October 2006 BT Triathlon Training Chat with Coach Kevin Konczak

author : KevinKonczak
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Discussion on IM heart-rate zones, LT zone testing, off season focus, aero helmets, flats and tires, 650 or 700cc, cold weather and marathon recovery.

[jkbostic] Ok...serious question. Can you tell me more about heart rate training...specifically lower HR/base training for IM races.

[KevinKonczak] Yes. Lower end/upper end should be z2/3. Anything lower is barely moving & anything higher is too fast. You will want to sustain a 2/3 zone hr.

[jkbostic]  Ok...so rule of thumb 180-age+5 is a no go?

[KevinKonczak] No, that is old school & not reasonable within 15 beats at best.

[jkbostic] I'm having tremendous problems keeping my HR low. My running pace is like 11 min/mile to keep around there.

[D.Z.] Kevin what's a reasonable way for a person without money to spend on proper testing to get a z2/3 hr number?

[KevinKonczak] Do this for figuring. On the run, perform a 1/2 hr TT on the track, and take the average for the last 20 minutes. That should be your LT (lactate threshold). Use that # for a basis on figuring it out for the run. TT is going to be ALL out race pace.

[jkbostic] Training question...I'm just coming off my race season. When is the best time to determine HR zones if I'm going to be shifting from short distance to long distance for 2007?

[KevinKonczak] Establish a beginning point. Then, every month, test again, and watch it change...it will from month to month if you continue training.

[foolproof] Test every month?

[jkbostic] Ok...why? I figure the body is in sprint mode and I want to get it into aerobic mode. Would it make a difference. I'm talking the full blown 150 dollar blood testing.

[KevinKonczak] When race season comes, don't do a test too close to race date, instead, use the race as your "test" okay? HR's will be the same whether you do IM or sprints for the #'s within the zones. Your aerobic zone will be the same, for Z1/Z2/Z3 in short as well as in long distance. You need to train a little fast all year or you'll become a 1-speed athlete. Those not doing any speed or hills won't develop out of that 1-speed.

[jkbostic] So its not possible to shift those zones around at all? Are they just straight calculations based off of your LT?

[KevinKonczak] Yes, but recall that from reading all the tri-rags & physio books or cycling books, that running LT is different
from cycling LT.

[rkreuser] Do you strive to put in a major effort on your limiters before prep, or more of a balance and address them as you get closer to the season?  Because I could spend the next 3 months lifting weights and improving strength, or achieving a balance.


[KevinKonczak] Technique!

[chile7473] One of the guys I train with convinced me to go in for a training session with the one coach here, rather than buy a aero

[KevinKonczak] Aero helmets are HOT...they don't breath well. I know a guy in Kona who opted away from aero helmets because he dehydrated faster from it, and would crash easier (physically) than the aero advantage would in helping him gain time. So yes, you can lose more time with an aero helmet IF your head isn't level at all times (because the "fin" in the back) acts like a brake when you look at the ground. That & they aren't vented well.

[rkreuser] Do you strive to put in a major effort on your limiters before prep, or more of a balance and address them as you get closer to the season? Because I can dump 3 months into lifting with just maintenance for aerobics, or push a balanced plan through the winter with focus on some of the weaker areas, periodization style.

[KevinKonczak] Okay, I'd lift 2 x a week & do specific strength one day (i.e., hills, or paddles in the pool). Technique, strength & aerobic base mainly right now.

[rkreuser] OK. I've got 9 hours of training planned a week, 3 lifts (2 legs, one upper, core in each), 4 runs (two *short* bricks*, one hills, one lsd) , 3 bikes(all aerobic base), 3 swims (they're relatively short), one off day.


[KevinKonczak] That's good off season training.

[Celeb_ithil]  I ride an entry level Specialized Dolce, 51 cm, with 700c wheels. I see this Cervelo One at a good deal, with 51 cm but 650c wheels. Do you think the wheels would make a big difference (disadvantage)?


[KevinKonczak] Size DOES NOT matter...It's the biker on top of those wheels.  700cc are more comfortable...and 650s accelerate faster, but overall, it comes down to the biker.

[rkreuser] It's snowing outside. Un-friggin-believable.

[KevinKonczak] Cold shouldn't matter. To get out & be there doing tri training in the winter when you know your competition is out, drives you more. It's a lifestyle, once it all becomes a "job" or another thing you have to do, then step away. It'll be there when you are ready. So the next 4 months will be the hardest part of the year motivation wise, so I suggest picking a Turkey Trot, then a Jingle Bells trot or snowshoe race, or pick some mid-winter goal to keep you going. Practice that technique work!

[chile7473] The guy I ride with that has a Cervelo and gets a lot of flats....could be him either being a clyde or not putting proper pressure in the tires though.

[KevinKonczak] Flats? What kind of tires does he use?

[chile7473] He has Vittoria tires. They look like slicks too.

[KevinKonczak] I've found out of the hundreds of tires I have used, and seen my training buddies use, the ONE specific tire that flats more than any other than anything Panaracer, is the Michelin Axial Pro...not the Carbon, or Carbon Pro, the Axial Pro model.

[chile7473] I have only used Continentals and have not had a problem with flats.

[KevinKonczak] I like Conti's. Stiff, but reliable for sure. If you have a good tire, you don't need to use a great tube...I use Performance tubes 700cc x 23 and the only flats I get are when the tires get thin after a thousand miles or so.

[KevinKonczak] I've gone 1.5 years on a set of Conti's before. I think that is my record for longevity.

[rkreuser] Kevin...how long do you give yourself after a marathon to get back into your 'standard' training?

[KevinKonczak] The eccentric load placed on you should be enough to keep you from regular run training for about 5 weeks. After a week, I'd start aqua jogging, then jog on soft surfaces the next week 1 x & aqua jog, then add another day on the road & aqua jog & so on until you are up to your normal running routine of whatever--3 or 4 x a week.

[rkreuser] Are you kidding? I gave myself a week. That's an issue.

[KevinKonczak] You need to recover so after 5 weeks, you should be physically "repaired" to the point where it shouldn't be a risk of injury. But marathons are such a DEEP trauma to your legs, even though you may feel fine, you really aren't. Recovery modes help a lot...massage, protein, glutamine, hot tub, etc. Fitness plays a part sure. It always does. Rule of thumb is 5 weeks & you're good to go.

[KevinKonczak] I talked with Dave Scott on this, that's it in a nutshell from what he told me. Luckily in Boulder, I get to mingle with all sorts of top athletes, pros, coaches & age groupers, marathoners, and pick their brain on all sorts of stuff, much of which is backed up by testing.


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date: November 19, 2006