Building a Road Map
I’ve recently been looking over some of my old training data and trying to apply it to training for three sports instead of one (swim/bike/run). I thought it might be a fun idea to share a little bit about how I track my training/racing.
TrainingPeaks.com is an awesome resource for tracking training and metric data. One that I’ve been using for a long time in conjunction with WKO+. Thankfully, both utilities work incredibly well with triathlon. Essentially, TrainingPeaks.com allows you to both plan workouts and then go back and analyze data as well as gauge fitness. This includes things like power/heart rate data, GPS, and your own personal description of the workout. You can track race data as well, but it’s not quite as robust as it should be. The main issue is handling multisport files. Read more
The Holy Grail of Running: The Track
When you talk to most endurance athletes, they will tell you about how many yards they swam, how many miles they biked or hours run, but there’s something that many miss: speed work. When asked about structured training (speed work), it’s almost like ask a war veteran about their experiences. No one likes to talk about it. There’s this sense that the thing that athletes fear most is hard intervals. It’s easy to just drone away for endless hours in the saddle, but allow me to set the record straight, and I make no apologies for what I’m about to say, if you are serious about getting fast and want to take your racing to a new level, you have to learn to love hard training. There’s no two ways about it. Read more
Triathlon is a strange beast. If I told you it was three sports, I wouldn’t quite be telling the truth. If I said it was one, that wouldn’t be quite right either. The truth of the matter is that tri is three sports in one, but each one has a symbiotic relationship with the other two, which is somewhat obvious to the naked eye, but that exact relationship may not be as simple. Specifically, recovery is much more of a balancing act than I anticipated. I always thought there was some residual fatigue between workouts, but couldn’t never quite fathom exactly what that meant. Learning the push and pull between stimulus and recovery will probably be my greatest challenge in taking up triathlon. After several weeks of training, I now have an initial idea of what that means: Read more
Under the Knife
Wow! What a crazy day Monday was. For those unaware, several months ago I was involved in a bike accident that ended my cycling career, but spurred my entry into triathlon. Unfortunately, part of that accident was a chip of bone floating around in my wrist, cause excruciating pain whenever I move it. Well, on Monday the doctor removed it! It was quite the process, although not particularly exciting. I’ll be out of the pool for a couple of weeks, but, once everything is healed, I’ll be back to doing a poor dolphin impression in no time! After I cam out of the anastesia, I was a mess though! Apparently, all I could talk about was my wife’s pregnancy as well as this website! I was very adamant that the nurses visit my little corner of the internet. Read more
I’ve scheduled my first race and it’s going to be the 5430 Sprint Triathlon in Boulder. My form, so far, is coming along nicely to the point where I think I will be in contention for a top 10 overall or better. The biggest question mark for me, at this point, is the swim. My plan of attack is to continue to work on my form as well as get some more solid endurance swim sets in. Additionally, I plan on going to a few Master’s swim sessions to gain a little more top end speed. Read more
Strengths and Weaknesses
The first thing that any aspiring athlete that wants to take their sport to the next level should do is create a list of their strengths and weaknesses. How else are you going to create a plan to effectively target the short-comings in your game in order to get better? The second thing they should do, CREATE A PLAN to target those weaknesses whilst not giving up too much in their strengths. This all sounds very simple and common sense, but it amazes me how many athletes I meet that just sort of go with the flow and never actually get any better and then wonder why. Outside of the first couple of months or years of competing in a sport, you won’t make magical strength gains. You will eventually plateau and every performance gain thereafter will take serious dedication. Read more
Goals for 2011
Looking back at my 2010 season, I can honestly say that it was a roller coaster ride of, mostly, success the entire way and now that I’m coming off almost a week of no riding it’s time to look forward to 2011.
This next season will be my mark on Colorado racing. My wife has given me full reign to train as much and as hard as I want to and I plan to take full advantage of it. My coach, Tony Cruz, and I were elated at my progress throughout the season and he plans on running me through the ringer this winter and through next year in order to make next year awesome. Anyway, on to the list:
Upgrade to Category 2
Win a race
Complete the entire season without a DNF (Did Not Finish), only exceptions are “Acts of God”
Podium at all four state championship events:
- John Stenner Memorial Time Trial
- Air Force Academy Road Race
- Chuck Bolden Memorial Criterium
- Air Force Academy Road Race
Contribute BAT (Best All-Around Team) points, regardless of my category
Increase FTP to 275 watts (4.2 watts/kilo) by April 1st
Increase FTP to 285 watts (4.4 watts/kilo) by November 1st
Preparing for Battle
The last couple of weeks my coach has taken no mercy on me. Ever since I received my upgrade to Cat 3, he’s taken that as a sign that he should run my body into the ground! My rides have almost entirely consisted of climbing the various mountains and canyons in the greater boulder area, which I can tell you is brutal.
Despite the torture that my coach has managed to create, I can say that I feel stronger than ever and ready to tackle a big weekend of racing starting with the BRC criterium on Saturday, which leads to the Colorado road race championship on Sunday in Colorado Springs.
I’ll report back after the racing, but I can sense good things coming!
Sorry it’s been so long since the last update, my life has been consumed with training and racing.
Overall, the racing has been progressing well. I’ve made plenty of dumb mistakes this season, but I think I’ve got all the obvious ones behind me!
Nate, one of our P12 riders, has reset my entire training program again! I’m now set for more “Hard Core Riding” and more recovery riding. By doing both extremes more, I’ll be more ready to take on the demands of the peloton while staying fresh for races on the weekends and, so far, it’s working incredibly well. I’ve already seen my power go up across the board:
5sec – 1450 +11%
1min – 570 +11.5%
5min – 301 +2.5%
20min – 250 +3%
I figure I’ll keep this up until I plateau later this season, probably mid June sometime, and then I’ll need to revert to a short summer base training before the big races at the end of the season.
This weekend: Wheels of Thunder Circuit Race. The course looks to be mostly flat with a few rollers, which means we’ll probably see a bunch sprint at the end as long as we don’t see any crazy wind. Perfect for my riding style.
Till next time.