Determining your Heart Rate Zones
An Easy Way to Self-Test
There are several ways to determine your Heart Rate Training Zones, some of which are more accurate than others. Testing in a lab where blood samples are drawn and measured for Lactic Acid is very accurate, but expensive. Subtracting your age from 220 (224 for women), or using the similar (Karvonen) formula is easy, but can be off by 15- 20%. And your maximum heart rate has nothing to do with determining your training zones. Your training zones are developed around your “Lactate Threshold”, or that point at which lactic acid begins to accumulate in the blood at an increasing rate. Here’s a method for calculating your lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR) for cycling, running and swimming that is a self test and which is reasonably accurate.
Ironman Training Primer
by Chuck Graziano, USAT Level II Certified Coach
©Copyright Chuck Graziano 2014
Congratulations on making the commitment to compete in an Ironman event. Training for and competing in an event of this distance will likely teach you things about yourself (and your perceived limitations) that you never knew. It’s a huge commitment and one that will take self discipline and sacrifice but in the end, crossing the finish line will be an emotional and exciting experience that little in life can match!
This brief paper is to give you a primer to the training that you’ll be engaged in and it will present some things that you may want to do between now and the initiation of your training plan. While many issues will be addressed within the context of your training plan, hopefully those issues addressed here will help you prepare for that training.
The Who, What and How
The debate over strength training for endurance athletes has been around for decades. Certainly, for those whose sport focuses on aerobic efforts the importance of “pumping iron” is minimized. Or is it? The major drawbacks to strength training include the undesirable hypertrophy, or bulking up, which results in unwanted weight gain, and the investment of valuable training hours (and energy) at the expense of more sport specific training – running, riding and swimming.
Some advantages, however, outweigh the drawbacks. These include the increased performance potential that results from the additional strength, which, for example, translates to power on the bike, and the avoidance of nagging injuries through increased stability of the joints and the elimination of muscle imbalances. Due to these advantages, most contemporary coaches agree that incorporating a periodized strength training routine into an athlete’s annual training program will produce important benefits, while minimizing the potential drawbacks.
Zone 1 Less than 85% of LTHR
Zone 2 85% to 89% of LTHR
Zone 3 90% to 94% of LTHR
Zone 4 95% to 99% of LTHR
Zone 5a 100% to 102% of LTHR
Zone 5b 103% to 106% of LTHR
Zone 5c More than 106% of LTHR
If you train with a Computrainer (or other power measuring device), you’ll want to use that device as a tool for improved performance, not just to provide some nice numbers to look at (“ooh, I just rode at 15 watts more than I did last week!). One of the key performance indicators that you’ll need to determine is your Functional Threshold Power. This test can easily be performed on your own. The protocol for this test has been adapted from Allen and Cogan’s “Training and Racing with a Power Meter”.
The ideal training program for any athlete is one that is challenging enough to result in continual improvement, but is not so taxing that it results in illness, injury, or overtraining. Achieving this delicate balance can be difficult in any sport.
Click Here to download Training and Racing Using a Power Meter: an introduction by Andrew R. Coggan, Ph.D.
by Chuck Graziano
©2007 Inspired Performance Coaching
Whether you’re contemplating your first tri or you’ve done a few, one of the more stressful aspects of preparation can be “what not to forget”. As for me, I’ve done more than my share of races and over the years, I’ve forgotten various items that create a lot of unneeded stress on the trip. I’ve learned not to rely on my head when it comes to packing for a trip. I’ve developed a checklist that pretty much lists everything I’d need. You’ll have to customize your own, but I’ve tried to include as many things below as I could think of (I don’t pack all of these for myself but the list below is intended to be “food for thought” so that you can use it as a model from which to develop your own).
Click Here to download a pdf of the Triathalon Packing Checklist for Longer Distance Events.
Summarized from Chapter 13- Triathlete’s Training Bible
For Inside Triathlon
© 2005 by Joe Friel and Chuck Graziano
The combination workout, or brick, is a great way to prepare for Multisports racing. A workout that combines two or more disciplines into one training session pays big dividends, providing physiological as well as psychological training for the stresses of race day. In large part, this is due to the very sport-specific nature of the combination. Many athletes use the “same old brick” as a staple in their training plan, however, workouts can be combined in an infinite number of ways and should be structured to make them suitable given a variety of factors that should be considered.
The practice of periodized training has been around for a long time and is used by most coaches in one form or another. Properly planning your training and racing year, or years, and developing your daily and weekly routines from the Annual Plan is a key element to a successful athletic career, whether you’re a hobbyist or an elite/Pro athlete. The following chart has been adapted from Joe Friel’s “Triathlete’s Training Bible” and illustrates one popular approach to setting up your year, sub-phases, weeks and days.