Cody Run

EPC Tips – Hill Repeat Run

HILL REPEATS: Following your aerobic base re-build block, begin to re-introduce some intensity into your midseason training program by running short hill repeats. This session allows you to do some higher intensity training without spending too much time running “fast” and allowing your body to gradually adapt to the faster running without being too stressful.

Hill repeats are a classic endurance training protocol. Whether on the bike or run, going up hill brings many benefits to the endurance athlete, regardless if your race is hilly or flat. Hill repeats can be long and sustained or short and fast depending on your training objectives. Use this RUNNING hill repeat session to build strength in the first half of the set (the 1:00 repeats) and to build power in the second half of the set (the 0:30 repeats).

The FLAT intervals are intended to help you dial in the effort prior to the HILL repeats, as well as to feel the strength & power benefits after performing the hill repeats. Run out and back on the FLAT intervals at same effort (but greater speed) as on HILL intervals. Run at a fast pace that you can sustain throughout the longer intervals. Run the shorter intervals as fast as you can.

WARM-UP: 
5:00 Dynamic Warm-Up
5-15:00 easy run
4x[0:15 strides, 0:45 walk]
1:00 walk

MAIN SET
1x[1:00 FLAT fast run]
4-6x[1:00 UPHILL fast run, jog down recovery]
1x[1:00 FLAT fast run]
3:00 walk
1x[0:30 FLAT fast run]
4-6x[0:30 UPHILL fast run, walk down recovery]
1x[0:30 FLAT fast run]

WARM-DOWN
2:00 walk
5-10 easy run
3:00 walk

Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching who is offering training programs for both XTERRA Nationals & Worlds.

Learn more here: XTERRA Championship Training Program

Cody Waite Bike

EPC Tips – Aerobic Strength Bike

After your first peak of the season and your subsequent transition or rest period, you’re ready to get back into training mode with your sights set squarely on your second peak of the year in September or October. The second half of the season’s training is often built much like the first, only maybe over a little shorter period of time (which works because you’re starting from higher level of fitness than when coming off your off-season). You will first want to re-build some aerobic fitness and aerobic strength, which were likely neglected a bit in your final push towards your first peak a few weeks ago.

The following bike session is one that is a staple, not only in my own training and coaching, but most cycling and triathlon training programs. 

It’s a crucial session to build strength on the bike and improve your ability to produce force on the pedals and resist muscular fatigue when putting out more power in the coming weeks of training and racing. This session can be performed outside on hills (in larger gears up moderate grades, 5-7% ideal) on the road or even on your mountain bike for you off-road types. Cadences should hover around 50-60 rpm varying with the terrain. You can also make it a very effective trainer session if you are short on time or do not have long hills in your area. Done on the trainer you will want to elevate your front wheel on a block of wood to simulate an uphill position on the bike, shift into one of your largest gears (high resistance level) and pedal the “climbs” at around 50rpm to simulate grinding up a a long hill. Effort level on these strength intervals is moderate. HR and power output should be kept just under your threshold level.

Perform this session once or twice a week for a few weeks. Start with shorter climbs (3-5:00) and and gradually extend the length of the climbs every few sessions as you find yourself gaining strength (up to 20:00 climbs). 

After a few weeks of re-building your aerobic strength you’ll be ready to add some turnover to the equation and ramping up the power output!

WARM-UP:

  • 10:00 easy spin
  • 20+ min additional aerobic riding as desired
  • 5:00 progressive build to threshold power
  • 3:00 easy

MAIN SET:

  • 4x[5:00 big gear, low cadence climbing, 1-2 min recovery (alternate seated & standing)]
  • 10:00-20:00 easy gear spin (or downhill)
  • 4x[5:00 big gear, low cadence climbing, 1-2 min recovery (alternate seated & standing)]

WARM-DOWN:

  • 10:00 easy gear spin (or downhill)
  • extra aerobic riding as desired
EPC Tips - Swim Set

EPC Tips – 3-Stage Swim Set

The following 3-stage swim set is a great addition to your sport-specific strength building phase.

There are three parts to this set: the long extended reach for strength with all the gear (100s), the increased turnover & core ‘taughtness’ pull with legs tied and no buoy to translate the strength from previous set to power (50s), and the regular swim (sans gear) with emphasis on high turnover rate to translate the power from previous set to speed.

The 100s are long, balanced, and strong focusing on a big reach, solid catch and strong pull. With the 50s the buoy is removed which forces you to keep your core tight to resist your hips dropping with feet still tied together. Your cadence must increase to prevent you from sinking and all the propulsion comes from your upper body. Then when you remove the band for the 25s, you regain the balance and propulsion from your lower body and with the increased tension of your core and and strong pull you move seemingly effortlessly through the water at a high turnover rate.

Be sure to warm-up well with a 800-1500 yards of swimming and finish the session off with a warm-down of choice. Good luck and have fun!

MAIN SET:

  • 6×100 buoy & band at 70% @ 0:20 rests  (paddles and/or snorkle optional)
  • 12×50 band-only at 80% @ 0:15 rests (snorkel optional)
  • 24×25 swim  at 90% high stroke rate @ 0:10 rests (no gear)
Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. XTERRA Athletes, if you’re going to XTERRA USA and/or XTERRA Worlds this year join our XTERRA Championship Training Program that contains all the key training sessions that will have you in peak condition leading up to these two great events.  
Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ the EPC Facebook Page and follow Cody on Instagram
EPC Tips - Pacing

EPC Tips – Running Off the Bike

Triathlon requires an athlete to be proficient at three sports: swimming, cycling and running. Training the three sports individually is a starting point for most triathletes, but eventually you realize that the sport of triathlon is not simply swimming, biking and running; but rather it is its own sport of swim-bike-run. What’s the difference you ask?

Cycling after swimming hard is far more challenging than simply cycling hard in a bike race. Likewise, running fast after cycling hard for an extended period is whole different experience than simply running a run race. By the time you reach the run in a triathlon you are already fatigued and you must be able to keep it together to finish your race strong on foot!

For this reason you must train the bike-to-run effort before race day.

For the bike to run transition you must go from a seated, quad-dominant, flexed spinal position on the bike to a standing, full spine extension running position that requires heavy hamstring and glute activation. Anyone who’s done a triathlon knows exactly what this feeling is like going from hard cycling to fast running: the stiff back, heavy legs, and lack of bounce as they head out onto the run. Not only is this an unpleasant feeling to work through, but the longer it takes you to find your running stride, the more time you are losing to you competitors on the course!

Training the bike to run transition is critical for triathlon success. Often referred to as “bricks,” these training sessions involve a period of cycling followed by a period of running, and are far more triathlon specific than simply a stand-alone bike or stand-alone run session. Most triathletes include bike-to-run training in their programs, but many miss the key element of getting up to speed off the bike by instead simply heading out for an easy run after their bike rides. There are endless ways of constructing a “brick” session, but the key element of nearly all bike-to-run training sessions should be to quickly go from your bike to the run and get up to run speed immediately. Finding your rhythm and a fast run cadence as quick as possible is what helps you on race day to work through that uncomfortable feeling and find your form and rhythm as fast as possible.

The following “run off the bike” session is a good example of specific triathlon training that will train your neuromuscular system to get your run cadence up immediately off the bike, allowing you to be more successful on race day:

  • Immediately following your bike ride (works best after a tough interval session, see last week’s bike workout for example), transition to your the following 45:00 run…
  • 4x[1:00 fast, 1:00 easy], build the effort with each interval
  • 4x[5:00 race pace, 1:00 walk]
  • 8:00 easy
  • 5:00 walk
Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. XTERRA Athletes, if you’re going to XTERRA USA and/or XTERRA Worlds this year join our XTERRA Championship Training Program that contains all the key training sessions that will have you in peak condition leading up to these two great events.  
Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ the EPC Facebook Page and follow Cody on Instagram
Cody-Waite

EPC Tips – Criss-Cross Bike Intervals

Leading into your goal race you want to replicate your race day efforts in your training to best prepare you for success.

Regardless of the race format or distance, you need to have the ability (and confidence) to go hard, often beyond that of your goal race pace, in order to get into the lead group at the start of the race. After this hard effort you need to be able to settle into your sustainable race pace while still being able to respond to attacks by your competitors, surges up a hill, and surges to pass competitors. The ability to surge, settle in, surge, settle in, throughout a race is crucial to being able to finish strong and make or break your race day performance.

The following bike session is a classic example of race specific training that will help you learn to become more “comfortable” and be able to make these harder efforts within in a race without blowing up. These types of intervals are often referred to as “criss-cross intervals” as they go back and forth between two training zones. The exact zones you’re training in these sessions depends on the distance of the race you are training for. For races of duration under 5 hours you’ll want to do this session with “race pace” being at or near your lactate threshold (zone 4) and the “super-race pace” at or near your vo2 max (zone 5). For races extending beyond the 5 hour mark you can lower the intensity just a bit by have race pace be more in line with your aerobic threshold (zone 3) and the “super-race pace” being at your lactate threshold (zone 4).

The goal within these intervals is to start above your race pace, holding it there for a short bit before backing off slightly and bringing the intensity down to your race pace for an extended period of time. Then near the end of the interval you kick it back up a notch and finish strong, above your race pace for a short period. Then you take a recovery interval before repeating the complete  interval again.

Performed correctly this session will improve your threshold power on the bike and leave you better prepared to respond to the dynamic efforts required on race day.

WARM-UP:

30+ minutes easy/moderate paced riding

MAIN SET:

2-4x[12:00 (as 2:00 super-race pace, 8:00 race pace, 2:00 super-race pace), 5:00-10:00 easy]

Perform the intervals on terrain similar to that of your goal race (long hills, rollers, flats, etc.) finish with additional aerobic riding to meet volume goals.

Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. XTERRA Athletes, if you’re going to XTERRA USA and/or XTERRA Worlds this year join our XTERRA Championship Training Program that contains all the key training sessions that will have you in peak condition leading up to these two great events.  

EPC Tips - Power Run

XTERRA Training Programs for National and World Championships

Here we are just about midway through the XTERRA World Tour racing season and hundreds of athletes have qualified themselves for the USA and World Championship races. For those looking to do their very best, and race as fast as they possibly can at one or both of the marquee events; a personally tailored training program is a valuable tool.

“It’s time to get serious with your training and make the most out of your preparation for the big end-of-season championship events,” says professional XTERRA racer and Endurance Performance Coaching head coach Cody Waite, who has once again put together a proven program of key training sessions to get you ready to rip on the XTERRA courses come fall.

“With this program you join our already successful XTERRA Group Coaching programs that have gotten many athletes qualified for these races,” he says. “This program consists of four 4-week training blocks building up to XTERRA USA and the XTERRA World Championships plus a two week travel/taper schedule for Worlds. Along the way athletes receive their specific training plan delivered via Training Peaks along with a downloadable audio recording to explain the key training sessions and goals of each training block. On top of that, email support is included to answer any specific questions athletes have as they follow the program.”

The program officially begins June 29th, allowing for a 12-week build to XTERRA USA Champs, followed by a 6-week build to XTERRA World Champs.  Late registrants are also welcome to jump in at any point along the way.

For more info visit epcmultisport.com.

EPC Tips - Swim Session

EPC Tips – Base Build Swim Session

After your mid-season break (see last week’s post) it’s time to begin your second build and peak of the season. The second half of your training and racing season is structured much like the first with a base period that focuses on general aerobic and strength development, followed by a race prep phase that trains the higher intensities and/or volumes, and a peak phase that gets you ready to perform on race day. The difference with this second build is that it can be and usually is much shorter and more condensed than your first build of the season. This is due to the fact that you are coming off a much more recent peak and a short rest break compared to the longer break that comes at the end of the race season, so your fitness is likely much higher to begin with. Also your next peak probably isn’t that far off in the future likely being only 2-4 months away (compared to 6 or more months that is typical over the winter months for a summer event), so there is little time to lose and you must get back to work!

The first block of training for the second build, as mentioned earlier, is to re-visit some aerobic training.

If you’ve been training for a sub-5 hour race than you’ve likely been doing a lot of higher intensity training over the last few months. High intensity training is great for racing fitness, but over time it can erode aerobic endurance. Not to mention that higher intensity training requires a lot of mental focus and hard work. It’s important to re-visit the less-intense aerobic training to rebuild both the body and mind as aerobic training is typically more enjoyable with the mellower paces/effort required and will recharge your body and mind for more hard work down the road as you prepare for your second peak of the season.

The following swim session is designed for this base building phase of the season. The main set consists of short reps, and a combination of aerobic strength, technique and neuromuscular speed to build a platform from which to improve your swim. With this workout you’ll perform multiple rounds of 5x50s, alternating between pulling  and swimming with a focus on arm-turnover speed. With the pulling 50s you can choose which gear to use (buoy, paddles, snorkel, etc.) while you focus on really reaching, catching the water and pulling all the way through to a pushing finish. The pace is relatively slow while you focus on good mechanics and a strong, complete pull. With the swimming 50s you want to focus on improving (increasing) your stroke rate. Using a metronome is helpful here, but not required. You want to focus on a quick yet smooth stroke. The pace will increase compared to the pulling 50s, but should remain controlled and not as a ‘sprint’ effort. You’ll likely repeat this cycle of 5×50 three or more time through, and try to increase the number of rounds you get through once a week for 3-5 weeks as you rebuild your base for your final races of the season.

WARM-UP:

  • 400 easy choice
  • 6x[25 fast kick + 25 swim]

MAIN SET:

Repeat Rounds of:

  • 5×50 strong pull @ 0:15 rests (choice of gear: buoy, paddles, snorkel, etc.)
  • 5×50 fast swim @ 0:15 rests w/ high stroke rate focus (metronome)

WARM DOWN:

  • 200+ easy choice
Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. Looking for help with your training for 2015? Check out EPC’s Personal CoachingGroup Coaching, and Custom Training Plan options created to fit your needs and budget. Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ the EPC Facebook Page and follow Cody on Instagram
EPC Tips - Rest

EPC Tips – The Mid-Season Break

The mid-season break is the key to Fall success…

This week’s workout is NO workout at all! That’s right. It’s time to rest, recover and rejuvenate. Training all year long and racing from spring through fall is a big endeavor for anyone, including the pros. Planning a small break from training within the year is crucial for long-term success. Much like you take some time off at the end of your season to rest and get away from the rigors of regular training before the start of the new season; taking a short break in the middle of your season does the same thing.

It allows you to let go for a short period of time and get rested and recovered so you are ready to take on the second half of your season with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

At the end of the season you may take 2, 3, or even 4 weeks off from training. For your midseason break only 5-10 days is needed to get the benefits of the time off while not losing any fitness. In fact you’ll likely come back stronger than you were before the break even though you’ll mentally feel like you’ve lost fitness. Time your break to follow the biggest race of the first part of your season. Typically this will fall in June or July. After the race  plan to stay away from swim-bike-run for the next week. Sleep in, catch up on the things you’ve been putting off, spend time with your loved ones and enjoy the time off. The first few days you’ll really enjoy the time off. After about 3 to 4 days you’ll likely get antsy about not training and feeling like you’re losing fitness. RELAX. Stay the course and finish out the week of no training. At the end of the week you’ll be super fresh and eager to get back after it.

As a result, your training quality will be improved as you begin the second half of your season.

Lets face it, all the BIG races occur in the second half of the season. After your mini-break, and with your renewed enthusiasm, you can take some time to get some quality training time in as you build to your highest peak of fitness at just the right time. World Championships, anyone?

Speaking of Championships…If you’ve qualified for XTERRA USA and/or XTERRA World Champs, get your training on track with our 2015 XTERRA Championship Group Coaching Program.
Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. Looking for help with your training for 2015? Check out EPC’s Personal CoachingGroup Coaching, and Custom Training Plan options created to fit your needs and budget. Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ the EPC Facebook Page and follow Cody on Instagram!
EPC Tips Run Intervals

EPC Tips – VO2 Max Interval Run

Training the Vo2 Max energy system is hard work. You can do longer intervals that build you into your Vo2 Max energy system over the first 2 minutes and then you hold it there for another 1-3 minutes, take a long rest and repeat (5×5:00 w/ 4:00 recoveries for example). Or you can do shorter intervals with very short recovery intervals that gradually build you into the Vo2 energy system over the first several intervals and then basically keep you the energy system in an “on-off” fashion for the remainder of the main set. The following session addresses the later example.

I find this method to feel a little “easier” and more manageable as the work is broken up into small segments with partial recoveries to break it up, but at the same time keep things moving.

In the main set below you’ll see the work interval durations are very short at only 200m and the recovery intervals are even shorter at 100m. The concept here is that you run very fast for each 200m interval (roughly around 2k pace) and run very easy for the 100m segments and then repeat 10-20 times through. With each interval you will run the same speeds while your exertion level (and HR) will continue to rise. The short partial-recoveries between them allows your HR to come down a little before you launch into the next work interval, but keep it high enough that you get back into the Vo2 energy system quickly upon the start of the next interval. As the workout progresses you reach your Vo2 Max energy system typically around 5-6th interval and then remain training that energy system for the remainder of the main set.

You can do this session as a stand-alone run workout or as a run off the bike to make it even more triathlon specific as you approach your goal events.

If you run off the bike, you’ll lean more towards the shorter end of the number of intervals (as you’ll likely have done some work on the bike prior to the run) or if you’re just running, you’ll lean towards the higher end of the number of intervals. I recommend doing this workout for the final 3-5 weeks leading into your goal events, before you begin your taper/recovery period. As you progress each week, you can choose to add more intervals (from 12 to 16 for example) or lengthen the intervals (to 400m work, 200m recovery) for higher training load. This is fast training, so don’t jump in head first. Rather take time to gradually build the load from moderate to heavy as you go week to week. Words of wisdom: A little bit goes a long way and too much will hurt you more than help you. Good luck!

Stand-alone WARM-UP:

  • 5:00 Dynamic Warm-Up
  • 10-15:00 easy run
  • 4:00 build to tempo pace
  • 2:00 walk
  • 4x[0:15 strides, 0:45 walk]

Off-the-bike WARM-UP: 

  • 4:00 build to race pace
  • 1:00 walk

MAIN SET:

  • 10-20x[200m (or time equivalent) @ ~2k pace, 100m (or time equivalent) jog]

WARM-DOWN:

  • 2:00 walk
  • 5-10:00 easy run
  • 3:00 walk
Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. Looking for help with your training for 2015? Check out EPC’s Personal CoachingGroup Coaching, and Custom Training Plan options created to fit your needs and budget.  Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ the EPC Facebook Page and follow Cody on Instagram