About This Blog

Now that you know a little about me. What can you expect to find on this blog?

To begin with you may have noticed that this blog is called Clydesdale. No this blog is not about horses. Clydesdale refers to the race category in endurance sports of men who are over 200 pounds (this may have actually changed but for many races 200 is the standard) and women who are over 150 (Athena category). At 6 foot and 211 I fit comfortably into that category. Having come from 6 foot 139 (another story for another time) I have gone through a few changes over the years but my interest and passion for training, performance, and competition has never changed.

I found myself growing frustrated as I felt like the resources available to athletes like myself were few and far between. Those resources that were effective and available usually cost more money than I was willing to spend. So in an attempt to do something about this I began to research and tinker with training and nutrition on my own. My endeavors have really only led me to more questions, but I have learned a lot along the way. Some success, mainly a lot of learning experience and trial and error. I have always enjoyed writing, and I find that when I write about my experiences I tend to pick up on things that I did not fully see or understand before. Either way I wanted to share my journey with other men and women like me. Those who have struggled with injury, weight gain, depression, lack of motivation, and a general desire to stay healthy but actually have to work our butts off to attain it.

On this site I will post workouts and my thoughts and experiences on training, nutrition and performance. The name of this site is called democratize health.com. This came from a desire to share my knowledge with everyone. The name of the blog is called Clydesdale, to clear up any confusion.

I will not give professional medical advice or comment directly on specific situations. I will try my best to give unbiased perspective on health and fitness today.

I am still trying to find my voice so please comment on the topics and let me know what you would like to hear about. I thrive on feedback, positive and negative, and I love to put out content people are interested in learning about.

11/7/19 running workout of the day and sweet spot training

Warm up – 4 x 200 meters light jog or 4 x 30 seconds with equal walking in between.

5 x 1000 meters or 5 x 4 minutes with either 500 meter recovery walk or 2 minute recovery walk at steady state pace half marathon pace, 80% or level 6 on scale of 1-10.

cool down

I had never really heard of sweet spot training, nor did I know what it meant. The idea of sweat spot training is that the majority of your training is done in a zone between level 5-7 on scale of 1-10. “The pace is harder than an easy tempo, a speed you could sustain for hours while chatting on and off, but not as hard as the upper reaches of threshold, where talking is nearly impossible. At the sweet spot, you’re audibly breathing but not gasping. Your tolerance of suffering may vary, but on a perceived exertion scale of one to ten, I’d put my sweet spot zone in the five-to-seven range.”

The idea here is that instead of putting in long hours of biking, running, rowing, etc. which is what most professional athletes do, you shorten the quantity and add in a little more intensity. The trick is not going so hard that you are not able to recover from day to day. Fast cat cycling and Trainer Road, two well known cycling programs, implement this style of training and seen to produce results (assuming you do not consider the testimonials on their websites biased). I have not been able to find an enormous amount of research on the topic as any type of organized training is going to produce results in the long run, I do feel that this type of training is a good way to ‘hack’ the typical model of long slow steady while also keeping workouts relatively short and engaging. The higher efforts require you to really dial in form but you are not so exhausted from the workout you are not able to recover the next day. The running workout above is a good example of steady state work and I will post more workouts with the steady state profile for everyone to use.


11/6/19 Workout of the Day and thoughts on Intensity versus volume


Rowing workout

Set damper at 4 or 5 and keep it there entire workout

warm up 1000 meters at stroke rate of 18 then 1000 meters at stroke of 12.

3-4 x 2000 meters at stroke rate of 22 then 1000 meters stroke rate of 15.

This is a pure aerobic workout. Keep the intensity steady and really try to dial into hitting your stroke rate. Stroke rate per minute should be a screen option on any basic rowing erg.

The question of going really hard once or twice a week versus trying to get in easier efforts 4 or more times a week is hotly debated these days in the fitness community. While the research is mixed in terms of which is most effective (I have seen research support both) I find that increased frequency at lower intensities is far superior to high intensity efforts done a few times a week. 2 point to this…

  1. Attempting to perform high intensity efforts and workouts day after day is a bad idea. This is a sure fire to get worsening performances, injuries, burn out or some combination of all the above.
  2. Notice that I said increased frequency and not just high volume. I made this mistake when I started running. While it is true that doing high frequency and high volume together can increase performances, even if the intensity is low, this is not ideal without years of aerobic training to back it up. You can go from running 4-5 miles a week to 40-50 miles the next week. This is also a good way to get injured, make mistakes, get burnt out, etc.
  3. Whatever your chosen sport may be, learning to perform the movements correctly and at a frequency and intensity that is safe is important. The best workouts that I typically have last less than an hour (usually less than 30 minutes). My form stays together and I feel that I am able to understand or unlock some new secret to perfecting a swim stroke, or a pedal cadence, or a running interval. Keeping these simple and foundational will always yield huge improvements as you get deep into the season of your respected sport.

Linear Periodization Vs Reverse Periodization

GROUPS. Weeks 1-4. Weeks 5-8. Weeks Weeks Traditional. Periodization. LIT (5-6x800m) ThT (10-12x 200m) HIT (5x25m) ThT (3x200m) Period. General Endurance. 30Km\week. Specific Endurance. 26Km\week. Competitive. 20Km\week. Taper. 10Km\week. Reverse. (6-16x10m) UST (6x20m) Tethered. Training. 12km\week. Ultra-short training. 16Km\week. 20km\week. 10km\week. TESTS. T1 T2. T3. T4. T5. (Adapted from Arroyo-Toledo et alii, 2013)

Linear Periodization is basically a type of training practice wherein athletes train for a certain events or races by starting at slow speeds (with a lot of volume) and gradually reduce the amount of time training at a slower speed and replacing it with lower amounts of more intense training at the goal pace/intensity you plan to use in the race.

Reverse periodization is simply starting with shorter but faster bouts of training at goal race pace and then gradually increasing the duration or volume at which you spend at that pace.

Linear – a lot of slow to short amount of fast

Reverse – a short amount of fast for a short amount of time to increased amounts of fast for longer.

The fast majority of people who do train for any event typically follow linear progressions. Less people follow reverse periodization, however, there are a number high level athlete who use reverse periodization with a lot of success. Tim Kerrison, a coach for Team Ineos cycling and coach to Chris Froome who has won the Tour De France 4 times employs this style of training for his riders. In addition, Brett Sutton, famed triathlete coach to a number of Olympic and ironman winners, has also employed this type of periodization with great success.

Linear periodization works. It is relatively easier to use and plan around and tends to make more sense when planning it out for a season. The problems with linear periodization is that the amount of volume can be too much for people to handle and it is easy to over train using this model, which makes you tired and not in peak form when a race comes around. On the flip side, reverse periodization is a lot harder to implement, however its focus on starting fast with correct technique and building from there can be potentially game changing for those people who cannot tolerate high amount of work or who are prone to injury. The key with reverse periodization is not go overboard with the intensity when you start. Sample schedule for a runner may be…

weeks 1-4 – 3-4 sessions of technique based intensity.

Weeks 5-8 – 3-4 sessions of longer intensity intervals

Weeks 9-12 3-4 sessions of longer intensity intervals

weeks 13-16 – 3-4 sessions of goal intervals

weeks 17-18 taper into race.

Sample session from weeks 1-4 for a goal 5k may be

warm up

running drills

20 intervals of 60 meters efforts with perfect form at steady but not full out pace with plenty of recovery.

20 intervals of 100 meters,s are as above.

sampel session from weeks 5-8

warm up

running drills

10 intervals of 100 meters at perfect from steady effort but not full out, at current 1 mile PR effort with plenty of recovery.

10-20 intervals of 150 meters goal 1 mile PR effort plenty of recovery.

Sample from weeks 9-12

Warm up

running drills

10 intervals of 200 meters – at current 1 mile PR effort with plenty of recovery.

2-3 intervals of 400 meters – at current 1 mile PR effort with plenty of recovery

Sample from weeks 13-16

8-10 400 meters – goal 5k pace with reduced recovery

4-6 800 meters at goal 5k pace with reduced recovery

1-2 1 mile at goal 5k pace efforts with reduced recovery.

The idea is that your intensity is being build off form and not just speed. Thus if you are starting at the beginning and find that you are getting shin splints everyday, dial in your running form first before moving up to longer intensities. While your form does not have to be spot on, it needs to be within the ball park. However, even with “poor” or inefficient form I believe this type of training still sets people up for less risks of injury.

8/10/19 Workouts



5 min warm up – walk/jog.

3×20 high knees – 10 each leg

5×10 skips – 5 each leg

10×6 lunges – 3 each leg

recover 1-2 minutes between sets

3 x 2 min jog at 5k pace with one 20 second hard push at 1 mile pace effort in the middle. recover 2 minute between each.

1×5 min job at 5k pace with one 1 minute hard effort at 1 mile pace in the middle. recover 5 minutes.

10 x 1 min. hard pushes at 1 mile pace with 1 minute recovery.

Cool down.

Bike – 5 minute warm up

10 x 1 minute high cadence drills – push cadence to 95-105 and hold for 1 minute using a light gear. 1 minute between each effort to recover.

5 x 2 min steady efforts at a level 7 with 2 min between each effort.

3 x 30 seconds hard pushes level 8-9 with 2 minute recovery between each.

Cool down

Assault bike

Warm up – 5 minutes

2x 5 x 30 second efforts – start at a level 4, easy, after each interval gradually increase the effort to a level 7-8. recover 2 minute between each.

5 x 1 minute flying builds. In 1 minute start easy, build pace, and finish the last 10 seconds with a sprint. Recover 3 minutes between each.

5 x 15 second sprints – hard pushes for 15 seconds with 1 minute recovery.

Cool down


2×200 meter warm up – stroke of choice

5 x 50 meters – build each 50 with last 50 at goal 100 meter pace effort. 30 second rest

5 x 75 – kick, drill swim, recover 45 second rest

5 x 50 meters – first 25 easy last 25 fast, 30 second rest

5 x 75 meters – build each 25 with last 25 at goal 100 meter pace. 45 second recovery.

1 x 200 meters at goal 1 mile pace effort.

Cool down

Rower – 5 min warm up – damper is at 4-5

2 x 2min – builds – over 2 minutes build pace so that last 30 seconds is a hard level 7 effort on scale of 1-10. 2 minute recovery. damper 4-5

5 x 1 minute hard pulls – put hard pulls through the pull phase a perform a very slow recover phase. 1 minute recovery. damper 4-5

10 x 30 second hard 30 second easy – damper 4-5

Move the gear or damper on the rower to 8-10. then repeat 10×30 seconds hard easy

Cool down.

8/5/19 Workouts


Run – 400 meter x 300 x 200 x 100 warm up, with 2-3 min between each. easy pace.

10 x 20 walking lunges, 10 lunges each leg repeat this 3 times with 3 min between each.

Ladder – 100 meter x 200 meter x 300 meter x 200 meter x 100 meter repeat this 2-3 times with 4 min rest between each set. Each effort needs to be at 1 mile pace effort. level 7-8 on scale of 1-10.

Cool down.

Bike – 5 min warm up level 5

2 x 5 min gear build. Start at a low gear and then increase resistance level every minute. Start level 5 end at level 8. Should feel like you are on a moderate hill.

5 min recovery easy spin.

2 x 10 minutes climbs with surges. Climb with moderate gear at a level 6 and 2 minutes push hard for 15 seconds on the hill then go back to level 6 climbing pace. Hold this for 10 minutes and then repeat. 10 minute recovery between each.

Cool down.

Assault Bike – 5 min easy warm up.

2×2 min building pace, increase pace every 30 seconds. 2 min recovery between each.

1 min. push x 3 min recovery. Push hard at level 7-8 for one minute then recovery for 3 min. repeat this three times.

After last recovery perform 1 minute all out effort then cool down.

Swim – warm up 4 x 100 stroke of choice.

2×4 x 25 building pace with 1 minute recovery between each. recovery 2 min between sets.

50x100x200x100x50 – recovery 4-5 minutes between each effort.

Cool down

Row – 5 minute warm up keep gear at 4-5 on row damper.

3 x 3min with 3 min recovery efforts. – push at a level 6-7, in aerobic zone. keep row gear at 4-5.

5×30 seconds pushes x 2 min recovery. Push at level 8 for each one.

After last recovery perform 1000 meter effort all out then cool down.

8/2/19 Cycle/Assault Bike workout


Cycle workout

warm up 5 min.

10 x 1 min each leg single leg drill, light resistance and steady speed, level 5 and scale of 1-10. 5 each leg for total of 10 minutes.

Increasing accelerations – 1×10 second acceleration 1 min rest, 1×20 second acceleration 1 min rest, 1×30 second acceleration then have 3 min rest and then repeat the set again. total of 6 reps, each acceleration is level 7, use light resistance and high cadence between 90-100.

over- unders – 3 min steady effort at level 5 followed by 30 second push at level 8 repeat this three times on a continuous 10 min cycle. No rest until after the last acceleration.

Hill sprints – 10 x 15 second hard pushes on a big/low gear. 90 second rest between each acceleration. The pushes are hard at level 8.

over under – 3 min steady effort level 5 on a hill/moderate gear with 30 second hard push at level 8. Make this a continuous effort with recovery not until the last 30 second acceleration.

Cool down -10-15 minutes.

Assault Bike

5 min warm up

2 min easy level 4 x 1 min steady level 7 repeat this 3 times.

recover 3 minutes.

30 second push level 8 followed by 2 minute recovery, repeat 5 times.

1 minute recovery

1 minute all out hard effort level 9 followed by recovery/cool down.

Both workouts are straight forward aerobic sessions with a small amount of sprint work thrown into the mix. Keeping a consistent and controlled phase through both is important so that you are able to effectively thrown down some solid hard efforts at the end.

Most cyclist tend to perform better sprints when they have a solid amount of base behind their fitness. They do not, however, have to spend endless hours on the bike for most events. Keeping training to within 30 minutes to an hour of activity is most beneficial for most cycling events. Doing this consistently over time will help to build over all fitness in order to be prepared for a number of events.

8/1/19 Run Workout and Training Versus Racing


Warm up – 2 x 400 meters at 5k pace

Drills – High knees -2x 10 x 10 meters with 2 min rest in between each.

Skips – 2x10x10 meters with 2 min rests in between each

2 x 300,400, 500 with 5 minute rest in between each. Each one at 1 mile race pace. If you do not have a track then run it as 45 seconds, 1 min, and 1:15 seconds with same rest.

Cool down

Total – 3600 meters

A short sweet and simple running workout. The long rest are designed to let you hit each interval at perfect form and pace.

Find you’re form and build on it.

I read an interesting quote from another article:  Coaches should, after all, be dedicated to one task: preparing swimmers to swim their event as fast as possible, but in our experience the vast majority of coaches do not, they just teach swimmers how to train!

I feel like a lot of us have learned how to train but not how to race.

The more specific the race the more specific the training has to be. Workouts like above are designed to help provide speed and volume that is just enough to develop the aerobic and anaerobic systems.


7/30/19 Swim and Row workout


Swim Workout

warm up – 4×100 easy stroke of choice 30 second rest

4 x 50 easy, stroke of choice 20 second rest

4 x 25 easy, stroke of choice 10 second rest

8×75 kick, drill, swim free on 1:30

4 x 100 pull on the 2:00

200 cool down

Total – 1900


Warm up 500 meters easy, keep resistance 4-5

3×250 acerbate the last 50. 30 second recover between

10 x 200 meters all at level 7 aerobic pace. Keep resistance at 4-5.

Starts – Change resistance to 9-10, 5 x 50 meters explosive starts, go all out for 50 meters, revery 2 minutes between each.

Total – 3500

7/29/19 Cycling workout and Ultra-Short Training


Cycling workout

Warm Up 5 minutes easy pedaling

10 x 15 seconds quick pace high cadence x 45 seconds off. the 15 seconds is level 7 at a 95-105 cadence on a light gear and recovery is level 4-5.

5 minutes steady effort – level 5-6 with cadence at 95-100 on a light gear.

9 minute effort – 2 min. easy level 5 x 1 minute push at level 7 effort, your choice of cadence.

3 minute recovery

9 minute effort – 2 min. easy level 5 x 1 minute big gear/low cadence hill push level 8 on scale of 1-10.

3 min recovery

6 min effort – start at easy level 5 cadence at 90-95. Every minute increase residence so that cadence drops 5-10 rpm. Hold the initial pace that you started with entire time. Start level 5 end level 8 on scale of 1-10.

Cold down – 5-10 minutes

Total Time – 1 hour

Assault Bike – 5 min warm up

5 min of 15 second acceleration level 7 x 45 seconds easy level 4-5

2 min. push level 5

1 min push level 6

2 min easy level 5

1 min. easy level 7

2 min. easy level 5

1 min. easy level 8

2 min. easy level 5

15 second hard level 9 x 1 min easy repeat this 3 times.

could down 5 min.

Total 30 min.

Ultra Short Intervals

Ultra short training is sort of implied in the name. The basic idea is that you perform very short, intense intervals for a long period of time. Because the efforts are so short you can get in a greater quantity of high quality work without incurring the extended recovery required from longer intense efforts.

Essentially you perform 5-10 second efforts on 5-10 seconds rest from anywhere to 20-50 reps repeating each rep as time goes on.

For example you would perform 20 reps of 10 second efforts followed by 10 seconds of rests at an intensity that would be at or close to lactate threshold. This should be repeated 3-4 times, or close to 30 minutes of work with short recovery between each set.

The theory behind this type of work is that the short intensity of the effort does not deplete you glycogen levels or cause to much muscular stress so that you may repeat it consistently for a longer time than with normal high intensity efforts. Additionally you will not be as wiped out after performing these efforts and have an easier time recovering… in theory. While you could not do this every day 3-4 times a week is possible… again in theory.

While I have never tried this, I will post a link below to an interesting article about it. I thought the idea of using ultra short intervals to train for races is interesting. The article about this originally goes into how this type of training may be more beneficial to sprinters but then it goes into how it could be beneficial to endurance athletes as well since it works both the aerobic and aerobic systems. Personally, after reading the article, I think this type of training applies more to endurance athletes but it could work for both.


7/28/19 Run Workout and Do You Have What it takes to be a Sprinter?


Run workout

Warm up – 6 x 200 meters – each 200 meters a little faster than the last, keep the pace honest. level 4-5 on scale 1-10.

10 x 100 meter accelerations – start slow and finish the last 20 meters fast. If you do not have a track then do 10x 15 second accelerations.

3 x 250 meters pushes or 3 x 35 second efforts. Start at level 5 for the first one, then level 6, then 7 so the last effort is aerobic steady effort at 1 mile pace.

10 x 200 meters at level 7 or 10 x 25 second, efforts at mile pace.

Cool Down – 5-10 minute walk or jog.

Total – 5000 meters.

Sprinters go fast! This takes a very specific set of training and skills.

Sprinters – generic sample workouts from a sprint coach who trains 400 meter runners.

Aerobic capacity work –

1. 10 ‐ 20 x 100m @ 70‐75% R= 1′

Sometimes I do these in a straight set of 10. Sometimes I’ll break them into sets of 5. Usually I do not time them because it isn’t practical in my large groups. Because I don’t use this work very often (I prefer to train this quality using circuits) I usually tell them to run the percentage as a ‘perceived effort’. The rest is usually jogging the turns, so one minute is a guideline.

Threshold workouts

1. 5 x 200 @ 85% R=5′

In truth, I mostly made up that percentage. I’ll use a percentage to establish a baseline the first time we do the workout. But, after that, they’re running at an intensity I choose based on how I feel. If your mind recoils in horror at how ‘unscientific’ this approach is, take a moment to reflect on the fact that using a ‘percentage’ of some time is also just an arbitrary number that appears to be specific because you can tie it to something. With this workout, I do not change the volume or the density, only the intensity.

Sprint work

1. 3 x 250 @ Goal Pace R= 10‐15′

What I find so interesting about these sprinter workouts are how focused they are. The goal is to get the specific amount of work needed and then stop. At peak training they may only do a few short efforts at max speed with up to 10-20 minutes of rest after an effort that lasts for seconds. I always found this interesting as an endurance athlete, as my world only focused on doing greater and greater amounts of work. Sprinters need to perform specific intervals at specific speeds. Furthermore, the time they do their most intense efforts is limited to their peaks in season.

As someone who always though more work equaled greater results I think it is important to realize that doing the right amount of work is really what is more appropriate.

What is the right amount of work? In a nut shell it is doing the amount of work that shows daily and weekly improvements in performance. If you begin to do work that yields negative results then that is too much. What I think people fail to realize, and I include myself in this, work and training needs to be sustainable. You can not run 150 miles a week for 1 year with amazing results only to keep doing the same thing year after year and have horrible results and feel tired and run down all the time. Is this to say that some people can perform amazing amounts of work and find success… of course. I would argue, however, that those people are few and far between and that for most people keeping careful track of training and performance is the best way to insure that you have life long success at your given sport.