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  • Writer's pictureJohn Bye

The Howling -- Wolfpack Weekly Update (Mon, Apr 10 to Sun, Apr 16)


Howl out to Mountain Goat Mary Hoftizier for taking first F55-59 at the Karen Hornbostel Memorial Time Trial outside Denver! I took 3rd M50-54 Cat 4/5.

Howl out to Dan Beaker Briner who completed the Pixar Toy Story 10 Miler in Disney in absolutely sweltering conditions. That race starts very early due to the general concerns about Florida weather and, before it started, the race director announced that everyone needed to take it very EZ. Dan's a big dude like me, so sympathize with those announcements... :)

Howl out to Jimmy Skeletor Dion who competed in the Allamuchy Time Trial in New Jersey. 4th in M50-54 and was able to hold 4.1 w/kg for that flat course. Flying! :) Time Trial is a whole different animal of racing as those folks set their bikes up with maximal aerodynamics and train themselves to unload for around 20 minutes. That's awesome Jim!

Finally, giving a Howl out to Eli Lethal Weapon Madden who came out and rode with a very fast Team Evergreen up in Boulder on Sunday. I know that triathlons are not draft legal and folks often view group riding or drafting while group riding as unnecessary training; however, that is far from the case. Riding with people you don't know who are faster than you causes you to be mindful and strategic as to how you allocate effort while riding. This ultimately makes you a better rider. Strong, solid group rides are sort of "races" as the paces are pushed and, as you ride, they generally splinter into different packs of riders riding different paces with the chase packs trying to catch the pack ahead of them or settle into a peloton working together to make it through the ride. Why Eli deserves a Howl is that he did exactly what I wanted him to do on that ride, which was to find a pack that he thought was beyond his capability and hold on for as long as he could. To my delight, at the rest stop at Carter Lake, he came rolling in with the chase packs and had that, "OMG I can't believe I was riding that fast for that long" look. It is that intensity and suffering that we seek out during training as that inflection point is the "shock" to the body we search for to realize we can step up another level.


The Q1, mostly, indoor training set us up for a killer run-up to Tri Season racing. There is a transition that, if optimally adapted to, allows us to keep sharpening the sword to maximize performance for our big, sometimes, "A" races, notably, Western Mass 70.3, Boulder 70.3, and Des Moines 70.3! Over the past couple weeks, I have spoken to a lot of folks about their "Base Schedule"; i.e., I like you to have, for your planning purposes, a sense of what you will be doing each week as I know some days are busier than others and knowing how much time you will have to set aside and which days will have more intensity helps with that. Also, you don't race on a Treadmill, a Trainer, or in the Pool, so getting outside is really key to taking advantage of all this great fitness and leverage it in an outdoor training environment. With that said, the big question I get texts and calls on is, for example, "It's a blue-bird 70 degree day, you have a Trainer workout for me, can I ride outside, is that OK?" "I really want to do a Trail Run, is that OK?" "I want to do this group ride on one of the evenings, can I do that?" "There's an event coming up, can I do that?" The answer is invariably "yes". (Although note, if it is some crazy, super long endurance event prior to another key event, we need to talk. :) ) So, when setting up your weeks, I assume that the weather will be bad or you have to workout early in the morning as it is dark outside. When we first talked, I shared and you have seen that, philosophically, I believe you need: - 3+ Runs: Run Strength, Run Intervals, Run Endurance and Transition Runs after Bikes and Swims.) - 3 Bikes: Bike Strength, Bike Intervals, Bike Endurance Progressions - 3 Swims: Swim Speed and 2 Swim Endurance. As you know, I train you all to not complete the "event" but to "race" and all the training is intended to have you bring your best self to that start line, then suffer to the finish line. Therefore, your workouts are adjusted based upon capability and where the most gains can be made. Therefore, when you want to get outside, what is the equivalent workout that will accomplish a similar output. Run Strength Day -- Run Strength is, in short, hill repeats where you are building strength in your legs and rear-ends and working to be able to translate heavy hill-laden legs into fast, high cadence short running. I prefer these to be done on a set of short hills outdoors that you can run up and done, then have a flat to run on, however, the Treadmill is also excellent for this. The other outdoor alternative is to do a rolling hills trail run or a hilly run. For trails, the translation is to work every uphill and recover on downs and flats (avoiding roots and rocks) and for road running where you don't have to be concerned about rocks, roots, mountain lions... :), when you hit a hill, count the seconds that you work and take an equivalent recovery period afterwards, then, try to end with a mile or two of all out running. Run Interval or Fartlek Day -- I generally alternate track and variable pacing days (fartleks) on a weekly basis. Outdoor track is ideal for the Track days and the treadmill is a great alternative. The other outdoor alternative is to find a flat area where you can focus on pacing or a false flat where your interval work is run on the false flat, then recover by going back the opposite direction Run Endurance -- Long days. Outside, avoid long hill climbs and, if you can run in such a way that the 2nd half is a bit harder than the first half, by all means, Bike Strength Day -- Bike Strength is hill work (Generally at low cadence) or high power very short intervals (Grinders) that you can do on the Trainer or outside on a set of short hills. The other outdoor alternative is to find a long climb or a hilly ride where you are constantly going up and down. Bike Interval Day -- These are meant to be done on the Trainer; however, the outdoor alternative involves you having access to a flat or false flat route that is long enough and doesn't have stop lights or stop signs or a lot of traffic. Bike Endurance Progressions can be done with group rides outside or on Zwift or you can take your TT bike out and just focus on increasing wattage/effort throughout the ride. Lap Normalized Power on your bike computer is an excellent way to track whether you are progressing or not. Start EZ so that your last 5 miles is with more power/effort than the first 5. Swimming -- Once it gets warm enough, you'll want to work to get at least one open water session a week (or come over and use the endless pool). It is hard to get faster by just constantly doing open water swimming, but it helps you stave off fatigue by getting your body used to the constant motion without the benefit of the rest you get off the wall. Relentless Forward Motion

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