Favorite Workout?

I am in the midst of training for 70.3 Austin on October 23rd, but prior to that I am racing an Olympic distance triathlon on October 2nd.  If that weren't enough I have a half-marathon on November 6th and then the A running race.....The Las Vegas Rock N Roll Marathon on December 4th. I am calling the marathon my A marathon race because it is where I hope to qualify for Boston.  I need to run a sub 3:10 marathon in order to qualify (Thanks Jeff for clarifying that) and I have no clue if I'm ready for it or not but I can tell you this:  my marathon training has kicked in right in the middle of Half-Ironman training. I am very lucky to have a coach weave these training plans together because I know for a fact that I would not be able to have pieced them together on my own.  As you have read on the internet that you need to change-up training so that you shock your body into being uncomfortable thus getting stronger Coach has done just that recently. My swim workouts have changed up but more importantly the run has taken on a whole new look.  Saturday used to be a long run that I was given a time to run, and while it has gotten progressively longer (run 1 hr, run 1.5 hrs, run 2 hrs) the tempo/pace at which I am running has completely changed as well. Three weeks ago the schedule said run 2 hours 15 minutes at aerobic capacity.  I went out with teammate Robert Swan and we ran 16.36 miles (8:15/mile) in that time.  The next week the schedule said run 2 hours 30 minutes but here is where the change came in.  I was to run the beginning in the Z1-Z2 area and finish with 5-8 miles at my 'A' race pace.  The purpose was to mimmick running on tired legs for the half-marathon at the end of 70.3 Austin as well as being able to hold that pace for the marathon.  That day I finished my 8 miles at a pace of 7:58/mile.  Perfect for Austin, but way off the mark for Las Vegas. [caption id="attachment_4228" align="alignright" width="225" caption="Going Long"][/caption] Today, the time was 2 hours 40 minutes and the premise was the same.  This time my return run was at a 7:42/mile pace and I finished with 19 miles overall.  Still on the slow end for Vegas but nearly 40 seconds per mile faster than my pace at 70.3 Oceanside.  Calculated in time saved we are looking at nearly a savings of 9 minutes on the run alone.  My goal for 70.3 Austin is sub 5:30, and those 9 minutes alone would put me at 5:33 keeping swim and bike times flat. As is customary for me I don't just allow these types of things to happen and need to do research on training techniques and how often plans need to change up.  What do other coaches do and how do they prepare their athletes?  I typically take that information and email Coach to ask her questions.  I do all this in the name of getting better at the sport I love. With that being said I came across a post on Competitor Magazine's website called The #1 Workout To Get You Ready For Ironman.  The article is written by Gordo Byrn and is called Big Day Training (BDT.)  The point of the training is to train your mind as well as your pacing, and in addition to that nutrition over long exercise. The plan has scheduled dates as to when it should be done and those are 3/7/11 weeks out from race day.  The plan is as follows: ====================

Big Day Training workout, the first time

• Swim 1 hour • Break, with meal • Bike 5 hours, continuous with very minimal rest or stopping • Break, with meal • Run 1 hour easy “What most people find the first time they do that session is that they’re blown away by how torched they are once they get off the bike,” Byrn says. “Because their bodies have never trained that long, it’s never had that much output. Make some notes about how you do the run. When you get to the end, you’ve got 20 miles to run on race day. Are you ready to run 20? If the answer’s no, you’ve got to dial down everything in the first five hours of that day and try it again.”

Big Day Training workout, the second time

• Swim 5000–6000 meters, with the last 2000 meters at a more challenging pace • Quick break, change, recovery drink • Bike 100 miles, or the equivalent of time you think you’ll be on the IM bike course Tip: Start a little easier than your anticipated race pace, do the bulk of it around race pace, then finish up with the last third a little bit harder than race pace. • Quick break, change, recovery drink Tip: Try drinking a full quart of recovery drink before the 10k to fill up your gut. “It will slow you down,” Byrn says. “It will give you practice after a ton of exercise to figure out what to do when your gut is full. Guaranteed that it happens during the marathon. Sometimes your stomach is full, you feel lousy and you have to work through it. If you’ve done it in training, you won’t freak out on race day.” • Run easy 10K Byrn says you don’t have to get fanatical about your breaks in between, but to get the lesson from the session, keep them relatively short. Good luck! ==================== The first time you do this training doesn't seem to bad as your rest periods are elongated  and you are eating a meal to fuel your body for the next 'event.'  The second time is more like a race day, but what got me was the run with a full quart of recovery drink.  That is a ton of liquid to run in but the rationale makes 100% sense to me. I will be emailing this to my coach to see when we will be incorporating an epic day like this into my Ironman Texas preparation.

If you have already trained for an Ironman have you done this type of training day?

What different types of training did you do?  Do you have a favorite training session?

Do you question your coaches plans?

Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

Related Stories