Antonio Martinez, a professional trail runner from Spain, faced a setback in his training after suffering an injury in November. Faced with the challenge of being unable to run, Antonio turned to cross-training, embracing cycling to maintain his fitness and mental strength leading up to his first race of the season.

Keep reading as COROS Coaches take a look at how Antonio adapted his training so that he could go all in on race day for TransGranCanaria!

COROS gear used: COROS APEX PRO 2  and COROS Heart Rate Monitor

Antonio, A Base Fitness Master

Antonio has always been a high-volume athlete, training in the scenic trails of Spain in preparation for his upcoming trail races. In fact, Antonio often reaches some of the highest Base Fitness scores we have witnessed, proving once again just how strong the body can get with consistent training.

Antonio's Base Fitness from January 2023 to March 2024

COROS Education. Base Fitness is your 42-day rolling average of Training Load. It represents a good way to understand your body's ability to sustain harder workouts.

While this graph may be intimidating, we have broken down the highlights of Antonio's training:

  • With a Base Fitness score from 180 to 346 leading up to OCC in 2023 (his main objective), Antonio consistentely built his Base Fitness at a rate of ~21/month, or ~5/week.
  • Antonio has been able to maintain a high Base Fitness for the rest of the season (August to November 2023) until he got injured in a race.
  • After recovery, Antonio got back to training from a Base Fitness low point of 212 in January to 289 a month later prior to TransGranCanaria, leading to a rate of ~77/month, or ~19/week. This rapid increase was due to a lack of time to get prepared for race day and unsual compared to his regular training routine.
  • Although Antonio is an elite athlete with a particularly high volume schedule, his Base Fitness increase during his regular build season is slow, but consistent over several months. The main takeaway from Antonio's training is to stay consistent over time and prioritize small, regular sessions to find yourself improving your Base Fitness too!

Turning Setbacks into Strength

After falling during a race in November, Antonio found himself sidelined from any type of training for a month due to a fiber rupture in his quadriceps. Once he was cleared to resume training, he still had two months of rehabilitation before he could return to running. Determined not to let this setback keep him from achieving his big goals for 2024, Antonio focused on a training plan that would help him safely rebuild his strength and endurance.

Training Leading Up to His Race

Starting in mid-December, Antonio's training revolved around cycling to minimize the impact of his injury. He gradually reintroduced running by spending less time cycling and more time running each week. But the transition wasn't easy, especially during the first few runs.

The first 10 days were very hard, I had stiffness just for doing 8km soft, but soon the body adapted and I was able to go up the distance and even add in quality sessions.

While injuries are unwelcome in any athlete's journey, they often serve as opportunities for growth and self-reflection. This small setback forced Antonio to adjust his training approach. While cycling wasn't previously a primary focus in his training, he recognized its value in both his recovery and performance.

Cross training (cycling + running) was very good for me last year to put in many hours of training and reduce the risk of injury and in principle this year I would like to continue with the same dynamic. But I will adapt to unforeseen events, to how my body responds and to the goals and races that we set, there are still some to be decided.

TransGranCanaria Half-Marathon

TransGranCanaria Starter is a half-marathon trail race that takes place in the technical trails of Gran Canaria Island, Spain. Read below as we break down Antonio's win through the COROS Training Hub software.

Antonio's race data from COROS Training Hub

Right at the start of the race, Antonio settled well within his Threshold zone. Knowing he would be able to recover during the dowhills, Antonio his highest sustainable intensity during the uphills to get a strong advantage against his competitors. As expected, his heart rate slowly comes down to his Aerobic Power or even Aerobic Endurance zones, allowing him to maintain energy for the upcoming hills and the finish line section. Overall, Antonio has been able to spend more than an hour at threshold by distributing intensity throughout the race and recover in key areas.

For such a fast-paced race like TransGranCanaria Starter, wearing the COROS Heart Rate Monitor allowed Antonio to closely monitor his intensity and receive faster feedback to know when to dial back or increase pace.

Now that Antonio has been able to successfully get back from injury, he will be able to focus on his main objectives of the season, the SkyRunning Series and the OCC by UTMB again this year. After taking 3rd place at OCC in 2023, Antonio has some great ambitions for this year's iconic race in Chamonix, France.

The COROS team wants to congratulate Antonio for this inspiring win in Gran Canaria last week and looks forward to following his training leading up to OCC later this season!