Author Archive

For swim training consider the HALO Swim Trainer

February 21, 2010 Leave a comment

The HALO helps build strength and teaches the muscles the correct stroke path with high elbow catch.

Categories: swimming

Managing Training Volumes

February 21, 2010 Leave a comment
If you are training for a triathlon or a one sport event such as a 10k run or marathon tracking the time or mileage for each session and each week can help plan for the next day or the next week. Often the question is How much should I do? This can be answered considering a few parts of the session.
First: How hard was the last run, bike, or swim? The answer dictates the plan for the next session. If it was hard or a high intensity session such as sprints with rest periods then the following session may be a day off or a short easy session. This allows time for the muscles, tendons, and ligaments to recover. If it was a slow easy session but long in miles or time the next day may also be a rest day or a short easy session. Now if the previous day was a short easy session or a day off it might be time for a high intensity session or long slow easy session. Do you see the pattern? Alternate your hard and long sessions with days off or short and easy sessions.
Second: The week. Was it a high duration week of say 6-8 hrs? Then the following week may be a 4-6 hr week. This helps the muscles recover as well. In most cases the weeks are in 4 week chunks with an exampl being 5 hr week, 6 hr week , 6 hr week followed with a 4 hr recovery week. That example is a 3 to 1 ratio of training weeks to recovery weeks. The ratio can also be a 2-1-2 ration with a 2 week training week followed by a recovery week then 2 training weeks, etc, etc. You get the picture.
Also when training for a triathlon consider the ratio of time or distance of each event and train accordingly. Meaning if most time during the tri is spent on the bike then most training time should be on the bike. An example is 60% Bike, 15% Swim, and 25% Run. So if 6 hrs are spent training for an olympic tri the time will be spread out to 216 min bike, 54 min swim, 90 min run. This is spread out through the week. Not all in one session.

If you have a question please feel free to email me:)


Categories: Uncategorized

Use the 10% rule when increasing volume

February 11, 2010 Leave a comment

First, I am very pleased with my own fitness level. I have been away for awhile due to shoveling copious amounts of snow (40 inches fell in a span of 4 days) and I don’t feel sore one bit. A little stiff and fatigued perhaps but not sore. The multisport lifestyle of triathlon training has paid off.

My tip today is a reminder to take it easy as far as increases to your training each week. Use the 10% rule. Keep increases of mileage and time to no more than 10% per week. In addition, add a “recovery week” of low mileage or time every 3rd or 4th week.

This plan will help reduce the risk of injury.

Happy training!

Categories: Uncategorized

Is there an App for that?

January 30, 2010 Leave a comment

For that techno geek who also enjoys an occasional adrenalin rush there are many Iphone Apps popping up that can help guide and monitor our fitness progress. Here are a few:

Cost: $1.99
Contains a list of exercises with photos and videos

Cost: Free
Allows you to track calories consumed and calories expended during exercise sessions. It also allows you to set nutritional goals. This is currently the most popular health and fitness App.

Cost: $9.99
A 12 week training program for first time to intermediate triathletes.

For the runner there is RUNKEEPER FREE cost: Free check out
For the swimmer there is SWIM PLANNER cost: $0.99
For the cyclist there is CYCHOSIS-CYCLING JOURNAL cost: $1.99

Categories: Uncategorized

Speed Training

January 23, 2010 Leave a comment

One method used to increase speed in running, biking and swimming (yes, swimming) is “fartlek” training. Fartlek means speed play in swedish. The idea is increasing and decreasing speeds at different times during the training session.

An example goes like this:
During a run warmup for 5 minutes at a slow conversational pace then increase the pace to a fast, almost sprint from one telephone pole to another or mailbox followed by a nice slow recovery pace then repeat 4 more times.

Bike can be be in a similar manner. Increase rpms and/or move onto a larger chain ring for 5 min then recover for 2 min then repeat. You may need to use a flat portion of the route if outside. The wind trainer is excellent for this.

During the swim it becomes alittle tricky but you can use the large clocks that you normally see at the pool or use your watch/HR monitor set on time. Choose a comforable pace 45 seconds for 50 meters or 75 seconds for 50 meters depending on your swimming ability then incease the pace for 25 meters then slow for 25 meters and repeat that cycle 5x’s or 250 meters.

Do this once a week or when feeling bored with your training to spice it up.

Categories: Uncategorized

Training and HR Ranges and my goals

January 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Most of your weekly training will be done in Zones 1 and 2, 1x or 2xs a week in Z3 and 1x a week or 1x every other week in Z4.

My 2010 Goals:

Base Phase:
5 mile run March 6th at Athlete’s Closet with daughter (
Broadstreet Run (10 miles) with family and friends in May
Build Phase:
Philly Cancer Ride (65 miles) July 11th
Half Ironman in Sept. (1.2 sw, 56 bike, 13.1 run)
Build to Peak Phase:
New York City Marathon Nov. 7th

The highlight will be NY City!

Categories: Uncategorized

Exercise Intensity Con’t- Heart Rate Ranges

January 9, 2010 Leave a comment

You can use HR ranges to monitor intensity and determine training schedules. The following are ranges to use along with perceived exertion:

Zone 1: 60-70% of Max HR–Singing
Zone 2: 70-80% of Max HR–Talking
Zone 3: 80-90% of Max HR–Not finishing sentences
Zone 4: 90-100% of Max HR–Not able to talk.The intensity is high

Z1 is an easy slow long distance session. You can sing to your MP3 player or ipod. The focus is distance and time not high intensity. This training is important for long distance goals such as a marathon or long distance triathlon (half IM or IM).

Z2 is a higher intensity and a middle distance such as 45 min to 75 min. You can speak but the sentences may be broken due to increased breathing rates. Z1 and Z2 is 70-95% of the training week depending on the distance you are training for.

You may find that you move in and out of Z1 and Z2 during a session. This is common with changes in elevations during an outdoor session. Also feel free to change speeds, resistance and elevations at times during indoor training on the bike and treadmill.

Z3 is a Anaerobic Threshold type of workout. You are the edge of a very high intensity that you can not maintain for 5-10 min but low enough to complete 30 min. This is a 5k running pace. When training for a long distance event this intensity can be used to increase speed and to focus on form. This can be done 1 time per week.

Z4 is very high intensity. You can not hold a conversation and the time is only 30-60 seconds followed by an active rest period followed again with a high intensity session. This is done 1 time per week.

How to determine Max HR? A maximum stress test with professional supervision approved by a physician or a hill ride or run that takes you close to the max (perceived exertion of 9 or 10 out of 10).


220-Age=Max HR
Ex: 220-20yrs=200……220-40yrs=180…..220-60yrs=160
This is an Age Predicted Max HR
There are also many different calculations involving field tests just “Google” it.

Categories: Uncategorized

What is Perceived Exertion?

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Perceived Exertion is a method of monitoring intensity. How does the exercise feel? Can you hold a conversation with someone? Can you sing? How is your breathing? How do your muscles and joints feel?

If you can sing during the session the intensity is low. It feels easy. This is a good intensity for a long distance bike or run. The session time is over 60 minutes.
If you can not sing but can speak in broken sentences the intensity is more of a moderate one. This is good for those medium distance sessions such as a half hour to an hour.
If you can not complete a sentence due to a high breathing rate and the movement speed is high you are working at a high intensity. These sessions are good for improving speed and should only be done once a week. It is a real challenge for your muscles and you can not hold the pace for longer than 60 seconds.

Categories: Uncategorized

What is the purpose of this session?

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Exercise with a purpose. What is the goal of the particular session? Ask yourself this question prior too each workout.

Are you going long because it is the day of the week when you can do a longer session? If so run, bike, or swim at an intensity that is easy. A level that will allow you to focus on a long distance or time. During this session you should be able to hold a conversation with someone. During a swim focus on your technique and an easy pace.

Are you going hard because it is that day of the week you can fit in a high intensity day to work on speed and strength? If so do some high intensity intervals with rest periods. The focus now becomes accomplishing a certain distance at a fast pace. You can not hold this pace for any longer than 60 seconds. This type of session can only be done once per week due to the high intensity. Concentrate on your form as well.

Categories: Uncategorized

To motivate yourself curl up with a magazine

December 26, 2009 Leave a comment

In Tip #46 I suggest you massage certain areas of your body that are prone to injury during the training season. These areas are the calf, hamstrings, Iliotibial band, achilles tendon, and shoulders. Runner’s World magazine ( has a short but effective article addressing this topic in the January 2010 issue. The author Beth Dreher discusses the form of massage called Active Release Therapy or ART. This technique can be done on your own and reduces soreness and tightness and speeds recovery.

In Bicycling magazine’s Jan/Feb issue ( there is an excellent article about a 38 year old Scott Cutshall who weighed 501 pounds and lost over 300 pounds by bicycle riding (he had a bike costume made by a Bob Brown from Minnesota. He had 2 other bikes break) and making changes in his lifestyle.

Every now and then visit a magazine rack and you’ll find some inspiration that will keep you going during the training season.

Now get going!

Categories: Uncategorized