Archive for triathlon training

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on October 8, 2012 by brianestover

We’ve all been out when someone wearing a one size fits all article of clothing proves that statement wrong. Most of the time it’s not pretty, even if the person wearing it is.

Meet Chris.

Chris Borden, Accelerate 3

Chris B. exiting the water

He’s one of the newest Accelerate 3 athletes. He was training by an endurance group training plan. Sometimes when you get an athlete and look at their training it’s pretty easy to see where the changes need to be made. In Billy’s case it lots of volume but not race specific work. Once the race specific work started he started PBing his Olympic distance, 70.3’s and IM’s . In Chris’s case he was doing intervals but not at the right intensity levels. His FTP had actually stagnated about 4 months ago and he was doing a lot of hard workouts but not necessarily hard workouts. For him it was a matter of changing how he was doing his intervals, changing the amount of time spent in certain levels, and looking at the data to come up with a power race plan that was actually higher in watts then he would have targeted otherwise.

I’m rather pleased with Chris’s first race as an Accelerate 3 athlete. Some tweaking here, some changing things there and BOOM he is 3rd overall in his first race as an Accelerate 3 athlete!

Chris Borden 3rd OV

Chris B – 3rd Overall!

Bust your Balls in Asheville NC at Tri Camp!

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2012 by brianestover

Accelerate 3 coaching is excited to announce in conjunction with HD Coaching a four day triathlon camp held in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, NC. Join us July 12-15, 2012 for some of the best cycling and running on the east coast.

We’ll cover a mix of flat and rolling roads with some stout climbs thrown in to test your legs. Come pick our brains, ask us all the questions you always wanted to but never have. Join your fellow athletes and campers for a 4 day training extravaganza.

Bikes ready to roll at camp

Asheville has been called home by pro riders such as Ted King, Davide Frattini, Lauren Tamayo with current resident pros John Murphy (Kenda), Ally Stacher (Lululemon/Specialized), Johnny Clarke (UHC) and Tour de France Veteren Brent Bookwalter (BMC). These pros, along with the many top amateurs, know that the combination of mild year round weather, low traffic and terrain that ranges from flat riverside roads to 12 mile steady climbs make for some of the best on-bike preparation of anywhere in the country. During camp we’ll be riding some of the same roads and climbs that were once covered in the famous Tour DuPont.

Asheville is also home to 100’s of miles of running and hiking trails. The running trails range from very technical single track on the Mountains to Sea trail, to groomed double and easy single track on the Bent Creek Experimental forest and DuPont National Forest preserve. We’ll be taking a little break from pounding pavement to explore some of these areas.

Outside of training, Asheville has one of the most vibrant and diverse food cultures in the south. It has also been declared Beer City USA for the last 4 years. If you are into that sort of thing, there are over 12 different Breweries in and around the area for you to explore and most recently Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and Oskar Blues have decided to open up their East Coast operations in the area. Don’t explore too much, since there will be no mercy for any hangover induced grousing.

What is included? 4 days of training in and around beautiful Asheville NC. Pool access, daily rides and runs, swim stroke analysis, dinner one night as a group. Please be prepared to ride and run 4x per camp and swim 3x.

Swimming at triathlon camp

Who is it for? This camp is geared towards intermediate to advanced multisport athletes.

What is not included? Lodging and most meals are not included. You will also need to bring at least 2 spare tubes and the knowledge on how to change them. We will have support during the camp but that is not a guarantee that support will be next to you when you need it the most.

What is the cost? Camp cost is $450. Current Accelerate 3 and HD Coaching athletes are offered a discounted rate, please contact your coach. Athletes are responsible for their own hotel and food costs. Accelerate 3 and HD coaching will be providing a BBQ dinner one night during camp for participants. Participants are required to be USAT members per insurance requirements. Please contact for further inforomation.

Lust Ended!

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2012 by brianestover

For two years I’ve been lusting after this bike, and the girl, but I’m dating the girl and didn’t have the bike so I had a BIG problem. But yesterday I was able to quench my lust, end my starvation for the ultimate machine, score a super sweet bike for a super, super sweet price. Now sitting in my living room is my new Scott Plasma 3.

Non drive side Delight

Soon I’ll be slapping the Dura Ace drive train parts on it from, a Profile ProSvet base bar then I need to chose some extensions and saddle. The Sickest Bike ever, will then be ready to roll. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m going to crush some dreams on this bike in races. Dreams that people have of having the baddest looking bike in transition. Not anymore hombre. You’re bike is suddenly going to look like plain Jane. Sorry man.

Drive Side Deliciousness.

On another front, yesterday was another day of James making me suffer on the bike. We climbed a good deal of Mt. Lemmon. One of us wasn’t suffering nearly enough if he had time to shoot pics. Here are a few showing you how awesome Tucson can be in the winter, crappy roads aside.

Mt. Lemmon near Geology Vista

Blue Skies over Tucson

While he may have given me a lesson on climbing, I was able to show him how to intimidate drivers on the descents. We caught a car, I was able to scare the driver into pulling over because she wouldn’t drive downhill as fast as we were descending. I did that to her twice. Poor lady will probably never drive up Mt. Lemmon again.

Coach Brian Suffering on the Climb

The Track is NOT the Answer – Part I

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , on June 18, 2011 by brianestover

This post is also going to be about why you should not think about the track as the first solution to running faster. But before I get to that, James hit the track the last two weeks to race in his local summer track series. The first week he sets a new 1 mile PB with a 4:52. This week he set a new 5k PB running 16:35. He did this without running one track workout.

James at White lake Half

I read forums, speak with and/or overhear triathletes and runners all the time saying I’ve got to hit the track to get faster. Well they are wrong the overwhelming majority of the time. Sure you can hit the track, bang out some intervals and see some speed improvement. If you want a short term, fleeting solution, that’s your solution. In 3 months odds are you are going to be right where you are now. Maybe with a better final 400m in a race. I’ve yet to be convinced throwing down over the final 400m is a good solution when you’ve ignored the previous 9600 meters in a 10k. It’s akin to stepping over quarters and dimes to pick up pennies. But if you would rather have a really fast last 400 but get smoked during the rest of the race stop reading here.

If hitting the track and banging out quarters is out, what’s in? Figuring that out requires you to be honest with yourself when you look at your training over the last 6-8 weeks. What is your frequency, duration, intensity and volume over that time? Once you have those figured out, you have a rough idea what your total workload is. If you have run 23, 21, 37, 21, 31 miles over the last five weeks, and you say “I’ve been running 27 miles per week(mpw)” you just blew smoke up your ass. A more honest assessment would point to about 24-25mpw.

The very first thing you need to do is become consistent. Day in day out, week in week out, month in month out. Its the day after day after day after week after week after month after month after month consistency that allows you to maximize your progress. If you lack consistency you are short changing yourself. Figure this out before going any further.

If your frequency is below five times of running per week, you most likely would benefit from an increase in frequency. I had a conversation with a co-worker about half a year ago who is also a triathlete. He was running twice per week. We looked at his schedule and added in 3×20 minute runs progressing to 3×40 minute runs. He knocked 10 minutes off his 10k road race PB…in a triathlon. 1 minute per km or :10 faster over the last 400m? No brainer. My co-worker’s problem was the most frequent problem I see in triathletes. Not enough frequency thereby resulting in insufficient volume. We built his volume through frequency instead of just increasing his volume. Those 3×20 minute runs represented half of his total weekly duration. 3×40 minutes was doubling his volume. How much do you think you would improve if you ran two weeks every week?

Coach Brian starting the Vineman 70.3 Run

Increasing frequency and volume develop the physiological adaptations that yield long lasting benefits towards running faster such as increased economy, increased capillarization, increased mitochondrial enzymes and increased glycogen storage. Making these adaptations is the result of more frequency and more volume each playing their part. The first thing you need to figure out though is how to develop more frequency if you are in the 2-4x runs per week group.

Before we get any further, I’m not a big believer in training folklore. I’m calling bullshit on the only increase your mileage 10% per week rule. If you are brand new to running or injury prone then that might be a good rule. If you are trending below your historical weekly average then you can safely go above the 10% misnomer er I mean rule. If you’ve been running a long time you can go above it.

The average triathlete seems to run 3-4x per week. We have already concluded to get faster that is not ideal. Running 5-6 times per week for triathletes seems to yield the best bang for your training buck. How do you go from 3-4x per week to 5 and or 6x per week? Start small that’s how. You don’t need to get out the door for a 9 mile run. You do need to get out the door though. If you are running 3x per week, add in 2 days around 15-20 minutes. Run them easy. The goal is to increase your mileage through frequency not haul ass twice a week for 15-20 minutes. If you are running 4x per week add in a 5th day. Follow the same guidelines. Head out the door for 15-20 minutes. It’s really that simple for now.

Cory at Boise 70.3

If you’ve been running 3x per week for 45 minutes per run that’s 2:15 of running. Hardly enough to make lasting gains that will follow you from season to season. Two 15 minute runs represent an increase of 30 minutes or 22%. The recovery cost of a 15 minute run is extremely low, especially if you run easy, which is what you are tasked with. In five weeks you will have run the equivalent of 6 weeks. In 12 months you’re mileage would equal 14 months of what you ran previously. If you are running 8:00 per mile it’s 3.75 miles per week more running, which is further then the run leg of a sprint triathlon. It’s not a Herculean task. You can do these when ever you want, for now though, just get out the door and run easy a few extra times per week.

The next installment will cover how to increase your volume once your frequency is stable at 5x per week.

Back on the Horse?

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2009 by brianestover

Hopefully I’m back to training.  It’s been a long 2 weeks.  Getting sick really threw me for a loop. The first two triathlons of the season were no starts because I was sick.  Today I probably could have raced the CA 70.3 race. It would have been a half assed effort though, as my fitness has really declined.  Even as few as two days ago, I was still dizzy a few times, so all in all I think skipping it was the right call. All the vomiting, losing 10 pounds and the resulting dehydration really threw me for a loop.  

The week before getting sick, analyzing my training data, I was pretty confident there were a pair of good performances in me.  My power numbers were up a bit from the February race.  My 2h 15min power numbers were up quite a bit from late February and I was covering 3 miles in my tempo sessions in the later half of my long runs right at 6 min pace with not too much trouble.

A few more nights of good sleep will help put me back where I need to be.  Knew I needed some serious sleep yesterday.  So I pulled out the sleeping bag, for some reason sleeping in my sleeping bag = being able to sleep. Grabbed the med that scares me a little bit (mainly b/c it has put me down for almost 16 hours once), had a few beers, then a few more last night and followed it with the scary sleeping med. Knocked me out for 7 hours.  Would have been longer but the f*cking cat woke me up meowing for breakfast.  Fed him then passed out for another two hours.  9 glorious hours of sleep. (plus I got in a  short nap today) I think that’s what I need tonight as well. But maybe not so many beers, being able to function in the morning sooner rather then later is good, although that is a result of the meds not five beers 😉

Looking forward to getting in some training tomorrow as well and getting back into a consistent training schedule on Monday. It’s about seven weeks until I race again, plenty of time to get into good shape. It’s just a matter of choosing to do the work.