Ask The Coach: Am I Running Enough to Complete and IRONMAN?
By LifeSport Coach Errol Kalayci
Triathletes in general and Ironman triathletes for certain are highly motivated and driven people. Many think that they must train until they drop to make sure that they are prepared. This thinking is incorrect. As a coach, it is my mission to prepare the athlete to be at his or her best on race day; this means that he or she cannot arrive over- trained, exhausted or with an overuse injury within the amount of weekly time they can devote to training. The art and science of triathlon training programing is beyond the scope of this article; however, trust that your coach is carefully creating an annualized training program full of macro and micro cycles, along with peaks and valleys of energy and strengths at times. Recovery and not overdoing it is essential and trickier to balance with hectic lives of age groupers. The marathon consists of a 26.2 mile run which, for an age grouper, can take up to three to four weeks to achieve full recovery. Does it make sense to tear the body down to such an extent in recovery and increase the odds of overuse injury and burnout? No, it does not. Believe me, running consistently and with far less distance on a weekly basis, backed by a solid program from a talented coach will ensure you are ready race day.
The bike ride for Ironman is 112 miles -- a long time in the saddle for most. With this said, do you need to ride that distance prior to the race? How long will that distance take you to ride on non-race days factoring in red lights, stop signs and refueling for water and calories? For many it will take 6 ½ to 9 hours. Do you have that amount of time available to spend for just one ride? Noting that biking is a lower impact activity when compared to running, this distance will likely wear most novices Ironman athletes down and is simply not necessary.
In conclusion, when training for Ironman, consistency is the key as is following a training program based upon your personal strengths, weakness and time available to allocate to the pursuit of your dream. Come race day, you can pick out the over-trained zombies and walking wounded who thought they had to do every distance before the race, or a combination of the bike and run together. I would encourage you to grateful that you are rested, anxious and able to perform at your best and enjoy the day, which is what it is all about!
LifeSport coach Errol Kalayci is a USAT certified coach who is a top ranked Clydesdale triathlete. Errol has been involved in competitive sports since 2003. Errol enjoys coaching athletes of all levels and understand how to work training into every lifestyle. Contact Errol to share your goals, race faster, or master the Ironman distance. Find more great training tips by visiting us on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram