Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tri Coach: Three Principles of Training

I'm starting something new here at Chez Ironmom Blog. For awhile, I've been writing up swim technique tips from time to time, usually the kinds of advice that I find myself giving to my swimmers frequently and thus are worth writing down and sharing with others. I've tagged them all with the label Swim Coach. As a triathlon coach, I find that something similar happens with triathlon advice. Most of the very basic stuff gets repeated over and over, and is probably worth sharing here, especially for people who are just starting out on their triathlon journey. So I'll be writing those up from time to time and tagging them with Tri Coach so they're easy to find.

Here's one I find myself regularly harping on with athletes. It's a bit of advice that you can probably find in almost every triathlon book, video, course, and comes out of the lips of most coaches on a regular basis.

Yet it is the SINGULARLY MOST IGNORED advice by most athletes. I myself managed to ignore it for years, to the great detriment of my own training. So pay attention :-)

The three very simple, important, and basic rules of endurance training are:

1. Rest: Possibly the hardest thing for many triathletes to do is to take adequate rest. Get at least one full day off per week (I didn't do this last week and ended up over-tired and with a poorer ability to hit my key workouts hard). If you can catch a 15 minute nap during the afternoon time, that's good for the body and soul as well.

2. Go Easy: On "Long, Slow" runs and bikes, don't ignore the "Slow" part of the equation! It's easy to train at too fast a pace when you're going long. Slow should be easy, it should feel too easy. If you're training to go long, your long runs can be done at marathon pace + :30 or +:45 per mile. That's going to feel really slow. Let it!

3. Go Hard: On intervals, sprints, time trials, hill repeats, GO HARD. People who go a little too hard and too fast on their long, slow, easy days often fail to hit the hard days hard enough. Hard workouts suck. Hard workouts hurt. No one wants to hurt, gasp for air, feel like puking. But that's what hard workouts are about. They're quick and over in a relatively short amount of time so suck it up and make it count.

If you don't go easy enough on easy days and hard enough on hard days, you risk spending most of your training time in the gray zone - not slow enough to work your endurance systems and not hard enough to build muscle strength, power, and speed. So you short-change your own goals.

5 comments:

trifitmom said...

love the advice ..thks

midlife_swimmer said...

true!

Laura said...

This is awesome advice! What about after your workout?

I noticed on your blog that you are a true Ironman, having worked your way up to becoming an amazing triathlete. I love that this blog is honest, raw, and real with what training for something like this entails. I am cyclist myself, so I especially appreciate your transition into the sport. I noticed that you were planning on participating in the Cour d’Alene race, but as a premier triathalete, I was wondering if you have ever done a blog post about how important it is to taper before a race, as well as include rest and refueling as part of the training regimen. As you probably know, athletes spend months preparing for endurance events, taking great care with pre-race nutrition, but consuming the right nutrients after a workout is just as important!

This year the REFUEL | “got chocolate milk?” campaign launched to educate athletes of all levels about the benefits of including chocolate milk in their post workout routine. Lowfat chocolate milk has what it takes to help athletes recover after a hard workout – the right mix of protein and carbs to refuel and rebuild exhausted muscles, plus fluids and electrolytes to replace what’s lost in sweat.

Team REFUEL has paired up with the Ironman Cour d’Alene, taking place Sunday, June 24, to educate athletes on proper recovery after long workouts. Since Team REFUEL will be in Cour d’Alene for the Ironman, I would love to chat with you about the benefits that chocolate milk provides and how to join Team REFEUL.

Get Sponsored by Team REFUEL
Athletes will be invited to submit a 60-second video that describes their after-workout ritual – then will rally votes to land a place on Team REFUEL. Winners will score:
• Technical training gear
• $500 in sponsorship money
• The chance to star in a “got chocolate milk?” ad
• The chance race in a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon or ½ in Europe
• For every vote cast on entry videos, $1 will go to the Challenged Athletes Foundation®

Please let me know if you’re interested!

Thanks,
Laura

PS contact me at lmiller@webershandwick.com or give me a call at 312-988-2113. Thanks!

Mad said...

Hey I found your Blog looking for Ironman swimming workouts. I have to say you and the blog are awesome. Plus you have useful advice and fun workouts. I love that you are a barefoot runner who does triathlons. I just did Ironman Melbourne in Vibram 5-fingers and it was amazing I passed nearly 200 people on the run and was only over taken twice. My best component out of the 5(S,T,B,T,R) was the bike to run transition that I did in under 4 minutes. If you haven't yet I'd say try your next one with Vibrams. It's totally worth the few extra seconds it takes to pull them on.

Mad said...

Hey I found your Blog looking for Ironman swimming workouts. I have to say you and the blog are awesome. Plus you have useful advice and fun workouts. I love that you are a barefoot runner who does triathlons. I just did Ironman Melbourne in Vibram 5-fingers and it was amazing I passed nearly 200 people on the run and was only over taken twice. My best component out of the 5(S,T,B,T,R) was the bike to run transition that I did in under 4 minutes. If you haven't yet I'd say try your next one with Vibrams. It's totally worth the few extra seconds it takes to pull them on.