Training For Endurance Events

Training For Endurance Events

Those of you who know me are well aware that CV training and I don’t go well together. A few years I go I went through a triathlon phase where I completed a number of open water and pool based triathlons as well as several different adventure races. For the most part I really enjoyed competing in events like this, however after years of playing rugby my knees and hips didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. So, for the last three – four years I’ve focussed more on my lifting and strength based goals. As a result, I have done very little cardio or certainly nothing worth mentioning.

 

Personal Trainer Courses CyclingA couple of months ago my sister in law asked if I’d be interested in entering a Quest Race in Betws Y Coed, Wales; without even looking at what it was, I said yes!! This was my first mistake…. Dohhh!! Following that she asked which category should we do, to which I suggested, “the Elite category”… this was my second mistake! J

 

 

 

For those of you who don’t know what the Elite Quest Race involves, it goes something like this and is over various terrains: 53km in total

  • 6km run
  • 13km cycle
  • 1km kayak
  • 11km run
  • 15km cycle
  • 7km run

 

Although I’m not the most gifted when it comes to CV endurance or ability, I am possibly one of the most competitive people you will ever meet. So, completing this race is not enough for me, I must complete it in what will be deemed as a good time and I have targeted the top third of the table…. and obviously quicker than my sister in law – Christmas bragging rights!!

 

The purpose of this short article is to share with you how I plan CV training programmes and to hopefully give you another idea of how to prepare for your next 5km run, triathlon or even half marathon.

 

Firstly, I evaluate my strengths and weaknesses. Out of the 3 disciplines I’d happily conclude that running is my least favourite and certainly my weakest. With this in mind, I have spent most of my time focussing on running and also as much injury prevention work as possible in the gym.

 

Personal Trainer Courses Run Swim*Injury prevention training is something we discuss a lot during our personal trainer courses as this is one area a lot of clients neglect. It could include flexibility training, improving joint stability in the shoulder, hips, knee and ankles or it could simply be addressing postural issues which can lead to injuries with excess training. Other injury prevention strategies include regular sports massage on both my back and legs to help maintain flexibility, remove waste and to help improve performance. At the minute, I have one massage every other week, however as the frequency of training increases (see below) I will look to have a massage once a week.

 

I have now been training for 4 weeks and below is a brief summary of my journey so far and how I intend on increasing the volume and frequency over the next 6 weeks:

Running:

Week 1 Week 4 Week 9 Week 10
Frequency 2 runs a week 4 runs a week 3 runs a week 3 runs this week
Intensity Low-moderate: aiming to maintain a HR of around 60-70%mhr Moderate: Aiming to maintain a HR of around 70%mhr Moderate: Aiming to maintain a HR of around 70-75%mhr Moderate: Aiming to maintain a HR of around 70-75%mhr
Time 5km 1x 5km

1x 7km

1x 10km

1x intervals – 15 minutes

1x 6km

1x 9km

1x 15km

 

1x 4km

1x 6km

1x 9km

Type Steady paced continuous training Steady paced continuous training and lactate intervals Steady paced continuous training Steady paced continuous training – volume and frequency has decreased as it’s a week before the race

 

*Some trainers, coaches and athletes may suggest tapering the volume and frequency down earlier than the week before. I have decided not to because I started training just 10 weeks out and from a poor level of CV fitness. I feel like my nutrition is on point, I’m not carrying excess fat, I am recovering well with regular sports massage treatments, I supplement well and more importantly, my body feels good. Having said this, the above table is a plan and like all plans they are working documents. So, if I feel like my body is getting tired, I’m not recovering well or I’m starting to pick up some niggles or injuries, then I’ll consider changing it and maybe start tapering down earlier than what’s outlined above. Any good coach or trainer will always be reactive to their client. It’s great having a plan and you need a plan to be sure you have accountability, but if they don’t work change it and adapt it accordingly.

 

Cycling: Overall my cycling ability is good. I have strong legs and this transfers well to the bike. In addition to this, I don’t consider the duration of the cycling sections that long – previous triathlons and adventure races included multiple cycling sections in up to and in excess of 40km. With this in mind, the frequency of cycling sessions is lower.

Week 1 Week 4 Week 9 Week 10
Frequency 1 cycle a week 1 cycle a week 2 cycles a week 1 cycle this week
Intensity Low-moderate: aiming to maintain a HR of around 60-70%mhr Moderate: Aiming to maintain a HR of around 70%mhr Moderate: Aiming to maintain a HR of around 70-75%mhr Moderate: Aiming to maintain a HR of around 70-75%mhr
Time 20km 25km 15km (post run to focus on transition)

20km

15km
Type Steady paced continuous training Steady paced continuous training Steady paced continuous training Steady paced continuous training

In terms of the kayak, I’m hoping my upper body strength is sufficient to see me through this. This may be naïve, but I’m conscious of doing too much in a short period of time and being fatigued when race day arrives.

 

As I mentioned above, I am no CV guru or genetically gifted in this area what so ever, but I was lacking focus with my training and although this is pulling me well out of my comfort zone, I now have something to focus on and to train for, rather than just for aesthetics reasons. This is something else we discuss on our personal trainer courses… the need to set realistic yet challenging goals with clients to help keep them focussed and motivated.

 

I’ll be sure to update this blog as the race gets nearer and let you know how my training is going, but, with just four weeks down I’m feeling pretty good, a little tired and sore from the impact on my knees, but I’m looking forward to what will be a great experience and also a fun day out with the family. After all, fitness is meant to be fun!

Richard

 

Check out the Quest Adventure Race we are entering below!

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