Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Combining Blogs

I have decided to combine all my racing, training, life and coaching efforts into one entity. I will continue to post training info over on my main blog as well as at my website

Thanks for stoping in.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Coaching... put to word by Doc Phil

Much of what you read here is what I believe. When I converse with a client I show them the how and the why. Completely transparent. This is how_ you will do it and this is why_ you will do it. I don't give a workout simply because I "believe" the workout works but rather because I know_ the workout works. If it's a swim workout that I remember doing from back in the day I learn and figure out why_ we did it. What sort of physiological adaptations the workout is looking to cause.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Daniels on Training Progression

"develop speed (skill) before endurance (aerobic conditioning)"

1. learn good technique

2. work toward speed development without high mileage during the development years

3. progressively carry out more endurance work later in the career

Friday, February 01, 2008

Lydiard on speed work

This was taken from a speech he gave in Osaka...

"Distance athletes hate sprinting because they think it unneccessary and they think they look like fools, but if you want to be fast, you've got to sprint. I've taken three and six minutes off the marathon runner's times by and through speed development, so it is important to athletes of all distances. In fact, athletes should be doing something about their speed, conditioning for it, working on technique, and generally working on their speed every week, 52 weeks a year."

Which goes along with my assertion that to "before you go long... it's best to be fast... because if you go long before you are fast then at what speed are you going long at?"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why a powermeter

I have been training with a PM for over 3 years now. The first year was rough and it really acted as no more than an expensive bike computer. I just knew that I wanted the watts to be higher on every ride. Not_ smart. The second year I began to understand how to use the PM on my easy days and my hard days. This past year I have finally come to the point where, through the use of and knowledge gained from the PM, I am able to structure an entire season of training and racing based on wattage and training stress scores. Both of these are independent variables and quite reliable unlike HR data which is quite the dependent variable.

I suggest that my athletes ride with power. As a coach it is the completely objective feedback that the PM provides that allows me to correctly evaluate how things are going with a plan. And it's not just about watts. Thru either the use of TSS (training stress score via cycling peaks) or kJ's you can track your previous efforts as well as forecast future ones with the use of a Performance Manager Chart.


What are they?
A tool which measures the wattage (by way of strain gauges or optical sensors) that is being put into the drive train and which makes you go forward on the bike.Who makes them? Saris/Cycleops-Powertap SRM Ergomo Soon to be released: Quarq

How do I use one?
Roughly speaking this replaces your HR monitor on the bike. With swimming and running you have always done workouts based on time within a certain distance... for e.g. 4x400's holding 1:30 on 2 minutes. Now you can do the same on the bike... easy day ex: 2 hours at 200 watts or less trying to get 70-80 TSS points. Hard day... 30 min WU at 200 watts then 2x20 at 270 watts with a 2 minute break.

Start Training with the Truth

Friday, January 25, 2008

Why Master Swimming isn't always the best training for a Triathlete

Hoping to have this up on a few online mags soon. I'll post links once they've been published.


“Whoa!” You might be thinking. “Hang on a second. Where does one get off coming to that conclusion?” Having swum, and coached, in and out of masters groups I can say with certainty that in getting ready for your big event it’s best to do what you need to do.

Let’s first start with why masters swim workouts are good. There’s the group atmosphere, the social commitment of “having to be there”, the presence of a coach on deck who will be able to point out inaccuracies with your stroke, have all the workouts written for you and hopefully a highly motivating and positive enforcer for you. For the beginner triathlete/swimmer these are all huge positives, but let’s take this one step further.

In a typical masters group it’s possible that you might get any of the following: Too much drill work and not enough aerobic stress, too short of swim durations and too long of rest intervals, not to mention swimming IM sets! Think of it this way… when you first started running… did you go to the track for every workout? When you go for bike rides… do you stop every 3 minutes?

You are now into your 2nd, 3rd or more season of swimming and racing. You are not as concerned with your technique as you are with your fitness. Getting faster is your focus and a faster swim split your goal. You’ve spent the latter half of fall and all winter going to the pool 5 days a week with your masters swim squad. You’ve done the drills and you’ve done the hard sets. You’ve put in the work and you’re beginning to see the reward. But now spring is approaching and with it that first race of the season. Your swim squad presses on with more 50’s and 300’s but you begin to wonder about that 1900m half Ironman swim you have coming up. Here’s where getting out and swimming on your own trumps traditional masters swimming.

To become good at a anything, in this case swimming a 1900m open water swim very efficiently, it’s imperative that your training mimic the race. So around 2 months out from your event you begin following a race specific program. Rather than continue with the general, it’s time you got specific. Extend this thinking to the bike and run and you’ll do great!

Once a week you get in for a longer easy straight swim. Think of this like your long bike ride. Insert small spurts of steady efforts into the middle after you have warmed up but just keep swimming. If it’s warm enough you can make this an open water swim.

Twice per week insert a set that totals around 2000m in length using longer distances and shorter intervals. For example 4x500’s on :15-:20 rest. Your effort should be about tempo/L3. This would be the equivalent of your race pace tempo run.

If you are looking to get more swims in per week then head back to your masters group and swim a lane or two down. Use it as a recovery swim, for a little extra quickness, or to get more feedback on your evolving technique.

As the race season progresses continue to follow your race specific workouts. If there is a long time before your next “specific prep” phase go back to your speed work (e.g. 6-10x100’s on very limited rest), return to some more focused drill work or revisit the masters group and seek out that same boost that your focused winter work gave you.

Masters swimming can be a useful tool, but in the interest of preparing yourself specifically for the longer durations that you will face in triathlon racing it’s best to get outside the box and start doing specifically what you need to be doing.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

No Rest weeks.... hunh?

Came upon this over on the wattage list. For me the only time I am "resting" or when my athletes "rest" is when they are tapering for a race. Aside from that... just keep on keepin' on.

"Recovery and adaptation happen all the time, i.e., there's no need to rest every X weeks for such responses to occur. Indeed, I am not aware of any data, or even a good theory, as to why this approach should be better than simply keeping one's "nose to the grindstone". There have been some studies of weightlifting claiming to show that a periodized approach is better (different type of periodization, though), but in fact they don't show what they claim to show."