As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I find I love simple approaches much more.
Please do not read simple for easy.
Truth be told. There is no EASY BUTTON, nor should there be.
Anything worth attaining and getting a rich life experience out of should take hard but smart work to get it.
It’s why I love intuitive training intensities first truly taught to me by Marc Becker.
Previous to that I had been through all the other available methods, like heart rate zones (from now on know as HR zones) developed via the age old and flawed 220 minus age principle, or the Maffetone method and to full lactate testing where HR zones are still based on ‘educated’ guess work.
In full transparency there is one method that I like above all else IF I was going to be using a heart rate monitor. (I ditched mine back in 07 and haven’t looked back I bet I could be within a couple of beats guessing if I tried) anyway the method I would use to determine ‘zones’ if I really wanted to would be derived from what’s called the lactate balance point.
It’s way more objective and accurate then the typical university lactate testing model and I came to this conclusion as I have run both testing protocols with loads of athletes. (No, I’m not doing the testing anymore).
For me and what I like to teach, especially since my coaching is delivered via email, Skype and camps is a very simple method of intuitive intensity.
Most athletes today have lost the ability to FEEL what’s real because they’re anchored to data points. Be it HR or Watts. Both have a place but are not implicitly needed to succeed in triathlon.
Current female dual world champ Leanda Cave went on FEEL to win in Kona..
This is why I love Easy, Moderate, Mod-Hard (think GO pace or that comfortably uncomfortable pace) and HARD. (click for PDF)
Sure there are a couple of extras I like to throw in, like FAST and ALL OUT (yes they differ) but Easy, Mod, Mod-Hard and Hard keep it nice and simple.
Now when you’re honest with yourself on how you’re truly feeling, then you intensity levels will slightly fluctuate on any given day based on how you feel and other choices you have made like a late night, having a drink, stress etc.
Now that last point is important. Very important. This is the ebb and flow of life and you just are not going to feel great everyday.
That’s why your pace today at easy could be different to what it was two days ago. So many factors at play.
I HIGHLY recommend every now and then to go sans everything. Just go on feel. That means no gps, no power, no HR monitor, no cadence, no speed, no stop watch in swimming I allow a watch to tell time for a bike ride or run so you know when to do efforts or how long you have been riding I don’t care how many k’s you go.. all I care about is the EFFORT given based on TRUE honest to goodness FEEL
Rekindle the intuitive feeling of perceived effort.
Lets make your 2013 Rock.
P.S. Another benefit of going sans HR monitor, gps, cadence, power etc .. is what happens if the technology fails on race day? Most people go into a negative spiral because they feel they won’t be able to succeed without them. They might go too hard, too slow or and other variation. But when you have a dialled in intuitive feel, it doesn’t matter. you have the confidence that you body is the best HR / wattage meter you have available.
P.P.S Please don’t read this that I’m against these tools. I’m not. I just don’t live and breath via them. You shouldn’t either.