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Thoughts On Training 'At The Right Level For You', Pt 1.
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younggun




Joined: 26 Apr 2005
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Location: Purf, Orstrayleeahh

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:19 pm    Post subject: Thoughts On Training 'At The Right Level For You', Pt 1. Reply with quote

Intro
In talking to people about their training, I've recently encountered a lot of people radically over training for their fitness. I've been thinking about how to communicate what a 'correct' volume of training might be for your fitness level. Here in part 1 I'm going to try show that 'good' volume for different levels of fitness. Later in part 2 I'm planning to discuss how to very roughly structure a training week from your chosen volume.

The relationship I've come up with is just based on my experience, not on hard science or any kind or survey/statistics. There's nothing complicated about this - so if you read this and think "yeah, obviously" then this wasn't for you but I'm hopeful others will benefit from it. I hope it's a good thought starter. If you disagree about the numbers then let's discuss - I'm interested in other's opinions on this.

The Graphs
So I've sketched two graphs showing a typical 'good' level of volume on the y axis. This volume is the regular-training volume you'd build up to and sustain for at least 3 weeks in a training phase, not an extreme one off week like a training camp.

I've put fitness on the x axis and described it in the only way I know - race speed. This should be a recent performance not the level you are aspiring to.

There are two graphs, one for Olympic distance training and one for Ironman training. The Ironman training levels are slightly higher, reflecting the higher volume, lower intensity of IM training.
These graphs are for youngish men. If you are not in that category then you might need to correct it a little. Women, for instance, have about a 10 minute disadvantage in Olympic distance and about an hour over an IM, so take 10 minutes or an hour off your race performance and use that time as your fitness indicator.



Interpretation
I've drawn a single line but obviously there's going to be a band depending a bit on the genetics and history of the individual. Even if you think you are within such a band, consider my comments below, they could still be useful.

So, where do you sit on the graph? If you post your recent race time and peak regular-training volume then I'll add them as dots.

If you are above the line
- The most important point in this post: It is very unlikely that the reason you are not quicker than you are is because you're not training hard enough. Most likely you have something major holding you back (e.g. body composition, economy, swim stroke, nutrition, mental approach). Worry less about your training for fitness and focus on fixing what is holding you back.

- Consider very carefully, are you over training? The key to improving could actually be doing less.

- If you are significantly above the line but convinced that you are not overtraining then look at your mix of intensities. You could well be training at too low an intensity.

If you are below the line
- Ah, a much safer place to be! Most people have a sensible reason why they are below the line. They could be talented. Or they could not have much time to train and are really getting a lot out of their training time. Or they could be injury constrained.

- If you are achieving what you want at a volume below the line then stick with it, you're doing great!

- If you are not achieving your goals then it's possible you are not quite doing enough or training at too high an intensity, doing a bit more at a bit less intensity could be the way forward for you.

What this doesn't say
Very important: don't look up an aspirational time for you, read off the volume and go and train at that level. Very likely you would overtrain if you did that. This graph is trying to tell you a good level of training for your current fitness - if you train right at that volume, your fitness should improve and you will get quicker. Once you are sure you are quicker, you can then review your training volume.

By being on or below the line, don't think you can't overtrain, it is still possible. If you have overtraining symptoms (susceptible to injury, excessive fatigue, poor sleep, low motivation) then you need to reduce your training to a level that works for you, regardless of what I'm suggesting here.

Part 2 can be found here: http://www.tritalk.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=37359

Adam
(younggraph's back Wink)
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Last edited by younggun on Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:25 pm; edited 5 times in total
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IRON MONKEY




Joined: 06 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting - but how many 8hr IM are doing 25 hours a week?

I think the graphs should be a bit steep at the faster speeds IMO - but I get what your getting at.

Dont forget course type, comparing Lanza to Roth as an example - some weighting will have to be taken into consideration.
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Xavier




Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a lot to be said for reducing the volume and keeping the intensity if people are overtraining "for their fitness level", especially for Olympic distance. Obviously it's a good guideline, but just basing things on quantity might not be ideal, or is that going to be part 2 ... Wink

At the moment I'm training full time for 20-90min events, and am unlikely to do more than 15-16hrs per week

Xav
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tweenster




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2007 - 2:22 at Dambuster, average trg hrs per week 7.5.

2006 - 12.53 at IMDE, average trg hrs per week 9.
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e-j




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a fair reflection on me.

I'm a 2.30 oly at the moment, and train c. 9 hrs a week on average. 12-15 during big base periods and only 7-8 during higher intensity.
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recoil




Joined: 23 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, YG posts always seem useful, keep em up!

Anyhoo, as I have completed neither an Oly, HIM or IM how can I tell what hours I should be putting in so that I dont over train?
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younggun




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

recoil wrote:
Anyhoo, as I have completed neither an Oly, HIM or IM how can I tell what hours I should be putting in so that I dont over train?
Any other races you've done? Sprint tri (splits?), bike timetrials or run races?

The most important thing for you is going to be to build training up gradually and feel your way.
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alexe




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:13 pm    Post subject: Re: My Thoughts on Training At The Right Level For You, Part Reply with quote

[quote="younggun"] peak regular-training volume [quote]

For peak regular-training volume should I use the average for my 31 week IM 2007 training program (which would be 14.3hrs) or should I use the maximum peak week which would be 25.1hrs?
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wiganer




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adamski, you are a genius mate.....well fairly good anyhow Wink

I averaged about 9-10hrs last year and did a 2.32 Oly and a 13hr IM which puts me on or just below the line.......oooooh I am talented !!!!....or lazy....or summat Very Happy ....oh thats right too big for this running lark Laughing
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younggun




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:44 pm    Post subject: Re: My Thoughts on Training At The Right Level For You, Part Reply with quote

alexe wrote:
For peak regular-training volume should I use the average for my 31 week IM 2007 training program (which would be 14.3hrs) or should I use the maximum peak week which would be 25.1hrs?
I'd use the average for the 4 weeks pre taper.
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AndyS.




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your graph works for me, I'm around 13-14 hour IM but did a block of 14+ hour weeks which added to my over training woes rather than made me fitter. I got a lot faster/stronger/fitter in the final block by doing nothing and recovering.

I was doing a lot of things wrong, doing almost everything to hard and not enough steady. It bit me on the ar$e in the end. Could have done with this 6 months ago.

There's a long list of over training symptoms on this page, you don't need to check them all off to be suffering from it: http://www.frot.co.nz/dietnet/sports/overtraining.htm
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JC




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wiganer wrote:
....oh thats right too big for this running lark Laughing


Hey Wiggy,
4+ hour marathon hardly 'running' anyway...... Wink Very Happy Wink Very Happy Wink

My limiters - motivation, diet, sporting talent, gingerness.........

JC
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wiganer




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JC wrote:
wiganer wrote:
....oh thats right too big for this running lark Laughing


Hey Wiggy,
4+ hour marathon hardly 'running' anyway...... Wink Very Happy Wink Very Happy Wink

My limiters - motivation, diet, sporting talent, gingerness.........

JC


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

unfortunately, that was sprinting for me JC .........but there aint many that could do me over 100m, even now !!!! Wink
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recoil




Joined: 23 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

younggun wrote:
recoil wrote:
Anyhoo, as I have completed neither an Oly, HIM or IM how can I tell what hours I should be putting in so that I dont over train?
Any other races you've done? Sprint tri (splits?), bike timetrials or run races?

The most important thing for you is going to be to build training up gradually and feel your way.


I did the Stratford Tri in April in 1:31.12 that broke down into a Swim - <cough>12:40</cough> Bike inc T1 and T2 - 50:47 and Run - 27:45

My half marathon time this year is 2:02.59

Aim for next year is the Vit and alot faster at Stratford... I reckon I have about 15ish hours a week free to train, but that would have to be a peak week rather than an average week. However I'm beginning to think that if I did that sort of volume as per the Joe Friel plan, id probably be fairly burnt out quite soon Sad
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tri_bore




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmmm i would say the oly line is a bit high?? (cant comment on IM)

I did my last oly in 2.24 off around 6 hours training. Roughly 110mins swim. 2x30min run, 1x 30 min turbo and 1 long brick of say 2h30. I suppose most done at quite high intensity.

Interesting stuff tho'. Maybe i need to train harder.... Confused
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