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Hi Cris,

This is a power building question. I am an older age group triathlon competitor. My 40k time was 1:22 at this years nationals at Kelowna, on a fast course and my best time ever. I have trouble hanging onto the pack on training rides when we get over 30kph. It's not an aerobic issue. I feel I need to spend the winter building leg strength but what to do? More wind training in higher gears? More focus on higher weights/fewer reps at the gym? More power lifting vs machine? Can you help?

Dear aerobically challenged,

I don't know what "older age group" means. 30+, 50+, 70+ ? I can't really begin to provide an answer that is more specific to you personally without knowing your age and recent training loads etc., but I can give you some generalizations. :)

You need more aerobic conditioning- not anaerobic power. I know you feel your question is about power, but I want you to consider another possibility. If you said you had trouble hanging on to breakaways and fast accelerations above 40 km/h, then I would look at anaerobic power as part of the cause.

I'm sorry that I can't provide any specific advice for you in this forum, as I have no real critical data on you (lactate threshold, training volume, training regimen over last few months, etc.).

What I can tell you is you would most likely benefit from more time spent at a lactate 1.5 to 1.8 level (fairly easy pace, 90 to 120 minutes 1 - 2 X/ week), as well as lactate threshold intervals.

The intervals are done sparingly, perhaps 1X/ week 2 or 3 X 10 to 15 minutes. You would need to know your LT to do these and net the greatest benefit. If you don't know your LT (hasn't been tested); The pace should feel slightly harder than how you felt on your 1:22 40k that you describe.

Once you show tolerance to this training more intensive intervals can be conservatively introduced.

Power lifting is not the answer to be sure! :)

Weight training is an important part of total conditioning, but would play a distant secondary roll in increasing your aerobic power.

Please feel free to ask follow up questions.

If you're looking for coaching, I can help :).

- Cris LaBossiere

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This page was last updated on September 9, 2008