Friday, June 24, 2016

Run With Power E-Book Now Available

Many of you have been asking, and it is now out and available. Should help many of the international athletes on here who have been waiting. You can find it here:

And I am always appreciative of a review on Amazon or other online retailers for the book. I want honest feedback, as the planning for a 2nd version, or a more in-depth sequel will begin soon.

Thanks, and good luck!

Coach Vance

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What a triathlete can learn from US Soccer in Copa America?

Tonight, (Tuesday, June 21st, 2016), I watched the US lose to the #1 team in the world, Argentina, in the COPA America Centario Semi-Final, which is one of the most prestigious soccer tournaments in the world. (I know many may say the UEFA Cup is better, but the US can't play in that, since they are not in Europe.) Tonight the US lost 0-4, to a team which was flat out better than they were. There is no shame in losing to a team that's better than you. But it is an opportunity to review.

As the game went on and I was frustrated to watch as a fan, I realized so many of the feelings and things I was saying out loud at the TV were things I see in triathletes, and frustrations I have with many of them, from elites to age groupers to elite juniors. I can make it very clear in 2 simple concepts, which if you are a triathlete, you need to seriously consider if you value your performances in the sport.

Lesson #1 - Fundamentals are Key
Passing a soccer ball isn't cool on the playground. Scoring is cool. Being the best passer on the field isn't cool. Saving shots from the goalie position are cool. Headers into goals are cool. Passing isn't cool, that is, until you see a team that has such a basic fundamental skill down so well, they make it beautiful. Argentina passed the ball like it was effortless, while the US passed like they didn't know where it was going. It was such a clear depiction of what the difference of what the best do and what the US does, that I had to write about it, in relation to triathlon. It's a fundamental skill.

What are fundamentals in triathlon? They are bike fit, proper run shoes, basic swim skills, pacing skills, basic aerobic conditioning, injury prevention and therapy, race nutrition, equipment maintenance and its preparation for race day, proper rest and recovery, and of course, consistency of training.

So many triathletes are chasing the highest goals against the stiffest of competition, and don't bother making these fundamentals a focus. They are more concerned with hours of training or their FTP. And it's no surprise when many don't reach their potential or even close to their goals when they haven't addressed the fundamentals! I've literally had athletes supremely prepared and ready to perform exceptionally, only to get in an Ironman and realize they didn't charge the battery of the Di2, and they can't shift! There's no training plan or world renowned coach who can overcome that basic fundamental of making sure your equipment is ready for race day!

There are no nutritional plans which can overcome poor pacing. If it could, then whoever ate the most would win! You can't run your first few miles off the bike at 10K pace in a long course triathlon! There's no way I can help you with training to perform at a high level if you don't have a proper bike fit, giving up effective watts. I can't help you if you treat the swim and transitions as times for photo opps with the family or warm-ups for bike and run, instead of opportunities to close the gap on the best in your Age Group.

There is no training plan a coach can write, or workouts you can do, which can make up for a lack of consistency in your training. You must be committed, and you must put in the work, EVERYDAY.

These are the fundamentals of triathlon, which too often get overlooked. They aren't sexy, like a power file, or bike split, or even passing in a major soccer game, but as Argentina proved, the best in the world are masters of fundamentals.

Lesson #2 - It doesn't matter how good or bad your competition is, if you are your own worst enemy

This concept is related to Lesson #1, but it needs to be stated by itself. If you're ignoring the fundamentals, you are your own worst enemy. If you think you can brush over the fundamentals, as though they are just fodder for a blog, then you will be exposed, especially as your goals get higher, and you face stiffer competition.

There's no way around it, you need to address the fundamentals. If you don't know what they are, or feel like you're never racing to a level which is indicative of your performance potential, then you need a coach, and they should address the fundamentals with you. You can even watch the best, and notice they have the fundamentals down. They don't screw up the basics, they are well beyond them.

I'm pissed off to see a US Men's National Team perform so poorly on the biggest stage, against the best in the world, in a way which shows they lack the fundamentals. I would be embarrassed as a coach of a triathlete if they did the same.

In the postgame, Alexi Lalas stated, "The number of times the US lost the ball, clear unforced errors which have nothing to with the fact you're playing Argentina..." What he was saying is it doesn't matter if they are more talented than you if you give them the victory anyway. Think about that. How much are you giving your competition just because you are not addressing or doing the things which are basic?

Address your fundamentals, stop being your own worst enemy.

Coach Vance

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Run Power Based Training Plans Now Available on TrainingPeaks

If you've picked up my new book, Run With Power, or are using a power meter for your run training, and are looking to use it with TrainingPeaks, I have run power-based training plans now available in TrainingPeaks. 

These plans are from the book, and are in Appendix B, so they are available there, but if you'd like them pre-loaded into your TrainingPeaks account, this offers you the chance to do that.

The current plans are all 14 weeks long, and are for the specific phase, where the workouts are designed to simulate the demands of the race, not a base training phase. The plans are:

Sub 16 min 5K
Sub 18 min 5K
Sub 32 min 10K
Sub 40 min 10K
Sub 1:20 Half-Marathon
Sub 1:40 Half-Marathon
Sub 2:30 Marathon
Sub 3:30 Marathon

All these plans can be found here:

Hopefully you'll have a great experience in using one or many of these plans, and your running power meter!

Coach Vance

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Efficiency Index Apps - Garmin & Suunto

If you've picked up Run With Power, or been listening to me on podcasts, you know that speed per watt is the key metric for running power meters, or what I call, Efficiency Index, or EI for short. Chapter 5 in the book is devoted to this topic entirely, and I discuss how a rolling 30 second average of your speed per watt in a race or workout can give you a good idea of how efficiently you're running, or the speed you're getting for the watts you're producing.

In this technology age, we can create these metrics to monitor during a run on our watches or head units, and I have a couple of fans of the book who created the Rolling EI for Garmin and Suunto users. The Suunto apps were created by Toni Cumplido, (twitter: @tonicumpli), so thank you Toni for these! I hope to have more Garmin IQ apps coming.

Here are the links for each, if you're using these products and want to see...

Efficiency Index by itself, of the entire session
Garmin IQ App

Suunto Moves Count App for Ambit

Rolling Efficiency Index, just the previous 30 seconds within the session
Suunto Moves Count App for Ambit

Power Training Zones
Suunto Moves Count App for Ambit - Allows you to see what zone you are in while training, based on your rFTPw.

Again, thanks for the help, and I hope you're enjoying Run With Power, and these metrics for training.

Coach Vance

Friday, May 6, 2016

Article from Competitor on Power for Running

Here's an article from Competitor on power meters for running, (written by Brian Metzler), which I contributed quotes for.

Since the 1950s, distance runners have trained by following structured programs and workouts backed by physiological testing and years and years of positive results.
Beginning in the late 1980s, heart-rate monitors added a new dimension to training, allowing for the advent of workouts based on specific heart-rate zones. Both methods have helped runners and triathletes of all levels improve their performance. By the early 2000s, GPS-enabled smartwatches made it easy to monitor pace, distance, elevation and other types of data.
As the modern age of wearable tech has started to unfold, a new measurement technology has the ability to revolutionize training for runners: the power meter.
Cyclists have used power meters since the 1990s to accurately measure how much power they’re outputting and how that effort corresponds with their physiology. Power is the primary metric for cyclists, although, granted, it’s a much simpler metric to understand on the bike—essentially a function of how much force is being exerted on the pedals, crank arms or rear hub to make it move.
Power meters for runners—and the corresponding training protocols based on power output—have only become available recently, so the art and science of using power for run training are still very much in their infancy. But those closest to the new technology—including pioneering coaches and elite athletes who are already incorporating power into their training—believe it can be a very important metric for running.

Read the rest of the article at

Coach Vance

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Free Copies of Run With Power with Power Meter Purchases

If you're interested in running power meters, there are some great limited time offers from the two power meters on the market, Stryd and RPM2, which come with FREE copies of my book, Run With Power, to help you get started on understanding how to use the tools.

RPM2 is offering $100 off their insole power meter, and an autographed copy of Run With Power. You can get the details here.

Stryd is offering a free copy of Run With Power with the purchase of one of their power meters, or packages. You can get the details at:

Keep following my blog to find out more and learn more about using power meters for running, and other cool offers!

Coach Vance

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Interview on Triathlete Training Podcast

I was recently invited to be a guest on another top triathlon podcast, Triathlete Training Podcast, conducted by Eric Schwartz. Eric does great work, and it was a great conversation, from my swim coaching to the books I am releasing this year, and a few laughs even!

You can listen to the podcast here:

You can also download the interview from the site:

If you read this blog, I know you'll love Triathlon 2.0 - Data Driven Performance Training, as it takes what I talk about on here to another level, and completes the picture. As of the date of this post, there are 7 reviews on Amazon, with 6 being 5-star, one being 4-star. You can order a copy here.

Enjoy, and please feel free to reach out to me on social media, via Twitter, @jimvance, and Instagram, @coachjimvance.

Coach Vance

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

IM Talk Podcast - Triathlon 2.0

I had the privilege of being on another one of the top Ironman podcasts, IM Talk, which is based out of New Zealand. The topic was my new book, Triathlon 2.0, but we also just dipped into Run With Power, which they discussed having me come back on the show to chat about in the future as well.

If you're a long course triathlete, this is a podcast you certainly know. They are on episode 513!

Thanks and enjoy! The interview starts at about 44:00.

Coach Vance

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Reasons to Get a Power Meter for Running

This post comes from the website from my new book, Run With Power. 

14 Ways a Power Meter Can Make You a Faster Runner

Adapted with permission of VeloPress from RUN WITH POWER by Jim Vance. Media may republish this article without prior permission in its entirety (2,056 words) including the book cover image and a link to this website. Contact VeloPress with questions or for additional content.
Do you have high goals?
Are you trying to qualify for an event or place high at a certain race?
Perhaps you simply want to run a faster time than you’ve run before. The higher you set your goals and the better you become, the more commitment you’ll need to reach your next level, however you define it. And as your goals become more challenging, the margin for error in your training and performance will become ever smaller. Many of your competitors are just as good as you are, and some of them are better. It’s crucial that you get your training right.
Training is stressful on the body. It has to be, because fitness is really just the ability of your body to tolerate a level of stress. The faster you go, the more stress you put on your body for a given level of fitness. But for as long as runners have been training, our ability to measure the amount of stress we put into our bodies has been quite limited.
We can track volume easily—we don’t need anything more sophisticated than a training diary to record how long and how far we train each day. But volume is not a very accurate way to measure stress. Workout intensity is the real key to fitness, but the usual ways we measure intensity, such as a scale of perceived exertion, are subjective. Heart rate (HR) is a tool we’ve used to infer intensity in the past, but it’s flawed, too. In addition to the fact that heart rate does not measure intensity directly, it can also be affected by factors unrelated to training, such as diet, temperature, and stress. Pace may seem as straightforward as training volume at first, but in fact it is hard to quantify; varying terrain and elevation can markedly affect pace. Windy, hot, or cold conditions can also affect pace negatively or positively, adding to the challenge of quantifying the intensity.
All of these tools are helpful in creating a snapshot to measure fitness, and yet none of them give us an impartial way to monitor training intensity with repeatable precision. But when we measure stress incorrectly, our training suffers. We become more vulnerable to injury. We may suffer from a lack of recovery. We may get intensity wrong. Any one of those setbacks can derail a training plan. What we need, clearly, is a better way to measure the stress we are inflicting in our daily training routines. And that’s exactly what the power meter provides, and it is why the power meter has the potential to revolutionize your run training.
With a power meter, you can measure your performance and training stress more precisely than ever before, and take control of your training and racing to improve every aspect of your running career. No longer will you wonder whether you are meeting the intensity, recovery, pace, and volume goals of your training plan. Instead, you will erase any doubts about your training, and you will be able to monitor changes and improvements in every aspect of your running fitness.
Why Run with a Power Meter?
 If you’re a triathlete, a bicycle racer, or a fan of either pro sport, you are probably already familiar with the use of power meters in cycling. The power meter transformed training and racing in the cycling world. It has surpassed every other training tool because it delivers an objective and repeatable assessment of overall fitness without any of the drawbacks of previous measurement methods, such as heart rate, speed, and perceived exertion. In fact, the advantages of the cycling power meter are so great—and the margin of error so small in the world of competitive cycling and triathlon—that to ignore the information and the advantage from a power meter would be to concede victory before the race had started.
In the running world, we have recently seen a surge in the popularity of GPS units, and we’ve seen these units get smaller and smaller as usage has grown. The increased adoption of GPS shows that the running world, like the cycling world, is open to embracing technology and its benefits.
While the GPS unit is a useful tool, its contribution to training pales in comparison with the advantages the power meter can provide. The leap in technology is something like the difference between using a typewriter and a computer. In the history of running technology, a stopwatch is probably equivalent to using a typewriter—pretty good at its job, but severely limited in scope. Running’s step up to heart rate monitors was a revelation, but in retrospect, it was like moving from the typewriter to what we would now regard as an old, heavy, slow desktop computer. Today’s GPS wrist units are like the first cellphones, much like a flip-phone. The portable power meter for running is the next step, equivalent to the laptop, tablet, and smartphone coming into existence all at once. And while you can still accomplish a lot with a desktop computer, you likely will be much more effective in many ways if you add the laptop, tablet, and smartphone to your arsenal. This is what the power meter brings to the world of training and racing for competitive running.
I am sure you are wondering what makes this technology so great...
You can read the rest here.

Coach Vance

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Best New Cycling Power Meter

Many people ask me what power meter they should get. That depends on a number of factors, including budget, but also transferability, ease of installation, and user friendliness.

Probably the best new power meter on the market, in my opinion, is the new Power Tap Pedal power meter.
These pedals are very user friendly in the install, and also provide the ability to swap from bike to bike, as well as come from a company which has been doing power meters for a long time!

You can find the pedals here:

I must state, I am NOT sponsored or endorsed by PowerTap in any manner. I simply use their products.

If you're using these pedals, please share your review here. I am excited to learn how others are enjoying using them!

Coach Vance