Monday, November 24, 2014
Planning an Ironman
Posted 01:18 PM, November 24 2014
One of our top questions from athletes this time of the year is about how to prepare for the Ironman they signed up for. Given that most people need to sign up a year in advance, they have to start planning and organizing their training a year in advance also. Here are some of the considerations.
If the Ironman is during the second part of the year it would be a good idea to break up the year and train for a midseason race first. This race would ideally be a half iron distance race. Build your miles utilizing the mid-season race and then train with iron volume after that.
If the Ironman is in the early part of the year you want to try to find some training races if at all possible. Also consider some run races or bike time trials. Single sport races are very important to become more competitive in that sport.
I've said it before and I will say it again. You do not have to run a marathon to be able to do well in an Ironman. These are two totally different events. A marathon is run right at your limit and you start fresh enticing you to a high pace that will surely send you to the pain cave late in the race. An Ironman marathon on the other hand is more like a training run and done aerobically. The endurance needed to do an Ironman is more of a result of long bike training and some bricks rather than long runs.
If I had to name one workout that is key to Ironman success I would say it's the long bike but all the long workouts are very high priority. You need to develop that endurance at the physical and metabolic level but also at the psychological level. You have to learn and be ready to exercise all day.
My final thought is "pace your year". If your Ironman is late in the year or even if it is earlier you do not have to be ready now. You need to be ready on race day. Stay consistent, gradually increase volume and don't try to be a "January National Champion". Its ok not to have top fitness now. In fact I feel it is desirable to not have top fitness now. Make daily deposits into the fitness bank so that you can make that big withdrawal on Ironman race day.
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