Inside Steady States
Took yesterday off and have a busy day tomorrow so I did 4x8 steady state today and held 342, 342, 342 and 343. Felt pretty good. Still not 100% but getting there. Doing these inside increases the perceived effort substantially but at 30 degrees I'm not about to head outside. Overall just a few watts shy of where I was before I got the flu a couple of weeks ago.
12 minute steady states
Did 12 minute at 351, 348 and 350, just about 2-3 minutes between and then an 8 minute effort at 338. Avg power for 1:18, 281, NP 316. Used Riverside Drive from Delta to Sawyer point for the 12 minute effort in and out of downtown for these. Upper 40's felt good after riding in the upper 30's.
Endurance Summit Registration Open
4x8's on Christmas
After dealing with the flu the last two weeks with it finally tapering to a cough I headed out today to Ault Park do some 4x8 steady state efforts. First time in about two weeks that I've hit it hard and things went well with power at 355, 359, 350, and 352. Still kind of chilly with temps in the upper 30's but better to do these outside than in. Picked up where I left off for the most part. Will do some 4x10's tomorrow or Saturday.
Still Not Feeling It
Tried to do some more 5 minute efforts at 330-350, no problem holding 8-10 pre-flu, but only did 4 today before calling it. Seems like it may take a couple of weeks to really get back to feeling 100%.Feel fine at 200 watts but going for tt+ power just isn't there.
Reading Iron War about Dave Scott and Mark Allen and their epic battles in Kona. Great book. Well worth checking it out.
First Day Back with Some Intervals
as sent to my coach
The first half hour was an early morning ride before going to the office. Power was at recovery pace. Mid morning I ended up doing 6x5 minutes with more of a focus on HR than power. On the first one at 340 my HR was already hitting 160+ and truly it didn't feel right. I went for 150-155 on the others and this felt good. Power was 320-low 330's I think. Its going to take some more time to get back to 100%. This flu took a lot out of me. I usually race at around 169-172 lbs and will hold 172-175 during the winter. Current weight is 167. I just din't eat much for 3-4 days. Good new is body fat is low also at 8%. I feel better heavier. Given the asthma issues I had with thsi flu I thought todays efforts were a good compromise. I don't feel too depleted but it felt good to ride with some power.
Back At It
Will be doing some 4x8 or 4x10 efforts later this morning after pretty much being off the last week. Really no rush this time of year as the only thing on the calendar is the indoor tt series with the next one January 11. Disappointed to have missed last Sundays but in my age bracket I think my time is secure. The next closest is 70-80 seconds back.
Down and out
I haven't had the flu in a long time, like a decade or more, but I have it now. my doctor tested me and its either the A or B strain the shot protected against. Actually a week off at this point probably isn't a bad option. Better now than in the late winter/spring. Still, not much fun with a 102 temperature for 2 days.
Good time of the year to...
…ask yourself if your training for the winter months is better than that of your competition. Are they training more, less or the same as you? Are they striking smarter than you? More training can be good or bad but smart training pays off. This is the toughest time of the year on my schedule for training. Once the season kicks in, the weekly races along with another day or two of intervals is all it takes. The real work is in building power over the winter months not to a peak but to a new plateau. I want all of my zones to creep up each year so that what used to be tempo is now upper endurance, steady state power is not what tt power used to be and tt power is un uncharted territory. Harder to do as you get older but I'm not close to conceding in gaining power.
Will be meeting with Dawn Weatherwax and Dr. Barbara Walker re a training summit this winter. Haven't done one in a few years but the last couple we did were well attended. We'll gear this one towards endurance athletes and not jus cyclists. I'll also be working with Morgans on their triathlon and mud gauntlet in setting up training schedules and offering hands on training clinics. More info to follow.
4x8 steady state/tt efforts
Went outside in the mid 30's weather rather than do these inside. Used the course at Ault Park and held 356, 351, 355 and 354 watts with 2 minutes between. Indoor tt on Sunday. Will ride easy on Friday and Saturday with just some light endurance.
Mixing CX and Winter Road Training
Had some great questions from a young rider (20 something) from TX re adding in some CX endurance rides and how that would impact training for the upcoming road race season later in the winter and into the spring. Here was my reply:
That really is about it. I'm not opposed to the time of 4-6 hours. I think it is good to get in the long rides especially given your upcoming racing. Too many people never get those hours in and then wonder why they suck at 80 mile races. You have to be used to riding that long and with working in varied intensity otherwise the first hard effort leaves you off the back. I do also want to be sure that we don't get mentally burned out. Even though these are B or C races I know that its hard to not race at full throttle. Our weekly tt is a C race. Tell that to my heart and legs! You're young and highly motivated and I want to make sure we keep the latter going through a long season. Just being aware of it is a step in the right direction. I don't have any major concerns as we'll add in the proper recovery.
At the USAT coaches clinic the one presenter said that he makes everyone he works with take off one full week for every 200 hours of training/racing. He had a pro who once they worked through the races on his schedule and the training owed him 4 weeks off as a recovery. personally I don't know that the physical side gains much after the first week off. I could see the 800 hours he accumulated requiring a mental break. Still not sure that 4 weeks would;t work the other way and make me feel like I had lost everything. I tend to go with the one-liner block training: we don't go through big base, build, peak as much as keep training for a variety of power outputs over various time frames and take off days each week to recover. Its kind of a cluster of short and super intense and long and mildly intense but I think the average age grouper/non-por cat rider keeps interested and doesn't burn out. Ideally.
I saw these in the January 2015 edition of Outside Magazine:
Altitude training improves performance at sea level: unless you're also racing at altitude the benefits are negligible and questionable; spending money on the altitude tent might be better allocated elsewhere
mental training is only for the pro's: visualizing your performance, in a good way, has proven benefits for any level of athlete
an ice bath helps with recovery: studies show the benefits compared to those who don't having done the same workout are just not there; actually icing can interfere with the natural healing process; unless you have an injury, icing isn't helping
cramps are caused by fluid and electrolyte imbalance: not at all, but rather from weak muscle groups; overworked muscles cause cramping; during periods of fatigue your neurons are firing too often and other not enough, and thats a cramp; also, as we sweat, the concentration of salt in our blood increases due to the loss of fluid which is greater proportionally than the loss of sodium
special diets are the way to go: low carb, pale, etc, truly are no better than just following a balanced diet that meets your fueling and recovery needs; no one diet is best for everyone
4x8 steady state
Todys 8 minute efforts with 4 minutes between were 339, 350, 350 and 352. The first effort is always a warmup. I set the CycleOps to 340 watts. Effort two and three I went right to 350 from the start. The fourth effort I rode 2:30 at 340, 2:30 at 350 and then 3:00 at 360. HR was hitting 170 for the last few minutes of the last two or 93% of max or 106% of LT HR. Last years steady zone was about 10 watts lower but the last field test (2x8 minutes at 400) raised all of the zones.
Two days of 4x8 steady states on the schedule
Will be trying to hold about 350 on these or about 4.5 watts/kg. Solo in the basement is always more of a challenge than outside, at least mentally. Power actually doesn't change much but the time seems to go much slower inside. I always try to pick two songs that last about 4 minutes so I have some idea when each is about completed. HR is ideally right around 161, my LT.
USA Triathlon certified
Just found out yesterday that I passed the 75 multiple choice, ten short essay and two training plan design test that we took home from the Lexington, KY clinic. While not planning to do any tri's myself I do work with several people participating so I thought getting certified wouldn't hurt. USAT seems like a great organization.
4x8 steady state's
Had a break from the long tempo's with 4x8 steady states. Hadn't done these in a while but held 338, 344, 349 and 352. HR was hovering around 165 near the end of the last two so pushed above LT a little.
Does Sweating Less Mean I'm Not Working As Hard?
from the Carmichael Training System email on December 2, 2014
Chris, I’m relatively new to triathlon and to serious training. Over the past several months I’ve been making steady progress, and recently I’ve noticed that I’ve started sweating more. The conditions (temp and humidity) are about the same as they’ve been, but I’m sweating a lot more. Does that mean I’m getting more fit?
- Jackie Gallagher, training for my first Ironman!
The short answer to your question, assuming that the environmental conditions have been roughly constant, is yes. Improving fitness impacts the way your body works in a wide variety of ways, and your sweat response to exercise changes as you become more fit because you’re increasing the workload your body has to be able to handle.
Sweat is one of your body’s primary means of preventing your core temperature from rising to dangerous levels. During exercise, the majority of the calories you burn actually generate heat instead of powering forward motion (sorry, but that’s just the way it is). In fact, on the bike you are only about 20-25% efficient, meaning 75% of the energy you produce becomes heat. That heat has to be dissipated, so your body dilates blood vessels near the skin to carry some of that heat away from your core to areas where cooler air flowing over the skin can carry away some of the heat. Sweat makes the cooling process work even better, because as sweat evaporates off your skin it takes a lot of heat with it.
As you become more fit, you are able to work harder. You generate more power on the bike and maintain a faster pace on the run and in the water. But the ability to work harder also means you have the ability to generate a lot of heat in a very short period of time. You also have the endurance to sustain exercise longer, meaning you have the capacity to generate heat for a longer period of time. Your body has to adapt to these demands in order to keep your core temperature stable. Here are a couple of ways it does that:
You start sweating sooner: Your body’s sweat response gets quicker as you gain fitness. This means you’ll see sweat appearing on your skin sooner after you start exercising than you did when you were a novice. These days, when you start warming up your body knows what’s coming next, so it ramps up the cooling process more quickly to stay ahead of the rise in core temperature.
Your sweat volume increases: When the house is on fire, you open up the spigots and get as much water on it as you can. For the fire within, we don’t want to extinguish it but we need to control it, and the more sweat you get onto your skin the more likely you are to be able to keep core temperature from rising out of control. So your body becomes better at creating sweat.
You lose fewer electrolytes per unit volume: As your body is adapting to sweat more and sooner, it also changes the composition of sweat so that you retain more electrolytes than you used to. You’ll still need to replenish electrolytes during exercise, but this adaptation helps to keep the electrolyte requirement manageable.
Fit athletes sweat more because they need to. They generate more heat and have to produce more sweat in order to maximize their evaporative cooling capacity. That means fit athletes have to consume more fluid so you have more to contribute to sweat. But sometimes sweating isn’t enough, or sweat might be enough to keep you moving but you could optimize your performance by helping your body stay cool. That’s where hydration, apparel choices, ice socks/vests, cold sponges, etc. come into play. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
Hydration is your source for sweat: The better you hydrate – during exercise as well as throughout the day – the more efficient your body will be when it comes to sweat production. Remember, when there’s not enough fluid to go around, your body starts an internal competition for resources, and all systems experience diminished performance. You don’t absorb and digest food as well, your muscles don’t function as well, and you don’t regulate core temperature as well.
Evaporative cooling works just as well whether it’s your sweat or bottled/tap water that’s evaporating off your skin. Even if you’re well hydrated, it’s a good idea to dump water over your head and body during training sessions and races in hot weather. You’ll make your body’s job a bit easier by slightly alleviating the demand for sweat. Ice socks work the same way; the ice absorbs heat from your body to melt the ice, and then the water carries away additional heat as it evaporates out of clothing or off your skin.
Electrolyte drinks or carbohydrate/electrolyte drinks should be a part of during-exercise nutrition strategy whenever your workouts are going to be longer than 1 hour. For workouts shorter than an hour, electrolyte drinks may still be somewhat helpful, but generally you’ll start short workouts with enough carbohydrates and electrolytes on board to complete a high-quality one-hour session.
Founder/Head Coach of CTS
Thought and action for the day
sent to me by a friend every morning...thought this was a good one to pass on
Thought of the Day
Midlife crisis begins sometime in your 40s, when you look at your life and think, Is this all? And it ends about 10 years later, when you look at your life again and think, Actually, this is pretty good.
Action of the Day
Take stock of what you have, not of what you do not have. Don’t “settle”, but don’t regret either.