Tag: Beginners Guide (page 1 of 2)

Running with Power: A Crash Course

I’ve been running with a power meter for several months now. My first impressions were great, but I never went “all in” on training with it… until now.

It’s “off season” which means taking a break from the normal  structure of training, but not from exercise all together. I did take a bit of a break, but a Thanksgiving day Half Marathon is calling my name! For 6 weeks I thought it would be a good idea to train with running power alone and not even look at pace on my training runs. I’ll let you know how it goes after Thanksgiving, but for now, let’s get a bit of a crash course on training with running power.

1. Running Power is not measured same as Cycling Power

This is the first thing you need to understand. Cycling power is now a very mature technology. Almost all power meters for cycling measure direct force (the amount of force you are directly putting into the pedals/crank/rear hub). A Running power meter, however, is a different animal. Most running power meters measure movement or force in a 3 dimensional plane. In other words, not all of your running power is used to propel yourself forward. Side-to-side, up-and-down, and forward motion all add to running power.

This can help us see that as our pace goes down but we go up a hill, there is less forward progress, but we can still measure our work consistently (see next point).  It also tells us that as we bounce or wobble we are using power but not going any faster (see third point!)

2. Running with Power keeps your effort consistent

Many times we get a workout that prescribes running at X pace for X minutes. That is great, but what about going over a hill? What if the course we are running is rolling? Our effort going up the hill will need to increase to keep the same pace, and it will decrease when we are going down the other side. Multiply that by numerous hills on course and you many be spending half the prescribed amount of time in the prescribed zone.

Running power can help us stay on track when we are going over hills. Slow down going up and speed up going down. Too many people slow down running down hill and that only is wasting energy, fighting gravity, and trashing your quads!

3. Running with Power puts more emphasis on form

Form is so vitally important. The goal of a triathlon is not to get from point A to point B as fast as possible. It is to get from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. Efficiency not only makes you faster, but it also helps you go further, faster. As a race progresses, running form usually goes out the window. This is true in straight running races too!

My first run with a power meter opened my eyes to this more than ever before! The longer the run was, the slower I got and the more watts I was putting out. Both bad things!

One workout I found online was a form run where you hold a set wattage and try to up the pace through weeks in form. Something you couldn’t quantitatively measure before without a power meter!

So that is a simple explanation of running with power. A crash course if you will. Obviously pace and great rate are still very important metrics, and running power is still in it’s infancy, but it is a game changer for sure! I’ll be running solely off power until Thanksgiving, and I’ll pace my Half Marathon solely on power. Stay tuned for the results and my thoughts along the way!

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70.3 Race Plan

For many people, the Half Iron distance is the first big step into the long distance triathlon world. It makes sense. 70.3 is a whole lot shorter than 140.6. Most people can only handle one Ironman in a year, and the jump from Olympic to Half Iron isn’t as insurmountable as the jump up to Full Iron. The biggest hurdle comes in the form of planning. Pacing, nutrition, gear… it all changes in the jump to long course! Continue reading

A Good Race Always Starts with a Good Plan- Part 2

It’s race week here at Triathlonpal HQ, so I am in full taper and race mode! I’m getting ready to race again at the Cary Du Classic which agian is the host for USAT’s Long Course Duathlon Nationals.

I’ve written before about the Art of a Taper for the week(s) leading up to your race, and I’ve even written about the advantage of detailed planning for the bike leg with Best Bike Split. But this week I’m honing in on my total race plan. Yesterday I sat down and write out every detail I could think of for the week leading up to race day, and then race day itself.

Why?

Because I’m a total “Type A” triathlete and OCD about most things.

Why should I?

The less you have to think about on race week and especially race day, the better. Also, the longer the race ad the further you travel for it, the more this gets magnified!

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3 Things to Put in Your Training Log

Now you know you need to keep a training log, and you have your training log in hand (or on the computer). Now what do you put in that log?

Well I’m glad you asked! Really there is no wrong answer. Something to keep in mind though is that it is far better to put too much information in there than it is to put too little. You would rather be sifting through excess info to find what you need than to be wishing you had written something down. In general, I like to log these three types of info:

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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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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

3 Workouts for Time Crunched Triathletes

Time crunched… I guess that really describes all of us. Unless you are an elite level athlete, your life will always be competing with your hobby. Even then, elite athletes still have a family, sponsor obligations, and many of them have a side job to keep the lights on.

So everyone wants to know what workouts will give them the best bang for their buck fitness wise. Let’s be up front here… there is no magic pill you can take to make you faster (actually… there is, but USA Anti-Doping and WADA might have something to say to you about that… and even then it’s of questionable safety before we get into the morality of it… but that’s another topic.)

Back on topic… what can you do to get the most of out your limited training time? Continue reading

Winter Running Basics

It’s winter here in the northern hemisphere, and that means one of two things: either you are out running in less than ideal conditions, or your are on a treadmill. (or not at all… but that would be 3 things). Most of us don’t like treadmills, and since there is not the plethora of apps to make it as enjoyable as indoor cycling (although Zwift is changing that!!!) most of us are more inclined to brave the elements for our runs than we are for our bike rides. So here is my beginner’s guide to winter running! Continue reading

Rest and Recovery

You want to go faster? Train more… right? No… rest more. That’s right, training doesn’t make you stronger and faster, recovery does. It is during recovery that your body rebuilds itself after the stress of training and you get stronger. I’ve written about this before, but today it really hit home in my first recovery week of the season.

As you ramp up your training, you fitness increases, but so does fatigue. You get tired. I could feel it after 3 weeks back in training mode. My main workouts in this phase have been the strength training work. I could feel it in my hips as I started to really pile on the load. But I was getting tired. I had been taking the regularly recovery days, but sometimes you need a week to rest.

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