Sunday, December 26, 2010

TriSpecific: Training Blog Wk2

Well it's been Christmas hasn't it, so I treated this week with the holiday respect it deserves and had a little break! Totally back to normal next week I think. But a few of you have been asking questions about the new training, how it is different, numbers, hours, volume etc. 

So I asked Kristian to document his thoughts for you, so there is something for you to read this week and it is probably much more interesting than my waffle!!

Remember we are in the midst of putting together plans for Malaysia. If there is an area or something specific you want to target then let us know and we may be able to help you shape your goals.

TriSpecific Head Coach, Kristian Manieta explains in more detail the Low volume Vs High volume training and how it all works

I was previously an IG's coach running operations and coaching in Australia and NZ. I continue to use many of the concepts I learnt with IG's and couple those in with previous knowledge and also new knowledge I acquired from learning via my talks with many athletes and other coaches and of course the experiential learning part of it, from my own training. Learning and application is a never ending pursuit. 

TriSpecific was around before I partnered with ig and I relaunched TS due to the stress involved with ig.

My goals are quite simple with my coaching. Provide athletes with the tools and education to not only perform but to ensure a holistic approach to longterm sustainable health. When we provide a foundation of health, performances will come.

There is also way more to coaching than the plans we write and there is way more to results than just following the plan. The plan becomes just a small part of the picture. In one2one coaching we take in the athletes life circumstance and develop them in line with those circumstances and make sure their stated goals are congruent with their current life circumstance.

When it comes to athletes that follow a generic download plan or membership site plan we will see vastly different results for the same plan. Talent doesn't really count that much. How those athletes apply themselves in each and every sessions counts big time as does there day to day nutrition, recovery methods and their attitudes also play a major role.

Coaching whether its one2one or a generic plan or membership site, needs to contain other important knowledge transfer such as the role of nutrition, the role of sleep, stress reduction, regeneration, among other things.

Results come from consistency. Not just in the plan but the above factors also. Many athletes that train 20+ hours/week lack the long term consistency to get great results. Typically they get so aerobically whacked they will miss sessions, due to excessive fatigue, sickness or injury. You'll get better results following year round training at a sustainable volume than you will from 12-20 weeks of higher volumes. There will always be outliers but I talking about the typical age grouper.

When it comes to iron distance racing there is a commonly held belief that you need big volume to perform. Over the years I have found that not to be true. Your base grows from session to session, year to year. This year I have had some major success with athletes doing a lot less volume than most of the age groupers out there.

Out of the five athletes I had in Kona in 2010, four of them where AG champions in the 2010 season and I had three podiums from those five in Kona (1st, 2nd, and 3rd). The volume these guys and girls do is totally linked to their current life circumstances and even so for the most part it stays under 15 hours. Even my pro athletes train under 20 hours/week.

Its all about getting the best return on investment for your training buck. If you had to do 30 hours per week to go 9:30, I would say that is a terrible ROI when I see athletes going that on 8-10hr/week. I know some athletes who train in the 14-15hr bracket and have gone mid 8:30's! They don't miss sessions and each session is very focused and has a purpose to it.

The major issue I see with volume is with the so called 'base' training. The norm is to do long slow sessions early on and then upping the volume and adding in a speed element. The problem here is that excessive volume coupled with high intensity will kill an athlete quickly. Its just so catabolic on the body. With all the long slow stuff, you essentially train the strength and speed out of your body as you wreck your immune system.

Flip that on its head and do more strength and speed work early on to develop those crucial skills and you develop aerobic capacity anyway. Repeat that for the long term and then in the lead up to the race, 6-8wks out you can up the volume in some sessions to marry the specifics of the race.

This works so well, because you have increased not only your cruising paces but have more efficiency and will complete the longer race specific work faster and using less energy expenditure.

In terms of hours, unfortunately there is no magic number of hours that will see results. As I mentioned above, it's so much more than the training. Everything counts. Looking at my generic 20 week Ironman plan we see an average training week across the board of 12.5 hours. But there is 8 weeks where the volume is between 16-17.5hrs on the advanced plan.

For between 14-15hr/week you can get:
SWIM: 3-4  40min sessions
BIKE: 1x70min, 1x 90min, and 1x4hour
RUN: 4-5-  2-3x 40-60min, 30min and 1 x 120min. 

What's important here is how these sessions are placed and what they contain. ie intensity and quality are very important. Quality does not always mean intense effort. Quality can also mean intense focus on form.

So I believe we start talking lower volume when we are under 15hours per week. Between 12-15hours is a very sustainable model for the majority of athletes competing over the iron distance. I know others that successfully train and race with much less than this. For example: 8-10hour week. When we train under 14hours, each and every session is very much key.

I do emphasize swimming as it is so important to your overall results. Even though its the shortest part of the day, it can take massive amounts of energy away from the bike and run. Being swim fit is a key component to triathlon success.

As Emma mentioned we're working on a Malaysian part to the TS site and will have that up and running soon.

Hope you all had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year


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