Feedback on my training and my plan for the year

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  • #9650
    mihai.diac
    Participant

    Hi,

    Attaching my TP dashboard 365 days and 90 days. Also attaching my training plan. Some comments and some questions.

    Comments. There are a few things that sky-rocketed my training, which in the past was very non-systematic (though I would say I gathered a bit or mountain experience from trail marathons to technical rock and ice climbs):
    1. the biggest enabler was probably moving outside town a bit over 1 year ago, in 1000+ft hills with a lot of forest, trails and steep slopes. Nothing compares with the ease of waking up, washing your face, putting the shorts and shoes on and going for a run before the kids get up for school! The (shortish) commute more than pays off (in other ways also)
    3. reading TFTNA! big mind shift in intensity volume and training specific aspects in isolation for great concerted results when it’s prime time!
    2. getting a GPS enabled watch as a present from work. I don’t normally like spending on “props” but the lack of hassle in having historical data got me much more consistent. We all need a metric to track, and “gamifying” things really helps the overachievers!
    3. the watch had a built in wrist HR monitor, and this got me a more reliable effort assessment tool (I’ve replaced it now with a chest strap finding it imprecise, but it helped for the first 6 months). I could not reliably tell what “easy” is before – with some help from the HR mon, now I can assess based on breathing too but still use the strap for recording and tracking purposes
    4. from UphillAthlete I found TrainingPeaks. I’ve started using it in March this year and the CTL evolution is pretty clear. It’s a great tool, not necessarily for all the bells and whistles (TSS is not a “bell and whistle”, it’s THE most useful aspect), but again for giving you a metric to track

    Questions:
    1. does the fatigue / form balance look well for the last 2 months since I’m using TP? I know during base it’s ok to be in a depressed state, I don’t feel too fatigued, but it’s still a change and I could adjust
    2. on my ATP: am I trying to pack to many races? (except the first, all are trail marathons and one 70K). I won’t be able to make all, but this impacts the generated plan. Rather than following ATP suggested TSS, am I better off going for 3 weeks buildup 1 week recovery and taper before races I can make?
    3. I’m planning for A B and C prio races, but I’m concerned that once in race mode, all races become A :D. How do you guys “slow down” when competing?
    4. In parallel with what’s in the plan, I’m doing convict conditioning style (bodyweight) max strength at work through the day (5-6 series of 4-5 reps, one group per day cycling weekly). This sounds like the “max strength maintenance” thing in TFTNA. But there’s progression and it clearly more than maintenance. Can it interfere in a bad way? I’m mix-and-matching with isometric hangs on ice tools etc.
    5. I’m working out almost daily. Most are easy 30-60 mins. But shoudl I include more rest days?
    6. ANY OTHER FEEDBACK / WORDS OF CAUTIN that more experienced guys have based on my PMC and ATP really welcomed. Hit some issues like achille’s strain, but recovering well and definitely under control

    Thanks all. Always been fit, but really excited by my year so far and by where a more serious approach can take me!

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  • Moderator
    Scott Semple on #9722

    Good work. That’s a nice steady improvement.

    1) TSB is pretty personal. You have to find out what works for you. In general, I don’t like to go below -20 too often, and if I go way below, I make sure to follow the dip with a one or two complete rest days.

    2) Your race schedule doesn’t look to sense to me.

    3) I would caution against making everything an A race. That’s a good way to blow up. If something’s a C race, then just Dial it back and think if it as a training day.

    4) I’m not sure whats in TFtNA, but I think Steve and Scott J would agree, max strength once a week is more than maintenance. Once every two weeks would be maintenance, I think.

    5) Similar to TSB, training density is very personal, and it’ll change for you over time.

    6) The only warning I would add is to beware of enthusiasm. Whenever I’ve felt like Superman, injury or illness usually followed. Don’t trust it. Save it for race day.

    I hope that helps.

    Scott S.

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #9724

    Whew! Thats a lot of questions. Thanks Scott for answering these. Here a few more thoughts:

    1) Use the numbers in TP as a tool but not the only tool. If you feel like you’re handling the training well and recovering well then compare that to the TSS and TBS and learn from it. There is no one size fits all formula

    2&3) C races you train right through with no change in training. Treat them like a workout. It they leave you wasted then you did not have the capacity to handle them at this stage and need to train more and race less. B races you back off a couple of days before and after but otherwise train the same. You only get one A race per training cycle. This is what all the training is building for.

    4) From what I can tell you are doing max strength every day just for different muscle groups. WOW! that’s a lot and way more than maintenance. I’m not clear how you can separate the muscle groups that specifically. There is likely to be much cross over form one day to the next. I’m not familiar with this style of training though.

    5) Include rest days when you are tired. There is no formula. If you are going week in and week out like this and seeing gains then all is good. If not then you need more rest.

    6) Your PMC shows consistent CTL gains since Feb but I don’t see any recovery weeks where CTL was allowed to plateau or slip back. You need to rest at some point. Better to do it before you need it.

    Scott

    Participant
    mihai.diac on #9731

    Thanks Scott S. and Scott J.. Makes a lot of sense and easy to adjust. Sorry about the avalanche of questions – I should have probably broken these down in multiple threads.

    I’ll dial my easy weeks back a bit more. The Achilles strain was a light warning. I’ll stick with spaced out A races.

    On max strength. Could be an interesting topic for the people where training is really competing for time. The endurance stuff I can more easily fit into my life (“walking” the hyper-active dog? no, it’s 1.5h of Z1 training; taking a long uphill hike with my daughter on my shoulders? that’s ME right there). The strength stuff requires very intense focus while at home and that is harder to come by ..

    “Convict conditioning” is just a marketing name for max strength by body weight exercises (calisthenics). Don’t get hung on the name and background story bullshit, there are a bunch of programs out there, just happened to run into this first. It relies on 5-6 core exercises like squats pushups pullups etc. and gives you a progression for each (change technique to make them harder without adding weight). It worked for me because I could install a pullup bar at work and I have a bunch of colleagues that are into this. Because you can do series spaced up through the day, you are well restored for giving your best (side benefit – in 2-3 minutes you don’t break a sweat either :D). Modulation comes from cycling the exercises.

    It’s a compromise because it lacks specificity (e.g. in the mountains we carry packs). And it does need complementary ME and technique for climbing ofcourse. Am dit probably doesn’t hit all the muscles we care about. But you do see constant gains and significant applicability. I was recently in the mountains with big packs and the forest had 4-6″ of spring snow (melted, frozen etc.) that would only collapse when fully loaded. A lot of opportunity for one legged squats and core engagement there :D.

    My biggest concern about it is central nervous system fatigue. But I can’t say that I felt an impact yet, it’s just something I’m monitoring in the back of my head.

    Example of “beginner” schedule:
    https://i2.wp.com/www.factorfad.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Good-Behavior-Training-Schedule.jpg?ssl=1
    and of advanced: https://i1.wp.com/www.factorfad.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Solitary-confinement-convict-conditioning.jpg?ssl=1
    Progression of exercises from CC: https://i2.wp.com/www.factorfad.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Convict-Conditioning-Progressions-Wall-Chart.jpg?ssl=1

    Thanks again,
    Mihai

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