All my coached athletes have recovered and are now back training. Last week was a preparation week for all, I like to use this week to get everything sorted in my head. With the cycling, it's mainly going to be on the turbo, so I set up my pain chamber (shed) with a fan, speakers, iPad and this year's choice of viewing is house of cards. Should keep me going through to March/April when I will venture back outdoors!
With regards to coaching I have decided to use Training Peaks as my format of coaching. I use to send all clients their own spreadsheet each week, but this new format gives each client an account with TrainingPeaks and then they can keep an eye on their workouts via the app or the website and then there are various sites that automatically sync data to training peaks so it allows me to keep a closer eye on their progress and to check they are doing what I am asking of them or what they say they are! It also allows them to write a little note with feedback for me so I get to read their thoughts!
I have had lots of positive feedback so far, although some finding it easier to use than others!!!
So with preparation week out the way, many athletes are on to week 1 of their base phase and that involves some base testing. This involves a test to get some baseline readings and set zones or paces/speeds for the workouts to come.
Each athlete (including me) will do a 20min all out cycling test to determine their FTP if using power or Lactate threshold heart rate if not. This will then allow me to calculate their own zones for power and heart rate.
This year I plan to use Jack Daniels running formulas and so each athlete will undertake a certain length running time trial and the time this takes will give them a vdot score. This will then give us the paces for their planned sessions.
The third tests is a critical swim speed (CSS) test, this is simply a 400m timed swim followed by a 200m timed swim. Once put into the swim smooth formula this will give us a CSS pace to follow in the sessions.
Some, not all of the athletes will also be monitoring weight and body fat percentage.
Hopefully come the spring/early summer we will all be lean, mean cardio machines!
I will update next week with my results and some of the other athletes.
This year i am switching the format in which i coach clients and am using Training Peaks software. This will give me more visibility into the athletes performances and also give them more accountability as the session will turn green if completed and the dreaded red if uncompleted!
I hope this makes a continued improvement for both myself and the athletes. It's going to be tough to beat last year, with so many good performances.
My own training kicks off this week, with my new Self myofascial release/mobility/strength workout (more of which to follow) for 4 sessions in the week. 3 turbo sessions, 2 runs and 1 swim will kick off the week, so we shall see how it goes.
On a coaching side, i am 'sitting' down with each athlete and formulating their own Annual Training Plan and developing their micro (weekly) cycles into what sessions on what days and how many sessions etc. They will then all complete 1 preparation week before base plan 1 begins on 31st October. from then it is 41 weeks till Ironman Sweden.
Just over a week has passed since Ironman Barcelona and having never watched an ironman race, it was brilliant and incredibly motivational to see so many people out there young and old gutsing it out for upto 16hrs.
Although I have to say it was quite nice to be able to go and watch the swim, then head back to the villa and have breakfast, before stepping out the door to watch the bike leg past the house, and then back in for lunch before heading in to Calella, to greet all my athletes into T2, and then watch them on the run.
All 3 athletes did incredibly well, Andrew Ashton came home in a 11:06, a 34min PB. He was slightly disappointed at the finish, as was so close to the 10hr mark, but knocking 34mins off your PB is excellent and just goes to show the motivation of him to be slightly disappointed with it.
Marianna smashed it out the park with 12:43 and a huge PB by 1hr19mins! An incredibly even race and paced to perfection. She even managed a sprint finish for the last 1km! Makes me think she can go even faster!
Paul did brilliantly off hardly any training. He's had a very difficult year and has completed 2 Ironman races with next to no training - a true testament to his motivation and his stubbornness to finish. He came home in 13:07, only 45mins outside of his PB which is incredible with the amount of training he has done.
Gary was due to race Ironman Maryland the day before Barcelona, but horrendous weather had already altered the bike course due to flooding then whilst in wetsuits on the start line the athletes were told the swim has been cancelled. The race would start with the bike leg departing in race number order. I had this happen to me at the World Championships in Las Vegas, it was horrible. I was one of the first off and it just felt like I had people coming past me all day - very tough mentally.
But Gary didn't think this would have counted as an IM, so whilst stood in his wetsuit signed up for Ironman Louisville the following weekend. And what a great desiccation that was - he absolutely smashed it out the park. He came home in 11:40, on a really hilly course, whereas all his preparation for Maryland was on flatfish roads as Maryland was this. But he stuck to the game plan and beat my prediction for him by 50minutes!
Huge congrats to you all, it has been a real pleasure to work with you all this year and personally it's nice to know that what you are doing is working!
It really has spurred me on to get back in shape and really attack Sweden.
The coaching team has expanded this year and i currently stand at 10 athletes, 6 of which are targeting Ironman Sweden, so will be a really good year.