Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Training: Phase one.

As much as I enjoyed the last month of just doing whatever I have felt like doing I do like having a plan and schedule. The first 3 months of my training will be about working on my limiters. It has become apparent that over my frist 2 seasons of racing that the two things really holding me back are my swim and my bike. While they both strong enough to keep me in contention it is frustrating to always have to track people down on the run.

Most of my races breakdown like this:

decent swim without pushing too hard, and I come out 1-3 minutes down on the leaders (amateurs).

the bike is the wildcard. Typically I lose another couple of minutes to the leaders leaving me about 5 minutes down at the start of the run. Maui was the first time where I acually made up time on the bike. Hopefully that trend continues in the future.

I usually have the one of the fastest, if not the fastest, run split when it comes to the amateurs. In xterra the runs are typically 10ks and making up five minutes, even with a fast run, is almost impossible unless somebody totally blows up.

So what am I going to focus on the next 3 months?

1. Bike - Force
2. Swim - Form/Technique

I believe these are two thing holding me back from really going as fast as I can on race day. My training will be focused around these two "limiters" through my base phase.

In the next couple of weeks I will be meeting with a highly reccomended swim coach and spending a lot of time in the saddle before I had back to Virginia Beach for Xmas.

Along with a lot of big gear work on the bike, long Z2-Z3 rides, aerobic running on hilly trails, and drill focused sessions in the pool I will also be hitting the weightroom on a regular basis. I think I will benefit from some added muscle and overall strength. Last year I lost quite a bit of weight without even trying. It just melted away as I was training for the 70.3. In 2006 I raced at ~142lbs and this year I was 10lbs lighter at ~132lbs. I feel like a lot of the weight I lost was muscle as I was already pretty lean. I also noticed a considerable loss of strength across the board in the gym. After a month of eating (still pretty healthy when compared to most) and drinking my face off I am at a whopping 135.6. I don't have any weight goals and am not really going to focus on weight. It will take care of itself. I just want to pack on some lbs of muscle and build a good foundation heading into the long Xterra season.

Here's some date from my first big gear/hill workout from Tuesday morning. Jim posted a great article on his coaching blog about tracking fitness using heartrate and watts. The workout below will be done weekly on the same hill. The only variable will be that I will increase the number of intervals as well as increase the duration as training progresses. This was my first crack at it:

4 repeats x ~10 min @ Zone 3 power (threshold, my current ftp is 250 watts).
1,3 seated @ 50-60 rpms, 2,4 standing @ 50-60 rpms

power agent graph. Pretty consistent.

Here's the data from my first seated and standing attempts. These will be my benchmarks.

Interval #1 (seated):
Duration: 10:55
Work: 157 kJ
TSS: 17 (intensity factor 0.966)
Norm Power: 241
Distance: 1.663 mi
Power: 314/240 watts
Heart rate: 166/161 bpm
Cadence: 70/57 rpm
Speed: 11.6/9.3 mph
Pace: 8:52/6:28 min/mi
Hub Torque: 236/172 lb-in
Crank Torque: 510/358 lb-in

Interval #2 (standing):
Duration: 11:08
Work: 160 kJ
TSS: 17.9 (intensity factor 0.982)
Norm Power: 246
VI: 1.02
Distance: 1.675 mi
Power: 337/240 watts
Heart rate: 167/161 bpm
Cadence: 70/53 rpm
Speed: 12.8/9.2 mph
Pace: 25:25/6:32 min/mi
Hub Torque: 231/170 lb-in
Crank Torque: 538/382 lb-in

Garmin graph of "my hill"

That's all for now... Time to go run!


Paul said...

Yah I always wonder which is better. Being the hunter or the hunted. Each has its drawbacks :)

Jim Vance said...

Nice James! Make sure you do plenty of zone 2, not so much zone 3 stuff, through this time of year. That will build your aerobic system, and when it comes to Temecula, and the rest of the season, that will be very important!

Beth said...

and i thought you were just out on a regular ride on tuesday..good thing i read your blog to keep in the loop. good climbing.

barndog said...

I suspect FTP is slightly higher looking at HR on those intervals.
No HR creep whatsoever even though you were dipping into 250W at times.....two cents

Benson said...

Whoa man, you are getting dialed in. Nice.