Triathlon training discusssion

    Base work over winter...


    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2009-11-05

    Base work over winter...

    Post by Steno on Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:09 am

    Hi Guys,

    My first Triathnet topic, after once again I believe the intention of a thread on Transitions was lost and Team PIS is doing nothing of interest for me!!

    So..... in your individual examples what do you do to maintain fitness throughout winter, so when the time comes you are ready to rumble for the last 12weeks into an A race. For me, A race is Ironman. If you could also illustrate why that would be great. As in you may do a 3month run block as running is your weekness or you have a goal to run a marathon or the local pool closes over winter, etc.

    Some have suggested a longer ride every 6-8weeks. I know some pull out a 10km run or a 100km TT on TT bike, etc... What are your little secrets?

    Looking to get a bit of a plan together, although as CEM says JFT’ing would likely bring as much results.



    Posts : 56
    Join date : 2009-11-05
    Age : 43
    Location : Melbourne

    Re: Base work over winter...

    Post by MickyC on Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:13 am

    Thanks for posting this here Steno. I was pretty interested in the thread over on transitions but it ended up being yet another example of not being able to hear the quality replies due to all the noise...

    I look forward to hearing what others have to say.
    Dave Tyno

    Posts : 182
    Join date : 2009-11-02
    Location : Brisbane

    Re: Base work over winter...

    Post by Dave Tyno on Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:14 am

    I was actually impressed with yoyo's post in all that.
    Especially this bit:
    "Things get serious in oct/nov, so until then aim for consistency, wellness and enjoyment.."

    How an individual does that would depend on their existing strengths etc.
    Alex R
    **MicroMan World Record Holder**

    Posts : 353
    Join date : 2009-11-02

    Re: Base work over winter...

    Post by Alex R on Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:54 pm

    And hence the reason why I started this site. Cool That was making my head hurt. A simple question about training PRIOR to the specific IM build got the answer 'do a 14 week IM build'. Rolling Eyes

    Anyway, wile not a coach and as someone who pays someone to tell me what to do, I do know what seems to be working and things that certainly did not. As the years add up I find however that some things change as the toal hours add up.

    Pretty much the way I see it, in the lead up to your (that guy in the thread's) 10, 14, 16, 20, whatever week IM program you are training yourself to be able to do that properly. My forst IM I did off very very little training and when I did start a program with AP, I was effectively training to be fit enough for the next session. The actual sessions were not being absorbed the way they should have been.

    So what is it we are doing here? Swim 3.8km, get out and ride 180km then run a Marathon. My personal belief is that not including your first Ironman, at any time during the year if you are in for a long term haul towards your best IM in following years, you should be able to complete and Ironman distance. When I say complete, I mean just that. Nothing to do with times or anything but just the basics of all the distances back to back. If not this, at the very least at the end of your base period right before your IM build you should be able to complete the distances all together. This is what I would want for ME though.

    Now that said, lets look at the reality of it all. Heaps of this is to do with where you are in your triathlon 'life'. I know I had very little confidence in my fitness a few years ago and as a result I was certainly of the more is better crowd. I think that really, if you can avoid injury, motivation loss and sickness, this is the way to get better faster. The 10000 hours thing gets thrown around heaps. This is entirely true and I have a personal eample of exacty this that is 'Trent Champmanesque' in proportion.

    As some may know, I used to compete in Archery. As a youngster, I won a Junior World championship, held all the National Senior records for the Indoor events in my first year as a Senior, was the first person ever to shoot a perfect round.... then found beer, girls and cars and put it on hold. I made a comeback in my mid 20s and off very little practice came 2nd at the State Titles then straight back into retirement. In 2005, the World Championships were to be held in Australia so I got myself involved again and hit it very hard for a year. I very quickly got back to the level I was at and then some and long story short, I blew myself away and got myself 5th place..... after 8 years out, on the back of 12 months training. How is this relevant to this topic? In many many ways.

    The other thread drifted into the PIS thing and many points were lost. One that is very obvious to me these days and used to shit me to tears is that training discussions on the internet always end up being about people glossing over the big picture. When I first joined transitions, I would always read about guys qualifying for Kona on 12 weeks traning!!! What was never added was the 20 years they have had in the sport and all of the lessons they have learned. Goony is a great example. I thought he was a recent blow in for the Ironman thing but he was doing 10 hours at Forster 8 years ago and finally qualified last year. In my Archery example, I had thousands of hours behind me. I knew all about form, technique, equipment, competition pressures, rules, you name it. This is an enormous head start that the newer player to any game would not have. This goes to show that the answer to the original question that you pose Steno is 'It depends'.

    It depends on what the standard required is in the mind of the athlete and the standard that is 'expected' by the universe based on potential. I know it is not a decent answer to a very simple question but really, there is so much to such a thing.... however, there is a very generic answer that I can think of for a balpark type outcome.

    Now for the Ballpark answer. 90 minute swim, 4 hour bike, 2 hour run. All off season, alternatng weekends bike and run. Half you Ironman total hours per week. So, if you are a 20 hour IM prep guy, 10 hours a week in the off season. I think it is also important to have some intensity in there. As you aproach your build, start adding sessions in the week so that your hours start increasing towards those that you will be doing in your program.

    A very simple exmaple week is what I am doing these days while I get back into some traning. (sanitised)

    3 swims - 2km
    3 Bike - 2x2 hours 1x1.5 hours Half IM effort
    3 runs - 2x40 min at half IM pace, 1x 60 mins easy.

    As I miss sessions here and there, it ends up being 7 or so hours a week but is more like a 10 hour plan. This is to get me ready to start the base phase. What that will entail I don't know as I have not got my plan yet from 'coach'.
    David B

    Posts : 22
    Join date : 2010-02-11
    Age : 38

    Re: Base work over winter...

    Post by David B on Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:02 am

    For my people (who have jobs, family etc) it’s no more than 10hrs a week over winter. Number one aim is not to get sick – nothing sabotages your hard work like a couple of weeks off and then a slow build back into it. So keeping the training load at a level that doesn’t overstress your body is pretty important. Also, winter can be an unpleasant time to train and I don’t want to dull their enthusiasm. The secondary aim is to hit October keen and raring to make use of the better weather and hurt some people in races.

    For myself, I get 10hrs a week of commuting and training is on top of that, so I tend to be at a higher number year round. But I’ve been running for 22yrs and riding for 17 so there is a little bit of history to sustain that…

    As far as base building – it depends what you define as base. I define it as being conditioned to handle the specific training required for your target event. Physiologically I define it as maximising mitochondrial enzyme density.

    My goals for this year are to have some good 40km TTs over winter, a strong half IM in December, peak form for half IM in early Jan and perhaps IMNZ (if I go fast enough in half).

    So I’m focussing on 5s-5min duration bike training at the moment. And will do so throughout winter. Will only be riding over 2hrs if someone else suggests it and it’s a nice day. Will be doing a lot of club racing.

    Running is just about consistency and club races (short XC) will provide the speed element.

    The best base you can build for a successful summer campaign is to be faster. Long training in winter is just practising to be slow. If you are newish to the sport then faster may just require consistent training with selected bouts of effort. If you are a long termer it may require doing a lot of very high intensity (and consistency). Or it could be that doing something different that will address weaknesses (example – rock climbing to become a core and flexibility beast) will enable you to break through to a higher level when you start training later on.
    Mick B

    Posts : 119
    Join date : 2009-11-02

    Re: Base work over winter...

    Post by Mick B on Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:41 am


    Last edited by Mick B on Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Paul F

    Posts : 267
    Join date : 2009-11-02

    Re: Base work over winter...

    Post by Paul F on Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:28 am

    I couldn't resist. I hope you don't mind Shocked

    G’day Steno,
    Your questions remind me of what I need to do as a school teacher at the start of the year. I walk into a classroom and I know, as a teacher, what it is the kids need to be achieving (long terms goals) before the end of the year, but I don't know what it is they can do and where they are at in terms of their current abilities.
    The first step I take is to test the kids, find out exactly what it is they can do in order for me to then, plan my lessons so that I am moving them in the right direction, i.e. what it is they need to achieve.
    Once I have tested these kids I then always Backward plan by the design. It is the easiest and most straightforward way to plan and to ensure you are staying on task.
    For example, it would be pointless of me giving these kids 1hr of literacy everyday and 30minutes of mathematics everyday IF they are underperforming in Mathematics. If I do this they will struggles to meet the outcomes (long terms goals) by the end of the year.
    So lets make this a little more practical. I'll use Eric. He did a 9:45 this year at IMNZ and he wants to qualify for Hawaii next year. To do that he needs to do a 9:30. There is the first and most important goal to use as a starting point, this can change along the way. The next step is then break that goal up into each discipline and that will then result in Eric needing to
    Swim 55min (57min)
    Bike 5hr (5:07)
    Run 3:20 (3:34)
    Immediately I have already been able to
    1. Identify what he can do, which is a 9:45
    2. Identify where he needs to be 9:30
    3. Identify what he needs to work in the offseason in order to give him the best possible chance of meeting that goal.

    So by focusing on number 3 you can see he wants to swim 2minutes quicker, ride 7minutes faster and run 14minutes faster. So already I’m building a picture in terms of how to balance his offseason training so as to give him the best possible chance to address his goal in his IM specific preps.
    I then need to take a second look at his goals and do a little, not much analysis, in terms of setting up some short term goals and some benchmarks for Eric to target in the offseason.
    So now I start to conceptualise his some short term benchamarks. He ran a 3:34 this year which is 5:00min/k and testing in training has shown that his Aet pace is 4:30min/k. This means he is capable of running within 30sec per km of his Aetpace. That then forms his first personalised benchmark. Therefore, in the offseason we’ll need to target his Aetpace and make sure it is 4:15min/k which will be at least 30sec per km quicker than his goal IM run pace of 4:45min/k (3:20).
    So Eric’s first offseason goal or plan is to start a run focus and stay on that run focus until his Aet pace hits 4:45min/k. The more aggressive the run plan the quicker he will achieve that goal and then be ready to move onto the next goal ie the bike focus. If time is running out and he has not been able to achieve that goal then we head back to the drawing board to refine his IMNZ goal of 9:30.
    Can you see how your offseason needs to be personalised and more than JFT? If you really want to get the biggest bang for your buck then adding a little focus to the offseason will really help you achieve the big results. Eric’s result this year was a 38minute PB and as you would know he did his first IM in 2007 in 15:55, (Admittedly on a very hard course). He has a zero endurance background so anything is possible. I’ve trained other guys that are first timers doing their first IM in around 11-11.5hrs and they drop off the radar once their IM is over. Their starting point far exceeds where Eric has started, the difference being he has continued to relentlessly chip away at what he needs to do, week after week, month after month, year after year and he loves it.
    In summary, once you have clearly identified what it is you need to do, then deciding how long, how far and how often you need to train becomes an individualised program that is really easy to implement and execute.

    Hope it helps

    Paul F

    Posts : 267
    Join date : 2009-11-02

    Re: Base work over winter...

    Post by Paul F on Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:05 am

    I’ll go off on a little tangent now. That run plan above took me about 15minutes to figure out, yet it will have really positive impact on anyones offseason training.

    I’ll then just email Eric and discuss, with his input, when will be the best time for him to start his run focus. We look at the time of the year in terms of the weather, demands at work, opportunities to race etc, so that we can maximise is enthusiasm and access to resources (run events, training partners, free time etc).
    Then I’ll build a plan knowing exactly how often he’ll need to train, how far, how hard etc. I’ll know how much time he needs to spend in each training zones, which sessions he responds well to and when he is on the verge of breaking down. We communicate very well together and the details in his logs assist me in building up a profile on Eric. In most cases, I can pick up when he is heading into dangerous territory in terms of overdoing it. Just the tones of his emails change around 1-2 weeks before he POPS. Yes tipping him over the edge occasionally on reconfirms how much he can handle, as he is always wanting to pull things back way before his actual physical limits. In fact, he has surprised me in terms of how much the human body to actual handle and absorb.

    Of course I make mistakes along the way, but those mistakes become assets and markers for me to fine tune Eric’s training. 2 years ago he would question ever second session I gave him, which is a good thing, because athletes need to understand the outcomes as well. Now he doesn’t question why I’m giving him a 2hr hard run with an hour at HIMeffort the day before a 160-180km bike ride. He knows exactly why I give him 1hr swim, a 5hr ride and a 2hr run to do in just one day as part of his BDT and then another run long again mid week. It’s a plan that is designed to meet his goals. Eric’s primary limiter going into IMNZ was his running stamina. He turned that around this year and made it his strength by negative splitting the second half of the marathon by 4minutes. That all started from the offseason as it takes time to improve your limiters and this year was the first year I was actually able to convince Eric not run the Tokyo marathon.

    Hope it helps, again

    Glenn C

    Posts : 109
    Join date : 2009-11-02

    Re: Base work over winter...

    Post by Glenn C on Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:47 pm

    Hi All, Mick. Many of the northern hemisphere pros get their run mileage in over winter. Faris is a good example of this, he runs alot in winter then builds the bike kays as the weather gets better. He also added that it helps him avoid injury whilst gaining form in the important part of the season.

    I think your winter base work changes as you change. Number one is work on your weaknesses AND bullet proof your body to withstand what is to come. My previous IM prep (not counting Kona) over winter was all about preparing myself to be able to cope with the distance of IM at as easy an effort as required to do this. If I were to prepare for HIM now I would be starting to work on the aspects that will help me race it rather than avoid slowing down as I now have the fitness to make the distance in good shape. One of the biggest issues is many skip to this point way too early in their development. The biggest problem with how the training should go (multi year schedule) is so many mature age athletes jump to an expert distance like IM without any background in the sport. This makes covering the distance the main prority. Don't build the miles too quickly otherwise you will become stale by the time the season comes around. 10 weeks is my limit of focussed/dedicated/obsessed training. 8 weeks is perfect.

    I 2nd the above quote from YoYo. I like to go mountain biking over winter to keep my mind fresh. Eg did 80km/6100ft of climbing/ 4.5 hrs/Aerobic/ all offroad today. Climbed for the first 2 hours. A whole winter on road would do my head in.

    Sponsored content

    Re: Base work over winter...

    Post by Sponsored content

      Current date/time is Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:32 pm