Category: coaching

4 Thoughts On Season Planning

You may have noticed things have been quiet around here over the last month. I would say that was intentional… but that would kinda be lying a bit. The month of July has been crazy for me, and that’s normal for my job (I’m a Youth Pastor… summer means we throw the schedule in the trash as soon as we make it and pack in as much as we can while school is out!) This past month we’ve had a Community Outreach Week, a trip to an amusement park, a week-long trip to Atlanta, GA (Go Braves!!) and various other things thrown in like planning for the start of the school year,  family coming to town, and even church softball.

With all that craziness, my triathlon focus went out the door. I was able to keep up my bike rides for the most part. Runs were cut short, and swimming… well… I only swam 3 times in the month of July.

That put me down the path of thinking about season planning. We all know when our busy time of year is. If you’re in retail, Black Friday to New Years is your time. If you are in Education, the start and end of the school year are your time. I’m not going to go through them all, but you know what your time is. Since you know it, you should also take a look at your triathlon (or individual sport) season and plan accordingly. Here are 4 ways you can help ease that tension between life and triathlon life by planning ahead. Continue reading

Running Power Meters… First Impression

Being on the bleeding edge is exciting. But you can also get cut deep (hints the “bleeding” part). Power meters were once bleeding edge technology, but today they are common sights. Ask experienced cyclist or triathlete the best upgrade they can make, and they will (should) tell you to get a power meter (If you don’t already have one). But running power meters? That’s bleeding edge!

There really are only a few names in the game right now as it comes to running power meters. The big name is Stryd, now on their second gen unit. The other is RPM2. A few others are out there, but they are more fringe and aren’t specifically power meters like Lumo run and SHFT. The biggest question hanging over running power meters is, are they worth it? Continue reading

Are you stressed out?

Are you stressed out? That’s a phrase we hear a lot. I’m stressed. Don’t stress about it. Man, this is stressing me out!

We throw that word around, but do we really know what it means?

The actual definition of stress is either “pressure or tension exerted on a material object” or “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”

So really, there are two types of stress that an athlete needs to be aware of. The first is the kind we are all focused on: training stress. If you use Training Peaks you are probably very familiar with the term TSS or Training Stress Score. This is developed to help an athlete track the amount of tri naming stress they were placing on their bodies. This metric has become very popular now simply because it is such a good way to measure training load. It takes into account not only the duration of your training, but also the intensity of it as well. Over time an athlete can know very well how much they are able to handle as well as how much they need to increase their training week after week to see continual benefits.

The other type of stress is life stress. where training stress is mostly physical, life stress is mostly mental. We all know that feeling we get when work gets crazy or things are piling up around the house. The mental strain affects us physically and can adversely affect other areas of our lives such as training.

I recently got clued into this and how the two are so closely linked. I knew they were, but had never really tested the limits of how much stress my body can take. (Side note: this is not something I recommend as you will see.)

Coming off my first peak of the season I took a good week off and then slowly started to edge back into tri naming. I had a few weeks wiggle room in my plan so I wasn’t really going to hit things too hard at the start of this next build to give myself some more time off without being fully “off.”

About that time, my boss took his summer vacations and I was the one tasked with picking up the slack. Things went very smoothly, but there was a larger load of stress on my shoulders than I have been use to. I handled it well and was able to keep raining like I had planned, but then a few nights of not sleeping well on top of it all and I could tell I was not my normal self.

During this time I had also been tracking my Heart Rate Variability (HRV). This is a metric that, like resting heart rate, can clue you into how well you are recovering. My numbers had slowly gotten worse without my tri naming really ramping up yet. I knew something was up but I didn’t do anything about it.

To start off my first block of rinsing building to my next peak, I had an FTP test scheduled. That morning I could feel a little something off, and my HRV confirmed what I felt. The app I’ve been using (HRV4training) told me to take it I didn’t listen. I ran into the test full speed… and blew up catastrophically! I was a mess.

Thankfully I knew what my FTP was from a recent test so I just left things the same. But, I learned an important lesson: stress comes from many places. Take it a rest day when you don’t have one planned is ok. When you pr body tells you it’s time to ease off the gas, LISTEN!

Sometimes stress comes from many places. Just because you could handle more tri naming stress, doesn’t mean your body isn’t already at its limit due to other factors like sleep and life stress.

The moral of the story, don’t overdo it. And track your HRV… more on that soon!

3 Types of Training Logs

So you want to start your training log, but you don’t know where to start. The good news is that this is totally up to you! You need to choose the type of log that you will actually use. It doesn’t matter how fancy it is if you don’t put any information in it.

Some people like high tech journals, and some people like $1 notebooks. Here are three types of journals for just about anyone!

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3 Reasons to Keep a Training Log

Some people have said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for different results.” Too often though, we do that in our training. We do the same thing week after week, season after season, and we wonder why we don’t get any better. Want to break out of that rut? Take a look at your training log and see what you’ve been doing and what you should change!

Oh… you haven’t been keeping a training log? Here’s 3 reasons to keep a training log, and 3 ways to do it!

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Smile… It’s All About Perspective

Smile… Seriously… Just take a second and smile 🙂

I was planning to post a review this morning, but a thought hit me on the trainer doing some 5 minute superathreshold intervals. I was reminded of something I heard in an interview with Trisports.com CEO Seton Claggett. He was asked what advice he would give new athletes. He passed along a perfect quote that was given to him as a young athlete.

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How to Approaching Training When You Are Sick

The goal of this blog is “learning from my mistakes.” That’s exactly what I’m doing right now. I’m sick. It’s no fun. What makes it worse is that there are a million things I’d rather be doing right now than trying to get better and get back to normal life.

But, it could be worse. I could be laying in bed I’m so sick. I could be 2 weeks or less from my A race. But I’m not. I’m 5 weeks out and still able to function. And the best part is that I think I have learned from my mistakes in the past and I’m handling my training better this time around. So, how do you handle training when your sick?

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A Single Sport Focus

The sport of triathlon is really made up on three different sports: swimming, cycling, and running. I know… shocker! When it comes to race day, being a single sport athlete won’t cut it. i remind myself that every race as I’m a behind the fast swimmers out of the water, or when the runners are pulling away from me on the first leg of a Duathlon. We’re triathletes, so we balance all three sports in training like we do on race day. But, there is something to be said for a single sport focus. Whether this be for a specific block of training or working on a weakness, it may be time to hone in on one sport for some time. Continue reading

Free 6 Week Triathlon Training Plan

Earlier this week I wrote about 3 ways to jumpstart your fitness for the new triathlon season. Well, here’s a 4th.

Today I’m releasing a FREE 6 Week training plan to get you ready for your first (or next) triathlon. The plan is primarily focused on those training for a Sprint Triathlon, but it will work just as well for the 6 weeks leading up to your next sprint before diving into some intermediate or long course racing.

In this plan I use all the same philosophies I use in my coaching and especially the 3 main workouts for time crunched triathletes. This is a great resource for you as you dive back into training or if you are just getting started. I hope you find this plan useful and that it helps you learn from my mistakes!

 

So get your FREE 6 Week Triathlon Training Plan!

3 Things to do for a “B” Race

We are all too familiar with our “A” race of the season. Be it that first Ironman, the National Championships, or even Worlds. for some, their “A” race may just be that first Tri, or that local race everyone loves. Whatever it is for you, it’s the big priority of the season. A person can only have a few of these each year. I would even put the number at a max of 2. But some of us want to race more than that. That is where “B” and “C” races come into play. They are the lower priority races you do just for experience or for fun.

“C” races are treated like a workout… nothin special… just go out and race and have fun while getting some good training. But what about “B” races? You don’t want to taper for them… but they are a little more important than your local sprint done on a whim that weekend. Here are 3 things you can do for that upcoming “B” race! Continue reading

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