What is the Custom Training Plan Creator
It was created specifically from user requests to:
What are 'Race' plans?
Race plans will take you through a 'base' phase where you are increasing volume per sport by 10% per week to minimize injury.
Race Plans are specifically 6-28 weeks long.
What are 'Maintenance' plans?
Maintenance plans do the following:
For sprint and olympic distance plans, volume growth is only about 2% per week. The plans starting volume will be a lot more than a 'race' plan as it assumes that you are maintaining volume of that distance.
For 1/2 Ironman distance plans, the peak volume is roughly 80% of the peak week of a race plan. Volume growth is only about 2% per week.
For Full Ironman distance plans, the peak volume is roughly 65% of the peak week of a race plan. Volume growth is only about 2% per week.
Maintenance plans are specifically 4-20 weeks long.
Do the plans come with detailed workout instructions?
Free, Bronze & Silver Members - No, you will only get the workout minutes for sprint and olympic level plans.Gold Members - Yes, you will get detailed workout information including:
Do the plans come with race day information (nutrition, heart-rate zones)?
Yes, after you import your plan, your training log will have links to all relevant race day plans on the last day of the plan.
What does the 'New Swimmer' preset do?
This will give you additional swim drills that are especially good for beginners. You will only see these drills at the beginning of longer plans lasting over 20 weeks. If you want to take advantage of these drills, have your plan set to 24-28 weeks long.
Why is my run capped at 2.5 hours for a Full Iron distance race?
The incidence of injury goes up dramatically after 2.5 hours running. You may see this cap in your 1/2 and Full Iron distance plans depending on your pace. An option would be to get used to walking the lost time when you do the long run as you will most likely be walking all or some of the rest of the distance you couldn't cover on race day.
During an Iron distance build up, you are training 15-20 hours per week, along with 3-4 hours of swimming, and 7-12 hours of cycling per week. So, with all that aerobic volume going on, you are doing more than you ever would for the marathon and we haven't even added in the running yet.
You can run 20 miles if you like, but the recovery is what takes it out of you. If it takes you 2-3 days to recover from a 20 mile run, then is it worth running an extra 3-5 miles in one run? Probably not. Also, if you really want to run 20 miles, then run 16 in the morning, and 4 in the afternoon. That 2nd run will give you a good idea what the last 10k of an Iron distance race will feel like.
If your fitness is such that you aren't getting in 20-22 miles in 2.5-2.75 hour run, then I would incorporate walk breaks and bring the run up to about 3 hours. It sounds like the iron distance run will take you in the 5+ hour range. If this is the case, then there will be some walking involved and you might as well practice this in training to get the routine down. What I like to see from athletes who run/walk is that they do so for a specific amount of time and at a specific time in the race. One example would be to run 9 minutes and walk 1 minute or run 8 minutes and walk 2 minutes. You'll have to experiment yourself to see what works best. I have known marathoners who have run/ walked their way to 2:40 marathons - maybe their walk segment was 30 seconds, but it did let their legs 'reset' and feel great for the next bit of running. In addition to running 2.5 hours, you'll be biking well beyond the 112 miles needed and as we all know its much safer to build fitness on the bike than the run. You can ride for hours and hours vs. only a few hours on the run. So, if you can ride 6-7 or even 8 hours, and then recover in a day or two, this will allow for more fitness gains than by running 3 hours or 20+ miles that may take days or even a week to recover from. Try to keep in mind that training for an iron distance marathon is much different than training for a stand alone marathon and they need to be treated differently.
Why does the swim training far exceed my race distance?
You will see that the sprint plans long swim will exceed race day distance by about double. The olympic plans by one and a half times. From our personal experience, and from the members from our forum, we greatly value swim overdistance training to make sure that you can handle the distance and more on race day. As many say, "a triathlon is not won on the swim, but can certainly be lost on the swim." We don't want you to take the swim lightly, it needs to be well prepared for.
For 1/2 and Full Iron distance plans, there will be some overdistance, but not as much.
The plans give me both time and distance, which one do I follow?
Bike and Runs:Always go by time and stay within you prescribed heart-rate zones. Distance is given as a guide primarily to plan routes, etc.
Swims:Train by distance for the swim. Try to get the distance in regardless of the time given.
What is the difference between first year and year two and three plans?
First year race distance plans will only see your volume increase to handle your race. You will have some drills for all three sports but your workout will be mainly in the endurance zone, no intense or hard intervals for the bike or run. This is for injury prevention to allow your body to get used to the new distance before training for speed.
Second and third year distance plans will bring in speed training in the form of hill intervals, VO2 max intervals, etc to help you get faster. You will also get a little bit of increase in overvolume training compared to year one.
Things to be aware of when creating plans
As a level two or three plan you will be doing strength and speed workouts. Ideally your plan should be 16-20 weeks long for the appropriate progression to harder intervals. If you are new to a level two plan, please make it at least 20 weeks long to minimize risk to injury. If you are doing multiple races and have another race of the same distance in the same level soon, you can shorten the plan to 6 weeks.