Kate WhitcombApril 5, 2009

For those of you who keep a training log, you might be surprised to realize that not all athletes record every minute they train. Sometimes as little as half of a session might be logged – or none at /br /In a recent email correspondence with a friend, I mentioned that I don’t bike very much in a big volume week because it doesn’t count as full-time. This fueled the following dialogue:br /br /span style=”font-weight: bold;”If you ride constantly for an hour, why wouldn’t you log an hour?/spanbr /br /When you go down a hill while skiing you are gliding. When in a tuck however, you are still required to use strength and balance. When on a bike, especially on a road bike, a downhill does not require as much. Biking is also non-weight bearing; your body does not have to hold itself up because you are on a seat. Both of these factors move biking further away from being applicable to cross training for XC, which is why many athletes count bike training as little as /br /It has been a long debate with coaches for me, since I feel as if I am in L4 every second of a mountain bike ride and most of my road rides are trying to catch the pack in front of me. I have long since given up the argument and simply count races at 75% time and rides at 50%. Some recovery spins (on a road bike), I don’t count as time at all but make sure to note the /br /span style=”font-weight: bold;”Are there other activities that you don’t count, or log only partially?/spanbr /br /There is a debate on how to count strength in a log. Some athletes log half-time because you do an activity and then rest. Some count 70% or even full time because rest is necessary and maybe heart rate is still up… Our team brought up this question to our coach and we did a field test to figure it /br /Our coach took lactate tests throughout a strength workout, taking blood samples from all athletes during both rest and active times. 4-6mmols of blood lactate is typically L3 (threshold). This is the highest effort that your muscles can clear all lactic acid. Much higher and you start to feel “the burn” which is acid pooling in your muscles and you move into L4 (race pace).br /br /Throughout this strength session, some of our readings got up into the 12mmols! Mine were between 6 and 8 and only lowered into the high 4s during rest periods. We determined that during that strength protocol, not only should we count the whole session (100% time), but consider it a hard workout. We would not want to schedule it just before an important race, for /br /Because of that test, I log my strength as full time, marking half in L1 and the other half as L3 (even though my lactates read into L4 at times).br /br /As far as other activities counted as partial time, I always stop my watch when I stop to refuel or talk to a coach. The hike up Hyndman mentioned in a previous article was logged as 5 hours. That does not include lunch at the summit or swimming in the /br /Spenst usually takes about 45 minutes but I count it as 30. We do it as a group and sometimes I am waiting for my turn to jump hurdles and the like. I don’t get too carried away with starting and stopping my watch, I just estimate the /br /div style=”text-align: center;”a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=””img style=”margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;” src=”” alt=”” id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5247084383239702562″ border=”0″ //aspan style=”font-size:85%;”span style=”font-style: italic;”How would you count this?br /br //span/span/divdiv style=”text-align: center;”div style=”text-align: left;”I have not figured out how to count something like hot yoga or tele skiing. These are activities that are definitely not XC ski specific, but I do them so rarely that they really make me sore! Hot yoga might not be cardio, I will admit to that, but if it makes me unable to walk the next morning it has got to be some sort of strength. So far, I note that I did an activity like yoga but have not counted it in my overall total //divbr /a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=””img style=”margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;” src=”” alt=”” id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5247084375918794834″ border=”0″ //aspan style=”font-size:85%;”span style=”font-style: italic;”Does this count?br //span/span/divbr /Anyone out there have any insight? I realize that this article might be a bit controversial (especially saying that biking shouldn’t be counted 100%) so feel free to comment and get a discussion going. I think the most important thing when keeping a log of hours and activities is to keep it the same year to year. You will be comparing yourself to yourself more than to others in the end /br /Game on!div class=”blogger-post-footer”img width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’’ alt=” //div

Kate Whitcomb