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...No idea where I'm headed in 2016, but I can't wait to get there...

So you've landed here on my iWillNotBonk.com Triathlon Training Blog and you're probably wondering who the hell this Tavis guy is and what iWillNotBonk is all about.

I'm just an average age-grouper / weekend warrior blogging about Ironman Triathlon Training and this complex puzzle of juggling life, having fun and reporting on my various feats of strength and endurance adventures!

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The Best of 2017: Our Top 5 Coaching Articles

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While your Northern Hemisphere athletes may have gone dark for a while as they navigate the holidays and the off-season, you’re likely gearing up for the 2018 season by dialing in your coaching skills and looking for new ways to grow your business. We’ve got all the info you need to start your coaching business off on the right foot in 2018, from tips on how to better monitor athlete recovery to how to get started selling training plans for additional income.

1. The Perfect IRONMAN 70.3 Taper Plan by Andy Kirkland

Getting your athlete ready for their “A” race of the year is always a balance of physical and mental preparation. Here’s how to get your athlete in line both mentally and physically so they can have their best IRONMAN 70.3 taper and race yet.

2. Is It Time to Break Up With Your Athlete? By Colby Pearce

It’s true that all good things must come to an end, and coach-athlete relationships are no different. Here are some warning signs that you should look for in order to determine whether or not it’s time to cut ties with your athlete.

3. Coach’s Desk: How to Monitor Your Athlete’s Recovery by TrainingPeaks

Knowing just how fatigued your athlete is can be a challenge, particularly if you don’t see them in person every day. We asked successful coaches from around the world what tactics they use to properly stay on top of their athletes’ recovery.

4. Can Fit Athletes Really Be Unhealthy? By Paul Laursen

While it stands to reason that all athletes, because they are fit, are healthy—the truth is even the “fittest” athletes you coach may be dealing with some underlying health issues that are damaging their performance. Here are some characteristics of your athlete’s overall well-being that you should always be monitoring.

5. Sell $100,000 Worth of Training Plans a Year—Here’s How by David Glover

Many coaches miss out on the great opportunity of selling training plans to earn extra income and increase their brand exposure. Here are three common myths coaches have about selling training plans, and why you should toss them aside and start right now.

Ready to improve your own coaching business in 2018? Check out the many educational resources available to our TrainingPeaks Coach Edition users here.

The post The Best of 2017: Our Top 5 Coaching Articles appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

The Best of 2017: Our Top 5 Running Articles

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Even when life gets hectic, there’s nothing better than lacing up and heading out the door to unwind and preserve some off-season fitness. Whether your goals for 2018 are to qualify for Boston or just master your trail technique, our top running articles have you covered.

1. Training in the Grey Zone: How to Avoid the Zone 3 Plateau by Andrew Simmons

If you feel yourself pushing harder and harder during your runs, but your pacing just doesn’t seem to budge, chances are you’re spending way too much time in the “Zone 3 plateau.” Here’s how to bust out of that rut by running at the right intensities, at the right time.

2. 5 Tips for Technical Trail Running and Racing by Jake Lawrence

If you’re looking to do some technical trail running or racing, follow these five tips to make sure you stay safe and go fast during those steep descents and uphill scrambles.

3. The 5 Training Habits for a Successful Marathon by Susan Legacki

After the 2016 Boston Marathon, TrainingPeaks looked at the results of more than 1,300 finishers to identify five habits that led to a sucessful race.

4. The Importance of Easy Run Days by Frank Campo

Think running easy is a waste of time? Think again. Here’s why easy runs are so important, and how to complete them in the most beneficial way possible so you are ready to go fast when it counts.

5. The Ultimate Interval Treadmill Session to Improve Speed and Prevent Boredom by Gale Bernhardt

This simple but deceptively tough treadmill session is the perfect antidote to boring indoor workouts. By adding in tough inclines, short periods of high intensity and generous recovery, you’ll activate your nervous system in new ways and generate some free speed.

Need more tips and workouts to fuel your 2018 racing and training goals? Check out the rest of our year-in-review series, including top-five articles about cycling, multisport, nutrition and strength training, and learn more about how TrainingPeaks can help you reach your goals.

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The Best of 2017: Our Top 5 Multisport Articles

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If your swim-bike-run has been temporarily replaced by cookie-nap-Netflix—don’t fret. The off-season is a good time to relax a bit and enjoy the festivities. But, when you’re ready to get back on track, these articles will give you some guidance on everything from how to fit in some bike speed work to why this year is the year you should finally complete an IRONMAN.

1. How to Perfect Your Flip Turn for Faster Swimming by Dan Bullock

Are you sick of the time-sucking open turn while swimming laps? Follow these tips for mastering the flip turn for more fluid and speedier pool swimming.

2. Early Season Speed Part 2: When to Start Incoporating Bike Speed Work by Paul Gardner

Whether you’re racing crits, stage races or just looking to improve your triathlon bike leg, the early months of the year are the best time to start honing in on your speed work. Here’s all you need to know about how to get started.

3. Power Analysis: Lionel Sanders at the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship by Dave Schell

This year’s IRONMAN World Championship featured some knockout bike and run performances. Here we’ve outlined the power profile of runner-up finisher Lionel Sanders, who blazed through the 112 miles in 4 hours and 13 minutes.

4. The Ultimate IRONMAN 70.3 Brick Workout by Mike Ricci

A good, solid brick workout in the weeks prior to your race provides you with huge insights into how prepared you are for race day. Download this ultimate long-distance brick workout to see how you fare before heading into your next IRONMAN 70.3.

5. Debunked: 5 Incorrect Assumptions People Make About Training for an IRONMAN by Steven Moody

There are a million excuses people make for not signing up for an IRONMAN. Here are the top-five incorrect assumptions people have about IRONMAN training—and why you need to toss them aside and hit that “register now” button already.

Need more tips and workouts to fuel your 2018 racing and training goals? Check out the rest of our year-in-review series, including top-five articles about cycling, running, nutrition and strength training, and learn more about how TrainingPeaks can help you reach your goals.  

The post The Best of 2017: Our Top 5 Multisport Articles appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

How to Use TrainingPeaks With Your Apple Watch

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With its long list of fitness related features, the Apple Watch is quickly growing in popularity with serious athletes. The Apple Watch’s optical heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometric altimeter, 50m water resistance, and built-in GPS (available in the Apple Watch 2 and 3), lets you track swim, bike, and run workouts indoors and out. With the added benefit of bringing your favorite music along with you, the Apple Watch keeps you motivated during workouts.

The Apple Workout App

Apple’s Workout app tracks both indoor and outdoor workouts, and has specific modes for treadmills and other gym equipment. GPS-capable watches track outdoor activities such as cycling, mountain biking, trail running, and open water swimming.

With a built-in heart rate sensor, your heart rate can be tracked during your workout without the need for a chest strap. For those times when it is needed, it also pairs with a Bluetooth HRM strap.

New in WatchOS 4 are enhanced swim features for tracking metrics like duration, distance, sets, pace, rest time, and stroke type. WatchOS 4 also adds a quick-switching feature to Apple’s Workout app that allows you to easily switch between sport types during a single workout session.This is especially useful when doing brick workouts or while competing in multisport events.

Completed workout data is automatically saved to Apple’s Health app for later retrieval. While lacking some of the other features of a dedicated sport device, the Apple Watch is still a sleek and capable fitness tracker.

Using TrainingPeaks With Your Apple Watch

An important benefit for athletes with an Apple Watch is that workout data can be imported into TrainingPeaks. Apple’s Workout app—and most workout apps available in the app store—save your workout data in the Health app.

These workouts can then be synced to TrainingPeaks with any of these third-party apps, which are available in the App Store for your iPhone or iPad.

Whichever app you choose, you need to allow the app access to your workout data stored in the Health app. You also need to allow the app to access your TrainingPeaks account. Both of these are one-time steps.


From here, each app has its own way of displaying, filtering, and sharing workouts to TrainingPeaks. Each app varies in cost and features; you should read the description of each app to help decide which one will work best for you.

In our testing, all three apps perform equally well for running and cycling workouts. HealthFit and Workout Exporter provide better support for pool-swim workouts, but we did find some issues. Auto-sets do not always match the actual workout, and small time gaps between pool lengths exist, even when you are continuously moving.

Both of these issues have to do with how the Apple Watch tracks pool-swim workouts and stores the data in the Health app. The Apple Watch’s ability to determine when you are swimming, turning (open or flip), or resting between sets, can still use some improvement. Even with these issues, the total distance and duration of pool-swim workouts appear to be correct, which means that your swimTSS for the workouts in TrainingPeaks will be correct. Workout Exporter is the only app to sync non-workout data to TrainingPeaks. Resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and weight are the current options.


How to Track Your Workouts Using Your Apple Watch

Workouts can be tracked on your Apple Watch with the built-in Workout app, or any number of third-party apps. In general, we found that the third-party apps provide additional sport specific features that are typically found in dedicated sport watches, like customizable screens, lap review, realtime maps and support for additional Bluetooth sensors. Below are some of our favorite apps that sync directly with your TrainingPeaks account:

Running and Cycling


Despite its name, iSmoothRun is an all-purpose workout tracking app. With workout profiles for running, cycling, mountain biking, rowing, XC skiing and more, you can record just about any activity. iSmoothRun allows you to customize screens and view a map of your route in real-time. The app also supports auto-laps and auto-pause. With the “Watch Only” mode, you can even leave your iPhone at home. Using the iSmoothRun app on your iPhone, workouts can be synced to TrainingPeaks for detailed analysis. The app can also connect Bluetooth sensors and take advantage of the Apple Watch’s built-in optical heart rate sensor.

Advanced Running Metrics


When paired with a Stryd sensor, the Stryd app turns your Apple Watch into a powerful running device. View your running power, cadence, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time in real-time.

With better-than-GPS pace and distance from Stryd, you get the same performance on trails or treadmills. You can extend battery life on  long runs by turning the GPS off on your watch while still getting accurate pace and distance, making it possible to use your Apple Watch for a full marathon or long training runs.

The Stryd app also supports auto-laps and has customizable data screens. When using a Stryd footpod, the app will use the Apple Watch’s built-in optical heart rate sensor. Workouts can be auto-synced to TrainingPeaks for detailed analysis from Stryd’s PowerCenter.

Running and Strength Conditioning


When combined with a Wahoo TICKR RUN or TICKR X, the RunFit app brings advanced running metrics like cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time, to the Apple Watch.

The RunFit app also guides you through a seven-minute strength, core, or post-run workout. Using the RunFit app on your iPhone, workouts can be synced to TrainingPeaks without the need for the Health app.

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3 Things Every Cyclist Should Do This Off-Season

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When athletes talk about the “off-season,” often terms such as base miles, long slow training (LST), endurance rides and others get tossed around. These terms have become a catch-all to describe the training during a time of year when cyclists take a break from race specificity, and prepare mentally and physically for the coming season.

Despite this period of relaxed focus, there’s still merit in performing dedicated workouts that allow you to hone in on key areas. These workouts should be specific in their purpose, well thought out, and take place during the appropriate training block.

The right amount of focus during the off-season leads to a quicker transition to race-specific training, as well as increased confidence in an athlete’s preparedness to execute that training.

Perform a Post-Season Analysis

When the race season has come to an end and it’s time for off-season preparation, a detailed post-season analysis is critical. Reviewing past races, workouts, and key metrics allows for time to reflect on the successes and possible shortcomings of the season.

This is the time when important questions should be asked. Were primary goals reached? Where do strengths and weaknesses lie? Are there any specific areas that should be a focus in the coming season? Answers to questions like these will help to inform the training prescription both during the off-season and in the early build periods.

The availability of individualized training metrics, as well as data from workouts and races, is tremendously helpful in allowing athletes to hone in on what went well and what didn’t during the past season.

The data can be used to help paint the full picture. A critical review of peak powers during races and key training blocks, power profiles, and the Performance Management Chart (PMC) are invaluable in learning how to improve the quality of one’s training from year to year.

This level of review also facilitates a look into the gaps in training and areas that would be most productive to focus on during the off-season. These gaps will be the foundation of a more informed and thoughtful off-season.

Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

After the critical areas of focus have been identified, the goal should be on quality sessions built around bolstering these weaknesses. The off-season should be seen as a chance to get a jumpstart on race season training.

Priming and preparing the body to handle the training load necessary for race preparation, as well as building a strong foundation, should be of paramount importance. The traditional approach of long rides in Zone 1 don’t necessarily help to strengthen areas of weakness, nor do they prime the body to handle race-focused workouts.

Rather than a multi-hour Zone 1 ride, things like FTP-specific sessions, sweet spot, or long tempo workouts may be more impactful. The goal is to take the time that may have been traditionally spent performing LST, and shift that time towards more beneficial training.

Naturally the volume of this time period will be less than that of a race-focused build period. Using the volume reduction as an opportunity to make every pedal stroke count helps to not only make for impactful training, but also keeps athletes motivated and goal-oriented.

Scheduling specific workouts or integrating key intervals into longer base rides are great ways to make the most out of off-season miles. Finding the right approach, and a blend of focus and rest, is key in determining what proper execution looks like. Setting an intention for the off-season allows an athlete to remain focused on a goal, while still achieving the ever important mental and physical rest required of this time period.

Think Critically

Too often athletes arrive in the spring with a level of base fitness that’s unable to support the stress of race specificity. Whether it’s a low CTL, declining FTP, or insufficient aerobic strength, the necessary pieces need to remain in place despite the shift in focus.

To combat this and ensure preparedness, think through how the off-season should be laid out, and when it’s time to transition to race prep. Set milestone goals based on the post-season review as well as goals for the coming season.

These can be based on CTL, FTP, peak power, or any other key metric that might be driving progress. These metrics-based goals will ensure that each workout and subsequent training block is building appropriately through the season. Thinking far in advance will not only make for a productive off season, but also more adequate preparation for the first build period(s) of race season.

While the off-season should be a time of rest and relaxation, it doesn’t have to be a time when goals are put on the backburner entirely. A critical and thoughtful approach to this time of year can achieve the correct blend of base fitness and race season preparation. It all begins with a thorough review of last season’s data, and culminates with a metrics-based approach to off-season workouts that focuses on key areas of performance.

This period of time is fundamental for athletes to work toward near-term goals and lay the proper foundation to launch into specific training in the spring. View the off-season as an opportunity to make the season to come the best yet.

The post 3 Things Every Cyclist Should Do This Off-Season appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

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