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May 28, 2013
Yesterday I put out a tweet that said, “Small hint: If you are "killing it" on Strava segments and getting your fanny spanked in races, your training plan priorities are wrong.” This tweet had a huge number of responses on both email and Twitter. One person, @AndreLSD, made a comment that got me wondering what really is more important to athletes. I know that optimally you would have both; but if you could only have one, what is more important – a Strava KOM or a PR on race day?
May 23, 2013
If you’ve finished your first race of the season and your results were less than expected, perhaps you’re training too much? It is common for endurance athletes (triathletes, mountain bikers, cyclists and runners) to have a very high work ethic. A great work ethic is a good trait, but it must be tempered. Take a look at your training plan to see if training volume and intensity over the course of several weeks looks like a rolling course profile. There should be climbs and descents, or peaks and valleys. Resist the temptation to follow an ever-increasing volume and intensity program...
May 20, 2013
A cyclist hired me to review his training plan. What I saw in his plan were several common errors made by many self-coached cyclists. (Triathletes and mountain bikers make the same errors.) Perhaps my advice to him can help you too. 1. Change intensity. Often, self-coached athletes make the mistake of doing every workout at a mono-speed (really intensity) that is not fast and not slow. New athletes get lured into this trap because at the beginning of developing fitness, mono-speed doesn’t appear to hamper performance improvement. This is primarily because new endurance athletes have no fitness so as long...
May 15, 2013
This is the time of year when northern hemisphere endurance athletes ramp up their training plans. It doesn’t matter if the athlete is training for a triathlon, a road cycling event or a mountain bike race – training volume and intensity is increasing. When training is increasing, it is also time to increase self-care. This means making sure that stretching, massage and high quality rest are as much a part of your routine as a workout. Tools like a massage stick, the pillar of pain (foam roller) and the Thera Cane are good to have in your toolbox. These...
May 07, 2013
In yesterday’s blog post I tried to explain that a cycling time trial on an uphill course will produce more power output for the same average heart rate than the same duration of time trial on a flat course. I used a running analogy, but that specific analogy wasn’t a good one. Let me try again. Human power The engine in your car does not physically change when you drive. It is a fixed mechanical system that is powering a fixed mechanical chassis. There are certainly changes with aging, but from one week to the next or from a hilly...
May 06, 2013
Cycling: Are you using a functional threshold power number that is too low? Cyclists that train with power meters are familiar with the various time trial protocols that determine threshold power or functional threshold power. What I want you to be keenly aware of is that you should do your time trial on the same type of course where you plan to do most of your intervals. If you do your threshold power time trial on a completely flat course, riding all-out for 20 minutes you will produce a certain power number. If you have access to a 20-minute steady...
May 06, 2013
If you’re competing in cold water, take a thermos of warm (not hot) water to the swim start with you. Just before zipping up your wetsuit, pour the warm water into the suit. With a layer of warm water next to your body, you don’t have to heat up the cold lake water that seeps into the wetsuit the first few meters. It is good to practice this in your triathlon training too.
Apr 30, 2013
You might have your race plan strategically laid out, training went well and then you get a glimpse of the weather forecast. Rain. Ugh. Not a little rain, but rain the entire day. Ugh. Roger Anderson had that exact scenario unfold at the Big Frog 65 last weekend. Rather than wringing his hands and fretting about something he couldn’t change, we made plans for the possibility of bad weather. We had light weight clothing options, warm fluid in the hydration pack and waterproof options like baggie corners over his toes, large latex gloves to...
Apr 29, 2013
Welcome to the new website for Gale Bernhardt Consulting! Watch for blog posts to help you train and race to your full potential. You can subscribe to news feeds for the blog at this link.