Sunday Summary 14 August 2022

Top Threads

  1. Uncovered my #1 limiter – Zn1 “duration” workouts
  2. Did lactate tests to see where to target “duration” sessions
  3. Going to pull together Twitter FAQs for How to Endurance eBook (outline)
  4. Jim Brown is a great follow for down-to-earth tips & clips
  5. Applying Jason Koop’s book to my own training

Workouts & Working Out

High-Performance Tips

Dynamic Loading Part Two

You can find Part One here.

Nine months along with HRV, and 15 weeks along with proper training… I wanted to update you on how I’m applying load.


Dealing with Noise

To avoid chasing my tail on a daily basis…

  • Respect the trend
  • Ensure a positive trend before starting each microcycle

Chart from HRV4T.com

Respecting The Trend

Top half of the chart:

  • Blue line – 7 day HRV average
  • Shaded range – 60 day HRV average
  • Colored Bars – how I’m trending
  1. When my “line” gets to the bottom of my shaded range…
  2. When my bar turns orange…

…it is a sign I have disregarded the trend and gone too far.

Because my primary source of overload is Moderate Domain aerobic volume, the fatigue clears in a few days.

In July (lower chart) I made an error that required a week of backing off.

My error was stacking bikes on top of hikes, same day => my muscles are learning to reload themselves and I need to metabolically challenging sessions.


Re-establish The Trend

I have been using a 5:2 loading protocol – the key part is two back-to-back recovery days each week.

Applying what I’ve learned so far:

  • Avoid stacking sessions that tank my metrics the following day
  • Take double-days off every week – tempting to skip when things are going well
  • Evening HRV Via HRV4Biofeedback – get a feel how hard the day hit me
  • Don’t go too deep across the 5-day loading cycle

My evening HRV sometimes goes through the roof on the second recovery day – not sure what to make of that, will keep watching.

Taking all of the above together… something I got from Johan

The most important assessment is how I feel on Day One

“Day One” is the first day of the new training week. Before I get back to loading…

  1. Make sure the positive trend has been re-established
  2. Resist the temptation to carry fatigue into the next microcycle

1 & 2 are tips I completely disregarded as a younger athlete.

So far, I can’t count on being able to recover while loading.


Not All Load is Created Equal

Pay attention to what makes YOU tired.

My Use-With-Caution List

  • Downhill hiking – I’ve started tracking total elevation change to quantify
  • Loading when depleted – my July error of same-day stacking
  • Strength training – lower heart rate but higher stress
  • Running – impact forces
  • Altitude & Heat

Traditional load metrics (TSS, for example) don’t pick up the full spectrum of the fatigue we give ourselves. The metrics I outlined in Part One help.

On loading when depleted – just because I am eating doesn’t mean I am reloading! I’ve had to accept that my body isn’t well-trained to reload itself.

Lessons from Ultrarunning

Corbet’s Couloir & the Jackson Hole Tram, last week

My Thread on Jason’s book, Training Essentials for Ultrarunning, got some traction.

So, similar to Steve’s book, I thought I’d share my personal take on the topic.

Before triathlon, I was an ultra hiker and mountaineer. It was a great way to prepare my body for the demands of running.


Frequency is the Foundation

If we want to improve at something then we need to do it often.

Often, like, most every day.

Whatever protocol you choose, it needs to allow enjoyment most every day.

What this implies, for my return to running, is getting my body to a point where I can run 5k most days.


Choose Goals where you have an Emotional Attachment

This helps in expected, and unexpected, ways.

Expected – helping us show grit, getting us past inevitable setbacks, helping us endure the challenges of the process.

Unexpected… when we care about outcome, REALLY CARE, then we might be able to overcome our habits of self-sabotage.

I love amateur sport for driving positive personal change.

Why?

Because our habits are not as ingrained as elsewhere in our lives.

I’m currently rolling a daily mobility streak that’s the longest of the last decade. My desire to improve my fitness motivated positive change.

++

Consistency via Removal

Pay attention to every choice that screws up tomorrow (‘s training). In my early days it was late-nights and alcohol.

As you build a habit of removing these minor obstacles, you might find larger issues to work with. Triggers that lead to “freak outs” (see Do Hard Things by Steve Magness, and my article).

The stress of racing, the grind of training… quite often these will surface other patterns we can work with.

I discovered a lot about myself on my endurance journey. I’m free to change the habits that hold me back.


Don’t let Goals cover Poor Choices

I write about sugar consumption sitting on the frontier between “training for health” vs “training for performance”.

That’s true but it’s only part of the story.

We often use “performance” to justify our choices.

It could be performance but it might also be something else.

Many times, high-performance has been an excuse for a disordered relationship with food and exercise.

Whatever I have going on…

Better to own it.


Gain a Technical Understanding of:

  • Personal sweat rate
  • Sodium needs
  • Gastric emptying

Many athletes have well-earned pride in their mental toughness.

Do not be in a rush to get to the difficult bits!

Understanding the points above, and training your personal “solution”, will avoid many unforced errors.

By the way… most my unforced errors track back to choosing a pace that’s not appropriate to the session, or conditions.

Put another way… nutrition problems are usually pacing errors in disguise.

Sunday Summary 7 August 2022

Top Threads

  1. Book: The Art of the Sprint
  2. 14 Weeks Along – lessons so far & July Training Summary
  3. Pace Change 125s – a favorite swim for all levels
    1. Link to my 2022 posted swims
  4. I’ll write up HRV experience next week
    1. Biofeedback HRV vs Morning
    2. Oura Overnight Trends vs Morning
  5. Authors – consider owning your rights

Working Out

High-Performance Habits

Part Two of SuperVet Fitness

My assessment at the start – nutritional uptake wasn’t the challenge I expected

You can find Part One HERE and a copy of my Public Training Log HERE

14 weeks along => lessons from the first block of training


Being 50+ digging a big hole creates a big problem.
My metrics help me surface errors quickly.

The Toughest Part is not-loading!

Loading remains easy, fun and straightforward.

Recovery remains a challenge.

  • Mentally, when not-training.
  • Physically, when I over-do-it.

++

Previously

Training with little kids in the house => In my late-40s, I used a low-standard deviation training plan. Very simple strategy!

  • Something every single morning – tick the box
  • Second session in the afternoon, if time
  • Longer when I get a chance

Being “consistent and undertrained” supported my mental health and lowered my life stress.

This was essential with preschoolers and toddlers around the house.

Also important if you want to succeed at work, or have high life stress.

++

Currently

2022 & 53 yo => a performance mindset

The goal is to stress, then absorb, then stress again, then absorb again.

“Training for adaption” increases total stress burden.

What have I done to balance this increase in stress?

  1. Sleep – still rolling no alarm
  2. Metricsdynamic loading helps
  3. Less Travel – sleeping in my own bed as many nights as possible

An example, combining all three…

  • My wife is taking the kids on a trip over Labor Day
  • At first, I thought I would do my own trip
  • Then, I realized a staying at home would be superior

My #1 personal goal is “get fit” and there’s no better place to get fit than Boulder in early-September.

Why add stress?

If I want to perform in any one area then I need to remove stress from multiple other areas.


Touch of grey!
Scott Molina came through town (and repeated his advice to be patient)

Don’t Tinker – Let It Roll – Give Fitness Time to Develop

Mid-July, things were going well and I started stacking hikes with bikes. Total output on those days was 3,000 to 4,500 KJ.

Very quickly my metrics tanked!

AC wrote a useful article – Think in terms of three types of days:

  1. Loading
  2. Unloading
  3. Duration

Where I went wrong was pushing duration AND load on multiple days.

Too much stress, too quickly (TSS was 3-5x CTL for the technically minded).

Related, being human… I share the urge…

  • to progress every session
  • to increase intensity when my heart rate is up
  • to set personal bests

Three things have helped me have fun, while not blowing myself up…

  1. Set a HR cap for each of Stamina (135 bpm) and Threshold (150 bpm)
  2. Set a time-at-intensity cap for efforts above Stamina (10% of total load)
  3. Publish what I did, weekly

Reduce the scale of self-inflicted wounds.


The last week of July saw encouraging #s on the bike – the approach is working

Variation

I bought myself a Kickr-Bike.

Love it and realized that my previous riding had been very low variation, possibly too low.

The Kickr, combined with the Zwift platform, gives me natural variation based on the course I select. I’ve been mixing flat, rolling and climbing courses.

I’m going to extend stamina by adding more flat/rolling riding.

I am always tempted to add climbing but that tends to be higher torque & intensity – could lead to repeating my error of stacking load & duration.


What’s next?

  1. Extend my comfortable stamina durations
  2. Add a bit more Severe Domain work (VO2, bounding, sprints)
  3. Increase my run frequency

Keep What Works

Developing Athletic Talent in Your Kids

First Duathlon

Last month I was invited to sit in on a call with Texas Children’s about long term athletic development.

It’s a fun project that lets me share my experience and work with friends.

Previous post on Raising Young Olympians.


I want to highlight three things “missing” from the LTAD literature.

All three are a focus for me.


EARLY positive athletic experiences

I’m on board with late-specialization.

Find, then stick with, something long enough to have a positive experience.

A positive experience matters more than the skill development.

In the kid’s mind, you want a link “effort with satisfaction”.


First Sled Trip – more riding than hauling for the little guy

Relaxation at MAXIMUM heart rate

The look on my kids faces the first time I brought them to treeline still makes me laugh!

It was a literal fear of death.

High-performance requires the athlete to move through their fear of death.

Like water, the earlier you get your kids feeling comfortable with “race effort” the better.

They don’t need to be throwing down weekly!

We stick with summer racing until middle-school age.


RACING is a skill

In the development profile you’re building for your kids…

…race experience is important.

  • Field Strength
  • Crowds
  • Noise
  • Arousal Control
  • Grace in Defeat
  • Grace in Victory
  • Learning different ways to win
  • Learning to persist and achieve secondary goals

Deep dive on performance in Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness recent books (link is my Twitter reviews).


1st Winter 14er

Bonus tip – not for everyone!

If you read Training for the Uphill Athlete (my review on Twitter) then you’ll learn that Kilian Jornet had an ultra-childhood.

If you happen to have a kid that’s into going long…

…let them!

My son has been building his endurance physiology since 3 years old.

His progression is WAY faster than I’d recommend for anyone else’s kid, or even his siblings.

However, it’s not my job to define his dreams…

…and he’s a really good training partner!

Sunday Summary 31 July 2022

Top Five Threads

  1. Doing Hard Things based on Steve’s Book
  2. Jason’s Book: Training Essentials – lots of tips (for all) in thread
  3. Steady State LT1 Treadmill Test (3.4mph @ 15%) – sample tips
  4. Mark asks, “Do you let yourself feel superb?”
  5. 8 year build showing gains for my son

Workouts & Working Out

High-Performance Habits

Athletic Parents with Competitive Teen Athletes

Way out on a weekday – discretionary time is a form of wealth – my son loves to train long, high & challenging

When you are “in it” with babies, preschoolers and toddlers… you might be dreaming of a better future.

The future will come…

…it’s going to be a whole-lot better than calming a cranky three-year old

…it’s going to be different than you expect


When our youngest started kindergarten, I had a vision of time coming back into my life, of life slowing down, of my personal trips returning…

Time came back, for a while.

With the shift to year-round athletics for our teen, the time is being allocated back out.

It’s the right thing to do.


I’m grateful for several things:

  1. I built a life that doesn’t require travel
  2. I have a low-friction routine for exercise (home gym, indoor trainer, live near hills & forests)
  3. I didn’t lock up capital in a secondary location (ski place, lake place, any place)

Travel – we get a lot done by being home.

Invert – life can feel unsustainable when one parent is away all the time.

Simplicity – we can hit our self-care minimums at home, or out the front door.

With capital, we tend to focus on money. That’s not the drain.

  1. Ownership (of anything) is another thing to take care of (share of mind, share of hassle)
  2. Athletic events are a new category of “things that take family time”
  • Time
  • Share of mind
  • Admin

…the more simple my day-to-day, the easier it is to focus on (family) goals.

Simplicity, in the rest of our lives, hopefully, makes this sustainable for us.

Doing Hard Things

Here’s my thread on Steve’s Book, Do Hard Things. It’s a great read.

Today, I want to share a filter for the “hard things” you might be considering.



The Tour de France just finished up.

Lance and I have different views on a few things but an area where we are in alignment is fatherhood.

You may remember hearing his son defend his lie was a trigger for him (Oprah interview).

My kids trigger me, too.

My kids have clear memories of my mistakes, and they talk about them!

Well before I had my kids, Lance shared an observation along these lines…

Winning the Tour is easy compared to being a good parent

Truth, as deep as you want to take it.


Much of what we define as difficult is a thin-desire for: (a) domination over another person, (b) respect from another person, or (c) deference from other people.

  • Domination
  • Respect
  • Deference

We see it everywhere.

Can you feel it in yourself?

I can.

These desires lead me astray!

My drive for achievement pushes me ever forward – more money, more victory, more conquest…

My drive led me to many difficulties, eventually to a divorce.

I made a choice to leave that former life behind, but the habit of striving came along.

Easier to replace a habit, than transcend it.


Lasting satisfaction, the kind that reduces desire, comes from overcoming ourselves and, ideally, building something with other people.

Perhaps a marriage, or a family, or a business, or a community.

I picked marriage.

In 2005, I made myself a promise, I’d put my marriage first.

My promise wasn’t tested until 2010 when we were living with a 2 yo and my wife was pregnant with our son.

Watching my wife suffer, while I chased external victories, wasn’t compatible with the promise.

I had a choice to make.


Fear & negative motivation are, generally, seen as bad things.

Not so in my life.

As an athlete, I enjoyed “showing” my capacity to do things others found too difficult.

Still do – it drives my writing output and consistency of focus.

As a husband, as a father… I realized I could combine (a) my attraction to difficulty with (b) my fear, of a second divorce.

It worked great.

The hardest thing I’ve ever done was become a good husband and father.


So, remember that your future self might not care about the external victories.

I mean, if you’ve haven’t been satisfied so far, then it’s probably not going to happen on your current path.

Many paths remain open

Choose Wisely

Sunday Summary 24 July 2022

Top Threads

  1. Book Thread: Do Hard Things by Steve Magness
  2. Inflation & Real Estate: Ben’s Article & Mine
  3. Swedish Coffee Challenge – my sleep back to normal after a month
  4. Dealing with DNS, #1 Nutrition Error & Bike Interval Sets
  5. Exercise loading, specifically after COVID with AC

Workouts & Working Out

High-Performance Habits