Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Training Plans and Online Help

Not the most creative title, I know.

Give me a break -- busy week, but wanted to get this out there.


Ironayla recently posted about a topic that has been on my mind quite a bit recently and is actually tri-related. (GASP -- could it be!?! Is she actually blogging about tri-related stuff and not her Christmas tree??) How do you find a training plan that is detailed enough for your needs, but doesn't put you in the poor house or provide info you could get in other (namely, already purchased) sources, like books?

(That's a very convoluted question. Mr. Piligalli from elementary composition would not be pleased with that one.)

I pulled the trigger and signed up for the TrainingPeaks.com package that allows me to plan, track, and compile my training information in what seems to be a relatively easy format. If I can use it, any monkey locked in a room with a computer and a swizzle stick can, too. It has a number of added benefits (visually interesting and useful graphs and reports, fast loading pages, nutrition logs, and interfaces with Garmin/Polar/etc). Plus, I'm on the computer all the time -- morning, noon, and night -- so, that fits in well with my habits.

And, let's be serious, the closer I can get my training 'tools' to match my well ingrained habits (bad or otherwise), the less likely I'll sabotage myself from the get go.


Here's the big question now -- training plans. I've read Big Papa Joe Friel's books. And Wes Hobson, and what feels like a gadzillion other books. So I have a least a beginning base of understanding the process of periodization and how and when to peak. But where my understanding falls short is the minutia.

What drills do I do in the pool on the second swim of a Build Week 3. How do I get the most power out of my legs for a hilly IM, while having little understanding of wattage. Hours of training recommended for the second week of Base. In short -- how do I actually execute my training on a daily basis.

For those who actually know what they're doing (or, like Jeremy, have a personal Ironman Rockstar on speeddial) -- then read no further. TP.com has a massive library of sessions to choose from. If you know what you need to do, then just take a couple hours and plug it all in, and then it's gravy.

The rest of us? Read on...

So, my thought was to purchase a plan -- compatible with TP.com -- and then tweak it to match my planned A/B races. In fact, there used to be the perfect plan on the site (iron distance for beginners, specific for hilly races), but it was recently plucked away and replaced with other plans that are possibly too advanced for me and are 50% more expensive.

Btw, NOT a wise decision from the team up there at TP.com! When I could have had it for $80 last week and you now want $150?? Come. On. I know the value of the plan didn't magically spike...so what motivates me to shell out almost double for practically the same thing? (To be fair, the pricier option -- now the only option close to my ability and specific to my race -- is for intermediate level racers, not beginners.) But seriously. Remember that scene in Pretty Woman? Bad move, TP. Really bad move. Cause let me tell ya -- it's Christmas and I'm in the buying mood.

What do you use? Do you like it? Any ideas where a penny pinching triathlete can get a useful starting point to craft a IM season?


Dave said...

I use a variation of the Cruciblefitness.com intermediate plan. This is a nice detailed plan but I don't follow it exactly. There is now a coupon code for $20 off Crucible Fitness plans it is "mission07"

Here are a couple of free plans:

I also like the book "Be Iron Fit" By Don Fink. This book has three different plans.

Hope this helps


Jeremy said...

I love that bio you found of my former college roomie! I'm 99.9% certain that the six toe comment is a just joke...but how often to you count other people's toes after all?

Porscha said...

I was considering a beginner's triathlete plan. If you decide to go that route let me know how it works for ya. It was working pretty well for me until I got injured.

Bolder said...

i'm pretty sure Mike Ricci plans on making our generic training plan public for Team raceAthlete.

for a small fee, i believe he will load that plan into TP for you...

Roman is closer to this...

T-Guy J said...

Great blog...

I just wrote a small blurb about this on my blog...Patrick McCrann of Performance Training Systems is excellent. I can't say enough about him and his programs. He is linked in to Training Peaks and is an UltraFit Associate.