Archive for February, 2017

How to Properly Execute Your Build Phase for Running

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Although we all know the importance of rest and recovery, it’s easy to get anxious now that your race plans and goals are taking shape and training has likely commenced. You may start wondering where your fitness is due to the non-structured training most commonly done during the off-season. It’s harder to see the performance gains you’re making during this time, as much of your work may be focused on technique, strength or improving a weak area. Whereas during race season it’s easy to see what markers you’re hitting, your training currently has a different feeling to it, and a necessary but different focus and rhythm.

The build phase is the time in your training for exactly that—building a strong foundation which will equate to speed and overall efficiency as an endurance athlete. In the build phase expect to see a calculated progression, a ramp-up in volume and intensity in your training with the focus on building strength and endurance to prepare you for those critical long runs instrumental to your goal race.

The focus during the build phase is to place stress on the body over a specific timeframe. Then, to back off the intensity to provide just the right amount of rest and recovery before repeating the process again. As you repeat this cycle, changing a variable such as duration of an interval will allow the body to take on an increased level of stress each time. This dynamic training and recovery over time builds a faster athlete.

Sounds easy? Well, the equation becomes complex in determining how much, how often and how hard can one push an athlete, as well as which specific variables to change in order to get the most out of them before causing harm or injury. Finding that balance and defining the exact tipping point is where most self-coached athletes fail. They either plateau, or worse they get injured. With the guidance of a knowledgeable coach and over a few training cycles, you are sure to tap into your potential and see gains in your performance like never before.

There are many theories and methods used by seasoned coaches. Some use training cycles based on days, weeks or even months to build an athlete. This depends largely on the athlete’s history, goals, race, age and rate of adaptation.  A very common training cycle is three or four weeks. This stems from the time it takes your body to adapt to new training stressors. After three or four weeks of the same stress, your body is no longer reaping the maximum benefit and a different stress load should be introduced. So, this is when you will see a recovery period; just a few days are usually enough to allow the body to rest before introducing a higher level of intensity in the next cycle. There are no shortcuts to this, so be cautious when you see a plan that ramps up too fast.

In a well structured plan during the build phase you may see three quality workouts during the week. These workouts will consist of tempo runs, intervals and hill/speed work. The rest of the week may include recovery runs to build volume, cross-training and strength work—all essential parts of developing the strong foundation and endurance that a high performing athlete needs.

Another important and often dismissed component is strength and flexibility work. A strong lower body and core is needed to support the added stress which building speed places on the body. Following a sports-specific strength program in addition to putting in the miles will yield incredible gains over time. Just be patient and consistent when it comes to strength and cross training, especially if it is a new element in your training.

Given the complexity of a properly executed build phase, one should seek the guidance and advice of a coach to get the most of your time training. This small investment in yourself will not only yield better results but also keep you injury-free and training consistently.

The post How to Properly Execute Your Build Phase for Running appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

Why Carbohydrate is the King for Endurance Performance

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Proper nutrition is often the missing link between training and performance gains. There are a lot of nutrition philosophies out there on the topic, but in this article we’ll highlight the different types of carbohydrates and how they work to fuel your body during different activity intensities.

The Science

Carbohydrates travel quite the journey before they finally absorb into the bloodstream via the small intestines. Energy (glucose) can be stored in the liver and muscle (as glycogen) to be used as energy during exercise. Taking on carbohydrate during exercise delivers rapid energy to the working muscles and prolongs your endurance capacity. However, the effects of the energy you receive can differ drastically depending on the type of carbohydrate you use.

Different Sources

Carbohydrates come in a variety of forms. Sugars, including glucose, sucrose and fructose are all carbohydrates that you may have heard of. While they contain similar calories, they are all metabolized differently, affecting performance output. Maltodextrin, an alternative form of carbohydrate, is broken down into glucose, which is the base of SiS GO Energy products.

So what is the difference between sources of carbohydrate?

Fructose

Must be converted into glucose in the liver before they can be metabolized
Is oxidized at a much lower rate during exercise
Can cause stomach issues

Glucose

Fast, readily available source of energy
Has a higher concentration compared to maltodextrin and may require water to aid digestion in high concentrations
Increased risk of GI distress

Sucrose

Also known as table sugar
A chemical combination of glucose and fructose
Has been shown to digest quickly

Maltodextrin

Made up of chains of glucose molecules and has a high GI, meaning that energy is available quickly
Oxidized quickly during exercise
Reduce the risk of developing stomach complaints during prolonged exercise

The carbohydrate source in many energy gels, including SiS GO Isotonic Energy gels, is specifically selected maltodextrin. The particular size of molecule balances the amount of energy delivered versus how quickly it empties from the stomach. This means that you will feel the performance benefits of taking on a isotonic energy gel far more quickly than when a non-isotonic gel is consumed and the risk of upsetting your stomach is much less.

Can We Combine Carbohydrate Sources?

The digestion rate of drinks containing multiple types of carbohydrate is higher than that of drinks with a single carbohydrate source. This means that, for example, drinks containing maltodextrin and fructose are less likely to cause stomach issues and can potentially deliver more energy to the muscles.

The Fat Vs. Carbohydrate Debate

There is a major split as to what should best fuel athletes. Here is a comparison:

Fuel For The Work Required

By “fueling for the work required” an athlete can potentially enhance the way they use carbohydrate and fat as a fuel source during prolonged exercise. Some sessions could be performed without carbohydrate (this may even take the form of having breakfast after and not before morning training) whereas for harder effort sessions and very long endurance sessions, carbohydrate intake is essential for performance.  Additionally, athletes should include “train as you race” sessions where a race day nutrition strategy is practiced. This can teach the muscles how to use both fat and carbohydrate as fuels. However, always ensure that harder training sessions are fueled to also train your gut to be able to tolerate the high carbohydrate intakes on race day.

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TrainingPeaks Downtime Due to Amazon Web Services S3 Outage

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Beginning at 10:40am MST today TrainingPeaks began experiencing connectivity issues accessing our backend file store that utilizes the Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 service. This outage affected many well-known internet sites today. When it became apparent that the cause was a system wide problem at AWS we decided to put up our system maintenance page and disable all access to our applications until a resolution could be found.

Your workout file data is of the highest importance at TrainingPeaks and your data was not at risk at any time. We keep multiple copies of uploaded files for security purposes.

While we have many systems in place to minimize service interruption, the scope of the outage at AWS was larger than expected, and it had a greater impact than we would have liked. We will be implementing additional availability measures in the future so that you can continue to train, track, analyze and perform at the highest level.

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How to Properly Execute Your Build Phase for Running

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Although we all know the importance of rest and recovery, it’s easy to get anxious now that your race plans and goals are taking shape and training has likely commenced. You may start wondering where your fitness is due to the non-structured training most commonly done during the off-season. It’s harder to see the performance gains you’re making during this time, as much of your work may be focused on technique, strength or improving a weak area. Whereas during race season it’s easy to see what markers you’re hitting, your training currently has a different feeling to it, and a necessary but different focus and rhythm.

The build phase is the time in your training for exactly that—building a strong foundation which will equate to speed and overall efficiency as an endurance athlete. In the build phase expect to see a calculated progression, a ramp-up in volume and intensity in your training with the focus on building strength and endurance to prepare you for those critical long runs instrumental to your goal race.

The focus during the build phase is to place stress on the body over a specific timeframe. Then, to back off the intensity to provide just the right amount of rest and recovery before repeating the process again. As you repeat this cycle, changing a variable such as duration of an interval will allow the body to take on an increased level of stress each time. This dynamic training and recovery over time builds a faster athlete.

Sounds easy? Well, the equation becomes complex in determining how much, how often and how hard can one push an athlete, as well as which specific variables to change in order to get the most out of them before causing harm or injury. Finding that balance and defining the exact tipping point is where most self-coached athletes fail. They either plateau, or worse they get injured. With the guidance of a knowledgeable coach and over a few training cycles, you are sure to tap into your potential and see gains in your performance like never before.

There are many theories and methods used by seasoned coaches. Some use training cycles based on days, weeks or even months to build an athlete. This depends largely on the athlete’s history, goals, race, age and rate of adaptation.  A very common training cycle is three or four weeks. This stems from the time it takes your body to adapt to new training stressors. After three or four weeks of the same stress, your body is no longer reaping the maximum benefit and a different stress load should be introduced. So, this is when you will see a recovery period; just a few days are usually enough to allow the body to rest before introducing a higher level of intensity in the next cycle. There are no shortcuts to this, so be cautious when you see a plan that ramps up too fast.

In a well structured plan during the build phase you may see three quality workouts during the week. These workouts will consist of tempo runs, intervals and hill/speed work. The rest of the week may include recovery runs to build volume, cross-training and strength work—all essential parts of developing the strong foundation and endurance that a high performing athlete needs.

Another important and often dismissed component is strength and flexibility work. A strong lower body and core is needed to support the added stress which building speed places on the body. Following a sports-specific strength program in addition to putting in the miles will yield incredible gains over time. Just be patient and consistent when it comes to strength and cross training, especially if it is a new element in your training.

Given the complexity of a properly executed build phase, one should seek the guidance and advice of a coach to get the most of your time training. This small investment in yourself will not only yield better results but also keep you injury-free and training consistently.

The post How to Properly Execute Your Build Phase for Running appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

How to Properly Execute Your Build Phase for Running

Brought to you by http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/trainingpeaks/XAlX/~3/33AY8FpzJ_M/how-to-properly-execute-your-build-phase-for-running

A proper build phase builds a strong foundation, increases your endurance and plans for proper recovery periods so you can arrive on the start line in peak performance shape.

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