Wednesday, April 14, 2010

EK vs. IM Canada, The Run

Training for an Ironman run can be a bit daunting, to say the least. A marathon is a huge accomplishment never mind swimming 2.4 miles and riding 112 right before!
As I mentioned earlier my swim and cycling racing will be more aggressive. That s just the way I race. I will train these 2 areas aggressively as well. The run will be raced and there for trained less dynamically. A goal race pace of 8:30 per mile is the main one objective. Running, while very difficult, has some simplicities that go along with it.
~it’s mostly neurological. Unlike cycling, running does not demand a large “strength ‘ or “power” component.
~pace and rhythm don’t change much. The Ironman Canada course has a few long hills but nothing over whelming steep or repetitive, making it conducive to sounds tech. and rhythm.

By what’s I mention above one would think. “Ok so, just run” no need for fancy intervals, terrain changes, etc. but we all know that would be a risky way of doing things at best. The goal is be able to run 8:30’s with (as I say) “a broken leg and your hair on fire” .

Key points. My training strategy and things to consider:

~Race day execution is key: While I talk a lot about having a strong bike and swim I still cannot swim and ride above my ability run post swim/ bike. Sounds simple yet we still see race day execution as the biggest mistake athletes make. Lynn’s IM USA was a success in large part due to her race day execution. Her run being her weakest sport we decided that it could be overcome by a perfect swim and bike execution. Ie. The right pace/intensity, being steady on the bike, and fueling properly. Read the report to see how that worked.

~Trail running: This will be a large component to my run training. Its more fun. The soft surface will speed up recovery time, increase my frequency capability, and strengthen stabilizer muscles and connective tissue due to the increased lateral movement and erratic rhythm of trail running. And the trails in boulder, CO are awesome!!

~Frequency is key: we all know that we adapt to training load over time. One workout will not make us stronger, better or faster. Rather the accumulation of all our training and preparation does. yet, especially with running, we see this concept disappear. “I’m running a marathon so I need to do a 22 mile run to make sure I can do it”. Why? Because one run will give you the ability? Many running training plans have this mega long run a few week out from race day. What if you couldn’t do it? Would do another one of these runs 1 or 2 weeks out? I hope not.
ALL your training should give you the confidence, not one particular workout. In Lynn’s training, and many, many other athletes we have worked with, running frequency has been the corner stone of triathlon run training.
Imagine you do a 2.5hr run on the weekend. How long will it take you recover from that run to the point of quality training again? Now imagine you do a 90 minute run. Because this “long” run is more manageable yet still past the threshold of what is considered long we get a good training adaptation but can now do another 90 minute run Tue. and maybe another Thur. that’s 4.5 hours of running! And we haven’t even added in short brick runs, etc. This will keep quality up and injury at bay. Come to think of it may be I’ll add in some intensity into a “long” run… 2 workouts in one! Ohh dear, getting complex now! now were taking about some serious weekly run TSS!!

~Get “good”, efficient: Running has a significant tech. and mechanical aspect to it. I will get some coaching here. See frequency above…

~Brick runs: these will take place a lot! Not so much for the training aspect of it (although that will be great) but I prefer to do my training as one workout/day when possible. This has a few specific training aspects to it.
1. Running off the bike is tough. This will make me better at it.
2. Tri. is an “endurance” sport, longer workouts will work more endurance adaptations.
3. I lose focus after a workout. Training in the PM is tough for me. I like having my workout completed before concentrating on work, etc…
4. The riding and running from my door is great. I don’t need to go anywhere to start my training. This makes brick runs high quality as well as convent.
This is not always possible. With masters swim times, work sch, etc. many people cannot do this aside from the weekend. My sch. Is flexible there for I will take advantage of this as much as possible. You should too.

3 main running workouts, in order of usage:
1. Zone 2-3 runs. Less than 1hr. many brick runs will be in this category.
2. Zone 2 “long” runs. 90 minutes will be the staple long run duration. There may be a few runs longer.
3. Threshold work. The team group runs usually has me in tempo to threshold (zone 3-4) for a few miles. Shorter races will have me running hard and we may sprinkle in a few all out 10k’s and threshold interval work.

See you in Canada, 8:30’s or bust!!
See EK vs. IM Canada the bike HERE.
And hwo is Swim training is going HERE