Archive for August, 2017

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The Tour of Utah has been dubbed “America’s toughest stage race” and for good reason.  As a UCI 2.HC, only World Tour events such as Tour of California and Grand Tour events will draw more elite competitors. It also sits at altitude and the physics of high altitude will restrict performance for all competitors. Acclimating helps tremendously, but the laws of physics are generally very difficult to violate.

Many people wonder, “how hard is that race, really” as they conjecture “I bet I could ride if they let me.”  The second statement can easily be discounted with a couple simple arguments.

First and foremost, in any bicycle event, no one “lets” you ride along. In fact, it is in their best interest to eliminate rivals from the contention via competition whenever possible.

This race is not a career fair at the college student union but rather a job best left to the professionals who have earned their place on the start line. Anyone wanting to test their mettle on the course would have taken the Tour of Utah Ultimate Challenge.


So what does it take to complete and compete at the Tour of Utah? We’re going to use WKO4 and dig into the data from the 4iiii power meter of  Elevate- KHS Pro Cycling Team road captain and domestique rider, Joseph Schmalz.

To start, let’s take a high level look at what the Tour of Utah week entailed for Joe:

Distance: 637 miles (1,025 km)

Ride time: 26:30 hours

Work completed: 17,600 kilojoules (kJ)

Climbing: 37,100 ft. (11,300 m)

Now, let’s understand how a professional rider gets to a fitness level necessary and sufficient to toe the line at the Tour of Utah.

In short, a talented UCI professional rider on a team that qualified to enter the event needs to earn a spot on the race roster.

To do this, you’ll need to train. While the Tour of Utah was a big week for any athlete, Schmalz had already had some big races and training blocks as preparation.


He started the 2017 season with a large base that included more than 150 hours of riding from New Year’s Day until just before Valentine’s Day. You can see in the labeled “Base” section above how the Training Stress Balance (TSB) (yellow) drops as the Acute Training Load (ATL) (purple) rockets up and the result is that the Chronic Training Load (CTL) (blue) climbs.

Schmalz’s second big push of the year was the UCI 2.1 Tour of Taiwan, which wrapped up his early season block and led to his early to mid-May Redlands+ build, where he continued to train through the Redlands Classic, making an 11-day block of racing and high intensity training.

Due to an injury in June, he was sidelined from racing until US Pro Road Championships. Shortly thereafter, he went to altitude with the Elevate- KHS team to begin training for the Tour of Utah and the Colorado Classic.

The altitude training consisted of three cycles, each progressing in difficulty. By the ATL and TSB, it looks as though the “Altitude Block 3” may have been as tough as the Tour of Utah.


Because of years of training and racing at a high level, Schmalz was able to be effective in his role throughout the Tour of Utah in spite of his massive training load.

His overall TSS for the Tour of Utah: 1491 for the week with an average Training Stress Score (TSS) (green bars) per day of 213. However, note the Intensity Factor (IF) (red dots) in the chart above.

While ATL, TSB, and CTL are a good tool to assess fitness, they don’t tell you how fast a rider is or how much high intensity riding they can withstand before fatigue. That’s because these metrics rely primarily on volume.

For the high intensity work, we’ll have to use WKO4 to dig a bit deeper into what the Tour of Utah demands. This is where it gets interesting.

Intensity Factor can be used to measure how difficult a stage was in relative terms of percent of threshold power (FTP). This particular WKO4 chart does not model this with respect to altitude (most of Tour of Utah is at >6,500 feet) so these are sea level numbers.


Even still, it was a tough go for everyone, everyday.  Schmalz averaged an IF of 0.76 for the entire race with his “easy day” being 0.68 on day four.

However, an IF of 0.68 for 240 TSS is still very hard. Of note, the last two days of Utah at 0.80 and 0.83 were incredibly tough. They were also the shortest stages at 62 miles (99 km) and 71 miles (115 km) and fantastic stages from a sporting entertainment value.

Moving beyond IF, we examine how much high intensity riding it takes to compete and complete.  To examine this in WKO4, we’ll take a look at exposure time near or above Joe’s sea level FTP.  For the entire Tour of Utah, Joe spent 25 percent of the race, 7:18 at or over 90 percent of FTP.

That’s a massive 63 minutes per day, which is equivalent to combining the high intensity efforts from Friday and Saturday at Tulsa Tough, for each race day in Utah.

Schmalz spent 4:21 of that time above 105 percent of his sea level FTP, about 13.7 percent which averages to 37 minutes per day. The 105 percent number is important as it has been determined in numerous studies to be an unsustainable output for extended lengths of time.


Finally, one last point is that the professionals at the Tour of Utah are fit enough to resist fatigue late into a race and late into each day.

Excluding the time trial day, the road stages averaged 2,800 kJ. The minimum buy-in to complete the stages with the grupetto appears to be 4.8 w/kg on the climbs for 20 minutes or more, after 2,500 kJ of work, just to make it to the line.

So there you have it. Some advanced analysis of what it takes to compete and complete the Tour of Utah, “America’s toughest stage race.”

All photo credits: Cathy Fegan-Kim

The post 2017 Tour of Utah: What it Takes to Compete and Complete appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

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Being a qualified coach (and spending half of my time either in Lycra or IRONMAN-branded gear) it invariably comes up in conversations with “normal” people about the absurdity to the type of training and races I do.

One of the more consistent responses in these conversations is somebody explaining to me how much they would love to (but could never!) do an IRONMAN race.

I used to just nod in agreement, but as I built my coaching expertise, I found myself challenging people’s standard assumptions people made about why they personally couldn’t achieve what I’ve helped others achieve for years.

In my experience, their reasons for not being able to take on an IRONMAN normally fall into one of these five categories:

Reason 1: “I am too old/big/slow/tall/short to do an IRONMAN.”

Have you ever watched an IRONMAN in person? And by in person, I specifically mean not watching on TV where the cameras zone in on the chiselled pros battling it out at the pointy end of the race. Because if you have you will have witnessed athletes of all ages, shapes and sizes racing on the exact same course as the professionals.

IRONMAN is a very personal journey, and people will have different race strategies and goals on the day. These can range from just finishing to qualifying for the world championship—my point is there are no physical barriers to doing an IRONMAN, if you are willing to really chase that goal.

I always push the fact that people should see a race in person; at a minimum you will be uplifted by the strength of human spirit and more than likely be inspired to take on a challenge of your own.

Reason 2: “Oh I would never have the time for IRONMAN training.”

Typically when people say this to me, I conversationally ask them what TV programs they watch or how much time they spend on social media. When we go through the list—it can add up to around 10 hours a week! That huge chunk of wasted time is where I tell them I “find” the time for myself and my athletes. It was actually there all along.

So essentially it is a question of priorities—we can find time if we want to—it is up to you if you choose it to be on the couch watching Game of Thrones or out on in the fresh air preparing yourself for an epic challenge.

(it’s worth noting I am a massive Game of Thrones fan—but I tend to watch it on my turbo!)

Reason 3: “I would not know where to start.”

When I hear this, I ask what the person does for a living. The breadth of answers always fascinates me. Firemen, teachers, bankers etc. Digging a little deeper, I ask if they have ever faced a scenario at work where they needed to reach out to experts, and without fail, the response is always yes.

I ask them why is this different to approaching an IRONMAN challenge. I tell them that they should look for someone who has completed an IRONMAN and ask them how they went about it and start their research there.

Better still, if they seem really serious, they should seek out a plan or a qualified coach to help guide them on their journey.

WARNING: Asking a recent first time finisher can turn into quite the monologue as they eagerly share every detail of their journey including weight loss stats, epic cycles and inevitably the feeling of accomplishment as they turned onto the finishing chute.

Reason 4: “I would love to if only I could swim!”

When was the last time you were in a pool? When I ask people that, their minds typically drift back to the last holiday where they splashed around in the sunshine. So having established that they can actually swim, I ask whether they have ever had their stroke analysed or taken swim lessons.

For novice swimmers, simply fixing a few key elements from stroke analysis and/or lessons can make huge leaps forward in their swimming ability.

As a coach swimming is one of my favourite disciplines to teach/monitor as there are always lots of low hanging fruit that will help the athletes’ confidence and ability soar to the point that they are chomping at the bit to tackle that 3.8km swim!

Reason 5: “I have never even run a marathon.”

When people ask this I usually respond by asking them if they’ve ever swam 3.8km or ridden 180km. Typically, their answer is “never.”

People fixate too much on the marathon element of the IRONMAN, I believe this is mainly as it a more tangible event that they can get their head around!

However, in the IRONMAN world, as I tell my first timers, it is just a long run at the end of a long day.

It is not necessary to have completed a marathon before an IRONMAN. It can help —but not as much as people think.

Even in my training plans, I typically do not let my athletes exceed 26km in the longest runs they will do. The body can only take so much mileage. It is all about training smart and building slowly.

If you train and prepare properly, you will be amazed at what your body can do on the day boosted by adrenaline and thousands of cheering spectators!

No more excuses!

In conclusion, unless someone explicitly says they have either no interest in taking on such a challenge that is a half or full IRONMAN, I can easily dismantle the barriers they are putting in front of themselves.

So if you have ever watched an IRONMAN race or jealously viewed a clubmates finisher medal, I would urge you to challenge your own limitations.

The post Debunked: 5 Incorrect Assumptions People Make About Training for an IRONMAN appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

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As a coaching professional, you have acquired a particular skillset and are an expert in a specific realm of endurance sports. However, how do you tackle issues that may arise for your athletes that fall outside of your band of expertise? Do you research the topic and tackle it yourself? Do you reach out to others in the community for assistance?

In an age of specialization among athletes, this trend follows into the coaching arena as well. Rather than attempting to be the catch-all for your athletes, a coach should build and establish a network of professional specialists for their coaching business.

By building a strong network of specialists to call on, you will provide a higher level of service to your athletes. Specialists may include dieticians, strength coaches, a sports psychologist, or a massage therapist, among many others.

Instead of learning some of these skills on the fly when it’s pertinent to your athletes and to their benefit, it’s best to find others who have spent years perfecting their craft, as you have with your own skillset.

Collaboration Will Bring More Success For Your Athletes—and For Your Business

“A good coach is like a good mechanic. The more specialists you have in your network, the more like you are to have the perfect tool for your client every time they need help,” said Jon Tarkington of Teton Consulting. By being collaborative with these specialists, you may find a cohesive environment where the two brands feed business to one another, thus growing your reach and your own business in the process.

Some may worry that sending their athletes to others would jeopardize their relationship with their client, calling their expertise into question, as well as potentially having this client “sniped” by those experts.

“I am thankful for the network of professionals that my coach and I have built in our time working together. Having access to such a team ensures that I am performing at my potential,” said an athlete I’ve worked with for several years.

By sending this athlete to others, I was able to push him to higher levels of athleticism and earned deeper trust along the way because he understood I wasn’t going to give him advice/training that was beyond the scope of my expertise.

While some coaches pride themselves on being a “one stop shop” for their clients, I have experienced and witnessed better success with building a network of specialists to send these athletes to, while staying true to my own qualifications.

Choose Your Specialists Thoughtfully

How do you know if an expert is trustworthy and worth referring your clients to? A strong first suggestion is to refrain from sending an athlete to another professional with whom you aren’t fully familiar or have experienced their services firsthand.

Many within the community may offer a trading of services under the understanding that the two businesses will grant a pathway to future athletes. For example, if a massage therapist encounters an athlete who’s looking for a quality triathlon coach in the area, this expert will now have you to give as a referral and vice-versa.

You may want to offer discounted services to those who are referred to you to incentivize the exchange of business. In doing so, it’s often an easier sell to the athlete when they are asked to go to another for these services.

As an example, I may send a mountain biker to a skills-specific coach who will offer one-on-one sessions at a deep discount, because the direct referral gained the specialist a new client.

As with any industry, it’s often best to reach out to others to help problem-solve and overcome obstacles within your own business. Personally, I meet with a group of professional coaches monthly to discuss the latest in science developments and problems that may arise with our respective businesses.

As such, we’ve devised not only a sounding board with others who may have encountered the same challenging situations we find ourselves in, but also coaches who may have a deeper level of expertise in a particular realm.

This may mean experience on a particular course, a unique type of athlete (road versus mountain versus triathlete; elite versus amateur versus age-grouper), or with a specific skillset (a bike fitter, for example).

As a result, I trust these coaches should I need to send an athlete to them for a particular service, as well as for furthering my own education as a coach.

In Conclusion

In an age of specialization, it’s best to stay true to your own proficiency and rely on others when an issue with your athletes falls outside of your expertise. By building a network of specialists in your area, you’ll be able to provide a higher level of service to your clients as well build a deeper level of trust.

Further, these professional relationships will assist you in finding new business and growing your own brand.

The post How and Why to Create a Network of Specialists for Your Coaching Business appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

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Uphill Athlete founders Scott Johnston and Steve House have decades of legendary climbing experience between them that they now use to help mountaineers conquer the world’s highest peaks and most adventurous ascensions.

Since they began coaching they have developed a number of science-backed methodologies on the best strength and endurance training and nutrition regimens that have helped the world’s best climbers push themselves to limits once thought impossible.

Uphill Athlete’s endurance training plans help endurance athletes do everything from get base strength and fitness for the rock-alpinist season and mountain running to climbing some of the world’s most famous mountains and lengthiest high-altitude treks.

We sat down with them to learn about how they used fat adaptation training with mountaineer Adrian Ballinger to prime his body for his successful summit of Everest without oxygen earlier this year.  

When you first started working with Adrian, he had recently returned from a failed Everest attempt where he had trouble with temperature regulation. You assumed (and were later proved right after testing), that his reliance on carbohydrates to fuel his climb had been a major factor in him having to turn around. Can you explain a little bit what glycolytic metabolism is and why it can be stressful on the body of a climber?

Adrian came to Steve and I to request coaching only four months out from his departure for Everest in 2017.  We were reluctant to take him one because of the short time frame and potential difficulty in effecting the significant changes we felt he needed.

To fully understand why carbohydrate metabolism (glycolysis) is more stressful than fat metabolism (lipolysis) requires digging very deep in biochemistry. Glycolysis produces higher levels of Reactive Oxidative Species (ROS), also known as free radicals.

These ROS cause problems at the cellular and gene level.  Fat metabolism produces fewer ROS and hence cause less cellular damage and stress reaction.  This is incredibly complex stuff that biochemists have devoted their lives to studying.  Needless to say we, in this forum, will not do it justice.

While this scientific justification is important, I drew my conclusion and made my subsequent recommendation to Adrian based on 35 years of observation of many athletes and climbers under high training/racing and climbing loads.

What I first observed was that the higher intensity activity (hence fueled more by glycolysis) took a greater toll on the athlete in terms of recovery time.  Then I began to notice that athletes who were better fat-adapted bounced back from hard efforts than those who were less well fat adapted.

The third observation that connected the dots with Adrian was that with winter athletes this poor recovery often resulted in cold hands with Reynaud’s-like symptoms.

My layperson assumption was that the stress reaction was causing a shunting of the blood to the core and away from the limbs.  The symptoms Adrian described were exactly what I had observed in many winter athletes and climbers.

What are some (if any) of the resemblances between stress due to glycolytic metabolism in an endurance athlete competing in a 12-hour-long IRONMAN compared to those of a climber? What are the key differences?

The metabolic stress is no doubt the same for both.

The difference is that the IRONMAN competitor does not have to get up the next morning and do another 12-hour race.  The climber has to do this often for several days on end.

For a climber,  poor recovery has major consequences on his or her performance on subsequent days.

Again, from many years of observation I can say that the empirical evidence shows that; those with better fat adaptation recover faster and hence are able to handle a higher workload more often and bounce back sooner from it.

A good example is Kilian Jornet, who climbed Everest twice in one week without oxygen, breaking his own speed record in the process.

Kilian is highly fat adapted (27-hour hard efforts while taking in less that 400 Kcal) and has been training in this way for many years.

You suggested a very large shift in training and dietary choices for Adrian. Can you speak a little bit about what these entailed?

We didn’t suggest a radical ketogenic diet to Adrian, nor do I advocate them for my athletes. We suggested a moderate shift to an equally balanced macronutrient intake of one-third of his calories coming from fat, one-third from carbs and one-third from protein.

He chose to take a more ketogenic dietary approach which probably sped up the fat adaptation process. He also did most of his long low intensity workouts in a fasted state.

Learning to consume very little (or nothing) before a training session can be difficult. What tips did you offer to Adrian to help him adapt to this?

He struggled with even going an hour of exercise without eating at first. We started very gradually with the fasted workouts and slowly increased their length. At first he would carry some food but within a few weeks he no longer needed that crutch.

We work with many fat-adapted athletes who were not fat-adapted when they started with us. Most of them thought the idea of long and even fairly intense fasted workouts was completely unrealistic and an impossibility.

Until an athlete has experienced this phenomenon first hand it is hard to accept.  Especially when these is an entire sport supplement industry telling athletes that they need to consume xxx calories/hr for top performance.

What are some data indications/comments, etc. you received from Adrian via TrainingPeaks during his training that led you to believe he was becoming more fat adaptive?

With mountain sports the TP metrics like CTL and TSS are much less accurate and predictive because as coaches/athletes in this area we don’t have a good way to measure power.

So, I was only able to make very rough judgements such as rates of climb versus heart rate to see that he was becoming more aerobically fit.  His comments were the best indicator that he was seeing some pretty big improvements.

Learn how to more effectively train for your favorite mountain sports from climbing and SkiMo Racing to ultra mountain running with Steve House and Scott Johnston’s TrainingPeaks University Mountain Performance Workshop.

Photo: Cory Richards Photography.


The post The Secret to Adrian Ballinger’s No-Oxygen Everest Summit: A Q&A with Uphill Athlete’s Scott Johnston appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

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How do they do it? Some of the top athletes in our sport race two, three or even more IRONMAN competitions in one calendar year. While this may not be for everyone, it does provide evidence that with proper preparation and recovery it is possible to utilize that hard-earned IRONMAN fitness to enjoy (or conquer) two IRONMAN events in a relatively short period of time.

Why Two in a Row?

When developing an athlete, particularly a professional athlete, and considering their long term performance gains, I prefer to separate IRONMAN competitions in the calendar year. A spring or early summer IRONMAN, followed by a fall event (hopefully IRONMAN Hawaii!).

This allows for two long, systematic progressions that redevelop aerobic energy systems and guide the athlete to a well-planned peak twice per year. Unfortunately, for most of us regular folk, the downside of this two-peak season is that it equates to nine to 10 months of time consuming, long distance training throughout the year.

This is not always sustainable in real life context of family and career, and in many cases it can be pretty hard on your body. For an experienced endurance athlete, with proper planning you can maintain your IRONMAN endurance from the first event and re-polish some key energy systems to have a second successful event just a few months later. In fact, many athletes outperform their first IRONMAN in their second go-around.

Fitness and Recovery Are Key

An optimal starting point to your two-IRONMAN summer is to make sure that 10 weeks out from your first IRONMAN, you are healthy, and in great general triathlon shape.

Ideally, you should arrive at this point in good threshold condition, and preferably with a couple races under your belt. You should be comfortable with 3,000m swims, 90 minute runs and four-hour bike rides.

Proper preparation greatly affects how you will handle the distance of IRONMAN, and how long you’ll need before returning to training after the first IRONMAN.

Additionally, how you manage your recovery coming out of IRONMAN is a huge factor. Have a recovery strategy in place to get you back on track.

Below I’ve laid out a comprehensive training strategy to get you to both of your IRONMANS with the right amount of conditioning and recovery:

Key Sessions for 10 Weeks into IRONMAN #1

Having a well thought out plan, and setting timeline goals with an emphasis on different energy systems greatly increases your chances for success. Intersperse two week training blocks of time with planned recovery weeks. A recovery week should have two days completely off from training as a minimum, and be approximately 50 to 65 percent of the training volume of the previous “build” week.

10-8 weeks (3-week block) into IRONMAN #1 – Aerobic Capacity

Starting this period of time in good shape, the focus is building endurance. Limit the intensity of sessions so that you can backup more frequent, high-volume training days.

Two weeks of endurance swimming, biking and riding focused on building aerobic capacity and strength, followed by one week of recovery.

Key sessions:

Swimming with pull buoy and paddles for strength
Low-cadence bike riding, longer efforts of 10 to 30 minutes at 55 to 65 rpm
Aerobic Endurance Runs of 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Run hilly.
Aerobic Endurance Rides of 5 to 6.5 hours. Include long climbs if possible

7-5 weeks (3-week block) into IRONMAN #1 – Aerobic Capacity and IRONMAN Pace Work

Having adapted to the longer sessions of the last training block, your goal now is to swim, bike and run a little bit faster over the longer distances. You are building efficiency at your goal IRONMAN pace by interspersing sections of pace work into your long aerobic efforts.

Two weeks of endurance riding and running focused on honing race-specific pace and rhythm, followed by one week of recovery.

Key sessions:

Aerobic endurance rides at  goal race pace/heart rate in your aerobars.
Brick runs off the bike at IRONMAN goal race pace/heart rate for 15 to 60 minutes.
Aerobic Endurance Runs of 1.5 to 2.5 hours, hilly terrain to maintain strength
Low cadence bike riding, longer efforts of 10 to 30 minutes at 55-65 rpm
Swimming aerobic power: long sets such as 3 x 1,000m or 3,000m straight which build to goal IRONMAN swim pace.

4-3 weeks (2-week block) into IRONMAN #1 – Aerobic Power

The goal of this training block is to peak for your first IRONMAN competition. Reduce overall training volume by approximately 20 percent and focus your training weeks around one very strong long run and ride per week. Going long is not the goal, but instead focus on challenging your aerobic system and fine-tuning your body for race day.

2 weeks of building aerobic power with riding and running focused on moving faster than goal IRONMAN pace.

Key sessions:

One Aerobic Power ride per week of 4 to 5 hours, including 3 to 4 intervals on flat terrain of 20 to 45 minutes at 1 tp 2 miles/hr faster than IRONMAN goal race pace, or heart rate 5 to 10 beats above target IRONMAN heart rate, in your aerobars.
Brick runs off the bike at IRONMAN goal race pace/heart rate for 15 to 60 minutes.
One aerobic power run per week of 1.5 to 2 hours on flatter terrain, which build by one-third throughout the run to finish at approximately your Half IRONMAN pace for the final third.
Swimming lactic threshold sets: such as 15-20 x 100m with  30 seconds rest, trying to swim 3 to 5 seconds per 100m faster than goal IRONMAN swim pace.

2-1 weeks (2-week block) into IRONMAN #1: Taper and RACE!

The work is done, and the last two weeks are about absorbing your training and sharpening for race day. It is important to stay mentally engaged and focused in your taper sessions.

Allot the final two weeks before the race to rest (“tapering”).

Start with 3 to 5 days of rest and light activity.
The next 4 to 6 days are for “activation” (shorter training sessions at race specific speed).
The final 3 to 5 days are for more rest and light activity prior to race day.

Recovery and Key Sessions for 12 Weeks into IRONMAN #2

Twelve weeks is a good amount of time between events, though 10 to 16 are common, in which case you may need to fine tune the progression between events. Regardless of timeline, the five weeks out of IRONMAN #1 should be similar to what is listed below.

12-11 weeks (2 week block) into IRONMAN #2 – IRONMAN Recovery

The first two weeks after IRONMAN are critical to your ability do the IRONMAN double. Take special care of your body and respect any aches or pains. Be particularly careful working back into running. The most common incidents of post–IRONMAN injury come from too much running too soon.

2 weeks of recovery and aerobic shorter aerobic activity.
1 to 7 days after the race: No running for 7 days after the race, and a minimum of 3 days completely off, avoids pounding and helps the legs recover. Take at least 3 days this week.
8 to 14 days after the race you can incorporate short aerobic runs (20-35 minutes), slightly longer rides (60-90 minutes), and swims.

Key sessions:

Short aerobic rides of 30 to 90 minutes
After 7 days of recovery, short aerobic runs of 20 to 45 minutes
Aerobic swims of 1,000-3,000 meters, with an emphasis on technique.

10-8 weeks (3-week block) into IRONMAN #2 – Aerobic Rebuild and Recovery

Gradually build back into aerobic work, but still be respectful of the IRONMAN that is in your legs. Keep all cycling and running very aerobic through this block. You may start to feel good on the bike, but hold back as recovery will still be slower than normal.

Getting too aggressive with your training too soon can set you back two to four weeks in your rebuild. Make sure you have planned two rest days per week into your schedule.

2 weeks of endurance swimming, biking and riding focused on re-building aerobic capacity and strength, followed by 1 week of recovery.  The athlete should still take 2 days per week off, and overall training volume should be approximately 75 percent of maximum training volume in build number one.

Key sessions:

Aerobic endurance rides of 3.5 to 5 hours. Include long climbs if possible
Aerobic endurance runs of 1 to 2 hours. Run hilly
Low cadence bike riding, longer efforts of 10 to 30 minutes at 55-65 rpm
Swimming with buoy pull and paddles for strength

7-5 weeks (3-week block) into IRONMAN #2 – Aerobic Power

Note that we are revisiting aerobic power farther out from IRONMAN number two than IRONMAN number one. You can rely on your endurance from the first build and from base miles earlier in the year. The goal is to tap back into your run and bike strength and re-stimulate the higher end of your aerobic energy system.

2 weeks of building aerobic power with riding and running focused on moving faster than goal IRONMAN pace, followed by one week of recovery.

Key sessions:

Aerobic Power Rides of 4 to 5 hours, including 3 to 4 intervals on flat terrain of 20 to 45 minutes at 1 to 2 miles/hr faster IRONMAN goal race pace, or heart rate 5 to 10 beats above target IRONMAN heart rate, in your aerobars.
Brick runs off the bike at IRONMAN goal race pace/heart rate for 15 to 60 minutes.
Aerobic Endurance Runs of 1.5 to 2 hours on flatter terrain, which build by one-third throughout the run to finish at approximately your Half IRONMAN pace for the final third.
Swimming aerobic power: long sets such as 3 x 1,000m or 3,000m straight, which build to goal IRONMAN swim pace.

4-3 weeks (2-week block) into IRONMAN #2 – Endurance Maintenance and Threshold Revisit

The higher your threshold, the faster you can move at an aerobic heart rate. In this training block reduce the intensity of your longer sessions, and incorporate some higher intensity session at elevated heart rates. This will allow you to tackle the hills and pace variations of IRONMAN effectively and recover quickly back into your aerobic IRONMAN rhythm.

2 weeks of building lactic threshold, while maintain some aerobic base.

Key sessions:

One aerobic rides per week of 4 to 5 hours.
One aerobic endurance run per week of 1.5 to 2 hours on flatter terrain.
One to 2 Lactic Threshold runs per week, such as 30 to 40 minutes of high intensity running, or interval sessions of 4 to 5 x 1 mile with 2 minutes recovery.
One to 2 bike threshold workouts per week, such as 45 to 75 minutes of high intensity riding, or interval sessions of 4 to 5 x 10 minutes with 3 minutes recovery.
Swimming lactic threshold sets: such as 1,000m time trial, 30 x 50m with 20 seconds rest, trying to swim 3 to 5 seconds per 50m faster than goal IRONMAN swim pace.

2-1 weeks (2 week block) into IRONMAN #2: Taper and RACE!

The final two weeks should be similar to your previous taper. Note how you felt on race day the last time and decide whether you need more rest or a little more activation.

The post The Double: How to Successfully Complete Two IRONMANS in Three Months appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

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