We were supposed to have Runners World’s Bart Yasso on the podcast this week, but he had some technical difficulties so we had to reschedule his interview. This week we bring you one of our earliest and most popular episodes where we talked to Tom Tinman Schwartz for an hour about training. This is probably the most detailed training episode we have done to date.
In episode 61 of the Final Surge podcast, we welcome coach Jim Vance who literally wrote the book on power meters of runners with his book Run With Power. Power meters have been around for a while with cyclists, but for runners, they are fairly new. Final Surge recently started importing Stryd’s power numbers from Strava and Garmin. We talk to Jim about what some of those numbers mean and how he used power training to coach Ben Kanute to his recent runner-up at the 70.3 Worlds. I just recently started playing with a Stryd power meter so I learned a lot as I did this podcast. This is a topic we will continue to cover as we become more familiar with it and as the technology continues to advance. If you are listening to this podcast when it first comes out you head over to FinalSurge.com or to our @FinalSurge Twitter account and register for a chance to win a free Stryd running power meter.
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You coach some great Triathlon athletes including Olympian Ben Kanute, how did you first get started in endurance athletics and how did that lead to coaching today?
Let’s start here, most endurance athletes have heard about power meters for the bike, but what is the power meter for running?
How can a power meter help a runner? If someone gets a new power meter, what is the first thing a runner should do?
What is your power number that you get, what does it mean?
Once I have a dataset of 4-6 weeks of runs, what numbers should I be looking at and trying to change and improve?
How will power numbers differ for different workouts like a long run vs a tempo run?
As a coach, I am trying to understand this better. If we are doing a 7x1k workout at tempo, how do I use a power number?
Can you talk about these zones and how you use them to write workouts?
What is the biggest difference in power numbers you are going to see in newer runners vs more experienced runners?
What would be a significant change in these numbers, what are you looking for in numbers?
Facebook question: So, page 205 (Power book by Vance) says the analysis should explore the following key metrics in the post-race analysis: NP, IF, VI, TSS, EI, CTL the day before race day, TSB on race day, w/kg during the race, power zone distributions, point in the race where power and/or pace dropped off. This appears to be the story that emerges which should guide your next training cycle. Is there a simplified way to understand that story? I realize I should look at the numbers and decide a weak area...but that's a lot of numbers! Can you guide our eye for making decisions about the next step in training?
You recently released some plans on Final Surge for running with power, can you tell us what is in those plans?
You mentioned Ben Kanute ran a 340 for power in a 70.3 race, when we are looking at the power number in Final Surge should we be aiming for a certain number.
If you are following us on Twitter @FinalSurge or on Facebook you have probably seen the project with Matt Fitzgerald we have been helping to promote called The Running Bum. Matt sees what it is like when a decent age group runner in his mid-40s becomes a full-time runner and joins Ben Rosario’s Northern Arizona Elite Team as a member. We discuss with both Matt and Ben what the experience was like and what Matt learned that he can use in his coaching. Thanks for following the Running Bum blog online and enjoy this episode we did with Matt and Ben.
What brought on this idea to go run and train with a professional group?
Why NAZ Elite and Ben Rosario, is there a reason you reached out to them specifically?
Ben, what were your thoughts when he reached out to you?
When did the training start for the Running Bum project?
Where were you in your marathon fitness in November when you reached out to Ben about the project?
What was your marathon PR before this project?
Ben, what did you think when he approached you saying he wanted to run a PR 9-years later?
Was there a moment after you arrived in Flagstaff that you thought this may be different than I thought it would be?
You faced some setbacks with injuries, a groin issue, an Achilles issue. I know you say you have a long history of injuries. Training with pros, this could have gone anyway on the injury front. Can you talk about the setbacks and what you learned from them?
Ben, was there a point where you got concerned or did these health issues not surprise you?
How long did it take to get you adapted to the altitude in Flagstaff?
Besides training at altitude, what do you think changed the most about your training when you started training with professionals?
Ben, when you have a team, you have a team chemistry. When you add in a new athlete it can change the atmosphere and chemistry of the team. How did it go adding Matt in?
Reading the stories on the blog, you talk about the conversations with the other athletes on the runs. This was one of the more enjoyable parts. What was it like running on a team when you were not used to it?
Was there anything about the structure of the week or the workouts that surprised you?
Ben, what would a 9-day cycle look like a month out from the race?
Was there anyone workout that you saw that stood out as it looked hard and had you worried?
What did you learn from this experience that you can use in your coaching going forward?
I was looking at your splits per mile on your Final Surge Log, you started out with a 6:02 per mile pace. Every mile after that was right around there within about ten seconds. Your last couple of miles show a 6:02, 6:07, 6:03 pace. You don't seem to have hit the wall and were pretty consistent, how did this vary from past marathons you have done?
Ben, we have a lot of recreational runners trying to get better. If you had someone at home who had a full-time job, kids at home and were busy, what advice would you give them to running a successful marathon where they don't hit the wall?
What was it like being in the same coral as the elite runners at a world major marathon?
Was there any point in the race you had any concerns?
Ben, was there a point you were concerned it would not go as well as it did?
Whats next, are you ready to go after a mile PR?
Matt Fitzgerald Website
The Running Bum blog
Final Surge entry for Matt’s actual Chicago Run
Northern Arizona Elite
Matt on Twitter
Ben on Twitter
Final Surge on Twitter
Final Surge Facebook page
Matt’s Final Surge Episode 29 recording