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training phases

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:19 am
by MikayP
im starting back my triathlon training after a little break. and trying to do it a bit more structured. ive been doing some research and heard some different opinions on how to get into the best fitness for an "A" race. ive read two conflicting arguments from different coaches

1) early in the season get fast at shorter distances, its easy for a fit person to keep that fast speed at a longer distance than they are used to (i.e. racing). then later in the season use that speed to increase the volume

2) increase your endurance early/slowly in the season to more efficiently: metabolize fat, build prevention of lactic acid buildup, prevent injury, decrease the chance of burnout. then later in the season use that endurance base to get faster at an easier rate

what you guys think?

im posting in the cyclin section cause thats really where im concentrating my training

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:37 am
by DanielS
Option (2) is the generally accepted route - build a 'base' of good aerobic fitness and conditioning, then add more race-specific fitness on top of that.

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:30 am
by skoptic
[quote="DanielS"]Option (2) is the generally accepted route - build a 'base' of good aerobic fitness and conditioning, then add more race-specific fitness on top of that.


+1

Yeah - annoying when you get conflicting advice, but generally 2 is the way it's done. Like DanielS says ... good aerobic base then add on top of that. I would do just the same as for running with Base, Build, Peak & Race phases myself :-)

I appreciate the getting used to the 'speed' element helps and so I would use the equivalent of my 'tempo run' to do a cycle each week which was at 'race pace' just above anaerobic threshold. You could maybe fit this into the traditional training scheme phases as a single ride each week early in the season, then build from there?

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:24 am
by fredrikw
Yep, 2 is the way to go, although this can be done in different ways. Doing high intensity workouts is not the same as race specific fitness. Doing 2x20 and 4x4 workouts is an excellent way of building basic aerobic fitness, without wasting endless hours doing the old school long slow distance rides. Getting used to hours in the saddle is of course important as well, but it's not the one and only way of building your base as it has been regarded, and still is, by many people.

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:13 pm
by JohnBarleycorn
[quote="fredrikw"]Yep, 2 is the way to go, although this can be done in different ways. Doing high intensity workouts is not the same as race specific fitness. Doing 2x20 and 4x4 workouts is an excellent way of building basic aerobic fitness, without wasting endless hours doing the old school long slow distance rides. Getting used to hours in the saddle is of course important as well, but it's not the one and only way of building your base as it has been regarded, and still is, by many people.


Agree totally !

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:32 pm
by xrodolfox
What's your goal distance?

I've seen most successful amateurs who do sprints and olympic distance tris do #1.
I've seen more successful amateurs who do Iron or half-Iron distance do #2.

Frankly, I get bored with endurance. I just train for speed, and I go fast. But my goal distances are generally sprints or Olympic distances.

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:34 pm
by MikayP
[quote="xrodolfox"]What's your goal distance?

I've seen most successful amateurs who do sprints and olympic distance tris do #1.
I've seen more successful amateurs who do Iron or half-Iron distance do #2.

Frankly, I get bored with endurance. I just train for speed, and I go fast. But my goal distances are generally sprints or Olympic distances.


ya i agree with you in getting bored with endurance. at least for me it seems way too easy.

im doing a few olympics in 2011, but concentrating on 1/2 ironman training cause im hoping to become more competitive in that (longterm goal is to get sponsored)

thanks for the input(s)

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:11 pm
by Mr. Cleetus
[quote="MikayP"]
ya i agree with you in getting bored with endurance. at least for me it seems way too easy.


We've had a similar discussion many times on here and I think it always suffers from terminology and people not necessarily meaning the same things. If you are doing longer racing, you have to do the miles to do it well. It just depends on what you mean by "the miles"; the old school cycling community somehow turned that into endless mindnumbingly slow miles. did I mention endless? In true LSD, if it's too easy, you are probably doing something wrong;have a read of Lydiard if you are interested, most of his stuff is very appropriate still today. I agree with fw and JBC, but you've just gotta be careful how you interpret these things.

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:27 pm
by fredrikw
Cycling long distances, especially on races, is a huge mental challenge as well as the physical challenge. Getting bored with and therefore avoiding doing longer rides when training is probably not a good way of mentally preparing for several hours of hard work during races.

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:34 pm
by Mr. Cleetus
Also in longer tris you've gotta get your body adapted to sitting in the aero position for hours on end. In every Ironman and 1/2 I do I am amazed at the large proportion of people sitting up in the second half of the race. Bye bye free speed.

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:53 am
by xrodolfox
I train for sprints.
Thus, in practice, I tend to do 2X or 3X the total distance/discipline (ex. 3000m swim workouts, or 6 mile runs, or 30 mile ride), but I do almost all of it in intervals. I very rarely do a straight 800m swim, or a 12m bike, or a 3mile run. There is no mental hurdle, so I never do that sort of distance in practice.

Instead, I do things like 5 X 200 + 5 X 100 + 10 X 50 swims on intervals, some with lots of rest, and others at a pace.

What I'm saying is it all depends on distance and goals. Most folks that do marathons don't actually do anything that's marathon distance in training, but do weeks and a weeks that add up mileage.

As a coach, what I see very often is folks who are training for a swim portion on an Iron distance race doing straight sets of 2.4 mile swim; no break, straight through, trying to simulate a race. Every training session. That's what I often see. These athletes then show up on race day, and fail utterly. Their brain is prepped for race-day, their body isn't ready for speed.

So it all depends on goals.

If you want to be a top amateur iron distance athlete, you need to put in the total miles. There needs to be a big base of aerobic fitness to draw from. For that, you just need to spend a lot of miles and do lots of hours of work.

However, that doesn't mean LSD all the time. That DOESN'T mean doing 112 mile bike rides straight.

There are several things to work on long distance races if you want to seriously compete: endurance, mental prep, and speed. Each requires special attention, but often, you can do at least two at the same time.

I'm just worried that this thread is reading too much like "doing 2.4 mile swims is going to help make you an ironman success", when that is just not true. Sure, doing a straight 2.4 mile swim is great for the mental prep, but besides that it only works aerobic fitness, and does absolutely nothing for speed. Speed is needed not just to place, but also to finish.

Part of the reason I am cautious about LSD, is that I've met two athletes who were training 3 miles straight at practices while training for iron distances. These folks could do the distance, easy. However, on their own race day (each was separated by many years), they each fell apart on the swim. Their bodies were used to the stamina, but not speed.

I doubt MikayP will be doing ONLY long slow distances, but I'm cautious for the other folk who read this thread and think, "hmmm, I'll do an ironman! I'll train 112 miles straight on my bike, and I'll be ready for race day", when it is just a recipe for disaster.

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:08 pm
by Mr. Cleetus
I think we are mostly in agreement xrodolfox, just a couple of points of difference. Of course it all comes down to the distance for which one is training. As I mentioned above the slow in LSD is often "misinterpreted" to really mean slow, when it is not slow in the context that most people think. Also, it is difficult to compare swimming to running and cycling. As you know, the body can handle a lot more intensity in swimming than in the others. Intervals every day in the pool? no problem. It's a recipe for disaster in the others. I am a believer in occasional continuous swim for swim/bike or swim/bike/run bricks; but not an easy continuous swim. It all comes down to specificity and learning how your body handles the bike/run after such a thing - and mental prep as you say. So that means for a sprint/olympic distance, your continuous swim would be short - and is maybe less important/unnecesary. That is why I stressed long events such as 1/2s for which MikayP is aiming. Training and racing long events is a huge learning curve for most athletes.

I think you are wrong about the bike training. If you do not do long continuous rides, you will be in trouble. That does not mean one necessarily needs to do 112 mile, though going longer than this once or twice is arguably a good thing if you have the foundation to handle it and recover well, and it does not mean it should be done at an easy and continuous pace. There are many ways it can/should be mixed up with race pace, 1/2 IM race pace, strength work, hills, the list goes on and on and depends where it is in one's build. I'd be even more worried than you that someone might read and think, I'll go do some easy four hour rides and be ready to race an IM. [rant]However, I guess that does fit in with the new ethos of participation in Ironman rather than racing. To participate and complete an Ironman or 1/2 one needs to do very little - and that is commonly seen. Long events seem to be a race for very few.[/rant] Don't forget there is a marathon (or 1/2...) after the ride, so if your hardest training ride is the race itself, there is a good chance you will be walking a good chunk of the run.

[quote]Part of the reason I am cautious about LSD, is that I've met two athletes who were training 3 miles straight at practices while training for iron distances. These folks could do the distance, easy. However, on their own race day (each was separated by many years), they each fell apart on the swim. Their bodies were used to the stamina, but not speed.


I've seen it 100 times too. Ever more so, people who can't even make it thru 2.4 miles swimming....

I think it's time you step up to some long racing xrodolfox - there will be no turning back! :)

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:22 am
by xrodolfox
ugh. I do not want to do any long races. I like training intervals. I like the racing much more than the training. I like to compete. That's what I like; not the mountain of distance, nor the accomplishment of the goal... but pure competitions in front of a crowd. That's what I like. And unless I get more time to train, that's what I'm doing. If I ever do an iron distance, it'd be to place, not to finish. I'm not training enough for that. Last year, I got buy without a single ride longer than 10 miles, and not a single training run from a month before season began, all the way through the entire season. I just showed up to race day, and went fast.

I'd get hurt if I tried that in anything longer than a sprint.

Re: training phases

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:26 pm
by Mr. Cleetus
[quote="xrodolfox"].... If I ever do an iron distance, it'd be to place, not to finish. ...


thaaat's what I like to hear! 8)