The Block phase lasts ~17 weeks – NVDP uses Swedish 5:2 loading implying (at most) 85 days “on” and (at least) 34 days “off”.
Across each Olympic Cycle, there are “85” days that are special. The other days are foundational & recovery.
Intense internal focus => at times, never for long.
Some nuggets in the podcast:
early-week longer intervals set the work-rate across the week – recovery is added to preserve a good enough work rate – when work rate cannot be hit, recover
seek to gather TIME “fast enough” rather than progressing targets – key attitude for error prevention
Coaching expertise can help quantify “good enough.” NVDP carves most everything else away.
Repeat The Week:
NVDP knows key sessions, by DAY, inside his 5:2 week
There is an early week expectation, and a late week expectation
Higher work-rates not always better – experience with bicarb letting him train “beyond the limit” forcing additional recovery the next week – [For me: a reminder to respect natural limits.]
The Bike: I suspect we will see more athletes using supplemental cycling for fitness (metabolic, aerobic, threshold) – this would work for both running and swimming – if you are a “large” runner or a swimmer with limited access to pool time… then the bike seems life a useful supplement to your plan.
People are going to figure this out. Might you be one of the people? Athletes lead the process.
Clinicians: before you add “running”… keep the “walking” and add “cycling.”
Always watching has a cost.
As NVDP says in the Manifesto… “There is a cost of everything.”
How much of my watching is making my team faster?
Might constant monitoring of The Work be creating a net-negative cost?
There will be times when you need to trust yourself and resist the urge to count.
In our own lives:
Project – where do I want to take myself?
Work – a long period of enjoying what it takes, with ample recovery
Block – 2-4 month focus-periods, every 3-4 years, intense focus, ample recovery
Session – what one thing, if you get right, will change everything?
The above approach, with buy in from your family, is VERY sustainable!
gRAAM – Trans USA Day Forty-Eight camden, tennessee
In the end, we were a bit tired to be much entertainment for Andy, but we left him a couple of souvenirs to show our appreciation of his hospitality.
We didn’t exactly rip out of bed. I managed a weak jog to the pool. The swim was even more lackluster. After 2,000 yards, I nearly fell asleep in the water (not a good sign at all). I managed to squeeze out 3,000 yards, but the last 500 was done in broken 25s at easy pace. Not pretty. I got out of the water and sat in the hot tub for a bit (memories of cracking post-Epic NZ #2).
I shuffled back to Andy’s place, where Baron and I conferenced and agreed that the overall run distance was 5.5K.
We had 180K on the ride agenda and I was starting the day highly whipped. Fortunately, we had tailwinds forecast, but there were a heck of a lot of rollers heading my way. I drank a half litre of gordo-brew, straight-up – nothing happened, not even a ripple in my system.
So what does one think about when riding, totally wasted? Here’s a selection – as you can tell, I wasn’t feelin’ the love the whole way…
Jimi and me – hey, there’s a lot going on in the background of those songs. He’s laughing and joking the whole way through. Kinda like a my training days.
Dolan – Tom “Mr. Swimming” Dolan trained 100+KM per week in the water for an event that lasted four minutes. How could anybody reasonably expect to perform a 8-9 hour TT on a low-volume program?
Track Sessions – Who’s %^&*$#@ idea was that anyhow? I’m blown to bits and for what? …and the guy tells me to eat light at dinner. Man-o-man, isn’t he reading my reports? Eat light?! Bet he’s drinking a beer right now.
Training Regime – OK, you come and sit on my wheel for two weeks and then we’ll talk training protocols. Far easier to talk than to do what it takes. Two weeks in my big ring and counting.
Mr. Andersson – The guy chose the large jersey. I had the medium with me and he waived it off. Then he diss’d my gift on my site? Sponsor management? Dude, you can just mail that jersey back to me and I’ll find another home for it.
Lance – People diss the guy on the pride he has in his preparation. I’m shelled to s&*# and I’m a wee minnow compared to those guys. Everyone trains hard at the top? No way, only a few people truly apply themselves in ANY endeavour. The ability to persist beats ability. But they wish it was the other way. They wish that there was an excuse, any excuse, to avoid personal responsibility.
Scientists & Experts – I bet I couldn’t find one expert to agree with my training today but, I bet I could find a dozen world champions.
Coach – Don’t fool yourself. Coaches don’t make athletes. Athletes make athletes. Structure, motivation, objectivity, belief. The nature of a session? Doesn’t matter. JFT.
Fatigue – We’re looking for a new kind of fatigue out here. Something deeper, a pure fatigue. Not one of those bush league fatigues. A whole new kind of fatigue.
Balm – You know, that balm I put on my nads is probably going to be the highlight of this day. The menthol aspect lasted for at least forty minutes. That was nice. My only action is medication for my bag – all part of the elite triathlete lifestyle. Funny old life I lead. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
Rights – What am I doing out here? I am exercising my right of self-determination. Perhaps just self-termination.
Tri Mags – It would be pretty thin if you simply put JFT on the cover then ran the adverts. So much time, so much energy, so much money spent on items that have nothing to do with true performance.
I can’t really remember if those were before or after lunch. I do remember that we had 105K on the clock at lunch and my hands were shaking badly on arrival in Bells, TN.
B – I think that we should ride an extra 30K if we feel good. G – More than 200K? B – Yes, a good idea? G – Why not.
So we headed out at 4:30 pm for a second leg of 125K, or so. Somewhere out there I got tired enough to simply relax and resign myself to my fate. Just like the winter storm day. Only this time it was different.
Baron was so shelled that he was pouring water on his head to keep himself from swerving too much. I think we were both beyond caring and feeling – we were simply going to ride until we got to the end or cracked. Neither of us expected to crack, but you can never really be sure.
…perhaps that’s why I did this trip. Because I wanted the knowledge. Yeah, that’s good to know. This could be as close as I’ll be able to come. My personal sixty quarters. Shared with the Baron. The same knowledge but different. I wonder if he understands? He certainly understands but he’d be no more able to explain it then I can. When you have the knowledge you don’t really need to explain it. You just lean back and smile while everyone else hangs at the Mad Hatters Tea Party. Molina has it, sure, but why is he telling me to eat light as well. Is he playing some kind of joke on me? I’m way past simple bean dip fatigue – isn’t he reading these reports. Maybe he’s taking me on the next step. Just keep riding…
…Guess it’s like the quiet power only deeper. If only a few have the knowledge then I wonder why so many of them don’t have the quiet power as well. Perhaps it’s difficult to transfer it across an entire spectrum. Flashes of enlightenment. Wonder how long this will stick with me. Probably be gone tomorrow. But it was nice while it lasted. Keep on riding…
…it’s not the insanity of cities, or the silliness of debate – it’s the total futility of everything. To fight every battle as if it was our last, all the while knowing that it’s really one big joke. A lot of warriors get the first bit but miss the second. Keep on riding…
We rolled into our campsite as darkness fell. Wy asked me a question and I said something along the lines of “I’m OK”. She noted that my reply wasn’t convincing but how to explain without sounding offensive or strange. My own vision-quest exploring the depths of fatigue.
I think we are going to make it, but who’s idea was that track session?
A friend’s question gave me a nudge to flesh this out.
My pal asked, “am I damaging my health by pursing my endurance dreams?”
The science seems clear => you are very, very unlikely to screw up your health by exercising. Most everyone could benefit from exercising a little more often.
My demographic is different than the general public.
Call us the “screw the limit” exercisers.
What about us?
I’m fortunate to have a group of endurance mentors that are moving through their 60s, 70s and 80s with many, many, many (!) years of chronic endurance training under their belts. Some of their hearts, and joints, are coming off the rails.
It’s tempting to “blame” exercise for their issues but that ignores the problems they avoided through exercise (high blood pressure not received, depressions not experienced, diabetes not developed, harmful addictions successfully managed).
That said, whenever I find myself asking a question about excess, the fact that I’m asking is, in itself, part of the answer.
If you’re already exercising daily then you’re not going to find any doctor to advise you that you need to ramp that up by a factor of 2-5x.
…and you may find yourself reaching out to someone like me to get comfort that it’s OK to do a little less.
In doing a little less, but continuing to exercise daily, you will reduce your risk of ruin.
“Ruin” being the loss of the benefits from daily exercise.
Risk of ruin is what encouraged me to do less.
Immune system failure, bike crashes, lower leg injuries, death by avalanche/car accident… each is extremely inconvenient.
In doing less, I discovered unexpected benefits of eliminating chronic endurance => improved sex drive, better cognitive ability, happier joints, less cravings and additional muscle mass.
If you’re under 50, or pre-menopausal, then my benefits list will make more sense in a few years!
Recent media reports have linked “extreme” exercise to shortened lifespan (versus moderate exercisers). There is not an agreed definition of what constitutes extreme but, even at my current noncompetitive level of activity, I qualify.