OK, interesting day. Over the weekend I created an account on The TrainingPeaks Website. I also purchased a training plan from Joe Friel for “Half-Ironman Base Period (Over 50) 0-14 hrs/wk”.
Though the TrainingPeaks web site is a bit buggy, the concept is really cool. If you purchase a training plan you can “apply” it to your schedule on a given starting date. For me, that was today.
I had already purchased and read through Friel’s book The Triathlete’s Training Bible (3rd edition), but had been very confused as how to apply everything. The problem is that this book is clearly written for the athlete who has already been racing in triathlons for at least a couple of years. It keeps making reference to your previous race times for various lengths when planning and pacing. Having never raced before I didn’t have any of that information to go on.
Having a fairly generic plan for someone in my age group seemed like the perfect way to establish a reasonably-organized training approach. I will warn anyone that is considering doing something similar … heavy use of sometimes obscure abbreviations appear everywhere in the workout plans so you MUST reread and review the training bible book.
So today wasn’t too bad. Just one workout. Here is the description from the plan:
AA, 3-4 sets
After warm up do 3-4 sets of AA. Cool down with 5-10 minutes of spinning in easy gear/resistance at high rpm. For details go to HELP (above), WORKOUT DESCRIPTIONS. Or turn to Chapter 13 in The Triathlete’s Training Bible.
The first thing I noticed is that, “For details go to HELP (above),” was totally bogus. No “HELP” above that had anything to do with this workout. So, after a review of Chapter 13, I learned that “AA”, in this context, stands for “Anatomical Adaptation.” The TB (Training Bible) say:
AA is the initial phase of strength training and usually occurs in the late fall or early winter during the Prep period. Its purpose is to prepare the muscles and tendons for the greater loads of the Maximum Strength phase.
You are given a selection of exercises to choose from, so it is pretty flexible. This is what I did:
Warm-Up: Elliptical machine for 10 minutes
1. squat: 115 x 30, 30, 30, 30
2. standing bent-arm lat pulldown: 37.5 x 30, 30, 30, 30
3. leg press: 90 x 30, 30, 30, 30
4. (nautilus inner) chest press: 70 x 15, 50 x 22, 15; 40 x 22
5. seated row: 90 x 30; 140 x 15; 110 x 30, 30
6. seated heel raise: 45 x 28; 40 x 27; 35 x 30, 30
7. abdominal w/twist: BW @ #4 x 14; BW @ #2 x 20, 14, 15
Cool-Down: Easy spinning with high RPM for 10 minutes
Duration: 01:25 (not including WU and CD)
So that was a pretty long workout. Next time I may just do 3 sets. I really don’t like strength training to last more than about 45 minutes, if I can help it. Maybe an hour, max.