Long Rides and Runs this winter.

Crew,

  Keep in mind that during these very important winter base sessions that
it is CRITICAL THAT YOU DON’T “LEVEL JUMP”.  You must respect your
body’s need for a sensible progression that allows for a healthy
adaptation process.  Remy, Willie and Janet have laid out specific
benchmarks that we’re trying to hit but you must never try to over-reach
or you will simply end up sick or injured.  An “over-reach” is more than
10-15min longer than your longest run for the previous 6 weeks and
30-45min longer than your longest bike for the previous 4 weeks.  For
example, I’ve been off running for nearly a month so a 10 minute run is
considered an appropriate workout right now.  A 30 minute run would be a
dangerous over-reach that could put me on the sidelines.

Train SMART, dream BIG, go FAST and have FUN!

Bryant

O2 Group Runs – December Progression –

Lots of info – please take 3-4 minutes to read. Last one today I promise

Wanted to relay  what Coach Bryant articulated to both Coach Remy and Coach Janet regarding group runs . After discussion, here is the game plan that I hope you will follow with me.

This weekend’s group run will be at 40-45 minutes or so – so basically @ Level 1 (see progression notes below)

Weekly Venues:

Limiting our run venues to the following locations:

1.       Sellwood Riverfront Park/ Oaks Park

2.       Tryon Creek

3.       Duniway Park/Track

Each serves a specific purpose (flat, trail, hill).

We may from time to time start & stop at someone’s house – this is the exception not the rule

Facebook:

I will soon be posting Saturday group run’s on FB through December & January, so that you can always refer to specific location. Additionally, I will send out reminder emails for those not on FB

Will also be posting info about Cascade Half Marathon, 10k & 2mile event – I want to find out who wants to go and get carpools eventually set. Discount code coming soon to register

Weekly Run Start time:

8:30AM

After consulting with many that consistently participate in the weekend runs, we will stick to this time each week unless specifically called out

Objective:

The primary training objective is for everyone to slowly and progressively build an aerobic running base that will lead into training later in the season.  The challenge is not in running too slow,

but rather than ALMOST EVERYONE RUNS TOO FAST for their present fitness level.  These should be conversational pace runs.

The secondary objective in these runs is to connect people.  This is the one and ONLY time in all the training that people can actually interact in any substantial way…We need to take advantage

of this time when we are building our base rather than worrying about how fast we are going.

Coach Bryant Quote : “If I can get a workout running with the slowest person in our group, then ANYONE can.  Running hard during “base” is a guaranteed recipe for running slow during the season”.

PROGRESSION:

People should stay in each target UNTIL THEY COMPLETE THE EFFORT WITHOUT STRUGGLE.  Distance is irrelevant during base training and it doesn’t matter how long it takes to progress from one

benchmark to the next, you just can’t “Level Jump” (it might take some people much longer to move through levels).

1.       Benchmark I:  Should be able to COMFORTABLY run 30-45min at a conversational pace without struggling at the end.

2.       Benchmark 2:  Should be able to COMFORTABLY run 45-60min at a conversational pace without struggling at the end.

3.       Benchmark 3:  Should be able to COMFORTABLY run 60-75min at a conversational pace without struggling at the end.

a.       This is as far as beginners/sprint distance folks need to progress

4.       Benchmark 4:  Should be able to COMFORTABLY run 75-90min at a conversational pace without struggling at the end.

a.       Intermediate/Olympic Distance people need to get here

5.       Benchmark 5:  Should be able to COMFORTABLY run 1h30m-1h45m at a conversational pace without struggling at the end.

a.       Advanced/70.3 Distance people need to get here

Notes:

*         Yes, the weather will suck on some of these days – let’s battle it together

*         The more you don’t want to get out of bed to run with the group, the more you should

*         If you can’t run, come out and do what you CAN do – give away excuses as presents @ Christmas as you don’t need them 🙂

*         Hardest thing is getting out your front door

*         Push yourself – you’re the only one that truly can

Get it? Got it? Gooooood

See you at my house this Saturday (Dec 5th) per last email

Best,

Mr. Director….Sir

NOV/DEC O2 NEWS!

Hey Team,

It’s time! December is…TOMORROW. I hope you have all enjoyed our
November downtime as much as I have. At first, I wondered how on earth I
could handle that much time off.  It didn’t take long before I realized
just how easy it would be!

I’ve been laying low and enjoying time with family and friends, staying up
late and sleeping in. Starting after Thursday’s Thanksgiving dinner (thanks
tryptophan!) I have been practicing for what I know is coming; alarm
clocks and dark, chilly mornings, by forcing myself in bed by 8:30pm and
passing up the holiday indulgences.
—————————–

This month is going to be a good one. It’s time to get back into the groove
and set ourselves up for an incredible new year. Racing *Duathlon Nationals
in Bend *is a super exciting goal that I know lots of us are aiming for it.
This will make for some really fun training sessions. Have you penciled out
the rest of your goals for the year? Sometimes the process can seem
overwhelming. These are *your* dreams. Write down a whole bunch and then
pick a few that really hit you in the gut and makes you say, “Yes, I want
that!”

Remember, keep your goals measurable, specific, challenging and exciting.
Here’s a link to Coach Bryant’s recent email about how to tackle *goal
setting*. Read it, and then go for it.
Dream BIG <http://www.remyfitness.com/its-time-dream-big/>

——————————

NOW let’s make them happen. *Starting this Tuesday* we are back at the
Training Center to get our first Bike workout. Sure, it might hurt a
little, but, that’s never stopped us before.

If you haven’t committed to your training plan yet…do it now. Here again
is the current *schedule for December.*

Monday –
6am SWIM at ESAC

Tuesday –
6am BIKE at Training Center (TC)
7:15-7:45am Circuit Training with Willie (It’s gonna be good!)
9am – 10am Women’s Strength Training (She-Ra! Come try it!)

Wednesday –
6am SWIM at ESAC
6pm Strength and Power (TC)
7pm BIKE

Thursday –
6am RUN (TC)* ***Note**** For the winter months we are going to take
advantage of the climate controlled environment of the Training Center. We
will also be focusing on building strength, honing technique, and
developing speed. You can expect warm-up and drill work as usual, at least
30mins of continuous running on treadmills, around the “barn” and outside,
plus more agility, core work and fun!

Friday –
6am BIKE (TC)
7:15 – 7:45am Circuit Training with Janet (Get pumped!)

——————————
*Our Weekend activities* are shaping up too! This *SATURDAY 12/5* Allison
and Tom are hosting a *Club Group Run and Breakfast after*. Check out the
Facebook page for more info. Drag a friend or two out of their winter
hideout and get out there. Info: Club Run
<https://www.facebook.com/events/494431824058676/>

Janet will be also hosting additional base training bike workouts at the
TC, Sundays this month. There will be a $20 drop-in fee to be paid on
arrival. This will be first come first served – so get there early and get
your favorite spot! Movie and a workout! Bring your own snacks:-)

So, mark your *DECEMBER* calendars with *Saturday Club Runs* and *Sunday
Indoor Bike Rides* with Janet. Note start times, locations and drop in fees
for additional Compu-trainer workouts. Keep an eye out on The Club’s
Facebook page for any changes.

Sat 12/5 9am CLUB RUN @ Allison and Tom’s (8734 NW Ogden Street, Portland,
OR)
Sun 12/6 8am Indoor Ride @ The TC $20 Drop in/First Come First Served
Sat 12/12 9am CLUB RUN @ Tryon Creek Map <http://tryonfriends.org>
Sun 12/13 8am Indoor Ride @ The TC
Sat 12/19 9am CLUB RUN @ Sellwood/Oaks Park Map
<http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder/index.cfm?&propertyid=490&action=ViewPark>
Sun 12/20 8am Indoor Ride @ The TC
Sat 12/26 9am CLUB RUN @ Duniway Park Map
<http://www.portlandonline.com/parks>
————————

I am eager to start training again and truly looking forward to
reconnecting with all of you. We’ve got exciting things on the horizon. 
If
you are interested in strength training but none of the group times work
with your schedule, consider personal training. Shoot me a message and we
can find a time that works and make a plan. This is the best time of year
to tackle questionable nutrition habits too. Whether yours need a total
overhaul, a clean up during the holidays or a reboot as you get back to
training – we can help with that too. *Personal Training *and* Nutrition
Coaching* are two personalized ways to elevate your fitness and your diet.

Set out your water bottles, round up your bike gear and get in bed early.

See you soon!

Notes on Bike Handling

notes-on-bike-handling*** If you think you might need to improve your skills you probably should. If you don’t think you need work on your skills, you DEFINITELY should! ***

There are a number of reasons to improve your bike handling skills. One reason is of course is to improve your ability to maneuver through the pack whether on a group ride or in a race. Another reason is to improve your safety and the safety of the riders around you. By being more relaxed and confident on the bike, you will waste less energy through tension and anxiety and you will be able to apply all your energy to turning over the pedals. The most important thing to take away from the drills outlined in this article is not any particular skill or ability, but an overall improvement in your sense of confidence and relaxation on the bike.

WARM UP – Follow the leader. This is a fun, easy way to get things going. One rider can take the reins here and lead the group around the parking lot. The idea here is not speed but dexterity. Impose a maximum speed limit or give points for being the slowest to complete an obstacle course without touching down! Practice sharp turns, cutting in between obstacles and, for a more advanced group, hop a curb or try a track stand. Try to stay as close together as possible. This can be done as an elimination exercise. Keep going until the last rider has to place down a foot or plain falls off.

ANKLE GRAB – This drill involves holding onto your leg while pedaling. What you will find is that flexibility and the length of your limbs has very little to do with success in this exercise. The real key is the ability to push the bike away from the side you are leaning to while continuing to ride in a straight line. By pushing the bike to the side and keeping your center of gravity in the middle, you effectively bring your body lower to the ground. Start by pedaling the length of the parking lot holding your right calf with your right hand and your left hand in the drops. This should be fairly easy. Try it on the other side. Then see if you can move your hand down to your ankle and hold on to it while you pedal. Once you achieve that, you can try to pedal while holding the heel of your foot. The farther you lean your bike to the side, the lower down you will be able to reach.

OBJECT RETRIEVAL – This is a natural progression from ankle grabbing. Using the same concept as the above drill, practice picking up water bottles from the ground. Ride slowly up to the bottle and, pushing your bike away from the side you are leaning to, bring yourself low enough to the ground so that you can retrieve the bottle. You can start by trying to knock the bottles over using your left hand and then your right. Move on to picking up the bottles and then putting them down without letting them fall over. From there, you can practice picking up smaller objects such as soda cans or bottle caps.

LOOK BACK – A basic skill that many cyclists lack is the ability to look over their shoulder without coming off their line. For this drill, pick a partner who is roughly your size. Start by riding the length of the parking lot with your right hand on your partner’s shoulder, looking over your right shoulder. Don’t be afraid to lean on your partner. He will keep you going in a straight line. Once you’ve mastered that, practice looking over the outside shoulder. Try to turn around and look behind you while maintaining a straight line.

TURNING – There are three ways to take a corner on a bike. Lean the bike, lean your body and the bike and turn the handlebars. Most steering is done by leaning, but learning how to turn the bike using the handlebars can be a useful skill. By turning the handlebars instead of leaning the bike, you prevent the possibility of having the tires slide out from underneath you on a wet road or on a gravelly turn.

PARKING SPACE CRIT – In this exercise, you are going to have your own little criterium inside a single parking space. Attempt to make a full circle inside the confines of a parking space. Remember to look to the place where you want to go, instead of where you currently are (this is important in all turns). Once you’ve mastered turning in one direction, try it the other way.

SLOW RACE – Have all the riders line up as if at the start of a race. Mark a finish line about 20 meters away. Using balance and steering, each rider will attempt to rider as slowly as possible without falling over. The last rider to cross the line is the winner. If they clip out, ride backwards or crash, they are out of the race.

AVOIDING CRASHES

At some point, all riders crash. No matter how diligently you try to avoid them, someone will go down in front of you, you’ll hit a pothole wrong or you’ll get bumped. Having said that, it is possible to find ways to minimize your risk of crashing. Keep these simple tips in mind and you’ll learn to read your surroundings and reduce the chances of a crash.

– Watch for riders that aren’t fully comfortable on their bike. New riders can be particularly challenging. They will be unpredictable and wobbly. Stay well in front or behind these riders.

– Watch for narrow bridges, oncoming cars, potholes, gravel or other road challenges. Stay alert.

– Keep your head up. Tired riders often drop their heads. It’s very difficult to see the road ahead or the front of the peloton if you’re looking at your pedals.

– Watch rider behavior. Riders taking a drink may slow down in front of you. Mechanicals like slipped gears and punctures will also abruptly change a rider’s pace. If this happens to you, put your arm up and carefully move to the rear of the peloton.

– MOST IMPORTANT, if you do find yourself in a crash, relax and HANG ONTO YOUR BIKE. Often riders will panic and make the crash worse by tensing up and letting go of their handlebars. Tuck your elbows in and try to land on your shoulder you may break your collarbone, but this is an easy injury to recover from compared head/neck injuries

*** For more information regarding this topic or any of our custom coaching packages we can be reached using the CONTACT US tab. We look forward to hearing from you. ***

Effects of Heat on Performance

by George Chester, Ultra Cycling Coaching

Summer heat has an impact on your performance very similar to altitude and should be taken equally seriously in how you plan and perform you training. Like altitudes of 7000 , temperatures in and above 90 degrees Fahrenheit will cause power declines of 10% or more depending on acclimatization. During Floyd Landis’ Tour de France winning ride his Physiologist Allen Lim, riding in the car next to him, noted that every time Floyd poured a bottle of cold water over his head his power increased 30-40 watts, or approximately 10% of his sustainable power. Floyd’s previous day’s disaster was simply due to overheating.

The graph below depicts a ride up a 5% 10 mile Cat 1 climb. Note temperatures at the start of the climb are low to mid 80s climbing to 90-104 degrees in the 2nd half of the climb.

The athlete has a power threshold of 250w and heart rate threshold of 145bpm and attempted to maintain an average HR of 140bpm, which would be low threshold or zone 4 and normally should not be a problem. The ride start temperature was 82 degrees, comfortably under normal body temperature and at an average power of 245w zone 4, the avg heart rate during the first 30 minutes was 138bpm, zone 3/4. In the second/final hi-lighted 30 minute section the outside temperature rises to equal body temperature, 98.6 and above at a steady HR of 137bpm, but the power drops quickly to an average of 205w as the body is forced into cooling mode. In this final sector as the heat peaks at 104 degrees,the body is diverting resources to the cooling battle with a power decline of 17% or close to 40watts.

Some lessons to learn:
1. To get the most out of any hard training workout you should do them early or late during the coolest part of the day. (Seven days later this same rider set a personal best of 272w @ HR of l42bpm in a temperature of 72 degrees)

2. Expect a 10% or more power loss once temperatures are in the 90%u2019s and if you have a power meter quit trying to achieve a target power and shift over to a target heart rate.

3. Don’t be disappointed if your times up your favorite climb are 10% or so higher than your best, because you are still riding close to a previous best time done in cooler temperatures.

4. When your heart rate rises to near threshold, and/or you feel light headed or nauseated, slow down and if that doesn’t help find the nearest shade and stop and if cool water is available poor some over your head. The good news is that as long as you respect the heat and respond early to the symptoms, you will recover quickly as soon as your body cools down and regains control of its temperature. Ignore the symptoms and you could send yourself to the hospital.

5. If you want to ride in the heat to get acclimatized, do it on easier rides where your body isn’t creating as much internal heat, which aggravates the problem.

If the weather has just become hot, be even more careful until your body acclimates to the summer temperature change. This usually takes a couple weeks, similar again to altitude, but even with acclimation you will still lose significant power. However if you spend most of the time in air conditioning, don’t expect the same level of acclimation.

Take the heat seriously, ease the pace, listen to your body, watch your heart rate, drink extra, poor water over your head, ride with an ice pack if possible and expect a loss of performance. If you do this you can still enjoy/survive a ride in the heat. Above all don’t beat yourself up because you seem slower and weaker than normal, and definitely don’t decide to push even harder and tough it out as that will just bring about heat exhaustion.

George Chester is a contract coach at Ultra Cycling Coaching. You can find more of his articles and information about his services at;
www.ultracyclingcoaching.com

*** For more information regarding this topic or any of our custom coaching packages we can be reached using the CONTACT US tab. We look forward to hearing from you. ***

effects-of-heat-on-performance

Rest to Gain Fitness

Most people live very hectic lives and they don’t get the rest or sleep that they need. If you are training hard then you need rest to recharge your batteries. You can’t be at peak efficiency after staying up until 1:00AM and getting up at 6:00AM the next morning for days on end. Nautilus founder Arthur Jones published an article in the 1970 Ironman Magazine abou this very topic. The article stated that Jones could add 1/2 inch of muscle size to any highly motivated bodybuilder. Arthur Jones brought in a group of bodybuilders and told them to sleep and rest for the next 3 nights and days. After the 3 days and nights most of the bodybuilders had already gained 1/4 inch on their arms. Most bodybuilders overtrain. By simply resting the bodybuilders were able to get their muscles to recuperate and grow. Apply the following rules to your routine to make your muscles grow.

-Get 10 hours of sleep per night if you are a teenager
-Get 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night if you are an adult
-Schedule a 15 minute nap in the middle of the afternoon (I know most people can’t do this, but try)
-Keep vigorous activity on your days off to a minimum
-Take a week off after 6 months of steady training

If you get the rest you need you will successfully achieve your fitness goals.

To learn more about the latest in recovery technology used by O2 Endurance athletes visit www.restwise.com.

*** For more information regarding this topic or any of our custom coaching packages we can be reached using the CONTACT US tab. We look forward to hearing from you. ***

Run: Keys to Speed

Stride Length/Stride Rate
In a simplistic view, to improve speed you need to increase stride length and/or stride rate. Many athletes and coaches initially concentrate on improving stride length only to find that both stride rate and speed decrease. It is perhaps more effective to work on stride rate because this increases the power in the leg muscles which in turn naturally increase stride length.

Stride Length and Rate
Exercise physiologist Jack Daniels, PhD monitored the stride rate and stride lengths of the athletes in the 1984 Olympic track and field competitions. It was found that competitors in the shorter distances had longer stride lengths. In contrast the stride rate did not vary significantly. Stride rates for all events fell between 185 and 200 steps per minute.

How to improve Stride Rate
The easiest way to to determine your strike rate is to count the number of times your right foot lands during one minute of running. Repeat the one minute runs at different speeds from an easy jog to interval speed. If you are like an elite athlete you will find that your stride rate is 90 or more per minute (180 steps) and is similar for various speeds. If your stride rate is less than 90 then make a conscious effort to increase the stride rate. To do this, concentrate on quicker, lighter, relaxed steps, but do not change the way your feet strike the ground.

Distance runners need to maintain strike rate when running up hills by adjusting the stride length. If you let strike rate slow down you will find that fatigue sets in and it is harder to get back to the desired strike rate once you are over the crest of the hill.

*** For more information regarding this topic or any of our custom coaching packages we can be reached using the CONTACT US tab. We look forward to hearing from you. ***

Indoor Cycling

INDOOR CYCLING: Better than the great outdoors?

indoor-cyclingThe prospect of indoor cycling during the long, cold winter months is more than many endurance athletes can bear. No wonder: They resign themselves to hours on the “trainer”, banging their heads with their favorite tunes and worn out tapes on the VCR. If only the sensory overload would somehow reduce the monotony help pass the time more quickly!

Before you reach into the closet this year to blow the dust off your old indoor cycling equipment for another go ’round, let’s revisit the idea behind all of this. Specifically, let’s go over the basics of indoor cycling: the available equipment, the training essentials, and some sample drills and workouts. By the time you’re through with this brief review you may actually welcome the time spent in the controlled, safe indoor environment. And who knows, you could become so excited with your progress that you’ll forget to crank the tunes before each session. OK, let’s not get carried away…

EQUIPMENT
Various options exist for riding your bike indoors with “new and improved” mechanisms appearing all the time. To decide which option is right for you, it’s important to become familiar with the pros and cons of each:

Rollers:
The oldest and most established piece of equipment used for indoor cycling is a set of rollers. If you’ve ever seen a set, but never rode a bike on one, you may wonder how in the world anyone can balance a bike on a configuration of three (or four) parallel metal drums. The answer has to do with the band connecting the front and rear drums, and the angular momentum generated by the spinning bike wheels.

Positives: Excellent for practicing balance and improving pedaling efficiency.

Negatives: Can be unstable and unsafe for inexperienced riders. Also, resistance against pedaling only increases linearly and tapers off as steady speeds are achieved. This does not reflect “real life” conditions on the road, where it becomes much harder to pedal faster as speeds are increased. Rollers aren’t very portable, either.

Wind Load Simulators:
First introduced by RacerMate in 1976, this training aide was designed to increase pedaling resistance by driving a specially designed fan off the bike’s spinning rear wheel. The object of this design is to increase this resistance quadratically (making it much harder to pedal faster as speeds are increased), thereby simulating actual outdoor conditions.

Positives: Realistic resistance during pedaling.

Negatives: Rear wheel is held firmly in place and the rider therefore is not forced to practice balance, spinning, and other bike handling skills. Also, wind load fans are EXTREMELY LOUD when pedaling at higher speeds.

Magnetic Trainers:
The designs for these training aides tend to be similar to wind load simulators, with the main difference being that the resistance is generated by magnets rather than by a fan passing through air. Because of this difference the “mag” trainers are noticeably less noisy than wind load trainers.

Positives: Doesn’t inhibit the rider’s ability to hear, which leaves greater possibility for entertainment options.

Negatives: Mag trainers combine the negative aspects of rollers with the negative aspects of wind trainers. As with rollers, pedaling resistance with mag trainers is linear (unrealistic). As with wind trainers, the rear wheel is held firmly in place and the rider doesn’t have to practice balancing and pedaling more efficiently.

Fluid Trainer
This product deserves special mention for its technical innovation. The unit is quiet and the resistence is realistic, as the unit’s spinning flywheel generates resistance using trapped viscous fluid within the rear drum. This resistance increases quadratically (as the square) as speed increases, and the ride is smooth and quiet.

Positives: Very lightweight and easily transported. Realistic ride.

Negatives: Rear wheel still held firmly in place.

“Hybrid” Trainers:
Some roller manufacturers have attempted to address their primary equipment shortcomings by figuring out different ways to increase resistance quadratically (as the square) as speed increases. Some have hooked up fans to the spinning rollers and others have simply increased the “dampening” resistance when a normal roller drum is spinning.

Positives: More realistic ride.

Negatives: Less portable and more expensive than the standard roller option.

CompuTrainer:
Other manufacturers have attacked the market with self-contained, highly technical pieces of equipment that offer more complete solutions for indoor training. This market segment is lead again by RacerMate, this time with their CompuTrainer. These products often combine visual feedback, producing “real-time” data that reflects speed, pedal cadence, the rider’s heart rate, and even a means of monitoring the power output at different points during the pedal cycle.

Positives: Incredible amounts of useful feedback available during training, enabling the rider to train more efficiently and improve performance more effectively.

Negatives: Rather expensive, with prices above $1,000 per unit. Also, most of these models involve holding the rear wheel stationary. For more product information, visit the CompuTrainer web site.

ESSENTIAL TRAINING FEEDBACK
Getting meaningful, useful feedback during indoor cycling is essential. Keep reminding yourself: This year you’re not just “spinning your wheels” until the perennial spring thaw. You’re going to establish some discipline and stick to your regimen. And the best way to do this is to increase the quality and amount of feedback during your training sessions, and record what you learn for future comparison. The three areas most important to monitor during training are your heart rate, speed, and time.

Heart Rate Monitoring:
If you’re going to ride effectively indoors, you’ve got to wear a heart rate monitor–there’s no way around it. Monitoring your exertion is important to ensure that you continue to train at the desired levels for a particular session. This includes achieving the high levels of stress during intense workouts, as well as holding your heart rate down during Endurance and Recovery Zone training sessions.

Speedometers / Cyclometers:
A standard cyclometer used during outdoor riding will provide meaningful information during training. The information available generally includes current, average, and maximum speeds; trip and overall distance traveled; and a timer. Monitoring the speeds achieved during stressful riding can help you record and track improvements over time. For training options that hold the front wheel motionless you will need an adapter kit for driving your cyclometer feedback off the rear wheel.

Stop Watches:
By now every athlete on Earth has got to have access to a watch that includes a full functioning stop watch. In case you don’t you can also use the stop watch function on your cyclometer, or even the one your heart rate monitor might have, to determine the length of your training session. You may find it useful to have more than one stop watch available for timing individual repeats and sets within your training sessions.

Indoor Training Advantages

Riding indoors is actually superior to outdoor training options when it comes to performing drills designed to improve your cycling efficiency. The safe, controlled inside environment makes it possible to focus while evaluating your technique without worrying about the inherent dangers involved with riding on the roads. In the SuperCoach training program, we incorporate useful drills such as Isolated Leg Training.
Putting your bike on a trainer also provides a venue for experimenting with new equipment and other technical adjustments. Adjusting such things as seat post height and saddle position, as well as stem height, extension, and handlebar options, can be done more quickly, easily, and safely indoors. With appropriate feedback mechanisms in place you can better determine how to position your components to yield the best specific solution for you and your particular bike

*** For more information regarding this topic or any of our custom coaching packages we can be reached using the CONTACT US tab. We look forward to hearing from you. ***

Bryant Howard can be emailed at Bryant@O2Endurance.com

Base Training for Triathlon

Below is a list of the essential components to a balanced multisport sport base training program. Many of these elements are best addressed during the winter months when we’re not competing. As you look over the explanations of the different components and phases of training consider how each might be applied to your own training to help you successfully achieve your training goals.

General Prep/Base Building Phase is a phase of training that can last anywhere from 3-6 months and sets the tone for all the training you%u2019ll do over the course of a year. One might argue that the training done during these weeks is the most crucial to the successful completion of your annual plan. This phase forms the foundation upon which all subsequent training is built. Effective base training prepares you to achieve higher performance peaks greatly reduces the risk of injury during higher intensity training. At this time of year you should be focusing on efficiency practice and keeping overall intensity very low.

Incorporating drill work into training sessions is an excellent way to train the nervous system to swim/bike/run even more effectively and efficiently. Training your body to maximize every ounce of expended energy will help you race your best once fitness has peaked. Training the body to move more efficiently also helps to reduce risk of overuse injuries resulting from poor bio-mechanics. The following are some ideas for training objectives during your base training phase and some drills to help you achieve them.

SWIMMING TECHNIQUE:
Swimming by its very nature is a technical activity, so try to focus on these key points.
-Improve in-line stabilization of your core.
-Keep your head neutral (like when you%u2019re standing) and rotate your head and body together as a unit when you breathe.
-Flatten your lower back by squeezing in your abdominal muscles toward your spine.
-Improve your kicking capacity.
-Work your legs by doing more aerobic leg work.
-Leg training precedes aerobic swim training.
-Establish your technique at slow speed.
-Practice specific drills that train your feel for the water (ie; sculling/fist swimming).
-Establish a balanced body position without flotation aids or kicking.

CYCLING TECHNIQUE:
Once you’ve established a good “aero” position the bike is often considered pretty non-technical, well here are some training objectives that will not only help you ride a faster bike split, you%u2019ll feel better when you get off the bike as well.

Build you leg speed.
-Practice “spin ups” by increasing your cadence to the point you can no longer spin under control and then immediately relaxing back into a comfortable pedaling rhythm.
-Practice riding downhill in your small chainring. Try to keep your wheel engaged in the smallest gear possible.
-Develop a smooth/round pedal stroke.
-Utilize rollers and one leg drills to develop a feel for the smooth round pedal stroke
-Visualize pedaling in a square so that you%u2019re pushing your toes forward in your shoe at the top of the stroke, and wiping your shoes backward at the bottom. (the rest will happen too quickly to control)

OPTIMIZE YOUR POSITION
-Work with a professional familiar with appropriate bike fit.
-Conduct a power test in multiple positions to confirm proper ratio of power:aerodynamics.

RUNNING TECHNIQUE:
Running is something most of us just do without any thought of incorporating much in the way of specific technique. If you weren%u2019t fortunate enough to have a background in track or cross country you might not even realize that it is possible to become a more efficient runner. Focus on the following objectives for a few weeks your body will begin to perform differently during that last portion of the triathlon.

-Develop a naturally smooth and efficient arm swing.
-Focus on maximizing trunk strength by incorporating core work into your training.
-Stand in front of a mirror with light hand weights and practice running arm motion (3 sets of 50 reps)
-Incorporate upper body resistance training to improve muscular strength.
-Develop a compact and efficient foot recovery.
-“Power marching” drill keeping foot in flexed position.
-“Power skipping” over cones maintaining flexed foot position.
-Power skipping to short accelerations keeping flexed foot position.
-Develop fluid and efficient running stride.
-Utilize skipping drills. (skip for length, speed skipping, bounding)
-Add accelerations to skipping drills.
-Progress to lactate threshold or tempo running to maintain focus on preserving good form at higher intensity.

RESISTANCE TRAIN:
You probably already know that resistance training is an important part of your overall training plan, but do you know why? Below are three primary and compelling reasons to utilize resistance training beginning with your base phase.

Stabilize joints (reduce your risk of connective tissue injury)
-Perform multi-joint exercises at moderate intensity that focus on sport specific muscles especially around knees and shoulders.
-Periodize resistance training intensity to avoid plateaus. (base, hypertrophy, muscular endurance, muscular peak)
-Strengthen highly utilized muscles (reduce your risk of muscular overuse injury)
-Perform single joint exercises at moderate intensity that focus on sport specific muscles such as the hamstrings, quadriceps and calves.
-Periodize resistance training intensity to avoid plateaus. (base, hypertrophy, muscular endurance, muscular peak)

Increase sport specific explosive power.
-Swim – deltoids, lats, abdominals
-Bike – quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves
-Run – calves, hams, glutes, quads, torso

By incorporating some of these concepts into your base training phase you’ll be setting the groundwork for a solid season of training and racing.

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Running Economy

Speed is an important attribute in many sports and improvements in speed are highly coveted. In a simplistic view, to improve speed you need to increase stride length and/or stride rate. Many athletes and coaches initially concentrate on improving stride length only to find that both stride rate and speed decrease. It is perhaps more effective to work on stride rate because this increases the power in the leg muscles which in turn naturally increase stride length.

Stride Length and Rate
Exercise physiologist Jack Daniels, PhD monitored the stride rate and stride lengths of the athletes in the 1984 Olympic track and field competitions. It was found that competitors in the shorter distances had longer stride lengths. Female stride lengths varied form 4 feet 10 inches in the marathon to 6 feet 8 inches for the 800 meters. Male stride length was 6 feet 2 inches during the 10 kilometer race to just over 7 feet 9 inches in the 800 meters.

In contrast the stride rate did not vary significantly. Stride rates for all events, for both men and women, fell between 185 and 200 steps per minute.

Stride length – 100m sprinter
Work conducted on male 100 meter sprinters (10.4 – 11.0 secs) indicated that the average stride length was 1.14 times the athletes height. Similar work conducted on the best twelve 100m sprinters (11.0 – 12.4 secs) at Stanford University concluded that the normal stride length was 1.17 times the athletes height. Despite the differences in abilities of the athletes in each group the results are fairly similar. Further work conducted on twenty three 100m sprinters (9.9 – 10.4 secs) concluded that the average stride length was 1.35 times the athletes height.

The possible reason for the differences in the results is that some of the data was gathered from work conducted on cinder tracks, where as some was conducted on synthetic surfaces.

How to improve Stride Rate
The easiest way to to determine your stride rate is to count the number of times your right foot lands during one minute of running. Repeat the one minute runs at different speeds from an easy jog to interval speed. If you are like an elite athlete you will find that your stride rate is 90 or more per minute (180 steps) and is similar for various speeds. If your stride rate is less than 90 then make a conscious effort to increase the stride rate. To do this, concentrate on quicker, lighter, relaxed steps, but do not change the way your feet strike the ground. I have found that Aqua running often helps athletes with a slow stride rate.

Cross country runners need to maintain stride rate when running up hills by adjusting the stride length. If you let stride rate slow down you will find that fatigue sets in and it is harder to get back to the desired stride rate once you are over the crest of the hill.

The Breathing Issue
Most elite athletes use a 2-2 breathing rhythm. That is they breath in for two steps and they breath out for two steps. The 2-2 breathing rhythm means you are taking 45 breaths (assume you now have a strike rate of 90) which is slow enough to allow for good depth of breathing. It is recommended to practice all kinds of breathing patterns, just to become familiar with them and to note your body’s reaction. Try the 3-3 breathing rhythm, 4-4 breathing rhythm and also try unequal breathing rhythms such as 3-2 and 2-3. Many well trained runners use either a 2-2 or 3-3 breathing rhythm.

Long term analysis conducted by Jack Daniels has found that elite athletes in races up to and including the 10K use the 2-2 breathing rhythm at the start of the race and after completing about two-thirds of the race they switch to a 2-1 breathing rhythm. For races longer than 10k the 2-2 breathing rhythm is used for the whole distance, perhaps shifting to a 2-1 breathing rhythm in the last minute or two for the sprint finish. An important point is that your breathing rhythm will not only tell you how hard you are working but also allow you to control how hard you work.

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