Tri Coach Tuesday: Training with Power

By Tim Cusick, TrainingPeaks


For cyclists and triathletes, training with power is likely the most effective way to maximize results. Why? Power meters and the data they provide remove a lot of the guesswork from training by supplying precise, accurate information for accurate measurement of training intensity and load, unlike heart rate training or rate of perceived exertion (RPE) training.

Even when athletes recognize that power training offers significant benefits, many of them are apprehensive about jumping into the power-training game because they’ve heard it’s complex and they aren’t sure they have the knowledge or technical skills to get the most out of it.

I’d like to make it easier. Here are a few simple steps to get started with power training and how to better understand the entire power training process.


Step 1: Ride with power

The first thing your should do after you buy a new power meter is set up your head unit with some key metrics to track. I suggest setting power, heart rate, and speed to display on the screen.

And then just ride, observe and record. That’s all you should do for two to four weeks. Don’t change anything about your riding or training yet. Simply observe and begin to quantify your efforts.

Be sure to record all your workouts, no matter how small. It’s pretty simple to automate the recording and uploading process, and these records will become your data diary and will be highly useful in the future.

This first step gives you time to get a feeling for the relationship between power and effort, along with a basic understanding of the quantification of training. If you went up a short hill, did it feel hard? Your power meter now gives a number for “hard.” Hard for you might be 450 watts or 600 watts. Soft pedal down the other side of the hill and watch how many watts that generates.


Original post here

Tri Coach Tuesday: Pacing & Nutrition

by Jon (Mace) Mason, Head Coach MPMultisport


Long-Course Race Execution: All about Pacing and Nutrition


We’ve all witnessed the athlete that posts every workout on social media for months before their big Ironman. Epic days in the saddle over 140 miles, double and triple bricks taking up the entire weekend, runs that would make Alberto Salazar drool.   They approach the starting line looking like a Greek god, lean, strong, and ready to take on the world.  14 hours later they have been limited to the “Ironman Shuffle”, hours from their goal just happy to finish.  What happened?


Introducing the 4th and 5th disciplines: Pacing and Nutrition (not in any particular order)

Pacing or racing at a percentage of your threshold Heart Rate, Functional Threshold of Power (FTP), or pace/speed is absolutely imperative to crossing the finish line near the potential of your ability. If you don’t have a specific number in your head for the Bike and the Run as you read this it’s time to get evaluated.  You can ask any qualified coach or sports science institute to have your threshold tested and determined on the bike and run via Lactate Threshold (LT) testing or as simple as a testing protocol on the trainer or treadmill.  Besides LT testing, we have found great success nailing an athlete’s threshold level using the Wahoo Kickr™ trainers for the bike and a treadmill or the track for the run.  Your threshold level will also change as your progress in your training so they need to be reevaluated at least every 6 weeks.  Your pacing plan could be somewhere in the range of 75-88% of threshold for full-distance and 78-90% for half-distance but very individualized based on past race performance, training, and your discipline strengths.

With nutrition, there is no magic ingredient or formula for everyone attempting a long-course race.  Most of us get in the habit of reading Elite athlete blogs or a race report from somebody that just punched their ticket to Kona and adapt to their plan of number of calories, carbs, electrolytes, and funky colored stuff in the water bottle.  It is highly individual based on your body type, physiologically how your body processes and absorbs nutrients, race experience, training, and race day weather. What your coach or nutritionist should do is give you guidance to practice months out in the same environment of your race to develop a nutrition plan as important as a race plan and pacing plan.

  1. Avoid the gut rot of gels and chewables as much as possible by consuming solid “real” foods at least the first 75% of the bike. If you wouldn’t eat this stuff on a normal day in the office, why would you eat it during your most important race?  My favorites are energy balls, pancake sandwiches, broth, and portables.
  2. Don’t forget liquids.  Roughly one bottle of hydration (preferably electrolytes) per hour, more if the weather is hot or if you have a large stature or heavy sweater.
  3. Percentage of calories, carbs, and nutrients from liquids increases as you approach the run leg due to GI distress experienced by most athletes
  4. Percentages from liquids increase as weather heats up.  Your body absorbs and processes slower as temperature increases.
  5. Aim for 200-600 calories, 30-50g Carbs, 500-1000mg of Na PER HOUR from solid and liquid on the bike.
  6. On the run, highly individual to what you can get in.  The numbers above are reduced to the lower range.  Keep the nutrition plan together as long as you can, be flexible and listen to your body.  Sometimes Coca-Cola or a Red Bull is heaven’s nectar!


Original blog post here

Tri Coach Tuesday: Announcing the 303Triathlon Beginner Tri Project


Inspired by the USA Triathlon and IRONMAN “Time to Tri Initiative,” 303Triathlon is excited to launch the 303 Beginner Tri Project. As with the Time to Tri Initiative, the goal of the 303 Beginner Tri Project is to attract new athletes – and new people who don’t realize that they are athletes! – to the sport of triathlon.

Alison Freeman, 303 Triathlon Staff Writer and USAT Certified Coach with D3 Multisport, will publish regular columns specifically focused on information helpful to beginners, answering basic questions about equipment, training, and racing. Alison will also be moderating the new 303 Beginner Tri Facebook Group, a community where new triathletes can post questions, accomplishments, setbacks, and encouragement.

Within the 303 Beginner Tri Facebook Group, we will focus on a series of beginner-friendly triathlons throughout the season. Alison will post workout goals and key workouts leading into select races, and group members are encouraged to work together to accomplish those goals!

If you are interested in toeing the start line of your first triathlon, or know someone who is (or should be!), please join the 303 Beginner Tri Facebook Group and keep an eye on 303 Triathlon for our first beginner column next week.

Tri Coach Tuesday: No Gut Training, No Glory

from APEX Coaching


Avoiding gastric distress:  Gastrointestinal Distress: is most commonly defined as a reduction in gastrointestinal blood flow (circulation) due to a buildup of lactic acid in the blood. This buildup of lactic acid results in the inability of the digestive system to effectively breakdown and process food, absorb nutrients to be used as fuel and clear the bowel. Peristalsis (The wave like muscle contractions in the intestine that help clear the bowel) is greatly compromised during gastric distress and can even cease until blood lactic levels return to normal.  The onset of Gastric Distress differs for every athlete and this is why it is important to practice your nutrition in training and not on race day. In general, most athletes will start to develop GI distress at 120 -180 minutes into race pace training or racing. Symptoms include: nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps and pains, bloating and burping.  Almost all endurance athletes will experience gastric distress and women are more likely than men to experience GI distress.

Upper GI distress manifests as heartburn, vomiting, belching, bloating, nausea and/or stomach pain, inability to eat or keep down food

Lower GI distress includes cramping, gas, urgency and diarrhea, vomiting

As endurance athletes we tend to be a “picky” bunch. We spend hours picking out the perfect bike, getting the perfect aero position, devote time to finding just the right chamois for all those hours in the saddle for training, and let’s not forget time spent analyzing and comparing all that training data. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to our equipment and what works best for us, and yet, we will devote more time to filling our water bottles than we will to developing a solid nutrition plan and strategy for training and race day. Your nutrition can be the single source to win or lose your long course event. Proper fueling is not an accident it must be tried and tested before race day to make your body work best for you.  Let’s chat a little about what you can do to ensure a happy gut on race day.

How does Gastric Distress affect my training/ racing?

Most athletes have found themselves out on a training run or ride searching for a corner store to buy a Coke or begging a gel or bar off a training buddy deep in the fog of bonking or cramping and it was a very long ride or run home. As we all know, the training post a “bonk” is pretty much useless and leaves you pretty sore and tired afterwards. The fundamental goal for fueling as an endurance athlete is that we want to maintain the most consistent blood sugar levels as possible for maximum use of the muscles, circulation and power output. This principle is also used in avoiding gastric distress. As we train the body builds up lactic acid in the muscles and we are in a race against time to fuel our body with electrolytes and carbohydrates before our GI system shuts down due to lack of blood flow as the body continues to buildup lactic acid.  Most of your solid foods should be consumed in the first 120 minutes of a prolonged race or during training. This fueling should include carbohydrates and electrolytes for the body to use as long term fuel during the event.  Continued fueling past this point should include soft foods such as chews, gels and liquids

When training practice what and when you will be eating. Don’t forget pre-race nutrition starting the week before your goal event.  Glycogen stores, hydration and even the amount of sleep you get all impact your body many days out from your goal event.

Original posting HERE


Written By Simon Bennet

Simon Bennett is an elite road, track and multisport coach for APEX Coaching. As an Australian Level 1 Triathlon Coach and Silver Level Swimming Coach he had several of his athletes selected to compete at the Australian National Triathlon Championships, ITU Elite races and Swimming National Championships. Simon was a podium endurance coach for British Cycling during the last Olympic cycle with 6 of his athletes winning gold medals in Rio on the road and track. For more information on Simon, click HERE.

Tri Coach Tuesday: Winter Training

by Eric Kenney, EK Endurance Coaching



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.



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.


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.


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: Rest, Re-set, Re-start

from Coach Eric Kenney, EK Endurance Coaching


At the end of the season, it’s important to take time off to fully rest and recover.  Today we share Coach Eric Kenney’s EK Minute series on taking time off to rest and recover and then how to re-start your training.

Don’t miss Coach Kenney’s upcoming clinic at CMS on Winter Training.  Details here


Part 1 – Rest and Detrain

Part 2 – Unstructured Training

Part 3 – How do you get back in to training?

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.



Tri Coach Tuesday: Intention Process



The Intention Process is an activity that allows us to write our thoughts with conscious awareness through selecting words that accurately reflect what we intend to have in our life. It is a descriptive list in the form of an essay or letter. The minds wants to be right…so let’s give it something to be right about.

We often talk with our friends complaining how we do not have something, trying to get sympathy from anyone we talk with. This likely will result in fewer friends or maybe our friends will agree with us thus forming an unofficial club that supports a life that is not how we would like it to be including no job, little money or poor health. Instead, include your friends on your intention list. Write how you would like them to be successful in the important areas of their life. Determine what must be present in your life for you to be truly happy and fulfilled.

We must separate the performance from the performer otherwise we take on a label. We then justify or validate the label to such an extent that we begin to believe our own ‘public relations’ campaign’. We soon develop an act or a routine that cloaks who we really are. This becomes an issue when opportunities arise and our internal voice convinces us to not investigate or pursue the opportunity. Determine the code of ethics we must follow to feel good about ourself. Remember, if we fail at an event, we are not failures; if we lie, we are not liars.

Include specific material items on your list. Include how you intend to feel about what you have once you get it. Remember, it is feelings that go along with the material stuff that adds to the quality of life. If you are unfamiliar with feelings include this as being an area where you develop an interest.

If you can think about it, you can have it. If you know that it is available and you have a thought about it, if you have seen other people have it, then it is in your reality and it is available to you. An intention list is an opportunity to look at what you intend to have for yourself that you do not currently have. Everything you 1 have in your life at this time you intended to have at one time in your life, you just forgot that that you intended to have that, and forgetting or letting it go is what allowed you to have it.

Be Specific

One of the rules for an intention list is to be specific. Look precisely and clearly at what you intend to have. If you intend to have money, free and clear, state how much and that you intend to have. If you worry a lot about money and security be sure you include a statement about your financial well-being and your feeling of security. Many times the amount of money we have is never enough to give us the ongoing experience of having enough for whatever we want. It is essential that you look at each item carefully and see what you are really looking for.

It is important to go beyond what you have seen on TV or read in books as they are only pictures. Be sure to include how you feel about your performance and your level of appreciation for the the desired result. If acknowledgement or recognition is important be sure to include this. Include all of it as you must go beyond what you normally think to have what you desire.


Duration is how long you intend to have the items in your life that are listed. This is important in that sometimes it takes us so long to recognize or be aware of what we do have for ourselves that we may only have the intended item for very brief periods of time. In our unawareness we may not acknowledge that we ever had the item thus we can continue to proclaim that ‘You never get what you want, so why bother to want.’

Upon reading a returned list a student complained that she did not achieve a weight of 105 pounds. When asked if she weighed 105 pounds at any time during the past year had she looked astonished and said yes, only for one week. She forgot about adding to her list the duration or how long she was to have what she received.

Want vs. Intention

Want is very different from intention. In the example the woman was in the state of want, she still wanted to weigh a specific amount, thus, her intention was actually to want, to be in wanting, and that is what she got. When we are in wanting we will not have.

Intentions for other people

If you have an intention for another person look at from where you intention for them is coming from. If you want somebody to have something check to see whether or not they intend for themselves what you intend for them, that they be in alignment. Many times the other person is not interested in what you want for them. They are perfectly content with the attention you are giving them by their not having those things.

The only reason that you may want them to have a certain thing is to get them off your back so you do not nave to hear about it anymore. If your intentions for others come from this place keep you intentions for yourself. You may also complain about what you do not have and you may be on someone else’s intention list to get you off of their back. If your intention for others is genuine go ahead and include it. If it is not genuine do not include it.

Intend how you feel

Part of the specificity of your intention list is to look and see what you intend to have and how you are going to feel about it once you have got it. When we receive things we are not accustomed to having we become uncomfortable with having them. We feel funny about it. If you intend to be comfortable and satisfied with it and enjoy what you get be sure to include this in your writing.

Distinguish the material items from the feelings. Be aware of any thoughts that anticipate a feeling happening as a result of the material item. The item may be only be available to you under certain conditions such as size, color or cost, however feelings are always available. It is important to identify the feelings as the item will not make you feel any different, however you will always have a different feeling about each item.

Note: It is very important to not read the list or try to memorize it or try to recall what you wrote days after the writing.

Writing the intention

Begin the Intention List with the following: ‘This comes easily and harmoniously by: _______ (insert your target date here). Or, as an alternative, write the intention as being past tense, dating the intention with a future date yet writing the list as if it has already happened.

“It was great to be offered the job yesterday, I was so happy to sign the contract and the new manager was truly excited.” or “ I was very proud of myself for achieving a personal best in the race”.

Do as many lists as you want. It could be each week or each month, as other items come to mind. Once you write an item never look at it again. Do not proofread your list. This means you must be very careful with how you write each item.

Caution, regarding being specific, do not indicate how it is going to happen. The process of how is the surprise. Our notions of how things happen when crammed into our petty formulas and plans are too restrictive. Allow things to come as they come. We fear of things ‘getting out of hand’ based on our limited formulas that keep us from having what we intend to have. Have you ever looked at how small your hands are?

When you are complete with your list place it in an envelope with a sign saying: Do Not Open Until ________.

Free the mind of thoughts, then go on to the next thing in your life. All the best to you in this new year of 2018.


Shawn F. Lyons

Tri Coach Tuesday: Improve Your Swim

By Peter S. Alfino

Owner and Founder Mile High Multisport

During the off season we are faced with many choices on how to make improvements so that we are better prepared for the next season. Now is the perfect time of year to focus on improving your swim stroke. Over the years I have conducted many swim lessons and although I have seen many flaws, improper hand entry is one of the most common errors I see. If the hand doesn’t enter the water properly, you have significantly reduced your chances of catching the water up front.

Your hand should enter the water at the 11 and 1 o’clock position on a clock (imagine a railroad track in which the tracks run through your shoulders and alongside your body). The hand will enter the water somewhere between your elbow and rest. Finger tips enter the water first, followed by the wrist and elbow. It is important that you maintain the finger tip, wrist, elbow alignment throughout the entry and the front part of your stroke. Imagine a steel rod which extends from elbow to finger tips. The wrist does not flex.

The hand should enter through an imaginary mail slot, finger tips, wrist and elbow and the elbow should never drop below the wrist or finger tips. The hand sets up somewhere between 4-6 inches below the surface of the water. Since it is hard to gauge this in the water think about your hand setting up under your shoulder. The trajectory of the hand is forward. Think about running the hand along the imaginary rail road track.

A good drill to practice proper hand alignment is the pause drill. In this drill, the entry hand pauses about 3 inches before the surface of the water. As you pause, ask yourself, is my hand in the proper alignment (elbow above wrist and finger tip). The lead hand should still be up front. Once you pause the lead hand enters the water at the same time the stroke hand begins to pull.

When doing drills, I would encourage you to wear fins as they act as training wheels in the water. Once you have perfected the time of this then you can take the fins off until you have mastered the drill again. This drill is one of my favorite drills as it promotes property hand entry and front quadrant swimming.

Pause Drill from Mile High Multisport, LLC on Vimeo.


Original post and more training tips on