Tuesday, October 9, 2012


So a very long time athlete of mine (10 years now I've worked with Mike) has started back up after an extended break after Ironman St George. After retiring and moving to California he's in the position now to basically train like a professional athlete. I've always liked the idea of a 9 day (or 6 day) week for training but it's difficult since our lives revolve around the 7 day work week and Saturday and Sunday. Mike however is now freed from this so we're going to give the 9 day week a try. It will look like this:
Monday: Hard
Tuesday: Moderate intensity volume
Wednesday: Recovery
Thursday: Hard
Friday: Moderate
Saturday: Easy
Sunday: Hard
Monday: Moderate
Tuesday: Easy
 So it's structured as a 3 day micro-cycle with a hard session, then a moderate intensity/ moderate (maybe long) volume session, and then a recovery day. Repeat.

 I definitely fall in to a body rhythm where I balance on the edge of being able to recover or not. For Leadman I worked off a 7 day schedule because of my wife's work schedule.
 Here's a sample week of Leadman training.

 I love my old school hand written log and I'll never change this. My passion is this sport, why log it on something as impersonal as a key board? I even have a superstition that I can only sharpen my pencil (the same pencil I've used for maybe 8 years now) with the pocket knife that my Grandfather carried in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII... it brings me luck. For real.
  Anyway. The week above is a somewhat typical week (and is written in Lucho code. The up arrow is vertical climbed, HR is heart rate, and red pen indicates either quality or long sessions. Easy to see when flipping pages. The last square is the week total) with variation in the Wednesday session. I tried to run long on that day and then back it up with another long run on Thursday but it didn't always work. This week was also done in the last weeks leading up to the Leadville Marathon (the week before Mt Evans) so the intensity is quite high. I made an error though in the cycling volume and it cost me at both Mt Evans and the Leadville marathon. So it went:
Monday: Threshold Bike
Tuesday: Run Vo2 max hill climb 10 X 1:00 + tempo.
Wednesday: Bike long
Thursday: Long run with 4400 ft vertical at 7:37 pace.
Friday: Recovery bike
Saturday: Run 10 X 1:15 hill intervals on 45" rest.
Sunday: Medium long run with a 3 mile hill climb at threshold then an easy bike.

You can do anything and you don't have to make it as complicated as I like to but the most important thing is to find your own structure or 'basic week'. If you keep a log then look for patterns in training. Not only in terms of recovery but also the intensity of the sessions in the days preceding poor quality days. Maybe you went too hard? Getting good is not about that once a week 'secret' interval session... it's about week in and week out, month in and month out consistent training.


GZ said...

Blah blah blah blah

Effin awesome story about the pencil and the knife by your kin

Blah blah blah blah,

(not really but the pencil thing beat the shit out of all the other cool stuff you wrote)

Dave said...

Duuuuude....Dude. This post was awesome. First off, I love the fact that you sharpen a pencil with a knife-and not just any knife, but one that has HISTORY. And then, I totally agree with a hand written log. Even though I'm probably the furthest I've ever been from structured training myself, for all my clients and athletes I LOVE writing their training in my own handwriting. Even though my handwriting is like a 3 year old on crack, there's something that connects me with it far more than if I were to type it up.
Hope all is well man!

Jill said...

Hahah, George! :)

In a cross country move many years ago, I lost some of my fondest memories - included were decades of hand-written training logs. In particular (which made me have to comment here) were personal notes my college track coach wrote to me - in his favorite pencil which he sharpened with a pocket knife (freaky) which was always tucked away behind his ear so he could jot quick notes as he watched us run. He'd give us those notes, with a loooooong explanation (lecture?) at the end of the day. I may have argued with him a time or 300, but I saved every one of those notes because he was always right (of course) and ALWAYS believed in me. He died shortly after I graduated in a very bizarre accident and I think about those logs from time to time...lost God knows where. I still hand-write logs so I can spread them all out on the table - years worth - and visualize - and remember. The OCD in me also logs online in a Word doc and two online logs simply because I love data and the charts and graphs they produce. Overkill, yes, especially since I can't run with a shit anymore. Whatever. Point was: we all do what we feel works best for whatever reasons.

Sorry, this post opened a flood gate of memories so thought I'd share.

Continue on rambling...

Stay Vertical said...

I moved West from my family home after my father passed in 2005. A few years later my Mother-in-Law (who still lives near my family home) told me that the people who bought my home had found a box in the garage rafters. She took the box and stored it for me. I knew exactly what it was. This past summer I traveled back home and eagerly opened it after almost 7 years...
Inside was the first 7 years of training logs belonging to my father and I, from my first run in 1985 to my bitter depart from running in 1992. The logs were hand-written by my father. The joy and pride of his chronicling my progress was magical. Also inside were singlets from my father's track team. He named the team The Challengers to honor the lost Astronauts of the Challenge Shuttle. My old blue jersey barely fit over my head- I was 7 at the time. But, my father's fits me perfectly. I trained and raced in it and practically never took it off all this summer.
Running is the thread that ties my entire life's journey together. Finding meaning in the little things like sharpening a pencil makes perfect sense to me. Not sure why, but nothing stirs sentiment in me like running. I trust you can still find the magic in running through your new sprinting quest. It is still just running after all.
Best regards,

jameson said...

that last paragraph is $$$!

preach on dude!

Anonymous said...

Knife piece was awesome. My grandpa also faught in the bulge.....spirit of the greatest generation lives!

Drew said...

Hey Tim,

Been lurking for a while now, love reading about the awesome things you do. Are you still taking on athletes?

I'm signed up for IMWI next year and I'm trying to find a coach/plan to get started with. Somehow I feel like you know a thing or two about ironman ;)

Lucho said...

Drew- Thank you! I am currently only taking Ironman/ triathletes... shoot me an e-mail at jogdaddy (gmail).