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Test Protocols – swim

Swim Test Equipment – pool, clock/timer Warm up – 500m as 100 free, 100 pull, 100 kick, 100 free, 2x50 fast 25m Test Protocol – 20x100 on cycle giving 20sec rest. NOTE - cycle must be same for entire test for example you may do 20x100 on 1.45, 2min or 2.30. Record – All times of each 100m HR at every 5 or if this is too difficult immediately at completion of 20x100m

Test Protocols – bike

Bike FTP power test Detail on www.emmacarney.com see below – The 20minute TT power result is the key number, but you may like to record the shorter TT efforts. These provide a greater and wider test result. Most easily done and close to lab test accuracy – Functional Threshold Power (FTP) Test (The protocol is a 20 minute all-out time trial, typically on a steady climb, although professional cyclists often do a specific series of tests that ensures better accuracy) FTP test requirements - rested athlete, stationary trainer/suitable road, power monitor (helper – optional) Test protocol – After a 45-minute warm up, do maximal efforts in this order, with full recovery (5-10 minutes very easy pedalling) in between each effort: 1 - five seconds (peak neuromuscular power); 2 - five minutes (peak aerobic power); 3 - 20 minutes (threshold power); and 4 - one minute (peak anaerobic capacity). Your functional threshold power is 95 percent of your 20-minute power number or FTP = ( 0.95x 20minute power number)

Test Protocols – run

Run TEST Equipment – 1. run track OR grass oval (if you use a grass oval, and run the perimeter, this should be used for all tests in the future to maintain a constant running test distance) 2. recording sheet 3. time 4. HR monitor for every athlete Warm up – Jog 10-15minutes easy Dynamic stretching 5min – leg swings, bounding, high knees (videos on website) ‘Run throughs’ – 4x60-80m fast run (jog back recovery) Test Protocol – 1. 12x400m leaving every 2.30 OR 3min 2. record times 3. record HR

Running Explained

When runners with similar levels of aerobic and anaerobic endurance clash, it is often their basic running speed which decides the winner.
Speed is an important element in endurance events, and must be developed. Speed session should concentrate on the development of stride rate and the ability to move the legs quickly (refer to run speed training in resources section).
Running speed however is not just related to the rate at which a runner moves, but also to the distance covered with each stride.
Run Speed = stride length x stride rate where;
Stride Rate can be improved through the development of speed and;
Stride Length can be improved by technical training to develop the run action.
The speed technique used by an endurance runner or triathlete is a modification of the sprinting action. The faster the run, the closer the technique is to the sprinting action. As relaxation and the conservation of energy are important factors in long runs, endurance running required the athlete to be more compact than a pure sprinter.

The Running Action
running involves 2 leg phases – the driving phase and the recovery phase
The Driving Phase commences when the foot contacts the ground during a running stride. The bodyweight is supported on the foot, while the hip, knee and ankle extend to push the runner forward.
The Recovery Phase starts as the foot leaves the ground, the heel is pulled up towards the bum and the thigh is swung through, bringing it parallel to the ground. The lower leg reaches forward with the foot angled as the thigh starts to move downwards. Then the lower leg and thigh are swept backwards and downwards in a pawing motion.
It is important to note the Foot Strike should be made lightly with the outside edge of the ball of the foot. The foot will then roll to the inside, bringing the whole of the ball of the foot into contact with the ground. The longer the distance, the flatter the foot strike.
The runner’s Trunk should remain almost erect with only a slight forwards lean. The arms match the leg action, remain bent and close to the body moving forwards and backwards in a straight line.
The Arm Swing is from the shoulders and the shoulders are kept low. The angle at the elbow changes during the forward and backward movements. The hands should be kept relaxed with the thumbs resting on the fingers.
The Head should also be relaxed and carried in natural alignment.

nutrition – stomach problems

Correct nutrition is vital in the sport of Triathlon.
Your training performances, recovery rate and race results all depend heavily on your individual nutrition plan. General nutritional advice is readily available and easy to adopt.
What takes more time is refining a nutrition plan for yourself that provides you with adequate fuel to train, recover and above all race without problem.
To properly address your nutritional needs, it would be helpful to know the distance triathlon you are racing, as this will greatly affect your nutrition plan.
During Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons it is not necessary and often not practical to eat foods while racing. Generally fluids and gels are adequate. However, during ironman races where athletes are competing over several hours and consequently miss regular meals, eating food plays an important role in meeting their hourly carbohydrate requirements.
The amount of carbohydrate required will vary depending on the distance of the triathlon contested.
The AIS nutrition guidelines provide the following nutritional advice for triathletes –

‘It is generally recommended that for shorter triathlon events, athletes should aim to consume 30-60g of carbohydrate an hour, while athletes contesting Ironman events should aim to consume 1-1½ grams of carbohydrate per kg body weight per hour. For example, a 70kg male athlete contesting an Ironman event, should aim to consume roughly 70-100g of carbohydrate an hour.’

If you have had a season of racing, I assume you have developed a training nutrition plan. The basic carbohydrate needs I also assume you are addressing according the the guidelines above. If you are reading this article, you probably have experienced gastro problems in a race at some stage. These digestion issues may be more of a timing of your nutrition, your pre-race nutrition plan and the types or carbohydrates you are consuming.

Timing of Nutrition
With regard as when to eat, the bike leg provides the greatest opportunity to consume adequate food and fluid. You should find you are better able to tolerate food and fluid during the cycle compared to the run. It is good practice to have a combination of regular food items and sports foods.
The run presents many more challenges than the bike in meeting carbohydrate requirements. Most triathletes use fluids such as sports drinks and coca cola to simultaneously meet fluid and carbohydrate requirements during the run. During ironman events athletes will also use sports gels as these are far more practical to consume than food while running.
Another timing adjustment you can make to your nutritional plan when suffering from digestional problems it is sometimes, it is a good idea not to consume anything in the transitions and wait about 15-20minutes into the bike or run before taking in carbs

Pre-Race Nutrition
Typically it takes 2-3 hours after a meal for the insulin levels to return to normal. If you are suffering from energy problems during a race, I recommend you eat your pre-race meal 3 hours prior to race start.
This appears to be an alarmingly long time (as 1-4 hours is recommended usually), but this period of time may be required for the following reasons:
When you consume food, your body will release insulin. This increase in insulin will create 2 reactions that can affect athletic performance.
1. Insulin inhibits growth hormone release. Because Growth Hormone improves your performance, you really want to minimise this inhibition
2. It has been discovered that increases in Insulin before activities result in a faster rate of carbohydrate utilisation. Since carbohydrates are a critical component of the energy needed to perform, so you really don’t want to use them up too quickly.
If you are experiencing problems with digestion, I recommend your pre race meal is liquid, such as an energy drink and a gel.
Ideally if you are using liquid meals you need to use products that are low in simple sugars and consist mainly of complex carbohydrates that provides a more prolonged energy source that is easier to digest.

Types of Carbohydrates consumed
When you look at the race day nutritional requirements of an IM, the average triathlete expends approximately 500-1000 calories in the swim, 3000-4000 calories on the bike and 2500-3000 on the run. To maintain this expenditure of calories, you should aim for 250-300 calories per hour on the bike, and 200-250 calories on the run. Basically it is not possible to ingest enough calories to keep you with your expenditure. More would be beneficial, but if you do try to do this you will generally lead to more gastro problems – or ‘stomach bloating’. In order to achieve the 250-300 calories per hour goal you need to find a mix or nutritional gels and drinks that contain maltodextrin (complex carbs) and very simple sugars. Simple sugars should be avoided as they tend to contribute to nausea and stomach upsets. (generally simple sugars are those listed under carbohydrates on the product ingredient list).

What about salt & caffeine
Salt replacement is important along with fluids and carbs. Recent studies on electrolyte losses provide evidence that salt replacement aids digestion and with electrolyte supplementation improves performance. It is recommended to contact a sports dietician/physician prior to salt replacement practices are implemented.
Caffeine is a performance enhancer as it aids in the utilisation of glycogen (carbohydrates) and may also help the liver produce a little extra glycogen. Everything in moderation though, as it is also a diuretic and therefore can add to dehydration.

Basically, given all the evidence out there it is important you practice and refine a nutrition plan suited to your body type, type of racing and palate. Then practice it – on easy days and hard days.

Power Training Vs Heart Rate training

It is a hotly contested debate – as to whether power meters are worth the money, or whether HR and perceived effort is sufficient.
Heart Rate monitors and power meters are very useful training tools, but an athlete using them should also know the ‘feel’ of each heart rate zone and power level. I encourage individuals to learn about their own limits, to learn when they can push a little harder and know when to back off. Having said that, it is also important an athlete to learn as much about themselves in the process of training and use as many tools as possible in order to ensure they are training in the most efficient manner.
Power output numbers provide a clear standard of your current strengths and weaknesses. Very importantly, your various power output power numbers produce power levels that provide a great way to monitor improvement throughout the year. It is generally agreed there are 4 categories of power training levels and these are neuromuscular power, anaerobic capacity, VO2 max and lactate threshold. Most people have varied abilities across the four, as is shown in different race performances and abilities.
A very useful power measure is your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) this is the maximum power you can sustain for one hour. When looking at the variables that determine endurance performance—VO2 max (your upper limit of aerobic energy production) , FTP and efficiency—FTP is the variable that is both easily measured and trainable. This is why training according to power is a very useful tool. By testing yourself and then setting a benchmark FTP you can establish training power levels so you can best distribute your training time and work toward improvement. If you don’t have a power meter, you can test and set heart rate zones to guide your training instead. In the same way power testing can produce power training levels, heart rate testing can also provide useful heart rate training zones. Different training zones will target the similar energy systems at power training also targets. The underlying difference between heart rate zones and power levels is that heart rate is a subjective response to the work you’re doing, while power shows the objective, actual work you’re doing. I believe you should test for and use both, during your training and racing.
In reality, it is not always possible to be able to purchase all the training tools and equipment needed to constantly monitor and train to your power levels and heart rate training zones. Add to all these purchases your race entry fees and it all gets pretty expensive.... Throw in the mix that one day you may end up losing your power monitor or a battery may go flat, or it simply may fail mid way through a race…this is when you will be forced to race on perceived effort. This is also why I believe it is extremely important you train using whichever devices you can afford, but you also remain aware of what your body is capable of, because at the end of the day it is really about you, your mind and the real race to the finish line.

Max HR Test – cycling

There are a number of ways of testing for your Cycling Max HR.

1. The most accurate is a Vo2Max test done in a lab. This is often too expensive.

2. Max Heart Rate – Test 2.
This test requires a Heart Rate Monitor and a turbo trainer and it may be helpful to have someone assist during the test, to encourage you when things get tough and to take the readings from your Heart Rate Monitor.
Test 2 protocol -
Warm up for 10 to 15 minutes and then ride as hard as possible intensive time trial effort for the next ten minutes.
Ride the last minute flat out (maximum effort), and sprint the last 20 to 30 seconds.
It should now be possible to read the MHR on the Heart Rate Monitor.
Do not stop immediately but keep pedalling and warm down gradually for the next ten minutes.
Repeat the test two or three more times, with a couple of days between each test, to establish your true maximum.

3. Max Heart Rate – Test 3.
This test requires a Heart Rate Monitor, turbo trainer and a computer (ideally with a cadence measurement). Your bike should have a close ratio rear block (e.g. 52 x 18/17/16/15/14/13). Have someone assist during the test, to encourage you when things get tough and to take the readings from your Heart Rate Monitor.
Test 3 protocol -
Warm up fully for 10 to 15 minutes.
Use your large chain ring and choose the lowest gear (e.g. 52 x 18). Pedal at a steady cadence of 90 rpm for 2 minutes.
Then change up to the next gear (52 x 17) without pausing.
Maintain the same cadence (90-rpm). Pedal this gear for 2 minutes and change up again still maintaining the 90-rpm cadence.
Continue changing up to the next cog every two minutes, constantly maintaining 90-rpm.
Your heart rate should rise constantly. It may level out at some point but carry on with the test.
Continue at 90 rpm, changing up a sprocket every two minutes, until you are no longer able to go on.
Do not stop immediately but keep pedalling and warm down gradually for the next ten minutes

4. Max Heart Rate - Test 4
A simple way, if you are racing, is to check your Heart Rate data on a regular basis for your Max Heart Rate.
You will usually reach your Max Heart Rate during the final sprint finish of most races where you end up sprinting at 100%.

Max HR Test – run

There are a number of ways of testing for your Running Max HR –

1. Max Heart Rate - Test 1
Least recommended method - 220 minus your age.
(it is strongly believed this has many shortcomings, and although is a simple method of calculating your max HR it is the most inaccurate).

2. Max Heart Rate - Test 2
Lab test - VO2max, lactate threshold and running economy are often completed in a sports science laboratory to monitor physiological fitness.
(These tests are often expensive and difficult to get regular testing done, but are the most accurate).

3. Max Heart Rate - Test 3
Most easily done and close to lab test accuracy - Max HR step test
(To determine Max HR you have an athlete complete an incremental run on a treadmill to exhaustion).
Max HR step test requirements -
rested athlete, treadmill, HR monitor, helper
Test protocol –
1. Commence the test at a slow speed.
2. Every 3minutes the speed of the treadmill is to increase by 1km/hr (NOT the slope)
1. Increase the running/treadmill speed continuously until the athlete reaches exhaustion.
2. Stop the test at the final speed the athlete can maintain for at least one minute.
3. With the use of a HR monitor, you can measure maximum heart rate (max HR) & therefore determine your own heart rate zones.

w/d (warm down)

w/d - refers to warm down. This is an important part of the session. A warm down should be sufficient enough to help to reduce muscle soreness following a training session.

w/up (warm up)

w/up refers to warm up. A warm up should be sufficient to prepare the body (muscles, mind..etc) sufficiently for the main set of the training session.

Bike hand positions

You need to vary your hand position for different riding situations. There are 3 positions - the top of the bars, the hoods and the drops.
1. Top of the bars -
This position is used when having your hands near the brakes is not a priority. For example seated climbing, or riding free of hazards alone.
2. Hoods -
Hoods are to be used while bunch riding & riding through traffic (as your hands are near the brakes). Hoods are often held while climbing out of the saddle.
3. Drops -
Drops are good for while on the front, into a headwind or riding more areo but still needing to be near the brakes (group riding position). Drops are often the best for descending, as you have a lower centre of gravity.
It is important you are properly fitted to your bike so all 3 hand positions are comfortable.

Group riding forma

Refer group rolling turns video

Cornering tips

Refer bike cornering video.
Key tips to cornering are -
1 - look where you want to go
2 - inside pedal up
3 - lean the bike not your body
4 - do not break through the corner
5 - ride the apex - (go in wide, cut the apex of the corner & exit corner wide).

Seated hill climbing tips

Refer bike hill climbing video.
When climbing seated, focus on sitting towards the back of seat. Maintain a relaxed upper body. Either the hoods or drops can be used - depends on your own personal choice.

hill climbing – standing

Refer bike hill climbing video. When climbing out of the seat and you are standing on the pedals, make this a continious movement so you do not roll back. Move your body weight forward so your chest is over you front hub. Remain strong in the core and use the bike as a lever to get full pedal stroke length.

Streamlining

refer streamlining video. 'Streamlining' is a swimming technique that is used underwater in every stroke. Streamline form is used, usually along with a dolphin kick or flutter kick, to create the least amount of resistance to help the swimmer propel as far as they can.

common swim freestyle mistakes

refer swim freestyle mistakes video

common swim breathing mistakes

refer swim breathing mistakes video

thumb drag drill

refer thumb drag drill

catch up drill

refer catch up drill

changeover drill

refer swim changeover drill

efficient run technique

efficient running technique requires you to minimise the contact time between your foot strike and the ground. A key to achieving this is to keep almost all of your weight on the forefoot throughout the weight-bearing phase of each stride cycle. Another key to running fast is relaxed shoulders, with arms bent at 90 degrees at the elbow and swinging from the shoulders. Further information regarding efficient running can be found in emmacarney.com blog articles. Some key running drils used to achieve efficient running are - bum flicks video, high knees video, vertical bounding video, horizontal bounding video & the grapevine video.

horizontal bounding

refer horizontal bounding video

vertical bounding

refer vertical bounding video

high-knees

refer high knees video

bum flicks

refer bum flick video.

2 beat kick

In 2-beat, you kick twice for every cycle (a cycle is 2 arms strokes counting both arms). This is a slow kick speed that many distance swimmers and skilled triathletes use.

Kick

refer kick drill video. There are 4 key technique points. 1. kick from the hip not the knee. 2. Point your toes (plantar flexed feet). 3. ankle flexibility. 4. The key to good timing is that when the hand enters the water at the front of the stroke, the opposite leg should kick. In 2 beat kick this is the only kick, in 4 and 6 beats there are other kicks in between but the kick on opposite hand entry is the important one for timing.

K

refer kick

Cycling Power Test (FTP test)

There are 2 ways of measuring your power levels
1. Most accurate method – Cycling Power Test completed in a sports science laboratory to monitor physiological fitness. (These tests are often expensive and difficult to get regular testing done)
2. Most easily done and close to lab test accuracy – Functional Threshold Power (FTP) Test (The protocol is a 20 minute all-out time trial, typically on a steady climb, although professional cyclists often do a specific series of tests that ensures better accuracy)
FTP test requirements - rested athlete, stationary trainer/suitable road, power monitor (helper – optional)
Test protocol –
After a 45-minute warm up, do maximal efforts in this order, with full recovery (5-10 minutes very easy pedalling) in between each effort:
1 - five seconds (peak neuromuscular power);
2 - five minutes (peak aerobic power);
3 - 20 minutes (threshold power); and
4 - one minute (peak anaerobic capacity).
Your functional threshold power is 95 percent of your 20-minute power number or
FTP = ( 0.95x 20minute power number)

FTP

With a Functional Threshold Power test, you are establishing a wattage number that corresponds to your lactate threshold and gives you a functional threshold power number (lactate threshold as the point at which your body can no longer run on just oxygen alone and you start to dig into your glycogen reserves. Lactic acid begins accumulating in your blood stream faster than it can be flushed out and you're beginning to go anaerobic). After performing the effort you take your average wattage and subtract 5% from it. They call that number your Functional Threshold Power.
If for instance you've ridden your time trial effort and after 20 minutes your average wattage measured was 245 watts, you'll multiply that by .95 to get your FTP.
(245 x .95 = 233 watts)

Power Levels

Training Power Levels
Level 1 <55% % FTP < 60' - regeneration & recovery. Establish base endurance
Level 2 56-75% FTP 60'-240' - improve efficiency
Level 3 76-90% FTP 45'120' - improve sustainable power
Level 4 91-105% FTP 30'-60' - push threshold up
Level 5 106-120% FTP 14'-40' - sustain a high percentage of maximal aerobic power
Level 6 121-150% FTP 4'-10' - intervals increase maximum power output
Level 7 151%< FTP - short intervals increase sprint power output

HR Zones

Training HR Zones
Heart rate training zones are calculated by taking into consideration your Maximum Heart Rate (max HR) and your Resting Heart Rate (rest HR).
Within each training zone, subtle physiological effects take place to enhance your fitness.
Zone 1 < 60% MHR - regeneration & recovery (establish base endurance)
Zone 2 60-75% MHR 60'-240' - tempo (improve efficiency)
Zone 3 75-82% MHR 45'120' - intensive (improve sustainable power)
Zone 4 82-89% MHR 30'-60' - lactate threshold (push threshold up)
Zone 5 89-94% MHR14'-40' - Vo2Max (sustain a high percentage of maximal aerobic power)
Zone 6 >94% MHR 4'-10' - anaerobic capacity (intervals increase maximum power output)
Zone 7 100%< MHR - neuromuscular power (short intervals increase sprint power output)

pool buoy

pull' or 'pool buoy'. The pool buoy is a swim aid put between the legs. When using a pool buoy you should not be kicking. Hence the stroke is concentrating on the 'pull' or arms only.

paddle

swimming aid worn on the hands. Used in strength sets, as increases resistance to each stroke. Can result in sore shoulders if used incorrectly (swimming too flat).

fins

flippers. It is best to wear shorter fins while swim training. Very useful to increase ankle flexibility and great recovery tool for running.

SRI

'seconds rest interval' - the rest interval to take between reps. For example 20SRI is a 20 seconds rest interval between repetitions.

measuring HR

The most common places to measure heart rate is at the wrist (radial artery) and the neck (carotid artery).
Measuring HR using the Radial Pulse (wrist) -
Place your index and middle fingers together on the opposite wrist, about 1/2 inch on the inside of the joint, in line with the index finger. Once you find a pulse, count the number of beats you feel within a one minute period.
Measuring the HR using the Carotid Pulse (neck) -
To take your heart rate at the neck, place your first two fingers on either side of the neck. Be careful not too press to hard, then count the number of beats for a minute. You can estimate the per minute rate by counting over 10 seconds and multiplying this figure by 6, or count over 15 seconds and multiply by 4, or over 30 seconds and doubling the result.
There are obvious potential errors by using this shorthand method.
If you have a heart rate monitor, this will usually give you an accurate reading. Monitor Method - A heart rate monitor or ECG/EEG can be used to get a more accurate heart rate measurement.

resting HR

The measurement of resting heart rate or pulse rate (the number of heart beats per minute) should be taken after a few minutes upon waking whilst still lying in bed. Give your body some time to adjust to the change from sleeping before taking your pulse (2-5 minutes). If you are not able to take a measurement first thing in the morning, make sure you lie down for at least 10 minutes before taking a measurement.

HR Zones

Heart rate training zones are calculated by taking into consideration your Maximum Heart Rate (max HR) and your Resting Heart Rate (rest HR). Within each training zone, subtle physiological effects take place to enhance your fitness.

HR (heart rate)

Heartrate. The number of heart beats per minute. This can be measured manually, holding 2 fingers to your pulse on your neck or wrist and counting the number of beats for 15 sec, then multiplying by 4 to calculate the hears rate for 1 minute. Your heart rate is a very useful training tool for monitoring your training effort, your fatigue levels and recovery rates.

CAD (cadence)

Used most commonly in cycling, sometimes running.
Cadence is the number of revolutions you make each minute with your pedalling.
Usually measured using a cadence meter, but a very easy way to measure bike cadence is to count the number of times one leg reached the top of a pedalling movements for 15sec. Times this number by 4 to calculate the equilavent for a munute.

on

'on' refers to a time cycle. For example if you are swimming and doing a set of 100m efforts on the 1.30, you are pushing off the wall to start each 100m rep at 1 minute & 30 seconds.

Bum Flick drill

Changeover drill

Cornering

Grapevine drill

High Knees drill

Hill Climbing tips

Streamlining

Horizontal Bounding drill

Kick (no Fins)

Kick (with Fins)

Group riding formation

Tumbleturn tips

Vertical Bounding drill