Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Turn the volume up!

I like my music loud with a bit of variety, as a 1982 kid (happy to give up my age) I grew up listening to a lot great Aussie Alternative/ Indie Rock acts and tunes were generally around the punk rock against the world type of stuff; Nirvana, Lagwagon, Unwritten Law, MXPX, NoFX that type of gear and as I've gotten older I slowed it down to some more modern folk, and will dable in a little pop music on the drive home from work if anything so I keep up my embarrassing dad skills for when Z-Girl is older.

As you get older you start to know that there is more than one type of music to dance to, I am now 12 weeks out from the Geelong Half Ironman (currently it took me 4 weeks to finish this so now 8!), my Everest for this Summer and I started to worry. I was concerned about my training volume and was I training hard enough? It's easy for me to think I am training alot, with riding the bike to work the odd swim now and then, adding in a run when I can or feel like it. The reality is I move a lot! but I don't train a lot and there is a big difference. I found this out when I did a little weights circuit the other week, I blew up huffing and puffing.

So I did a little investigating; I don't have time for a Triathlon Club, in fact the non-club nature of the sport is why I prefer it over previous team sports I train when I can and shuffle the schedule to suit family life, sometimes a swim session is moved as the wife has a late night in the office or Z-Girl needs picking up, a club schedule doesn't allow that. I looked at coaches, I had spoken with people who had coaches but I feel again this adds a layer of cost (something I don't have) and also I'm not sure they will get my lifestyle, then I discovered the Training Peaks online software.

Promoted by Triathlon Vic it's a training software that can capture a range of data and process it, you have the option of setting up your own program or purchasing a program pre made by a coach. I like to see numbers and I like a plan of attack and 12 weeks out this seemed like the perfect time to check what I am doing against what a coach "thinks" I am doing. So I purchased a training plan, nothing crazy I selected it based on the hours a week I generally have to offer to training (8-10hrs) it was a 14 week program but I figured I already had a good base level and could skip the first two weeks. Cost of this was $25 I went the cheaper option as wanted to see if it was really worth it, I was very surprised.

Looking over the training plan with my sportsman eye it was pretty obvious the difference between what I have been doing and what I am now doing. Volume Increase, to put it simply I was doing the same thing over and over and expecting an improvement. The training plan slowly increases my running and swimming meters/km's along with the amount of running (2-3 sessions a week compared to my 1-2) Along with creating effort and easy sessions.

Screen shot of my plan 8-10 hours
Don't get me wrong it''s still hard to fit in all the sessions and I find myself shuffling them around on the dashboard interface to fit in with pick ups and drop offs, and sometimes getting in an hours run on a Tuesday night after Z-Girl takes an hour to settle and there is still baby dinner flung to all corners of the kitchen to clean up isn't that appealing, but even doing 30-45mins is better than nothing.

I must say I didn't think I needed a coach or a club, but having looked at this training plan and knowing I want to continue into 2016 and compete in more Endurance length events (I have caught the tribug!) Training Peaks really is benefit to me and the way I want to train.

  • Clear planning board that can be adjusted with lifestyle changes (with added pretty colours)
  • Emails and Phone App to track data
  • Data can be updated from phone or garmin 
  • Plans to suit build up 6 month, 12 week, 8 even 4 week plans
  • Easy to use and quick to set-up 

Think of this as a Strava for those that REALLY care that's how I look at it, there is a share option but this really is a personal planing software not a facebook look at how many kilometers I did today social media boast. So 12 weeks out and I have a rock solid plan, I have a PB under my belt in Sprint triathlons and summer just kicked off with a 5 day run of cracking weather, Family Holiday/ Training Camp to the beach is booked post-Christmas and I am starting to strut around like I really am a triathlete rather than a guy that does triathlons.

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