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

Thursday, October 6, 2011

CLL 2011 Winter Running Training Program Overview

In talking to some of my athletes, it has come to my attention that there is a kind of “winding down” going on for the 2011 season. This is normal, but not the best mindset. I want to talk to each of you a bit about my view on an “off season” as it is called. I feel that having an off-season is basically shooting yourself in the foot for the next year. Please don't get me wrong here folks. I do see the need for some down time, but 4 to 12 weeks of mashed potatos with gravy and loads of Christmas cookies never ends well.

Many athletes take the fall and winter to put on ten pounds, relax, and take it easy. It happens. Many of us have finished our last big triathlon for the year (with the exception of some Ironman Florida and Arizona athletes) and are anticipating some kind of slow down period. Frankly, this is a mistake. A big mistake and I don’t want to see it happen to my athletes. You’ve all come way too far to let it slide.

One of the reasons this happens is that we no longer have a significant goal out there driving us. No ‘impending doom’ to push us forward exists. So I am developing some goals that I want all of my athletes to participate in and start getting your minds around.

I am anticipating having all of you do three half marathons over the next few months. The goal is to increase speed, increase foot turnover speed, improve form, and bolster you run fitness. You will notice that there is a gap from December 3 to March 12 in the events noted below. I will be recommending several 5K and 10K events to keep us on our toes and to further bolster our run fitness. Triathletes/athletes get faster by running faster not slower.

I also want everyone to drop any extra pounds you might have carried through the year. I don’t encourage athletes to drop weight in the middle of race season. It needs to be off BEFORE race season. I know it might feel like October is a bit early to be talking about 2012, but the truth of the matter is, how 2012 will shake out for you is being decided now and I want to make sure all of you are armed and ready. So here we go!

I would like each of you to get signed up for the following three half-marathons:

Huntersville Half Marathon – December 3rd, 2011

Alston & Bird Corporate Cup Half Marathon – March 12th, 2012

Charlotte RaceFest Half Marathon – April 16th, 2011

I will coordinate with each of you to pick time, form, and speed goals with a final ultimate goal. I will tailor your workouts to make sure you hit those goals and, as always monitor your progress. Get ready to throw down on these half marathons. We are going to push the pace on all of these and see what you’ve got!

I also want to get each of you filling out and submitting your calorie journal EVERY week. If you do not know how many calories you should be taking in, we’ll figure that out together. But keeping track of calories is one of the primary ways people shed pounds. We need to get on track with that. Below is my recommended calorie/food journal of choice:

I will be having many team events throughout the fall and winter and early spring. The first one I have put up on MyTrainLocal (MTL) is set for October 22, 2011. If for some reason you are not on my MTL group and want in on the fun please follow this link:

Please know that this session is intended for all. One can use this test to their advantage regardless of where their fitness level is today. Executing a 3 x 5K with 5 min recovery per effort will be very helpful in determining several things. Below is a brief summary:

(1) Muscular endurance

(2) Lactate clearance capacity

(3) Pacing awareness

(4) Fatigue resistance

(5) High end aerobic threshold

One component to this program that I will also draw attention to is strength training. Several sessions will be devoted to focusing on the key exercises to be using during this phase of training.

Program Overview


(1) Increase speed, foot turnover speed, form, and ultimately to make you a better triathlete in 2012.

(2) Improve fitness in weak links that were discovered in 2011 season.

(3) Build cohesiveness amongst fellow CLL athletes and friends.

(4) Stay motivated during the cold and dark months of fall/winter.


(1) A focused 12 to 16 week block of training with three half marathons and other events to keep athletes sharp.

Scheduled CLL Team events that will serve as baseline tests and serve as cohesive sessions.


All CLL athletes and those wanting to train with CLL, but know how he rolls.


(1) Training would be done primarily on your own except for those training sessions done as a group.

It is important to note that current CLL athletes will not be paying anything extra for this program. They will stay dialed in with their current training program.

Those who are not on the CLL Team Roster would be strongly encouraged to discuss program options that would best fit their needs during this critical phase of the season.

Please send CLL any thoughts or questions regarding this program at


  1. I look forward to participating and meeting some other CLL athetes. Thanks for putting this together.

  2. You bet Mark! Have a great race this weekend at Chicago. You are going to blow the doors of this 26!