3 Key Triathlon Training Metrics That Will Determine Your Successful 2020 Season

3 Key Triathlon Training Metrics That Will Determine Your Successful 2020 Season


(door creaks) – Woo-ee, mornin’ Trainiacs! Just got in from a Boxing
Day, what were we at? One hour run, averaging 510 kilometers. I have no idea what that is in miles, but your boy’s gettin’ fit again. (snaps) So something that I’ve
been doing recently, looking back on 2019 which
was a pretty successful year, like PB in a Half Ironman of 4.28, did my first full Iron
Man distance in 9.41. I started looking at the
times that I performed well and the times that I
didn’t in other years. And I’ve got basically three key metrics that I’ve found have
been like the big movers that you can really easily
apply to your training. This isn’t something that you
have to go and do testing on. You just have to go back and look at a little bit
of your training data that’s really easily available and you can start designing
your triathlon training plan for a lot of success
with these three things. And I’m gonna show you what they are. (tapping) They surprised me a bit. (upbeat music) So Trainiacs, as you
watch more of my videos, listen to more of my podcast,
or follow me on Instagram, which you should do all of
because they’re all phenomenal, what you might be seeing is
that there are a lot of things that I’m talking about. I’m doing fat max testing,
I’m doing zone two testing, I’m doing V O two max training, I’m doing all these different things. And you’re like well how do
I keep this all straight? What I’m gonna talk about here
is basically three metrics that if you start focusing
on these three metrics which anyone can do with something as simple as a heart rate monitor and ya might need an Oura ring but if you don’t want to shell out the several hundred dollars to do that you can just download a $14 app to do it. And with nothing but that and understanding what
I’m gonna talk about here, you’re going to be able
to dial in your training to be as difficult as it
needs to be to make progress but not so difficult that
you’re over-training, basically doing yourself harm while not actually getting any better. Let’s dive into those three key metrics. The first key metric
that I want to talk about is the amount of time that you spend in each of your heart rate zones. If you’ve read the book
“80/20 Triathlon Training”, or listened to any of the
podcasts or videos that I’ve done about low heart rate zone two training, you know that somewhere in between about 70 and 80% of your
total training volume should be done at lower intensities with the other 20% being
done at higher intensities. I’m going to show you how it
looks when it’s done right and how it looks when
it’s done incorrectly. So this here, this is my heart
rate data for the entire year starting from December 26,
2018 up until Christmas of this year. And if we look and just
hover over these bars we see that 48.7% of my
time was in zone one, nice low intensity, 26.1% of my time was spent in zone two. And we’ve got in here
it’s showing six zones. So there’s even going to be a
little bit of this zone three that is in low intensity. Basically right smack in that
75 to 80% of the time spent in that low intensity zones
with smaller amounts of time in the higher intensity zones. So it’s going to allow you
to train really frequently without injury and when you
gotta hit it hard, (claps) the hard stuff that’s actually
going to make you fast, it’s gonna be really hard so you’re gonna be made really fast instead of like oh well, I’m kinda tired because I’ve been training
a little bit too hard 80% of the time, so when
I have to go really hard, I can’t train really hard. So you want to have a big bulk of training at these two low intensities. I’m gonna show you what happens
when you don’t have that. This next slide here is my preparation for Half Ironman Puerto
Rico where I went 436. Not bad, but it wasn’t a personal best. And when I got on to the
run I was really flat. Yeah, it was a hilly
course, it was a hot course, but I just didn’t really
have the legs for it and if ya look at it you can point to well I had only 44.9% of
my time spent in zone one and only 20% of my time spent in zone two. So 65% of my time, a much
lower percentage of my time, was spent in that zone that I
really want to be training in. Let’s fast forward to my training
for full Ironman distance at Challenge Roth. Well, we go back to 48% in
zone one and 27% in zone two. Now 75% of my training time
was in that low intensity zone. Now you might be saying,
“Well, hey, Taren, “of course it’s gonna be less intense “because you’re dealing
with a longer race.” Well what happened at
the very end of the year when I raced Half Ironman Atlantic City setting a PB of 428? Well you can see an even
bigger amount of time spent in zones one and
two, upwards of about 78% even though it’s a faster race and I went faster a much
bigger percentage of time spent in that lower intensity zone. So that’s what you want to shoot for. And you can basically sum this up by almost any training website
that you upload your data to is going to be able to show
you how much time you spend in each of the zones, and you want in between about 75 and 80% of your total annual training time in that low intensity zone. Now if you want a guideline
for how to do this you can go to
TriathlonTaren.com/hrtraining and that’s gonna give ya a
calculator and a few guides just to let you know
what types of workouts should be done at the low intensity zone, how frequently it should be done, how to use it, how to
calculate your zones, and when you should be
going in the more intense or even moderate intensity. It’s gonna give ya some
guidelines for that. Let’s get into how to know how
hard you should be training. For balancing, how hard
you should be training given week by week, month by month, what happens with a busy
schedule or poor sleep, or great sleep, or you’re
overall just training low and how much can you train,
what I like to use is HRV. Now in my case I use the Oura ring. Now it’s a few hundred dollars, but what you can just
do is download an app called HRV For Training and
first thing in the morning take an HRV measurement with your finger and then I will give you this spreadsheet for actually calculating it because I like how I use
this spreadsheet a lot more than what a lot of the apps
out there end up giving you. They kinda make it more
complicated than it needs to be. So what we’ve got here is
how you use HRV in training. You don’t want to just use
a low measurement one day versus a high measurement one day. You want to use rolling averages. And what we’re doing with this chart is we are calculating on the blue line, this is our seven day rolling average. Basically like how well
am I doing right now versus our 30 day rolling average. And what you want to see is
you want to see your seven days are always above your
30 day rolling average. If your seven days, how
you’re doing right now, dips under your 30 days, it’s an indication that you’ve
either trained too much, you haven’t slept well enough, you’ve got too much stress
going on to train really well, and that’s a time that you back off. So what you’re doing with this chart is you’re basically
instead of pre-prescribing a bunch of rest days regardless of whether
you need them or not, you’re training hard,
you’re training regularly, and then as your heart rate
variability dips under, then you take rest. So what this is doing is it’s making sure you’re training hard enough
when you’re ready to train hard and it’s making sure
that you’re training easy when you aren’t ready to train hard. And what this is going to do is it’s gonna keep ya injury-free, it’s gonna keep ya training regularly, it’s gonna keep ya from
developing sicknesses, and it’s going to allow
you to layer fitness over and over, month after
month, year after year, with some actual data to do it. Now you can get this spreadsheet at TriathlonTaren.com/hrvtraining. Just put your email
address in, that’s free, and you can combine that with an Oura ring which you can get 50 bucks off of if you are on TeamTrainiac.com
or with HRV For Training. Okay, now how much as far as
time, do you need to train? That’s the last piece. So we’re gonna go back to training peaks and what we’ve got here is my training leading up to Half Ironman Puerto Rico. And what we averaged was
a training stress score of each week of 593. Now this is for somebody
who’s trying to place well in their age group. And what my coach and the consulting coach that we use on
TeamTrainiac.com, Dan Plews, says is, “To be competitive,
the cost of doing business “is around a 700 training stress score on average per week in a half Ironman.” So I was a little bit under
but I wasn’t far from it. But in Puerto Rico I didn’t reach my goal. I finished eighth in age group. I didn’t qualify for a Half Ironman World Championships in Nice but here at Half Ironman Atlantic City I did qualify for the World Championships, although I didn’t take my spot. And what we see is my
average training stress score for that build was a 751. And I easily ended up
reaching my goal in that race. Let’s go to my build for Challenge Roth. And I had an average
training stress score of 832. What Dan Plews says again is,
“If you want to be competitive “in your age group, and qualify
for world championships, “the cost of doing business “is about a training
stress score of a 1,000.” And in this case I wouldn’t
have qualified for Kona even though it was a challenge race and couldn’t qualify for Kona, but we can see that at
this training stress score I didn’t put out a time that would have qualified you for that. Now what we’ve got on TeamTrainiac.com is basically a guideline. Not everyone is trying to
qualify for a world championship but what we’re going to be
providing for a guideline is if you’re doing a sprint distance race and you want to just finish, you need to do around
four to six hours a week. On the very other end of it, if you want to be a Ironman
athlete and be competitive you’ve got to do around
14 to 18 hours a week. So basically what I’m saying with this is you need to match up
the amount of training that you can put in and
are prepared to put in with the expectations
of what you want to do and vice versa. It has to go both ways. So these things we’ve got dialed in. This is a lot of what our
training is based around on TeamTrainiac.com. It’s making sure that
this is all done for you and you don’t have to worry
about all this balance and freaking out and saying,
“Am I training hard enough, “or am I training too hard?” It’s all done and set for you but at least now you
understand how to do it. This is all a lot of the things that we just kind of manage
automatically with my training. But what are the things
that I’m not doing well, that I’m working on? Number one is sleep. I want to show you this. In 2018, towards the end of
it, my sleep was really good. If we just scroll through here, my average weekly sleep was
anywhere from like seven and 1/2 all the way up to nine hours, 53 minutes, nine hours, 55 minutes, over 10 hours. This is when I was my lightest, I was feeling really good, I
was never really beat down. And then going into the beginning
of 2019, more of the same. But what we see here is that my sleep ended up
suffering and deteriorating, and this is when I
started putting on weight. So this is something that
we’re really working on. I’m into like the eights,
the low eights, consistently. In the sevens, we’ve got a 7.07
for average hours of sleep. I want to try to bump that up to consistently over
eight hours of good sleep. Next thing that I’m
working on is right here. Right now I’ve got in a
continuous blood glucose monitor and the reason that I’m doing
that is I really want to start dialing in which foods actually create a very serious blood glucose response, which ones are much easier on me. And if I can more average
out my blood glucose with fewer spikes, with fewer
times that I’m elevated, I’m going to have an
easier time recovering from a lot of workouts, my
HRV is going to be higher, my sleep is going to be better, my stomach is going to be better. And it all kinda intertwines. If your health is good, your sleep is probably gonna be good. If your sleep is good, your health is probably gonna be good, your weight’s probably gonna be good, your training’s gonna be good. It all kinda works together. So I’m just taking that
quantification of myself up another notch and you
all get to learn from it. If you want to make sure that you see the entire video that I’m
going to do about a month that I’m spending with this
thing plugged in to me, make sure you hit the
subscribe button below. So that’s it, Trainiacs! Those are the few metrics
that I would be looking at regardless of whether you’re trying to make a world championship or you are just trying to be healthy and finish your first race. Now if you want help with that, go download all those things
at the URLs that we mentioned. I’ll put them in the description below. And go check out TeamTrainiac.com where a lot of this is done
for you every single day. All you have to do is show
up and do the workouts based off of how much time you say you want to workout and
what you want to work on, and the plan is automatically done for you every single day all year round. There you go, Trainiacs! Check it out, have a great year. I’m happy to be along for the ride. I’m honored, good luck to all of you. Happy New Year!

25 thoughts on “3 Key Triathlon Training Metrics That Will Determine Your Successful 2020 Season

  1. I know you don't read this..but Kim does. Could you go into alternatives other than 180- age for the low heart rate. I am finding out the one size fits all doesn't always work. For example..the talk test I can do at 155 BPM but maff says I should be maxing at 136 BPM. Huge gap IMO.

  2. When you are checking TSS amounts per week is this only considering cycling or does it also include running (rTSS) and swimming (sTSS)? I do not believe my Garmin equipment calculates TSS for any sports other than cycling…

  3. Hi. Where did you get the blood glucose monitor from? I believe it is only covered by provincial insurance programs (or employer coverage) in case of certain diagnosis, otherwise you would need to pay out of pocket which is several thousand $$$. Do you know of any cheaper alternatives?

  4. I’ve found Training peaks TSS score can be misleading at times during my training and the algorithm is off somewhat , I’ve had TP assign a higher TSS to a 90min easy run, than to a 25x400m session, incl. w/u and c/d🙈
    But I agree it’s a good guide most of the time to our training load.

  5. sleepis nice if you can lock in over 8 h…as long u dont have children 😉. but you never speek about it, a pity…

  6. This is one of your best videos ever- no joke – thanks!!! Very informative, it's also providing some good benchmarks for me to compare against. I would also be interested in knowing your CTL for each of the events you described.🏊🚴🏃🏻😴

  7. Hi Taren, Really interesting video. I was curious why you use the Qura ring for sleep tracking vs your watch a Garmin 945 if my memory of watching marathons of your videos servers correctly. As i belive that watch will also track sleep. Any input on this you can provide would be great. I struggle with getting enough sleep and good sleep so am curious what the Qura might offer after using fitbit devices and now garmin for multiple things and sleep tracking. Thanks

  8. This zone heart rate is difficult to figure out. Can you tell me if this is correct I'm 50 years old my
    zone 1 should be [email protected]%=102bpm
    zone 2 should be [email protected]%=119bpm
    zone 3 should be [email protected]%=136bpm
    zone 1 should be [email protected]%=153bpm

    My resting heart rate is 57-64bpm
    Just going to the gym my heart rate goes to 100bpm.
    I have been running at 10 – 12 kph over the last 2 month's and my heart rate is 160-180bpm. 12kph I can finish 20 km but I dont feel and stress on heart rate but the monitor says 178-183bpm. I have done 2km speed at 15kph then recover 11kph 3 times heart rate up to 190bpm down to 174 bpm.
    So my question is is this the right equation or how do I figure outmax heart rate?

  9. I’d be interested in hearing more about that blood glucose monitor and what data you get and how you utilize it as well as cost, what you do when you swim or sweat heavily etc. thanks for the info

  10. Are your Zone 1/2 within TP the zones as per your Maffetone spreadsheet calculator? I can see up to zone 6, hence being confused

  11. I never realised this info was sitting in my Garmin Connect all this time! I’ve been using Garmins for 10 years and checked my average HR each year and in most of those 10 years my avg was between 150-160 HR! The last 2 years it’s been 110-115; in those two years I’ve finally broke into the top ten in races and I’m in my 40s! Thanks to 80/20 book and YOU Taren! Keep up the good work!

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