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Bang for your training Buck?

Okay last year I did a sprint in 35min bike (20k), 22min (10k) run with 3months prep. I enjoyed it so I carried on training and have almost a year of pretty constant training under my belt.
Today I have just done a flat out brick, in guess what... 35min bike (20k), 22min (10k) run.
So what gives there then? Have I spent a year treading water? Which set me thinking, as a man with a family and a job how do I maximise my training to get the most out of it? Bang for the buck, without over training, without impacting family time?
I do 2-3 (1hr) swims a week (early mornings). One technique session, one-two intensity intervals.
Commute to work by bike (8m each way) 3-4 times a week. (try and go as fast as I can)
Run at lunchtime 3-4x a week. (varies, usually: 1 long (5-6miler), 1 intervals (short sprints/hill reps), 1 longish recovery run.
Then one evening a week I either go to a lake to swim, or do a MTB ride.
So in the esteemed opinion of the forums. what am I missing? if I were to add one session in what should it be? if I were add two sessions in what would they be? Or should I ditch one in favour of another?
Im thinking long and slow runs (1hr 30 on feet), long bike rides, or sprint TT like bike stuff. (problem with the long stuff is thats its difficult to manage around family life - how do you fit it all in? and do it without overtraining?
Should I just drop the bike stuff and concentrate on following a sub 40min 10k schedule? or do the same but for a sub 1hr 25mile TT time schedule?
Whats the answer? Help!


  • MartinHMartinH Posts: 11
    Assuming you are doing 10+ hrs training per week, based on what you said a week looks like, as a coach I'd say you may be on the verge of over-training now, depending on your other commitments (family, work, etc).

    You may actually be better off redcung the number of sessions but keeping the total hours the same by having a long ride (or taking longer ride home?) and having a complete rest day.

    Hard to say what you can do without knowing exactly what you currently do, but basically if you train at the 35min / 22min pace then thats all you can expect to do in a race/hard brick session. You should try some specific intervals at a pace faster than this but these need to be balanced with recovery and easy sessions.

    Email me if you need more specific details

  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    wrt fitting it in...

    In summer, on a weekend day (or whatever day fits that bill best in your family!), get up at 5 am, breakfast and get out the door. A 4 hour ride (90-100Km?) will see you home by 9.30 am with the rest of the day free.

    Does the family have a time when they all sit and watch a film/the football? the roads were emnpty last saturday evening when England was playing... if they are hgappy watching the footy (say) then get out and run for 1.5 hours 9or whatever) then.

    Swim early before work 9as you do already). Do your run intervals at lunchtime at work (can you extend a lunch break to 1 hr a couple fo days a week/). Similarly take a turbo trainer in the car, whip it out at lunchtime and hit intervals for a 30 minute session.

    its a case of being inventive about time.


  • TrisurferTrisurfer Posts: 228
    How similar was your flat out brick course to your 1st race course?

    if you used a different course then it could just be a slower course!

    To accurately measure improvements you need to use the same course and also pay attention to weather conditions rest days before etc.

    Awesome training though
  • dhcmdhcm Posts: 67
    According to the Friel book, the sorts of sessions you are doing for bike/run are those recommended for the 2 month run in to racing season - he calls this the "build" period. It is supposed to follow a "base" period, during which you concentrate on longer slower sessions aiming to build endurance and raise your lactate threshold "from below".

    My running training used to be similar to yours, and I got stuck at 10K time of c. 40mins. This year I tried alot more long (at least 1 hour 30 mins) runs at moderate pace during the winter and spring. Picked up ITB problems in the process, but my 10K time has dropped to into the 38s, so it may have had some benefit.

    It does seem wierd doing these sort of runs at first; you spend the first hour thinking "this is really slow, how can it be helping?" and you are constantly looking at your HRM and having to make yourself slow down. But from about 1 hours 15 mins you do start to feel a bit tired, and after you stop you really do notice it. At least that is how it works for me.

    So maybe try alot more of these, as well as the short sessions with higher intensity.
  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425

    First thing to remember is that very few can push as hard in training as in races.

    MartinH & dhcm have picked up a couple of serious issues concerning volume of training & intensity.

    Your bike rides to work are "fast as I can". A sure sign of getting the intensity wrong. As dhcm says most of your training should be at moderate pace. Friels book would rate this as E2 intensity, the level at which you can hold a conversation. Go harder & you feel good as you've had a good work out but the additional training benefits don't exist - you simply end up tired. Instead do most of your rides at conversational intensity & make just one of them very hard/quality inteval session (hill, sprints, longer paced/tempo) of your choice. Do the same for running & swimming.

    Make sure there is clear separation in intensity between you're steady & quality workouts. Too many athletes do their easy suff too hard & their hard stuff too easy. Probably just one quality workout per discipline per week. Keep the bike & run ones apart. You should be fresh going into a quality session.

    As MartinH says overtraining can be a problem. Have a rest/very very easy day once a week. Training just makes you tired & fitness comes during rest & recovery.

    Hope this helps

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