Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Training in Training Races.

Training in Training Races

Ok it is still a bit early but it’s that time of year when we all start to at least think about it. For many of us some of these first races are non- priority races or “training races”.  There are a few different ideas as to what a training race is and how it should be done.  Some people think that it just means you don’t taper and “training through it” giving us a nice excuse for not doing well.  In fact a training race is a prim opportunity to get great training, important experience and test our self’s in the exact environment that we are training to excel in the first place.  Here are a few key points to consider and plan out when doing your early season race’s and race simulation workouts.


~One can still do well in a "Training race" your truly won this training race in the Boston area (the classic Wells Ave.) early one season by making a break mid race that stayed away.

   1. Its still a Race: A training race is NOT a time to waist 60$ (or what ever) in gas and entry fee to ride around in a circle with a bunch of other spandex clad freaks for the heck of it!   It is an opportunity to really test your self, in the field and against your pears instead of your self.  With this, aim for a specific, measurable goal. While this training race will not require a 3 week peeking phase you should take the few days before to make sure you are well rested and ready for a good effort, physically, mentally and with all your equipment working 100%!  You have committed the money, time, energy, the sacrifice of getting up at, still dark out- thirty to meet at some random office park. Make it worth while!

   2. Make a goal:  If you have been working on your strength and all winter and are now ready to turn that strength into accelerating power than make a goal to do some number of BIG accelerations. Attack the short hill, jump on a break forming, or go for the half way prim. But commit to this goal. if your going to work on your jump then do that and just that. Spend your other time sitting in and riding smart. Make the sprinting efforts as strong as possible.  Killing it on the front, riding in a break for x number of laps, going to the back then to the front, then back again will make your “training race workout” end fast.
     Maybe just getting through the race will be hard enough. Then do that. Ride smart. Is holding your position in the pack hard for you? Make a goal to simply ride in the top 15 riders or so the entire race, I have done this my self.  Focus on warming up well, if necessary, and watching the race play out. Identify when its go time and you must get across that gap and to the front group and when is a good time to sit in, fuel and relax.
     Maybe your endurance is lacking. Do some extra mileage before (ideal) or after the race.  If you go this way keep your effort in the race under the hood a bit. This should be a hard workout but we don’t want it to take us a week to recover! Be deceive. If your going to attack. Do it!  See if it works and move to the next steep. Always have a reason for doing something. Always have a purpose.

3.      Gain experience. Learn.  A training race is a prime opportunity to learn. About your self, about your competition, your preparation, your fueling plan, your equipment,  your warm up (or there lack of) if you ride well in the wind, on the hills or technical cornering sections?  How did you feel afterwards. Like you just parted the seas? Or do you feel recovered after 15’ of hanging out with friends and teammates thinking “man I could have gone way harder?” The list goes on. Come the big race day you can’t afford to be caught off guard by something silly. A cross wind hitting your fancy new disc wheel, your new helmet not fitting right, etc… Gaining as much experience about your self, and how your body works in a race situation will have you better prepared come the big day. This may not have you breaking any records but when the going gets tough the prepared shine trough.  Anyone can post a personal best in there ideal conditions on there ideal terrain.  You want a personal best in any conditions, on any terrain, on any decided day. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Winter training methods and tools webinar follow up

There were some 1000 people that registered for the webinar we did via training peaks last week.
You can View it HERE

Thanks!  I hope everyone enjoyed it.
Here are few items that we didn't get a chance to discuss or I simply for got to mention.

Tempo work: 
   when you are doing tempo rides run or any endurance focused training one of the keys is being steady and never resting. at all. some times with a new athlete I will have them ride a normal rout at what ever intensity they feel is the "normal" endurance ride effort with one rule. NEVER coast. ever. if spin out on a down hill, use your brakes or simply keep the legs moving despite the 0 pressure on the pedals.
Many find that their "normal" endurance ride just got a whole lot harder. this is also likely where people get the idea from that they can ride for less time on the trainer then if they were to ride out side. I have said this before "there is no such thing as junk miles, just junk training"   this protocol eliminates the fast group rides or group rides/ team rides all together. Again! the team/ group rides are a must, more fun and a nicer way to get  longer hours in. Like the tempo rides, not coasting and being steady is a great way.

Burning fat for fuel, sparing muscle glycogen and loosing weight. 
There was a few questions on burning fat, loosing weight, the fat burning zones, etc. we didn't have time to address. This is simple concept but can be hard to fully and accurately explain.  it is true the lower intensity you work at the more greater % of fat you burn for energy. however, you also burn less total calories.  so for the athlete looking to improve performance or your avg. person looking to loose some weight the idea is to burn calories and become more efficient at burning higher % of fat at higher intensities.  If you want to loose weight you need to burn calories. more calories out then you take in, you will loose weight. Period. there is no magic food. any fancy diet, food, or protocol of what and when to eat must have this calories deficit for one to loose any weight.  
  As I said in the Q&A part of the webinar I would like to learn more and do more research on types of training and methods that can enhance this adaptation. what I do know CONSISTENCY IS KING. if you train consistently, year round, this will improve. After a point this ability will become sport specific. like many things.

The Power of Will. 
when talking of strengths and weaknesses, do not underestimate the power of your will. more than half the time I see athletes excel in an area because they want to. when I first started cycling i wanted to be a good climber. Ride away form my competition in the long road races. so, I trained for that and I soon started to excel in that area. I had zero regard and frankly zero knowledge that I was better suited for shorter efforts and the  longer the event the harder it would be for me. physiologically to do well.   I have heard of a book called "talent is over rated" I have no clue what its about but just by the title I want to read it. Please, DO NOT set goals on what you think your better suited to do. Lets find goals that motivate you, that get you up in the morning and go after those!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The new year, Goals, the Path and doing it better

With the start of anything new we must assess. Ourselves, our objectives, our competition, what some obstacles might be. Prepare for them and so on.  Some excel at this, others not as much.

What are your goals for 2013?

  With each year that that passes I reach for a little more with coaching and EK Endurance Coaching as a whole. I seek out to learn more. Gain more knowledge. Research  new training methods in hopes to figure out if they are a passing fad or something that has some merit and may last.  I seek out new athletes to coach. Of course right! I have to pay the bills! I have always said, and still do, that I will never compromise the quality or individuality of my coaching to "run a business".  I have held that promise and I will continue to. At this point I will have great difficulty taking on new clients without lowering the quality of my product. this happens all the time. you have seen it before. the new restaurant is great. the food superber  privately owned, you get a free beer every now and then, happy hr is inexpensive, very tasty. then the price goes up. so little you barely notice, then the portions get smaller, then the bartender is replaced and in a uniform. he's friendly enough but not the same. the consistency in the food starts to go and the next thing you know its a chain growing to the next state. I am all for capitalization but as the consumer this can suck 9 times out of 10.
this will never happen to me. Why? How? I am not in business to "be in business" or run a company or turn a good margins for share holders. I am in business because I LOVE DOING THIS!

  How am I going to grow without turning people away and uphold quality? especially with sponsoring 20+ races in CO this year!  This is how.

1. our 2 associate coaches Derek and Nick will both be taking a larger part in our space. Both will be taking on more athletes even if not right away. and we are still looking for another triathlon coach whom I think will fit. as 24-7 coaching grows they will take a larger support role there.  what 24-7 coaching.

2. New product #1. 24-7 Coaching. this is a very inexpensive what to get expert coaching and training advice for you and your goals. Our private forums and methods work. How do I know this? because its the same methods I have been using, Growing and adapting for 10 years of coaching. there are other training "groups" out there, some very successful. I know this format works. my goal is to give athletes a place with resources that works and is very low cost. the coast will stay at 99.0$ for a years member ship until at least July or about 100 members. we'll see how it goes.  My Goal here. produce a better product than any current "group" out there by getting better results for less coast to the athlete.  This space we have created is also a home for the rest of out teams communication.  group rides, runs, workouts that I or another coach may be leading meeting up at races, etc.
communication is knowledge and knowledge gets results. I have always said training plans don't work and its generally the athletes fault because they lake the how and why of training with out a coach. 24-7 coaching is the how and why.

3. New product #2. On site coaching. On site coaching. this has always been an option but never spelled out.  This past year we have had enough interest and need for this that it is now offered from myself. contact us for a consult. Time is limited.

4. New Product #3. Team Performance Director.  I plan to take the "sponsorship" aspect of coaching amateur teams to a new level. discounts on coaching? access to our partners? sure but that's easy.  this will entail a full scope of services aimed at getting your entire team (or group within your team) to a new level. racing tactics and strategies, individual training, making sure each rider has the full gamete of resources at their disposal. seminars and clinics to synchronize the self tactics of the individual riders with that of the team tactics and big pictures goals. I have done this in separate pieces before. sponsoring teams, being the "training coordinator", etc.  Team director services for the amateur club or team. What shape this takes will depend on the team.

5. This year we have 3 athletes that have the goal and the ability to go pro. as well and an athlete who has the goal and ability to qualify for Hawaii. my goals here? 2 out of 4? 3 out of 4?  If you know anything about me you know its 4 out of 4 or I will loss sleep over the one that didn't reach their potential. but with our 97% goal attainment rate I have confidence.

Personally, away form the business side, I have some goals as well.
  • I would like to qualify for the triathlon world championships in Kona, Hawaii again. 
  • I will aim to produce a better result than i did at the St. George IM in 2012
  • better structure on my days and how I use my time. this on is obvious if I plan to do the above 2 goals and everything else I mention above! 
  • spend more time remote. working from home and not punching a clock has its advantages. when i tell people what I do that's all most people think about. what they don't realize is that running your own business  or doing anything that you deeply care about. something that defines you as a person, and will for the rest of your life, there are more than a few restless nights. That said I have not taken advantage of seeing friends and family enough. this year I will seek out extra time to travel,  spend more time out east after IM lake placid to see friends, etc. 
So what are your goals. dont' make a "resolution". don't make a rule, rules suck and there is exception to them all. If there is even one exception its not a rule. the path to any goal is never a straight line. so get ready to adapt. Get ready to change plans, directions and strategies. 
What are your goals for 2013?  

So there we go. I have given myself a big glass to fill. 364 days to go!