My journey to qualify for Alcatraz


Posted in Uncategorized by ottojungsf on November 6, 2009

During High School I was an ok runner. I had middle of the pack times and kept up with others on the team, but never was an all star. Our training season for cross country started in September and ended in March. We had a quick break over Christmas then trained for track and field. After our season was over we had an entire summer to finally relax and not have to train two hours after school. Sounds great doesn’t it?

So what did I do during my summer break? I trained inconsistently, didn’t eat the right foods (read: Taco bell and pop tarts), and didn’t follow what any coach would consider a good training plan. It probably wouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that I never progressed beyond the middle of the pack.

Consistency has been one of the single most difficult things for me to learn. When it comes to endurance sports there are no free lunches. When I decide to eat a juicy 16oz. Steak I have learned that my heart rate will be at an elevated level for the next few days while training.

I think there are four main areas that someone needs to focus on a consistent basis in order to be successful:

  • Nutrition: Eating not too much or too little calories, the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and avoiding unhealthy snacks.
  • Frequency (How frequently you rest or train): Resting the right amount on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis, and training for each sport
  • Volume (How much distance or time you train for each sport): Completing the assigned time or distance for each sport.
  • Intensity (What heart rate zone, wattage, or pace you are training at):  Ensuring that you are not training at too high of a level too early on in the season and not going too easy later in the season at you approach your “A” level race.

Training Peaks review

Posted in Uncategorized by ottojungsf on September 29, 2009

Training Peaks is a great piece of hardware for tracking your workouts and meals.  After finishing my first triathlon season I wanted to add structure to my nutrition and training to improve my performance. Training peaks does that and I might say quite well.

Since I have only used the nutrition function so far I’ll focus my comments on this area.

Training Peaks has a number of meal plans to choose from depending on your goals or caloric intake. I choose a 3000 calorie/day weight gain plan. One thing I disliked about finding a meal plan is that only a partial list of the available nutrition plans can be seen from the “Plans” heading. The only reason I found the plan was by browsing through the Coaches’ profiles.

Uploading the information into the software was easy enough, although it did take a few minutes for me to find the plan once I was logged in and apply it to the calendar view.

I love the dashboard view on Training Peaks. It allows me to see my net caloric intake (calories consumed – calories used). This makes it easy for me to determine whether I am headed in the right direction on my goals. One drawback is the Basal Metabolic Rate is set to 1650. If you can figure out how to change it please let me know.

The first thing I do every morning is login to TP.  I check my meals for the day and make sure that I have all the ingredients needed. The plans don’t explain how to make your meals so you’ll have to use your intuition to make sure you are using the ingredients correctly. For me it hasn’t been a problem, since the meals are simple enough. Today for lunch I had a “Dagwood Lunch”, a quick search of Wikipedia pulls up an image of a Dagwood sandwich with all the required ingredients.

Overall I’m satisfied with Training Peaks and I would recommend it to others.