If you're not the biggest ....
Posted By: KP
Date: Monday, 27 October 2008, at 9:09 p.m.
If you're not the biggest .... you'd better be good. This is another way of saying "if you don't have the biggest engine you had better be able to out execute your competition if you are going to compete; or race to near you personal potential. ChuckieV is writing some blog posts that cover this is in a clear and cogent way at http://chuckiev.blogspot.com/
In my view, long course athletes need to practice precise execution -- just as they will on race day. If you can't hit power targets, interpret nuances in HR and correlate PE on training rides, how can you expect to do so on race day with all the excitement that entails?
One of my favorite ways to practice IM execution is to have a very solid swim and follow it up with a longer bike that uses continuous shifts in efforts from steady to moderatley hard. The strong swim will bring into focus HR and PE data points the athlete is likely to see on race day. It also extends the day and makes fueling an important issue. The longest training day will have a run attached to the bike (and maybe a longer run the next day).
This morning, I did the 75min, 2.4 mile swim posted below and transitioned to the bike. There I rode easy building to steady for 90min and that took me into Camp Pendleton. Once on base I rode over sections of the Cali 70.3 half ironman course; Vandegrift out and back, Stuart Mesa and the Las Pulgas out and back to Basilone. This is flat and quite windy in most parts and rolling in others. I was aero the entire ride. Down is important if you race HIM or IM. You cannot use climbing watts to set race day targets. If you don't do grueling, flat, aero rides you are less than prepared to execute on almost all HIM and IM courses.
Once on base I did the following continuous intervals as a long course athlete practicng execution (pretty decent training stimulus as well): 5x (12min steady / 3min moderately hard). My steady target watts were 195 to 205 and my mod-hard target watts were 230 to 240. Here's how it went:
I was pretty consistent and consistently on the higher end of my power ranges. Hitting the high end of range is a common thread I see in myself and many of the athletes I work with. Recall, when executing, the highest option isn't always the best option! The following 45min of the ride were done mostly easy and the last 105min easy to steady. Overall NP was 185 over 5:15 for a 6.5hr swim/bike brick.
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