A whole lot has been going on lately. One of the things that I have done is read a new book about race file analysis. It was titled Triathlon 2.0. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a great book, but it does add some context to all of the numbers that can be collected with all the big measurement devices that are common in the amateur athlete field.

One of the big concepts talked about throughout the book that I enjoyed most, was the information about proper intensity and training stress. The author gives his input on what he thinks different levels of athletes can accomplish at different durations based upon their functional thresholds. This was my biggest take away from the book. While it doesn’t set a definite intensity that you must do, it does give you ranges that you should be able to expect, which you can then train for.

Another concept in the book that I took a lot from was the ability to plan out your season for specific “fitness levels” and a method to plan for it to see if it is something attainable within your allocated time frame. What I mean is, the author lists out formulas to calculate ranges of CTL values for different levels of athletes. you can apply your own values into these formulas to see, typically, what other succesful athletes train to leading up to peak races. Then, you can plan out your season based on different ramp rates, or rates of CTL increase, to get you to your goal. The steeper the ramp rate, the more likely your risk injury.

One of the other new concepts that I have been looking into (but know nothing about….yet) is heart rate variability. I think the simmple gist of it is, high HRV signals your body is in a recovered state, while low HRV signals a fatigued state. I have found an android app that lets me utilize my ant+ heart rate strap to give me HRV, so I have started doing readings every morning to get a baseline before I do any reading on the subject.

I also completed new functional threshold testing for all three sports this week and achieved some pretty notable improvements in all 3 sports. My swim pace is now among the best it has ever been for me and my bike power is the best it has ever been. My running pace is still improving and not quite where it has been, but I am shy of 3 months left until the Santa Barbara triathlon, which leaves plenty of time for improvement before I focus on specific race pacing.

In addition to improving my pace for swimming and running and improving power on the bike, I will go into these next few races (both triathlon and MTB) with much more specific races plans, which I believe will allow me to not only train more specifically for the upcoming races, but also will allow me to perform better in the specific races. I will focus on utilizing my strengths and riding specifically for the course. Better planning should allow me to finish much stronger, rather than fading out towards the end and bonking.

The first test will be in 3 weeks at the Big Bear Triathlon. I’m not aiming to improve on last years t ime, but rather I am aiming to set a race plan based upon the intensities that I’ve determinied I can race well with during training and then stick to it and see how I end up. This will be the building block upon which I will base my plan for Santa Barbara and eventual Oceanside 70.3.