First I would like to thank everyone who takes the time to read my blog, I know every one is busy now-a-days! It has been amazing to see the responses to my blog entries and very encouraging to get emails stating how helpful the content is. I even see a lot of peeps linking in from the CNY Triathlon Club, thanks for your interest! I am not a coach but love to share great things I have learned or read about so let me know if there is anything of interest you would like me to blog about and I will try my best to help!
Training intensity! It is a critical factor in endurance training. Every workout has a specific purpose and there is a balance between the cost and benefit of each workout. Cost is referring to recovery time so a key aspect of managing resources is maintaining optimal intensity. In general, if you train easy all the time you will not see yourself build speed or power. If you train medium hard all the time you will not get the full benefit of your hard workout as you will not have had enough time to recover and your effort will be submaximal (working hard but not seeing the results you expect).
Muscle-Fiber Recruitment! Okay, high level you have Slow Twitch (ENDURANCE), FOG (SPEED ENDURANCE) and Fast Twitch (SPRINT) fibers in which a primary objective of intensity zones is training each category of muscle fiber type as a group. Training them together optimizes both stimulation and recovery. As most of you know there are seven zones for training intensity; Zone 1: Active Recovery, Zone 2: Basic Endurance Training, Zone 3: Tempo Training, Zone 4: Lactate Threshold Training, Zone 5a: Super-Threshold Training, Zone 5b: Aerobic Capacity Training (Maxing the VO2) and Zone 5c: Anaerobic Endurance Training. I found a GREAT article that is a must read for those that want to learn more how each training zone recruits the ST, FOG and FT fibers. Really cool stuff!
Intensity & Muscle Fiber Recruitment
I also found an interesting article in Experience Life Magazine, The Fast & Slow of It. I pulled out a paragraph to lead into the last bit of my blog entry which will focus on some LT workouts.
Training well below your anaerobic threshold for extended periods will improve your body’s oxygen-absorption capacity. To fend off that sluggish feeling of lactic-acid buildup, however, you’ll need to do some interval training. This calls for building brief, two- to three-minute sessions of elevated intensity or speed into your regular workout. According to Rob Sleamaker and Ray Browning, authors of SERIOUS Training for Endurance Athletes (Human Kinetics, 1996), those brief bursts of activity teach your FOG fibers to increase their oxygen capacity before too much lactic acid builds up. Once the fibers learn to deliver oxygen to cells when working at a higher intensity, you’ll be able to train faster, and for longer, without feeling unpleasant effects.
Lactate Threshold Workouts! First, please understand the time your body needs to recover from LT workouts or consult your coach or follow a reputable training program to help guide you. Also, your run and bike zones should be determined from a run LT test or a Time Trial (TT) bike test. There are a few different variations of these tests but the most common are:
Run: Warm up well then run a 30 minute time trial on flat course/track. 10 minutes into the Time Trial hit your HR monitor/watch. The average HR for last 20 minutes will be your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR).
Bike: Warm up then do an all our 20 min TT. Include some spin ups to get your HR up followed by a recovery before starting your 20 minute test.
These are great ways to measure your LT (the point where lactate is accumulating in your muscles faster than you can process it). This will also get your to your HR and Power zones. Example: Functional Threshold Power for 260 watts:
- Active Recovery (<55%): <=143 watts
- Endurance (56%-75%): 144-195 watts (what you would ride in an Ironman)
- Tempo (76%-90%): 196-234 watts
- Lactate Threshold (91%-105%): 235-273 watts
- VO2 Max (106%-120%): 274-312 watts
- Anaerobic (121%-150%): 313-390 watts
Here are a few articles I found on TH workouts.
Treadmill Threshold Workouts – Note: I usually keep the treadmill at 1% for recoveries so where it says 0% start at 1%. If you are already into your TH workouts you can continue to increase your incline but be safe! I never go past 5-6% because I am chicken 🙂
4 Great One-hour Bike Workouts – There is even a VO2 Max workout included in this article (ouch!).
My next blog entry will not be so “complex” but I think it is important as an athlete to understand your body and how your training should work to improve you as an athlete and not hinder you. Be smart, train hard and have fun!
Next weekend is “Girls Weekend” with a Saturday ride/run in the hills of Clermont and a Sunday half marathon in Orlando. Updates will be soon after with less geeky stuff and more fun pics of the gals!
Until next time…Midget OUT!!