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'It was just a training race, it wasn't really important...' How many times have I heard that phrase thrown about?  Using races as 'training' or to 'monitor progress' can be really useful. Let's face it, most people are training because they want to be better in races, proper races, the ones outdoors where other people turn up on the same day. So, if you want to monitor progress for 'proper races' and learn from the experience, then 'training races' can undoubtedly be useful.  When you start planning out your calendar for 2021, you will have races which are less or...

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This week I posted a tweet about a study which has been published recently, analysing the GPS data of 14,000 runners. The results of the study in simple terms were that those who performed best in long distance running events had completed the most miles and had done them at a slower pace. The take home message was to run more miles and do them slower, if you want to race faster. The tweet generated a lot of interest from athletes, coaches and sports scientists. Some agreed with the data and others questioned it's validity. There were lot's of comments about...

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In recent years the use of power meters for cycle training has become commonplace. Power meters both on the bike and measurements of power using smart turbos are now widely used by both elite and amateur cyclists to measure and monitor training load and performance. Power meters can be great tools for both coaches and athletes, but here's some current thoughts which are based on a recent conversation with a coached athlete who was asking "what percentage of FTP is my Ironman pace?" Is it actually your FTP? Here's the first issue I have with FTP scores. Your FTP is...

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Aerobic base training is one of most well known terms used in endurance sports and most athletes will recognise it as long slow mileage. It was founded in the 50's by Arthur Lydiard, who was the pioneer of running 100 miles per week at a low intensity, to establish a base. His methods were so popular, they were transposed to cycling, swimming and many other sports.  In recent years, people have questioned the need to such high volume and turned instead to higher intensity training sessions, reversed periodisation and other means of training. Many people simply don't have the time...

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If you read page 1 of most 'coaching books' it will start with 'monitoring progress'. If you keep a training diary, you will hopefully see your power output or running speed progressing on a weekly basis, throughout the training plan. There's a general view that when you train, you should 'progress' from week to week and you can 'track your progress' by recording metrics.  I've got to be honest... I've never started a training program and watched my power output increase week on week in a progressive, linear fashion. Generally I have good days and bad days, some weeks I feel...

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