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Training Insanity: New Season, Same Training Plan as Last Year

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

Albert Einstein

Year after year, person after person, we see many athletes doing the exact same thing.  They log their base miles, begin their steady intensity, join in on the exact same group rides and then slowly build up to an event.  Some athletes participate in the exact same event –which may be a century, a bike race or something as grandiose as an Ironman triathlon.  With the thought of the same course or same type of intensity, we know of some athletes who even utilize the exact same training plan year, after year, after year, after… Modify training for faster resultswell, you get the point!  .

Much like Einstein had his definition for insanity this is ours for training insanity.  In 2016, we want you to challenge your status quo. We want you to test your limits. We want you to reach new goals.  Over the years we have found a rhythm with our coaching, and that rhythm is as ever-developing as our athletes physical abilities. Our approaches to increasing performance and fitness must change and adapt.  The workouts might be similar in philosophy and name, but the timing, frequency and quantity are always modified to help each athlete reach their peak performance in that moment in time.

So, have you just come off of your base training?  Are you looking at an mid season event where you hope to perform well?  What are you doing now to guarantee the best results for that event?  We hope it isn’t the same thing that you did last year!

No matter if you are a triathlete, a cyclist, a runner or a general fitness enthusiast looking to shed a few pounds, we challenge all of you to break that insanity loop and mix your early season training up with one of these workouts:

Run: Threshold Ladder

Warm up: 5 minutes (rpe:5/10)

4×7:30 Run Ladder w/5min RBI: 2min Steady State Run (rpe: 7/10), 2min Tempo Run (rpe: 8/10), 30sec Fartlek Run (rpe: 9/10), 1min Tempo Run (rpe: 8/10), 2min Steady State Run (rpe: 7/10)

Cool down: 10min (rpe:5/10)

Bike: VO2 Intervals

Warm up: 10-15 minutes at Endurance pace(rpe:5/10) with several 30 second Threshold Intervals (rpe:8/10)

Intervals: 8x2minute VO2 intervals (rpe:10/10) w/2min RBI

  • Be sure that these are a maximal effort from the very start. Your legs might fatigue but that is no reason to decrease the intensity.

Cool down: 5-10 minutes

  • Take ample time to allow for heart rate to slow and your core temperature to decrease.

 

Break your training insanity loop and change your training plan design with one of our Static Plans or Custom Coaching Packages!
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Power Meters

Investing in the Efficiency of Your Training

By now, you have probably heard of a cycling power meter.  With the dramatic decrease in average costs of power meters, they are becoming much more mainstream.  What might surprise you is that these devices have been used since the mid-1980’s.  Their first public appearance was at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, SRM Power meter 1980sCanada where the German National team used SRM’s first crank based system.  What then looked more like a medieval torture device (they might still be described as such) was attached to many of the track racers bikes.

Since their early introduction, a great deal has been learned about these devices and how we can better utilize the data that they provide to improve training efficiency.  Here are a handful of the ways you will find a power meter can improve your training if you chose to take the next step.

Accurate tracking of improvement – Unlike heart rate with its wide array of variables, power is much more consistent.  Where heart rate is your body’s response to the work that has been completed (delayed by up to 60 seconds), power is the actual amount of work that is being created.  This work-based response takes factors out of the equation to give more consistent verification of current improvement.

More precise training ranges – For those who have been using heart rate for Cycling Power fileyears, your first workout with a power meter will immediately show you that your workouts just became harder!  Why is that you ask? As mentioned previously, heart rate is a response to the work that has been done.  With cardiac drift as a factor involved with sustained efforts, you will quickly notice that workload stays consistent but heart rate gradually increases.  Remember heart rate is a response to the work you have done — power is the actual work.

Caloric expenditure –  You might be ecstatic that you just went out for a ride and your Garmin paired with your heart rate monitor is telling you that you burned 1100 calories.  Now, it is time to go out and eat that 22oz steak, drink a bottle of wine or guzzle a bunch of amazing craft beer. It’s the perfect moment to eat that 1100 calorie dessert at your local go to restaurant, right?  NOT SO FAST!  Pair that same workout with a power meter and you might find that your Garmin has been calculating your calorie burn inaccurately —  150% inaccurately.  You’ll be dismayed to find out that you only clocked in at 650 calories in reality.  Why the difference?  Power measures work done and uses an equation that provides a more accurate gauge of calorie burn.

Gauging extended efforts – For many endurance events like time trials, triathlons, centuries or the popular gravel grinders, effort is everything! Getting from Point A to Stages power meterPoint B as quickly and effectively as possible is what ultimately results in optimal performance.  With proper training using a cycling power meter, sufficient data can be collected and analyzed to calculate the best effort range for your optimal performance.

Now, the question is what brand do you go with. Our coaches have used many power meters over the years and we feel that several provide great data to help you reach your goals.  Consider a Stages Cycling Power meter, a SRM Power meter, Quarq Power meter, or one of the PowerTap line of power meters.  They each have their own benefits and drawbacks, but each of these will provide you with great data to improve your accuracy.

 

Pair your Science of Speed Coaching with a power meter and receive a discount!  You’ll receive the highest quality training and the top training devices on the market at a great price.

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Presentation: Recovery for triathletes, runners and cyclist

Maintenance is as Important as Training

On Monday evening Coach Brady presented to the Gulf Winds Triathletes, in Tallahassee, Florida, on many of the modalities or methods of recovery.  In this discussion many things were Tallahassee Florida Triathlon coachreviewed from the simple details of sleep and hydration to more uncommon methods such as cryotherapy (more to come later on this) and technological methods of increasing your rate of recovery.

With a room of nearly 60 people in attendance it was a great opportunity for questions to be fielded and a large amount of learning to occur for many athletes who were newer to the sport.  Thank you to Gulf Winds Triathletes for allowing us this opportunity and an even larger thanks to the captive audience!

Do you not live in Tallahassee, Florida and/or were not able to attend?  Sign up here to get the unabridged notes!

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Let’s get Social with Science of Speed on Social Media

Science of Speed loves seeing posts from our athletes on social media. We’re excited that you want to share the story of your training! Want to connect with other SoS athletes and make sure we see your updates? It’s easy! Simply use and search for our hashtags.

Whether you’re snapping a selfie post-ride, posting a picture of the medal you earned this weekend, or tweeting about your training schedule, we invite you to use the following tags.

#SoSAthlete
#SoSinAction
#SoSSelfie
#AthleteInAllOfUs

Science of Speed Tallahassee instagram twitter facebook

Not familiar with hashtags? You can use them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Hashtags are a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic. If you click on a hashtag on social media, you will be able to see more posts about the same thing. Think of it as a way to categorize and organize updates!

The SoS team can’t wait to see your posts and engage with our athletes online. If you use our hashtags, we may feature your posts on our social media channels.

If you aren’t following us already, Science of Speed would love to connect with you on social media.

Twitter   –   Instagram   –   Facebook

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Jake Bit the Dog – Endurance Training Plan Design

“Jake Bit The Dog” or “The Dog Bit Jake” 

Smarter Endurance Training PlansThese four very simple words result in two very different outcomes in Jake’s life just by switching the order that they are in.  Much like Jake’s outcome is dependent upon the order of four words, an endurance training plan also uses fairly simple key elements that are dependent upon the layout to create drastically different outcomes.  

A monkey can build a program.  There is not much to taking workouts, putting them on a calendar and saying (or signing in the case of a monkey) “do X, Y & Z”.  The knowledge comes into play when the goal is to make a training plan work to it’s optimal potential.  At this point, there is great thought and consideration of an athlete’s goals, rate of recovery, life experiences, past training and mental fortitude to make the simple elements of training most effective for the time that you have available to train. Let’s be honest!  Time is a precious commodity that we can never get back and unfortunately, we cannot create more of!  If you are a weekend warrior striving for your own personal bests or looking to win championships, the prioritization of workouts is paramount in increasing effectiveness of training.

So what does that mean for you? Bite the dog, don’t let the dog bite you! Utilize the resources available to you to make the most of your training time and be sure that your training plan design and layout is best suited for your specific needs and the demands of your event(s).  Here are several factors to think about when considering your training plan layout:

  • What is your event?
    • It might sound silly, but events can have different demands on your body and you need to prepare for what will come at you on race day.  A course with long climbs requires a much different approach than something with short hard accelerations and a marathon is much different than a 5k.
  • What time do you have available?
    • Don’t live in a fantasy land and say you can train 20 hrs a week when you work 60 hrs a week have a family and many other obligations. This will only set you up for frustration and failure.
  • What are your strengths?
    • Many static plans will not take into consideration what you are strong at or weak at so you might be wasting time doing technique drills when they are not something you need to improve.
  • What are your goals?
    • Seriously!  Set them and write them down, tell your friends and don’t be shy.  Accountability is good when things get difficult and a reminder on a piece of paper, on your phone backdrop or written on the bathroom mirror can be a helpful reminder.
  • Write the training plan!
    • As we said earlier a monkey can put workouts on a schedule.  Taking all of these factors into consideration though helps in creating efficiency in your training and helps to lead to better results.

 

Are you unsure of what to do and are looking for options to increase your training accuracy consider a custom endurance training plan or a static training plan.

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Science of Speed Partners with Raptor Aquatic Club Elite

Science of Speed is excited about our recent partnership with Raptor Aquatic Club Triathlon Swim CoachElite (RACE) and its swimmers. Our expert triathlon and swim coach, Patrick Valentine, spent an extended weekend in December in Panama City working one on one with this select group of athletes. The weekend kicked off with a dry land workout teaching new skills,  which will serve as a cornerstone to turning each individual into well rounded athletes and not just swimmers, and providing instrumental feedback on proper technique.

The following two days were spent working solely on stroke refinement and drills to properly breakdown each element of every athlete’s swim stroke helping to create proper habits for better swimming. Part of the process in educating each athlete included above water and below water video analysis to effectively provide each athlete with visuals of what their Panama City Swim coachingstrengths and weaknesses currently were, and how that compared with elite swimmers in the US.

The weekend came to a close with the RACE swimmers heading North to swim at a natatorium that holds a great deal of national and international fame, the home of the Auburn Tigers. With the recent stroke work and training techniques the meet served as a great starting point to see how the practice habits transferred to a race scenario. We were just as excited as the athletes to see some fantastic swims including multiple personal best times with the majority of athletes swimming as fast as they have all year long. This marked a great foundation in the relationship between RACE and SoS, and just as importantly the runway for many successful seasons to come. Be on the lookout for these swimmers over the years to come!

 

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a better swimmer, whether to improve technique or to take you to the center state of the sport, please contact us. We are happy to setup an individual or a group setting to work on stroke development to fit your needs.

 

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Selecting your next Cycling or Triathlon Short

For the Fashionista or Bike Snob a new pair of cycling or triathlon shorts is an exciting thing.  Accessorizing can be one of the most enjoyable for things for them to do with some spare money and some fun time.  For many though, the thought of spending $100 or more dollars on a pair of cycling shorts is a frightful thing but it is one of the largest parts to improving your comfort on your bike.  Here are a few key things to consider when you are debating whether your shorts are in need of replacement and what route you need to take when selecting your next cycling or triathlon short:

  1. Elasticity – A snug fitting short is imperative for comfort.  If they twist and shift while you ride you increase your susceptibility to chaffing and saddle sores.  If your shorts are baggy in the legs (unless you are a small child – hard to find sizes small enough) they are worn out! IMMEDIATELY walk over to a trash can,  throw them away and go buy a new pair of shorts now.
  2. Thickness of material – Cycling shorts are not supposed to be see through and honestly no one wants to stare at your crack for hours on a group ride.  Result: Go buy new shorts!
  3. Chamois – This is the padding in your cycling short. It is what gives you a great deal of comfort or discomfort if improperly selected. Over time this padding “packs” or compresses and because of this it does not offer the same level of comfort also. Be sure you find one with minimal seams and smooth stitching around the edges. The newer and higher quality chamois is actually made of one piece of foam with varying thicknesses throughout. They are seamless and very comfortable.
  4. LG bib shortsBibs or shorts – Consider bibs. We can almost guarantee that if you go to bib shorts you will never return to a standard short. They might look a bit like a wrestling singlet but the comfort they offer is worth it! For the ladies they can be more difficult for nature breaks but the newer “drop tail” bibs help reduce this challenge.
  5. Quantity/number of weekly rides – If you ride more than twice weekly you need to have more than one pair of shorts. Save yourself the hassle of having to wash your shorts for every ride and take the chance at trying out several different shorts/chamois.
  6. Don’t Skimp! Cycling shorts can be expensive but are worth the money. Higher priced shorts typically result in a longer lasting short and a higher quality chamois.

Ultimately know that a pair of shorts, dependent upon quality, can last anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 miles. Keep in mind they are an investment in your body’s comfort.  Higher priced shorts have greater technology including the chamois, shaping, quality of material and the shorts effectiveness at keeping your bodies temperature at more normal levels.

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Athlete Spotlight: Davis Bell

Athlete Spotlight: Davis Bell

Davis Bell is a great example of what the spirit of an athlete can do to help people acheive.  At one point Davis weighed over 280lbs and had smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for nearly 10 years.  In 2007 he made the decision that he was going to change his life by beginning to walk and run.

Setting a goal was one of the biggest motivators for him in his initial success. “Once I reached 200 pounds I would buy a bike and start riding with a friend.”  So, Davis worked out consistently, watched his diet and began to shed weight until he was able to meet his goal to purchase his bike.

Coach Brady met Davis the summer of 2012 after the purchase of his new bike. After years of Brady helping Davis with on bike nutrition and tips for modifying his training, Davis made the leap to coaching. One year after winning his first ever cycling road race.  The stressors of life had played a roll on Davis’ fitness and he had found a little bit of his previously lost weight.  Quoted saying “Just have fun it’s only cycling,” you might believe that on first impression, once you learn his personality better you will realize he is extremely driven and competitive.

After 6 months of training Davis raced his final goal of the season the Pensacola cycling classic.  With an amazing start to the 3 day stage race, Davis cranked out 400+ watts in his time trial to set a new personal best.  He follow that up with a well executed road race and then smashed the field in the criterium by attacking with over 20 minutes to go holding off the field and subsequently producing his highest 20 minute power output ever “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.” Said Davis.  Certainly his day to day changes in his diet and training have lead to some extraordinary outcomes!

Athletes like Davis are the reason we exist at Science of Speed.  He has fought to overcome his routine habits and make a healthier life for himself as well as pushed his body to greater levels of fitness than he thought possible.  The constant philosophy that, “You don’t have to prove anything if you believe in yourself,” has brought Davis to where he is today and will continue to push him through the winter months of training and into an very strong 2016 race season.

Sign up for the same program that has led to Davis’ great success and maybe one day you can be in our Athlete Spotlight!

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Improve Bike Performance:

Threshold Intervals

We talk a great deal about the importance of intervals and how they make the most out of limited amounts of training time but they can also make you a much stronger athlete.  We have seen it come true for so many athletes that we are not only confident in the success rate of intervals, we are sure that they will help to improve bike performance for you as well.

How do you Improve your bike performance?

A great deal of the “how,” comes down to what your specific goal is.  Are you a Triathlete searching for the ability to grind out hours of smooth tempo?  Are you a road racer searching for the ability to hold a high sustained effort?  You might be an “Average Joe,” just like in Dodgeball, like so many trying to hang on to the “B” group in your local ride!  If you fall in to any of the three categories we have a great solution for you to reach your goals.

Threshold Intervals are a great way to improve your bike performance.  These intervals are sustained efforts at intensities just below and right up to your Threshold Power/Heart Rate.  They can vary considerably in length based upon a riders fitness but ultimately they allow you to perform a great deal of intensity without requiring excessive amounts of recovery time.

The ultimate goal of these intervals is to train your body to become more efficient at buffering, or getting rid of, the wastes that accumulate under sustained moderate intensity.

 

Are you looking to take your performance to a higher level? Get a fully customized training plan from your own personal Science of Speed Coach.  LEARN MORE

Sample workout:

Warmup:

10-20 minutes (dependent upon rider preference)

Intervals:

8 minute Threshold intervals

4 minute rest

8 minute Threshold intervals

4 minute rest

8 minute Threshold intervals

4 minute rest

8 minute Threshold intervals

Cool Down:

10-15min

Are you new to training or on a little tighter budget?

Consider one of our static training plans to help you improve your performance!

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Athlete Spotlight: Pete Butler

Athlete Spotlight: Pete Butler

In May of 2014, nearly one year from his goal event, Pete came to SoS for help with his training. With a lofty goal of winning a Senior National Championship bike race in 2015 he knew that there was no time to waste.  A plan was laid out with his coach and Pete’s diligence, hard work and motivation to attain his goal kept him on track.  With early results included an 18% improvement in power in the first 3 months of training and continued progress in power output through the next nine months Pete was becoming sure of his ability.

Cycling National ChampionOn June 8th & 9th Pete was in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was excited to compete in his 40k and 20k road races.  He had his strategy for both days, he was excited and confident in his fitness from the training that he had done to get to this point.  Day one Pete attacked in the final meters of the race gapping the field and powering in to the finish line ultimately winning by several bike lengths.  Day two was so incredibly close that it ended up having to be reviewed by the race officials.  With several different types of records being consulted it was determined that Pete pipped his competitor at the line! He not only accomplished his goal of a National Championship but came away from his racing having received TWO National Championships.

Cycling National ChampionWhen asked what his biggest challenge was in accomplishing his goal, Pete’s response was “balancing life and cycling.” To help maintain this balance Pete put a cap on his training of 12 hours per week.  This stipulation made it crucial to turn every minute of Pete’s training into quality training time.  There was no fluff training, no LSD training but there was the fun of racing and group rides and ultimately quality time with his wife, Karen, and daughter and son, Anna Grace & Paul.

Keep your eyes peeled for Pete on your next group ride, event or race.  He will be the guy with the ear to ear smile, encouraging others, helping the local junior team foster new up and coming athletes and at times putting others in the hurt locker!

 

Congratulations Pete, we are very proud of you and all you have accomplished!  Very few athletes have the opportunity to put on the stars and bars in cycling and you have achieved an amazing accomplishment!

 

Are you interested in achieving goals like Pete?  Learn more about our coaching packages

What is the Athlete Spotlight?

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