Training Peaks Endurance Coaching Summit 2019: Notes

This past Thursday, September 19 and Friday, September 20, 2019, was the TrainingPeaks Endurance Coaching Summit at the Colorado University in Boulder, Colorado. During these days the greatest minds of endurance coaching, sport psychology, sports science, and other related field met to enlighten us in the most innovative finds in the field.

These are some of the most important points that I learned or was reminded of during the event:

  • Women are different than man, and it should be considered when creating a training plan for them
    • Some of the factor to consider are:
      • Accommodate training according to their menstrual cycle
        • Even though is it considered for many still uncomfortable to speak about this, it is an important conversation to have. Some of the consequences of being in the birth control pill include roughly ~5% loss of maximum power
          • For best athletic results take the pill at night, before going to sleep. This will give it sufficient time to work its effects before the athlete starts their next training session
          • Slows adaptation
          • Lowers V02 Max
          • Increases body inflammation
          • Athletes can use FiTR Woman application to track menstrual cycles and their effects on training
        • For junior athletes, many times their initial cycles can be irregular or regular, depending on when they had their first cycle. How to know if a woman will have a regular or irregular cycle during their first 3 to 4 years
          • If her 1st cycle was:
            • 13 & under
              • She will have regular cycles
            • 13 & Over
              • She will have irregular cycles for her first 3 to 4 years
        • In comparison to man, woman athletes need to consume more protein. This is particularly special after a working website as it will assist to kickstart some of the brain cells that start the process of muscle restoration.
          • The recommended minimum dose for after a workout is:
            • Minimum of 30g of protein for pre-menopausal women
            • Minimum of 40g of protein for post-menopausal women
  • I was reminded of the big importance of having a proper bicycle fit done on all of the ones we ride on.
    • Some areas to consider are:
      • Check for seat pressure points, make sure that the pressure from the hip into the seat is properly distributed.
    • Check for body misalignments
      • Inspect from behind to make sure the pelvis does not drop to one side nor the other.
    • Check back curviness
      • Many times, if the back is round it will equal problems and pain. This commonly occurs when the cyclist is overreaching trying to stay seated properly in the seat and extending to grab the handlebars correctly.
    • The front of the cyclist’s knee must align with the tip of the crank arms (for most applications)
  • It is of extreme importance to know your proper training zones. There are many methods out there to try and set them, but there are only a few that are close enough to provide you with reliable information.
    • The best way to test for your training zones is to have a Lactate Test completed. During which your heart rate, power, and lactate levels are measured to figure out when your lactate starts rising.
      • Normally we will try to keep the athlete’s endurance training set for a power output just below to that where the lactate levels start rising.
    • If this is not achievable, formal testing in combination with training power files that are feed to a computerized model (like that of WKO) will provide the best estimation of that athlete’s training zones.
    • A third option would be to use the power profile from taken from a previous race information file. Use the 8-min test protocol to estimate FTP and training zones.
    • Normally, athletes lower training zones will be a little under what normal protocols will show
  • Very important to note: Stress is stress no matter where it comes from
    • Bike, Training, Life, School or Work. It makes no difference where it originated as the body cannot tell the difference
  • Do not underestimate the power of the Placebo effect
  • Do not underestimate the power of the mind and of positive thinking
    • Train to be positive. It is important to include in every athlete training plan workouts that train his ability to stay positive. This includes what if workouts, watching videos and having self-positive talks (in front of a mirror for greater effect)
    • Train to better accept bad outcomes. This includes what if workouts that go over the possibilities of being defeated, having an accident or a mechanical problem and what can occur from them (which normally will be nothing).
    • Many times, what the athlete thinks it’s his limit, is only one set by his mind. If trained properly, the ability to surpass the limit thought previously can be achieved. A big part of this is letting go of what he thought were the possibilities, and just going and giving all he has while shutting that part of his brain.
  • Keep track of your energy levels (nutrition)
    • Every athlete should know the importance of being able to properly keep track of their energy (nutrition) levels at all times. This will assist him in properly restoring his reserves after heavy workouts and properly fuel its body for the large amount of work that it has to do both while active as well as while resting and restoring his body.
    • Improper track of an athlete’s energy levels can be counterproductive to his training and can have serious health consequences (on a very extreme end)
  • The best combination ratio of intensity in a cyclist training plan is:
    • For base training, a perfect ratio would be 80:20 (Endurance : High Intensity)
    • For build training, a good ratio to try achieve is 70:30 (Endurance : High Intensity
    • For race season, it can be taken as high as 60:40 (Endurance : High Intensity
    • As one can decipher from this information, the closest an athlete’s A race is, the more intensity and race specific training has to be completed. This will as well reduce the training volume, which will allow for proper recovery
    • It is important that an athlete builds into the higher intensity ratios as if overdone it can easily push him into a period of overtraining
  • Gait Analysis – Analyzing an athlete’s way of walking and/or running
    • If an athlete’s gait is unbalanced, it can significantly reduce its performance capability and cause problems in the long run
    • Some very important areas to look at are:
      • Check movement/swing of shoulders. The hand should be at a minimum swinging to the middle section of the body, and at a maximum about an inch past the body
        • If limited, it will limit its stride
      • Check leg cross-section, when running they should intersect about 1/3 of the shoe width
      • Check upper body alignment, this includes making sure that the shoulders and head are not leaning too much forward. This will increase the weight of the upper body, causing greater fatigue and the possibility of knee issues and other problems.
        • Make sure it stays upright with a 5-degree limit
      • Make sure the athlete runs quietly
      • Check running cadence, it is recommended to stay above 160 SPM with the average rate being 165 to 175 SPM
      • Gait modification should be done in a progressive way
        • Week 1 and 2
          • 30 sec old, 30 sec new
        • Week 3
          • 30 sec old, 90 sec new
        • Week 4
          • 100% new
  • Virtual training platforms are becoming more and more important in the cycling world. This is due to the fact that it is more time-efficient, safer and many times more connected than when the cyclist is riding outdoor. It allows the athlete to ride with his friends when it is raining outside while staying safe in the comfort of his house. Among many other factors and advantages.
  • The great majority of the effect/benefits of heath acclimatization normally will occur within the first 6-7 days. This can be achieved via
    • Passive heating via water immersion or sauna bathing for 45-60 minutes per day or intermittent for 30 minutes
    • Self-paced exercise for 60-90 minutes per day
    • Constant work rate at an endurance pace for 60-90 minutes per day
    • Controlled intensity at 65% f VO2 Max heart rate for 60-90 minutes per day
    • Controlled hyperthermia maintaining a body temperature above 98 degrees Fahrenheit for 60-90 minutes per day

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