ATC 255: Top Ways to Boost Functional Threshold Power (FTP), VO2Max for Masters Athletes, MAF Training For Spartan Races, Fartleks for Ironman, and More

March 2, 2018

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On this episode of Ask The Coaches:

  • Ways to boost FTP for lean triathletes
    • Don’t just focus on training at FTP – you need a solid foundation/base (Z1/Z2/MAF) and also the ability to work your high end (e.g. VO2max).
    • Sweet spot training (just below FTP) to help FTP.
    • Sessions to do at FTP (3 x 10min, 2 x 20min, etc).
    • How weight training fits into FTP gains if at all.
    • Start FTP focus 18 weeks before A race.
    • Don’t just do hills for FTP training, make sure you can hold FTP on flats.
    • Specificity!
  • Ironman run training plan
    • Add intensity further out (~18 weeks) and as race nears get closer to race specificity (Z2, low Z3)
    • Fartleks for IM training?
    • Is it a brick if there’s a 15min gap between bike and run?
    • When there’s nowhere safe to run, would short hill repeats be an ok sub for a flatter run?
    • Is it ok to do extra training when the stars align knowing that the following week(s) you may miss some?
  • MAF training for a 50k Spartan Ultra Beast
    • MAF can be hugely beneficial, but it’s also very necessary to get over MAF to best prepare for the intensity of the obstacles
    • Training grip strength.
    • Not sure if intensity is helping or hurting your base? Just be sure to do your MAF tests to make sure aerobic fitness is staying where you want it to!
    • Training for endurance and strength that’s needed in an obstacle race.
  • VO2max for masters athletes into their 80s
    • It’s “depressing” to see charts showing the decline in VO2 MAX with age, so how can an 80 year old can improve VO2 Max?
    • Take it from Ironman legend Lew Hollander who raced Kona into his 80s: Get your heart rate up every day and get anaerobic.
    • How to Be 80 Year Old and Have a VO2max of a 35 Year Old
      • “He has a lifelong history of endurance and strength-exercise training. Born and raised on a small farm in a roadless mountain region, his childhood was dominated by the vigorous manual labor of farm work, fishing, hunting, and berry harvesting (Figures 1(c) and 1(d)), as well as exercise training. He has continued this lifestyle as an adult. He currently self-reports ~30 minutes of structured endurance and strength training 3 times/week (Figure 1(e)), ~20 minutes of endurance training, including short durations with moderate-to-lactate threshold intensity, and ~ 10 minutes of strength training three times per week, mainly on the upper body and core with 10–12 repetitions per set. Each year, he takes a 7-day ski trip in the mountains and has competed in ultraendurance ski races. His current objectively measured daily activity level is high at 10,843 steps·day−1. His total energy expenditure (TEE) was 2,476 Kcal·day−1, out of which 877 Kcal·day−1 was due to active energy expenditure (AEE). Daily active time (≥3 METs) was 2:51 hr·day−1, with 2:31 hr·day−1 of moderate activity (3–6 METs) and 0:21 hr·day−1 of vigorous activity (6–9 METs), while no time of >9 METs was logged.”

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