Just as in other professions CPD is crucial for coaches, after all a coach that knows all and doesn’t need to learn anything is not really a coach. So I spent this weekend going back to University (no cheap booze or crazy dancing this time around I’m afraid!) or at least I went to Training Peaks University. The hosts were Joe Friel and Dave Schul and they did a great job in explaining many of the nuances of Training Peaks. In case you don’t use Training Peaks then suffice to say that it is considered to be the best web based endurance coaching platform available at the moment and is what I use for my athletes. There was a lot of great teaching about getting the best use of Training Peaks which I will definitely put to great use. Joe Friel was probably the first Triathlon Coach and has vast knowledge and experience about coaching; there were many pieces of “gold” about coaching and athletic performance to be picked up from his presentations and here are a few snippets:
- Most athletes place too much emphasis on volume. For advanced athletes race day performance is linked more to the profile and distribution of intensity in their training plan rather than volume (BUT the key word is profile this does not mean trying to do more and more intensity)
- Physiological measures (lactate threshold, Vo2, anaerobic threshold) have limited relevance to how you train – what is important is training for the demands of your goal event
- A large focus of training should be aimed at helping the athlete to control pace and effort – in 99.9% of cases this means slowing the athlete down.
- Periodisation thought of by most people as “slow to fast” is no longer the standard approach used by Joe he includes some high intensity work all year round
- Getting fitter requires athletes to get more fatigued the two trend in the same direction, always
PS. Joe is the fit, lean looking dude on the left in the picture above