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I know plenty of endurance athletes that stay fit. They do regular workouts and are settled into some type of routine.They log workout data and race data.


This practice is not self-coaching, this is data logging.


The data-logging athlete will sometimes have a good season of racing. It is also not unusual for this athlete to be ill or injured from doing too much volume and/or intensity – mostly because this person enjoys training and perhaps racing. Once he or she is on the road to recovery from an illness or injury, most probably this person will not take the time to rebuild fitness properly. They jump right back to the long swims, rides or runs and the high intensities that their egos enjoy so much.

 

In contrast, the self-coached athlete takes the time to plan workouts that are intended to address fitness limiters. Planning workouts that build on one another, and current fitness, help this athlete achieve higher and higher levels of fitness. Improving fitness limiters helps self-coached athletes achieve racing goals. 


If the self-coached athlete has a setback, he or she takes the time to rebuild lost fitness before ramping the volume or intensity back up to levels that were common prior the setback. They are very rarely in a repeating cycle that includes illness or injury.


Do you know any data loggers that think they are self-coached?

 

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

Comments and questions can be added on Facebook or Gale’s  website.

Ironman and half-Ironman plans availableon ActiveTrainer.

764 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: triathlete, runner, cyclist, self-coached

Many of us are fixers. We like to fixthings that are wrong, so we go looking for things to fix.


When evaluating your training, be cautious that you not only look at what needs to be changed – but you take tally of what you are doing right. Avoid the temptation to keep fiddling with every aspect of your training.


Stay the course on what is going right with your training and keep changes minimized.

 

 

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

Comments and questions can be added on Facebook or Gale’s  website.

Ironman and half-Ironman plans available on ActiveTrainer.

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Q. Hi Gale, I am in week 8 of your 27 week plan for the Half-Ironman training program. I tested this week and have made noticeable gains in both swimming and running (my limiters, so this was a big positive!). However, my T1(5) biketesting ended up with identical #s from my first test 8 weeks ago. Conditions were the same, on an indoor trainer, didn't feel tired, ate well, etc. Avg. watts 277, HR avg. 142, total time of 14:30. Any thoughts as to why or what I should do differently? I have not really skipped any workout to date and have clearly made progress in the other 2 disciplines. Thanks - S. T. 

 

A. Hi S.T.~

 

Thanks for using my training plan to help you succeed - and - congratulations on the swimming and running improvements! You mention those are your limiters so I suspect you are a very strong cyclist.

 

If that is the case, you require higher intensities to make improvements on the bike. But - you may not want to add that level of intensity as I suspect you'll trade swimming and running performance. Since those are your limiting sports, holding cycling steady isn't a bad thing right now.

 

I also suspect that as you progress through the plan and intensity increases, cycling should show some gains. Since you are already strong there, the gains may not be as much as swimming and running though.

 

Let me know if my assumption is true (strong cyclist) and keep me posted to the changes as you make your way through the plan. If you do decide to increase cycling intensity, monitor your fatigue. You may need to just keep cycling in a maintenance mode until you get stronger in the other two sports.

 

Gale

 

 

A. Thanks Gale! Good advice and insight--cycling has been my strong suit. I will hold steady on that for now and let my swim and run 'catch up' before increasing bike intensities. I'll keep you updated; thanks for the plan--it's helped immensely so far. S.T. 

 

 

 

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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.

634 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, triathlon, bike, run, swim, plan, half-ironman, improvement

Top athletes that blog about their personal training schedules tell you precisely what they want you to know.  For example, several athletes I coach (or have coached) hide key workouts on public training sites such as Strava. 


Why?


These athletes don’t want others to know or to duplicate key workouts or workout combinations. One of my athletes discovered one of his followers was duplicating his workouts, lagging by a day or more. Many athletes feel that their training preparation is part of their success weaponry.


I’ve not had one of my athletes tell me they did this, but I have spoken to pro athletes that have told me they exaggerate training volume and intensity levels in their blogs. If their competitors attempt to follow the supposed training plan, they go into races with dead legs from excess volume and/or intensity.


Are some people 100-percent honest when blogging and posting about their training?


Maybe.  


If you’re trying to replicate a top athlete’s training plan – do you know who is telling the 100-percent truth and who isn’t?


The secret about top athletes is they have secrets.

 

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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.

702 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, secrets

For my cyclists that have power meters, I like to use a combination of heart rate and power numbers for some workouts. One reason I do this is to flush out fitness data that would otherwise be hidden. Let me give you an example.


If the assignment is to ride at Zone 2 heart rate (the biological response), the athlete does that workout without regard to power output or speed. This kind of workout has its place in training and I do use it.


If the assignment is to produce Zone 2 power, the athlete completes the workout and typically comments in the feedback section. A comment might be, “Heart rate high (or low) for Zone 2 power.”  Or they might comment, “Workout went well.” In any case I do get information from this workout – and the workout has its place in my mix of workouts.


Sometimes, I use a combination of heart rate and power so the athlete can drive the highest power possible on that day, while limiting the biological cost. Below is a sample workout for an athlete with a current Zone 2 top-end wattage of 135 and top-end Zone 2 heart rate of 136. I wanted an aerobic workout  that produced the highest possible power during specific intervals.

 

The workout

Do a 10-minute warm-up.

The entire workout is 4 repeats of the following:

5 minutes at ~135 watts (Keeping heart rate 136 or below. If you can push higher watts than 135 for a cost of 136 heart rate – do it.)

5 minutes at 120 watts or less (Zone 1 heart rate)

End with easy spinning at Zone 1 heart rate


One of my athletes (power and heart rate data used in the sample above) recently returned from a ski trip in Switzerland. He skied for six days at an altitude of 3000 to 4000 meters. He lives at sea level. Though he was only at altitude for a week, his results for the workout I describe above showed a marked change. He was able to push wattages much greater than 135 while keeping heart rate low. Important to note, his low heart rate felt low and the effort felt easy. (Sometimes athletes note that a low heart rate feels really hard – i.e. Zone 2 heart rate feels like Zone 3.)


You can see his graph below.

Power after altitude 2013_edited.jpg

(You can select the graph to make it larger.)


Did his time at altitude change his ability to push higher wattage for a low - aerobic - cost? Is this result just part of his increased fitness due to the training mix? (It’s important to note I’ve worked with this person for a few years.) Or, was this workout a performance fluke? (He was able to produce more wattage than what is normal, given this heart rate.)


The questions are reasonable and I’ll continue to monitor his performance to see if it is time to make an adjustment to training zones.


If you are a self-coached athlete, it is important to cross-reference training zone data from time to time to be sure you are getting the most benefit from the workouts. You can get some of this data from testing – but – I believe it is important to sample workout data as well.

 

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Detailed off-season plans for triathlon and cycling, 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.

590 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: altitude, power, heart_rate