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In the last couple of years, I’ve been thinking a lot about periodization of intensity.
In digging into the research a little deeper, it appears that the decline is most rapid in those who seldom challenge their anaerobic systems.
It appears that up until about age 35 fitness above the anaerobic threshold is maintained with little need for focused training.
There’s nothing wrong with doing a great deal of that as there are, indeed, fitness benefits that still occur peripherally with such training (for example, greater capillarization of the primary muscles of the sport). Let’s take a look at what that may entail when it comes to Base training starting by dividing training intensity into three rather broad zones (note that this is not the common intensity breakdown which usually involves 5 to 7 zones). Using these three zones, how might an athlete allocate his or her workout intensity over the course of a season using a mixed training concept? Please understand that this is just an example for an advanced, fictional athlete who we otherwise know nothing about—gender, age, sport, race type, limiters, or anything else. The point here is that the athlete in the example is doing workouts that have a broad range of intensities from below the aerobic threshold to well above the anaerobic threshold. In the Specific Prep (Build) period the athlete is doing 10 percent of weekly training in zone 3. The zone 3 session now has longer work intervals and more total time at and above the anaerobic threshold. PMC Swim Default pack features the classic WKO+ charts focused on giving you deeper insights into your swim training and performance. Mental toughness can be viewed as aggression or an unwavering ability to endure or the ability to perform at your best when the stakes are very high.
To be entirely engaged in the present moment is something that is very difficult to achieve.
If you are always trying to be somewhere else mentally, it’s very difficult to give all of your attention to the task at hand. When I was training, my best sessions were always when I was focused on one interval at a time and completely in love with and engaged in the process and the effort. The ability to become fully present is a mental skill that is entirely achievable with practice.
Jasper Blake has been one of Canada’s most reputable endurance athletes for the past two decades. This chart pack supplies three different ways to review both your historical and current FTP settings by creating unique comparisons to the Power Duration Curve and select mean maximal markers. TrainingPeaks, the online training and nutrition software for endurance athletes and coaches, now has data editing capabilities built into its web interface.
Workout totals, average and peak value calculations will adjust automatically after editing, and edited values will be reflected in TrainingPeaks charts, such as the Peak Power and Peak Pace by Distance charts. TrainingPeaks co-founder and CEO Gear Fisher said, “The ability to edit your raw device data on the web is a big step forward for athletes using GPS, power or heart rate monitors. TrainingPeaks co-founder Dirk Friel added, “From the coaching perspective, this is a huge gain as well.
Previously, the ability to delete segments, drop channels and edit data points has existed in desktop training software including TrainingPeaks WKO+; however the release of these capabilities makes it the first time a user can perform these functions directly on the web. Data editing capabilities will be available to paid Premium TrainingPeaks Athlete Edition users and users of TrainingPeaks Coach Edition software.
This is the latest version of our site (version 3.1) since we launched back in January 2008. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch via our Contact page, or for research & consulting enquiries, please visit our sister site MultiSport Research. 5k, 10k, hallf marathon, marathon, Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, triathlon Training Plans and Support for Novices planning their first half marathon, marathon, or triathlon. We all know a healthy diet is high in vegetables and that athletes generally have healthier eating habits than the average person.
The first study on beets suggested that 500 mL of beet juice each day may lead to a 15% increase in the time taken to reach exhaustion1. Previous research suggests that cooking will significantly reduce the available nitrates in vegetables5. Like all supplements, individuals will respond differently to the performance enhancing benefits of beet juice.
Beets have taken the limelight in the battle for nitrate supremacy, but the truth is many vegetables contain inorganic nitrates in high amounts9.
Beets are not going to make you fast on their own, but for the athlete that cares about marginal gains, they could provide the race winning boost.
Francesca Boari, Maria Cefola, Francesco Di Gioia, Bernardo Pace,Francesco Serio, Vito Cantore. When you have the chance to swim in open water, the goal is to transfer your pool skills and fitness to the race venue.
With no black line to follow, no walls and lane lines to guide you, sighting and navigation present a new challenge. Swim like a water polo player or lifeguard: head out of water, head still, strong pull and kick. The long endurance swim is the most common type of and a very important aspect of open water swim training.
Workout goal: polo drill for strength, speed and the ability to lift your head high when needed. Melissa Mantak, MA is a USA Triathlon Level 3 and USA Cycling Level 1 certified coach and has a Masters degree in Sports Science.
Having a power meter is a great investment in yourself and How To Start Training with Power is the perfect quick start guide for any rider using a power meter. The Ebook starts by covering the basics like determining your threshold and setting your zones. You’ve invested good money in your power meter, now take the time to understand the data it is giving you. WKO4 iLevels, the newest metric for cyclists and triathletes training with a power meter, are specific training levels based on an athlete’s unique physiology and current level of fitness. WKO4 software has changed how coaches and athletes are able to analyze data and prescribe workouts. It started when I was reading research on the aerobic capacity declines common in 50+ year-old endurance athletes for a book I was writing- Fast After 50. Yet endurance athletes have traditionally focused their training in the Base period almost exclusively on central adaptations.
I’m notoriously well known for having athletes do lots of aerobic threshold work in the Base period.
The following table provides an example of a mixed, time-by-zone distribution in traditional, linear periodization for a hypothetical athlete.

In the General Prep (Base) period our imaginary athlete is averaging only about 3 percent of his or her training at or above the anaerobic threshold. This is when anaerobic training typically starts in a traditional, linear periodization plan. So such weekly workouts may call for a mix of 30 second work intervals at 150 percent of FTP, 3 minute intervals at 120 percent of FTP, and 12 minute intervals at FTP. I can’t say for certain, but my inclination is that there is something to at least consider here.
These are all good examples of mental toughness but a closer look would likely reveal that these are all rooted in the ability to achieve a deep state of presence. Humans are both blessed and cursed with a brain that not only thinks but can also be entirely aware of the fact that it is thinking. As soon as you become aware of your thoughts you will realize that your thoughts are a separate thing from you. When you are in control of thought you can focus those thoughts on things that exist in the present moment.
In a race or training situation where the effort creates discomfort it’s easy to want to be somewhere else. End goals are good because they help shape the process and keep you motivated but you have to learn to do things for the sake of themselves. If you are fully present you will put all of your mental and physical energy into the thing you are doing. Presence allows you to fall in love with and fully embrace the effort for the sake of itself. His accomplishments are numerous including an Ironman title and dozens of professional wins as a triathlete. We’ve seen a huge increase in device uploads over the past few years, but the data wasn’t always perfect. Coaches need accurate data to get the whole picture of an athlete’s fitness and to be able to prescribe the right type of training. Users of TrainingPeaks’ free Basic Athlete Edition tool still have access to the platform’s workout graphs and select charts, and can upgrade at any time to the Premium service to utilize the new data editing benefits.
Despite this, it wasn’t until 2009 that the performance benefits of beet juice (known as beetroot juice outside of North America) came to the attention of athletes1.
These compounds are the precursor to a very important signalling molecule that our body needs to function- Nitric Oxide2.
Anecdotes of digestive distress after drinking that quantity suggest there is an advantage in finding the lowest dose that works for you.
This is why juicing beets or using concentrate is the preferred method for ingesting beets. Keeping your nitrates high in your normal diet may maximise the effect; use beet juice to top it up before a major competition.
When he isn't riding his bike, he is pursuing a PhD in Neurophysiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Swim training at the local pond or beach improves race times, increases confidence, and brings a change of pace to the monotony of endless laps in the pool. Improvement here begins with the best, most efficient and symmetrical stroke you can produce. This is a great drill for increasing the strength of your pull and giving a clear demonstration why you do not want to lift your head too high when sighting. For a more enjoyable and faster open water swim, incorporating skills, drills and speed work will help you progress from survival to performance. By working on specific skills and becoming more comfortable in the open water, you’ll have more success on race day. However, to get those results you need to know what those numbers mean and how to use the data to dial in your training. As TrainingPeaks Co-Founder Dirk Friel says, "The true value of a power meter is in the objective feedback you will receive.
It also explains the metrics behind power, how to analyze your data, see long term trends and how to use the numbers to get faster. How To Start Training with Power gives you everything you need to start training effectively, all in one place.
These iLevels will be displayed as 9 power zones on the Garmin head unit and be available in the Garmin workouts. Fully customizable charts allow users to view and compare any data they want in order to gain clearer insights into their training. But research also reveals that even highly trained endurance athletes over the rather youthful age of 35 lose both aerobic and anaerobic capacity at an average rate of about 8 percent per decade.
At first these declines occurring after about age 35 are rather small, but the older you get the greater they become. The problem is that completely avoiding anaerobic training during this long period of training promotes a loss of much of one’s peripheral muscular power. You only need to add a few minutes of such high intensity intervals per week in your base period to maintain your anaerobic and aerobic capacities. Only now the athlete doesn’t have to slowly start from scratch to allow for a lengthy adaptation to high intensity after several weeks away from it. But the zone is often elusive when it matters most and the primary reason for this is that thought gets in the way.
Aim thought directly at something in the present moment and it opens the floodgates for the ability to achieve focus and mental toughness.
If you are doing hill reps because you want to win your age group at the next race that is great but don’t do the hill reps solely for that reason. Breaking that down even further, it means that you will commit more fully to every interval or every repetition. Until devices are perfect and know how to do things like shut themselves off when you’re done with your ride, or not pick up random spikes in heart rate when you’re rolling downhill, there will be errors introduced in an athlete’s tracking process.
Since then, elite athletes have fully invested in beets as a way to gain the last couple percent over their competition. NO is made naturally within our bodies but we can dramatically increase its availability by eating nitrate rich food.
Juicing 3­ to 5 beets every morning is not only time consuming and messy, but also expensive and impractical if you are traveling. New data shows improvements can be measured at 300 mL, or about one shot of concentrated beet juice4. The exception to this is light steaming, which may actually make the nutrients more available to the body6. This conversion is not instantaneous, and the use of mouthwash or toothpaste soon after drinking beet juice may wash the nitrates out of your saliva7.

There was a chance that no performance benefit would be seen, even at the highest dose given.
But, down at water level with your head only inches from the surface, these markers can suddenly disappear.
She is also a former ITU World Cup Series overall Champion, USOC Triathlete of the Year and USAT National Coach of the Year.
While there is a lot of information across various books, blogs and articles, trying to put it all together can be difficult. Based off the introduction of the Power Duration Curve, WKO4 has introduced several new training metrics including Functional Reserve Capacity and Pmax tracking to better help coaches and athletes track their specific fitness. Not doing anaerobic workouts at all for several weeks means you will lose anaerobic fitness and then have to devote a significant amount of time to rebuilding the related systems once you move beyond the Base period. The Base period is still heavily devoted to training at and below the aerobic threshold (using heart rate, that’s roughly 30bpm or so below your anaerobic threshold).
The big difference is that the athlete was able to achieve more in this period than had he or she avoided all anaerobic training in the Base period due to starting it at a higher level of anaerobic fitness.
This is exacerbated when you feel pressure or nervousness or anxiety, which is ever-present leading into and during competition. Thought analyzes, criticizes, judges, tries to control and rarely ever stays in the present moment.
By being entirely present and engaged in that exact moment you can learn to observe the discomfort, accept it and embrace it rather than running from it mentally.
Imagine how much harder you will try if all you are focusing on is that interval, that minute, that second. He received a Bachelor of Science honors degree in Human Kinetics at the University of Guelph in 2000.
Five years after the first research was published we have a greater understanding of how and why beets boost performance and how we can get the greatest benefit possible. Among other roles, NO acts as a vasodilator in functioning skeletal muscle, increasing the size of blood vessels to allow more oxygen flow3. Alternatives in the form of powder and concentrated juices are now widely available on the market. At 600 mL the performance gain is bigger, but doubling that dose provides no extra benefit. Obviously, beets take some serious cooking to be edible, steaming isn’t going to cut it.
It follows that drinking beet juice slowly may increase the time nitrates are in contact with these bacteria, increasing the conversion to nitrites.
Get into a comfortable rhythm of breathing as this will both calm you and prepare you for the workout. Get a glimpse, keep moving and wait for your brain to then tell you what your eyes just saw. To be more comfortable with this aspect of racing, get a group of your friends or tri club members, or take a clinic,  together and practice mass starts. With the release of the How To Start Training with Power Ebook, TrainingPeaks has taken all the best tips, ideas and thoughts from power training pioneers Hunter Allen, Dr.
Joe Friel gives his top three key power workouts and tips on pacing for an Ironman bike using your power meter. So what this means is that the standard zone 3 workout in Base may be something such as 3 sets of 4 to 6 x 20 to 30 seconds ranging in intensity from 100 percent to 150 percent of Functional Threshold Power (FTP) with 20 to 30 second recoveries between intervals and 2 minutes between sets. Our thoughts will take us everywhere but the present moment because we like to obsess, rehearse, deliberate and worry about what’s coming or what happened. Think back to a time when a training session or race seemed to be effortless, fun and you were performing well without really trying. The more you become aware of your thoughts the less your thoughts will get away from you into the past or the future.
When you embrace the discomfort you will experience mental toughness at a level you may never have thought possible. If you focus on the fact that you have to put out effort for hours on end it’s far more difficult to stay motivated and on task than if you are focused on the present moment. During this time he competed on the University of Guelph swimming and running teams and was an Academic All Canadian in 2000. The most recent study at the University of Exeter used concentrated beet juice, like Red Ace Organics, which replicated the effect of fresh juice4. For other high­ nitrate vegetables, like spinach, light steaming will not affect the nitrate availability.
Once you’re in, practice your open water safety skills like treading water, breathing when the cold water takes your breath away, floating on your back, and using an alternate resting stroke. A few minutes of drills will get you focused on good stroke mechanics right from the start. Get a pair of goggles that fit properly, stay in place and are as fog-free as possible (anti-fog solution or mild soap is very helpful). They often need to be bigger and higher than you planned; a land based object works well such as a tree, building, balloons, flags, etc. A full time triathlon coach, Melissa empowers athletes of all abilities to take their triathlon training and racing to the next level. This may be done once weekly with another weekly session of 3 x 4 minute work intervals with 1 minute recoveries done at FTP.
The problem is that the present is where you need to be if you want to perform at your best. Blake brings over twenty five years of real life experience to the programs he creates and delivers them within a structure that is easy to understand and makes sense.
If you’re swimming straight into the sun, consider this variable as it can be blinding. These aren’t terribly hard workouts but they are laying the foundation for some harder anaerobic training to come- and are helping to maintain peripheral muscular power. It’s a lightweight inflatable bright orange buoy that floats behind you while swimming and can be used as a flotation device as needed. Plan for this scenario with a dry land warm up or the shortest, most efficient warm up possible. These simple acts will help decrease any sense of disorientation that often occurs while in the open water. If you’re not swimming straight, practice sight breathing more frequently, every 3-5 strokes.

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