the knee. Try it, you won't believe how much better you kick.

  • "If I cross over again, Clint will throw a weight at me...." (I don't think this one needs any more explanation. LOL!)

  • "Don't swim like a chicken wing." (Sara told me this over and over again. I think about this a lot too. Hahahahahaah!!!)

  • "Bubble, bubble, breeeeeeeathe." Lifted this off a swim site -- I was holding my breath sometimes as I swam. I would have told you there was no way I did that, but then I read how just about every new swimmer does this, and I realized that I did it too at times -- which is why I would feel breathless sometimes. Swimming doesn't make you breathless...holding your breath does. Go figure!! LOL!!! (Anyways, you say bubble, bubble to make sure you are constantly blowing bubbles when your face is in the water. Means you are exhaling all the time, and inhaling when you are supposed to -- no holding of breath. What a difference this has made for me!)


  • "Each butt cheek is operating independently of the other..."(That's what it feels like, people!! LOL!)
  • "Pedal from the bum, pedal from the bum...."
  • I think you pretty much get the gist of all my biking thoughts...they pretty much all have to do with my bum. Hahahahahahaha!!!

  • "Let your legs float and your torso is along for the ride."
  • "Pump those arms." (Or as Sara has told me over and over again, "Arms, Julie, arms!")

Any of you have some interesting cues that you'd like to share? Hmmmmm? Let's have 'em!! :)


Keith said...

We all know how fixated you are on your bum. Enough said, I think.

Once I got going I could probably fill a whole blog with my thoughts, such as they are, though I might have to do some editing.

Mine involve looking at the bottom of the pool right under my face.

Tucking and pulling hard to get my legs around during the flip turn.

To spin better I like to think my bike shoes are made of eggshell. Apply the forces evenly and an egg is very difficult to break.

Amy said...

OMG, your post is so funny. I am cracking up. Anything I say can't compare to that and I'm going blank right now so I'll come back if I think of anything. :)

Sara Gross said...

I think about my catch on every stroke, every time I swim. I rarely think of anything else. Biking, like you, its all about glutes, and running i think about holding my core. Its amazing how little it takes to occupy my mind!
Nice post!

Amber Dawn said...

Great tips! I love these kind of cues, when you can relate them this way it makes it much easier for people to understand and apply.
My running cues are all about posture, core and footstrike.
Shoulders back and down, belly in, small steps that keep your feet under your hips.
I also focus on moving from my core- like there is a fishing hook attached to my belly button and someone is reeling me in. This one works good on hills.
Arms are a big one too. You want your energy to move forward- linear. Your arms need to do the same (as opposed to crossing over the center line).
The funny thing about running is, I am constantly preaching this form stuff, and I am almost always conscious of it when I'm running, yet when I see photos of myself running...yikes!! lol

Cath said...

Like the post!

For me:
Swim - one way I'll concentrate on my catch every stroke, coming back the other way I may concentrate on my roll to assist that catch. I'll do that on every length for the entire session

Bike - yep, get those glutes working and stay smooth. I also concentrate on keeping my core really strong (after months of back pain this is a critical one for me!)
Run - stay light and keep the core strong. When it clicks together, no matter what the speed I feel like my legs are floating beneath me - bliss :) At the mo, I'm also thinking of my breathing for asthma etc reasons :)

There you go, that's my 2 pennies worth :)

Cath said...

PS won't mention any names, but one of the top GB coaches used to throw the brick weights into the pool at swimmers if they weren't working hard enough or getting their stroke wrong - true story!

Julie said...

Sara -- Thanks for the simple cues you personally use. I do think that less is more -- and your ability to focus so completely on one thing is a strength I wish to emulate!

Amber -- awesome!! Thanks for that description of the things you think whilst running. I really like the fishing line one...

Cath -- A brick would be thrown?? WTF!?!?!?!?! Oh. My. God. I would be dead by now....Hahahahahaha!!

Sparfy said...

ride downhill. always. :-)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Lol, these are great, especially the throwing a weight if you cross over.

runningman said...

Here's some I wrote down last week as I thought of them. Hope there's no word limit on commenting. lol

You know how some talk of reaching over a barrel to ensure the high elbows. I envision myself literally climbing over, whole body, this works on my catch/elbows as well as pressing my chest down and it just seems to make me go/feel faster.

Reach reach reach(I'm thinking this almost all the time)

Thinking of cutting through the water like a knife, both with my hands upon entry as well as my body as I slice, NOT PLOW THROUGH THE WATER!!!!! (so for short I go Darryl think knife, not Mr. Plow like the simpsons)

-don't really have too many mantras for this and can't think of any right now. Running just happens, I feel good going fast, I feel bad when I go slow

-smooth spinning, if I need super fast spinning I think of pushing down on the seat, weight off the pedals and trying to wipe the chewing gum off the bottom of my shoes.
-Cross wind mantra, don't fight it channel it. I actually twist my back at times if I can catch a bit of a tail wind, like a sail effect.
-tail wind, the list goes on and on, usually somthing to do with flying, riding very fast, this is when I and the bike feel like one.
-downhill, same as the tail wind, I feel like I'm part of the bike, which allows me to descend with absolutely no fear, because the cervelo and I are ONE!!
-head wind, here's the knife thinking again, I try to get low on the bars, slump my shoulders to get as small as I can, no more sail thinking that's for sure. Envision punching/cutting through the wind, don't try to fight it.

Julie said...

Darryl -- thanks for the tips!! I was using them today during the swim. :)