From: Marty Gaal [] on behalf of Marty Gaal []
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 8:07 PM
Subject: One Step Beyond Coaching Newsletter - January 2012
One Step Beyond
The Next Level Newsletter
 from One Step Beyond Coaching 
Volume IX, Issue I
January, 2012 
This Month
Triangle OW Swim Series
Athlete News
OSB Swim Clinics
Key Workouts
Old School Aquathon Series
OSB Masters Swimming
Triangle Open Water Mile Swim Series

cabinet connection

2012 Race schedule:

May 20 - 5280 Swim
June 17 - Jordan Lake
July 21 - Big Deuce / Little Uno
ugust 18 - Nuclear Swim
September 29 - Open Water Fall Finale

cabinet connection

Powerstroke®: Speed through force and form DVD

The DVD includes more than two hours of video of freestyle technique, drills, and common stroke errors & how to improve.  We include underwater, above water, and freeze frame analysis.

Visit the website to read all about the DVD and purchase your copy today.

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Quick Links
Dear Marty,

Welcome to the Next Level Newsletter - our ninth year of newslettering verbal performance awesomeness to you! 
In OSB Athlete News

  • Laurie O'Connor takes 2nd AG at the Umstead Trail 8 Miler
  • Tom Crichton takes 2nd AG, 7th OA at the Naples HITS triathlon 
  • Frank Rexford PRs at the Little River 10 mile trail run
  • Everyone is training hard for the 2012 season! 
Upcoming OSB Swim Clinics

We offer three different types of swim clinics throughout the year:

Beginner Swim Clinics focus on breathing patterns, comfort, and the key freestyle techniques for swim training & improvement. 3 hours long. Beginner to Early Intermediate level.

February 18
May 19
December 2

Powerstroke Freestyle Technique clinics are 6 hour in-depth classes on swim mechanics and methods for speed and power improvement.  Includes videotaping and feedback.  Early Intermediate to Advanced level.

March 17
July TBD
October 27

Open Water Training clinics are conducted at lakes, oceans, and bays and cover all the tools, tips, and tricks you need to improve your ability and confidence in open water.  3 hours long. All levels.

April 21
June 2
July 8
August 11
September 16

Please visit our camp/clinic page to sign up!

Key Workouts
Coach Marty Gaal 

A key workout, sometimes called a breakthrough workout, is a training session in which you are pushing the boundaries of your current ability (raw speed, endurance, lactate threshold (LT), functional threshold power (FTP), race specific pacing).  Pushing and testing your limits is a critically important component of improving your total athletic ability.  Other components include but are not limited to: Overall endurance and durability, skills development, mental toughness, core/specific strength, body composition, and 'discomfort' tolerance, some of which may be taken on in a key workout session.

A key workout does not have to be a super-hard interval session designed to boost your current lactate threshold, however.  For a long distance triathlete, a key workout could be an over-distance ride in the buildup to a long distance triathlon.  If an athlete has never ridden over 90 miles, riding 120 miles is pushing past that current distance threshold. 

Once you are out of the early developmental or base building phase of training - the phase where you are just putting some time in to get your body prepared for more specific training - each week of training should include at least one key workout.  Younger athletes can generally handle a higher total workload per week, meaning younger athletes can handle more key workouts.  Each athlete is different, so plan accordingly.

To repeat, the purpose of a key workout is to challenge some current limit on your ability. 

Some examples:

If you have never run a 5k at 6:00 pace (18:38), a key workout could be 3 x 1 miles at 5:55-6:00 pace with 1 minute or less rest between.  This trains your body to hold the goal pace with minimal rest between intervals.  You may see this penned as a race specific preparation session. 

In the swimming world we call this a 'broken' swim.  An example would be doing 4 x 50 at your goal 200 pace with just 5-10 seconds rest.  So if you wanted to swim a 2:20 200, you would hold :35 or faster per 50 with just a few seconds rest. 

If your current cycling lactate threshold heart rate is 160 or FTP 250, you could do 15-25 minutes total of intervals at an effort level higher than this.  (Less experienced athletes should do less total interval times when starting out.)  An example is 6 x 3 minutes at over-threshold with 2-3 minute easy spinning between.  While one session is not going to boost the number immediately, consistent and persistent returns to that level will.  Once you have nearly maximized this level then you are working on maintaining it, which is just as important from a performance standpoint.

A long distance athlete will need to consistently attack their endurance ability limiters.  We all deal with bio-mechanical fatigue at some point (where your body just no longer responds as well).  If you grow tired after 2 hours riding at a steady aerobic pace, and your race includes 5-6 hours of riding, you need to improve that ability.  So your key sessions are going to include a lot of long rides - 2.5 hours, then 3 hours, and so on.  

Typically, you will want an easy or an off day after a key workout.  This depends on your total training volume, your ability to recover, and other factors, but if in doubt, take it easy.  Your body needs to rebuild and refuel in a deeper fashion after key training sessions like we're discussing. 


You can read more in-depth thoughts on training processes on the article page of our website. 


Marty Gaal, CSCS, has been coaching endurance athletes for eleven seasons.  He is a USA Triathlon and USA Track and Field coach, and the co-founder of One Step Beyond.  

2012 dates:

May 2 (evening race) - 1/2 mile swim - 2.5 mile run
June 13 (evening race) - 3 x 1/4 mile swim - 1 mile run
July 4 (morning race) - 1/4m swim - 2.5m run -1/4m swim

One Step Beyond and FS Series present a mid-week summer swim-run series to the Triangle area. 

Each Aquathon will take place on the first Wednesday of each month in May, June, and July.  May and June race start time is 630PM, July happens to be July 4 and will start in the morning (exact time TBD)! 
These events are low-key and a great way to check your fitness against your local training partners.  Bring some grub and hang out after. 

Entry into all 3 races is $60, or $25 per event.
2-person relays are welcome for $75 for the series or $30 per event.

Read all the details at

One Step Beyond
Masters Swimming  

Masters logo11

Looking for a solid season of swim training in the Triangle area?  Join the TAC-OSB Cary Masters swim team at the Triangle Aquatic Center (TAC) in Cary, North Carolina.  All workouts take place at TAC.

This is a year-round program open to all 18+ athletes.

Practice times are:
Monday 545-715AM distance & aerobic endurance
Monday 800-900PM distance & aerobic endurance

Tuesday 545-700AM core strength and swim technique 

Wednesday 545-700AM mixed stroke  
Wednesday 800-900PM mixed stroke 

Thursday 600-700AM distance and mid-distance

Friday 545-7AM core strength, swim speedwork

Some Saturdays 700-830AM coaches choice 

View the upcoming schedule on!

The fees:
$52.50 per month for all swim workout times, or $6.50 per session.

Click here for all the details.  

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