Alan Couzens Profile picture
Physiologist, #Developer, Health/Fitness/Performance Coach for endurance athletes. Using #data #science & #AI to facilitate Max Athletic Development πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί#INTP
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Jan 22, 2023 β€’ 9 tweets β€’ 2 min read
A few brief thoughts on the implementation of #AltitudeTraining πŸ‘‡ * Up to a limit, providing the right altitude is used and the athlete is healthy, IME, *everyone* is a responder.

* That said, there's large variability in response to a given altitude & elevation must, therefore, be individualized according to resting SpO2 (<95%)
Oct 29, 2022 β€’ 13 tweets β€’ 3 min read
The #Nutrition Thread:

While most athletes have a training plan, few have a well thought out nutritional plan.

This is a big mistake as nutrition is absolutely integral to improved performance and health!

Keeping track of your nutrition is not that hard.

Ideas to get started 1/ Categorize your current training volume. For me:

- Recovery Day ~1hrs
- Normal Loading Day: ~2hrs
- Long Day: ~4hrs
Oct 27, 2022 β€’ 12 tweets β€’ 3 min read
Why is this a problem?

Let's talk muscle fibers...

A brief thread πŸ‘‡ Image We all have 3 basic muscle fiber types.
- Slow oxidative (aerobic, fat burning)
- Fast oxidative glycolytic (aerobic, sugar burning)
- Fast glycolytic (anaerobic, sugar burning)
Oct 5, 2022 β€’ 4 tweets β€’ 1 min read
The geometry that all endurance athletes need to understand (with apologies to Osler)..

A brief thread πŸ‘‡ The all too common pattern...

- Athlete begins aerobic base work & is frustrated by slow rate of improvement.

- Athlete ratchets up HIT & is impressed by how quickly they improve.

- The proverbial bubble bursts and the athlete is back where they started.
Oct 4, 2022 β€’ 11 tweets β€’ 4 min read
Random thoughts, old man grumbles and personal revelations...

My top 10 tweets from Q3 2022!! πŸ‘‡ 10. Don't waste your time setting training zones based on a percentage (of max HR, FTP etc).

Every athlete is an individual & needs to be tested.

Sep 27, 2022 β€’ 7 tweets β€’ 2 min read
A question arising from my zone tweet yesterday:

"Aren't AeT & VT1 basically the same thing?"


Here's why...

A brief thread πŸ‘‡ Image While it depends on definitions to each of the above, generally VT1 is defined via the ventilatory equivalents method:

"A rise in VE/VO2 *without* a rise in VE/VCO2"

In practice, this means the grade of VE goes up, the grade of VCO2 goes up but the grade of VO2 remains the same
Sep 4, 2022 β€’ 10 tweets β€’ 2 min read
Hey Team,

Figured it might be helpful to put together a short thread on weekly structure: Some guiding principles and some of the trade-offs that come with differing ways to structure your week πŸ‘‡ As you know, I adopt a "recovery on demand" approach to planning your week, i.e. taking recovery days/weeks when readiness is low, irrespective of availability on that day, e.g. you could give me 10hrs of availability on a day, but if readiness is low, you'll get a recovery day.
Sep 3, 2022 β€’ 6 tweets β€’ 2 min read
Many athletes who begin low intensity training are dismayed to see their aerobic E.F. (efficiency factor) numbers fall through the floor, concluding that this method of training is making them less fit!

Here is why this is an erroneous conclusion... πŸ‘‡ Image Not all E.F. is created equal!

A 8km/h jog with a HR of 125 = 1.1 E.F
A 12km/h run with a HR of 160 = 1.3 E.F.

Conclusion: My fitness numbers are better when I do a lot of training around 160 bpm, right?

Jul 21, 2022 β€’ 6 tweets β€’ 2 min read
Inspired by @DrSianAllen to visualize my personal loading v recovery decision as a Decision Tree for this morning's #FunWithData

Explanation of how to interpret in the thread below.. The decision tree is trained on my morning metrics coupled with how I felt on loading v recovery sessions.

1. Is my energy rating <5.5 (out of 10)
- If yes, head towards recovery
- If no, head towards loading
Jun 26, 2022 β€’ 9 tweets β€’ 2 min read
"Smart training works, guaranteed, if it's not working then dig deeper..." πŸ‘

Your *response* to the training that you do is limited by the below.

If it's not working, don't keep banging your head against the proverbial brick wall. Fix the real problem. Would add the linchpin to pretty much all of the above...

Life stress.

There's only so much that I (or any coach) can do for you if you've decided to live an over-packed, over-stressed life.
Jun 20, 2022 β€’ 7 tweets β€’ 2 min read
Received a qu...

"So if I'm not using a % of FTP, how do I set the correct zone for Z2 training?"

A brief thread πŸ‘‡ 1. When you have a standard aerobic session planned, take a baseline lactate *before* the workout.

Depending on fitness, nutrition, stress, this may range anywhere from 1-3 mmol/L
Jun 3, 2022 β€’ 4 tweets β€’ 2 min read
My latest:

Some thoughts on just how long it's going to take to go from beginner/"out of shape" to truly competitive.

And some thoughts on the best way to reward yourself during the journey along the way...… Received a qu:

"Are you saying I shouldn't race an Ironman if I'm not training 15-20hrs/wk?"


A *weekly* volume ~= your race duration is no way to properly prepare!

Back in the day, the distance was properly respected e.g. Tinley's Lvl 7 "Probably training for Ironman" Image
May 12, 2022 β€’ 9 tweets β€’ 2 min read
I've been thinking about this of late.

As a swim coach of kids in some very competitive programs, I've seen the worst of parenting.


Something I left off my thread on the differences between the kids from my own squad who "made it" vs myself-more demanding parents 🧡 It's a nice idea to let kids do what kids want to do. However, the reality of elite swimming is that 5 years of consistent 2-a-days precede high performance.

And a rule of being a teenager

5 years of unwavering commitment to anything is exceedingly rare!
May 3, 2022 β€’ 6 tweets β€’ 1 min read
I grew up swimming with some swimmers who made the Australian team for major events like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. I did not. So what was the difference between us?

A brief thread πŸ‘‡ 1/ Genetics?

There was nothing inherently physically special about these swimmers as kids/youths. As a gangly kid with size 15 feet, if anything, I was the one with the inherent advantage & was initially as fast or faster.
Apr 24, 2022 β€’ 5 tweets β€’ 3 min read
Spending this morning doing something I've wanted to do for a while:

Diving into the database to explore the relationship between lactate and fat oxidation

For high levels of #FatBurning- you want:
* Low lactate at AeT
* High AnT relative to max
* Low max lactate Image By throwing max power into the mix, I'm starting to get a nice little model together.

With most of the fat oxidation predictions on the test set within half a kcal/min of actual! e.g. ImageImage
Apr 14, 2022 β€’ 9 tweets β€’ 2 min read
My top 7 tips for optimal #nutrition for endurance athletes:

A brief thread πŸ‘‡ 1/ Just like training, be boring and build a consistent routine.

Food is fuel. Food is not entertainment. Athletes who develop consistent meal patterns are better able to monitor and control their nutrition to optimally match their training.
Apr 12, 2022 β€’ 4 tweets β€’ 2 min read
Apr 10, 2022 β€’ 9 tweets β€’ 2 min read
Why you suck at swimming...

A brief thread πŸ‘‡ 1/ Give me a couple of years of 3x/wk swim training with just about any 10 year old on the planet & he/she will swim faster than the bulk of any full grown, adult Ironman field.

Why is this?
Apr 9, 2022 β€’ 4 tweets β€’ 2 min read
And the top 3 signs that your body is saying...

"Can I please have some recovery"? 😊

A brief thread.... 1/ HRV baseline outside of your norm...

HRV baseline (7 day average) is a reliable indicator of readiness (or lack thereof) of the athlete to respond to hard/long training. Lower than normal HRV will generally line up with/precede other issues- fatigue, poor mood, poor sleep etc
Mar 15, 2022 β€’ 8 tweets β€’ 2 min read
Received a qu:

"What tips would you give to coaches just starting out?"

A brief thread πŸ‘‡ 1/ Relentlessly pursue experience with World Class coaches/teams.

My coaching certifications/qualifications, heck even my 6 years in University, pales into insignificance when compared to what I learned from my time with World Class coaches. Get it at all costs. It's worth it.
Mar 12, 2022 β€’ 6 tweets β€’ 1 min read
Expanding on yesterday's tweet:

How to *not* get injured

A quick thread... πŸ‘‡ 1/ Don't ramp volume too aggressively

A (in)famous run coach once said:

"Be patient, not *a* patient"

Following the "10%/wk" rule of thumb is a sure-fire road to injury. I prescribe no more than ~10% per *month* increase in volume for the athletes I work with.