Thursday, February 16, 2012

Big Training Block

I haven't posted anything in awhile, so I thought  I would take a chance to talk about my most recent training block during the month of January and early February. This was my biggest base period ever, and encompassed all three sports fairly evenly. I firmly believe a huge base will get you 90% of the way to your potential, and is completely necessary if you want to sustain a triathlon season from March until October!

Some of my personal obstacles during a huge block like this include the affinity I have to over- train. I will admit, I am easily caught up in huge numbers, and have worked toward breaking that problem. During my sophomore season of track (2011), I did not race to my potential because I was too concerned with 100- mile weeks, and not resting up for races. I am trying to accommodate this by taking serious down weeks every 3-4 weeks. Here are some examples of my winter workouts. You can feel free to message me if you have any questions on training for triathlon.

The swim: During January, my goal was to get myself as close as I could to where I was when I quit swimming at age 17. I managed to average 25K/week in the pool. I absolutely am not a fan of swimming alone, but most of this yardage was logged solo. When I did get the chance to swim with a masters group on the occasional Saturday morning, I was able to throw down a 3:09 300 free at the end of a 4k long practice. Competition really makes it so much easier. I believe I am getting close to my high school self, when I could break 5:00 for the 500. I attribute this to a leap I made in terms of making much more of my yardage quality at a 1:10 pace/100 for shorter stuff or up to 1:15 for 1500 repeats (which also help mentally). I put a lot of emphasis on stroke technique during the summer (and also maxed out around 13K for swimming). Both the increase in volume and intensity has helped my swim a lot.

The Bike: I realized last year that biking was my weakness (which made sense since it was the only sport I hadn't done extensively before). By the end of the season, I could time trial pretty well as shown at AG nationals and Nation's Triathlon, but my ITU opener was lackluster in the bike leg (as well as the broken wrist!). To address these, I have tried to log upwards of 200 miles/week on the bike keeping 2 days higher quality and a longer 3-4 hour ride on weekends. I try to ride with groups as often as possible for ITU simulations, but it is tough in Delaware as a lot of people go indoors for the winter. I am much happier with my bike fitness and bike handling at this point then ever before.

The run: This has been going great for me. I averaged 66 miles/week during January, and consistently had 2 hard days/week plus a long run of 15-17 miles. I was able to run a great bike/run brick session with the hard run segments being 2 miles, 1 mile, 1 mile, 1 mile and keep them all below 5:10 pace, and all the miles at least 5 minute pace. This bodes well for me as I haven't done a lot of specificity below 5 minute pace. I have some time to address the speed, which is something I always have had to work on. I am excited to run off the bike in Clermont in 2 weeks and put up a great race.

Also, I came across this video recently from my first (and last) conference cross country race I am in the white Delaware singlet with Blue shorts in the lead group (for the first 3 of 4 laps):


  1. Hey Dan what do you use for your workout data Garmin Connect? Strava is great for runs and bikes as well. Did you see Lance Armstrong tear Panama Ironman up this Sunday?

  2. Thanks for asking! I have a garmin 405 I use to collect mileage, speed, etc. but got the watch so long ago, I do not have any of the necessary cords to upload it to the internet. I just started looking at Strava to try and figure out how to upload on there. I had no doubt Lance would tear it up at Panama, I am a huge Lance fan, and he has shown since he was 15 he's an incredible athlete.

    1. I came across your blog after Delaware Running Co posted your Tri Mag article on Twitter. Your training is pretty hardcore and I have no doubt you will be sucessful in the triathlon discipline. Another cool thing about Strava is that you can follow Lance's daily workouts. He goes under the name Juan Pelota on there and your workouts seem more hardcore than his!

  3. I actually just saw that, and signed up for Strava. I'm having trouble getting the uploading going, but should be using it more often soon. I like the idea behind Strava a lot because it seems like a good motivator to keep yourself working hard during some of those rides. Thank you for commenting, as well as the compliment. I am very excited to open up my season a week from Saturday in Clermont, Fl. I will certainly post how it all goes. Field of plenty of former Olympians and top caliber athletes, should be a great time.