Thursday, February 12, 2009
Rolling Hard...Training Update
With less than 8 weeks to Ironman 70.3 California, my first "BIG" race of the 2009 season, training is finally moving at full-steam. The nagging injuries to my right ankle and left tibialis tendon are resolved and I am ramping up my training. Currently I am back to rolling 20 hour training weeks. 90% of that volume is at "steady" or "easy" pace at this time of year.
As long as I continue to improve my aerobic capacity and drop my pace per mile on the run at "steady", there is no reason to add structured threshold or Vo2 sessions at this point. One thing I tell new endurance athletes (and try to remind myself) is "Frequency>Volume>Intensity". Athletes vary genetically and morphologically, but I seem to make large gains after a layoff simply by ramping up the volume and accruing hours at "Steady" pace, or sub-LT exertion, just above that "first deepening of breath" you feel when running, riding, paddling, etc.
At this point I am nailing the frequency by riding every day and ramping up my run and swim sessions. The volume on the bike is there (13-18hrs/week)and I am still increasing on the run as I am cautiously coming back from injury. I believe that I will continue to improve my runnning economy (pace per mile at "steady/AeT") weekly for at least another month. Last year my pace per mile at Steady dropped to 7:10 per mile without any speedwork, only harder efforts on hilly mountain runs. This year my goal is to drop down under 6:50 per mile. Sustained efforts at or over LT
will only come after the "magical plateau". An added benefit of this protocol is reduced risk of injury. Combining massive volume with sharply increased intensity is usually a recipe for disaster. Just ask my hamstrings.
My training philosophy is very similar to Mark Allen, Gordo Byrn, Kevin Purcell, et al. If you want to reach your full potential over time in the endurance game, you have to be able to BACK IT UP day-by-day over the long term to achieve your goals. One mega-volume week does not a season make!
I have updated my 2009 Race Schedule on the of this page. Some races are predicated on my performance at Ironman 70.3 California (qualifyer for Ironman Couer d'Alene or Ironman Canada if I do well). I would love to get another crack at a fast Ironman this year, hopefully fast enough to qualify for the BIG SHOW in Kona.
I am still working with my Team nuun-Feedthemachine.com Adventure Racing teammates on which adventure races we will enter this year. One of the perks of winning the USA Adventure Racing National Championship is free entry to all of the regional qualifying races around the country. Serendipitous timing given the economy, wouldn't you say?
On February 28th, some of my Seattle adventure racing teammates will fly into L.A. for a weekend training camp in the Santa Monica mountains. Cyril Jay Rayon, RVG, JVG, and Aaron Rinn will be in town for some long trail miles and I can't wait to catch up with my adventure racing family!
That's all for now. Off to work! If any of you are shopping for supplements, check out www.feedthemachine.com Right now nuun is 50% off until Valentines Day. Several other brands also are running deep discounts.
Keep the rubber side down,