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News / training plan
Jun 14, 2017
Hi Gale, I followed your plan as best I could for a dad of two with a tough travel schedule. I would say 80% on plan, 20% trying my best. I raced Eagleman 70.3 this weekend and finished in a respectable 5:32. I was 42nd in the 45 to 49 age group. Not bad for my first half-Ironman and second triathlon ever! My next goal is a few Olympic distance events and a sprint or two. I’m contemplating a fall 70.3. Great plan! I highly recommend it to anyone who asks. Phil Whittaker ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hi Phil, First -...
Dec 20, 2016
Q. Hi Gale, Last week I started following your TrainingPeaks program "Triathlon: Base Period (Winter, Off-Season) Training". After the first week is almost done I noticed that the trainings that were an exact match to the training parameters are colored in green while shorter ones or longer ones are colored in red. Is it OK if I do a longer ride? For example even if here winter is quite nasty, there are still days when I can go out and do a 50-100km ride. I also like to train for future contests, but I also like riding just for the...
Nov 17, 2016
When I design a ready-to-use training plan, I consider multiple variables. These variables influence the design of the plan and ultimately provide the athlete profile description that accompanies all of the plans. While there are many more variables than can be listed in a single column, let’s look at the top three variables to consider. Goals The first thing I want to know is what is your goal? Fitness goals typically fall into two broad categories. The first is health. People want to maintain or improve fitness in order to influence good health markers. For many, keeping good...
Aug 30, 2016
The photo above is a glimpse into my personal training plan periodization. The chart comes from the Strava Fitness and Freshness graph. TrainingPeaks has a similar graph, but the Strava graph is more visual for my purposes in this column. The left side or y-axis of the graph in the photo tracks fitness as measured by Strava’s calculations. Though I think it underestimates mountain biking difficulty and therefore fitness and freshness, overall I think it does track pretty close to my performance. The x-axis of the graph is time, 2011 through 2016. It is pretty easy to see that I...
Jan 08, 2015
My triathlon and cycling training plans are structured so that you can use them for a flat or hilly courses. The progression, or periodization, of training is accomplished by designing the daily and weekly workouts to optimize training time. One part of this optimization is training intensity. When a plan specifies interval work at a particular training intensity, one of the best parts of the training plan is that the work can be accomplished on a flat section of road for those doing a flat race or the work can be done as hill repeats. For those doing rolling courses,...
Dec 31, 2014
Hi Gale - I have your book "Training Plans for Multisport Athletes." I have been considering the Faster Olympic 24-Week Plan. I completed a 70.3 last September and admittedly have done very little since. I plan to start back up in January with my sights on a mid-June race. My concern with the 24-week plan in the book is the total hours and arrangement of the workouts vs. what I can fit into my schedule. I checked out TrainingPeaks and found your 12-week base plan (3.75-8.25 hours per week) and your Intermediate Olympic Plan that is 9 weeks long...
Dec 17, 2014
I often ask my athletes to produce the most speed for the least cost. In the off-season, when athletes aren't focused on racing, I will look at aerobic cost. For example, I will assign a negative-split workout where the goal is to go out at a Zone 1 heart rate. This can be an out-and-back course or it can be a loop. On the way back, the athlete is to run or ride as fast as possible – without exceeding the top of Zone 2 heart rate. I want to know how fast or powerful you can be at an...
Nov 05, 2014
(Click on the image to make it larger) In my training plans I ask triathletes and cyclists using heart rate as their training monitor to begin an interval with a lower, controlled effort and allow heart rate to climb to the range specified in the plan. The reason I request that approach is that heart rate lags power and many times I'm interested in a constant power output; whether the athlete is actually training with a power meter or not. This week I asked one of my athletes to do 60-second power repeats. He executed the workout perfectly. His TrainingPeaks...
Oct 28, 2014
Dear Mrs. Bernhardt, Greetings from Germany! I do have a question about your training plan, Triathlon: Base Period (Winter, Off-Season) Training, Phase 1: 4.75 to 9.5 hrs/wk - especially about the bike part . Unfortunately it's not clear for me, if the zones you describe in the cycling parts are power zones or heart rate zones. Example: Endurance - Z3. Should I stay in power zones 1-3, or heart rate zones 1-3? I am looking forward to your answers. S.S. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hello S.S. ~ By design, you can use heart rate Zone 3 or power Zone 3 if you have a...
Oct 16, 2014
Hi Gale, I saw your twitter feed commenting on the difference between exercise and training. Though you referenced another columnist, can you expand on your thoughts some more? I'm a big fan and I've used several of your training plans. I know they work. Now that I'm gaining more experience as an endurance athlete, I'm more interested in understanding why your plans work. Any information you can give to help me learn (without giving away secrets!) is much appreciated. Regards, C.S. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hi C.S. ~ First, thank you for letting me know my plans help you succeed! In short,...