What will my year look like as I move up from HIM to Ironman?

author : Coach AJ
comments : 3

Member Question from Radar987

"First off, I have to say I couldn't be happier with the results of completing my first HIM this summer. Being an older guy and a Clydesdale, I was challenged, but we did it and we did it smiling and without injury. My hat goes off to your training plans.

For 2011, I am entered in Ironman Canada and starting to get serious about being ready to take on the training program.

My plan for the year is to do an Olympic in Spring, 1/2 Marathon in June and HIM in early July with the Full August 28th.  My question is how to set up my training for the year, At present I am getting my base back up to 10 - 12 hrs a week for the rest of this year (run focused). Do I do the HIM program and then the HIM to full program or should I just go right into the Full 20 week Full Ironman program."


Answer from Coach AJ
D3 Multisport.com


Your plan for the season is a sound one to begin with. Having a build up of races is the best way to approach your A priority event. Plus, I like the way you up the distance as you go. By following a few simple rules you can be fully prepared for Ironman Canada. As for the plans to follow, I would suggest using the Half Ironman plan, then transition to the full Ironman program. This is for several reasons.

First, your fitness for Ironman is not linear, meaning that building a big base in May won't necessarily transfer to August. You need to step your way up to the longer miles by allowing your body to adapt to the training load. By using the Half Ironman plan you won't be caught up in trying to put in too many miles.

Second, you will build your high-end aerobic capacity during the Half Ironman plan. When you move to the full program you'll be able to take that speed and increase the duration you can hold it. Many athletes build their base with long distances then hone their Ironman speed. For many it would be better to work on their efficiency and speed and work on holding that speed for longer distances. It is easier to take a fast athlete and increase his/her endurance than it is to make an endurance athlete gain speed.

Third, you will be able to focus on something other than Ironman. You may be motivated for Canada now, but if you fixate on the race you will quickly become mentally fried. The best thing to do is to focus on the Olympic and Half Marathon, knowing that those events will help you attain your goal in Canada.

Last, you should take a short break mid-season to allow for physical and mental recovery. This cannot be overlooked and is the most common mistake that athletes make.

The biggest concept to keep in mind during the season is that consistency counts. Remember that smart consistent training will get you to the finish line.

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date: January 20, 2011

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Coach AJ

USAT Level 1 Coach
"My coaching philosophy can be summed up in two words: listening and balance. By combining these two elements I feel I can help each athlete achieve their full potential."

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avatarCoach AJ

USAT Level 1 Coach
"My coaching philosophy can be summed up in two words: listening and balance. By combining these two elements I feel I can help each athlete achieve their full potential."

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