The S:6 Testing Protocol, Part 2:

The S:6 Testing Protocol, Part 2:

  • October 30, 2017
  • Blog

In my previous post (The S:6 Testing Protocol, Part 1) I talked about the importance of testing to track the progress of your training. Through testing we look to see improvements in power outputs at specific interval durations over 6-12 weeks between testing. I explained how we prefer to test over FOUR different durations:

  • One longer one at a specific sub-maximal aerobic heart-rate, to identify Aerobic function
  • Three shorter maximal efforts to identify ones Anaerobic Power.

I also introduced the concept of identifying your Fatigue Rate. This sheds light on where your aerobic fitness, or endurance, is compared to your top-end strength/power. With this data, we can then track improvements in power as well as improvements in fatigue resistance (ie. endurance). Through testing and training we attempt to maximize both ends for peak performance.

The goal with training is two-fold: maximize your power output & resistance to fatigue, ie. endurance. The tricky part is, improvements in one usually results in the decrease in the other; and what gets tracked, gets trained.

Improve your Aerobic Power to improve your fatigue resistance.

The first part of our testing protocol is our Aerobic Threshold (AeT) Test. This includes a 20:00 sub-maximal interval for best average power at your AeT Heart Rate.

What’s your AeT Heart Rate?

Your AeT HR is approximately 80% of your Max Heart Rate. This is the rough point where your energy production, or fuel source, reaches the balance point between fat burning and sugar burning. In general, below this HR we’re burning more fat for fuel, and above this HR we’re burning more carbs for fuel. Training just below our AeT HR we are maximizing our fat-burning aerobic energy system and creating endurance. The faster we can go while maximizing fat for fuel extends how far and how hard we can go in a race. Improved aerobic fitness preserves precious glycogen stores and allows for more power over greater durations. Maximizing aerobic power is a goal for every endurance athlete.

Your Aerobic energy system comprises your longest training durations.

These are your 3+ hour rides at a steady but low intensity. These sessions build your aerobic infrastructure (heart, blood vessels, mitochondria, etc.), and fat-burning capabilities. Your Aerobic Threshold (AeT) energy system, is “next level” fat-burn training while improving the power you can produce while remaining aerobic. Your AeT power would be the max power you can achieve for around 2-2.5 hours. However, our test interval is only 20:00 minutes in duration, so the power number you achieve in the test is not your true AeT Power, because your power would continue to decline if you were to stay at the target HR for another 100 minutes. This 20-minute aerobic power number you see in your test is still valuable as a metric to improve over time as you build your aerobic fitness.

Using our Training Zone Calculator spreadsheet, you will see your 20-minute AeT Power from your test result, as well as your true AeT Power calculated from both your Fatigue Rate and the rough guideline of 85% of FTP.

Identifying your Aerobic Threshold power is part 1 of our 2-part testing protocol. Part-2 is identifying your Anaerobic Power and rate of fatigue as you increase output durations.

Find your Fatigue Rate, here’s how we do it…

After a solid warm-up from the AeT Test interval, we do a 1:00, a 2:00 and a 4:00 test for max power; each with 4-8 minutes recovery between test efforts. With the doubling durations we can calculate the percentage that power drops off between the 1:00 and 2:00 intervals, and the 2:00 and 4:00 intervals. This percentage of decline in power is referred to as your Fatigue Rate. For the moderate to well-trained athlete, this Fatigue Rate remains pretty constant as you extend outwards in doubling durations. Example: 4:00 to 8:00, 8:00 to 16:00, 16:00 to 32:00, and so on.

Using our Training Zone Calculator Spreadsheet, athletes can plug their test results in and the spreadsheet spits out a Fatigue Rate percentage and the resulting training zones specific to their power and rate of fatigue. Not only does the Fatigue Rate help to calculate the training zones, but it sheds light on the “Power vs. Endurance” scale that an athlete is currently experiencing.

A high Fatigue Rate indicates that an athlete slows down at a high rate and could benefit from more endurance training (ie. more “low-end” aerobic training). Conversely a low Fatigue Rate means the athletes endurance is solid, but could use more strength or power training (ie. more “top-end”, as strength training and/or high-intensity intervals).

Over the years we have found that a Fatigue rate between 8-9% to be a good balance point between Power and Endurance.

The end goal then with training is not to simply achieve this balance point, but to continue to increase your “top-end” power: 1, 2, and 4 minute powers, while maintaining a Fatigue Rate of around 8%. This would achieve more power across all durations of output and faster racing!

I was first introduced to this concept of declining output percentages and rates of fatigue as a means to measure fitness many years ago at a coaching conference from a running coach, and soon after from a cycling coach experimenting with power numbers. Since then I have continually been intrigued and have it found it to be very insightful with the athletes I train and have coached over the years.

Our Power Testing protocol does a great job of identifying an athletes top-end power, as well as where their aerobic development is at the time through their Fatigue Rate and AeT Testing numbers. Our goal is always to continually increase the short-power numbers through strength & plyometric training in the gym along with appropriate doses of high intensity training on the bike. As the short duration power numbers rise, we must also address aerobic fitness on the other end to prevent the Fatigue Rate from getting too high. We do this by incorporating longer endurance rides and/or AeT intervals into a an athletes program.

In the end, it’s a continually sliding scale of ‘power vs. endurance’ that must be constantly addressed, and never ignored, in order to maximize performance.

 

Curious to give our Aerobic and Anaerobic Power Test at try? Schedule your testing at Sessions:6 HERE

Part 3, of our Testing Protocol Series will provide some real world examples from some of our athletes, and what to do with your results.

 

You can also purchase our 24-Week Off-Season Trainer Series from Training Peaks that includes our testing protocol as well as a complete build through each energy system to improve your top-end power and fatigue resistant endurance. Check it out HERE

 

Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Sessions:6 Sport Performance. Looking for help with your endurance sport training? Check out S:6’s Training Plans, Team Programs, and  Personal Coaching options created to fit your needs and budget.

The S:6 Testing Protocol, Part 1:

The S:6 Testing Protocol, Part 1:

  • October 24, 2017
  • Blog

There’s More to Power than Just FTP.

Before diving into another season of training on the bike, or jumping into serious training for the first time, it helps to know a few things about your current fitness as you get started…

  • Where is my fitness at right now? Identify a baseline from which you plan to improve.
  • What are the best ways to spend my training time? In order to maximize your improvement.
  • What effort levels should you should be training at? Set your training zones.

These insights can be found through power testing on the bike. For many years, a rider’s FTP (Functional Threshold Power) has been the focal point of where a rider’s fitness is and from what to set their training zones from. FTP works well. It shines light on one area of fitness and can be re-tested again and again to check for improvement.

By definition, your FTP is the power you could sustain for one hour, full gas. I say could sustain because who’s going to go all-out for an hour to find this value? So it’s become common place to go hard for 20-minutes and subtract 5% from your average power. Pretty much the Gold Standard, and everybody accepts it. Even going all-out for 20 minutes is pretty tough on your own, so more recent models are doing either one or two 8-minute intervals and subtracting 5-10% from those averages to estimate FTP. All said and done, these methods of FTP testing highlight one energy system (v02 max) and calculate the FTP from a “one size fits all” percent reduction from the test effort. From here, it doesn’t tell you much else. Does it work? Sure. However, if you’re like me, you would likely prefer more.

What if we said we can offer you another, possibly better, way to test on the bike to gain insight on your fitness, set zones, and track progress?

Over the last 10 years of training and coaching with power in our trainer studio environment, and out on the roads and trails, we at Sessions:6 have found a different way to perform power testing that presents us with more insight on a rider’s fitness and sets more personalized training zones.

Every endurance athletes is different. Each comes to the sport of cycling or triathlon from different backgrounds of sport, and a different set of physiological strengths and weaknesses.

To generalize, we can look at endurance athletes as two types:

  1. Strength/Power Based Athlete: strong, powerful, can crush it for a few seconds (sprint!) to a few minutes, but then power drops off rapidly and they slow down from there. These athletes typically come from power/speed sports like soccer, football, or wrestling, or were “sprinters” on the track or in the pool in their youth; often larger and more heavily muscled builds.
  2. Aerobic Based Athlete: not particularly snappy, but can churn out the steady power and can go all day long with minimal drop in speed/power. These athletes often were the “slow” kid on their teams growing up, enjoyed hiking or longer distance running and swimming events, or as adults have only done long (slow) endurance training/events over the years; commonly a smaller and leaner build.

Have each of these athletes perform an 8 to 20 minute power test you will be taxing them in different ways. While you may come up with an FTP that is accurate enough to calculate their training zones from, the “Power Athlete’s” test results will likely result in the Anaerobic Threshold and sub-threshold power values to be a bit high and the top-end power values to be a little low; whereas the “Aerobic Athlete’s” test results will likely result in power values on the top-end being too high and on the low end to low.

This may be “splitting hairs” a bit, but what’s more important to consider here is that for endurance athletes of all types, the primary goal is to be able to produce the most power possible over the duration required for the event. Put another way… maximize the power, while minimizing the decline in power as durations extend.

In general, those that typically win endurance events are the ones that SLOW DOWN the least!!

Our testing protocol takes this concept into account by identifying the individuals rate of fatigue (how much their power drops between test intervals) to calculate their power training zones (including an “FTP”) and at the same time shines some light on where they are at on the “Power vs. Endurance” scale to better show where they should focus their training efforts. The short duration testing intervals we use for this part of the test allows us to specifically identify and track the riders top-end anaerobic power capabilities, and at the same time determine their rate of fatigue. To keep tabs and monitor progress on the other end of the spectrum, the aerobic endurance or “fatigue resistance” end, we include an Aerobic Threshold (AeT) Test interval as part of our testing protocol as well. As you can see, there are two parts to the training equation, Power vs. Endurance, so we should have two parts to the testing protocol.

Your Aerobic Threshold, the key to Fatigue Resistance

As discussed in a previous post, Training With Power or Heart Rate?, I mentioned a few of the primary objectives of aerobic training: improvements in cardiovascular infrastructure (stronger heart, more blood vessels, more mitochondria, etc), and improvements in energy metabolism by increasing the use of fat for fuel and sparing glycogen at higher and higher outputs. Big power numbers are flashy and cool, but in the endurance sport world fatigue resistance is king.

Aerobic fitness is essential in cultivating endurance, the ability to resist fatigue, and minimize one’s Fatigue Rate.

With a lower Fatigue Rate an athlete’s power drops more slowly over time and therefore they can keep pushing the pedals harder, creating more power, for longer.  Improving or maintaining that balance between power and endurance is crucial to your success. If you improve power a the sake of a loss in aerobic fitness you may not have actually gotten any faster at your target race intensities. This is why you must always keep tabs on your power at Aerobic Threshold (AeT) to be sure you aren’t increasing your Fatigue Rate any more than necessary.

In training our goal is then two-fold: to improve both your top-end speed & power through strength and plyometric training in the gym, and through high-intensity intervals on the bike; AND to improve your aerobic fitness so you can utilize more of that power over longer periods of time by minimizing the decline that occurs as you fatigue.

To test an athletes AeT power, we include an AeT test interval in our testing protocol. The test requires an athlete to focus entirely on riding at their identified AeT Heart Rate for an extended period of time. Then we look for the average power that was a result of the aerobic effort. The overall goal is to improve your aerobic power to keep your Fatigue Rate as low as possible while at the same time increasing your anaerobic power to give you a higher starting point of power to utilize across all durations. There in lies the tricky balance of training and maximizing performance!

Curious to give our Aerobic and Anaerobic Power Test at try? Schedule your testing at Sessions:6 HERE

Part 2, of our Testing Protocol Series will lay out our exact testing session procedure and provide some real world examples from some of our athletes.

 

You can also purchase our 24-Week Off-Season Trainer Series from Training Peaks that includes our testing protocol as well as a complete build through each energy system to improve your top-end power and fatigue resistant endurance. Check it out HERE

 

Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Sessions:6 Sport Performance. Looking for help with your endurance sport training? Check out S:6’s Training Plans, Team Programs, and  Personal Coaching options created to fit your needs and budget.

Training With Power Or Heart Rate?

Training with Power or Heart Rate?

  • October 19, 2017
  • Blog

We get this question a lot…

What’s the better metric for training on the bike: Power or Heart Rate?

Since power-based training has risen to the status of “must have” for effective training for serious cyclists, the use of heart rate as a training metric has been tossed aside by many. The power meter is a wonderful tool, and one we strongly recommend (in fact all our Personal Coaching clients are required to use power), without the simultaneous use of heart rate you are only seeing half of the story and getting half of the benefits.

So our answer is: BOTH power & heart rate are needed for maximum training effectiveness!

Using one without the other is a mistake. Here’s why…

  • Power (watts) is the direct measurement of the amount of work that is being done. Many will say, “a watt is a watt, and watts don’t lie”. This is true, power is an absolute. You either have it or you don’t on a given a day. However, the effort required to produce those watts on any given day is effected by many variables, and that is where HR comes in.
  • Heart Rate (bpm) is an indirect measurement of your bodies response to the work (power) being done. You might hear people poo-poo HR. They’ll claim that it’s affected by so many outside variables, such as sleep, hydration, elevation, temperature, fatigue and so on that the usefulness of HR is no longer valued. But…why are these affects considered a negative attribute? When in fact, it’s these very affects wherein the value of training with HR comes in!

Let’s look at this example of a training block using both power & HR…

  • Your Vo2 Max training block calls for multiple sessions of 8 x 2:00 at your 16:00 max power (or appx. 110-115% of FTP), with 2:00 recoveries, over a 21 day period. Here’s a possible scenario…
    • Session 1: you hit your power numbers and heart rate reaches 169-173 bpm by the end of the intervals 3-8. Good start.
    • Session 2: similar results.
    • Sessions 3: you’re having a stressful few days a work, not sleeping well. You’re able to hit your power numbers, however your HR is 172-176 for the last few intervals. This is indicating you are putting out more effort to do the same amount of work. Do this for too long and you risk overdoing it.
    • Session 4: you decide to skip in favor of more recovery and do an easy ride.
    • Session 5: you’re back to similar results as 1 & 2.
    • Session 6: you hit your power targets, and notice your HR is only 165-169 bpm for the last few intervals. This indicates you’re adapting to the workload (power requirement) and now it’s requiring less effort to hit same power. Improved fitness! You’re ready to increase load (as in higher power, more reps, or shorter recoveries).

Now granted, this is a simplistic view of things. Do, however, consider that in this example the power reading remained the same the entire time. Had you not had a HRM you would have missed the higher HRs when stressed and maybe dug a hole of fatigue early on. Or you might have missed the lower HRs at the end that indicate you may be ready for a higher training load. Both super valuable in making adjustments in your training for continued improvement.

 

Power should be the primary metric for high-intensity training at and above our Anaerobic Threshold.

You then gauge how your body is responding to the workload by using heart rate as the secondary metric. You should always be looking for improvements in lower HR compared to same power outputs as a sign of positive adaptation. Use both together to be able to gauge your fitness vs. freshness levels on a day to day basis. This will allow you to know when you should back off or ramp up based on your body’s response to your training program.

So yes, there are many variables, like sleep, hydration, elevation, stress, and diet, that can affect HR. But these same variables affect how you are able to train and more importantly absorb, or adapt to, your training that you’re doing. If you just stick to hitting the power numbers, how do you know when you’re improving and you’re ready for an increased load? Or on the contrary, how do you know when you need to back things off a bit because hitting those numbers is more difficult than it should be due to fatigue or a change in training environment?

Our preferred method of testing for anaerobic power development and setting power training zones is doing a Power Test, that requires you to perform test intervals of 1:00, 2:00 and 4:00 in duration for max power. As a result you identify both your Fatigue Rate and max HR to set your power and heart rate based training zones.

With Aerobic Training, Heart Rate becomes Primary Metric.

When you train to improve the aerobic energy system you’re looking for two primary adaptations, one in cardiovascular infrastructure (stronger heart, more blood vessels, more mitochondria, etc), and the other in energy metabolism of using fat for fuel and sparing glycogen at higher and higher outputs. The aerobic energy system requires longer and lower intensity outputs to train for these adaptations. For this reason heart rate is often more useful as the primary training metric, with power used as the secondary metric to look for improvement in (increase) over time.

When you go for a longer ride, or even longer intervals, focusing on a specific power number requires to much effort and can be frustrating. Instead, focus on a HR range to target. Training to a specific HR for the longer, lower intensity work is easier to maintain and less affected by the immediate terrain and weather. With aerobic training, you’re either targeting a specific duration of riding to achieve your training load (ie. 4 hours at aerobic HRs, where power isn’t very relevant); or you can get more structured with say 4 x 10:00 at Aerobic Threshold (AeT) HR where you target a specific, more narrow HR zone for the intervals. Here you check progress by looking for improvements of average power for that HR zone and or less power-fade or “decoupling” between the HR and power measurements as duration increases.

Our preferred method of testing for aerobic development is doing an Aerobic Threshold (AeT) Test, that requires you to perform the test interval to a specific HR, and then reference your power for the test interval as your measure of improvement.

In summary, your training program can be far more effective, informative, and engaging if you use both power and heart rate as metrics to gather data.

  • When training the top-end energy systems (ie. Anaerobic Threshold, Vo2 Max, Anaerobic Power and Peak Power) you use power as primary metric to target workload and use heart rate as secondary metric to see your response to that workload. From here you are able to make adjustments on the fly (mid-workout even!) and in your extended planning.
    • You can utilize a Smart Trainer, like the Wahoo Kick’r, for power-based indoor workouts if you can’t have a power-meter on your bike(s) for both indoors & outdoors.
  • When training your lower-end aerobic energy systems you’ll switch things around to focusing on HR while using power as secondary reference to measure your aerobic progress and stamina.
    • This works well for longer rides outdoors where a HRM is easy to have along for the ride and power isn’t a necessity.

 

Are you looking to train more effectively with both Power & HR this Off-Season?

You can purchase our 24-Week Off-Season Trainer Series from Training Peaks that includes our testing protocol as well as a complete build through each energy system to improve your top-end power and fatigue resistant endurance. Check it out HERE

 

Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Sessions:6 Sport Performance. Looking for help with your endurance sport training? Check out S:6’s Training Plans, Team Programs, and  Personal Coaching options created to fit your needs and budget.

 

Ideas For Your Off-Season

Ideas For Your Off-Season

  • October 12, 2017
  • Blog

Fall has arrived and most of us in the Northern Hemisphere are entering our Off-Season. So what exactly is the Off-Season? The term “Off-Season” can be a bit misleading to some. The Off-Season is not time taken off from training, but rather it is time taken off from racing. This all so crucial time away from racing allows you to focus more on your training to allow for bigger advancements in your overall fitness and future racing ability.

Here is how a year of training and competition looks to a committed, high level amateur or professional endurance athlete:

  • END OF SEASON BREAK: after a short 1-2 weeks of time off, truly ‘on vacation’ from their primary sport, they’re ready to get back into training in their off-season. 
    • Pro Tips: As a general rule of thumb, the older and/or lower training volume (ie. time crunched) the athlete, the shorter this break should be. If you only train 8-12 hours a week, you don’t need to take much of a break. Simply changing the type of training you do in the off-season will be enough of a break or change of pace. It is just too hard for most people to get back into ‘training mode’ and too much fitness can be lost if the break is too long. The younger or higher volume athlete may take up to 2 weeks off from training. These athletes will recover faster and have a higher fitness base that will not drop off as much with more rest time.
  • THE OFF-SEASON: the Off-Season is the larger chunk of time sandwiched between your short ‘end-o-season break’ (above) and the start of your competitive race season (below). With the stress of racing and being “race fit” removed in their off-season, they can focus purely on training to improve weaknesses and gain a higher level of fitness for the next race season.
    • Pro Tips: Depending on the athlete and when his/her race season begins, the off-season can be as short as a couple months (ie. end racing in October and begin racing in February); or it can be several months (ie. end racing in September and begin again in April). Keep in mind that the longer your off-season, the more time you have to train and improve your fitness and likely the greater improvement you’ll see in your racing ability the next season. Those athletes that can’t stay away from racing and pack their annual schedule full from spring through fall are often the ones that don’t improve a whole lot from year-to-year, or they are getting paid to compete (and are already at the top of their game!).
  • THE RACE SEASON: this is the time of year the bulk of their racing occurs (typically Spring through end of Summer or early Fall). This is when training becomes more race-specific as they build up their top priority events. Training also become more polarized, with their race prep training and recovery balance being of the most importance. During this time overall training volume often drops when compared to the hight of their off-season. This allows for more freshness as the begin to add the demands of racing to their schedule. This is why you must make the most of your Off-Season training, racing gets in the way of training once race season arrives!!
    • Pro Tips: You may still race in late in your off-season, but these are typically low-priority events that are done more as workouts and early season fitness gauges, opposed to races you are peaking for or looking to perform at your best. Your goal in the off-season is to build your fitness to the highest point, then once in race season you are sharpening your fitness to the specific demands of your goal event(s), and recovering between multiple events.

For most endurance athletes, you should be TRAINING to the best of your ability from November through April so you can RACE to the best of your ability in May through October!!

 

SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR OFF-SEASON:

Move from ‘Least Specific’ to ‘More Specific’ training as your progress through your Off-Season.

  • As you enter your Off-Season training, your race season is many weeks, if not months, away. The further from a peak performance you are, the less sport specific your training needs to be. This ‘non-specific’ training allows for a nice change of pace, using muscles that aren’t frequently used, and ups the enjoyment factor of training differently. Weight training in the gym and cross-training by hiking, rowing or skiing are great examples of non-specific training. Then you can progress towards easy/slow base miles to build your aerobic system if your race-specific training is typically fast and powerful; or train the power and speed side of things if your target events are long distance (i.e.. slower) events like ironman or marathon mountain bike events. Later in your off-season you can progress towards training that gets closer to your target race demands as fitness improves.

Train Your Weaknesses First.

  • Similar to the “Least to More” Specific training progression described above, start your off-season training by focusing on your weakness(es). Again, racing is a ways down the road, so take the time to actually improve your ability this time of the year. Then as you move towards racing season, progress your training towards training your strengths. This method will encourage improvement early on and then build confidence as you approach race day.

Strength Train!

  • Don’t be afraid of the gym or ‘getting huge’ and slow. Improving the strength of your individual muscles fibers has been proven to improve power production, delay fatigue, and improve injury resistance. This can only be accomplished by moving your body in different ways than you’re accustom to and adding resistance.
  • Read my previous BLOG post about my strength training concept HERE

Break your Off-Season into Thirds.

  • Look at how many weeks you have available for your off-season training and divide the amount into three distinct training blocks that focus on the following…
    • 1/3 Focus = low-intensity, aerobic base building combined with building movement strength in the gym.
    • 2/3 Focus = medium-intensity, anaerobic threshold training combined with peak strength in the gym.
    • 3/3 Focus = small amounts of high intensity training combined with peak power in the gym.
  • From the completion of your Off-Season training, you’re ready to move into your Race Prep training and progressively back out the intensity; from high, where you finished off-season, to progressively lower as you build towards your goal race. As you back out the intensity you develop the volume (endurance) needed for your target event(s). Athletes focusing on races under 2 hours can often race very well right out of their off-season training, while racers looking at 2-5 hour long events need a block or two of extending endurance training to really peak, and ultra-distance racers need to add even a bit more volume to their program to be ready for their event demands.
  • Read my previous BLOG post about my aerobic conditioning concept HERE

Get on the Trainer!

  • The trainer is perhaps the perfect environment for improving your cycling economy, strength, and power. Through training with the new generation of Smart Trainers in our S:6 Trainer Studio the last three years, I’ve seen larger improvements on the bike than ever before. By utilizing cadence, power, and heart rate you can maximize your time and make the most out of your off-season training on the bike.
  • Check out my 24-week Off-Season Trainer Plan available on Training Peaks

Don’t think you can’t race.

  • You can still race while in your “off-season”. Most people do. And you can sometimes race particularly well in the last third of your off-season training. You want to create your annual training program targeting a few goal events for the year.  Starting your off-season, it may be 6-8 months until your next “A” race, but you will likely (and should) race a few times before your first target event. Plan your Off-Season to finish with 3-12 weeks of Race Prep training before your “A” race (depending on duration of A race). Go ahead and plop some races into your program along the way for both fun and to gauge fitness and race-readiness as you approach your target events.

 

If you like what you’ve read thus far, consider my Complete Off-Season Training Program for cyclists of all kinds and triathletes looking to make a statement on the bike next season. If you live in the Denver area you can join us for in-person training from November through April, or for those that live outside of Denver you can download my program via Training Peaks and follow along at home on your trainer and at the gym on your own.

Learn More:  Complete Off-Season Program

What ever you decide and what ever your training & racing goals are for the next season, be sure to make the most out of your Off-Season. Don’t let this valuable time of the year pass without maximizing your fitness gains that will lead to better performance when your  next Race Season rolls around.

 

Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Sessions:6 Sport Performance. Looking for help with your endurance sport training? Check out S:6’s Training Plans, Team Programs, and  Personal Coaching options created to fit your needs and budget.

Looking Forward To 2018!

Looking Forward to 2018!

  • October 9, 2017
  • Blog

The “Summer of 2017” will go down as possibly the busiest/most hectic/most stressful summer for me of all time. What started out as solid winter of training for what was to be my “Swan Song” season on the XTERRA Pan-Am Tour as a professional, ended up including a car accident resulting in the “totaling” of our new Promaster Van, selling our home, buying a new home, moving, working through insurance stuff to get a new van, some family stress, coaching the Green Mountain High School Mountain Bike Team (this ended up being the highlight of the summer!), and finally settling into our new home all over the last 4 months. All of this left little time/energy/motivation to train, much less try and race. So after only one XTERRA Pan-Am Tour race back in May in Alabama, a handful of mountain bike races, including a Co-Ed Duo Team WIN at Firecracker 50 (with Kathy!!), my “season” came to a fizzling end in August.

Finally in September I was able to regroup a bit as we finally got our family settled into our new home, kids back to school, and have a great time training with and being a part of super fun High School MTB racing program. The dust began to settle some in my birthday month and I have been able to take a few deep breaths of having the stressful summer behind us and begin looking towards 2018.

Two big changes are occurring in 2018…

  1. I am taking a step back from triathlon and retiring from professional XTERRA racing.

  2. I turned 39 last month and will be able to race Masters 40+ in 2018, as I turn my full training/racing attention towards mountain bike racing.

XTERRA has been a wonderful experience for me the last 12 years and I am sure I will return to XTERRA again in the future. When I do, it will be when I train and race for the pleasure of the fitness you achieve in the sport. XTERRA racing has been the most enjoyable form of training and racing for me and when I return it will be in the older age-groups and for the experience of the process.

In between now and when I return to XTERRA, I have some lofty endurance mountain bike racing goals to check off. For the next three to fours years, I’ve decided that focusing on one sport and two activities (MTB & Strength Training) will work best with our current busy lifestyle as parents of three high-school aged girls and business owners.

Cycling is my true passion and I feel like I have at least a few more solid seasons of racing at the elite level… and along the way perhaps I snag some Masters Championships on the mountain bike.

So all that said, here are the following A-Priorty events on my 2018 racing calendar. These could change slightly, and I will surely be adding several more additional low-priority events to the mix, but for now these are the targets for the season ahead:

  • May: USA Cycling Marathon National Champs
  • July: Firecracker 50 (co-ed duo, defending champs w/ Kathy)
  • July: Leadville Stage Race
  • August: Leadville 100
  • August: Breck Epic (co-ed duo team w/ Kathy)

For my entire 2018 season, I plan to share my training progress, thoughts and racing experiences with those of you that are interested in rolling along with me.

The month of October  for me, as well as the majority of athletes I work with, is about getting back into a regular daily training pattern that includes re-adjusting to strength training (I let too much time go by w/o any strength work this summer!) and riding 5+ days per week. November is when my “official” 2018 training kicks off with some testing on the bike, and a highly structured training program including indoor trainer sessions, longer outdoor rides, and a progressive strength training build over the winter months. I’ll dig deeper into both of these training elements in future blog posts (goal is at least 2 posts per month). So stay tuned!!

If you’re training for XC or endurance MTB racing, or even triathlon and want to focus more on your bike this year, the core of this very same training program will become available to you to try for yourself, and following right along with me on your own, in the next 1-2 weeks. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, take a look at my 2018 Remote Training Team program as something to consider for your 2018 training plan.

Thanks for reading and I hope you decide to follow along for the 2018 season!

Cody Waite, Professional Off-Road Endurance Athlete & Coach
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