While I never really stopped training after my 2012 season was over, my “official” Ironman Louisville 2013 training started 36 weeks ago. I started with a basic outline of the plan I followed in 2011, which was called Triathlon Dominator, and then I modified it considerably to fit my goals and plan for this year. I knew that we had baby #3 coming in January and with the other two only being 3-1/2 and 20 months old at the time, I had to develop a training plan that would give me maximum results on minimum time.
I do lots of research and listen to lots of podcasts on swim/bike/run training and racing. Over the last few years I had started to develop some ideas as to how I could do another Ironman with minimal impact on my family and work. I’ve always been against any program or diet that is touted as the “easy way” to get to your goal with minimal effort. All fad diets are popular because the seem so simple and are promoted as a simple way to lose weight…and they all fail. I say this just to make sure that everyone understands that my training plan was not the “easy” way to train for an Ironman, because I honestly struggled to get through a lot of the workouts.
According to the Ironman website, the average Age Group (non-professional) athlete trains between 18 and 30 hours a week. Average training distances per week are Swim (7 miles), Bike (232 miles) and Run (48 miles). I knew that none of these were an option for me. I needed a plan that would allow me to do 90-95% of my training early (4:00am-6:00am). This meant that my bike rides would all be on the trainer and my runs would be in the dark. Swims would require me to be waiting at the door of the gym when they opened up at 5:00am.
I logged all of my workouts with Training Peaks. I usually only planned my training schedule 2 weeks in advance. This allowed me to change it on the fly several times when I had to go out of town for work or I felt that I was too fatigued to do the planned workout at the effort required to make it meaningful.
So after all was said and done, here are my totals from the last 36 weeks:
|Hours Trained Per Week|
Average Training Hours Per Week = 7.35
Average Distance Covered Per Week = 78.66 miles
Total Hours For Each Discipline:
Swim = 47 hours, 46 minutes (1 hour 19 minutes per week)
Bike = 129 hours, 19 minutes (3 hours 35 minutes per week)
Run = 69 hours 19 minutes (1 hour 56 minutes per week)
Strength Work = 18 hours 15 minutes (30 minutes per week)
Total Miles For Each Discipline:
Swim = 84.84 miles (2.35 miles per week)
Bike = 2,225.00 miles (61.81 miles per week)
Run = 521.87 miles (14.50 miles per week)
So is it possible to complete an Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run) on less than 8 hours a week of training? We’ll find out in three days!