Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Weight training over the winter, results and the real world

My last post on Strength training, lifting weights, performance and training in the real world fell short of Nobel prize writing and was more of a rant. The topic has come up again in my training seminars, amongst friends and I have been pointed to some recent studies as well.

Here is a recent study of conversation: http://www.rappstar.com/pdf/StrengthTrainingEnduranceAthletes.pdf

Too long and technical for you. Here are the basic conclusions and findings.

strength training with weights increased “endurance” and power at VO2 by 7%. This study was done with trained cyclist which is nice.

This will be short and to the point. First off there is more than one way to skin a cat. And even more ways to train for an endurance event.

~“But ek you said weights would only increase your max power by 2%.No, I said the people I worked with only had an avg. increase in max power of 2%. I have always been a proponent of “strength training” just not with weights. This study was done as one group doing x amount of “endurance” work which was a specific intensity based on there Vo2. (first of all they should have used threshold here) The strength training group had the strength work ADDED to their endurance work.
So, more work and high intensity work at that made this group “stronger”. No surprise there. The 7% is surprising to me. A very significant gain for sure. I would like to see their workout and progression for sure!

The more athletes I work with the more benefit I see with strength work. With my athletes its done on the bike. With specific intervals, done a specific way. This work has resulted in big gains in max power. And while I have never tested the endurance gains from it the improvement seems to be across the board not just in max power. Is this seemingly increase in endurance from the strength work? Or other training done? I don’t know.

The biggest advantage I see to my “on the bike” strength work is that it saves time. Lots of time.
It can be done without additional hours in the gym. And the gains I have seen have been in 6 weeks or less instead of 3 months. That’s half the time. So now the athlete may do another 6 weeks of some other training depending on their strengths, weaknesses, resources, time to train, etc…

"Time. Time is your worst enemy, your best ally and is the biggest issue EVERY athlete deals with."

Time in the day. Amount of time per week to train, and how much time one has from now (the day they start training) until race day. Further more. What did you do last year? The year before that? How about the last 10 years? This is a bigger discussion on periodization…

The real world.

So ek what if I do your on the bike strength work and lift weights?” good Q. what will happen to your quality of training? On the bike strength work 3 time week. Plus weights 2 times a week. Not sure you can get a maximal effort every workout on that sch. I could do squats every day but they would suck after 2 if not 1 day.

~from Coach Nick. On your point of real world practicality, that is exactly WHY I weight train in the winter. For a 9-6 working stiff, there are very few hours available to me to train on the bike. Core and weight training gives me extra training time that frankly probably wouldn't happen at all if I was sticking to just the bike.

very good point. Nick is a roadie. All riding all the time. One can only sit on a trainer for so long. but if time is THAT short why is one still getting "burned out" or board?
I would rather go to a spin class sit in back and do my strength work (my own workout) on the bike with some pumping tunes, good looking ladies and some other hard working peeps to motivate me. brings up another point on motivation. what motivated you?? This is an important issue.

~Triathletes please don’t tell me you need more to do than the 3 sports you all ready have! If you’re getting burned out or board trying to be an expert at swimming, biking and running you need help.

~“But Lance lifts weights?” good for Lance. If you want to be like Lance, go ahead and lift. Let me know when you win the tour 7 times. Or even get to race in the tour of that matter.

~I was at a team meeting in Boulder , CO and Tim O’donnell was there. (pro triathlete) He was asked “do you lift in the winter?” “yes I do”, he said “but only core and some stability stuff” this is a guy who is a pro. 24-7 he trains and thinks about training…

~doing core work and lifting in the gym are 2 very different things. core, always important do it!

~There are no magic bullets. I hear this every year. “I’m gona xyz this year” its gona make me soooo strong. This is my year!" You’re on the right track. By all means CHANG IT UP!! Take a chance, do something different!! But there are no secrets here. You wana get faster at something. Then get out there and do THAT something!!

Lifting weights is NOT bad for you. In fact it’s quite the opposite. I feel that for reaching your best as a cyclist, triathlete, mtb’er, etc. there are better ways to use your time.

There’s that word again. Time.

This is a very argued topic and I am not saying there is one perfect way to do anything. but this is where the art of training and coaching come into view. there are only 24 hours in a day and so many days from now to race day?

Leave some more Questions and real world situations in the comments! Leave muscle fiber this and hypertrophy that at the door. I want real world. Something we can use in training, out there in the rd. or some results you have had.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Ironman Augusta 70.3

Jared Brown's race report from Augusta 70.3.
His first 1/2 IM and on his way to IM Lake Placid.

August 70.3 - Half Ironman
Date of Race:
Total Race Time: 5h 12m 30s - Swim: 29:51(169/336), Bike: 2:45:56 (? /336), Run: 1:50:03 (115/336)
Overall Place: 699 / 3121
Age Group: Male 30- 34
Age Group Place: 115 /336

Advice I raced by on this day “Don’t create pain to yourself because the race will bring pain to you soon enough.

Race Day: Woke up at 4:50am and had some oatmeal, got dressed, took a few minutes to visualize my swim and race overall. You can laugh at my visualization but for me it brings a calming feeling and I relax. I see so many people on the verge of tears and busting before races b/c they are so nervous and I never feel this way so I am sticking with my visualization. Grabbed my bags and headed down to the hotel lobby to meet Kim & Casey and walk over to the shuttle to transition. Once there got body marked, borrowed a pump and pumped up my tires, set my transition up, and headed over to see Casey and Kim’s transition area. The only thing I did different for this race in transition was packed my running stuff in a plastic bag so it would stay somewhat dry while it rained.
There was a long line for buses so Patti and her friend let me walk with them to the swim start. I don’t like the feeling of being herded like cattle so the walk actually was nice. Once there I separated from them, checked in my gear bag, said hello to ATCer’s I saw, got my chip (almost forgot this though, thanks LeAnn & Heath), put on my wetsuit, and got in my wave group. Watched the pro’s go and then started heading to the start.

The Swim:
I was in wave 4 just behind the pro’s and the first person down the ramp and onto the dock. I knew I wouldn’t be the fastest but I wanted to get to the far side of the dock (advice from Sir Lappi) so that I could have most of the people on my right which is the side I breathe to during races. I sat down on the dock with my feet in the water and splashed water on myself like the Olympic swimmers do. It allowed me to get the cooler water on my body and face without a shock. I then slid in the water; warmed up my wetsuit, put on my goggles, and headed to the yellow start buoy. I found a rope off the buoy that I literally sat on for a minute. Then I heard 1 and a ½ minutes to start…….fastest 1.5 minutes ever….Go!
I swam and sighted very little for the first 500 meters as I could see people and the shore. Then WHACK! I look up and I apparently was heading to far left b/c I hit a kayak. I had to smile and laugh at myself here. I then pointed more right and back to the course and inside the first yellow buoy. I could see people all around me once I returned to the course but there was little hitting or contact. Weeds were coming and going with some paddles off my hands but I got use to that pretty fast. I tried drafting a few times but it just wasn’t that easy for me. THEN IT HAPPENED! I was swimming along feeling really relaxed and good and then I saw what looked like fish food in the water. The little orange flakes people feed their fish. I thought to myself “NO” then felt myself start to feel real sick and my cheeks puff out. I then forced myself to keep my head in the water, hold my breath, closed my eyes, and keep swimming. After about ten strokes I couldn’t breathe so my thoughts and stomach relaxed and I didn’t see any more fish food. I sighted about every 10 – 15 strokes unless I was right next to someone then I stayed around them. This swim I actually passed a few people so I had to steer around them but it didn’t hinder my pace. I then looked up and saw the houseboats up ahead not too far. I got this overwhelming feeling of happiness and all my brain was saying was you are going to finish this race today and I was at peace with the day right there and then. Never had that feeling before in a race but it was a really nice surprise. I then picked up my arm turnover a little more and slowly started to inch my way forward and to the right side. Soon enough I saw the finishing buoy and I saw the bottom and stood up. Swim completed! Looked at my watch, time – NO STARTED! Oh well.

Swim Time: 29:51 - Goal was 30 – 35 min or less. CHECK!

T1: As I exited the water I immediately got a cramp in my left hamstring (come to find out this would be noticeable all day). I stopped and stretched it out and then walked up the ramp. I forced myself to walk up the ramp to get my heart rate down faster. I always come out of the water with a screaming heart rate. At the top of the ramp was a table so I flung my leg on it and stretched again. Got my wetsuit down to my waist, got to the strippers, and they pulled that thing off in now time, headed to my transition area. I decided to take a short detour to get a high 5 from Casey then to my bike and gear. I saw Ted and John Recker in the transition area. I took my time and got everything on and headed out for the ride.

T1 Time: 3:56

Once I mounted the bike I started my watch and headed out with Ted, well for about three pedals and then he was gone. Right out of the transition area I saw Ted’s wife and his sign which made me smile! Just nice seeing and hearing people cheer for you. I took it a little easy at the start of the bike to get a feeling of the wet roads and see what the road conditions were. After about 3 miles I decided to change to my large front ring and the bike wouldn’t change gears. So I stayed in the smaller ring and rode it out. The 808’s I rented were making a little bit of a odd noise with the water and wind on them that I wasn’t use to but I figured keep riding and if something goes wrong fix it then or head home, either way just keep going. Early on I was moving fast and felt real good. At about mile 8 my neck started to bother me a little. This has happened a few times before but not during races. My bike setup is a pretty aggressive position so I knew my neck could have potential to get sore but not this early. I just kept tucking it under and touching my chest a few times each mile to try and stretch it out. Doing this made it manageable but I knew it was going to be a long day. I rode along the course taking the turns slower than normal due to the wet roads and struggled to keep my glasses clear from the rain. At mile 22 I looked at my watch and it said 1:05:00. I thought to myself that people where just starting the swim still. I also knew I was behind on the time I was expecting to be at. So I tried again to get into the large ring and it worked. I pushed a little for about 5 miles and then felt my legs not burning but just weak. I would try to give a little harder push and it just felt like I was trying to move a ton of bricks. I usually don’t have this issue on the bike. This is my strongest discipline in a race but today my legs were wet and didn’t have the muscle to push the large gear so I dropped it back down and picked up the cadence a little and kept going. Mile 34 I finally got passed by David Cater who said hello and went on by. Then shortly after Joseph went by me at a steady pace and said hello as well. I could tell by Joseph’s pace he was going to have a good day. He looked steady and strong. Mile 40 the rain really started to come down so I had to take my glasses off and stash them away. The last 10 miles were really bumpy roads but the rain subsided so it was only drizzling. I looked at my watch and it said 3:05:00, I couldn’t believe what I saw but I didn’t think twice about it I just headed into transition and thought just start running and get to the finish line, at this point I didn’t care about my time.

Bike Time: 2:45:56 (20.25 avg.) – Goal 2:35:00 – 2:45:00 – I say CHECK!

T2: I took my time again and decided to put socks on. My feet were wet but I just put my socks on, grabbed my e – gels, hat on, jog out of transition and onto the race course.

T2 Time: 3:04

Run: Right out of transition I saw Cheryl and stopped and told her it was going to be a little longer day than expect and apologized. She told me I had a sub 30 swim, gave me a kiss, and ran up a little ahead of me to take a few more pictures. I told her I felt pretty good but just had an awful bike time. She said don’t worry and that she would see me at the finish. After she said that I decided I can’t obsess over time so I changed my watch to HR and never took it off. From here on out I would have no idea of my time.
I started out running a pretty easy pace and feeling really good. Miles were clicking off not fast but steady. At about mile 3 I got passed by an ATCer who I didn’t know. His name was Scott. We talked briefly about how I hadn’t met him before and he said he hadn’t trained much with the group this year due to work. Then I told him to go ahead and have a good run. I was about 25 yards behind him for miles 3 – 5. For the first time I was trying to use my HR on the run and it was a steady 153 – 157. I believe my LT is 172 for the run so this was a little to low but I was feeling good so I was staying with it.
At around mile 5 is were I ran through the ATC group (awesome feeling), my HR went to 161and I felt a jolt of energy. I controlled my pace though b/c I knew it wouldn’t last. Right after the ATC group Scott stopped for water and to fix his chip which was digging into his ankle. I kept running and told him he would catch me. Mile 5.5 he did (this is when I took an e – gel) and we ran together to mile 6.5 where we caught Dr. Peter Pate and Scott mentioned he had us as a pace to finish at around 1:50:00 or a little less. We chatted briefly with Peter and he said he was feeling well. I tucked in behind Peter who was running a little faster than we were but I felt I needed to push a little to run the sub 2hr ½ marathon which was a side goal of mine before the race. At mile 8 I started to really feel my left hamstring tighten up and I was just waiting for it to cramp. I just stayed behind Peter and concentrated on his right heel. When I did this it forced me to not think about anything but his foot. My mind would start to wonder and I would bring it right back to his heel. He was still moving along pretty good.
At about mile 9.5 Scott mentioned he was a little to close to his LT than he wanted but he was keeping up fine. Right before mile 10 I believe there was a water stop and Peter and Scott stopped to get water. I grabbed a sponge and a little water and kept running. I didn’t want to stop b/c 1) I would give my hamstring a chance to cramp & 2) I wanted to walk so I wouldn’t give myself the chance. Then mile 11 came and I knew it was that time, the time the advice I was given was going to happen, the race was going to bring the pain to me. My hamstring started to tighten a little more, so I tried to lengthen my stride and then shorten my stride and pick the pace up to see which was less painful. It seemed a middle point was what was best. I had two thoughts in my head, keep running and get to the ATC group again. Those were the only 2 thoughts for what seemed like hours but was only a little over a mile. The pain now was starting to take over my thoughts and I came up on the ATC group. Now I had about .8 miles and I was done. Thought was JUST KEEP RUNNING. All of a sudden this young lady comes by me with a turnover rate close to the road runner and says “Great job! Keep it up, I only had to run.” It was Jessica and she was moving. For about 10 strides I tried to keep up with her but didn’t have a shot. Running alone I saw LeAnn up ahead so I kept pace and caught up with her right before the finish. Said hello to her and that I would see her in a little while (this is the worst feeling in the world in this race b/c I knew she had another lap and I was finished) once I turned and saw the finish I saw the clock said 5:26:14 so I picked up my pace, raised my hands, and finished.

Run Time: 1:50:03 (8:24 avg.) – Goal sub 2:00:00 – CHECK!