Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January Training Off to a Good Start

Well, with a repair to my rotator cuff out of the way, I'm starting to get into a good rhythm of training. The shoulder work was mostly cleaning out scar tissue and bone spurs, as well as doing a decompression (removal of some bone to make some room for the muscles in the rotator cuff). The tendon was mostly intact, so no long term recovery is needed.

So, I'm thinking about my goals for this coming race season and wanting to get faster on the bike. My game plan is to build a huge aerobic base through January and February, but not ignore some work I need to do to increase my speed. Working primarily with power this year, I'm monitoring my wattage output, having measured my Functional Threshold Power (FTP). My endurance rides are primarily about 70-75% of FTP and my shorter rides during the week include some intervals at FTP (e.g. 20 min warm up in power zones 1 & 2/ 2 x 10 min. at FTP or slightly higher w/ 5min recovery, and 15 minute spinning cool down at about 75% of FTP).

If I were not using power, I'd likely be doing similar kinds of work using Heart Rate, so the intervals would be at Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR). You can substitute your HR zones and do the same workout.

I recommend the inclusion of intervals to those athletes who have some depth of experience with training. For those doing their first full or half iron distance event, I'd focus more on the lower heart rate work to build that base with perhaps some shorter intervals after the first four weeks of strictly endurance (zones 1-3) work.

My key "A" races this year: IM USA, Lake Placid and Age Group National Championship. About 6 other "B" and "C" races on the calendar starting at Columbia this May.


  1. Chuck...If I am trying to limit the purchase of another gadget/doohickey (although I really do want a powermeter!), what is the best way to measure LTHR? Is LTHR different for the bike and run?

  2. Terry- There's usually a spread of 7-10 bpm difference between cycling and running (running being higher). Easiest way to determine either is to do a Time Trial test. Warm up well and then run (or ride) as hard as you can maintain for 30 minutes. Hit the lap button of your HR Monitor 10 minutes into the TT and when you're done, check your average HR for the last 20 minutes. If you've gone as hard as you can for this period of time, the average HR you get will be pretty close to your LTHR.