Racing Fastest Using The Principle of Bottom-Up Endurance


Today, I am going to touch on a favorite topic.

Getting Tired The Right Way

“Right” meaning the way that directly benefits race performance, or builds the capacity to do the training required for race performance

Let’s start at the beginning.

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Ability To Move

You’ve signed up for a race. How long is it going to take you?

  1. Have ever stood for the duration of your goal event?
  2. Have you ever moved for the duration?
  3. Based on last month, how many days does it take you to train the equivalent of your goal event?
  • Take your training time from last month
  • Convert to HH:MM per day
  • Compare it to race day

Consider The Gap between Average Daily Load and Likely Race Duration

The wider the gap, the lower your training intensity will need to be.

The initial focus: skills, strength and building the capacity to move.



Above is a long weekend from in November, ~10.5 hours of volume across three days.

  • If my race was 1-4 hours long then I’d be ticking the box on “ability to move”.
  • If my race was 10+ hours long then I’d want to avoid all choices that result in less volume being done in my week.

When you are pushing duration, you will need to back off the pace.

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How You Can Address The Gap

Extend by Compressing => patiently build the capacity to fit your event into fewer days.

Triathletes, look at total time (& distance) by sport. The multiple, or fraction, of race distance completed each week gives valuable insight into the humility you must display with race pacing.

Runners, your job is easier, look at weekly mileage and remember ALL mileage counts (walk, hike, run, you name it).

Everyone, judge your fitness by what happens after you load.

When you push duration, how long does it take you to return to normal training?

The depth of your fitness will be determined by your ability to back-it-up following your key endurance days.


Ability To Do Work

The weekend after the block (above), I did the equivalent of a Half Ironman (below)



These two days were not done at race pace.

Race Simulation workouts would have been too costly to my overall week. I would have needed too much recovery.

Step Two: after you have proven “Ability to Move” move on to “Ability to Do Work”.

What I was seeking was placing the work-equivalent of my goal event into a single day, or 24-hour period.

My long “workout” is actually a series of workouts, intervals, meals… spread across a period of time.

Then I rest, do easy training, absorb and return to my normal training week.

Over time, my ability to do work will improve.

If it doesn’t then I need to see what is preventing improvement (below).

How can we train the ability to do work?

  1. Time at Aerobic Threshold / Baseline Lactate
  2. Get your nutrition sorted
  • No Hacks
  • No Short Cuts
  • No Easy Way

You gotta put in the hours.


Work Rate Training

Years later, it’s time to think about the specific demands of your event.

Step Three is training to perform and that’s a topic for another day.



The more time you give yourself to prepare, the faster you will be in your racing.


Linked Resources

Sunday Summary 27 November 2022

Top Five Threads

  1. How to write a book – rough draft is toughest part
  2. Best Starter Bike Thread
  3. Video on Intensity Zones & Domains
  4. When metrics decline, Trust The Process
  5. Active Readiness (with Brad & original thread & metrics video)

Endurance Training Tips

High Performance Habits

Human OS and Endurance Athletes


Jim O’Shaughnessy is a favorite follow and introduced me to Human OS.

Human OS is our default operating system. After birth, our OS is reinforced by our parents, communities and environment.

It wasn’t until I started training _very_ seriously that I became aware of my default programming.

Athletic stress is a low-stakes method to surface our default settings.

Amateur sport has lower emotional, and financial, stakes than our families, and careers. It is an effective venue for self-improvement.

Awareness is the first step… I’ll share certain traits you might want to notice.

Once you see these in your sport, look for them in your driving (another training ground for elite emotional control), at the office or around the Thanksgiving table.

There is no “right” answer.

What’s useful is understanding our tendencies then allocating time to train against preference.

The goal being to remain emotionally stable as stress ramps up.

The benefit being the capacity to think clearly under duress.

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Hills

A hill pushes against you.

What do you do?

Do you have the capacity to anticipate the hill? Shift to an easier great, or shorten your stride, in advance of your heart rate spiking?

Step outside your sport.

Life pushes you.

What do you do?

Start with hills, it’s easier.

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Where do you place most of your energy?

At the bottom, middle, or top of the hill?

I’m a “top of the hill” rider – I want my power to be highest when air speed is lowest.

I want to optimize overall time and avoid the pain of regret.

My son is a “bottom of the hill” rider – he likes the challenge of hanging on.

My son wants to win. He is likely to regret not giving maximum early effort.

We can learn from each other.

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Weather

My kids love bad weather racing.

Why?

Because they’ve learned it hurts the competition more.

How do you deal with weather?

Surprisingly simple to retrain our attitudes here.

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Pacing

  • What’s the fastest part of your interval, set and workout?
  • What’s the slowest?
  • How does your profile compare to other people?
  • How often do you train against your preference?

Understanding the slowest part of an event, then training to be fast in that segment, will give you an edge in your racing.

Understanding our own tendencies makes it more challenging for others to exploit them.

Some mantras that have helped

  • Stay in the game
  • Always finish strong
  • Speed up, before slowing down
  • Quit later
  • Never get in the van
  • Be the brand

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Feel

Do you have the capacity to feel speed?

  • The air against your body, the water against your skin, the pressure of the pedals…
  • Breathing rate, muscular tension, heart beats, lactate…

There’s a feeling to all of the above.

How about seeing speed? How fast you’re moving.

With the gizmos available to us, it’s easy to lose the ability to choose how we’re feeling.

Feelings, our response to stimulus and stress, are highly trainable.

Take charge of your ability to decide how you’re doing.

Being excessively data-focused can drain mojo, without benefit.

Be more than your data.

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Setbacks

How often do you get sick, injured or have a setback?

A pattern of setbacks will have more to do with your approach than fate.

A simple ‘trick’ here.

Build your circle with coaches, partners and mentors with different blind spots than you.

Consider looking outside your agegroup, gender and sport.

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  • What do you ‘talk” about when you get home?
  • Ever re-read your training diaries?
  • Your journal?
  • Where’s your mind focused when you’re not exercising?

Relentless positivity is not common.

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Personal Narrative

This one’s important

What’s the story you tell yourself about exercise?

  1. Born to train
  2. It’s work
  3. So I can eat more
  4. Just get through it
  5. Because I need to lose weight
  6. I’m an Olympic champion
  7. Because I will gain weight if I do less
  8. Because…
  9. Because…

Really listen to yourself here.

Why?

No matter your story, you will act to prove yourself right.

All my stories have proven false.

Most of my stories were useful.

Know your story.

7 Questions to Accelerate Your Fitness


Got the Qs from Dickie


What is something most people think is important that I can skip entirely?

Most of the debate between exercise experts occurs with respect to the Severe Domain, high intensity exercise.

Energy spent entering this debate is WASTED.

Why?

As a new athlete, it’s 1% of your training load.

Focus on:

If you need some Pep in Your Program then do a race, ideally a short one.


What is something important to your daily routine you wish you started earlier?

  1. Heart Rate Variability – we are CLUELESS with respect to our baseline stress
  2. Early to rise – the last two hours of the day are the least productive
  3. Always sober – reality is enough for me
  4. Train first thing – one positive step, daily

What channels led to the building of your highest quality relationships?

I’ve lived an open life and shared my experience online. This attracted a wide range of interesting people, and opportunities.

One aspect of my coaching business was training camps. These camps were not vacations. They were created to put athletes in high stress situations.

The shared suffering of the camps generated enduring, high quality friendships.

Here’s the filter… shared philosophy on life, willing to travel to learn, not an asshole under duress.


What is something you did differently from your peers but served you in the long run?

I defined “enough.” When I hit my number at 30 yo, I left Private Equity.

At 42 yo, I was at the top of AG racing. I made a decision to shift from fame to family.


What can I expect to struggle with along the way?

Setbacks are salient. Gains are slow.

Write your wins down, daily.

Before we had Strava, I used to post my weekly training summary on my website.

We build our lives brick-by-brick.

Persist.


What is something you had to unlearn to take the next step?

Soft Skills – harmony enhances every aspect of performance

Recovery – loading is the easy part


What is something you had to learn the hard way?

There is more grey in the world than I realized.

  • Do your work, and stand back
  • Let other people:
    • be wrong
    • have the last word
    • live their lives as they see fit
  • Yield – we’ve already won

Linked In This Article:

Sunday Summary 13 November 2022

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Endurance Training Tips

High Performance Habits

Three Tips For How Much Exercise You Should Target


I got a lot of things right during my elite career.

Optimized loading was not one of them!

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Let’s start with the purpose of load, paraphrased from √ėyvind Sandbakk,

A good enough disruption in physiology that can be repeated over long time horizons

As a returning athlete, most my errors come from targeting too large a disruption

…that delays my ability to repeat (and hopefully progress) the disruption.

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How do we tip the scales in our favor?

One: Know YOUR Sustainable Average

  • Not where you want to be.
  • Not what a friend is doing.
  • Not what was suggested on the internet
  • Not the biggest week you ever survived

On my first call with an athlete:

  1. What did you get done last month?
  2. What was your average volume last winter?

That’s your HIGH and LOW range for sustainable volume.

It’s much easier to move up the bottom of the range.

Remove the causes of “missing tomorrow.”

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Two: Know What Tips YOU Over The Edge

We each have a level of load that causes our lives to gradually fall apart.

Make errors visible and pay attention to what tips you over.

10% less can have you feeling 100% better.

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Three: Know Your Minimum Effective Dose

My current minimums:

  • Swim 2000 meters
  • Bike 60 minutes
  • Run 5 km

Not in a row, by the way.

Get those done 3x a week, add a strength session.

I’ll be just fine until life settles down.

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Bottom-Up Fitness

  1. Use minimums to bring average load up
  2. Avoid long gaps in your favorite sports
  3. Focus on removing the choices that screw up tomorrow

Compounding Drives Returns

Three Tips for Playing Your Best Game


Above, my 2000 landing page

All the world-class players I know, take their game very seriously!

This attitude runs from life-and-death situations (combat, medicine) through to less lethal environments… say, lane etiquette at the track / pool.

OUR game is IMPORTANT

It could very well be.

Let’s explore for a moment.


First Tip : What do my ACTIONS say about the game I am actually playing?


How about ten years living like these guys?

If you survive then you will be a phenomenal athlete.

That’s how you play the “endurance athlete game”

NVDP – similar game, similar approach

All Domains => BIG survivor bias in the winners

Special people, challenging to integrate into a family system.


The high-performance game is a young person’s game.

Why?

Meaningful relationships outside your domain are impossible (think NFL Quarterbacks, Grand Tour Winners).



Second Tip: Connection is the central ‘problem’ of aging

The reason high-performers keep coming back…

  • They can’t find the answer in their domain…
  • And we’re all telling them how great they are…
  • So they keep plugging on…
  • Until their lives fall apart

I had the rug pulled out on my life, too.

It was a good thing.

I started asking myself better questions.

We are free, at any time, to change direction.

Is my game solving the central problem facing my future self?

Have I even thought about this question?


Third Tip: Knowing “What We Don’t Want” Is Easier

When you hear the voice, “this isn’t where I need to be.”

Listen

Our true needs are simple.

Too often I fall prey to lifestyle inflation (here & here) and showing off.

Not only is that game impossible to win, it will take me somewhere I didn’t, and don’t, want to go.

As a young person, the first values we notice are the “not for me” choices of our peers.


So, if you start journalling, lower the stakes.

The game of life is ever changing.

What’s right for you today, will change over time.

Maybe, you’ll find a life partner and agree to face change together.

I have complete confidence you’ll figure it out

I say to my kids.

We’d figure it out, together.

Same reassuring mantra, different target => my wife

Our lives, our paths, our friendships, and our marriages…

only need to make sense to us

The voice we hear in our diaries, the themes that reoccur in our writings – that’s who we need to be faithful to.

If we don’t choose with intention then we get the default set of values of our parents, our peers, or our surroundings.

Own your game.

What do my actions say about the game I am really playing?

Where is this likely to take me?

Six Mantras to Cut Drama in Half

Every day, we make a choice : Drama or Peace

Because the mantras are different than how many of us were raised, they take a little getting used to.

  1. It Is OK to Say No
  2. All Family is Optional
  3. We Can Handle The Truth
  4. Talk Like Everyone Is In The Room
  5. We’ve Already Won
  6. Everyone Speaks, or not

Think about them in the context of the last unforced error you made.

What the mantras have in common is they lower the temperature.

  • By removing a feeling of obligation, we reduce resentment.
  • By acknowledging truth can be uncomfortable, we remove the burden of hidden lives and carrying secrets.
  • By constraining our words to what we’d say to someone’s face, we are more careful and considerate.
  • By acknowledging the benefits of our current position, we stay focused on living well.
  • By allowing everyone to contribute, we slow decision making and reduce the capacity of a single person, or a single moment, to derail us.

Pay attention to the one you think is the most difficult.

Choose Peace

Sunday Summary 23 October 2022

Top Threads

Endurance Training Tips

High-Performance Habits

Sunday Summary 16 October 2022

Top Threads

  1. Fast After 50 – Ironman
  2. Team “Feel The Byrn” in Sweden next June
  3. How to review an Ironman Bike File
  4. How to Qualify for Kona
  5. How to review an Ironman – more next Tuesday on Twitter

Endurance Sport Tips

High Performance Habits