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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ironman Run Training - How far, how long, how often?

I ran a 30K race last week, so now it's time to stop training like a runner and start training like a triathlete.

Article about Ironman run training by Joel Friel.

For novices training for Ironman, Friel suggests these key runs each week (it's basically the same through the build and base periods):
  • Long run - 2.5h - with walk breaks
  • Hill run - 60-90 mins
  • Brick (Build phase only - 15 mins following long ride)
In the first two cases, he suggests running at an easy LSD pace - this will be around 6:00/km, which puts me at a 25k long run and a 10-15k hill run. For the brick he suggests a "goal effort" pace, which for Ironman is going to be pretty slow... I can't see this varying much from my LSD pace.

Now the jury is out a bit on Friel... some people think he's bang-on, others think he's out to lunch. Typical run training would have you doing longer runs, and having at least some tempo runs mixed in to up the pace a bit.

I'm prone to injuries while running, so while I'm weighing doing some longer runs, I'll likely stay fairly close to what he's suggesting here. I would like to get in at least a few 30K runs (3 hours) to help me be more prepared for the fatigue, as long as I'm doing the walk breaks I'm fairly confident I can do that without injury.

I will almost certainly switch out some of those slow hill runs for tempo runs.

Run, Forrest, Run!

7 comments:

Running~Jordan said...

This is something I'm pondering as I go into some pretty intense IM training and knowing that training for my marathon early May is NOT particularly how a triathlete trains.

jonovision_man said...

Most of the coaches (including Friel) advise against a spring marathon for people training for Ironman. It just takes too much time out of your training to taper and then recover.

I'm not even sure my 30k race was a great idea, but I got away with it without injury and bounced back pretty well...

Running~Jordan said...

I know. My coach says I shouldn't do it. I sort of agree since I'm having carry-over in the week from my run long fatigue. Plus I'm riding the IM course two weeks after the marathon. I'm still debating.

jonovision_man said...

You're going to Penticton? That's great, I wish I had that opportunity! We have hills around here (Toronto) but nothing that will properly prepare me for the IMC climbs...

cdnhollywood said...

I'm really learning first-hand how marathon training and triathlon training just don't fit. I thought I could blend the two together, but I think I'm just dimishing my marathon and triathlon performances by doing so.

Oh well - I guess there's always next season!

jonovision_man said...

cdnhollywood - I had some good luck last year with mixing the two, but my tris were short (Sprint) and my marathon was in the fall. I think the key is that marathon training early in the season is a good way to get an injury, in the fall it's less of a concern. My mindset was "if I get injured in October, who cares, the offseason is next!"

Running~Jordan said...

Yup I'm only a 10 hour drive away so I'm taking advantage of it over the long weekend. I hope I can manage the hills the first time out so I have some confidence moving forward in the season.

cdnhollywood that is the same lesson I seem to be learning...