A few weeks back I went up to Chicago for the 3-day USAT Coaching Certification Course.
All in all the class greatly exceeded my expectations. When I had a chance to review the manual ahead of time it seem pretty rudimentary. We actually did not use the manual at all- it was more for reference. Instead, we just had a succession of presentations from some of the absolute biggest names in endurance sport. About 1/2 of the presenters were from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. These guys work with the best olympic athletes day in and day out. Very cool.
As we went along, there were a few pointers that I thought I should share with everyone.
#1 If you are not taking a fish oil supplement for Omega 3's you should be. I started doing this two seasons ago. You just can't get enough in your diet. It is a great anti-inflammatory- possibly as good as ibuprofen. Besides a daily supplement, also look for eggs with high Omega-3s and Barilla Plus Pasta which has both Omega 3s and lots of protein.
#2 Periodize your nutrition. As workload increases your caloric requirements also increase. During recovery weeks and taper, you should eat slightly less. Also type of food intake should vary bet. off season, base and peak periods. More lean protein during off-season and base, more carbs as training volume ramps up.
#3 Seriously consider taking short walk breaks during long training runs and long races. One of the presenters is a complete running guru and really advocates for this. For long races I've always recommended walking the aid stations, so that fits with this philosophy. Incorporating into long runs might be a good idea as well. One of the important distinctions was to do something like a power walk / race walk. Do not go to an almost complete stop shuffle walk. Keep moving briskly.
#4 Keeping as much time bet. long ride and long run was strongly recommended (we already do this at Revolution Multisport). Also length of long runs was discussed and there were good arguments for no longer than 2 hours. If you absolutely have to go longer the suggestion was to do two runs on the same day- something I will consider implementing.
#5 If you want to know if you are running at your potential during a triathlon take your best open time and subtract 7-10%. That is an optimal range when everything goes right.
#6 Ironman pacing: If you collect data from a 1/2 IM leading up to a full that ave. would be your max for an IM. Ave. HR for an IM should be 10-20bpm less than your Half. Your run pace should be 40-80 sec per mile slower than 1/2 IM.
#7 Consider buying and reading "Magical Running" by Bobby McGee. This guy is an absolute running guru and was far and away my favorite presenter. I haven't read the book yet, but will get to it: http://www.bobbymcgee.com/aboutbobby.html
#8 Let's be really aware of our hydration practices as things start to warm up. Just a little dehydration will stop you from getting the most out of every workout. In a race situation a little dehydration will negate that fancy bike, aero wheels, racing flats, etc. Keep a bottle near you during the day and at night. Practice drinking consistently on the bike.
#9 Single-leg drills on the bike are the best drill you can do........but you all knew that already!
#10 During heavy training loads you need to consistently get 8+ hours of sleep. You will not recover from the kind of training we are moving towards if you don't regularly get 8+ hours of sleep. I would rather see people not doing double workouts if they are cutting too much into sleep.