April 2010 Training CHAT with Coach AJ

author : Coach AJ
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[Gregkl]  Hello. I saw your video on lactate testing. I had mine tested also.

[Coach AJ]  Did you make any changes based on the results?

[Gregkl]  Not yet. Still waiting for all the data to arrive. I think I came in lower than what I self tested.

[Coach AJ]  Don't get caught up in how high or low it may be. The goal is to set your zones and train within the proper ones for the workout. As Neal says at the end, train where you are and you will get where you want to be.

[Gregkl]  He looked at my self test and my zones and felt like what I was doing was training to increase my LT. Does that make sense?  He said I wasn't far off.

[Coach AJ]  Hard to say without seeing both the data and your training. But many athletes train fast because they like going fast or they think they have to push every workout. This means a lot of time at LT.

[Gregkl]  Plus it's early in the season and my last self test was late in season. I probably lost some fitness, right?

[Coach AJ]  Yes, and you should lose fitness over the winter. Trying to keep improving at all times is very hard. That's the point of periodization. I know some top pros that put on 5-10 lbs. in the winter.

[Gregkl]  I definitely don't push every workout. I have pretty good discipline to work within my zones for the day. I walked a hill the other day to stay in Zone 1 for a recovery run. I put on about 8 lbs over the winter. The LT test was not as intense as your V02 max for sure!

[Coach AJ]  Walking to stay in the right zone is awesome, great discipline. 8 lbs is nothing, you can lose that easily! Train heavy, race light.

[Gregkl]
  Yeah, I heard something the other day about training hard and that race day is about execution. Agree? disagree?

[Coach AJ]   Yes, to a point. Things happen in races that you just can't prep for. You have to be willing to take a chance at times. The flip side of that is you also have to race your race and know your limits. This is especially true for IM. It's so long that anything can happen. You must have a plan to execute, but also be flexible and listen to your body.

[Gregkl]   Yeah, though I am focusing on one race at a time, oly first, HIM second and IM third, the IM is the one I am really working for.

[Coach AJ]  I would use the HIM as a run through for IM prep. Use your IM set up, IM nutrition and you could even use IM pacing. Nutrition is the big one. Too many athletes use their IM nutrition during long rides, but often your HR is lower than it is on race day. PB&J may be great w/ the HR at 130, but at 150 it could different!

[Gregkl]   Yeah, I did a ride last week at a much higher HR than I should have (group ride, I hate getting dropped -  I really should train alone). Had some GI distress, not much, but some.

[Coach AJ]  Group training is great for pushing the limits. I try to schedule my week so I go hard with the group, but easy days are always alone!

[rkreuser]  I run a complicated workout program.

[Coach AJ]  By design or necessity?

[rkreuser]
  Necessity. Ten days of 14 I'm in Vegas, with only access to the run.

[Coach AJ]   Bummer. How do you structure the other four days?

[rkreuser]     The other four gets all the swim/bike training.

[Coach AJ]  Makes sense. Do you get in a long bike and LT bike?

[rkreuser] I don't. That's the issue.  Up until now I have had too much stuff to do when I get home to log any real volume, including being with my kids. So no, I haven't done any of that.  Now the cool part....I've had basically three weeks 'off' that schedule. Trying to jam ALL the volume I need for the season into 3 weeks. THAT's going OK.

[Coach AJ]  Sounds like a tough situation. At least your aerobic capacity will be OK from all the running. Have you tried using bands to simulate swimming? It's not perfect, but it can help.

[rkreuser]  Now the other good news is...I'm old, yet my decrepit body still responds to volume nicely. Like from 200 min / week to 1000 without a squeak.  And my swim and bike are as fast as they ever were. Bike even faster. Just dropped an hour and a half at 23+ the other day. I've got maybe 300 miles in this year.

[Coach AJ]  Yeah, my guess is that all the running has built your aerobic base and LT. You use the same system for cycling, so there is a lot of carry over.

[rkreuser]   So I'm trying to get the run volume in.  And.I.Don't.Like.Running.  So I'm procrastinating, in the face of the TTT. So this week I started running - on the accelerated program.  I've got the next eight to workout without limits.  So I'm going to drop a huge eight days. The swim and the bike are EZ. I'll figure that out.

[Coach AJ]  My suggestion is to go through a bike focus phase. Ride seven days, mixing up some longer days, some LT/Tempo efforts and a recovery ride. Basically it's a kitchen sink approach. Do all that you can on the bike. With the limited miles you have everything will be helpful.

[rkreuser]  But I need to figure out how to re-develop run base PLUS get hill training in.  So you'd do that over a run-focus?

[Coach AJ]   How steep are the hills? You should be able to do some low RPM/Big Ring hill efforts while staying in zone 2 or low 3. That will build strength and aerobic capacity.  Yes, if all you can do is run when in Vegas, hit the bike hard while you can.

[rkreuser]  Not on the bike. I'm worried about the run. For whatever reason, I'm OK on the bike. I really can't explain that. But I'm confident with even as little training as I've got, I'm gonna go 22+ on the hills at TTT.  I'm really worried about the run. Ok, maybe 19+. But you get the idea. I'm thinking run focus.

[Coach AJ] OK, then go with the same kitchen sink approach on the run. I am a huge fan of hilly runs since they will build hip, quad and back strength. The key is to not sprint up, keep it in zone 2 low 3. I would also add in race pace intervals. Start with three intervals of 4', then build to 5 intervals of 4', then start adding time to the interval. Your rest is 2-3 minutes. Cadence is a big key here.

[rkreuser]  Ok, that's good. Perfect.

[Coach AJ]  Also, I love a 10' warm up, then 2 hard, 2 cruise done 10 times. It sounds easy, but is harder than it looks.

[rkreuser]  Well, we've got a famous run here. I'm in MI, and we've got the hanson's distance project here.  They're famous for a 2 mi warmup, 5x (5:00 straight uphill on Dutton road, return), then 20 tempo. It's a staple. I can't do that, but I'm looking to work in that Dutton hill into those workouts. It's more severe than TTT, but it's a killer. Like I said, I run a complicated shop here.

[Coach AJ]  I would work up to that workout due to it's intensity. Try a hilly run, then some hill repeats, then hit Dutton Rd. The last thing you want is to get injured.

[rkreuser]  Weird, though, no matter what I throw at me, I don't get injured. Somehow. But I understand.  Now I've got a different question.  TTT is a very hilly course. Basically on the bike you're either climbing or descending the whole time. Run is three miles up, then three miles down on fire roads.  I'm not at all concerned with the bike. I can climb, for a big guy. I'm worried about the run.

[Coach AJ]  Downhill running will be a key for you then.

[rkreuser]  And I've got six weeks to develop enough base to survive.  So I invented a workout today, and want your reaction to it. I'm trying to jam hill training AND running into the same period.  45 minutes stairmaster, bricked with an hour of 1% grade treadmill work. Figure that covers bike-to-run transition, plus some of the hills.

[Coach AJ]  Sounds like you'll have to push the uphill then survive the down. So, when doing your hill work, concentrate on good form while descending. Keep your forward lean and normal stride and turn the legs over as quickly as you can.  I would also do a basic race simulation run. Does your Tmill do negative grades? If so, run up for 3, then down for 3. Or if you can find a long enough hill do some long repeats there.

[rkreuser] That's one of the workouts I'm saving for two weeks out....2 mi warmup, 3x up that hill, then down that hill, back home 2mi. I don't think I can do it now.

[Coach AJ]  Timing is everything. You are right to wait and do it when you know you are ready.

[Contradoublebassman]  When doing mock races how do you get water on the run? Something I never thought of until today.

[Coach AJ]  I usually carry my own using a Fuelbelt or hydration pack depending on how long the run will be.

[Contradoublebassman] Unfortunatly I'm a huge sweater. I empty my 24 oz bottle over 20 km.  I drink lots.

[Coach AJ]  It's good that you know what you need out there. Find a hydration system that works for you. I too am a big sweater and have a massive fluid loss issue. I've lost over 3 lbs in a 45' run, and I took 30 oz. of water during the run. I feel your pain!

[Contradoublebassman]
  I really don't want to inhale a lot of water just before getting off the bike...feel all sloshy for the first five minutes of the run. But in training just grab a bottle and keep it in your hand then?

[Coach AJ]  That should work, or try just a gel flask with water since it's smaller and still hold 8 to 10 oz.

[Contradoublebassman]   I have a fuel belt, but I want to train as close as i can to how I race.  I've seen the hand bottles, they look interesting.

[rkreuser]   http://www.ultimatedirection.com/product.php?id=12&page=handhelds
And if you get longer distance, go with a Camelbak. They're out of style, but completely effective. On the bike AND run.

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date: May 24, 2010

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Coach AJ

USAT Level 1 Coach
"My coaching philosophy can be summed up in two words: listening and balance. By combining these two elements I feel I can help each athlete achieve their full potential."

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avatarCoach AJ

USAT Level 1 Coach
"My coaching philosophy can be summed up in two words: listening and balance. By combining these two elements I feel I can help each athlete achieve their full potential."

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