“Meb Minutes” is a weekly series of videos that gives an inside look into Meb’s preparation for Boston. Get training tips and a raw, inside look with no photo-shoot set-ups, no staged workouts, no re-do. We simply wanted to catch Meb “doing what he does” and he was nice enough to let us show up and do just that. We’ll cover topics from his mental approach and training philosophy to workouts, cross-training and “the small things” that have made his career long and successful. Find out what those “small things” are and how you can incorporate them into your training here on Meb Minutes.
Thursday, April 11, 2013/ By Craig David
When we think about our sports nutrition…what’s going to make it “golden?” On track, top notch, or better than average? In my opinion every athlete who is serious about performance should aim to have top notch sports nutrition habits. Our bodies have become these machines – dealing with everyday stress, stress of long and hard workouts, and stress under sleep deprivation. Nutrition is crucial to enabling your body to process the stress and nurture the body to higher performance.
In order to understand what comprises the golden rules of sports nutrition we first need to identify its ultimate goals. When we work with clients and are building their nutrition programs, sometimes we say things like “This may not make sense now, but it will in time” as we do things that may seem counter-intuitive at first – such as increasing their calories to actually lose weight (see, you don’t think it makes sense either, do you)! Why is this relevant? Because we need to comprehend the notion that in sport, whether it is endurance or strength, we are asking our bodies to do extraordinary things; so, we must feed it in extraordinary ways.
That said, the goals of sports nutrition can be categorized into four general buckets: understanding the stress response in relation to exercise, being able to control blood sugar before/during/after a training session, advancing recovery with different nutrients at different times, and to minimize the effects of cortisol.
Based on these main goals, here are the Five Golden Rules of Sports Nutrition.
1) Avoid working out on an empty stomach.
If you haven’t eaten within the 2 hours prior to training grab a banana, an electrolyte drink, or something else that is light to keep your blood sugar steady.
- For shorter workouts (less than 45 minutes) a piece of fruit would suffice. Make sure it’s fruit that your stomach is familiar with and can easily digest.
- For a workout that’s 60-90 minutes, consider adding an electrolyte drink 1/3 or halfway through to ensure your body has a constant flow of carbs, and to prevent dehydration.
- With a workout over 90 or 120 minutes, then you’ll want to consider taking in a combination of liquid hydration such as Skratch Labs drink mix, along with some form of solid food: bar, rice, boiled potato, etc. Find out what works for you in terms of liquid and whole foods and you’ll be ahead of the competition!
2) Don’t miss your breakfast.
This seems to set the tone for how your body utilizes nutrients throughout the day. We often hear that people “aren’t hungry” when they get ready for the day, and that’s perfectly okay. What I’d recommend is to start with something simple like an egg and a piece of fruit, or a glass of milk and a granola bar. Try being consistent for a week, let your body adjust to having nutrients in the morning and then you can progress from there.
Blood sugar should rise and be more stable with a protein/carb combo. For more sustained energy, add in some healthy fats; for example add avocado to that egg or put some almond butter in a smoothie or on your toast. You’ll stay full for hours to come and energy for that mid-day workout will be better than expected.
3) Have the meals 2-3 days prior to your event all planned out.
In doing so, you’ll ensure your body has what it needs for your event and the tank is “topped off” so to speak. We see so many athletes “wing it” and then wonder why they bonk or get dizzy or feel lethargic on race day.
To make planning easier, stick with foods you already know you like and won’t create any stomach distress. Stay away from foods with a high saturated fat content, or high fiber content. You’ll always want to match up a carb with a protein – stick to a 2:1 or 3:1 carb to protein ratio so insulin is in check and blood sugar stays stable. And yes, I’m recommending you cook it ahead of time! Pack your lunch, pull a pre-made dinner meal out of the freezer, plan your breakfast for race day and get up an hour earlier to give it plenty of time to digest. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself!
No need to overthink it, but do keep in mind that “failing to plan is planning for failure.”
4) Never skip your recovery meal.
If you’re skipping recovery nutrition, you’re skipping out on the ability to produce results from your training program. Figure out what recovery protocol works for your training, implement it within the precious 30-45 minutes after your workout, and eat within another 90 minutes after that…watch your performance soar.
Why do we recommend that athletes eat within 30-45 minutes after their session? Science shows us the good old “recovery window” starts to close within 45-60 minutes. Liquid recovery nutrition seems to be easier on the stomach, digests quicker and can be more convenient to use if you’re not at home to prep anything. Stash a protein shake or some amino acids in your gear bag so you can down it when you’re done. Then, when you get home, get in an equally distributed meal: some complex carbs, protein, vegetables and some omega fats. This will again, re-stabilize blood sugar and keep your body moving forward!
5) Get in a nutrient-dense snack before bed.
By nutrient-dense I mean some healthy fats, nuts, berries, protein – foods that will not spike blood sugar, but help keep it from dropping during the night.
Oftentimes we’ll get the question, “Shouldn’t I not eat after X time in the evening?” I guess you could say there’s a mental benefit to feeling good about not overeating or self control about what you’re putting into your body. However, from the perspective of fueling for sport, there’s not a lot of physiological benefit to fasting before bed; we know blood sugar is rapidly depleted during sleep to sustain the body’s processes. Furthermore, if we restrict nutrient intake, what would the body rebuild from during the evening?
I think the question to ask yourself is not, “Am I going to eat?” but rather, “What kind of food would be best for my body at this time of day?” Our athlete body is in constant motion, and in constant need of fueling and rebuilding itself. The worst thing an athlete of any kind can do is to restrict nutrients in hopes of improving performance. It just doesn’t work!
As you can see there’s a lot of rocket science going on (totally joking)! Now that you know the rules, ask yourself, “Is my nutrition ‘top notch’? Am I adhering to the golden rules?” Is your answer no, maybe or sometimes? Unless it’s a definite “yes,” you need to step back and consider your training load. Consider how much stress it is on the body. If you implement sports nutrition in such a way that it’s as high of a priority as training, you’ll create efficiencies and gains you’ve never seen before. Give it a try.
About the author
Craig David is the owner of the Max Muscle Sports Nutrition franchise in Boulder, CO and is a Certified Sports Nutritionist. Born and raised in Colorado, Craig grew up surrounded by the mountains, a small town atmosphere, farming, skiing and aviation. Upon graduation, Craig received a B.S. in Health and Exercise Science & Nutrition for Colorado State University. His career highlights include an internship at the White House Athletic Club in Washington, D.C. training some of the nation’s finest. He also has extensive experience in performance gear testing, horizontal power testing, and cardio pulmonary testing. Today you’ll find Craig speaking to high school and collegiate sport teams, working with the local SWAT teams, designing custom nutrition programs for the high-end professional athlete to engaging the average person in a corporate wellness education seminar. Join him in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle! Find him at C.David[at]MaxMuscleBoulder[dot]com or www.MaxMuscleBoulder.com.
Run-Walk-Run: It began in 1974
by: Jeff Galloway
I was asked to teach a class in beginning running a few months after opening my specialty running store, Phidippides in 1973. Through this class I saw an opportunity to help non-runners enjoy the benefits of running. Since business was slow at the store, I also wanted to increase the number of potential customers.
During the class I discovered that none of my students had been running for at least five years. About one third had never done any regularly scheduled exercise during their lifetime. During the first lap around the track I realized that walk breaks would be crucial if I wanted each class member to finish either a 5K or 10K without injury or exhaustion.
As I ran with each group, I focused on breathing rate. The “huff and puff” rule emerged: when you hear huffing and puffing, take more frequent walk breaks and slow the pace.
Throughout the first class, I adjusted the run-walk-run amounts so that each person felt successful in completing the distance – which gradually increased during one run each week. Most admitted that they started to look forward to each run because of the improved attitude during and afterward.
At the end of the 10 week term was the “exam”: either a 5K or a 10K. Each student finished! When I polled each at the end I received my best reward: none of them had been injured!
During the next two years, I experimented with various ratios of walk breaks as I worked with beginning runners at my store. In 1976, Galloway Training Program began. I continued to find that walk breaks could almost eliminate injury.
Many of the veteran marathoners refused to take walk breaks at first. As the former beginners moved into longer distance events such as marathons, they continued to adjust to walk breaks and started to record faster times than the veterans. This led to the use of walk breaks in all pace groups.
Principles behind run-walk-run:
• Continuous use of a muscle will result in quicker fatigue
• The longer the run segment, the more fatigue
• Run-walk-run is a form of interval training
• Conservation of resources
• Quicker recovery
• Less stress on the “weak links”
• Ability to enjoy endorphins
• Reduce core body temperature
The Galloway run-walk-run method
• A smart way to run – by giving you congnitive control over each workout.
• Allows you to carry on all of your life activities – even after long runs
• Motivates beginners to get off of the couch and run
• Bestows running joy to non-stop runners who had given up
• Helps improve finish times in all races
• Gives all runners control over fatigue
• Delivers all of the running enhancements without exhaustion or pain
Why do some runners have trouble taking walk breaks?
Research has shown that the lessons in the early school years are powerfully embedded in the subconscious brain. While it is natural to feel anxious and then receive negative hormones when we depart from these hard-wired patterns, concious actions can re-train this ancient brain. The cognitive focus on specific run segments/set amount of walks can hard-wire new patterns into the reflex brain. This gives you control over your attitude as you feel the positive results from using strategic walk breaks. Through the use of mantras and systematic actions, you empower the concious brain to take control. This frontal lobe component can over-ride the subconcious brain and retrain it to accept and embrace run-walk-run.
• Speed you up: an average of 7 minutes faster in a 13.1 mile race when non-stop runners
shift to the correct run-walk-run ratio – and more than 13 minutes faster in the marathon
• Give you control over the way you feel during and after
• Erase fatigue
• Push back your wall of exhaustion or soreness
• Allow for endorphins to collect during each walk break
• Break up the distance into manageable units
• Speed recovery
• Reduce the chance of aches, pains and injury
• Allow older or heavier runners to recover fast, and feel as good as in the younger (slimmer) days
• Activate the frontal lobe – maintaining your control over attitude and motivation
How to determine the right run-walk-run ratio? Use the Magic Mile prediction tool.
About Jeff Galloway:
Over a million runners and walkers have read Galloway books, attended his retreats / running schools, received E-coaching or individual consultation or joined his training programs. His doable plans have opened up the life-changing experience of finishing a distance event to almost everyone. His methods have reduced aches, pains and injuries to almost zero. Jeff is in front of an audience motivating and teaching over 200 times a year–helping those of all abilities to enjoy exercise until they are 100!
- US Olympian, 1972, 10,000 meters (also an alternate on the marathon team)
- Trained with Steve Prefontaine, Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, Amby Burfoot, Jack Bacheler
- Author of North America’s best selling running book: Galloway’s Book on Running
- Runner’s World monthly columnist
- Official Training Consultant for runDisney series of races- with video clips and training programs on this site
- Founder of the Run-Walk-Run® method- opened up running to millions
- Founder and owner of Phidippides–the oldest running specialty store (since 1973)
- Producer of the Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk & Fitness Program in Atlanta- which has enrolled 20,000 participants (2012 – 30th
- Coached ESPN and MSNBC segments with celebrity runners Sage Steele and Megan Price
- Jeff has run for over 50 years, over thirty of those without injury.
- Over 350,000 runners and walkers have reported achieving their goals by using Galloway Training Programs.
– See more at: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/run-walk/#sthash.3s1YkGDb.dpuf
Is Running Good for Children”
We all would love to see our kids as Olympic Champions–but is training them now a wise idea?
By Hal Higdon
Steven Poskus remembers with pride the day his son Daniel, age four, asked him, “Can I be a runner too?” Poskus happily obliged. He signed his son up for the Monster Mash Dash, a short-distance event for children connected with a Trick or Treat 5-K on the Chicago lakefront one October.
Daniel trained for several weeks, running with his grandmother. On race day, his parents pinned Daniel’s number on the front of his shirt. “He stretched and drank water before the race, just like adult runners do,” recalls Poskus. When the announcer called the runners to the start, Daniel was the first one on the line–and he was the first one crossing the line 50 yards later!
“I have never seen him more excited than the moment he knew he had won,” beams Poskus. “Just the look on his face was priceless. I was very, very proud. My only dilemma is that now he wants to race all the time.”
A future Olympic champion? Or is Daniel only going through a phase, soon to pass on to soccer, Nintendo, even girls?
Fat rather than fitter children
Hopefully Daniel Poskus will maintain his interest in running and/or other forms of exercise through a long and healthy life, but the sad fact is that too many of our children are getting fatter, rather than fitter. Jordan Metzl, M.D., medical director of the Sports Medicine Institute for Young Athletes at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, says sadly that in the last 25 years, obesity in children has more than doubled. “We’re becoming a nation of couch potatoes,” admits Dr. Metzl.
Senior Writer John Brant ably documented this problem in the September 2000 issue of Runner’s World: “To a potentially catastrophic degree, our kids have stopped moving. One quarter of Americans under age 19 are overweight. Worse, approximately 5.3 million kids, or 12 percent of all youths aged 6 to 17, are seriously overweight.”
Blame television and video games and car-pooling kids to school instead of having them walk, but our school systems also have failed abysmally in providing exercise opportunities during the admittedly crowded school day. Because of budget crunches, physical education programs have been all but eliminated (along with art and music) in many school systems. At Alimacani Elementary School in Jacksonville, Florida, Jan Tipton is the single physical education teacher supervising 1,250 children. “I see each class once every 10 days,” admits Tipton. “I like to think I make an impact, because of the support from many classroom teachers, who are good at motivating their students to run during recess. But until schools start providing physical education at least three days a week, we’ll have a hard time meeting our exercise goals.”
Fitness can be fun
Yet ironically, children’s running is on the rise. A growing minority of running parents and their children have discovered that fitness can be fun. More and more road races have begun to add side events for youngsters. In Huntsville, Alabama each fall, a thousand children participate in a program where they ran a total of 25 miles in school over a period of several months, then ran a final 1.2 miles at The Rocket City Marathon to complete the classic 26.2-mile distance. The Gate River Run in Jacksonville had 2,600 kids participate in the Adidas Junior River Run, four separate mile races for different age groups in March. The Dominick’s Youth Run, held the day before the Chicago Marathon, attracted 1,400 sons and daughters of those who would be running 26.2 miles the next day.
“Increasingly, organizers of road races from 5-K to the marathon have begun to add short-distance events for children to their mix of weekend activities,” says Linda Honikman of the USATF Road Running Information Center. “They do it to please the running parents–or because they are running parents themselves.” While participation of junior (19 and under) runners in marathons has diminished in the last two decades from 5 percent to less than 2 percent, participation in 5-K races is on the rise for those in that category.
These aren’t young age-group runners, but rather children who show up at a road race with their running parents and participate on their own level. But age-group cross-country meets also have shown an increase in numbers with several national championships to lure the fittest of the fit.
Boom in children’s running
Running currently is undergoing a second boom, but if there is to be a third boom, it may be fueled by youngsters. The first running boom began in the mid 1970s, mainly middle-aged Baby-Boomers, men who were looking to lose a few pounds and get in shape by running 10-K races. The second running boom started in the late 1990s, continuing today, fueled by young women, seemingly the daughters of those Baby-Boomers. Their goals were the same as their fathers–weight control, good health–although they focused more on finishing marathons rather than running fast. The next running boom may feature kids, the grandchildren of those Baby-Boomers. If so, the parents and grandparents will need to supply both motivation and opportunities.
But is running good for children? Can running while young stunt growth or cause injuries? And even if there is no physical damage, what about psychological damage? Will children forced to train by overeager running (i.e., “Little League”) parents lose interest in the sport by the time they reach the age when it might do them the most good?
Running has profited from increased participation in soccer in the United States. Soccer Moms often convert to Running Moms if there is a 5-K or a race with a children’s component on the weekend. Soccer is a sport that features near continuous running, so it is easy to shift from that sport to pure running. While soccer programs sometimes drain participants away from track and cross-country at the high school level, experts agree that kids chasing after a ball, or after each other, promote health habits that can endure after they become adults. You can’t say that about mainstream sports such as football or baseball.
Positive conditioning vs. negative punishment
Coaches in mainstream sports, as well as physical education teachers, also finally have begun to recognize the benefits of running as a form of positive conditioning as opposed to negative punishment. In the past, team athletes who missed a tackle or a free throw often would be told to “run two laps.” That has faded somewhat with at least the more progressive coaches preaching the positive benefits of aerobic exercises, but unfortunately not all physicians give running their active endorsement.
For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics worried about the dangers of children running long distances in a policy statement, published in 1990 and reaffirmed in 1994. The Academy warned against “epiphyseal plate injuries, stress fractures, patellofemoral syndrome and chronic tendonitis” and suggested the incidence of such injuries relates to the volume of training. Children apparently are less efficient at regulating their temperature while running, which can be a problem if running much further than two or three miles on a warm or cold day.
The AAP also worried about psychic damage when children (or their parents) set unrealistic goals and fail to meet them. Admittedly, not every child has the potential to become the Olympic marathon champion, but not every student basketball or football player has the talent to succeed in the NBA. or NFL. And while incidence of injuries (shin splints, sore knees, turned ankles) may be higher among runners than athletes in other sports (girl cross-country runners are near the top of the “most injured” list), those injuries inevitably are significantly less than those suffered by a running back nailed by a linebacker or a batter hit by a pitched ball. Concussions cause more long-term damage than shin splints.
Unfortunately, the American Academy of Pediatrics, while alerting doctors of the “dangers” of high-volume training, failed to set any limit on miles run either in training or in racing. The Academy also seemed to have an unrealistic idea as to how many miles children were running or what races they were entering. The Academy began its Policy Statement with the comment: “It is not unusual for an aspiring prepubescent athlete to run 10 to 15 miles daily and to participate in distance races, including marathons.” But despite what the Academy believes, it is very unusual for boys or girls age 14 or less to run anywhere near that much. A few high school cross-country teams run at that level, but very few. And while young children sometimes do 5-K races, they rarely run marathons these days.
“The number of (prepubescent) youngsters in marathons is tiny,” states Honikman of the USATF Road Running Information Center. Honikman recalls meeting a 12-year-old at the Carlsbad 5-K this year who had completed the City of Los Angeles Marathon the month before, but adds: “That kind of long distance participation is very isolated to just a few events and a few regions.” Many major marathons refuse to accept entries from athletes of high school age. Boston sets its limit at age 18; Chicago at age 16. And there seems to be little pressure among responsible running parents to break those barriers. As for whether or not young runners train 10 to 15 miles daily, if that was the case, running kids would be seen everywhere, and they are not.
Young marathon phenoms
Kids running marathons was more a phenomenon at the beginning of the first running boom, rather than today. Beginning in the early 1970s, there was a rash of youngsters setting age-group records that slowed, if not stopped, soon after publications such as Runner’s World stopped publicizing such efforts. Wesley Paul ran his first marathon with his father at age seven and ran 2:38 in 1977 at age 14. Mary Etta Boitano ran in her first marathon at age five 1968, failing to finish, but did 3:01 at age 10. Neither ever made an Olympic team, but a quarter century later both Paul and Boitano (now Blanchard) still enjoy running and hope to inspire their children to follow their footsteps. So much for psychic damage!
“My father and I simply went out and ran 60 or 90 minutes a day,” says Paul of his training. “When race day came along, I just got caught in the flow. I don’t compete now, but it’s hard for me to imagine my life without my daily running regimen.” Blanchard scoffs at the idea that running high mileage might set children up for later-life injuries or stunt their growth. “If you’re talking ‘injuries,’ what about heart disease, because you’re overweight or fail to exercise?” she asks. “As for growth, I’m 5 feet 5 inches tall. My brother Mike probably trained harder than me and is 6 feet 3 inches.” Wesley Paul is 6 feet 2 inches, six inches taller than his father and the same size as his brother who doesn’t run.
Yet children–like adults–differ in their ability to absorb training. Some genetically gifted youngsters seem to have the ability to float across the ground and run forever. Others may need closer parental supervision. Dr. Metzl (who has run 13 marathons, Boston seven times) says this is particularly true at puberty: between 8 and 12 for girls and 10 and 14 for boys. “There is some risk that excessive running can damage the growth plates,” he admits. “As to what is ‘excessive,’ there’s no research that would provide us with an exact number. I’m comfortable with children running distances up to 5-K and 10-K, if they’re properly trained. I’m not a believer in kids under 18 running marathons, and those under 14 should probably stay on the down side of 13 miles.”
Positives outweigh negatives
Nevertheless, Dr. Metzl agrees that the positive aspects of running so outweigh the negative risks that running parents should do everything possible to inspire their children to take up running and other forms of exercise. The link between obesity and other illnesses is strong; cardiovascular disease has been diagnosed even in teenagers. A child training for a 5-K is probably going to be less tempted to experiment with cigarettes or drugs or to hang around with “friends” who climb into a car after downing a six-pack of beer. Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D. suggests that a healthy lifestyle that includes appropriate amounts of exercise can add six to nine years to your life and contribute greatly to the quality of that life.
When it comes to converting children into runners–competitive or recreational–your example, the running lifestyle you lead, may work better than lectures on fitness. Michael Farrell, an educator from Fort Smith, Arkansas, brought his family with him to the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and watched proudly as his son James, age nine, prowled the aisles collecting autographs from celebrities such as Bill Rodgers, Joe Henderson and, yes, Hal Higdon. James had only done a little previous running to get ready for a 5-K, but was in good shape from playing soccer and roller hockey. The next day, James jumped into the marathon at 21 miles to run the last 5 miles with his father, who was en route to his first marathon finish in 4:33.
James crossed the finish line and turned to his father, “Hey, Dad, when you run the Marine Corps Marathon next fall, can I run the last 5 miles with you again?”
Guess his father’s reply.
The #1 Rule of Endurance Training
Amidst the intervals, data, devices, diets and all the other ways that athletes are trying to “gain an edge” in endurance training, it can be easy to forget the basics. The number one most important rule of training, which is often forgotten, is consistency. There is no training program or workout any coach can devise that can make up for a lack of consistency in training. The higher your goals are as an athlete, the more important consistency is.
“As a coach, I repeatedly see the differences in performance and improvement between the athlete who is consistent in their training and the athlete who isn’t.”
As a coach, I repeatedly see the differences in performance and improvement between the athlete who is consistent in their training and the athlete who isn’t. You lose fitness at a rate of almost three times as fast as you gain it, so missing a workout or two may not hurt you, but miss a few on a regular basis and you will have a hard time making performance gains. You have to make training a daily priority.
Chronic Training Load
One of the best ways to see how consistent you are in your training is to follow your Chronic Training Load (CTL) in your Performance Management Chart (PMC). The PMC is a Premium feature within TrainingPeaks® and is also available in TrainingPeaks WKO+.
Your CTL is a 42 day exponentially-weighted average of your daily Training Stress Score® (TSS®). It is very representative of your fitness level since it rises slowly as you accumulate workouts, but falls very quickly when workouts are missed. Your daily TSS score is determined after a swim, bike or run automatically provided you have set your Functional Threshold Power, Threshold Pace or Threshold Heart Rate values. On the bike, power is the most accurate way to measure TSS while on the run pace is the most accurate measurement. In both cases, heart rate can also be used to gain an accurate TSS value. An accurate daily TSS is crucial to maintaining an accurate CTL. You can read more about TSS and threshold here.
Consistency and Peak Performance
Here’s an example of excellent consistency represented by the nice, steady climb of the CTL (blue line). This is pictured in TrainingPeaks WKO+ desktop software.
You can see this athlete’s CTL rising at about 10% every two weeks through the final 5 plus months heading into the peak CTL and taper. Though the amount of your increase may vary on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, this consistent rate of increase in the CTL shows the athlete has been very consistent in training. A steady increase in training stress average also helps to limit injuries, sickness and over-training, which leads to performance gains.
Here’s an example of an athlete who lacks consistency in their run training. The blue CTL line doesn’t rise steadily, has large gaps and drops, and never really changes much in value from late January to mid-September, (low of about 20, high of about 33).
You’ll notice in the inconsistent chart that I overlaid the athlete’s top 10 run performances for different time intervals, ranging from 6 minutes to 2 hours, for this period (speed is in kph). Where the athlete had the most consistent and steady training, in the first third of the chart, is where the largest concentration of top 10 performances are. This isn’t just a coincidence.
Now look at this next PMC and you can see the lack of consistent training for the first half of the year, before the athlete changes and gets consistent in his training. The result is a huge concentration of top 10 performance outputs from 6 minutes to 2 hours, all clustered near each other, as the athlete heads into his peak race.
This is visual, graphic proof of the benefit of consistency in training. An athlete wants to see their best performances of the season happening in the most recent past and in the build-up to their “A” race, not spread out randomly over the course of the season.
Prescribing Correct Training Loads
Take a closer look at your PMC, specifically your CTL, and assess how consistent you were throughout your season. You can also look to cross-reference these charts with your TrainingPeaks training log to see when you might have over-reached in your training, wreaking havoc on your consistency. This allows you to better assess how to prescribe your training loads in the future.
Get your consistency right, make your training a daily priority and you will likely see a great PMC. More than just a good looking chart with clusters of your best performances, you will achieve results when it matters the most.