Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 | One Comment
2h48min Marathon at Ironman Arizona 2012

2h48min Marathon at Ironman Arizona 2012

After the initial transition phase (2 to 3 week) of mostly easy (aerobic) steady running my athletes advance to 1x aerobic builder per week. The aerobic builder is a great way to introduce my athlete gently to some faster running. Beside logging steady aerobic runs (incl.strides/accelerations, 30s-30s…) during the base training phase I believe that it is also  important to maintain all qualities we will need later on in training.

The builder is an excellent method to (re-)learn pacing skills and to introduce some aerobic resistance and threshold work.

Look to run on a flat road (later: rolling / hilly) or on a treadmill (1-1.5% incline).

Warm up: 10mins, increase running speed gently (easy effort). Gradually increase running cadence/turnover via shorter steps.

Main set:

  • 30mins non-stop running. Build every 10mins and build speed progressively every 2:30mins within each 10mins block as well.
  • 1st 10mins should be at your aerobic threshold (AeT) which is about 20 to 25 beats below AT (anaerobic threshold). At this point here you should still be able to converse easily but at the same time running pace must be of moderate level (similar to Marathon pace).
  • The 2nd 10mins should be performed slightly above AeT (=AeT + 5 to 10b), or 70.3 RP. Now, running pace should force you to focus  a little bit more compared to the 1st 10min block. Continue to adjust your running speed.  The heartrate entered the aerobic-anaerobic transition zone and should progressively approach 10b below AT.
  • 3rd 10mins should be perceived as strong and not hard. Progressively increase your running speed so that the final 5mins are run at or even slightly (3 to 5b) above your anaerobic threshold heart rate (AT), or 10k or 10 mile race pace.


10mins @ AeT heartrate [=Marathon Pace]
10mins @ AeT + 5 to 10 beats [=Half-Marathon Pace]
10mins @ AeT + 10 to 20 beats [=10 mile / 10k Race pace]

I suggest to record av. running speed & HR for each 10mins block. Write training results in a training log for future reference and comparison purposes.


Duration–>3x 15mins /3x 20mins blocks or 4x 2 to 5k’s
Terrain: Flat—>Hilly

Benefits: This workout is a great way to boost your aerobic power endurance, recruits different amounts of muscle fibers (ST & FT), builds muscular resistance and improves mental focus (stamina/pacing skill/running outside your comfort zone).

Warm down: 10mins easy running + stretching.


If you want coaching please contact me. Thank you!




1 Comment

  1. Ironman Triathlon training: Running hill repeats | Torsten Triathlon Training
    April 8, 2014

    […] Running the marathon in an Ironman is more about strength than speed.  During my pre-season training my transitions run aren’t “fancy” (only zone 2!!) and only serve the purpose to go through the emotions having to run off after a long bike ride and to maintain proper running form (tall, turnover, proper foot-placement, forward lean, relaxed shoulders etc). […]

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