Monday, February 1, 2016

Marilyn Chychota

Bonus Workout of the Month: Extended Tempo Trainer Session

Most of the Northern Hemisphere population right now is stuck indoors for at least two more months. That means riding the trainer if you are committed to your 2011 season. Some will say winter is time to build your base... while most are stuck inside. Those two statements don't really go together.

In my opinion, if you've successfully completed a cycle or two of strength endurance work and high rpm neuromuscular work on the trainer or rollers the next step through these winter months is some extended tempo work once per week.

Setting Up Your Best Season Ever

2011 is here and we are looking for your best season ever. That won’t happen by mistake. I'll offer a few things I consider important to putting you in the right direction for a great year.

Workout of the Month: Running Into the New Year

We've all had a bit too much to eat, a few too many treats and are ready to transition from holiday mode to work mode with our triathlon goals. Hopefully you've kept some frequency ticking over with your running amongst the holiday cheer and kept the weight gain within reason.

Volume, low heart rate and base should all be part of your thoughts and training this time of year, especially with running. Aiming for new volume targets is going to help you achieve some new run performances in 2011. Backing up good consistent volume for many weeks in a row is key.

Our Favorite Workouts: Four Sessions to Get You Through the Winter

This is the time of year where most of us are tied to our trainers. It's much too far from most races to be hitting high intensity, yet aimless riding indoors is both mind numbing and butt numbing.

From December through wintery February, I recommend hitting these four sessions each week to come out of winter flying and strong.

Winter Focus

Wintertime presents an entirely new set of challenges. We've had our break, we are rearing to get going again and unless we are a desert lizard or flying south, it's normal that it is freezing outside and dark. So where does that leave a fired up triathlete? Dark, cold and ready to go... not an ideal combo.

I think for this time of year different athletes require different road maps.

Strength Training

by Marilyn McDonald

In place of a workout this month and in conjunction with AC's article last week, I’d like to share my ideas on strength training. It’s a good idea to get in the gym in the off season, and for some people, it may be a good idea year round.

In our off season I think it’s beneficial to add in the gym and make it a priority for a few months. It can help rehab any imbalances you may have and build new strength. Building your strength in the off season can be as key as building your base for making improvements to handle the key sessions and racing later in the year.

Nutrition in the Off-Season

by Marilyn McDonald

As the race year comes to a close we are all starting to take our season break. Some of you may even be thinking about the program to get ready for next season.

One thing you’ll hear come out of a lot of athletes' mouths as the off-season rolls on is, “Oh boy, I’ve packed on a few pounds.”

During this period, it’s okay to take a mental and physical break and allow ourselves a few treats. This is the time that it's okay to allow yourself a little more flexibility on how much and what you eat.

Our Favorite Workouts: Fast Twitch Fun for the Off Season

Some of us are starting to take a break from the regular tri season and are starting our off seasons. Others have one or two races left and then are headed into that rest period. As you head into the fall and start to rest up, I think it's a good idea to look at some fun winter things to improve yourself as an athlete.

It's important to mentally freshen up by removing yourself from your normal sessions and routine. A great way to do that is through workouts that still maintain fitness, but help you learn new skills and develop some athletic movement outside your usual range.

Training Locations and the Elite Lifestyle

by Marilyn McDonald

I have had the opportunity in the last 10 years to train all over the world. Everybody has their own personal list of what they need to make a great training location and you soon learn what you are looking for in a place for it to be a great training venue. I'm going to give you some insight on what we look for and some thoughts on the places we've been in case you were thinking of checking them out.

Body Composition

by Marilyn McDonald

As endurance athletes we know it's a part of our event to carry as little extra weight as possible. The goal is to have maximum strength to weight ratio -- getting as light as possible while still maintaining 100% strength.

A challenging part of triathlon in particular is the balance of three different sports that require different body compositions and then putting all three together. Complicating that further is the weather at your race and the distance you’ll be racing.

Workout of the Month: VO2max Intervals for Power and Speed - Running

by Marilyn McDonald

Earlier this week I talked about VO2 sessions for the bike. In this piece I'm going to give a couple examples for incorporating some of this work on the run. While you need to be careful when adding this type of work to your cycling, it is even more important to be extra careful when you add these sessions to your run training. Like I mentioned before, it truly is the icing on the cake and very little of this type of work is needed for the long course triathlete. Often only very fit, very mechanically sound and very experienced athlete's should add VO2 work to their run training.

Workout of the Month: VO2max Intervals for Power and Speed - Cycling

by Marilyn McDonald

By this time of the year most of us are pretty fit and strong. You've had a good chunk of your season to really dial in the long training and your level of strength endurance is probably high.

If you're getting the long sessions, maintaining strength and recovering well week in and week out, the next step in your race season might be to include some good solid speed work.

Our Favorite Workouts: Race-Specific Long Ride

A key session that should be a staple in your final prep for your key event is the long ride with quality sets. This ride is shorter than your longer, easier distance sets, but the amount of quality work within the ride should be greater.

Race Execution: The Art of the Taper

by Marilyn McDonald
This week we are talking about the oh so controversial taper. There are many different ideas and plans for tapering. I've heard as extreme as people saying they don't taper at all, to people who start tapering a month out from key events.
I have watched, listened and tried most different types of tapers over the years. My overall summary leans with my overall beliefs on training: we are all different creatures with different situations and levels of fitness and goals, so therefore many different protocols work or may not work in many different situations.

Workout of the Month: The Long Brick

by Marilyn McDonald

The long brick is very specific to long distance triathlon. If you are preparing for a half or longer, it's a good workout to include once every two weeks or 10 days.

The session teaches you appropriate pacing, if your fueling strategy is going to work and how to manage yourself across the switch from bike to run. It also builds the endurance you will need for a long event.

What's My Potential?

by Marilyn McDonald

When I came into triathlon I had never swum a lap. Not one! I knew how to play in the water from when I was a kid, but I never actually knew how to do a stroke of freestyle. My background was riding a horse. That said, I did run around from competition ring to competition ring and I rode a bike everyday to get to the farm. But I lived inland in Alberta and hated getting wet, so there was no swimming for me as a kid. There were no swim lessons in country southern Alberta (why would you need to... you ride horses and if you're a boy you play hockey).

Where am I going with this? One big part of understanding your potential in triathlon is looking back at what you did all through your childhood. I can talk a lot about this subject but I'd type forever -- for this article I'm just going to stick with my hardest challenge: swimming.

High Cadence/Smooth Pedaling

by Marilyn McDonald

Most people realize there is skill development in swimming, but many just hop on their bikes and don't ever learn the basic skills to become a better cyclist. When I first started riding a bike I was lucky enough to be involved in a great program that had an Olympic-level cycling coach. One of the first sessions he taught me and included in my program a few times times a week was the high cadence session. It's a good session to incorporate up to three times a week in your off-season and one time every week or every other week in the body of your race season.

Early Season Build

by Marilyn McDonald

When I first took up triathlon I lived in a place where we had four distinct seasons and winter was at least from October to May. It was so cold during the winter months that you couldn’t train much outdoors. There were no real winter races except the local fun runs.

That made planning the year pretty simple. Your race season would be from May to August. Winter months were for building strength and skill. Spring was the time to get some miles since you got to go outside. You were strong and fresh as you left the dead of winter and excited to put in some time outside, then get into full race mode for the summer.

Once I turned pro I started to travel, and with that came the revolving/endless summer and race options 12 months of the year. I had to learn to put true planning skills into place.

Our Favorite Workouts: The Double Ride

The double ride is a great way to get your volume up and get a good amount of quality into the day's riding. If you are pressed for time it is also a great way to add volume to your riding by taking the frequency approach to the week.