Monday, March 10, 2014

Interval Inversion

Punched my "time card" and officially reported for triathlon "duty" today!

Quick recap: June-Sept of last year I spent getting ready for my 2013 "A" race--IM Lake Tahoe.  This IM specific training block was principally focused on volume--lots of it.  I let my speed work go by the wayside and dialed back on my racing so I could focus specifically on the IM.  I then took three months (Oct-Dec) getting my body ready to climb Aconcagua--this further "detuned" my high speed engine as I was focused on going slowly (with a lot of weight) for a ling time--trying to be diesel like.  In January, of course I was climbing.

February was dedicated to "transitioning" from all of this longer, slower mountaineering stuff to genuine triathlon training.  I just finished a slight interlude where my bride and I went on a 10-day trip to the West Indies to celebrate our forth-coming 30th wedding anniversary.  So, today I officially became a triathlete again!  Yea!

On of the features of my early season training on the bike is too place a heavy emphasis right at the start on high-intensity intervals.  This is different than the way I trained for the first 10 years of my triathlon career.  I used to follow a standard periodization approach where the early season was focused on long-slow stuff as I tried to build my base.  As the season progressed I would over-time add in more higher-inensity workouts to "sharpen" my self for my goal races.

Four seasons ago I relalized that after 10 years of training and racing I always had a pretty good base in place due to the cummulative effect of long-term consistent training.  I made the decision to "invert" my interval pattern over the course of the season.  I decided to do my highest intensity/shortest duration interval work right in the beginning of the season and over time gradually increase the length of my intervals and simultaneously reduce their duration.  This pattern would feed directly into my late-season IM focused training where I was principally focused on lots of volume.  This approach seems to have worked well and because I was not trying to do high-intnesity intervals and high volume at the same time (end of the season) I have been a bit fresher for my "A" races and seemingly less prone to injury.

Some people call this approach reverse-periodization.  I should also point out that I do not follow this approach for running as the wear and tear of high-intensity running has greatly curtailed my speed-work over the last few years....

In any event, even though it was nice out today I spent 2:40 on my computrainer (mostly doing high z1/low z2 work) and in the middle of the workout I did the key part of the ride: 12 X (1 min@300 watts/2 min easy).  300 watts is high z4 for me (above threshold but below VO2max) which is obviously intense but with only 1 minute work sessions, relatively easy.  I drift the volume and intensity up a bit when I'm confident I can absorb the training stress.  I'll pretty much stay on this shorter, higher intensity stuff for the next 3-4 weeks and then begin to lengthen work interval duration.  I'll hit these sessions 2-3 times/week....

Here we go!

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