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"Go to" Ironman Training Session


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Keen to know what everyone's 'go to' Ironman Training Session might be, the one that gives you confidence to say, "I know I can race at this pace' or 'I know i can finish the race'.

Mine is a 6 hour bike, with 4x 25 mins at race pace, followed by a 1hr 30 min run. I know if i can do that at my set pace, i should be okay. 

Whats yours? A full race simulation perhaps?

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Not sure about the bike really. You can wing the bike leg (to an extent). My IM PB was done without a training program, very few long rides, but lots of running.  So running 32km at 4.50 pace during training  meant I was confident getting off the bike. Not that i would recommend doing what I did. But I don't think you need to be doing 5/6 hour rides. You do however, (at least for me) need to do long runs.  

A race sim would be good - 180/20 perhaps? The race sim I did was a bit of a disaster, I lost 2 bottles during the ride and had barely any fluids during the 180km ride. My coach weighed us before and after with the goal being to get us close to the pre-training weight as possible. I lost 4.5kg! 

Edited by zed
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1 hour ago, zed said:

Not sure about the bike really. You can wing the bike leg (to an extent). My IM PB was done without a training program, very few long rides, but lots of running.  So running 32km at 4.50 pace during training  meant I was confident getting off the bike. Not that i would recommend doing what I did. But I don't think you need to be doing 5/6 hour rides. You do however, (at least for me) need to do long runs.  

A race sim would be good - 180/20 perhaps? The race sim I did was a bit of a disaster, I lost 2 bottles during the ride and had barely any fluids during the 180km ride. My coach weighed us before and after with the goal being to get us close to the pre-training weight as possible. I lost 4.5kg! 

Good to know. i am struggling running at the moment, mainly due to a bad knee, (runners knee i think), just can't push any pace. But i am trying to be positive, i will still try and get in a 31/2 hr run and not worry about the pace. 

This is going to be my last big week before starting to wind it back before Cairns, so unsure what sessions i want to do. There are so many schools of thought.  Some say, running over even 2 hrs can be a waste of time, as the most benefit comes from 90mins-120mins. Other say, you need the time on your feet even if you are slow like me. 

Maybe i should just do a 5hr bike and concentrate on the run more. 

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Each person has different strengths and weaknesses, so it would be different for everyone. For me, cycling is definitely my limiter and also where I can make most gains from. I typically plan my sessions based on distance, rather than time. And I stick to the usual training routes so I know how long it would typically take me to complete the distance. I'm building for IM Busso later this year, planning to start around mid June, increasing 15kms in the bike after every 3 or so weeks, with two 180km rides in the 4th and 3rd week out from the race. Long runs will be increasing 2kms every 3 or so weeks, with two 30km runs in the 4th and 3rd week out from the race.

I haven't done any long simulations before.

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16 minutes ago, k3vski said:

Each person has different strengths and weaknesses, so it would be different for everyone. For me, cycling is definitely my limiter and also where I can make most gains from. I typically plan my sessions based on distance, rather than time. And I stick to the usual training routes so I know how long it would typically take me to complete the distance. I'm building for IM Busso later this year, planning to start around mid June, increasing 15kms in the bike after every 3 or so weeks, with two 180km rides in the 4th and 3rd week out from the race. Long runs will be increasing 2kms every 3 or so weeks, with two 30km runs in the 4th and 3rd week out from the race.

I haven't done any long simulations before.

In your 180km rides, do you do any 'race pace' or not worry so much about that?

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12 minutes ago, Prince said:

In your 180km rides, do you do any 'race pace' or not worry so much about that?

Not really. But there is a section where there isn't any traffic lights where I can go harder. And to make my ride longer, I just do more repeats of this section. I usually aim for an overall average of 30kph for the entire ride, so 180km would be 6 hours. In context, I'm a 2:30 bike split for 70.3 and hope to get to about 5:15 for the IM. 

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Not mine but a friends go to is back to back days of 150 kn bike then  10 km run off the bike.  So that’s 300 kms on bike and 20 km running over two days. 

A lot easier on the body than the really long run plus aerobic for around 14 hours in total.

FM

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In the three or four months before an IM, I train on 3 week periodisation cycles – two weeks of increasing load/volume, one week of recovery. If I can put together two solid back to back build cycles before transitioning to race prep and taper cycles, I feel very good about my prep.

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100km TT then 20 x 1km repeats...

This can either fill you with confidence or leave you shattered depending on whether you've been consistently putting in the work the previous 3 months..

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1 hour ago, pieman said:

100km TT then 20 x 1km repeats...

This can either fill you with confidence or leave you shattered depending on whether you've been consistently putting in the work the previous 3 months..

i do like the sound of this.  I probably might do this 3 weeks out. The 1km repeats may get me away from the plodding if i did a continuous 20km run. 

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1 hour ago, pieman said:

100km TT then 20 x 1km repeats...

This can either fill you with confidence or leave you shattered depending on whether you've been consistently putting in the work the previous 3 months..

 

I have always struggled with this terminology.  What does 20 x 1km repeats mean as opposed to a 20km run?  No rest interval is given but I assume it means some rest between intervals.  Would a 20km using the run/walk strategy be the same thing as the intervals?

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15 minutes ago, Toolish said:

 

 

I have always struggled with this terminology.  What does 20 x 1km repeats mean as opposed to a 20km run?  No rest interval is given but I assume it means some rest between intervals.  Would a 20km using the run/walk strategy be the same thing as the intervals?

You'd have to ask AP what the purpose etc really is but I didnt treat them as 'intervals' or even repeats but more like a 20km run with short walk/drink every 1km. I actually ended up doing them as 10 x 2km as had my drink in same spot and just did an out and back. I took about 15 secs walk in between as for me it was just about running race pace, learning to start running again after stopping for a drink with very tired legs. 

disclaimer- i am shit

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18 minutes ago, Toolish said:

 

 

I have always struggled with this terminology.  What does 20 x 1km repeats mean as opposed to a 20km run?  No rest interval is given but I assume it means some rest between intervals.  Would a 20km using the run/walk strategy be the same thing as the intervals?

i sure hope there are rest intervals. Pieman, can elaborate, however, i am thinking as this is a 90% endurance set, and 10% speed, i am thinking 1 km intervals, slightly above race pace, with half the time taken for the rest. So if you run your intervals at 6.00 per km, take 3 mins recovery, either static or jog recovery. 

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22 hours ago, Prince said:

Good to know. i am struggling running at the moment, mainly due to a bad knee, (runners knee i think), just can't push any pace. But i am trying to be positive, i will still try and get in a 31/2 hr run and not worry about the pace. 

This is going to be my last big week before starting to wind it back before Cairns, so unsure what sessions i want to do. There are so many schools of thought.  Some say, running over even 2 hrs can be a waste of time, as the most benefit comes from 90mins-120mins. Other say, you need the time on your feet even if you are slow like me. 

Maybe i should just do a 5hr bike and concentrate on the run more. 

I would suggest rather than running 3.5hours to do split runs.  Long ride Saturday with 3*1 hour efforts, 10 mins in recovery, done as part of a 5-6 hour ride.
Sun run then split with 2hours am and 1:30 later in the day.  The aim of this is to reduce the stress on the dodgy knees / legs but still get the volume.  It need not be at race pace when going this long or else your next week will be lost to recovery

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10 minutes ago, Blobby said:

Sun run then split with 2hours am and 1:30 later in the day.

I have done this. Getting going on the second run is an inner circle of hell.

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1 hour ago, Blobby said:

I would suggest rather than running 3.5hours to do split runs.  Long ride Saturday with 3*1 hour efforts, 10 mins in recovery, done as part of a 5-6 hour ride.
Sun run then split with 2hours am and 1:30 later in the day.  The aim of this is to reduce the stress on the dodgy knees / legs but still get the volume.  It need not be at race pace when going this long or else your next week will be lost to recovery

thanks. yes, I have been reading about double runs, and done a few. It is also preferable as you get older as recovery is so critical. 

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On 10/05/2021 at 1:30 PM, Prince said:

In your 180km rides, do you do any 'race pace' or not worry so much about that?

Just curios? What's race pace? How much harder is that than non race pace?

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2 minutes ago, lzbones said:

Just curios? What's race pace? How much harder is that than non race pace?

Depends if you go by FTP or heart rate. Race pace is 60%-80% of your FTP. The 'top end' of this percentage is for the more experienced ironman racer, or faster biker. For myself, my race pace is about 70% of FTP.  

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20 minutes ago, Prince said:

Depends if you go by FTP or heart rate. Race pace is 60%-80% of your FTP. The 'top end' of this percentage is for the more experienced ironman racer, or faster biker. For myself, my race pace is about 70% of FTP.  

Cool, so whats effort for long rides not at race pace?

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4 minutes ago, lzbones said:

Cool, so whats effort for long rides not at race pace?

For a long ride, 55%-65% for me.   If its like your first Ironman, I wouldn't even worry about pace at all. Just get the mileage in, and ride on a rolling terrain.  Others may have better advice. 

Edited by Prince
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6 hours ago, Prince said:

thanks. yes, I have been reading about double runs, and done a few. It is also preferable as you get older as recovery is so critical. 

Next level again is triple run days - done a few of those across a Sunday. 14k easy first, 10k say 1pm with 3x1k just above race pace, 6k evening with some 200m efforts. As someone else said, a whole new level of mental effort to get going for the 3rd run but recovery is really good and not much tiredness the next day. 

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13 hours ago, pieman said:

100km TT then 20 x 1km repeats...

This can either fill you with confidence or leave you shattered depending on whether you've been consistently putting in the work the previous 3 months..

AP and Pete Jacobs used this, or something very similar, in his lead up to Pete winning Kona in 2012...  It worked for him!

Edited by Go Easy
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On 10/05/2021 at 10:35 AM, Prince said:

Keen to know what everyone's 'go to' Ironman Training Session might be, the one that gives you confidence to say, "I know I can race at this pace' or 'I know i can finish the race'.

Mine is a 6 hour bike, with 4x 25 mins at race pace, followed by a 1hr 30 min run. I know if i can do that at my set pace, i should be okay. 

Whats yours? A full race simulation perhaps?

Mines a lot of sessions performed over a long time with minimal break or skipped sessions. I think failing a session like that would tell me I cant do a good ironman, but for me the converse would not be true

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On 11/05/2021 at 7:49 AM, pieman said:

100km TT then 20 x 1km repeats...

This can either fill you with confidence or leave you shattered depending on whether you've been consistently putting in the work the previous 3 months..

Never done an IM, but AP would give me a 2-3hr ride followed by 8-14 1km run repeats where I had to hit a certain time for each 1km.  Usually only about 10-30 sec rests between repeats.

IMO this was the most important session I ever did.  Brilliant for mental strength & run off the bike speed.  Still do a smaller version for sprints when I can run consistently.

The Mrs hates 1km repeats with a vengeance, but always asks me how to get her run faster.  And I tell her 1km repeats.  And she cracks the shits 😆

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On 11/05/2021 at 8:35 PM, Prince said:

Just get the mileage in, and ride on a rolling terrain.  Others may have better advice. 

One thing I would add to this, if you are planning on Busso as your race, rolling terrain isn't the best for your long rides.
Need significantly flat, as you don't get the rest that rolling terrain grants. You don't get to rest at Busso, as when you stop pedaling, you stop.

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