In response to our Coach writing about “Mid-Season Volume Pops”, I penned the following:
Last week, as I was getting crushed in a week long volume camp with Tim Cronk and Dave Tallo. As two of EN’s most successful athletes, they showed a level of commitment and fitness which was inspiring, and tiring. Dave in particular cycled for 7 straight days (including a day when 6″+ snow had fallen, and another with temps in the upper 30s), 4-5 hours most days, as well as running an hour at least four times and even swimming for 90 minutes once. He was still smiling at the end. He felt this was perfect timing for his assault on IM Canada end of July. Tim, at the tail end of his recovery from Ultraman FL three months earlier, and on his semiannual cross-country trek between Tucson and AZ, had no intention of keeping up with Dave, even though he’s aiming for IM LP a week earlier. His main focus is Kona in October, and he used this week to kick start his ramp up to training for that.
I attribute a fair part of my long success in triathlon to several decades of multi-day efforts, primarily in cycling. I swam competitively (not very well) from age 11-21, and I have a natural talent (due tony body type) for running. While I have never been in a cycling race, nonetheless I have spent a LOT of time doing things like: cycling across the USA in 1997, annual week long bike tours with family and friends 1999-2005 (Pacific Coast, Eastern Oregon, Canadian Rockies, BC/Vancouver Island, etc.), and since 2005, twice yearly 1-3 week “camps” at my family’s retreat in the central Colorado mountains near Aspen, along with Rich’s ToC in 2015 &16.
Getting such efforts right requires balancing a delicate equation which includes the following:
- bike fitness leading into the event
- number of days to be cycling
- timing in relation to the season’s target (“A”) race
- hours of cycling each day
- resulting in: daily effort goals, and managing efforts within each day’s ride
Attention to the factors on Training Peaks’ Performance Management Chart – CTL, ATL, TSB, Ramp – is critical, as is attention to nutrition and recovery. I have a lot to say on this, but I have to go out and run 45 minutes, followed by a swim as the Aspen Rec Center, so I’ll return in the PM with a synopsis of my spring, which has basically been one cycling camp after another (Cuba: 12 days; Blue Ridge: 5 days; SoCal: 5 days; Tim/Dave camp: 6 days; Al T
‘Tude camp June 2-11), and an exploration of how I’m trying to solve the above quadratic equation to achieve best performance in my goal race this year, the ITU Long Course WC in Penticton, August 26.