Never Plan Steady Threshold Intervals

After racing this year, I am rethinking my approach to polarized training and currently need a hard focus on lactate threshold (FTP) work.  Yesterday, I rode the classic 2 x 20min at FTP and failed miserably.  I thought this was odd because I succeeded in riding the same workout less than a week ago.  Now, I’ve found a better way and so I’m sharing it today. Continue reading

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USAT Duathlon National Championship (Bend, Oregon) – A Race Report and Lessons Learned

The Finish Line at USAT Duathlon NationalsThis wasn’t my greatest race result by a long shot, but it was the result that I deserved.  As I mentioned in my last post, my body has been a house of cards this year.  Maybe a teetering stack of Jenga blocks is a better metaphor with each race being like pulling out another supportive block from the bottom.  Any way you look at it, I’m frail this year; one tiny mistake and everything comes toppling down.  That happened in Avilés when my back went out and boy did it cost me.  This time everything held up—consequently, Nationals were definitely easier and faster than Avilés even though it was at about 3,500 feet of altitude.  But I was also definitely racing well within my already compromised limits.

I’m going to write this race report a little differently because I don’t want to focus as much on the actual race as much as what I’ve learned from doing the race and what I’m doing about it.  Even though I’m not in ideal shape, I am excited and I have a plan.  Also towards the end, I’ll mention some of the longer term challenges that affected both this race and Avilés—as well as what I’ve learned from going through this darker period.  So let’s dig right in! Continue reading

Comparing Power Meter Data on a Bicycle

I have been playing with multiple power meters on my bike recently so that I can use a different power meter with my new disk wheels.  This has been a project since well before the ITU World Championship in early October.  The results of this comparison will be the subject of a future post.  Today’s post is about something much geekier– how to actually compare power meter data. Continue reading

Training Tip: Using Short Recovery Intervals in Your Training

This post covers two completely different training ideas that share a common link– very short recoveries.  They are both super-potent but in different ways.  First, I will talk about high-intensity intervals (HIIT).  Then I will also tackle using short recoveries in a very different context– long aerobic “broken” intervals.  If there is one “ah hah” moment in my coaching and athletic training over the last year, it’s been all about using short recoveries.

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Running Well Off the Bike

“It always comes down to the last run,” my old coach used to warn me.  Yet many triathletes and duathletes will admit that they have miserable final runs.  Their legs turn to blocks of concrete and their pace falls far short of their potential.  A lousy run seems to be a rite of passage for most multisport athletes– and it takes a very long time until the run finally starts coming together.  This short blog post will hopefully shorten the learning curve. Continue reading

Thinking About a Moxy Muscle Oxygen Sensor

Moxy MonitorI was recently telling my physical therapist that my BSX Insight had shipped and that I was excited to be doing tests of my lactate threshold– and his coworker asked me if it was the same as the Moxy muscle oxygen sensor.  I told him that, while they both look at blood oxygen, they get different data– the Moxy is a realtime measurement device while the BSX Insight uses a test to find a single number (the ever-critical lactate threshold).  Apparently, a rival team to mine across town uses the Moxy extensively.  Then this weekend another friend pointed me to Richard Wharton’s blog outlining how he uses the Moxy and I was just blown away.  I may have to start saving my pennies to pick up one of these things. Continue reading