Can you complete/compete at the 140.6 distance w/ only 10 hrs of training per week?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"2 cm dilated and 50% effaced"

It just would not be right if I did comitt a post to my 'tough as nails' wife! As of Tuesday my dear wife has been training consistently and has not waivered from her comittment to Luke, myself, and staying 'on it' with her training. I can count on one hand the times she has opted for Subway vs. cooking home cooked vegertarian food for Luke and I. She is an exceptional wife and Mama.

I can say she is probably one of the toughest and focused woman I know. Iowa grows em' to be resilient for sure and I am blessed to have her as my wife! Per the title above, she is drawing all the closer to birthing our second child. I am freaking out and she is 'air fisting' all day long with great excitement. When she told me I am "2 cm dilated and 50% effaced" I almost hit the floor and packed my 'hospital bag' all at the same time. Are ya kidding me!?

For the last 8+ months she has been sick as a dog so she is SOOOOO ready for this little one to enter the world. We have no idea of the sex and look forward to the coolest surprise to arrive.

She jokingly says to me, "...Ironman is nothing compared to this nausea!...". I believe it. So, as you can imagine she has her mind set on IML 2011 and I can't wait to see her throw down there.

Please keep in mind, that the primary goal of this blog is to prove that one can train for IM in much less time then what is 'typically advertised'. Moreover, Anne and I want to show that a family can grow strong even when IM training/racing is part of the equation. In other words, Dad/Mom does not need to be on the bike all day on Saturday, etc. With that being said, we both will trust in the Lord in what He has in store and represent accordingly.

I have to share these stellar vids of my beautiful wife rocking it out on the bike and run (I have not vids of her swimming her preferred stroke; fly!):

Anne running on the treadmill. Love it that she checks out her form!

Anne biking on the Tacx...edited out her spiting, her out of the saddle work, and ice cubes falling from her mouth...

Last note: Anne is taking it to the pavement Friday to "induce labor" vs working the treadmill. She is a studette and I am not worthy...

Oh, it is also important to note that her physician has okayed all of this activity. It helps that she has never stopped training since IML 2009 ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lactate Balance Point (LBP) Case Study, etc.

As most of you know, I am a big fan of using power, HR, and lactate response in training and racing. Lets face it, there are many variables an athlete can dial in on to determine race strategy. I have found that using the Lactate Balance Point (LBP) testing methods to be essential in my IM preparation.

In this post I will highlight the phenomenal training adaptions that have taken place for one of my athletes per the use of the LBP. Brian Warren (IMF 2010 goal event) had his first LBP test with me on December 9, 2009. We most recently executed a follow up LBP to further assess his progress. Below is the data that reflects these two testing days:

9-Dec-09 15-Jun-10
Initial Performance Line Data
Watts HR RF O2% Watts HR diff. RF diff. O2%
100 143 18 95 100 130 -13 22 4 98
120 147 18 95 120 136 -11 22 4 98
140 160 20 97 140 145 -15 22 2 97
160 168 24 98 160 154 -14 24 0 96
180 176 26 96 180 158 -18 26 0 97
200 183 32 94 200 162 -21 24 -8 95
220 189 40 96 220 175 -14 24 -16 96
240 195 46 95 240 178 -17 28 -18 95
260 186 NA 32 NA 95
280 192 NA 48 NA 95
-15.4 -4
Initial Blood Lactate Sample
9-Dec 10-Jun 9-Dec 10-Jun 9-Dec 10-Jun
240 280 195 192 10.4 8.9
LBP Data
9-Dec 10-Jun 9-Dec 10-Jun 9-Dec 10-Jun
120 140 160 158 10.9 10.4
135 155 167 163 8.2 7.8
150 170 175 168 6.6 5.2
165 185 178 172 5.6 5.0
180 200 184 175 5.7 5.2

As this test was unfolding I had to bite my tongue and refrain from expressing how stoked I was regarding the improvement seen in the data. You can see that at the SAME watts Brian was operating on average 15.4 beats less then his previous test. That is significant change! Moreover, you will notice his respiration rate (RR) dropped significantly as he approached LBP and beyond!

Why the change in both variables?
Brian has been training at intensities that promote left ventricle enlargement, which would increase both his cardiac output and stroke volume. This was made very evident in the data above.

You will also see a significant difference is RR as well. I believe this is a result of increasing the muscular endurance of his diaphragm. In other words, at intensities above his LBP the muscles associated with breathing have become more fatigue resistant.

In addition, one can also argue that his arterio-venous (A-V) O2 difference has improved as well. Put in simplistic terms, his ability to deliver and remove O2/CO2 to working muscles has improved. One would also be able to argue that his capillary density has increased, which allows this delivery/extraction process to take place at a greater capacity/rate.

We could continue here, but I think we get the point that Brian has seen some signficant central/ peripheral adpations in the last 6 months.

How does this benefit him?
Brian is now able to pump more oxygen rich blood (per beat of his heart) to his working muscles. This in return will allow him to keep his body in a more oxygen dependent (vs. oxygen independent) state which will promote a higher reliance/use of fatty acids vs. blood glucose/muscle glycogen/liver glycogen.

Take Home Point:
Here is the kicker. Take a look at how his LBP changed signficantly. In Dec he rocked out a LBP of 5.6 mmol at 165 watts. In this test he busted out a LBP of 5.0 mmol at 185 watts! I almost blew a gasket when I saw a 20 watt improvement with less lactate. Brian has 'earned' himself another 20 watts to play with at a lower lactate concentration and HR. You simply can't beat that.

IM relevancy. Okay, bringing it even closer to home here. We all have seen how ones HR can drift or increase quite a bit from the first mile to the last mile on the bike (or run). This can take place even when an athelete perceives the intensity to be the same from mile 1 to mile 101. This is where I stress the importance of using both power and HR numbers to your benefit.

Brian is now able to use data that was determined via this CP20 (Critical Power 20 min test) and associate it against the LBP. What I have found with most of my athletes is their LBP is typically 15 to 20 beats below their IM wattage ranges. For Brian, I have his IM wattage ranges at 174 to 190.

So, in his case he has plenty of wiggle room when starting off for his 112 mile bike leg come November 6, 2010. What do I mean by 'wiggle room'? A real life example will hammer home my point here.

On June 6, 2010 Brian executed an almost 4 hr ride that covered 69 miles. In this ride his average power was 172 watts and his average HR was 152 beats. For this ride he was 20 beats lower then his LBP of 172 bpm! This pacing allowed Brian to fuel and hydrate efficiently and set the stage for a solid run off the bike. This pacing also allowed room for the inevitable drifting that we all see when on the bike for 4 to 6 hrs. Brian will likely find his HR working up to the mid 160s in November, but he will be doing so with the confidence that his body is utilizing more fatty acids then glycogen (per the lactate responses noted above).

So, the point here is that at his current fitness level Brian is able to delve deeply into the fatty acids and spare the very limited glycogen stores for later in the day. THIS IS A HUGE positive for him and will allow him to tackle the run with more fuel in the tank and with fresher legs.

Lots to process here friends, but its all good stuff.

I will continue to share my thoughts, methods, strategies as we move all the closer to IMF.

Always remember to use both power and HR to your advantage. When used properly, these two metrics can seriously bolster performance!

Train smart...
Coach L

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Strength Training

Had another solid strength session w/ Bill Scibetta this morning. As promised, here is a quick compilation of some of the training we did:

I am super excited to add consistent strength training to the mix in 2010. I often say that injuries can be a positive if you use them to your advantage. The torn meniscus that was repaired on Feb 2010 opened the door to attack weak links. In my case, it was found that my legs were relatively strong, but my core musculature needed an overhaul.

I can't wait to see how this vital aspect of training takes training AND racing to another level. It is worth noting that Latta proved that a consistent emphesis on strength training can prove highly benefical. The only constant leading up to this event was hitting the dynamic/corrective strength two times per week with Bill (for 2 to 3 months). Per a calf strain that resulted from weak glutes and the operated knee I was only able to accumulate 3 weeks of good training for Latta.

Have an outstanding day folks and train smart,
Coach L

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2010 Season Begins

Latta marked the start of the 2010 season. Man was it nice to be out there again. It was great to see many familiar faces and to enjoy some good old racing.

I have been slack on the blog front, but hope to be a bit more consistent as IMF draws closer by the day. Yes, I plan on using the "Ironman In 10" methods again this year and until I am old and gray. It works, its simple, its convenient, its high quality, and not for everyone.


(1) For those interested, I will be posting what I promised back in April 2010...the LBP validation test I administered on myself.

(2) A refresher on how I prepare for IM in less then 10 hrs per week. The why, how, what, etc.

(3) I will also be putting up some new vids up of the corrective/dynamic strength that I have been using pre and post knee surgery. My 'secret weapon' this year is my Strength Coach, Bill Scibetta ( who is the President and Founder of Precision Fitness. Stellar dude and a pleasure to train with! I can't say enough good things about him and his approach to stressing the ENTIRE kinetic chain.

(4) Lastly, my beautiful wife is due in July w/ baby number two. We are all pumped and look FWD to welcoming this little one into the world. This new addition may take 'IM in 10' to 'IM in 5'. Bring it I say! Bring it!

I hope you are all doing exceptionally well and pursuing each day with great passion 2010!

Stay tuned friends,
Coach L