January Triathlon Training Chat with Coach Kevin Konczak

author : KevinKonczak
comments : 0

Discussions on indoor bike workouts, IM fueling, coke or broth, bikes and swimming exercises.

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[ron] If you have 3 days to devote to biking INSIDE, how would you setup those 3 days to train and what kind of workouts would you incorporate?

[KevinKonczak] Take one day & do a long ride. Another day of long pulls of 80+ rpms aero say...5 x 5 minutes. 5 min. easy break between.  One day also, is out of saddle climbing.  You get the distance, the strength, and the interval work needed for working all energy systems.  Actually, I did that myself last week, because I only had 3 days of biking to get in (because the weekends are taken by xc skiing).

[ron] 'Long pulls' = up the resistance?  Or just higher rpms?

[KevinKonczak] Whatever resistance you need to get your HR Z3 at 80+ rpms.

[ron] And the out of the saddle climbing...how long of interval? What HR? Rests?

[KevinKonczak] Since I'm a newer dad (6 mo ago), I've been using only L1, and just upped it to L2. In my "fit days" I was beyond L5, called "HI" level. So if you haven't used a trainer in a while, go easier.  Until you get a nice burn. Use a larger gear, and put a book under the front wheel to simulate more of a climb. The space between chest & top tube of the bike is closer that way, just like on a real hill.


[cbost2678] I am getting ready for IMAZ and I am trying to dial in the calories per hour what are your suggestions?

[KevinKonczak] Get a fuel test. There are new technologies that will give you your LT, max VO2, the ratio of carbs/fat/protein pretty much all via expired air (except the blood LT). They do them at places that cater to the mentioned testing--an athletic facility such as Boulder Center of Sports Medicine.  http://www.primusweb.com/fitnesspartner/library/weight/calsburned.htm  Read that. Formulas--math, really 'fun' stuff.  Dry as parchment, but it works.

[parrj] Don't they say that the body can usually handle about 400 calories/hr?

[KevinKonczak] You have to account for special situations too, like high wind, super hot days. Something like that--the exact # should be on the web.

[cbost2678] Should I focus most intake in gels or sports drink or should I add solid foods on the bike specifically?

[KevinKonczak] This is equal to getting enough liquid calories. Dehydration is just as important as the calories. Your fat stores will supply a good source for training & racing.  Liquids are easier for the body to absorb, partially broken down such as gels. It takes energy to break solids down too, so you want to expend as little as you have to. The bike is a better place to eat solids if you are using them, less GI issues than the run, because you aren't bouncing around as much. At least in my experience & talking with athletes & reading up on the subject.

[cbost2678] If someone does not train with chicken broth or coke is it safe to take on race day I know you are not suppose to do anything new but I have read others say it was a godsend.

[KevinKonczak] Ahhh, yes, perfect question. I don't use Coke or Broth in training, but I can tell you a couple times in Hawaii Ironman, it saved me from DNF'ing. I think if your body needs the salt & calories, it doesn't care too much how it gets them, as long as it can break it down & use it.  It shouldn't be a big deal unless you have allergies to some things. But know what they are before you take it. Don't know anyone allergic to chicken broth or coke myself, but I suppose it is possible.  Diet for racing is mostly personal. Lots of training rides & weather situations, and different paces, etc. Dial it in using something different each time, until you find the path of least resistance with your GI system. There is no magic bullet, no matter which world class champion is drinking whatever or eating whatever. We are so individual, this is something only you can find.

[cbost2678] Yeah I have found the best combination just finding the right amounts is taking a while.

[KevinKonczak] Sport drinks...you name it, I've tried anything & everything our local Performance shop & Excel shop sells. Even mail order drinks, and I'm still looking for something "great" to use. Yep, and the right concentrations.  My wife can't deal with the really sweet stuff, more watered down. I like the sweeter stuff with a little protein. Used Revenge by Champion Nutrition for a few years--but didn't mix well or agree with me in extreme heat. I'm looking to try Infinit Nutrition this summer.

[nathane] I currently have a Trek mountain bike and am wondering whether I should A, leave it for my first tri  or B, try to convert it to a road bike (tires, bars, etc) or C.\, purchase a road or tri bike.....I have read and heard many different opinions from so called "experts".

[KevinKonczak] If you just want to complete the race, use what you have. If you don't want to limit your performance & negate your training, and give your best shot, get a tri bike. It's up to what your expectations for the race are.

[nathane] Ok, everyone I talk to says for the most part just use my mountain bike but I'm a very competitive person and wanted to do the best I could. I just wanted to get another opinion about it.

[KevinKonczak] Go for the gusto then.

[nathane] Are there any brands that have better Tri bikes??

[KevinKonczak] These days, they are mostly all good. Carbon, steel, ti, aluminum, mixed metals, the science of building a bike is good all-around now days.  I use a Quintana Roo Typhoon, ti bike, like the stiffness, lightness, never rusts, aero, but costs some money. But it's 7 years old, and rides like new. Some folks swear by carbon. I've used it & am not too impressed. But that was a Softride years ago, the technology is light years ahead of what it was back then.

[SenjaO] So I have a swimming question. What drills would you recommend to increase speed? It seems like I can now swim for as long as I want without trouble, but for the most part I'm a slowpoke.

[KevinKonczak] Without seeing your stroke, hard to diagnose.  But I think that the basics like increase your strength in the weight room (didn't think of that one eh?) is a good start. Your pull will be stronger, and you'll have more follow through past the hips & can accelerate the hand to that point. Drills, CFD (closed fist drill), one arm swimming. Single arm drill is one I use a lot. You really feel the weakness in your stroke at different phases.

[D.Z.] What should I be doing to strengthen my swimming stroke in the weight room? I can't find anything that even remotely mimics a swim stroke.

[KevinKonczak] Lat pull downs. You lay in the water, and start the pull, think of the lat pull down, virtually same muscles. Chest press...you engage chest while in mid-stroke a lot.  Anything that works the triceps, like dips...just like the last part of the stroke (follow thru). For the chest press, you can take dumbell weights, lay on a bench, and hold them above your head together, then lower the weight so your arms are at a 90 degree angle, with forearms vertical (hands pointing to the ceiling). Go back to start position. Same as bench press, same motion. Chest press machines...you are in a sitting position, and you press the handles away from you...just like a bench press only you are sitting. You can do this with Stretch Cordz too. Wrap it around a post, and mimic a bench press while standing (the cordz).

[D.Z.] Okay - so lat pull downs and chest presses. Good stuff. I feel like I'm not utilizing the gym equipment enough - this is good.

[KevinKonczak] Or...I always say this because it is such a good resource for all of your weight lifting needs specific to triathlon...but go to www.d3multisport.com and then "D3 Tips" and there is a weight lifting schedule. Pics of Mike (Ricci) and myself demonstrating the various exercises. Do you have a Total Gym? Those are awesome. You can do so many things on that. Chuck Norris isn't lying...it's a good machine.

[chirunner134] Would using Stretch Cordz to strengthen an area that is injured be better than using weight machines?

[KevinKonczak] Use a lighter or thinner cord. Red, green, yellow and blue I think. The yellow is really easy if I recall. That would be a good start. I used that after shoulder surgery myself. Suggested by the P.T.

[D.Z.] How many miles/hours should I expect from an Aluminum frame bike? Before it starts to get soft.

[KevinKonczak] Do you live in salty air areas like Florida? A friend's got trashed from the salty air--aluminum and it destroyed the paint job. It won't get soft though. It's aluminum. Stiffest ride out there.


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date: March 22, 2007