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IM Training Philosophy in 2021
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As I start to head into the off season, I wanted to get an idea of where the trend/ science is going into 2021 for IM training philosophies. I really like listening to That Triathlon Show but won't during my main training blocks/ season since I don't want to start second guessing my workouts/ training plan. So I started catching up on some episodes related to IM training and noticed some changes in the host's outlook on coaching/ training with VLa Max, tempo, and sweet spot training being discussed more often than previous years. I even heard him discussing tempo training (just above AeT) being included in the low intensity category vs the middle (zone 2 if in a 3 zone model) (in reference to a previous guest).

Now I don't really struggle with how I want to distribute my time in zones with regards to low intensity (I spend anywhere from 80-90% at low, depending on weekly hours/ time of year), but don't know how to set up my moderate and higher intensity time. I had been using an 80/20 approach (Matt FitzGerald, not a Seiler polarised approach) in 2019 in prep for my first IM but really like the episode where he had Dan Lorang on, Frodeno's coach (ep. 175), and planned on using that approach this year, but you know things didn't go to plan.

Lorang spoke about phases and going from a technique focus, to speed/ VO2 max, to strength endurance, and finishing with economisation/ race pace in the last block. I really like this approach in theory but struggle to comprehend the economisation phase fully. I believe it was suggested most quality work should be done at race pace, but I'm not pushing world class watts/ race times here so my race pace is still aerobic and not very stressful. In the last 8 weeks before an IM should I be doing my "race pace" intervals a little harder or using sweet spot training or using speed/ VO2 max intervals to keep my speed up?

So I guess my main question is if I go with a training plan like Lorang suggests, would I even be doing moderate/ high intensity work in the last block (approx. 8 weeks) or just race pace as my quality work? Is this philosophy a good approach heading into 2021 or have I missed something in the last year?
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Re: IM Training Philosophy in 2021 [lang] [ In reply to ]
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With all due respect, I think you’re listening to too many podcasts and overthinking this. I say this as someone who has been down the rabbit hole.

You would probably benefit greatly from a coach who will keep you from second guessing yourself. Then do what they say and if you’re getting positive adaptions/results, stick with them.

I’m not an exercise physiologist but it does seem like people respond let differently to various training approaches whether due to genetics, lifestyle, etc. You have to find what works for you and it takes time and patience. But once you find what seems to be working you have to stick with it and can’t be changing philosophies every time some famous coach puts out a blog post.

That’s what I did. Getting faster with same coach for 3 years now. No more pod casts. It’s more fun and less stressful.
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Re: IM Training Philosophy in 2021 [wintershade] [ In reply to ]
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I feel like going down the coaching route might take away some of the enjoyment I get from triathlon though. In terms of planning workouts, training blocks, testing, managing workload, I really enjoy that part of the sport.

I should also clarify that I did use an 80/20 approach for years and never really swapped. It was only after doing my IM that I felt like it was time to try something different and move towards a more pyramidal distribution. Once I started listening to podcasts again (like this week) I kept hearing VLa max being mentioned and feel like this must have influenced how people were using their moderate/ high intensity time.

If no real shifts have occurred in how people are training, then my questions do become more specific about workouts and blocks.
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