General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Next Level - How do you know? Rss Feed  
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2009-05-12 3:44 PM

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Master
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Oceanside, California
Subject: Next Level - How do you know?
How do you know when you are ready to adjust your workouts from a pure novice - work on base, be happy to get the workouts in when you can - to more advanced workouts?

Are there any good benchmarks, milestones, or objective indicators?

I am still out of shape, and working towards my second sprint in June since starting training in Christmas.

However, I know enough about endurance sports training from my days as a swimmer and rower.

I am just wondering if my plateaus mean I need to HTFU or find ways to work smarter, not harder.

(Probably a little from column A and Column B).

What should be the first thing that I add into...?

I kind of like the idea of objective measures so I don't have to worry about the subjective nature of forgetting that -I am not the athlete that I used to be- versus -being too easy on myself- versus an accurate assessment.


2009-05-12 4:02 PM
in reply to: #2146728

Extreme Veteran
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Lakeland, FL
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?
I'm going on to my first full year of training and I just kind of feel like I am ready to start doing longer distances.  I built up a pretty good base over the winter with everything(until I broke my hand), and did some speed work during the spring.  I feel in better shape and like I can conquer more.  Not sure if that's what you mean by "taking it to the next level"
2009-05-12 4:09 PM
in reply to: #2146728

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Cycling Guru
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Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?
There is no "next level" unless you are talking about quitting work and training full time as a profession.

There are simply degrees of available time to train and the effort levels and dedication that you put into it .......

This is the year of the "slackitude" for me with light training and a lot of shorter races where my focus is on trying to have fun.
2009-05-12 4:19 PM
in reply to: #2146728

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Master
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Oceanside, California
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?
For example, our crew practices used to follow a 3 day cycle -(more or less)...
Day 1 - LSD (Long-Slow-Distance)
Day 2 - Anaerobic Threshold Sets
Day 3 - Race specific needs (Technique, starts, seat races, Lactic Acid tolerance, etc. etc.)
Rinse-repeat....

Right now, I basically have one work-out style based off of the following question?

Will time be the limiting factor?
If yes, I choose a pace and course that should challenge me for the time available.
If no, today will be a "go one direction until I think I cannot go anymore" turn around and go home - hope I make it back.

Should I be adding something new in yet?
If no, when should I?
If yes, what?
2009-05-12 4:23 PM
in reply to: #2146801

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?
Daremo - 2009-05-12 4:09 PM There is no "next level" unless you are talking about quitting work and training full time as a profession.

There are simply degrees of available time to train and the effort levels and dedication that you put into it .......

This is the year of the "slackitude" for me with light training and a lot of shorter races where my focus is on trying to have fun.


Dissagree...

There are levels within levels within levels.

Look at your times.  A good indicator for me has always been the 5k and 10k pr's.  If I had to give any advice I would say get better at ths horter distances before walking into an HIM or IM.  IMO too many people jump into an IM their first season just to get and M-dot tatoo (posers).

You adjust your workouts to the "next level" when your results warrant that you do so.  That can be anything from finishing a 5k 1 minute faster than last month to finishing a 2 hour run in the same time with 10 bpm HR average lower.  Both simply mean that your fitness level is improving and you should adjust your workouts accordingly.
2009-05-12 4:45 PM
in reply to: #2146818

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Extreme Veteran
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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?
eabeam - 2009-05-12 4:19 PM For example, our crew practices used to follow a 3 day cycle -(more or less)...
Day 1 - LSD (Long-Slow-Distance)
Day 2 - Anaerobic Threshold Sets
Day 3 - Race specific needs (Technique, starts, seat races, Lactic Acid tolerance, etc. etc.)
Rinse-repeat....

Right now, I basically have one work-out style based off of the following question?

Will time be the limiting factor?
If yes, I choose a pace and course that should challenge me for the time available.
If no, today will be a "go one direction until I think I cannot go anymore" turn around and go home - hope I make it back.

Should I be adding something new in yet?
If no, when should I?
If yes, what?


Seems to me that you have a pretty generic training platform...which is ok.  However, make sure that you are tracking your workouts (distance, time, HR, perceived exertion).  Once you see improvements in these variables...increase the distance, time, etc...

Every couple of weeks I use somehting like a 10 mile run, or a hard 10k to see if my training is translating into faster times, lower heart rates or whatever my goals are.  Just make sure you're rested for your fitness tests in order to show true results.  make sense?

Edited by bmcgee 2009-05-12 4:46 PM


2009-05-12 4:52 PM
in reply to: #2146867

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Champion
10011
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, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?

Take this with a grain of salt, I'm no expert...

But I have moved up when I no longer felt like I could NOT handle another minute of training.  I remember when training for a sprint was really hard.  I was tired!  What, I am putting in 3 hours of training this week?  WHoa. 

Now... I have a 6 hour week and feel bad because I took it easy a few days.   For me, I've "moved up" in distances and not training plans.  I always start with the beginner plans because I'm too lazy to put a full effort into really training.  But that's how I knew I was ready - when I could handle the training without dying.

The only training I really moved up in was my half-marathon.  I did 2 using a beginner plan and felt I wanted a challenge.  I identified with the description of Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half-marathon plan, so I went for it.  Turned out a much better time, although I suspect that has to with my accumulated experiences.

Long story short - you'll know when you're ready.

2009-05-12 4:55 PM
in reply to: #2146801

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Sensei
Sin City
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?
Daremo - 2009-05-12 2:09 PM There is no "next level" unless you are talking about quitting work and training full time as a profession.

There are simply degrees of available time to train and the effort levels and dedication that you put into it .......

This is the year of the "slackitude" for me with light training and a lot of shorter races where my focus is on trying to have fun.


That my mantra for 09 as well.
2009-05-12 4:57 PM
in reply to: #2146887

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Sensei
Sin City
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?

I'll try again.  I think you just need to evaulate your ability and fitness.  There are no tests or benchmarks...  As for me, I would follow a plan that looks challenging, but doable.

Also, listen to your body.  If you are taking on too much, your body will tell you with symptoms of overtraining.  IE lack of energy, injury, elevated HR, loss of motivation, etc.

2009-05-12 4:58 PM
in reply to: #2146867

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Master
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Oceanside, California
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?

Every couple of weeks I use somehting like a 10 mile run, or a hard 10k to see if my training is translating into faster times, lower heart rates or whatever my goals are.  Just make sure you're rested for your fitness tests in order to show true results.  make sense?


I like the fitness test idea.
Of course, as with all data, I need to educate myself on - now that I have it, what do I do about it?
2009-05-12 6:45 PM
in reply to: #2146728

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Extreme Veteran
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Burke, VA
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?
61 hours of strength training and I think 24 hours of tri specific training for 2009 is probably not getting you there. I don't have a ton of experience, but everything I hear is that if you want to get better at swimming, go swim, cycling, t.i.t.s, running, get on the road. That would be my advice. If you run for 30-45 mins, job, run, walk, whatever, it is a 45 min run workout.


2009-05-12 8:42 PM
in reply to: #2146728

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Expert
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Burnaby, BC
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?

Take a look at the wikipedia article on sports periodization.  People will debate it and fine tune it, but the basic principle applies to training for all endurance sports.  This will cover how to plan your base, build, peak and recovery periods and give a couple of links into other tri sites with articles.

2009-05-12 9:57 PM
in reply to: #2147035

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Master
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Oceanside, California
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?
robertp1024 - 2009-05-12 4:45 PM 61 hours of strength training and I think 24 hours of tri specific training for 2009 is probably not getting you there. I don't have a ton of experience, but everything I hear is that if you want to get better at swimming, go swim, cycling, t.i.t.s, running, get on the road. That would be my advice. If you run for 30-45 mins, job, run, walk, whatever, it is a 45 min run workout.


Take that with a grain of salt, I need to go back.
I think that I may have put minutes in the hours slot.
40 60 minutes magically became 60 40 hours.

I get the point, just focus on getting the volume up.

Edited by eabeam 2009-05-12 10:04 PM
2009-05-12 10:15 PM
in reply to: #2146728

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Master
2477
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Oceanside, California
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?
I fixed it, but damn, I would have thought those numbers were better.

2009-05-12 10:42 PM
in reply to: #2147307

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Master
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Breckenridge, CO
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?
eabeam - 2009-05-12 8:57 PM
I get the point, just focus on getting the volume up.

After my spinal fusion back surgery, I started "training" in early 2007 by working up to being able to walk very slowly for 20 consecutive minutes around the island in my kitchen. I'm now (2.5 years later) up to 120 miles running per month and I plan to get 8,000 miles on my bike in 2009. There was never any "next level". I just very slowly, but regularly increased my volume as my body could handle it.
2009-05-13 9:00 AM
in reply to: #2146728

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Veteran
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Bridgewater MA
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?
While I am in my first year of Tri, I am in my second year of running.  So, I will speak from that perspective.

I moved up in distances to challenge myself with increments I believed I could handle.  Did 5k, and felt I could step up to 5 mile.  Later in summer stepped to 7.1 mile races.  This year did a 10-mile race.
With all of that completed, I have gone back towards the shorter 3-4 mile races, and begun working on speed. 

So, I listened to my body and observed the times.  For instance, after a 5k race, I could go hard and be winded at the end but fairly quickly recovered.  So, I know I can push a longer distance or a better speed.

Your logs did not seem to show 3-5 mile distances.  (I could be wrong.)  If correct, try to do a walk/run combo to cover that longer distance.  And slowly work to a fun-only for the distance.  Take it slow as if you rush, injury is more likely, and could set you back a while.

Good luck, listen to your body, and push yourself. 


2009-05-13 10:19 AM
in reply to: #2146728

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Champion
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?

First ask yourself WHY are you doing this (triathlon training)? 

To be a competitive Age-Grouper?  (you'll want to go to the "next level" )
To keep your weight in check?  (Are you increasing/decreasing/stable? )
For fun?  (Maybe you never take it to the "next level" )

I'm training for an Ironman, and many days, I'm still just happy to get a workout in (job, family, house all demand attention).  Will I be as fast as I think I should be?  No, but I won't be losing sponsorship and my wife still loves me (most of the time) whether I finish in 11:XX or 14:YY. 

Are you willing to carry a camera with you when you ride, knowing that it weighs 6 ounces and will slow you down?  Are you willing to stop riding/running so you can take a picture of a beautiful scene?  (Or are you so focused on your pace and cadence that you completely miss the beautiful scene? ).  Are you enthusiastic about going out for a 45 minute run or 90 minute ride?  (Or, are you stressing over what isn't getting done while you're out?)  You have a perfect excuse to be out at sunrise/sunset (running), do you take advantage of it? 

Are you worried that you're not making good use of your training time and energy?  Hire a coach (and expect to answer the first three questions) to help manage training with the rest of your life commitments.  (Or, hire out some of the things you do that interfere with training. )

2009-05-13 10:32 AM
in reply to: #2148134

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Master
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Oceanside, California
Subject: RE: Next Level - How do you know?
McFuzz - 2009-05-13 8:19 AM

First ask yourself WHY are you doing this (triathlon training)? 

To be a competitive Age-Grouper?  (you'll want to go to the "next level" )

I want to compete, but not necessarily be competitive - yet.


To keep your weight in check?  (Are you increasing/decreasing/stable? )

This is a big one. I got a quick loss of 247-250 to 235-237 with a plateau. However, see the competition part. I cannot work out for the sake of working out. I need to have a tangible external goal.


For fun?  (Maybe you never take it to the "next level" )

The fun part involves getting my family involved. I want to me a good role model for my kids and wife.

 


Are you willing to carry a camera with you when you ride, knowing that it weighs 6 ounces and will slow you down?  Are you willing to stop riding/running so you can take a picture of a beautiful scene?  (Or are you so focused on your pace and cadence that you completely miss the beautiful scene? ).  Are you enthusiastic about going out for a 45 minute run  or 90 minute ride?  (Or, are you stressing over what isn't getting done while you're out?)  You have a perfect excuse to be out at sunrise/sunset (running), do you take advantage of it?

I have "workout" rides and runs. The answer is I am all about the training.

I have "family" times where the workout is secondary.


Are you worried that you're not making good use of your training time and energy?  Hire a coach (and expect to answer the first three questions) to help manage training with the rest of your life commitments.  (Or, hire out some of the things you do that interfere with training. )

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