Tri Coach Tuesday: Winter Training

by Eric Kenney, EK Endurance Coaching

 

CONSISTENCY

Being consistent is so important. It is better to do 6 x 45-minute trainer rides before you do 1 x 5-hour ride and nothing else all week. Think of your weekly training as a set of intervals. You rarely go out to do a threshold workout as 1-hour, all-out effort. You break it up into 10- or 20-minute intervals. Same thing here. Plan ahead and “pay it forward” a bit by saving some energy (both physical and mental) on Wednesday so you can get in another session on Thursday or Friday. It’s not the training you do this week; rather it’s what you do for this 3-4 months.
Here, EK Endurance Coaching training pyramid shows you consistency is the foundation for EVERYTHING. This is not to say you have to train as long or as often as you might in spring or summer but you do need to find a manageable workload you can consistently complete.

 

STRUCTURED ENDURANCE TRAINING

Something many people don’t realize is that if you are working at your lactate threshold or below, you are getting the same adaptations as you do from doing long slow distance (LSD) training. What’s the catch? Well of course, the harder you ride the less time you can hold that effort for. But it’s winter and you are reading this because you don’t want to spend three hours on your trainer on Tuesday morning. So the old adage of “if you only have a short amount of time go hammer!” is sort of true in this case. However, do it with purpose and structure. Our Hour Of Power cycling workout library is designed for just this. Quality training that keeps you focused (distracted) while still having fun and getting your workout in.

WEAKNESS TRAINING

I have been talking about and practicing this in my coaching since I began working with athletes over a decade ago. If you want to improve, you must discover your weak areas and bring them up to par for your goals.

FLEXIBILITY AND REST

Rest is very important—maybe the most important part of your training. Just because you are not logging 3-hour rides doesn’t mean you don’t need off days, recovery rides and stretching. Often I see more tightness and injuries in winter than in summer. Why? I feel it’s because athletes don’t take the time to cool down as much and stretch/recover properly. When their last interval is done, all they can think is, “Please get me off this thing!”. They grab some water and food and then are off to wherever. Stretch! Cool down after hard sessions! That extra five minutes now will pay you back the next time you throw your leg over the bike.
Be flexible. If the weather turns nice, bag the structured trainer workout and get outside! Not feeling the mojo today? Save it for tomorrow’s session. Be dynamic and flexible this winter. Think long-term. It’s not the training you get in this week, it’s about the all the training you get in these 3-4 months.
The fact is that riding the trainer can be like getting out of bed. It’s rough! But the act of starting is often the worst part. Get on, warm up, just spin, and after a few minutes images of racing, working hard for teammates and making the winning break will soon fill your head. Do this over and over again, and you will be on your way to having the best season ever.
Read Coach Eric’s full bog here
Want to learn more about winter training?  Join Coach Eric at CMS this Thursday for more.
Details here

Tri Coach Tuesday: Indoor Cycling Workouts

Coach Mike Ricci of  D3 Multisport shares two of his favorite bike trainer work outs that are sure to increase your fitness over the winter.

 

D3 Triathlon Minute, Episode 92, Winter Bike Trainer Workouts from D3 Multisport on Vimeo.

 

 

Winter Training: Best Snowshoe hikes in Colorado – Top 5 trails for beginners

From The Denver Post

With snow flying in Colorado’s mountains, an off-road trek can reward those who make it with stunning views of frozen lakes and waterfalls, slopes that glisten in the sun and the deep hush of wilderness.

But an enjoyable experience isn’t likely if each step is a struggle through deep snow.

Enter snowshoeing, which is among the fastest growing winter sports in the world, according to the Winter Wilds Alliance.

“If you can walk, you can snowshoe,” said Alan Apt, author of “Snowshoe Routes Colorado’s Front Range.”

“It doesn’t require special skills like skiing does,” Apt said. “And unlike skis, you’re not going to kill yourself going downhill, or slide backwards going uphill. There is a minimal learning curve.”

People have relied on snowshoes to cross deep, snowy terrain for thousands of years.

Snowshoes spread the wearer’s weight evenly across a large, flat surface area so the foot doesn’t sink into the snow, and provide “flotation,” a quality that, coupled with spikes to grip the snow, allows for hiking and climbing, according to outdoor retailer REI.

“Don’t be overly ambitious that first time out. Do something short and easy and make it a fun trip. If it is a death march,” Apt said, “they won’t want to go back out. If the snow is deep and fresh, it’s good, but it takes more energy and can be challenging.”

For a wilderness adventure, Apt suggests the trails that lace Rocky Mountain National Park. For one thing, “there are three ranger- led snowshoe hikes each week.” The park also offers a beginner showshoe from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays through March 4, at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center. (Reservations required.)

 

5 hikes for beginner snowshoers

1. Sprague Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park

This flat, half-mile trail circles the lake, which lies in the shadow of magnificent peaks. “This will make a good family outing,” Apt said. Access the trail from Bear Lake Road on the east side of the Rocky Mountain National Park.

2. Bear Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park

Bear Lake offers scenic lake views at 9,475 feet. The trail is just over a half mile and runs near the base of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain. There is a slight elevation gain, but overall it is an easy hike, Apt said.

Find the trail at the end of Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

3. Mud Lake – Boulder County Open Space

This small Boulder County Open Space park north of Nederland has good beginner snowshoeing trails. There are two short loop trails— the 0.8 mile Tungsten Loop and the 1.1 mile Kinnikinnick Loop— and the 1.5 mile out and back Caribou Ranch Link.

“You can go around on a very easy short outing, or go up on the hills. The trail is well marked and heavily used, so you’re not likely to get lost,” said Apt, who lives in the area. Find the trailhead off of Colorado 72, aka Peak to Peak Highway.

4. Echo Lake Park – Denver Mountain Parks

This Denver Mountain Parks trail system gives snowshoers an easy, flat and smooth trek near Echo Lake at the base of Mount Evans. Find the trailhead by taking exit 240 off of Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs and then following Colorado 103 to parking just north of the Mount Evans entrance station.

5. Hidden Valley – Rocky Mountain National Park

At this reclaimed ski area tucked into Rocky Mountain National Park, recreational trails head up the valley. For beginners, it’s best to go when trails are already packed in— not first thing in the morning after a storm. Find the trailhead just past Beaver Ponds on Trail Ridge Road, which is closed for the season a few miles ahead at Many Parks Curve. Distance: go out as far as you like, then come back.

Other places to look for a trail:

• Snowshoes.com lists events as well more than 3,300 trails nationwide in a clickable map.

• The Breckenridge and Frisco Nordic centers each have more than 12 miles of snowshoe trails. Rentals and tours are available.  breckenridgenordic. com or townoffrisco.com

• Devil’s Thumb Ranch near Tabernash has more than 12 miles of marked snowshoe trails.  devilsthumbranch.com

• Leadville and Lake County have a groomed trail network that includes the Mineral Belt Trail as well as a network at the Mount Massive Golf Course and a snowshoe trail to Interlaken in Twin Lakes. leadvilletwinlakes.com

 

Complete article here

Tri Coach Tuesday: Winter Training Tips

by Nicole Odell, NEO Endurance Sports & Fitness

5 WINTER TRAINING TIPS FOR ENDURANCE ATHLETES

 

It seems that winter hasn’t quite arrived yet, as here in Colorado it still seems like the end of summer as I write this! But no doubt winter will be here and we’ll get cold temperatures and snow. I will admit, I grew up in Florida, so I had to learn a new definition of winter once I left the sunshine state. If you do live in less winter-like part of the world, we’ll be thinking of coming to visit when the blizzards hit!

 

For those of us who live in the “cooler” parts of the world, here are my tips for dealing with the winter weather.

 

Pay attention to the weather. Don’t just look at the high and low temps or general chance of precipitation, but read the hourly forecasts (weather.gov is a good resource!) so you can see what’s likely to happen throughout the day and plan your training accordingly.

 

Get appropriate gear for cold and wet weather. Invest in quality gear that will last a long time. If you are in snowy or rainy climate, wind and waterproof outer layers are nice. A nice technical fabric underlayer is also a good idea. Your local running and cycling stores can help, or google “winter cycling gear” and “winter running gear.” There’s a saying “there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.” The same goes for equipment. You want to have things like winter appropriate bike tires (fat bike?) and traction devices for shoes. That said…

 

Safety First! If there is snow, ice, sand, gravel out on the roads, be extra cautious, and maybe stay inside if it is too much. If you are traveling to your workout destination, make sure you can get there safely. Know what you can handle and for which conditions you have gear. If you don’t feel safe, get some good tunes or videos going and knock out that workouts indoors.

 

Don’t forget to eat and drink. When it’s colder out, we often don’t feel thirsty or hungry. But if you’re doing a long or intense workout in the cold, you’ll still need to eat and drink. Use insulated bottles if there is a chance of your bottle freezing. Solutions (ie sports drinks) will freeze at lower temperatures than plain water. And pick nutritional items that won’t freeze or get more challenging to eat when cold.

 

Modify your workout. If you’re supposed to run today and ride tomorrow, but there is a good chance of “winter weather” tomorrow, swap days if you don’t want to ride indoors. It’s often easier to run outside in colder weather. If you can’t do what you want to do, try something different indoors with body weight strength training. Do stair sprints. Put on a yoga video. You can still get in some kind of workout, even if it’s not what is planned. Or just get out and play in the snow, go snowshoeing, or cross country skiing. Enjoy it!

 

 

Original blog post here

Tri Coach Tuesday: 4 Keys to Winter Training

by Eric Kenney, EK Endurance Coaching

 

 

1. CONSISTENCY

Being consistent is so important. It is better to do 6 x 45-minute trainer rides before you do 1 x 5-hour ride and nothing else all week. Think of your weekly training as a set of intervals. You rarely go out to do a threshold workout as 1-hour, all-out effort. You break it up into 10- or 20-minute intervals. Same thing here. Plan ahead and “pay it forward” a bit by saving some energy (both physical and mental) on Wednesday so you can get in another session on Thursday or Friday. It’s not the training you do this week; rather it’s what you do for this 3-4 months.

Here, EK Endurance Coaching training pyramid shows you consistency is the foundation for EVERYTHING. This is not to say you have to train as long or as often as you might in spring or summer but you do need to find a manageable workload you can consistently complete.

 

2. STRUCTURED ENDURANCE TRAINING

Something many people don’t realize is that if you are working at your lactate threshold or below, you are getting the same adaptations as you do from doing long slow distance (LSD) training. What’s the catch? Well of course, the harder you ride the less time you can hold that effort for. But it’s winter and you are reading this because you don’t want to spend three hours on your trainer on Tuesday morning. So the old adage of “if you only have a short amount of time go hammer!” is sort of true in this case. However, do it with purpose and structure. Our Hour Of Power cycling workout library is designed for just this. Quality training that keeps you focused (distracted) while still having fun and getting your workout in.

A solid standard trainer set might look like this. This one isn’t the most exciting but it gets the job done:

Warm up:

  • 15 minutes easy

Main Set:

  • 10’ Zone 3-upper Zone 3
  • 8’ higher power than last interval
  • 6’ higher power than last interval
  • 4’ higher power than last interval
  • 2’ higher power than last interval

Take 2’ rest between all intervals

Cool Down:

  • 5- 10 minutes and you’ve done a nice hard, aerobic descending interval set that goes by quite quickly and can be done in 1 hour.

 

3. WEAKNESS TRAINING

I have been talking about and practicing this in my coaching since I began working with athletes over a decade ago. If you want to improve, you must discover your weak areas and bring them up to par for your goals.

I have done webinars, written articles on our blog, and had teams hire me to instruct them on the ways to find what your true weak area is and then how to train it. What you need here is:

Numbers:

They don’t lie. I have seen this many times with athletes, including myself. We think we are good at something we want to be good at, when in reality, we are not. Get a power meter and do the proper field testing.

An objective view:

This is where a coach can be critical but it doesn’t necessarily have to come from a coach. A trusted, experienced teammate or training partner can help an enormous amount.

Work without ego:

I have quoted GI Joe before in regards to training. “Knowing is half the battle”. Now it’s time for the other half. The WORK! I always say to my athletes “You have to train with what you have, not what you want to have”. Be patient, improvement won’t happen overnight—but it will happen if you keep at it.

When training your weakness in the winter, break it down to its most raw element. I had a conversation with a road cyclist in the winter of 2008- 2009. I determined he had weak neuromuscular power. He had trouble with high-speed crits and repeated accelerations in races. So are we going to have him do jumps and sprints with short rest and mimic crits on the trainer doing lactic acid bath workouts? No. We are going to focus on that maximum power. Different types of short, maximal efforts with long rests. Over the course of six weeks that winter we improved his 5-second power by 14%. From 1250 to over 1400 watts. That year he upgraded to Category 1, getting good results in hilly road races, TT’s and short crits.

 

4. FLEXIBILITY AND REST

Rest is very important—maybe the most important part of your training. Just because you are not logging 3-hour rides doesn’t mean you don’t need off days, recovery rides and stretching. Often I see more tightness and injuries in winter than in summer. Why? I feel it’s because athletes don’t take the time to cool down as much and stretch/recover properly. When their last interval is done, all they can think is, “Please get me off this thing!”. They grab some water and food and then are off to wherever. Stretch! Cool down after hard sessions! That extra five minutes now will pay you back the next time you throw your leg over the bike.

Be flexible. If the weather turns nice, bag the structured trainer workout and get outside! Not feeling the mojo today? Save it for tomorrow’s session. Be dynamic and flexible this winter. Think long-term. It’s not the training you get in this week, it’s about the all the training you get in these 3-4 months.

The fact is that riding the trainer can be like getting out of bed. It’s rough! But the act of starting is often the worst part. Get on, warm up, just spin, and after a few minutes images of racing, working hard for teammates and making the winning break will soon fill your head. Do this over and over again, and you will be on your way to having the best season ever.

 

Complete article here