Tuesday, June 12, 2012


From Popular Science to the The Montreal Gazette we travel today in search of relevant training news you can use. 

First stop is this data in regard to longevity of cyclists who competed in the Tour de France. A little back story will quickly show that just to get to this lofty stage required some awfully serious training. For the sake of an average lets put the miles rode per week value at 500. At a 20mph average, this works out to be 25 hours, or almost 4 per day for a week. I know I have never done that type of volume in training. If one is a more pedestrian cyclist averaging a mortal 15 per hour it jumps to 33 hours of weekly training, adding 3/4 of an hour to the daily total. We are talking about the ability to manage suffering and adapt to psychological and physical demand. There has been noise lately about too much training (exercise) actually being harmful. As far as I know, the scientific community has yet to put a number of any type to that ridiculous blanket statement. Here is the RCVman disclaimer: When you have cranked out a 500 mile week, gimme a call and we'll talk. Until then, more is better. Just ask the families of the participants in the study who added 11% in average years to their lives as a result of this 'overtraining'. 

But what about the heart attacks we hear about from marathons? Good reporting from Canada on that one. Keep running is the key take-away. 

To challenge Fox News in the fair & balanced division, I offer this from Mark Sisson,  it is the best overview of the overtraining phenomena I have found to date and isolates a number of the variables in a coherent and structured manner. As long as my resting heart rate stays within acceptable perimeters (+/- 5bpm) I will keep on keeping on. 

But, you might rightfully inquire, isn't there a law of diminishing returns in effect with all of this? Sure there is. If you get hurt, get sick, lose fitness or see your performance decrease, SOMETHING is going on and not for the best. That is why we cross train, fuel right, rest and recover properly, hydrate, test, test and test some more. Because YOU are unique. YOU are one-of-a-kind. Because YOU are special (contrary to several commencement messages), but you need to find out where those return begin to diminish. Are they at 50 miles? 75? 100? That is the specialness of you. You gotta want the answers. There are a lot of folks that simply don't care. 

Andy Potts is one of our most celebrated athletes. He is an Olympian, World Champion and the poster boy for indoor training. He spends more time on his CompuTrainer that I do. Check out this fascinating article about training with power, science and all the data you care to crunch.

Dede Griesbauer is another CompuTrainer user who has seen great success as a result. Here is a short video of her training in Southern California.

Power racing analysis is becoming routine. For your comparison, review and consideration here are some power numbers by two professional Triathletes, see how hay match up to your power numbers (or read 'em and weep):

Mark Twelsiek @ Ironman St. George: 5:10, 275 avg watts @ 76 ave rpm.
TJ Tollakson @ 70.3 Eagleman, MD: 2:02, 320 avg watts @ 97 avg rpm.

Looking in the rear view mirror of my power profile I see the fine print, "Caution, power numbers are further away than they appear."

Lastly today is this from Dr. Ferrari about some of the stats posted by a former National Junior Champion Triathlete by the name of Lance. Some very interesting reading. 

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