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2013-08-15 9:36 AM

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Subject: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?

I'm a second year triathlete focusing on olympic distance. My big race of the year is coming up (Sept 14) - four and a half weeks away - and I don't feel ready. I'm not posting the times I want to.

My swim is fine but neither my bike nor my run is where it needs to be.

So what can I best do between now and Sept 14 to improve my bike and run performance?

Note that I haven't been sitting on the couch - I've been training consistently and have completed something like 5 olys and 3 sprints since March. Also, four days ago, I just completed my first 70.3 - which I did essentially as a training exercise, to increase my aerobic performance.

My own thought was that I should start immediately training at a higher heart rate zone - more short, intense workouts (zone 4). But an IronMan friend of mine just threw me for a loop by saying the opposite - that I should do longer, slower (zone 2) workouts. That's precisely how I was training for my 70.3 - shouldn't I be increasing the intensity for an oly?

Now I'm confused - what recommendations would you offer me?

Thanks!




2013-08-15 9:45 AM
in reply to: smallard

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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?

When you say you're not "posting the times" you want to -- do you mean in training? Or in racing?

I find that it's really hard for me to hit (or even come close to) my race pace in training, but I can hit it quickly on race day.

2013-08-15 9:49 AM
in reply to: trishie

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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?
Originally posted by trishie

When you say you're not "posting the times" you want to -- do you mean in training? Or in racing?

I find that it's really hard for me to hit (or even come close to) my race pace in training, but I can hit it quickly on race day.




I'm not doing it either racing or training.

Yes, I can usually find an extra turn of pace on race day but it's still not where it needs to be.
2013-08-15 10:01 AM
in reply to: smallard

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2013-08-15 10:21 AM
in reply to: FoggyGoggles

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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?
Originally posted by FoggyGoggles

Have you been following a plan or just going at it? If you're following an Oly plan, I'd stick with it. If you're trying to increase speed, maybe hit some hills or run stairs to work on your foot turn-over. These (of course) would be on your speed or cross-training days.


I worked my way through a pre-season olympic plan earlier in the year, then did the final 4 weeks of a 70.3 plan immediately prior to my HIM. But apart from that, I've really just been racing and "going at it".

I could really use a good bike/run plan for the next 4 weeks so I'm in optimal shape for my oly on Sept 14.

Like I said, I think I have a solid foundation of core aerobic endurance - but I need some speed.

Any recommendations?

Thanks.
2013-08-15 10:54 AM
in reply to: smallard

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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?
I would suggest you find a plan that seems okay to you (really any plan....) and follow it for the last few weeks.  With that much racing, and now mostly unstructured training, I wonder if you are simply tired.  A plan will help you keep the numbers under control and also make sure you do a taper.  Gains are made AFTER you recover from putting your body under stress!


2013-08-15 11:33 AM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?

Taper more, and yes zone 2 work = speed on race day. I have no clue how it works, but my goodness it really does.

Next year build a training plan around your races, so that you have your A B and C races, so you know what ones are just training, and what ones you really need to build and taper for. If you were going all out at all your races this year I would think you are getting to the burnt out area. I know I did 24 races in 12 months last year between triathlon, bike races and running races. By mid summer I was toast, and never really did much better until I took time off in January this year.

So I would suggest this last 4 week that you get in a good taper the last 1 or 2.

Good luck

2013-08-15 11:35 AM
in reply to: smallard

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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?
There are no such things as the sort of turbo boost you're looking for. You can't really improve all that much for a race that is 3 weeks away ... but you can certainly sabotage it by trying to turbo train.

So, honestly, relax and enjoy the journey. Keep your goals ... just shift them for the long term. This is another race as you move toward where you want to be. Then, you'll hit that goal and set another. The good news is that they're going to keep on putting out races. You've been consistently training. You've done an excellent job of getting your body to a new level of fitness. Now listen to that fitness and race accordingly. Race. Recover. Then repeat.

That's how it works.
2013-08-15 11:59 AM
in reply to: jetsers

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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?

> Taper more, and yes zone 2 work = speed on race day. I have no clue how it works, but my goodness it really does.

So this is the mystery to me!!

I get faster by going slower??

This is precisely what my IronMan buddy said - but it seems counter-intuitive!

I've heard zone 2 described as "recovery stimulation" and zone 4 as "aerobic development".

So shouldn't I be doing zone 4 work rather than zone 2???

2013-08-15 12:14 PM
in reply to: smallard


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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?
As I understand it (which is a partial understanding at best) long slow training will help you to improve in the long term by making your body more efficient, but will do very little if anything for you in the 2 weeks you have before your taper.
2013-08-15 12:45 PM
in reply to: smallard

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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?
I tend to agree that this close to the race nothing you can do is going to give you the "turboboost" that you're looking for. However, I don't agree that every thing you do from here on out should be at a low heart rate or a relaxed pace. Intervals and threshold workouts are important to your training if you want to get faster, period. And in my opinion, good to include in your workouts up until the week of your taper. (Shorter periods, but still at high intensity) My training plans have always included one relatively short day of high intensity training, one medium distance run (shorter than the run that I'm training for) at what I would consider "race pace" and one longer run at a low intensity (just above relaxed) pace.


2013-08-15 1:13 PM
in reply to: Chillin

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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?
The slow running = faster paces does work but takes time. I spent 2 months banging my head against embarrassingly slow paces trying to keep my heartrate low during winter and then went and PR'd a 10 mile race that I had no business PRing (hadn't run that speed for more than 3 miles, and hadn't run double digits but once that year). Doing most of the work slow, from what I understand, helps you get fit and also allows you to be fresher mentally and physically for the days when you are to do speedwork, you can really hammer.

Just a few ideas:
-You could just be totally burnt out. Maybe take an extra day or two off to see if the pep in your step comes back?
-During the two weeks you have left, figure out what sort of workouts would make you feel more confident for race day. You probably can't do much to your body in two weeks, but you can certainly get your head straight. Maybe nail a shorter bike/run brick at race pace? Run a standalone 10k sub race pace? To reiterate: do most of the week easy, but pick some key speed/confidence boosting workouts to nail.

2013-08-15 1:56 PM
in reply to: JasenGuy

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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?
Originally posted by JasenGuy

I tend to agree that this close to the race nothing you can do is going to give you the "turboboost" that you're looking for. However, I don't agree that every thing you do from here on out should be at a low heart rate or a relaxed pace. Intervals and threshold workouts are important to your training if you want to get faster, period. And in my opinion, good to include in your workouts up until the week of your taper. (Shorter periods, but still at high intensity) My training plans have always included one relatively short day of high intensity training, one medium distance run (shorter than the run that I'm training for) at what I would consider "race pace" and one longer run at a low intensity (just above relaxed) pace.


This.

Taper is all about maintaining the intensity but decreasing the volume (in order to increase the recovery).

But don't take that "maintaining the intensity" as an excuse to go harder than you should. That's just inviting injury. And, frankly, a taper for an Olympic distance race doesn't have to be all that extreme of a taper. Back off for the week prior and focus more on recovery than you do on the intensity. Whatever it takes to feel fresh on race day.

You can't cram for it like you did for your college History final. You've got what you got. Race and start the cycle over.
2013-08-15 3:42 PM
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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?

Originally posted by Chillin As I understand it (which is a partial understanding at best) long slow steady training will help you to improve in the long term by making your body more efficient, but will do very little if anything for you in the 2 weeks you have before your taper.
Fixed that!

Yes, LST will help over time but in the 4 weeks you have, you could do interval (VO2 max) training to improve your fitness.  For running perhaps some high intensity with active recoveries ,e.g. 5x3' at 5k pace with 1'RI jogs on day and another day with a longer run with 3x1 mile at 10k pace and a long run.  For biking, if you look at the BT winter cycling program weeks 3-5, it's short building intervals and a long ride on the weekends or weeks 7-10 for slightly longer intervals.  I love these phase of training and have found that they really help my running too. It comes down to training load, read Coach Jorge's Training concepts articles here for more info. 

Hopefully someone with more qualifications can pipe in to provide you some more training details.

 

 



Edited by Donto 2013-08-15 3:47 PM
2013-08-15 3:45 PM
in reply to: BernardDogs

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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?
Originally posted by BernardDogs

There are no such things as the sort of turbo boost you're looking for.


When you say "no such things" . . .


2013-08-15 11:00 PM
in reply to: smallard

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Subject: RE: "A" Race Coming Up - Need a Turboboost! Recommendations?
I think it'd be tough to make any real gains in 4 weeks, however interval work has done wonders for my bike/run speeds. How many miles/week are you riding/running currently? Keeping current logs help to respond to questions such as these.



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