Archive for August, 2017

5 Tips to Maximize Your Final IRONMAN Race Preparation

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No matter how many IRONMAN distance events one has done, nothing about the race should be taken for granted—especially your race arrival timing and preparation.

Considering a typical triathlete spends between three and five months meticulously preparing with huge amounts of physical training and mental energy invested in the fine tuning of every last detail—it makes sense to arrive at the race venue with extra time in hand.

A general rule of thumb is to arrive at least one day ahead for every time zone crossed to allow for sleep acclimatization. For most events, especially those with a major time or climate change involved, I like to have athletes come in four to five days early if possible.

For example, Tuesday or Wednesday for a Sunday race—especially if it is hot or a championship event. This gives ample opportunity to check out the course and staging areas as well as getting race expo and registration duties over with.

However, I often work with athletes who can spare only one or two days out of their week. What should an athlete with such limited time available?

Flying in only one or two days out is not an ideal situation as it adds another element of stress to an already busy time.

However, if last minute arrival is the only option, planning everything while in your last stages of training before you leave home will help pave the way for the smoothest event possible.

Areas to consider: Travel logistics, race venue familiarization, course recon, acclimatization and mental preparedness.


Traveling with a bike is often the number one stressor of many athletes I talk to.

If you are not comfortable unpacking your bike and reassembling it safely or in a timely manner, contact a local shop or the mechanics on site to book a time for this.

Or, consider using a service like TriBike Transport to take care of shipping everything for you. Be aware that you will be without your race bike for any number of days or weeks while it travels to your destination.

Above all else, having people know you will be arriving last minute will help alleviate the panic of searching around for someone to do the job.

Event Site and Race Course Familiarization

If the race is unfamiliar to you, do as much research on the venue as possible before you arrive. Analyze all aspects of the course. Print out course maps, drive the entire course and plan your nutrition accordingly based on where aid stations, shade and hilly sections are located. Use Best Bike Split to determine goal power for various parts of the course.

Arriving late to a race means having to forgo a course drive as sitting in a car for three-plus hours on a Friday before an IRONMAN is detrimental.

If you don’t have time to drive the course, use forums to get inside scoops on what to expect and things that are unique to the course. If driving to a destination race shortly before racing, get out regularly and stretch the legs or include a short 15 to 20 minute run daily to keep your legs fresh.

Spend the necessary time to orient yourself with your hotel and where the Expo and registration site are situated. Many events do not let you check in the day before the race, with IRONMAN, this needs to be done two days prior and then all gear bags packed.

This is an opportunity to organize all your gear at home in the appropriate bags while there isn’t the pressure of travel. Then transfer to the appropriate bags upon arrival.

Bring race day nutrition from home rather than scrambling from race expo to bike shop to running store to find your preferred gel or drink, possibly coming up empty handed and playing chance with a new item. This situation is becoming more and more common with the many varieties of bars and gels to choose from.

In order to keep a diet similar to what you are used to at home, do some research on local restaurants that serve your favorite meals or who are able to cater to special nutritional considerations.

If you are on a special diet, i.e. wheat or gluten-free, and need to bring specific food, you’ll need to research grocery stores in the local area that stocks them.

Most stores have websites you can check to be certain that the foods you require are available. Be prepared by carrying food with you so you don’t get stuck making poor nutritional choices. Have fruit or energy bars on hand and carry a full water bottle with a bit of electrolyte for better absorption—this is especially important during long flights.


If you are travelling to a hot race be sure to include temperature and humidity acclimatization sessions in the lead up to the event. I wrote about this last year and recommend including temperature specific sessions beginning at least three to four weeks out from your goal event. Make sure to determine your sweat loss and a corresponding fluid and sodium replenishment plan.

Try to keep some routine in your week. Schedule your workouts in advance, bring some good books, see a movie or schedule a midweek massage. You’ll have more time on your hands than usual with decreased training so take advantage of it wisely.

Mental Prep

You want to avoid over-thinking the race this week. Don’t try to cram things in, rather instead make time for yourself to visualize being successful. Any time you spend time mentally preparing is time well spent.

Although arriving late is never the ideal situation, planning as much as possible in advance will alleviate the stress of last-minute travel. It will also help relax the mind knowing you have done everything possible to be ready on race day.

Thanks to LifeSport Senior Coach Dan Smith for his contribution to this article.

The post 5 Tips to Maximize Your Final IRONMAN Race Preparation appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

Announcing Peak Performances Release

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TrainingPeaks is happy to announce the release of Peak Performances for all Premium athletes. Every time you produce a peak power, run pace at a given distance, or heart rate you will be rewarded with a medal indicating that you have achieved a new Peak Performance. A graph showing where each Peak Performance ranks among others of this year and/or all time allows you to track progress over time.

Peak Performances allows you to quickly see improvement and progress toward your goals through awarded medals on new peak power, heart rate, or pace numbers on all bike and run workouts.

Measure Your Progress

Achieving a goal is about consistency and progress over time, laying the foundation and then building upon it with longer, faster and often more intense workouts. While the goal is the ultimate destination, knowing whether or not you are on course to reach that goal is just as important. Peak performances will let you know how are you doing in that pursuit with every workout you upload.


Get Started

To get started using Peak Performances simply record a workout and then upload it to your TrainingPeaks account. If the workout contains a peak power, heart rate, or run pace at one of the defined distances it will be denoted by a medal icon on the workout or your home view.

Opening the workout will reveal all the peak performances for that workout along with a number showing where it ranks. A round medal is for a metric from this year while a star denotes an all-time best!


To gain a historical perspective on your performance, click the medal icon at the bottom of your mobile app to show up to 20 best bike or run performances over this year or all time over the durations or distances that matter most to you.

Is 20-minute power the key to your mountain bike success? Trying to set a new personal best for the 10K? You can now easily track your progress and highlight the top three performances of the year or all time.


Peak Performances provides you with another way to track your progress over time as you work toward your goal. Take this new feature out for a test run by logging a workout today!

View all of your Peak Performances with a Free 14-Day Premium Trial.

The post Announcing Peak Performances Release appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

Streamline Your Group Planning Process with TrainingPeaks

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Did you know that TrainingPeaks has several tools in place to help you plan for a group of athletes?

Whether it is a team that is training together or a group preparing for the same event, we have you covered with the group calendar, dynamic plans and the coach’s Home view.

Creating Groups

In order to get started with groups, you first need to create a group. At the most basic level, creating groups of athletes can help to organize your stable of clients, but groups also serve a higher purpose—allowing you to plan and review multiple athletes at the same time.

To create a group simply open your athlete library and then click “+ Group.” Next, give your group a name and click “Add.”

Now you can add athletes to the group by clicking and dragging them into the desired group. Once you have your group created you are ready to start planning for them.


Plan for a Group

To plan for a group, go to the calendar and open your athlete library. Now either click and drag the group onto the calendar, or hover over the title bar so the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) appears. Click it, then click “Load.” This will load one week of the calendar for each of the athletes in this group.

From here you can create workouts on a single athlete’s calendar by clicking the “+” icon on the day, drag workouts from the workout library onto an athlete’s calendar, drag workouts from one athlete to another to paste a copy of the workout on that athlete’s calendar, or drag a workout from the library onto the day title at the top to add that workout to everyone’s calendar on that day.

Using the group calendar can be helpful when planning for a club or team of athletes doing similar workouts. While they may not all be training for the same event, they may be on a similar plan. Using the group calendar allows you to see everyone’s calendar side by side and then plan similar workouts when it makes sense.

Review a Group

Loading the group calendar also makes it easy to review a group’s training for the week and can be used as a way to get a high-level view of what the athletes have been doing.

You can also go to the Home view to perform a high level analysis of uploaded workouts, comments, subjective feedback and more. Learn more about the Home view.


Plan for Multiple Athletes Doing the Same Event

In addition to the group calendar we also have Dynamic Training Plans. In TrainingPeaks a training plan is a template of workouts that can be applied to an athlete or sold in the TrainingPeaks Plan Store.

With a standard training plan the dates don’t really matter, it is a block of training that can be applied to an athlete to start or end on any date.

Dynamic Training Plans, however are—dynamic!  This is a plan that updates in real time any time you make an edit to the master plan.

For example, I could apply a Dynamic Training Plan to one hundred athletes all training for the same event and any time I add or change workouts in the master plan it will update in all of those athletes’ personal calendars.

So, rather than having to write the same plan for 100 athletes every week, I could write the plan once saving myself loads of time.

As mentioned, this method of group planning is best for athletes training for the same event and doing the same workouts.

Personalized Workouts

Training is highly individual and should be tailored to an athlete’s personalized zones. But if you are planning for a big group of athletes, then writing the targets for each of their workouts could take a lot of time!

If you are a volunteer coach for a club with a full-time job, then you probably do not have that time. Using the Workout Builder to create structured workouts will customize the workouts you create to each athlete’s zones based on their threshold power, pace or heart rate.

If you are planning with a dynamic training plan, you can drop a structured workout onto the master plan and it will populate the zones for each of the athletes when it is updated on their calendar.

Streamline Your Process

If you are coaching a group of athletes training for the same or similar events, save yourself some time and start using the group calendar and/or dynamic plans and structured workouts to deliver the backbone of their training. You’re a busy coach so do yourself a favor and streamline your process today!

The post Streamline Your Group Planning Process with TrainingPeaks appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

Data Analysis: Highlights From the First Week of La Vuelta a España

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The first week of racing in the Vuelta featured heavy climbing and aggressive breakaways right from the get-go as the riders made their way into the Pyrenees. 

Cannondale-Drapac announced during the second weekend of the Vuelta that Slipstream Sports, the team’s management company, is seeking additional funding in order to continue in 2018. Despite the disappointing news, #GreenArgyle continues to race hard and rally around the main team objective—a stage win—as racing continues. 
Stay tuned for more data analysis from the Vuelta as the riders head into some flatter, faster racing in the second week. 

Many thanks to Dig Deep Coaching’s Philipp Diegner for his contribution to this analysis.
Stage 3: Vuelta a España

Rider Analysis: David Villella (Cannondale-Drapac)

Click on the image below to see Villella’s Power File:


Overall Stage Stats

Duration: 4:13:36
Speed: 37.6kph
Average Power: 281w, 4.26w/kg
Normalized Power: 294w, 4.45w/kg

Click here to learn more about TrainingPeaks metrics.

David Villella was one of the biggest animators of stage 3 as the Vuelta headed into the heart of the Pyrenees, ending in Andorra. Villella’s aggression saw him come away from the stage with the King of the Mountains (KOM)  jersey after he fought hard over the stage’s Cat 1 climbs.

The aggressive riding began at the drop of the flag as Villella fought hard with a number of other riders to gain an advantage over the peloton.

Within the first 10km before the first climb of the day, he hit his peak powers from one minute to 12 minutes.

In the first minute of racing Villela produced 526w, 8w/kg, as he exploded out of the bunch. This pain and effort continued in the first 5 minutes of racing he produced 406w, 6.15w/kg.

The effort paid off—the early  seven-man break had an advantage of 3:44 after only 10 km of racing.

Cat 1 – Col de la Perche

The Col de la Perche was the first climb of the day which started only 15 km into the stage.

Col de la Perche: 14.78km at 5.3%

Time and speed: 36:54/24.0kph
Power: 323w
Power-to-Weight: 4.89 w/kg
A very consistent effort with little change in power during the climb as the lead group rode together to maintain their advantage, never expanding too much energy.

Cat 1 – Coll de la Rabassa

The Coll de la Rabassa, about 100 km into the race,  broke up the breakaway and Villela was one of only two riders left as they crested the top of the Rabassa climb.

With the gap to a Team Sky-led peloton rapidly falling during the climb, Villella crested the top of the climb in second place, and this was enough to secure him the King of the Mountains classification.

Coll de la Rabassa: 13.2km at 6.8%

Time and speed: 38:52/20.1kph
Power: 336w
Power-to-Weight: 5.09w/kg
Slightly higher effort than the first climb of Col de la Perche: 14w higher average. Most difficult being the first steep sector with 370w, 5.61w/kg for 3:30 minutes.
Two spikes in effort: Attacking in middle part of climb with 744w, 12.9w/kg for 10 seconds and sprint for top, where he did 784w, 11.88w/kg for 11 seconds, hitting a max of 1021w, 15.47w/kg.
It was a very hot and long day and the break couldn’t survive under the pressure of a charging peloton.

Stage 4: Vuelta a España

Rider Analysis: Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac

Click on the image below to see Van Asbroeck’s Power File:


Overall Stage Stats

Duration: 4:45:26
Speed: 40.6kph
Training Load: 243 TSS
Average Power: 188w, 2.6w/kg
Normalized Power: 255w, 3.54w/kg

Tom Van Asbroeck finished a fantastic third in the bunch sprint at the end of stage 4. The riders had to race in a soaring temperature of more than 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees F).

With only a few opportunities for sprint finishes in this year’s Vuelta, Van Asbroeck left nothing to chance as he made his way through a fast and aggressive finale.

Final 10km

In the final run into the sprint, Van Asbroeck had to make numerous efforts between 650w, 9.15w/kg and 1200w, 16.9w/kg before he even made the final effort for the line.

These efforts were needed to maintain his position at the head of a fast moving bunch and with crashes in the bunch coming into the finish, it was even more critical to be out of trouble and close the head of affairs.

The peloton averaged 51.5kph in the final 10km and hit a max speed of 75 kph with 4 km to go. In the final 10 km Van Asbroeck averaged 363w, 5.11w/kg for the just 11:30 minutes that it took them to cover the distance.

Final Kilometer Breakdown

The jostle for position was at its peak with only 1 km to go. Van Asbroeck was positioned well in the top five.

From 1 km to go until 300m to go he averaged 357w, 5.03w/kg averaging 47.8kph. This average is not reflective of the effort needed to maintain his position as he negotiated the corners and roundabouts before the final 200m.

In this section, Tom hit between 700w and 1000w eight times before the real push for the line even started.

Stats for last 200m (13sec)

Ave Power: 1371w – 19.31w/kg
Max Power: 1517w – 19w/kg
Average Speed – 62.7kph
Max Speed – 65.9kph


Stage 4 saw a super-strong effort by the Belgian all-rounder. Such high power is rarely seen for more than 10 seconds in the final of a Grand Tour stage.

The slight downhill finish saw Van Asbroeck hit a max speed of roughly 65 kph, holding a consistent power over the final 200m as he tried to hold a speeding Matteo Trentin (Team Quick-Step Floors) as he blasted his way to a stage win.

The post Data Analysis: Highlights From the First Week of La Vuelta a España appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

How to Use WKO4 for Half Marathon Pacing and Training

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I’m a former amateur cyclist turned multisport athlete. Because I enjoy knowing exactly why and how I improve, I use WKO4 to analyze, review, and plan my training.

Today I would like to demonstrate the analysis and progression of data from my run training collected with a Stryd power meter.

I started getting back into training on December 3, 2016, with the main goal of finishing the IRONMAN 70.3 Philippines in Cebu City, which was held on August 6, 2017.

I’d never done such a feat, and it was my first long-distance triathlon. As part of my preparation for it, I trained for and participated in the following lead-up events:

Audax 200km Brevet Ride with 3,992 meters of climbing on January 28, 2017
Tri United 1 Olympic-distance triathlon on February 26, 2017
Run United 21km run on April 2, 2017

The Run United 21km is the event I am analyzing today. I’m very happy with my results, especially since I’d done a 70km ride the day before and treated it like a long brick workout.

I had performed a 3-9 minute Stryd Critical Power (CP) Test on March 31, two days before the Run United 21km, which indicated that my CP was 174 watts with a Critical Pace of 4:54 min/km.

I then consulted Dr. Steve Palladino to determine a target power output for the Run United 21km, and he suggested aiming for 145 to 148 watts.

I targeted this range during the first half of the race and then pushed it on the second half. I even had some energy left for a sprint to the finish line!

My average power in the first half of the race was 143 watts. After reviewing my power file, Dr. Palladino commented, “Nice! Form power was lower for the second part. Gross power was higher. Leg spring stiffness did not drift off. Ground contact time did not drift off. Your *last* 10k was 157w, 54:22!!! I’m afraid I might have underestimated your target. However, better this way than the other way around.”

Dr. Palladino created a Fatigue Indicators Chart Pack in WKO4 to show the trends of both GCT and Pwr:GCT, as we can see in the screenshot below.


To further analyze my run, I divided it into quarters. The WKO4 charts below show that my average power output, pace, cadence and heart rate increased throughout each successive quarter, while average form, power and stance time decreased.

Just like in cycling, running speed and pace are both affected by road gradient, as well as running technique. This is one of the reasons that I decided to train with a run power meter.


Below are more values and data I can compare in WKO4 using Dr. Palladino’s Run Summary Report.


Below are two WKO4 charts created by Dr. Andrew Coggan that display my Mean Maximal Power Curve, my Power Duration Curve, and my physiological markers from three different phases of my preparation for the 21km run (the specific dates for each phase are listed in the table below the images).




Base 1 & 2
December 03, 2016 to January 28, 2017

Pre-Competition 1
January 29 to February 26, 2017

Specific 1
February 27 to April 2, 2017

All this data and analysis helped me fine-tune my training and get the most out of my available training time. It showed me the importance of tempo, threshold, and above-threshold runs, as well as recovery or regeneration days.

I’ve also learned that endurance is not developed overnight and that short but consecutive and frequent training sessions with a target power output for each set promote bigger gains in fitness than doing one big or long workout during the week. Tracking the details is far better than getting the latest ergogenic aids for speed.

With this much progress already, I felt ready to train and prepare for IRONMAN 70.3 Philippines. In Cebu, I finished in a great time, and 35th in my division.

Interested in using WKO4 to help you attain your racing and training goals? Download a free 14-day trial here.

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