Recently I took on a new triathlete and he asked me questions about “the Ironman training”. I figured it might be of global interest and decided to share our little chat. Here is a fraction of our conversation. Certainly, no world breaking news for most readers but hopefully something that might be of use or another way to kill 5 minutes (huh).
“We will be working hard to build up a body that can and will handle training volume needed to excel next year. What you invest now will pay off tomorrow, so to speak. The harder you train the harder it will be for them (competition) to beat you. I promise you great results but I can’t say exactly when it will happen. Patience is key. Mind you, Pro triathletes swim fast too (note: he is a former college swimmer). We need to condition the leg muscles so that running a sub 6min miles in 70.3s becomes possible after a hard bike ride. We have to work and improve every area that produces performance improvements and that also includes a lower body fat %, etc. The hard part in training is not necessarily the intensity. The hard part is to train 48-50 weeks in a row and to average a rel. high weekly training volume, to stay free of injury and not to overtrain are keys your future success depends on greatly. There are no short cuts. Consistent training is key. Therefore it might be better (in some cases (FT vs ST athletes) to limit high intensity training (HIT) and to focus on a “train high & train low” method. Be that as it may, you don’t become one of the best athletes with one year of hard training. It takes time and diligent training over a much longer period of time. Naturally, all athletes will progressively become stronger then faster when they train correctly. Maybe not right away. Maybe not next year but certainly as soon as our body absorbed previous training loads (stimulus) and adapted to training stress. Of course, in our training planning your recovery ability will need to be considered, too. Exercising makes very little sense when the body is broken down”.
“The beauty of Ironman racing is that “quality” miles make champions! It is important that you enjoy to log a lot of training because your training mileage will ultimately determine whether you can sustain a wattage range or running speed from start to finish or not. A strong willpower and a good head on your shoulder will help as well. I help you to transform into a “beast”…. “.
“For IM one must be strong and tough but not necessarly “fast”. Although, in order to win one must be fairly fast and deliver fast speeds over shorter distances. Therfore, it is vital to keep working on developing & extending speed endurance & raw strength. First of all it is critical to have a base of strength & speed. It all begins with a base: Aerobic base,Base endurance, Base of strength, Base of speed etc Let’s assume that we have a swimmer who can’t swim 50m in 35sec. How is it possible for her/him to swim 1500m in under 17mins? It’s not going to happen unless the swimmer can swim 50m in under 28s etc..once this is possible (w/strength training…a lot of swimming…etc) we can begin to extend speed over longer distances (=speed development)…same applies to running and cycling”.
Thanks for reading!