Thursday, November 16, 2006

Weekly schedule for '07 Base period

One of things that I noticed happening a while back was that my PMC was being heavily dominated by my running effort. Hardly surprising, since I was trying to re-establish a foundation (any foundation) for the resumption of regular running. My goal for 12 weeks was really just to run (any duration or intensity) most everyday. I found myself only hitting the bike afterwards about two times a week and the quality of the cycling workouts was suffering. In the end, it was a nice block of training but it's time to get a bit more serious and balanced.

My previous blog entry told of my forecasted PMC for the upcoming season. Now, what are the details for making that happen?

Step 1: Prep (pre-base)
The main objective of prep is to become ready to train. That is, ready to hit all of my workouts. I'm old, lazy and weary of injuries. So, prep lasts 6-8 weeks and is basically over once I actually begin to make every workout that I schedule.

Step 2: Base
The main objective of base is to remain consistent between disciplines for a period 6-12 weeks. During this time, I am trying to lengthen my long run as well as perform a decent interval session on the trainer (bike) and then combine the two into a weekly brick. Form work in the pool. Other than that, make the easy workouts easy and the hard ones hard.

My schedule looks like this and will likely remain this way throughout the winter (or until I stop seeing the results that I expect):

  • Monday: short easy run (30-45 minutes); quick cadence and avoid walking. Include low grade hills. Follow up with a lunchtime swim of 30-60 minutes (10-20x50 form focus).
  • Tuesday: BT Cycling interval session (1 hour). 4-8x5' @ threshold watts (2.5' endurance watts). Remainder is endurance.
  • Wednesday: short easy run (20-45 minutes); quick cadence, walking allowed. Include steep grade hills. Follow up with a lunchtime swim of 30-60 minutes (10-20x50 form focus) or pyramids (100, 200, 300...200, 100).
  • Thursday: BT Long run (extend by 5 minutes every week up to 1.5 hours while indoors). quick cadence, no hills. Stay in Z2 or drift into Z3 due to overheating.
  • Friday: short recovery ride (30 minutes). Recovery watts, high cadence. Use spin bike.
  • Saturday: BT Brick (indoors). 1x60' @ 80-95% threshold after warming up and transistion quickly to treadmill for 30' of tempo running. A CT course may be substituted. And, it's acceptible to ride longer (w/less intensity) so long as a similar TSS is reached.
  • Sunday: Recovery ride for 30-60 minutes.

You'll notice that duration ranges may be listed above for the running. The plan is to start with the minimums until the long run reaches the max goal. Then, each of the others will be extended. Again, only one gets extended by 5 minutes each week until it reaches the max. At which point, the next one gets extended.

Step 3: Build
Build will begin once I resume training outdoors on a regular basis. The only change will come from extending the long bike on Saturday and looking for a place to incorporate some higher intensity running during the week.

Step 4: Peak
Peak consists of a controlled reduction in ATL with an emphasis on race-like bricks of decreasing duration (but near race pace) every 2 to 3 days. If I get there intact, I'll write about it then.

I mentioned earlier that I wanted to see more balance on the PMC between sports. Really, I want to see Cycling and Running close in terms of their contributions to CTL and TSB. So far (while I'm in prep), that seems to be happening.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Plan for 2007

Well, like many folks, I'm busy trying to figure out which events to plan for. Right now, I've got two that I'm about to register for. The first is a sprint triathlon in central Illinois in May (May Madness) followed by the Cutting Edge Half Iron triathlon in June (same link). I have my eyes on some cycling camps and a possible fall 1/2IM as well. But, those will be a challenge once boating season resumes.

So, to plan my season, I plug in the dates and ask myself the most obvious question. Can I taper for both races? To the right is my projected PMC. Notice the nice high spikes in TSB. We're seeing that the best performances come from a TSB near +30.

The next question is "can I actually handle the volume required to get there?". Well, I think so. Obviously, the chart is drawn as a best case scenario. But, the underlying idea is pretty simple. I've created a manageable schedule to lead me through the winter. During that time, my long run will grow in duration but I won't be having those wild TSB mood swings. I'm hoping this will enable me to enjoy the training and see some respectable results. The real challenge will arrive in the spring when I begin my build period. This is where I will accelerate the driving up of my CTL and along with that comes the wild swings.

The reason for driving up my CTL is simple. First, I need to have enough fitness to survive each race without compromising the workouts leading to the next. Second, I need to have enough headroom in my CTL to allow for a taper (rising TSB) without losing all of that hard earned CTL fitness. After all, I want to feel fresh and frisky for both of these races. So, basically, I need a plan that can absorb the training of each race so that I end up with a TSB (after the race) that is above my own personal -30 limit.

In my next post, I'll layout my weekly schedule.