Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hors Categorie Training

by Alan Couzens, MS (Sports Science)

Before Marilyn posted her recent workout of the month she offered me a sneak preview so that I could comment on describing the workouts using EC terms. I was forced to e-mail back to her that when it comes to EC zone descriptions, those workouts were "hors categorie," that is, beyond our current categorization (another advantage to having diversity -- such as those with bike racing experience -- on the EC coaching team).

Anyhow, that prompted me to write this week’s article to help folks understand the benefits and nature of those "peppy" workouts that might fall outside the realm of "normal" endurance training but are still useful to endurance athletes.

The following table attempts to categorize some of the more common types of peppy training and offer thoughts on how applicable they may be to endurance athletes with various limiters and at various points in the season. [click to expand table]

Keep in mind that even elite middle distance athletes (those whose events range from 1-4 minutes in duration!) do a maximum of 30% of this type of training at any point in the year. Base is that important. For ironman athletes I would never recommend more than 12% and even then only for very short time periods to address a known weakness. For most of the year, 3-5% is plenty. It’s called Hors Categorie for a reason -- a little goes a long way!

Have fun and train smart.

Click to share on Twitter and Facebook
      Tweet This!