Following is a series of articleson ironman training for beginnersby Dan Becker and Ian Driverthat appeared on the rec.sports.triathlon.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dan Becker)Date: 1996/11/01Message-Id: <email@example.com>Distribution: usaReferences: <01bbc814$be032980$4946f3cd@dave-S-Pc>Organization: IBM, Personal System Products, AustinReply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dan Becker)Newsgroups: rec.sport.triathlonIn <01bbc814$be032980$4946f3cd@dave-s-pc>, "Dave Cashen" <email@example.com> writes:>I've done a couple olympic distance races in the past. I am looking to>train for an IM distance for summer '97. I do not know where to start. I am>looking for some words of wisdom and some good reference material.
Dave and other ironman hopefuls,
I assume your goal is to finish an ironman comfortably but not necessarilyrun at the pace you of your Olympic distance races. This has been my goal for my last six ironman races. What works for me is to:
The goal for part a consists of building a good aerobic base and a supportive bone and muscle structure to handle the ramp up which will come in part b. I begin after the Christmas/New Year's holiday and gear up towards Olympic distance races that come in April and May. To give you an idea of my cross-training mix, I generally do:
The seems like a lot of sessions, but early in the year, I keep the length ofeach session down to 1/2 hour or less, and I emphasize having fun andexperimenting. So, a typical run might be a 5k, a bike session might be 30 minutesof mounatin biking, and a typical swim session might be a 400 meter warmup and8x100 meter IM. Cross-training and building a base is the key.
Also, I emphasize varying the training intensity. So during a given week, each sport will have an intervals session, a fun/recovery session, and a longer session. So,each sport is further broken down like so:
As Spring approaches, start throwing in your Sprint and Olympic distance races to add intensity and gauge your perormance. Don'tforget to rest after races. For me, ninety percent of my injuries comein the first week of enthusiasm following a race.
Also, as the early season progresses, you might want to stretch thelength of some of your sessions to 45 minutes or an hour to build up more forthe races. Perhaps in May you might want to try a half ironman to see ifthis is something you really want to do.
The goal for part b is to build your long distance training so your bodyis ready for the ironman to come. Three or four months before the iron-man, pull out a calendar and figure out how to stretch your long trainingsessions to ramp up for the race. As you build your long distance training,don't omit the intervals and the fun sessions, and don't skip sessions! You can take the toil in little doses in the training leading up to the race,or you can take one lump sum, perhaps more than you can handle, on race day.
The long distance session will stretch in a building progression with some restin between. This chart shows one way to stretch your running and biking in the 12 weeks before a race (R denotes rest, distances in miles):
Week -12 -11 -10 -9 -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 Race Run 8 8 10 R 13 13 15 R 18 18 20 R Bike 40 50 R 50 60 70 R 80 90 100 R 50
The swimming is a little tougher to lengthen, but mental stamina or an open water races can help here. The long distance biking is more fun with agroup or by doing century rides and other supported tours.
On race day, you will reap the effort you put into training. If you do morelong distance training (4 month build up versus 3), your ironman racewill be more enjoyable. If you skimp on the long distance, your race day will be tougher - a gruelathon or the dreaded "did not finish!" Rememberthat the ironman is not run solely on race day, but in the early morningwhen others are sleeping. Cheerish the friends you will meet along the way!
From: Ian Driver
Newsgroups: rec.sport.triathlonSubject: Re: Beginner IMDate: Sat, 02 Nov 1996 17:59:05 -0800Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.orgDan Becker wrote:Lots of good stuff deleted. > The long distance session will stretch in a building progression with some rest> in between. This chart shows one way to stretch your running and biking> in the 12 weeks before a race (R denotes rest, distances in miles):> Week -12 -11 -10 -9 -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 Race> Run 8 8 10 R 13 13 15 R 18 18 20 R> Bike 40 50 R 50 60 70 R 80 90 100 R 50
I have done a number of Ironman Triathlons and the ramp looks prettygood through weeks 12 -4 . I think the training in the last 3 weeks isway too heavy for long rides and runs. I personally wouldn't recoverwell enough from a 20 mile run the week befor an Ironman. In my trainingI try and complete my longest stuff in weeks 6-4 above and then start totaper off the last three weeks. The last long run for me is about 18miles in week 2, my long run in week 1 would be 10 miles.
See you guys at IMC next year.
From: dan_becker@ (Dan Becker)Newsgroups: rec.sport.triathlonSubject: Re: Beginner IMDate: 3 Nov 1996 17:45:19 GMTDistribution: usaReply-To: email@example.com (Dan Becker)In <327BFC69.6E3F@mail.bmts.com>, Ian Driver
writes:>I have done a number of Ironman Triathlons and the ramp looks pretty>good through weeks 12 -4 . I think the training in the last 3 weeks is>way too heavy for long rides and runs. I personally wouldn't recover>well enough from a 20 mile run the week befor an Ironman. In my training>I try and complete my longest stuff in weeks 6-4 above and then start to>taper off the last three weeks. The last long run for me is about 18>miles in week 2, my long run in week 1 would be 10 miles.
Your point is well-taken! Recovery from these long sessions is crucial. Someveteran ironmen never train in this region, cutting the long bike sessions to70-80 miles and the long runs to 15-18 miles.
On the other hand, I like to approach the ironman distances in training, and,if it is possible, I suggest to beginners to attempt these longer sessions also.Sometimes I have a tough time recovering, and that is why I usually put myrest day (late sleep and waffle day) after one of these long sessions. I alsoarrange long sessions to occur 3 out of every 4 weeks to allow you a weekendof rest to break long-term fatigue, arrange non-triathlon weekends, or havea fun training day with friends.
It is very difficult to tell a beginner in a few short paragraphs what sort of training to do. I suggest beginners monitor their body carefully in the weeksapproaching the race and select rest and recovery as Ian suggests or longertraining as I suggest depending on your body's reaction to training.