I am a 90% disabled veteran and I'm preparing for my first Ironman. I've read some varied information regarding HR zones. I would like to know what zones I should be training in in order to support a full IM. I am averaging between 8.5 - 9 minute miles. I currently run 3-4 times a week. I've included my averages for Z1-Z5 from my most recent short day. I am spending most of my time in Z4 and Z5. My question is does this support my goal of completing the 26.2 in sufficient time based on the cut-off, or, per my goal, sooner?
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated as I am running short of time.These are my normal ranges and regardless of the distance/time, the breakdown is generally high in Z5 and Z4 falls in line next.
First and foremost, thank you for your service.
After reviewing your question here is my recommendation:
For running, you could add in hill repeats. I would start with 6x2 minutes and add in about 2-3 reps per week (up to 15x2 minutes) to add in strength.
Once you are done building strength, it's time to add in some speed! For IM or HIM racing, you can start with some LT intervals about 8-10 minutes long. Even 1-2 reps starting out would be great.
When you are 12 weeks out from the race you can start adding in longer race specific rides, of 4+ hours. Up until this time I would keep the rides shorter and easier.
The same can be said for running as well. Running two hours every or every other week is fine and then once you are within 12 weeks of the IM, you can increase the runs 15’ each week, eventually topping off at 2 ¾ hours.
The long runs and rides should be done in Zone 2 and race day nutrition should be practiced as well. One more idea that could be worked into your plan would be to add in some longer days, maybe two or three to simulate the race day experience. Also read: Using Bricks During Your Training.
All in all, make sure your zones are calculated correctly, and then work the strength into your training early, then add in some speed and finally finish off the training with some longer rides and runs to cap off your training heading into the race.
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