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dazmuzza

Rest days in Ironman training

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Hey seasoned ironman athletes 😊 Looking for some advice. 

I’m in the base phase for Cairns 2020 and initially following the plans of Don Fink in his ‘Ironfit’ book – at least for the next ten weeks just to build some consistency.

Fink advocates a full days rest each week, and while I love that idea in theory, I’m finding myself a bit time crunched midweek. Presently I have Mondays fully off.

For instance tomorrow I’m scheduled to do a brick and also a 1 hour swim. However, trying to get that 1 hour swim in post work is going to be hard.

Do you think it is it feasible to do a 1 hour swim, then the brick workout after that (all in the morning) or could I simply move my swim to Monday evening? My run is on Sunday morning and would mean I’d have a full 24 hours off before exercising again.

Any thoughts on rest days generally for Ironman?

Edited by dazmuzza

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I go back and forward on the idea... In general, I feel better when I workout.

But, I've only done one ironman build and rest days were like gold.

Keen to hear other input

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I think they are pretty essential especially if you are doing a 8 month plan to your race.. YIKES...

Shouldn't you be in the base phase now? then build and then peak? You seem to be building VERY early...

I always had my rest day on Monday but it often became a day where I would do an easy swim or something, because I actually felt like swimming aided recovery from big weekends...

In my view there are much better options out there of plans to follow than Finks plans.. Dont try and adhere to a written plan just because but rather work out how much time you have to train, what areas will require the most time and then where they fit best.

You need to look at tailoring any plan to your circumstances as well. Obviously the long ride will probably need to go on the weekend sometime but often the run might fit better in mid week if you can make it work. 

Maybe outline your whole schedule and you might get some comments but I dont see a problem doing a swim on your rest day...

Ideas to save time:

  • Commuting on the bike or run
  • Indoor training
  • Running to/from pool
  • Brick runs
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Doing a swim and then straight away a brick would kind of make it a ‘super brick’, wouldn’t it? Personally I like a ‘super brick’ as a time crunched training hack. 

I also like days off. Mark Allen always said, that you don’t improve from hard training, you improve from the rest you take after hard training. I reckon for time crunched workers who are training for an Ironman that two days off - Monday and Friday - are a good option. Use the rest on Friday to recover from the shorter - more ‘quality’ focused mid week sessions, before the long aerobic stuff you need to do on the weekend. Monday’s are to recover from that before stepping back into the shorter, more intense sessions mid week.

I also reckon that once you get older (over 45), especially if you have a lot of miles already in the bank, that splitting up your long bike from your long run makes sense. For example - having Saturday as a down day before a long bike ride-short run brick on Sunday is a good option. Then Monday swim and yoga or something like that. Tuesday massage, no training intensity at all - just active recovery: maybe a commuter bike ride or an hour noodling in the small chain ring in the park or on a bike-way. Wednesday morning long run, then a recovery swim (maybe 25 minutes open water). 24 hours off until Thursday afternoon quality (intervals) bike, Friday quality (intervals) run & quality (4km squad) swim after work. 

Edited by Andrew #1

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20 minutes ago, pieman said:

Shouldn't you be in the base phase now? then build and then peak? You seem to be building VERY early...

Oh my mistake - yes base phase now...I'll udpate the original post. 

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Follow the plan as best you can do without sacrificing your life. Fatigue comes from many places, and a pissed off/stressed partner or family can be a major contributor. ✌️The swim is as important as the other component of the event, try to avoid missing swims 👍😎

 

One thing is that if you miss a session. DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT. And don't try to "make up for it" elsewhere

 

Good luck 

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Thanks for all the responses thus far - some good ideas (particularity building my midweek runs into commutes).

This probably won't format right, but to give you an idea of my base phase training.

 DAY   AM    PM
Monday    Rest    Rest
Tuesday    Run    Strength
Wed    Brick    Swim
Thurs    Run    Strength
Friday    Ride    Swim
Sat    Long Ride    
Sun    Long Run    

I bike commute nearly every day (only 8k round trip but can be expanded to a 24k round trip easily), but I may end up swapping my AM runs on Tuesday/Thursday and making them PM run commutes. This would work really well for me. 

All my sessions are done to time, not distance.

My strength sessions are pretty cruisy 30 mins set, low weights, high reps. 

I kinda like the idea of  a mega brick on Wednesday. I could more easily do a ride/run in the evening on a Wednesday as I've got a trainer and access to a treadmill in my apartment building.

Feel free to drop ideas/comments/criticisms.

 

 

 

Edited by dazmuzza
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Don't waste time on the strength sessions unless you are addressing an injury. 

 

Strength on the bike, in the pool and run are move time savvy ways to do it IMO 

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From my experience, i just about always have at least on rest day per week, life just gets in the way of a plan. During the key build I often took two days off. Work out the key sessions and do them, If mentally you prefer doing something every day, do something every day

If you like the weekly structure and progression of the plan, then move the days around, and the sessions around to suit your life. If you double guess the program now, what are you going to be like when it becomes harder?

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Just now, rory-dognz said:

From my experience, i just about always have at least on rest day per week, life just gets in the way of a plan. During the key build I often took two days off. Work out the key sessions and do them, If mentally you prefer doing something every day, do something every day

If you like the weekly structure and progression of the plan, then move the days around, and the sessions around to suit your life. If you double guess the program now, what are you going to be like when it becomes harder?

Good point - some food for thought there. 

 

15 minutes ago, Jim Shortz said:

Don't waste time on the strength sessions unless you are addressing an injury. 

I'll likely keep the strength during base then remove it during build phase. I've found that doing some strength has been beneficial for me in the past as my knees and hips can be dodgy. I've been far more injury resistance since doing some strength. 

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Just a thought, perhaps considering split long runs may be a thing to help with the time-crunched nature? 

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3 minutes ago, xblane said:

Just a thought, perhaps considering split long runs may be a thing to help with the time-crunched nature? 

Not 100% sure what you mean - the long runs on weekends is fairly easy for me to manage. I guess its the congestion midweek that puts a bit of pressure on my timetable. 

PM run commutes I think solves my issues. 

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23 minutes ago, dazmuzza said:

Not 100% sure what you mean - the long runs on weekends is fairly easy for me to manage. I guess its the congestion midweek that puts a bit of pressure on my timetable. 

PM run commutes I think solves my issues. 

After your base phase, there are only three true key sessions each week for the Build and peak phases: long bike, long run and long swim. Suggest you do the bike and run for time and not distance BUT as a discipline to ensure that swimming is not neglected, aim for a 4km swim session at least once a week. That way you’ll never be fatigued coming out of the water and onto the bike. 

You seem to have enough time on your hands to manage the weekends, so if your body is young and strong enough to handle it then a 4km swim Friday, long (4-6hr) bike Saturday, with short run brick (30 minutes, building to an hour or more 6 weeks out from Ironman), then a 2 hr run Sunday morning (with the option of a 30-60 minute run in the evening to make it a double run day) - right there: that is 90% enough training for the build phase of an Ironman. Monday off. Quality intensity short sessions on Tuesday-Thursday and you are done. 

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Unless you're a pro you should have one complete day off, generally Monday so you can recover from big sessions done on Sat or Sun.

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Your program looks good to me for base phase, though I’d personally feel claustrophobic having to do something both morning and night so early in a season. Another alternative is a couple more bricks in the week or the weekend to keep up the frequency, but also give you more free time when it’s not your biggest life focus and you don’t want it to become grind yet.

I would normally have a full rest day in base phase, but as my fitness and training ramps up I turn it into easy recovery swim e.g 2km with snorkel. Actually helps shed fatigue and allows me to focus on one less session in the week when I am doing higher quality sessions.

 

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Oh yeah and ride your bike everywhere if you can, to swimming, to running and even to big group sessions. Take a back pack and put it in a training partners car.

Nothing like time in the saddle.

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Kind of related to to my original post

Should I count my bike commutes in my total training volume?

My bike commute is usually only a 4km easy ride in zones 1 or 2 - about 15 minutes each way. Occasionally I'll make it a 10-12 km journey. 

I'd previously not counted it in my bike volume but now thinking I should. 

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18 minutes ago, dazmuzza said:

Kind of related to to my original post

Should I count my bike commutes in my total training volume?

My bike commute is usually only a 4km easy ride in zones 1 or 2 - about 15 minutes each way. Occasionally I'll make it a 10-12 km journey. 

I'd previously not counted it in my bike volume but now thinking I should. 

The cranks don't turn themselves over. It's all accumulated fatigue in the legs.

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I was hoping someone would say that 😄 . Mainly because I commute this morning after an early morning bike ride and I felt a bit tired. I know its a period of adjusting to the volume (which is relatively low at the moment) but looking at my total bike volume in TP and realising that I have 1.5 extra hours of non-planned bike riding in there might give me some ideas as why I was feeling a bit tired. 

 

Edited by dazmuzza
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depends what you mean by count it.For me it would be added to my TP etc automatically so included in my TSS and mileage etc... I doubt I would bother riding if it was 4km though as seems so much easier to fit in a run at that distance...

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True. The run is a bit of a pain in the ass though as its very stop start thanks to many many lights. The bike commute is way easier due to the dedicated bike ways. 

Did run it yesterday though instead of biking and it was OK I guess. 

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