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.

Running workout and is it realistic to try to get lean as possible

warm up – 5-10 min easy jog/walk

3 x 200 meters build, long strides, rest 1-2 minute between each.

3 x 300 meters – each 300 meter at goal 10k pace, rest 1 minute between each.

3 x 400 meter – each 400 at goal 10k pace, rest 1 minute between each.

3 x 500 meter – each 500 meter at goal 10k pace, rest 1 minute between each.

(for advanced runners) – go down the latter and 500, 400, 300.

cool down 5 -10 minutes.

These are not all out efforts. goal 10k pace should feel repeatable and you should not finish the workout exhausted. This is designed to be a steady state aerobic workout.

How lean is too lean? I think that the question of getting ‘lean’ has gotten out of hand. We need to find optimal and get away from this idea that a particular number on the scale is the ‘right number’. Healthy and skinny are two very different things.

For example, if you naturally weight 155 pounds and are already relatively lean then trying to get yourself to 115 is not a realistic goal. Trying to lose 5-10 pounds may be more attainable and for most people I would not advise that you attempt to lose more than that in a few months. The old adage of cutting 400-500 calories a day to lose a pound of fat has recently been challenged with new research showing that 150-200 is more appropriate (and realistic). The reality is that cutting weight slowly and safely varies person to person. some people may need to cut 500 calories a day to lose weight while some may cut 100 calories and lose weight. If weight loss is a goal, I do advise that you track your calories and determine your optimal calorie deficit number. This is going to vary depending on activity level, stress level and sleep but getting a relative average will be ideal. Also, do not worry about cutting out certain foods or requiring your self to eat a certain number of proteins, calories, carbs, etc. daily. Listen to your body and feed it what it is craving, but try to choose healthier alternatives. Maybe instead of ice cream you eat granola and yogurt, instead of a burger and fries you do baked potato and bean burger or burger on whole wheat buns, etc. The more you deprive yourself the less weight you will lose.

While I am not a dietician I can tell you from experience that fighting your weight and forcing yourself into calorie deprivation will not work, no matter how “motivated and determined you are”. Listen to your body and feed it when it is hungry and rest it when it is tired. These two things will go a long way to helping you lose weight.

Rower Workout and The Strength Paradox

Row workout

Set resistant to level 4 to 5

5 minutes at 18 stoke per minute then 5 minute at 12 stroke per minute

2-3 x 2000 meter at 25 stroke per minute with 1000 meter at 15 stroke per minute (SPM is a measurement on the display).

Cool down

This is an easy, straight forward workout that focuses on steady state aerobic fitness. Keep the level at about a 6-7 and try not to go away from the 25 SPM.

Body types are a hotly contested narrative in the fitness industry these days. Are you a mesomorph, endomorph, ectomorph or some combination. I mostly a mesomorph, relatively lean with the ability to gain muscle and weight easily. I do have some endomorphic tendencies however as it is hard for me to lose weight.

No matter what body type you are their are advantages and disadvantages to each body type. Personally, I would not worry too much about what specific type you think you fall under.

First- take a general assessment each year of your strengths and weaknesses. Say for example you are a cyclist and tend to be a bigger rider (either muscle or fat). While hills may not be your strong suite, let us say that you can hold a hard tempo on fast or rolling terrain for a long time. I find that our bodies tend to naturalize to their optimal weight over time and if we stray too far from that optimal then it causes problems (both physically and mentally). This is not to say that we cannot lose or improve our body composition, however, really think through the decision to go through months of dieting and training to get into ‘thin climbing shape’ or ‘lean time trial shape’. You may find yourself unhealthier and slower at the end of it and more frustrated and burned out as a result.

Second – once you find your strengths and weaknesses, optimize the strengths and chip away at the weaknesses. Small changes yield big results. Instead of making drastic changes to your training plan, insert small, specific concentrated changes throughout the year. For example, if all of your training is done on flat roads or if you only do the same 1 hour ride every day then stat throwing in specific intervals or courses related to your weaknesses. For example instead of doing 5, 1 hour medium rides each week do 4 of those rides and make 1 ride more interval specific or hill specific.

Third – This will seem obvious but from experience I can tell you not to force yourself to do things you do not enjoy. If you hate lifting weights or hate doing other forms of cross training then do not force yourself to do it, especially if you are already strapped for time. The reason you are doing your given activity is because you enjoy it. Do not force yourself to change to other less enjoyable activities simply because you see something saying that heavier or skinnier people should include this activity or that activity. Work within the constraints of your given activity first.

Keeping what I said above in mind I will use my self as an example. I am 6 ft 195 when training endurance. If I stop endurance training and only lift I will go up to 215-220. As you can see that is a huge swing. My body puts on weight really easily, both muscle and fat. My body absolutely revolts once it goes below 190. I feel horrible and cannot train effectively at or below 190. 195 seems to be my happy place for endurance training. I will be the first to tell you that at 195 I am not flying up hills, but I can power through rolling hills very competitively and can really take advantage of the flats and downhills. Same applies for my running. Through a lot of trial and error I found my body was happy, and its most competitive at 195. I used my weight strategically and really tried to have my A races on courses that suited my strengths. Throughout the year I would focus on my weaknesses and attempt to make my strengths stronger.

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