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I assigned a power-based workout to an athlete. It is a standard workout that I use for several of my cyclists and triathletes. When I modified the power goals for her, I inadvertently put in a range that was above her current tested goal range.


She tried the workout and was able to achieve the power numbers on the first three-minute interval, but her heart rate was higher than her threshold values that I was looking for. (I use a combination of heart rate and power to build fitness for athletes that have power meters.)


When she decided that I really wanted her to be at her threshold power values (tested within the last few weeks), she dropped the power down to the range we had previously used. That range produced less of a biological response (heart rate lower than threshold heart rate) than was intended for the workout.


The result?


We adjusted the power range up and now she is pushing higher power numbers and getting the heart rate response we want. Her good power performance wasn’t a one-time fluke workout.


This isn’t the first time I’ve had a similar situation occur with an athlete. Though I do like time trial tests to determine power or pace ranges, those tests are not infallible. Sometimes fatigue, dehydration or other factors cause the test values to be too low.


Use your training zones (power, pace or heart rate) with a grain of salt. Be sure you are achieving the power output for the cost (heart rate) that you’re looking to achieve - or vice versa. Watch for trends and make small adjustments. Examine the results and change – or don’t change – training zones accordingly.

 

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Detailed off-season plans for triathlon andcycling, along with event-specific running, cycling and more triathlonplans found here.

Comments can be added on Facebook.

Ironman and half-Ironman plans available on ActiveTrainer.

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Elk Turd Trophies.

 

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While the highly sought after lacquered elk turd trophies are certainly a big bonus, most people aim to be a member of this group because the trophy represents a goal that isn’t easy, yet it’s not impossible. This is true for every level of endurance athlete.


The minimum distance to achieve the goal is roughly 21miles, nearly all of which is uphill. For those with loads of endurance and riding from the nearby city of Fort Collins, the round trip is more like 70 to 80 miles.


For the 2012 award cycle, 15 people earned (or will soon earn) their 12-consecutive-months-ride-to-Estes-Park trophy. Over the years, I’ve asked people what drives them to aim for the turd trophy goal. Here are some of the comments:


  • I knew someone else that achieved the goal and I was inspired.
  • A friend talked me into doing it. Without a buddy, I wouldn’t have made it that first year.
  • It seemed like a worthy challenge – not too easy, yet not impossibly hard.
  • It's just fun.
  • It helps me keep a longer ride in my training through winter.
  • All the cool people have elk turd trophies.
  • It motivates me ride outdoors in the winter. Without this goal, I wouldn’t be riding outside at all.
  • Once I started doing the ride, I became addicted.
  • Even though I seldom ride with others aiming for the same goal, I still feel like I’m part of the team or the group. I know others are out there rooting for me and doing the ride as well.
  • I like the ride memories created from some ofthe tough conditions. And, suffering is best done with others.

 

This isn’t an all-inclusive list by any means. If you’re having trouble keeping on track for your fitness goals, perhaps something in this list or in a past Estes blog will inspire you?

 

 

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Loveland Cake Guy Chris Brown crafted the party cake.

 

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Bill Frielingsdorf (L) wins the creative cycling outfit award. Kevin McSweeney, I suspect, is envious.

 

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Party attendees Scott Ellis, Chris Brown, Gale Bernhardt, Pam Leamons, Bill Frielingsdorf, Lee Rhodes, Ron Kennedy, Jerry Nicholes, Kevin McSweeney, Brandy Staves, Todd Singiser and Peter Stackhouse. (The background model is not an elk, but a deer. Just in case you were wondering.)


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Detailed off-season plans for triathlon andcycling, along with event-specific running, cycling and more triathlonplans found here.

Comments can be added on Facebook.

Ironman and half-Ironman plans available on ActiveTrainer.

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I was consulting with an athlete that wondered why his progress was stunted and he couldn’t gain fitness. He told me verbally what he was doing for workouts and strength training.


When we examined logged data, his volume was actually 30 percent lower than his memory recalled.


Log your workouts - no matter what system you use. If you’re not logging your workouts, your memory may be too generous and all that does is limit your progress.

 


 

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Detailed off-season plans for triathlon andcycling, along with event-specific running, cycling and more triathlonplans found here.

Comments can be added on Facebook.

Ironman and half-Ironman plans available on ActiveTrainer.

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A couple of years ago, I sent out daily tweets that suggested people try to do something (nutrition, stress relief, exercise, knowledge growth, etc.) for just one day. This series is a twist on that concept in that there are fewer challenges – but the time commitment is longer.


Everyone has bad habits that get in the way of progress. Everyone can stand to improve diet, fitness, flexibility, strength, balance, or some other aspect of daily living. The concept is to commit to changing one thing for just one week. It might be something you want to continue doing or something that is done to just break a bad habit.

 

Those that are interested in publically sharing goals and seeing ideas presented by others can share on my Facebook page.


I’ll begin – I am giving up cheese for one week. I will bring it back into my diet in a week, but I’ve been enjoying too much of it.Too many calories have been going to this food item.

 

Here's another example, a local athlete that doesn’t have a Facebook account is limiting soda to one per day. His soda consumption has unwittingly grown.


Another athlete vows to run three times this week - just 20 to 30 minutes each time.


You? What do you want to do this week to break a bad habit or start a new, desireable habit?


 

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Detailed off-season plans for triathlon andcycling, along with event-specific running, cycling and more triathlonplans found here.

Comments can be added on Facebook.

Ironman and half-Ironman plans available on ActiveTrainer.

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Warning:  Before reading this blog, consider that I could be just another person looking to justify doing the things they love to do – in spite of some evidence indicating that very activity is potentially harmful to health.


About a month ago, I wrote a blog that looked at research asking if endurance exercise is actually detrimental to your health. Over the last few weeks, I’ve given this blog and the research considerable thought. One of the first things that came to my mind was research that indicated as much as 90-percent of research is flawed. I looked at this issue in my blog “Are researchers just a bunch of manipulative liars?”


I also went back and read the research paper I referenced in last month’s blog. A couple of thoughts came to mind:

  • Though the research noted, “Serologic markers of cardiac damage, including cardiac troponin, creatine kinase MB, and B-typenatriuretic peptide, have been documented to increase in up to 50% of participants during and after marathon running” – I kept thinking, “What about the other 50% of the people?” If this is a genetic issue – perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones? Maybe I'm one of the "other" 50%  that is not negatively affected?
  • I also considered the cardiac changes in mice forced to do endurance exercise via electric shock. My thought was, “Of course they would show stressful cardiac changes – they were being electrically forced to run!”
  • In none of the studies cited in the research paper were 100% of the people adversely affected by high intensity or long duration exercise. This leaves me to wonder about the people that were not adversely affected – did they live longer? Are their lives somehow better?


One of the athletes I coach sent me a link to a New York Times column noting that researchers believe due to our endurance capabilities as humans, we developed bigger brains. Our very existence is due to  endurance exercise.


Ah ha! There – proof that endurance exercise is good.


I also read a column about 91-year-young Sven Wiik that was an Olympian, “was always fixated on sports” and still skis nearly every day.


Ah ha! Here’s a living example of someone immersed in sport that is an excellent, healthy 91.


Then, across my desk came research that Olympic medalists live an average of 2.5 years longer than the general population.


Few athletes workout longer and more intensely than Olympians and they enjoy longevity. Perhaps some this longevity is due to endurance exercise  past the age of 40?


After mulling all of this around in my head for awhile, I decided that I enjoy endurance sport. I love doing long bike rides, long runs and hours of Nordic skiing. Research does interest me, but I also understand the limitations of any research on human beings. We are complicated and it is impossible to account for controlling all the variables in any research study, including genetic influences.

 

All things considered, I plan to continue doing the endurance sports and racing that I love to do – until the time when I no longer feel like doing those sports. I figure I’m on the earth for a limited amount of time and I plan to take personal responsibility for spending my time as I please while I’m here.


I might cut years off of my life or suffer cardiac changes that aren’t healthy.


Or, I might live to be over 100 still doing endurance sports making researchers ask “Why? How?”

 

How do you plan to spend your time on earth?

 

 

 

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Detailed off-season plans for triathlon andcycling, along with event-specific running, cycling and more triathlonplans found here.

Comments can be added on Facebook.

Ironman and half-Ironman plans available on ActiveTrainer.

455 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: endurance, to, health, exercise, longevity, detrimental

I wrote a recent column on balance exercises. Not only do these exercises help your balance and strengthen your ankles, they help with balancing coordination right to left side.


There’s an easy way to add balance work to your dailyhabits. It works best if you have an electronic toothbrush that alerts you to 30-second segments to brush each section of your teeth.

With each segment (inner lower teeth, outer lower teeth, inner upper teeth, and outer upper teeth) alternate left leg, right leg, left leg and right leg for 30-second segments. Of course you can go for one-minute per leg too.


Depending on how often you brush your teeth, you can get some two to six minutes of balance work accomplished every day!

 

Thanks to Janet Saxon for this trick.

 

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Detailed off-season plans for triathlon andcycling, along with event-specific running, cycling and more triathlonplans found here.

Comments can be added on Facebook.

Ironman and half-Ironman plans available on ActiveTrainer.

419 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: balance, running, cycling, skiing, exercises

Question:

 

Hello,

I finally picked up the second edition of TrainingPlans for Multisport Athletes, had to because the pages were falling out of the first one.  Anyway, one quick question please.  Can the 13 weeks to a half Ironman be adapted so it becomes 13 weeks to an Olympic distance?  I don't have the 26 weeks to train, my race is April 14th, about 14 weeks away. 


It's not that I procrastinate in picking my races, my students pick my races.  Every so often, usually once a year, one of my students challenges me to race them.  This school year they waited till just before Christmas break to issue the challenge, so I had to pick a race close to home and before they get out of school.  But, I ramble.  Any help you can give in this matter would be appreciated.  

 

F.D.

 

Answer:

 

Hi F.D. ~

 

Thanks for letting me know you enjoy my work. I have a few suggestions: 

 

  1. If you have the fitness now – you can use the last 14 weeks of the 24-week Olympic plan in Training Plans for Multisport Athletes. If you have the endurance but not the intensity, then you can use Zone 3 for the higher intensity efforts rather than Zone 4+ in that plan.
  2. Another option is to begin the 24-week plan where your current fitness is – that is pick a week that seems “doable” to you. It can be a stretch, but don’t make it a 50% increase from your current fitness. Work your way through the plan by sequential weeks until you are one or two week out from the race. Then use the last one or two weeks of the plan to taper into the event. I say one or two because it depends on where you start now and where that puts you near race day. The bottom line here is you want to be rested heading into the race.
  3. Also, my book Triathlon Training Basics has a fit beginner plan that is 12 weeks long. The training hours range from 5:15 to 8:00 per week for this one, so it’s not a performance oriented plan but rather one intended for “comfortable completion”.

 

Which option you use depends largely on your current fitness.

 

Hope this helps. Let me know how the race goes for you ~

 

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Detailed off-season plans for triathlon andcycling, along with event-specific running, cycling and more triathlonplans found here.

 

Comments can be added on Facebook.

 

Ironman and half-Ironman plans available on ActiveTrainer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One of my athletes doesn't have access to a cable or other seated rowing machine and needed an alternative exercise. He does have access to a Smith Machine.

 

The solution?

 

Inverted row.

 

I tried this exercise yesterday and it is TOUGH! Though I can do seated rows all day long, I was unable to lift myself from the floor to touch the bar even once. And, I could only do five reps getting my torso about six inches from the bar.

 

My first goal is to be able to do five consecutive movements, with a solidly planked body, touching my torso to the bar.

 

Anyone else tried this?

 

 

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Detailed off-season plans for triathlon and cycling, along with event-specific running, cycling and more triathlon plans found here.

 

Comments can be added on Facebook.

 

Ironman and half-Ironman plans available on ActiveTrainer.

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