Running with power

Late last year, I began learning about power meters for runners, I have read countless books and articles, viewed athlete’s data files, listened to podcasts and watched videos on YouTube.  I must have hundreds of hours clocked up in learning about this topic.

I even went as far as creating mock programs for runners at different levels (FTP) for different races (5km, marathons, Ironman, etc) as part of learning more about running, training and racing with a power meter.  I did old fashion spread sheet programs, programs on Final Surge and programs on Today’s Plan

I feel like I have the theory part at a level I am comfortable to talk about, I need to now start learning the practical side so I can have a greater understanding on training, racing and coaching with a power meter.

This week I finally got around to purchasing a Stryd power meter that I hope to receive in the next week or two.  I thought it would be cool if I started blogging about what I have learned already, what I will learn in the coming months and see if we can all learn as much as possible while having fun and see what I believe will be a valuable performance tool.

 

My thoughts on Swim Cords

I started playing around with swim cords on a consistent basis from December 2016.  From this time through to June 2017 when I competed in an Ironman, I had completed 28 sessions with an average session taking approximately 10 minutes.

From June 2017 through to June 2018 when I competed in another Ironman, I had completed 67 swim cord sessions. This time I played around with the sessions and what I was trying to achieve within my training block.

Up until this Ironman in June 2018, I had found very little value in using swim cords but I wasn’t ready to call it quits on using them because in theory, including swim cords in your weekly training makes sense.

In the past eleven weeks I had completed the following:

 

  • Week One: Three sessions completed as 3 x 25 reps
  • Week Two: Five Sessions completed as 3 x 25 reps
  • Week Three: Five sessions completed as 3 x 30 reps
  • Week Four: Five sessions completed as 3 x 30 reps
  • Week Five: Five sessions completed as  3 x 35 reps
  • Week Six: Four sessions completed as 3 x 35 reps
  • Week Seven: Five sessions completed as 3 x k440 reps
  • Week Eight: Four sessions completed as 3 x 40 reps
  • Week Nine: Four sessions completed as 3 x 40 reps
  • Week Ten: Three sessions completed as 3 x 45 reps
  • Week Eleven: Four sessions completed as 3 x 45 reps

 

Also in the past twelve weeks, I have started ranking sessions, overall disciplines weeks and overall weeks.  These are ranked on

  • Sessions value
  • Weekly Overall Discipline (moving closer or away from my goal)
  • Overall Week (taking in all training and have I moved closer or away from my goal)

While I plan to write in detail on my target rankings in another blog, I used this as part of my findings to determine whether using swim cords are worthwhile continuing or not.

 

My Findings 

Personally I have found using swim cords low value and as of this week, I have stopped using them. They had a noticeable negative impact on 14 sessions out of 33 completed in this time. For a person who can only get to the pool to train three times a week, every session has be high value.

It simply comes down to me wanting to protect the quality of my swim sessions.

 

Reasons why the low value

Between 3-5 swim cord sessions, 2 gym sessions and three swim sessions per week, it is creating too much fatigue.

If I got my strength work through hills, low cadence, paddles and core strength sessions, I would most likely continue to test and play with them but I can’t help think a good quality strength program in the gym will out rank using swim cord.

I will report back in a few months.

 

Tim Egge

tim@trainsmooth.com

 

IRONMAN 70.3 VICTORIA PRO START LIST

Date: 3rd June

Male Pros

1 Reid Taylor CAN (Canada)
2 McMahon Brent CAN (Canada)
3 Symonds Jeff CAN (Canada)
4 Beals Cody CAN (Canada)
5 Betten Sam AUS (Australia)
6 Kilshaw Stephen CAN (Canada)
8 Killam Nathan CAN (Canada)
10 Chase Nicholas USA (United States of America)
11 Cook James CAN (Canada)
12 Ems Tyler USA (United States of America)
14 Feigh Adam USA (United States of America)
15 Franklin Matt NZL (New Zealand)
16 Hudacek Corbin USA (United States of America)
17 McKinley Jonathan USA (United States of America)
18 Nelson Loren CAN (Canada)
19 Portmann Kevin FRA (France)
20 Schroeder Chris USA (United States of America)
21 Sorbara Frank CAN (Canada)
22 Spiller Dusty CAN (Canada)

Female Pros
26 Annett Jen CAN (Canada)
27 McQuaid Melanie CAN (Canada)
28 Corbin Linsey USA (United States of America)
29 McBride Rachel CAN (Canada)
31 Spieldenner Jennifer USA (United States of America)
32 Lentzke Jennifer CAN (Canada)
33 Johann Carly USA (United States of America)
34 Wendorff Amanda USA (United States of America)
35 Wiens Kyra USA (United States of America)
36 Higgins Brittany USA (United States of America)
37 Fletcher Jenny CAN (Canada)
38 Babineau Lauren CAN (Canada)
39 Becharas Lisa USA (United States of America)
40 Corker Steph CAN (Canada)
41 Hill Alycia USA (United States of America)
42 Kersch Cymon USA (United States of America)
43 Laine Kinsey USA (United States of America)
44 Roohi Molly USA (United States of America)

Different Long Runs

It is very easy to get into the habit doing the same kind of long run each week. That moderate effort for a long period of time. I am guilty of this myself as I like to do my long runs with a small group of runners. However, by making some changes to your weekly long run in the lead up to your race can not only have a massive impact from a physical prospective but also from a psychological point of view as well.

Here are some great options for mixing up your weekly long run.

Building Miles:
Adding walking within your long run is the best way to increase volume each week and lower the risk of injury. Simple things like adding 30sec every 10min of running, run 9min and walk 1min. every 5min of running add 20sec of walking.

You can mix and match this to fit in with where your fitness is at.

Depleted Long Run
Not having any carbs before or during the run and keeping the pace moderate. This is a great session if you are training for a marathon, Ironman or longer. I would however recommend bringing some nutrition with you. Best to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Medium/Moderate/Medium
Breaking your long run into three parts and running medium effort, back the effort off into a moderate effort and increasing it again into a medium effort. For example if I had a Ironman athlete do this sessions maybe three or four times in a twelve week lead up to their race, the session would look like 10 miles medium effort, 10 miles moderate effort, 10 miles medium effort. The medium efforts should be uncomfortable but manageable.

Three rounds of 5x 1min effort
Adding 5x 1min medium effort (uncomfortable but manageable), 1min easy in the early part of your long run, again somewhere in the middle and again towards the end. The rest of the long run is done at a moderate effort.

Fast Finish
Long run with a fast finish could be from 20 minutes through to 10km. The effort could be from race effort through to an uncomfortable but manageable effort. Unless you really know your body, no efforts on the long run should be completed at a MAD state (as fast as possible without compromising your technique)

Ten Push Ups every Ten Minutes of Running
This isn’t the best session if you suffer from back pains but is a great session to do in the off season and even better to do with friends. 10 push ups every 10 minutes of running. If you do this with your friends, you can have some fun and do one or two extra push ups each time so by the end, you can say you did more push ups.

1min on, 1min off – Focus on Focusing
Chopping between 1min at race effort and 1min easy is a great way to get your body use to the demands of race day without the damage of doing a race. To me it is a greater session to help with focus. The difference between a good race and an average race is often focus.

Effort vs Pace

Note that I don’t mention pace.  I don’t really care about pace. I care about the effort.  What does it feel like for you.

 

Open Water Training

Following on from last Monday’s blog about open water swim skills performed in the pool, I thought I would touch on open water training.  So often I see triathletes when they are doing an open water swim, they will walk into the water and start swimming and swimming and swimming.  There is no purposes to this session apart from clocking up some miles in the open water.

Clocking up miles in open water is good if that’s what you are after in training but there are other ways to really get a band for your buck when it comes to open water training with the limited training time like so many of us have.
Training for beach starts, deep water starts, swimming around buoys, including some max efforts, exiting the water are some aspects that should be part of your open water training session.
This is a good open water swim session you can use  once a fortnight in triathlon season that will have a impacted to your race.
Open Water Swim Session (3.25 km)
Warm Up (750 m)
3 x 250m Freestyle – Out and back 3 times. Practice beach starts.
Don’t push the pace on these; focus on technique, breathing and sighting.
Main Set
2000 meters (Practice sighting every 6-10 strokes).
Block 1 (1000m) 2 x 500m
Swim out 250m around a bouy and back to the start. Race pace.
30 Seconds to 1 mins rest in-between each set.
Repeat 2 times
Block 2 (1000m) 4 x 250m
Swim out 250 m at race pace, full speed.
30 Seconds to 1 mins rest in-between each set
Swim back at race pace, full speed.
Repeat 4 times.
Cool Down (500 m)
Swim out to the bouy and back at 50-75% nice and controlled to
flush out the lactate and cool down.
If you have any questions on open water swimming or would like to know more Train Smooth coaching, please email me tim@trainsmooth.com
Tim Egge
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