General Discussion Triathlon Talk » 12 week or 18 week Pfitz Mary plan...with a hitch Rss Feed  
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2013-09-29 3:56 PM

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Subject: 12 week or 18 week Pfitz Mary plan...with a hitch
Not quite the typical 12 week or 18 week question so hoping for some help. This will be my first year running Boston and am trying to nail down which Pfitz plan to go with while keeping the big picture (tri) in mind and as the primary focus. The big picture is IMAZ in '14 and knowing that the bike is the area that needs the most work for this. When I was expecting to not get into Boston the fall/winter was easy, bike a lot and then bike more. Now I need to work a mary build in there but avoid rolling into IMAZ wishing I'd spent more time on the bike. Of course, I want to rock it at Boston as well with a sub 3. What is that about wanting cake and eating too? I've already decided on the 55-70 week Pfitz plan. 

Background- I've done two Pfitz builds so far, an 18/80 and a 12/70, the latter of which I BQd with a 3:07. The former was going great until I ended up with a bike injury that cost me the last 5 weeks of training and the mary turned into a just for fun run. My BQ was ran at 6'1" and 180lbs and I plan to run Boston around 160-165lbs, currently at 170lbs. The BQ mary was a nice negative split and I finished with a lot of gas in the tank, definitely had a 3:05 in the legs but I towed it in with a friend that was struggling a bit. Looks like I put in nearly 2k miles for 2012 leading into the January marathon and have put in around 1300 miles so far this year as I've moved to more bike focus. 

The quandary. I'd prefer to do an 18week build for Boston to have the best shot at nailing a good time, however, that's 6 extra weeks of really hammering the bike and building bike fitness in prep for IMAZ next November. Planning to try and get at least 2 rides a week during marathon build, 3 if at all possible. After Boston I'm purely back to IMAZ focus and back on the bike with perhaps a mid/late summer B race HIM. So, am I on the right thought process with dedicating those extra 6 weeks to bike focus and then just be satisfied with a 12 week build or will those 6 weeks pre marathon build not provide much benefit if I'm just going to really slow the bike work down for the following 3 months? 

Apologies for the lengthy post but wanted to give a bit more info than just simply asking, "12 weeks or 18 weeks". Thanks for the help! 


2013-09-30 8:31 AM
in reply to: thebigb

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Subject: RE: 12 week or 18 week Pfitz Mary plan...with a hitch

It's pretty simple.  More running equals a better chance at hitting your goals at Boston.  More biking equals better chance of doing so at IMAZ.  Choose. 

(It is, of course, possible that you can hit your goals at both even while doing less for one of them.  All that training will do is shift the oddds one way or the other.  There's no way that cutting back on the bike to run more is going to help your biking at IMAZ.  But it's possible that it won't be hurt too much either.  I realize this probably doesn't help you too much, but it really just comes down to your choice.)

2013-09-30 9:45 AM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

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Subject: RE: 12 week or 18 week Pfitz Mary plan...with a hitch

No, it definitely helps Johnny as it's exactly what I realize but don't want to accept.    I guess my biggest question is, is 6 weeks of bike focus going to benefit me very much in the long run of things when I move from that focus straight into a period where I'm on the bike 2 times a week for the following three months?  

 

I'm leaning towards 12 week plan and just accepting what that yields at Boston.  

2013-09-30 10:53 AM
in reply to: thebigb

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Subject: RE: 12 week or 18 week Pfitz Mary plan...with a hitch
Originally posted by thebigb

No, it definitely helps Johnny as it's exactly what I realize but don't want to accept.    I guess my biggest question is, is 6 weeks of bike focus going to benefit me very much in the long run of things when I move from that focus straight into a period where I'm on the bike 2 times a week for the following three months?  

 

I'm leaning towards 12 week plan and just accepting what that yields at Boston.  




No in my opinion. Your ROI is likely to be bigger just doing the 18wk plan for your marathon and trying to run well since the 6wk bike focus block is going to give you a slight FTP boost if it goes well, but after you are just going to look to minimize damage until May until you are recovered from the marathon. If you are deadset on executing the marathon plan than accept it.

In terms of Arizona, you obviously run well and you know you are basically trading a few minutes at Boston for potentially/most likely much bigger minutes in Arizona (especially if the bike is not currently your strength). So from Oct-May when you could be looking to boost FTP by 5-10% depending on how well trained you are, you are just going to sit on it until spring and lose some bike fitness and then look to ramp up. Just know that your Ironman time will almost definitely be slower than if you had trained properly from Oct-May. You'll still have some good fitness in your legs, but your bike power will not be what it could be.
2013-09-30 11:02 AM
in reply to: acumenjay

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Subject: RE: 12 week or 18 week Pfitz Mary plan...with a hitch
Originally posted by acumenjay
Originally posted by thebigb

No, it definitely helps Johnny as it's exactly what I realize but don't want to accept.    I guess my biggest question is, is 6 weeks of bike focus going to benefit me very much in the long run of things when I move from that focus straight into a period where I'm on the bike 2 times a week for the following three months?  

 

I'm leaning towards 12 week plan and just accepting what that yields at Boston.  

No in my opinion. Your ROI is likely to be bigger just doing the 18wk plan for your marathon and trying to run well since the 6wk bike focus block is going to give you a slight FTP boost if it goes well, but after you are just going to look to minimize damage until May until you are recovered from the marathon. If you are deadset on executing the marathon plan than accept it. In terms of Arizona, you obviously run well and you know you are basically trading a few minutes at Boston for potentially/most likely much bigger minutes in Arizona (especially if the bike is not currently your strength). So from Oct-May when you could be looking to boost FTP by 5-10% depending on how well trained you are, you are just going to sit on it until spring and lose some bike fitness and then look to ramp up. Just know that your Ironman time will almost definitely be slower than if you had trained properly from Oct-May. You'll still have some good fitness in your legs, but your bike power will not be what it could be.

Yeah, which is why I was secretly wishing I didn't get into Boston so I could just keep up with the bike.   But now that I'm in I'm "in", plus I'm not going to KQ at IMAZ next year anyway.  My bike isn't atrocious (I went 2:36 at Steelhead on a P3 with box wheels and a standard helmet) but it's not as strong as my run.  

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