2015 so far

NOTE: I am having trouble uploading images onto my blog and website right now.  Please excuse the lack of visuals!

It is only 9 days into 2015 but as far as what I have accomplished in my training since New Year’s it seems like many more days than that.  My preparation for the 2015 race season started well before Jan.1 and I have been in the Pre-Season Training Phase up to now.  This has been a bit of an experimental time for me, with one of my major goals is figuring out what the best format is for my micro-cycles of training.

(I finished writing this blog post 10 days after starting it.)

 

Micro-Cycle Testing

Figuring out how much training stress you can take from multiple workouts in a certain period of time is important.  And without really trying to do it I set myself up for failure on some big workouts.  Having said that, I also took some planned / calculated / estimated chances on a few occasions and was successful with the workout.

For example – This past Monday and Tuesday were easy days for me, then Wednesday morning I attempted a challenging swim workout.  The clock on the wall doesn’t lie and there was no way I was going to nail the workout.  If I had tried to complete it and failed I would have done myself much more warm than good – both physically and psychologically.  I still put in a solid 3800m workout, and by mid-day (about 12:30pm to be precise) I started to genuinely feel good and refreshed.  So I went ahead and attempted a very challenging VO2 Max workout on the bike.  Success!  Perfectly paced and built off of the last time I did it.

Then the next morning (and this was unintentional, as I mentioned before) I planned to do a fairly challenging Tempo Run Workout.  So, thinking I was well recovered from the Monday and Tuesday period and with the motivation from the VO2 Max Bike workout before I hit the treadmill early on Thursday morning.  Not a good idea.  I felt OK as the Tempo work started, but not as good as I thought I would.  By half way I was struggling to hold paces that I know I can hold.  I had no choice but to back off the pace 8sec/mile and finish the workout that way.

It is now Friday early afternoon and I am still feeling the effects of that poor planning.  But there is (almost) always more than one thing contributing to fatigue and in my case a quick look back in my training journal showed me that today was the 8th day in a row of swimming. This is too many days straight, even though I am putting a focus on swim training right now.  I won’t be making that mistake again.

Fast forward to Sunday night and I am now continuing to write this post. . . I took yesterday off of swimming and then nailed the a solid swim today.  Amazing what one day of rest can do – especially in swimming.

So at this point in my Pre-Season Phase I feel I have a pretty good handle on how to progress into the next phase of training.  The next phase will be what I refer to in my head as the Preparation Phase – this is where I will prepare my body and mind to be ready to start to implementing race specific sessions.

The Well Built Triathlete by Matt Dixon

If you are serious about improving your performance in triathlon then you should by this book, read it and have it as a great reference for many years to come.  Matt has put a great book together that includes up to date information including both sport science and experiential based approaches.

I have learned a great deal from Matt Dixon’s book The Well Built Triathlete and would recommend it to all triathletes (beginner to very seasoned).  It has done wonders for me in terms of helping me streamline my training and truly being to figure out what type of training suits me best.  One thing he emphasizes is that as the workouts become more demanding in terms of race specificity it is important to make sure the intensity of the supporting workouts (non-key sessions) is kept low in order to be able to maximize the key sessions.  We all know that keeping the easy sessions easy, the moderate sessions moderate and the hard sessions (often very) hard, but this becomes critical as key sessions become very demanding.  This book is worth every penny.

Sample Bike Week

I’d like to finish this by sharing what a week of Cycling Training looks like for me right now.  Hopefully people can perhpas use some of the information to improve their own Micro-Cycles of training.

MONDAY:

Easy Spin or Endurance Ride

– Power zones guided

– Depends on how the weekend went

 

TUESDAY:

VO2 Max Work

– Key Session

– Power zones guided

 

WEDNESDAY:

OFF or Very Easy Spint

– If spinning there is no watch used or looking at any numbers, just riding EASY

 

THURSDAY:

Endurance Ride

– 75 to 120 minutes

– Power zones guided

– Varying RPM work

– Low RPM focus with sets of 5-15min @ 55-65rpm

– Supporting Session

 

FRIDAY:

OFF

 

SATURDAY:

Lactate Threshold Work

– Currently doing 4 x (15min @ mid-high LT Power Zone, 5min EZ)

– Key Session

 

SUNDAY:

Endurance Ride

– Depending on weekends training, how I am feeling and other obligations this workout may be done first thing Monday morning

– 75 to 120 minutes

– Power zones guided

– Varying RPM work

– Low RPM focus with sets of 5-15min @ 55-65rpm

– Supporting Session

 

Additional Notes:

The week above is how I often structure things, but it is normal for me to have to change the day for a key bike.  I want quality efforts on all my key bike sessions so if I know I am not ready to hit a session properly I will push it to the next day and the adjust the next few days of Bike Training accordingly.  This necessity to change a workout day may happen once about every 14 days, and every time I have listened to my body and done the workout the next day I have achieved or surpassed the workout goals.

Alright, so that concludes my quick update!  Thanks for reading, and check back soon for my text Podcast episode!

-Adam

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