ATHLETIC CONSULTING TRAINING REPORT - www.cbathletics.com
"Try a TRIATHLON: Can you do this and not lose muscle?"
- "MARATHON training for beginners"
- "Estimating your VO2max"
- "Nutritional tips for endurance performance"
- "www.skreeminfury.com - Who are these
- CAN YOU TRAIN FOR A TRIATHALON AND MAINTAIN YOUR MUSCLE?
is hoped that this newsletter will provide some helpful
tips for the casual exerciser that is training for "summer
fun" triathlons and marathons. However, if you want
expert advice on this subject, there is probably no one
better than Barrie Shepley and his group at Personal Best
- www.personalbest.ca. Barrie helped coach Canada's Simon
Whitfield to a gold medal in the 2000 summer Olympics in
Best suggests you find a coach to help you with your weak
areas of the triathlon. For example, a swimming coach is
likely to be a great asset because proper swimming form
is essential for a good performance in this part of the
event. You should also incorporate training for specific
aspects of the race (such as the transitions between events)
or you could be in for a big surprise on race day. For example,
novices are often hindered with "wobbly" legs
when switching from biking to running or by excessively
long changes from swimming gear to bike riding. Don't let
these happen to you!
on to the issue of body composition and triathlon training,
can you maintain the muscle mass you gained over the winter
while running, biking and swimming several times each week?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. Unfortunately, this means
that you won't be setting any records in your triathlon.
Basically, if you want to train for endurance events, you
risk burning so many calories that you may lose muscle!
Therefore, you must continue with properly planned weight
training so that you maintain the muscle over the course
of your triathlon training and participation.
recommendations are simple. You should continue to follow
your previous weight-training schedule but with slight reductions
in frequency and volume. Keep that intensity (the amount
of weight you use in the exercise) high! Reducing frequency
refers to the number of days you lift weights (decrease
from 4-5 days down to 2-3) and a reduced volume means decreasing
the number of sets you do to only 1-2 per exercise.
your weight-training intensity at a high level should help
maintain most of your strength and mass without taking away
from your running, biking and swimming. If you try to weight
train too much while increasing your running/endurance training
frequency, you may not be able to give yourself enough recovery.
This may lead to sickness, injury, more muscle breakdown,
or reduced performance. Therefore, cut back a little, and
enjoy the triathlon experience. Strength and mass will return
quickly after you complete your triathlon, assuming you
reduce your energy expenditure from endurance training and
return to your regular weight-training program.
your nutrition will play a big role as well. Post-training
nutrition should be a priority of all athletes, not just
bodybuilders. Make sure you have something ready to be consumed
immediately post-workout (see below for more details). Sport
scientists recommend carbohydrate intakes of upwards of
7-11 g/kg per day during heavy training. Your protein intake
should be a minimum of 1.6g /kg per day. Add some healthy
fat (omega-3 polyunsaturated fat) and antioxidants to your
diet and you should be set.
triathletes (and marathoners) that do not want to maintain
muscle mass should include weight training in their off-season
training regimens. If you are consistent with weight training,
you should be able to slightly increase your performance
and overall health while preventing injuries. Look back
to ISSUES #34 & 37 for an endurance athlete's resistance
training protocol. You may even want to check out ISSUE
#18 for the facts on training for strength and endurance
- THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO MARATHON & TRIATHLON TRAINING
do not have to be training for a marathon to use the following
recommendations. The guidelines will help you train for
any distance. These traditional recommendations for beginner
endurance athletes are quite simple and are focused on increasing
aerobic capacity and endurance. For those with competitive
endurance sport experience seeking an advanced program to
increase performance, the following recommendations may
not be of great benefit. Again, try the experts at www.personalbest.ca
for experienced help. Personal Best also offers corporate
fitness and sport-specific training camps.
improve endurance, you must be consistent with your training.
If you are an absolute beginner, do not be put off by your
inability to run (or swim) continuously for a long period
of time. Simply begin your training with run-walk (swim-rest)
intervals of a pre-determined length. As you progress you
will be able to shorten the length of the walking or rest
intervals and soon you will be exercising continuously for
an extended duration. Just make sure to complete the set
length of the workout each time.
example, begin with a 30-minute training session partitioned
into 10 intervals of 1-minute running interspersed with
2-minutes walking. This is an arbitrary example and depends
greatly on your initial fitness. As well, if you are just
beginning to swim, you may only be able to perform very
short work intervals. Whatever interval length you use just
be sure to train consistently!
2-3 training sessions, you should begin shifting the duration
of the each interval to include more exercise and less rest.
Eventually you will be running for 30 minutes continuously.
It is also recommended that you separate your initial workouts
by a minimum of 48 hours, and perhaps even 72 hours. Therefore,
in your first week you will only train 2 times. As your
muscles become accustomed to the stress of exercise and
"eccentric" contractions (the force your muscles
absorb when landing), you will have much less soreness from
running and jogging.
this point you now have 2 options. You may choose to increase
the intensity (running pace) of each individual 30 minute
training session or you may increase the length of each
workout. It may be best to incorporate both for 1 session
each week (i.e. 1 long session and 1 intense session). Increase
your training frequency to 3 sessions, if you have not done
so already. This 3rd session will be of low- to moderate-intensity
and of a very long duration to best simulate the actual
the longest run (Session 3) will take place on a weekend
or day that can be completely devoted to training and followed
with rest and recovery. Remember that as you progress, the
long runs may be up to 3 hours in length! For your first
long run, you may need to return to the walk-run protocol
that you used in your early running development. Therefore,
you will certainly need time to fuel up with a proper pre-run
meal, 1-3 hours to perform the training session, and then
plenty of time to recover (massage, cold baths, and other
additional recovery modalities).
the long run is typically a Saturday or Sunday event. The
long run is important specific preparation, and prepares
you for shoe problems, fluid intake, proper clothing, etc.
Try to run the course itself if at all possible. You may
also want to incorporate 2 or all 3 of the events into a
long training session. Again, this allows for the most specific
1 is scheduled for 2 days after the long run to allow your
energy stores to be replenished and for muscle soreness
to be reduced. If Session 3 is performed on a Sunday, you
may not run again until Tuesday. For absolute beginners,
it is recommended that 3 days be scheduled after your first
long run in order for your body to recover. You will be
sore, so imagine what the day after the race is going to
be like! Session 1 should be of increasing duration and
moderate intensity. Try to add 5 minutes per week to each
run so that you cover a maximum of 60 minutes or 10 km on
this day, whichever is less.
Session 2 will be performed on Thursday. By this time you
should be ready to go and very recovered from the long run.
In this session, you will "hammer" it out for
30 minutes (but don't neglect a warm-up). Set a distance
that you would like to complete and keep track of how far
you get in each weekly "intensity" session. That
will provide you with a goal for future sessions and allow
you to judge your progress. This is an important area to
focus on if increasing performance is your number one goal.
3 should also get progressively longer each week. However,
it may not be wise to perform a session that is as long
as the race itself. For the last 2 weeks before the big
event, limit your longest sessions to 75% of the actual
race. In the final week leading up to race day, perform
only 1 training session at a moderate intensity for a relatively
short duration. Check out the nutritional recommendations
that will give you a little edge as well.
is a traditional training protocol for endurance events.
Weight training fits in very well on a Monday, Wednesday,
or Friday. Please realize that advanced training methods
and schedules can be much more complex than this. Fortunately,
this schedule has been outlined with performance and SAFETY
in mind, especially for beginners. Don't get hooked on the
idea that more is better, as it is certainly not, regardless
of your activity. Again, if you find this training program
to be below your level of capability, do seek an expert
in this area to help you improve.
is a safe and effective introduction to running and endurance
sports. You should greatly improve your endurance, decrease
body fat, improve health, and improve your aerobic power
simply by training consistently along these general guidelines.
Remember that if you begin to feel any pain or injury from
"overuse", STOP, rest, recover, and make any adjustments
necessary. If you don't, long-term problems lay in the future.
Be conservative. It's only a fun marathon.
article on an introduction to endurance training would be
complete without addressing injury prevention. There are
several hazards of running to which beginners often succumb.
These can include dehydration (see tips for pre-hydration
in ISSUE #57), gastrointestinal distress, shin splints,
and muscle pulls. See the nutrition recommendation section
regarding when to eat around your training and racing so
that you can avoid an upset stomach during training.
and stretching guidelines are always a controversial topic
(check out ISSUES # 16, 54, & 60). Theoretically, because
endurance running, biking, and swimming are not explosive
sports, the number of acute injuries should be limited.
There is no scientific evidence proving that static stretching
prevents injury in endurance sports. In fact, there should
be few, if any, incidences of muscle strains in a regularly
training athlete. For the beginner, you MUST emphasize a
low-intensity warm-up period consisting of simple specific
movement. If you are about to jog/run for 40 minutes, then
make the first 5-10 minutes a buildup from walking to jogging.
splints" are a very common cause of discomfort in individuals
beginning a running program. This pain, occurring in the
front of the lower leg, is likely due to the eccentric force
applied with each stride as the foot hits the ground. Shin
splints can be avoided by ensuring you are running in proper
apparel (go to a running store to buy your running shoes,
they are the experts!) and by trying to run on softer surfaces
(grass is better than pavement, and concrete is the worst,
don't run on sidewalks!).
note for beginners: Research has shown that individuals
with more fat mass may have more muscle soreness and could
lose more leg strength after endurance running that has
a large downhill component. This is due to the greater load
of the individual that will accentuate the eccentric stress
on the muscle. The bottom line is that if you are overweight,
then you should take it easy when going down hills. Don't
be afraid to walk!
- ESTIMATING YOUR VO2max
the more serious athlete, here are some guidelines that
may help you determine you aerobic power (VO2max). The calculation
comes from Barrie Shepley at www.personalbest.ca. The VO2max
of an endurance and team sport athlete is often highly valued
and gives some indication of performance level. You can
also check back to ISSUE #2 for an additional method of
VO2max calculation, along with a full explanation of the
using the equation, you must first determine the time required
for you to run 10 km. Now convert this into a decimal form.
For example, if you ran 10 km in 40 minutes and 45 seconds,
your decimal score would be 40.75. You may now enter this
score into the following equation:
= 120.8 - (1.54 x 10 km time)
10 km time = 40 minutes and 45 seconds = 40.75
= 120.8 - (1.54 x 40.75)
= 58.05 ml/kg/min
the numbers to have true value you should be a runner and
you must undertake an all out effort when determining your
10 km time. Based on the above calculation, a 10 km time
of just over 40 minutes will result in an estimated V02max
in the high 50s. Accordingly, a time of 42 minutes will
land the athlete in the range of 55-59 ml/kg/min. The calculation
does not differ between males and females.
- NUTRITION: GLYCOGEN DEPLETION
is obviously a big factor in both performance and your ability
to maintain your body composition. It is very possible to
lose large amounts of weight, including muscle, if you are
running 2-3 hours per week, especially in addition to a
large volume of cycling and swimming. To maintain muscle,
you have to eat enough calories, specifically carbohydrate
and protein, and at specific times. Remember these numbers:
Carbohydrate = 7-11 g/kg per day during heavy training.
= 1.6g /kg per day.
diet should contain 20% of calories from fat.
athlete or not, should take a daily multi-vitamin/mineral
should also keep fluid intake as high as possible. Drink
lots of water all day (as much before and during as your
stomach will allow). Try to stay away from refined and processed
sugar products, except for your post-training drink. Just
as in weight training, immediate post-run nutrition is important!
Have a high-carbohydrate beverage (containing a small amount
of protein) as soon as your run ends to replenish muscle
glycogen (energy) stores.
post-workout drink should contain up to 0.5-1.0 g/kg of
CHO and 0.1-0.2 g/kg of protein (longer training sessions
require larger energy intakes). For example, a 70 kg individual
that completed a 60 minute training session should consume
a beverage of 70 g of carbohydrate and 14 g of protein.
This is approximately 300 kcal and should be consumed within
500-1000 ml of fluid as soon as possible after training.
You may need to double these recommendations after training
sessions of 90 minutes or more. Talk about refueling and
concentrated sugar beverages such as juice and soda pop
immediately before or during training because this may lead
to an upset stomach. Some people may not be able to tolerate
any food in their stomach when they begin running or swimming.
Therefore, you must appropriately time your training between
very long training sessions, it is recommended that you
"train" yourself to consume drinks with a very
low sugar concentration. For example, Gatorade (and other
sport drinks) has been formulated to contain a 6-8% sugar
solution. This has been shown to be well absorbed and helps
to increase endurance performance. Juice and many other
commercial beverages contain a 14% sugar solution and are
not well tolerated by the stomach during exercise. However,
simply diluting these drinks with equal amount of water
gives you a 6-8% sugar solution sport drink!
- ENDURANCE TRAINING COMPETITION!
far can you (or will you) take it? Endurance athletes are
some of the most dedicated athletes to their sport. Just
take a look at this website, www.skreeminfury.com, to see
an example of busy people making time to train for the endurance
sports that they love. Not only world-renowned scientists,
but world-class performers as well!