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

Sunday Summary 20 November 2022

My YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/@feelthebyrn

Top Threads

  1. Using sheet metal screws for a frozen XC course, worked well
  2. Accelerating Your Fitness
  3. Aerobic Threshold Resources
  4. Does Your Endurance Training Stabilize
  5. My Aging Athlete Hypothesis

Endurance Training Tips

High-Performance Habits

Sunday Summary 13 November 2022

Top Threads

Endurance Training Tips

High Performance Habits

Targeted Endurance For Self-Coached Athletes


Following on from the Lactate Testing Video, I made another helping you apply your data.

Just in case you prefer written content, I’m going to pull the key points out in this post.



#1 – We train ranges, not averages

To ride a 172w average, I sit in a 150 to 200w range.

If my range crosses into a higher zone/domain then I will be changing the nature of my workout.

With elite athletes, this is not a big deal. They have superior lactate clearance ability and handle micro surges, with ease.

With new and developing athletes, this is a source of underperformance in long workouts. The effective intensity is much higher than the average of the workout.

Learn to swim, bike and run… SMOOTH

It is a foundational skill



#2 – Anchors

Skew your errors left

Recognize that we exercise in ranges, not averages.

Keep your range in the domain you are seeking to train.

Setting an accurate anchor can help.

++

Aerobic Threshold (AeT) (Border Between Zone 1 and Zone 2)

Easily found using the protocol in my lactate video. Anchor your endurance training here, exercise smoothly, and your range will straddle Zones 1 & 2.

++

Threshold-Minus (T-) (2.5 to 3.0 mmol step on your lactate test)

For Heavy Domain training, start by anchoring here. This keeps your range away from the Severe Domain, where the recovery cost of your session rises much faster than the benefit from working a fraction higher.

++

What you call the zones doesn’t matter.

What matters…

Figure out the correct anchor for the stimulus you are seeking


Key points:

  1. Know the effective range of your training
  2. Consider if your range overlaps a higher intensity domain
  3. Set endurance anchors bottom-up
  4. Consider checking in-workout lactates to confirm the above

When you have a fatigue mismatch, it is likely because you are training more intensely than you realize.

When you have upward drift in your heart rate, consider backing off.

++

The most common “intensity” mistake is blowing right past T- into the Severe Domain (above FT/CP/LT2)

  • Floods the body with lactate
  • Recovery greatly extended
  • Painful
  • Time at intensity reduced, for small gain in work rate

We don’t graduate to crushing ourselves in the Severe Domain – we learn how to use the Heavy Domain wisely.


Additional Resources

Thresholds and Domains – explained very well in this Video by Dr Mark Burnley

I think of domains in terms of green, yellow, red

  • Green – Moderate Domain – Endurance
  • Yellow – Heavy Domain – Intensive Endurance
  • Red – Severe Domain – Use With Specific Intent – Costly

My Lactate Testing Video

The Lactate Thread

The Training Zones Thread

++

Final Word : it’s easy to get wrapped up in zones & domains.

Given the experts struggle to reach agreement amongst themselves… better to find an effective anchor and get to work!

Sunday Summary 2 October 2022

Top Five Threads

  1. We train a range, not an average
  2. Do-less strategy worked for Middle School XC
  3. A Feeling of Running Out of Time
  4. 90-days without Caffeine
  5. Face-Your-Fear Session from Mark Allen

Endurance Sport

High-Performance Habits

How Self-Coached Athletes Can Use Lactate Testing To Work Smarter

The Lactate Thread on Twitter is my most widely shared content of 2022.

Keeping the ball rolling, I pulled together a presentation for you.

The theme of the presentation is faster gains from working smarter.

Working smarter gives you more energy…

  • to use for your higher intensity sessions
  • to recover faster
  • to put towards the rest of your program

There are four questions I address:

  1. What’s too easy?
  2. What’s too hard?
  3. Where’s my Easy Zone, 1?
  4. Where’s my Steady Zone, 2?


[1:25] Showing lactate turn point on a sample test

[3:08] Secondary Goals

[4:25] Requirements

EC Lab Protocols Document, referenced in video

[5:45] Before Starting – importance of hygiene and baseline <=1.5 mmol

[7:26] Self-Testing Protocol – submax testing (longer & smaller steps)

[9:19] Getting Great Data

[11:05] Bike Case Study

[14:58] Run Case Study & Considerations for Fasted Testing


Remember, lactate is one of several tools to guide smart training.

Smart Training is:

  • Approximately correct – precision is an illusion
  • Learning from inevitable errors – change slowly
  • Persisting over time – consistency as protocol

I hope this presentation helps you to iterate towards better.


Additional Resources:

  1. The Serious Athlete’s Guide to Building A Training Week
  2. The Ambitious Athlete’s Guide to Allocating Intensity
  3. Four Questions To Help Self-Coached Athletes Achieve Their Best Season Ever

The #1 Thing I Got Right As A New Athlete

I was very fortunate Scott Molina took an interest when I moved to New Zealand.
Not that he had much of a choice, I turned up at his garage (ready to ride) most mornings.
Scott has studied, and applied, what works for his entire life.

One of my favorite follows (Elias Lohtonen) was writing about the differences between Beginners and Elites. The context was metabolic fitness, as determined in his lab.

This got me thinking about my journey as a new athlete.

When I started out, I disliked intense training:

  • It crushed me
  • It hurt
  • I wasn’t very good at it

However, I thought I “needed it.”

Turns out I was lucky I didn’t bother with it for many years.

We now have a better idea why.

I’ll take you back 25 years.


Lactate As A Fuel Source, Not Waste Product

When I learned exercise physiology in the 1990s, lactic acid was presented as the athlete’s enemy – causing pain and slowing us down.

Difficult, searing training was believed necessary to teach our bodies to buffer and tolerate this acidic compound.

We used to think lactate would form crystals in our muscles, causing post-exercise muscle soreness. Hours, and days, later we would “flush the legs” to remove these waste products. We’d get massages to “break up the lactate.”

Turns out we were wrong.

Lactate is essential, and extremely useful, once we’ve trained our bodies to use it.

Roll forward to the present…

From an article written by Iñigo San Millán (Twitter Bio).

Lactate is also a key regulator of intermediary metabolism, regulating substrate utilization. It decreases and inhibits the breakdown of fat for energy purposes (lipolysis), as well as the rate of glucose utilization by cells (glucolysis).

The bold part is mine.

What does this mean for you?

Athletes who start fast, and perform “intense” endurance training impair their ability to burn fat

Every human I’ve ever met (!) wanted to burn more fat.

What are the implications for your training?

  • Slow your endurance sessions down.
  • Endurance training needs to feel light (link is to an article on “aerobic threshold feel”).
  • Endurance adaptations favor duration.

We all share a bias towards thinking that “more intense is better.”

Intensity is not better, it is different…

…and a key difference is you are burning less fat.


Additional resources:

1// Read the first article I linked : focus on training your slow twitch muscle fibers.

You already have plenty of capacity to generate lactate. If you want to improve performance (and burn more fat) then you need to focus primarily on the low-end.

2// Next up, Dr. San Millán’s paper on Metabolic Flexibility is a fascinating read on the differences between three groups: elite athletes, recreational athletes and individuals with metabolic syndrome.


From the article linked above

3// Overcoming our shared bias towards intensity : One of the way’s to retrain your mind is to focus on submax performance. At 53, I’m very interested in my paces, and powers, at 130 bpm. This is ~35 beats below max (the “top of”cap” in the table below, approximately).

4// How do you know what’s “intense enough?”

From Last Week’s Thread on Training Zones
The table is a good starting point, you can dial in more accurately using the resources in the thread

5// Finally, this thread contains my favorite lactate resources.


Have questions?

  • Go to Twitter
  • Search @feelthebyrn1 ‘your topic’
  • Reply into my thread on the topic
  • I’ll answer with my experience, or point you towards someone who knows better than me

Sunday Summary 11 September 2022

Top Threads

  1. Building a Metabolic Edge – Eat Like A Hobbit
  2. My favorite Training Zones Resources
  3. My network on Road vs TT Frames
  4. Loading Tips from my summer talking with Johan
  5. Lessons From Last Week’s Training

Endurance Training Tips

High Performance Habits

Sunday Summary 4 September 2022

Top Five Threads

  1. I pulled together Lactate Testing resources
  2. Aerobic Threshold Tips – an important physiological point, missed by most
  3. How To Progress as a Self-Coached Athlete
  4. How to Review an Ironman Race
  5. Some Issues are Unresolvable (blog tomorrow)

Endurance Sport Tips

High Performance Habits

Sunday Summary 28 August 2022

Top Five

  1. Serious Athlete’s Guide to Building Your Training Week
  2. Legs up the wall, eccentric lowers to settle your hamstrings
  3. Heart Rate does not capture metabolic stress
  4. How to Shake Up Your Basic Week
  5. Swim Game coming September 11th – Get Back to Swimming
    1. I will ask you to do nearly everything bilaterally

Endurance Sport

High-Performance Habits