Thursday, February 28, 2013


This was the first ride after 4 days in NYC. I did ride pretty easy in the hotel gym and did some lifting. HR likely never went out of zone 1. Todays efforts went well with power at 324, 324, 329 and 329, cadence between 90 and 93 and HR average of 154, 157, 159 and 159. HR was actually higher than before I left town. Not surprising as that may have been a sign of some over-extending on the training and needing the rest.

next set of 4x10 Steady States

Monday, February 25, 2013

NYC Hotel Workouts

Its always hard to get in a good workout when traveling without a real bike but even a crummy hotel gym can be ok. The last two days I've ridden the fat-saddle LifeFitness bike and hour and an hour and a half (usually an hour in the am and 30 minutes late in the day) and then knocked out 100 pushup, did curls, arms extensions, presses, planks, squat combo's, and some lunges. Along with the three hours of walking around NYC/Central Park, with more today, it's actually been a pretty physical trip. Its nice to leave some of the high intensity stuff off the schedule for a week or so.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Training on a Knifes Edge

Great article fome Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review, December 2012 - Volume 20 - Issue 4 - p 214–216 With the need to train in 3 different disciplines, many triathletes walk a so-called “knife’s edge.” They must try to balance ideal training to maintain optimal fitness in 3 sports at the best of their abilities, versus risking an overuse injury and not being able to race, finish, or even participate in a triathlon.1,2,3,4An overuse injury is a damaged tissue that occurs so gradually that the triathlete often can not remember the exact onset.5 The damage is the result of a series of repetitive microtraumatic events that is too much for the tissue to repair itself before it is required to perform again.5 Over time, this constant breakdown without a corresponding recovery and repair period can overwhelm tendon, cartilage, bone, or muscle and lead to an overuse injury.5The initial treatment for most overuse injuries is to temporarily stop training or reduce training mileage, take medication, and seek medical aid.3,5,6 Follow-up treatment and prevention should focus on correcting training errors, strengthening tissues, and evaluating volume and/or intensity devoted to each discipline.3,5,6 From the beginner to the elite, all triathletes can place themselves at risk for overuse injuries. One study identified the risk of overuse injury increasing as the volume increased in Olympic distance triathletes and as intensity increased in Ironman distance triathletes.4One advantage of the sport of triathlon is the triathlete’s ability to rebalance training volume and intensity over 3 separate sports.3 Many triathletes, over the course of a season, suffer an overuse injury in 1 discipline, but they may be able to avoid aggravating the injured tissue by switching their focus to the other 2 disciplines. Thus, they have the potential opportunity to avoid significant loss in cardiovascular fitness.3It is not uncommon to find injured triathletes logging extra yardage in the pool while they rest and rehabilitate overuse injuries they might have sustained running or cycling. In fact, the senior author of this article, also a professional/elite triathlete, can attest to triathletes who are required by sponsorship obligations to race at specific venues and commonly race with minor overuse injuries throughout the entire season. Some even manage to perform quite well, despite limited ability to train a specific discipline outside of race day. This approach is not recommended for the amateur triathlete as it can lead to further injury, frustration, and burn out in the sport.2 Back to Top | Article Outline DISCUSSION The sport of modern triathlon consisting of swimming, biking, and running segments was first raced in September, 1974 in Mission Bay, San Diego, CA by members of the San Diego Track Club.7 The first Ironman distance race was the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon held on February 18, 1978.7 Triathlon has continued to grow significantly since its founding. It now includes thousands of races with millions of competitors worldwide each year. In 2010, USA Triathlon boasted a membership of >150,000, and worldwide an estimated 2.3 million unique individuals completed a triathlon in 2010.8 Many runners, cyclists, and swimmers began their triathlon career after an injury in their primary sport derailed their training, and they logged a significant amount of time in another discipline. Some athletes stick to the sport of triathlon because the training is spread over 3 separate disciplines, and they can adjust their training to suit their lifestyle needs.Part of triathlon training is becoming accustomed to changing the discipline with each workout or even within a given workout. Triathletes often perform elements of training in multiple disciplines in any given day. For example, this may require a triathlete swim in the morning and cycle and run in the evening, thus performing each of 3 disciples within a 24-hour period. The ease by which a triathlete is able to mix the 3 sports is met with the ever present need to maintain fitness across 3 disciplines. Because of the spread between the 3 sports, many triathletes have an overall training volume and/or intensity that are higher than single-sport athletes.9,10 One study looking at increased volume and intensity in cycling and running found that it may have a “cumulative stress,” with triathletes having a higher risk of recurrence and a longer rehabilitation. However, there was not the same “cumulative stress” when the increased load was shifted to swimming.4Generally, triathlon training programs have the same aim as a regime focused only on swimming, cycling, or running. The goal in endurance sports is to stress the musculoskeletal system to the point of fatigue, with the idea that after a period of recovery, the muscles and tendons will adapt by becoming stronger, bigger, and more fatigue resistant.5 In triathlon, unlike the focus in a single sport, the triathlete has the ability to stress the cardiovascular system in 3 disciplines, with swimming not adding to overstress of the musculoskeletal system.4 For example, a triathlete may swim hard in the morning, and then be able to relatively rest the upper body while stressing the legs in a cycling practice in the evening. Of note, the heart also gets stressed differently with different disciplines. Research on myocardial adaptation in endurance athletes has shown that athletes have sport-specific left ventricular adaptation.11 The heart of a triathlete and the heart of a cyclist have been shown to differ significantly from a marathoner’s heart.11 Specifically, left ventricular mass was higher in triathletes than marathoners, and left ventricular wall stress was lower in triathletes than marathoners.11As is the case for single-sport athletes if the training is not structured and balanced appropriately, a musculoskeletal system that is unable to completely recover from the stresses of training could lead to an overuse injury. The symptoms of fatigue and the inability to recover from a workout or race are commonly lumped into the term “overtraining.” Overtraining can precede and signify the need for increased rest and recovery.5 Specifically in triathlon, a history of high running mileage, previous injury, inadequate warming-up and cooling-down regimes, and increasing years of experience appear to have individual associations with injury incidence.1Swimming and cycling have been shown to have a significantly lower injury rate per 1000 training hours when compared to running.1 During the competitive season the volume of running mileage has been shown to be the most significant predictor of injury.1 Again, to emphasize that triathletes are not immune from overuse injuries, in 1 survey of 72 amateur triathletes, 75% of them reported sustaining triathlon-related overuse musculoskeletal injuries during a competitive season.12In another study, the incidence of triathlon overuse injury was reported based on training hours, showing 2.5 per 1000 training hours in the preseason and 4.6 per 1000 training hours during the competition season.1 This is similar to running injuries, which have been reported in the literature to have an incidence varying between 2.5 to 12.1 injuries per 1000 hours of running.13 A more recent study looked at all injuries (traumatic and overuse) sustained during triathlon competition and found it to be 20.1 per 1000 hours of competition. They also found that the injuries were predominantly sustained during the run (38.4%) and cycling (14.3%) disciplines. Lower limb injuries accounted for 59.5% of all injuries. The competitors at highest risk of injury were elite/junior elite, Olympic distance, and 12- to 19-year-olds.14 Back to Top | Article Outline Symptoms/Factors of Overtraining The key to avoiding a potential season ending overuse injury is to identify the symptoms early and make appropriate training adjustments.5 With overtraining, a triathlete may continue to feel fatigued despite what would normally be an adequate period of rest.5 Besides fatigue, other symptoms may signify the onset of overtraining including: irritability, increased resting heart rate, poor sleep, frequent illness, depressed mood, and decreased performance.5There are several recognized physical and psychological factors that contribute to overtraining. Although every triathlete is different in his/her ability to handle increases in training volume and intensity, some authors advocate a starting place for many is to avoid increasing volume or intensity by >10% per week.15 For most triathletes, increases of >10% a week are thought to pose too high a physical stress to appropriately recover from.15 With the need to maintain proficiency across 3 sports, this can be a challenging rule for many triathletes to abide by. Many triathletes feel the need to train because they enjoy the β-endorphin and corticotropin-releasing hormone increase linked to endurance sports and resulting in positive mood changes.16 In addition, other triathletes may be motivated to train by general physical bodily adaptations such as weight loss and increased muscular tone. They may feel if a little more is good, a lot more is better, and they further increase their training volume and/or intensity. Finally, it is common to see beginner triathletes so excited to start their new training program that they go all out without any restraint in their training, doing too much too soon. As many North American Ironman distance triathlons require registration a year or more in advance of the race, the authors have seen it commonplace that a beginner triathlete sign up for that race and then, in his/her excitement increase volume and intensity too rapidly.In 2009, USA Triathlon sanctioned research on all of its annual members showing that the average income of a USA Triathlon member was $126,000 with a very high percentage of professional workers.17 It is possible that the high socioeconomic standing of many triathletes may add into the training mix a dose of long work hours, sleep deprivation, and travel. Combined stresses can quickly overwhelm a triathlete and make them susceptible to overuse injuries. Heaped on top of the physical stress is the additional psychological stresses of school, job, and financial or family pressures. Triathlon is a time-intensive sport with amateur Ironman triathletes spending, on average, 7.7 h/wk training for the cycling portion alone and amateur half Ironman triathletes spending 5.8 h/wk training for the cycling portion alone.18 Pressure to balance life along with maintaining fitness in the 3 disciplines can contribute to the triathlete slipping over the knife’s edge onto the risks of overtraining. Back to Top | Article Outline Management of Overtraining Knowledge of the symptoms and prompt identification of overtraining is the first step to prevention and treatment.5,19 Once the symptoms are identified, cutting back on volume and intensity is required.5 First, recognize the symptoms. In the setting of a poor performance do not make the mistake of pushing harder.5,19,20 Sometimes further training can only compound the problems and lead to an even poorer performance.19,20 Increasing sleep, avoiding dehydration, and maintaining an appropriate diet, all promote muscle fueling and tissue repair and rebuilding.5,19,20Basic science on the musculoskeletal system supports the modification of activities for 3 to 4 weeks after an overuse injury.5 In light of this, some authors advocate the “Rule of Sevens,” ideally suited to multisport training.15 In essence, at the onset of an overuse injury, it is recommended to take 7 days completely off from any aggravating activity, and focus on cross training in the other major muscle groups. If, after 7 days, the athlete is pain free, move into the next 7-day period, which consists of 7 days of slow and easy training while performing the activity that caused the injury. If there is still no pain after 7 days in the second phase, move into the third phase. The third phase consists of a gradual increase in intensity and duration over 7 days. By the end of this 21-day period, the athlete should be ready to train back at full speed and intensity. If, at any point in any 7-day phase the athlete feels any pain, he should back up to the previous phase and extend it as long as necessary.15 Alternatively, the option for complete cessation of activity for 3 to 4 weeks can be followed.5 It is likely, however, that the latter treatment may lead to poor compliance among triathletes. These are general guidelines for self-management of overuse injuries specific to triathlon, and it can easily be altered depending on the diagnosis and the triathlete’s and treating practitioners’ experience. Practitioners who have triathletes who refuse complete cessation may find the Rule of Sevens as a reasonable approach to increase triathlete compliance. Back to Top | Article Outline Balance Between 3 Sports Swimming and cycling offer great nonimpact alternatives to running and have been shown to have lower rates of injury.1,12,14 Someone who has been constantly sidelined by a running injury during preparation for a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, or marathon may have slightly less injury rates in the sport of triathlon.1,12,13,14 In triathlon, they can tailor their training to be focused more heavily on swimming and can thus avoid the cumulative stress that has been seen with cycling and running.4The strengthening of other surrounding and core muscle groups is a mainstay in overuse injury prevention.5 It seems intuitive that triathlon, with the need to strengthen different muscle groups, would aid in injury prevention. Specific studies looking at triathlon for rehabilitation purposes are lacking, but inferring data from other studies show that triathlon has shown equivalent and slightly less injury rates when compared to running, and higher injury rates than solely swimming or cycling.1,2,12,13,14 Back to Top | Article Outline CONCLUSIONS Triathlon gives athletes 3 sports to attempt to master and maintain fitness, strength, and optimal weight. The sport has grown tremendously in recent years into an Olympic sport with millions of participants worldwide. The overuse injuries associated with swimming, biking, and running also occur in triathlon. The data supports a similar rate of injury between triathlon and running, with running comprising the majority of injuries in triathlon.1,12,13,14 Triathlon has shown increased positive manifestations on the heart, more so than marathon running, but similar to cycling.11 Knowing and avoiding the symptoms of overtraining and focusing on the disciplines that do not cause pain may help athletes continue to train and race.5,15 Early identification of overtraining symptoms, and a corresponding reallocation of balance between each discipline may help prevent many overuse injuries.15 Back to Top | Article Outline

Thursday, February 21, 2013

last two days of training

On Wednesday morning I rode my 8:15 spin class (55 minutes at 246 watts) and then did my 9:15 one hour circuit. In the circuit we did plenty of lunges in all directions, lots of core/foundation work, and plyometrics throughout. It's a tiring two hours. Todays 4x10 steady states were inside and power was 324, 326, 327 and 328 with the goal being about 330. With some traveling over the weekend and into ealry next week, and only the hotel bike and gym, I'll likely do another set of 4x10's tomorrow. Overall power is right on for this time of year.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Comments on 4x10's

After doing these inside yesterday the warm weather today was too nice to pass up so I went to Ault Park. You can see by the graph that I did about 30 laps to get in the 4x10's. Each ten minutes took about 5.5 to 5.75 laps. Compared to yesterdays indoor efforts at 325 or so today I was at 339, 331, 334 and 326. The challenge on that course is to not go too high on the uphill and hold the power going down. It's surprising that in an hour on that course I gained 2000' in climbing. Doesn't seem like each lap has that much gain but it adds up. Certainly easier to do these outside than inside on the training. Be able to work the bike, hop out of the saddle, etc, all helps. Two more days on these later in the week and then its four days off in NYC.

4x10's at Ault Park

Friday, February 15, 2013

4x10 steady states

I used Newfound Gap Road in Greats Smoky Mtn National Park starting close to the park entrance for these. The goal was four, 10 minute efforts at 330 watts. The results were 336, 333, 330 and 331 with cadence at 85-87 average and HR averaging in the low 150's but reaching 160. I threw in another nice climb up Cherokee Orchard Road and was looking at riding the one way Roaring Fork Motor Trail but the sunny skies that I started the ride in (55 degrees when I left) had turned to a drizzle and then a steady rain and the temps dropped into the mid 40's. Still ended up with 3900' of climbing in 2.5 hours, normalized power of 270 and a TSS of 163. Tomorrow is an off day before more 4x10's on Sunday.

4x10 Steady States

Comments on Gatlinburg-Cades Cove

This is one of my favorite rides. From our chalet to Cades Cove and riding the loop is a 75 mile trip. The elevation gain is only about 5500' as a lot of the ride is along Little River Road. There is a decent climb to Fighting Creek Gap and another to the cove. The loop around the cove is flat to rolling with a few short but steep climbs. There wasn't much traffic but the spikes in power are from passing cars and the short climbs. Average power over the 4:40 was just under 200 watts so Endurance pace all the way.

Gatlinburg-Cades Cove, elevation and Power

Gatlinburg-Cades Cove and back elevation

Monday, February 11, 2013

This past week and this week

Last week was pretty much all about the 2x8 power intervals. Late in the week I rode a few days at endurance pace and taught two spin classes for Pedal for Parkinsons. The last of the indoor time trials was on Sunday but I decided to skip it. I was pretty well ahead in my age bracket and one of the goals this year is to ride fewer time trials. Last year I did about 38 and we determined that was too many so skipping this one is a good start to riding fewer but ideally faster events this year. It was good to see a couple of my clients post PR or close to PR's at this event. It can be frustrating when they ride on that is slower than expected but this is usually the result of the training load this time of year. Even with s small taper they can get back to their big power. This is a C event on the calendar but we all still like to post some fast times. Just the same, its only February so no need to be in anywhere near peak condition. I picked up an amazing Tommasini Sintesi last week on ebay. Its ten years old but looks brand new with all of the amazing chrome lugs, signature T engraved in them and the bottom bracket, the chrome fork and stays and the super nice blue paint with silver and red highlights. I have a 1986 Tommasini Super Prestige that I still ride so it will be nice to have a newer model. It came with Campy Chorus but I'm converting it to Shimano so my training wheels/Powertap will work on it. I'll be selling the Campy gear if any one is interested. Heading to Tennessee to ride Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and maybe Saturday. I have some steady states on the schedule and some long endurance rides. The weather is supposed to be sunny and in the mid 50's. I'll be posting photo's on Facebook. It's been great to see so many people in my classes. The two Circuit classes have been between 30 and 38 each week and the four Spin classes have been from 20-35 (filled). The latest shipment of Keiser bikes makes teaching a lot of fun with the wattage function. We used it yesterday in the 90 minute Indoor Endurance when we did some one minute and five minute efforts. Everyone was gunning for big average power.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

8x2 day 2 comments

These are not much fun on day 2. Power average was 394 for all eight so about 20 watts below yesterday. Yesterday I set the power on the Cycle-ops at 410-420. Today I was lucky to keep the cadence going with the power at 380. 390 and 400. Still, better than what I was holding three years ago for similar efforts.

8x2's, day 2

Monday, February 4, 2013

8x2 comments

A week ago I rode outside in short sleeves and today its 25 and snow on the ground so these were ridden inside. Average power for all was 412 and cadence at 99. Power averages for all eight were 416, 422, 419, 413, 414, 403, 404 and 403. Less than last weeks outside but not unusual, and also had two more efforts. Have them on the schedule again tomorrow.

8x2 graph

Friday, February 1, 2013

Gerry Schulze Takes Bronze at CX Worlds

Congratulations to my friend, neighbor, fellow Cincinnati Sports Club spin instructor and CinciCyclingCoach client, Gerry Schulze for her 3rd place finish in the 45-49 womens category at the World CX Championships yesterday in Louisville, KY. Gerry had the podium as a goal and she put in a lot of time to get there. I like to think that all of those trips up and down Heekin Avenue helped. Way to go Gerry!!!!

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