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The Award Winning Thread - Sub 10 IM Plan
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r0bh




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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skipper went 8:17 at Florida yesterday with a 4:20 bike and 2:55 run. Good work Joe!
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skipper




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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Rob,

I have to say that was the hardest Ironman out of the lot of them so far. I thought Forida was going to be a walk in the park but it was brutal.

The bike was full on from the start with everyone smashing it, with 10 kilometers of the bike to go I remember thinking how the hell am I going to actually manage to run a marathon.

For anyone that's interested here's my bike http://www.strava.com/activities/92856864 and run http://www.strava.com/activities/92822345 from the race.
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JeffB




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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, well done, I was watching a few minutes of it and thought you'd said you were doing it, so had a look for the times.

4:02 bike split for Stark and he didn't win!

Jeff
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crumpy




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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

skipper wrote:
Cheers Rob,

I have to say that was the hardest Ironman out of the lot of them so far. I thought Forida was going to be a walk in the park but it was brutal.

The bike was full on from the start with everyone smashing it, with 10 kilometers of the bike to go I remember thinking how the hell am I going to actually manage to run a marathon.

For anyone that's interested here's my bike http://www.strava.com/activities/92856864 and run http://www.strava.com/activities/92822345 from the race.


Congrats Skipper. Great performance. Russ has some excellent further analysis if you have not already seen it.

http://www.coachcox.co.uk/2013/11/03/ironman-florida-2013-full-results-analysis/

One of the few GB athletes who has not been chicked by Chrissie.

Onwards and upwards. To run sub 3 after a stupidly quick bike really is incredible.
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christopher




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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing work there Skipper, really inspiring me for next year. Keep it up! Smile
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Rooney




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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bringing to front as I'm starting to read from page 1! Easier to find Wink
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Nobbie




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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rooney wrote:
Bringing to front as I'm starting to read from page 1! Easier to find Wink


If you spent your time training instead, you'd probably have a better chance of sub 10 Laughing
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mikeaver




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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nobbie wrote:
Rooney wrote:
Bringing to front as I'm starting to read from page 1! Easier to find Wink


If you spent your time training instead, you'd probably have a better chance of sub 10 Laughing


Don't be ridiculous that will never catch on!! Wink
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Rooney




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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 days of reading Very Happy or scanning and I have copied some of the bits I think are most relevant. Lots of good stuff .....

Especially that poet likes to tell everyone how fast he is in a 10k but can't run a marathon and jorgan firing the bullets for him Wink

Anyway Iv copied and pasted below the info along with some of the links to other sites

Enjoy

Training
kilometer IM
2.4km swim (40mins)
112km Bike (3.5-4hours)
26km run (02:20:00)


Some keys to performing are:
• Consistency in training every week, month,
• Frequency of sessions weekly,
• Specificity to the distance and time goals,
• Recovery. 8hrs a night. Quality nutrition. Soft tissue work.
• Trying to raise one's LT / FTP,

Try not to do 2 long, or hard, or long and hard days in a row as this could lead to a culmination of chronic fatigue. Very difficult to recover from running hard intervals when your running long the very next day.
Think about how long it takes to recover from such sessions.
Recovery is the key here.
In between such sessions work on technique, drills, efficiency, form, economy training.


Swim
Swim and transitions in under 1.15. Under 1.10 preferably

Bike
5.20 - got to stay areo, and have your nutrition strategy nailed on the bike.

Bike setup – Things that can make a considerable difference in efficiency include an aero helmet a rear disc and a deep front. Also paying attention to the little things all add up. Idea’s include: cleaning up the excess gear and brake cabling, not carrying excess bottles (you only need two max), keeping your flat kit out of the wind (e.g. under the saddle), having a new(ish) chain, keeping your brakes from rubbing against the rim.

Always Aero on the Bike – Assuming you are correctly fit on your time trial bike, you should be spending 97% of you time in the aero position. That leaves around 10 minutes (for a 5:20 split) where you are not in the aero position. This 10 minutes could mean: stretching, standing on more difficult hills, and going through aid stations etc.

Bike pacing - too hard on the bike and you'll suffer at some point in the run. A lot of people state they went easy on the bike, but then seem to suffer on the run - this always raises the question of if they really went easy enough. Ironman bike pace is really not that hard an effort I think many over estimate their pacing.

Bike nutrition - not eating enough or eating too much on the bike is going to lead to nutritional problems on the run. Whether it's energy lows and poorer performance or stomach cramps. It's always hard to judge on the first race, but worth really examining what you need. If you're going sub 10 forget comfort foods eat for racing and be focussed on eating what you need to keep going at race pace - no more or less.


Run

3.30 for the run, which is 8 min miles and pretty straight forward as long as you dont go off like a mad man or run into any problems

Run pacing - I always feel great in the first few Ks off the bike and do tend to go out too fast. Reign that in and look to start conservatively. As mentioned get it right and potentially you can pick things up in the last 10km or so. Your pace may not improve, but your perceived exertion will, sometimes that just means you maintain speed.

Run nutrition - stomach issues on the run can again come down to mixing nutritions, taking on board things you wouldn't normally or not enough fluids. Keep things simple, go for what you know works and opt for frequent, light fuelling (e.g. a gel every 20 minutes rather than stuffing yourself every 40). In part let the need for energy override some of the stomach discomfort. If you're running low on energy later in the run, you need to take on more during the bike/earlier in the run.

Cramping on the run - can be an electrolyte issue certainly, but also can simply be a muscle fatigue issue. Both have been known to cause cramps. It's worth ensuring you take something in with electrolytes during the race (how much depends on how you sweat - I need very little) I just sip energy drink at some aid stations on the run. Muscle fatigue issues will come from insufficient fitness to support your pacing strategy - i.e. you've been going too fast at some point at least.

Transitions
You can bleed time in transitions if you are not prepared. Keep your bag contents to a minimum. I had one energy bar in my T1 bag, the rest was on the bike, although thinking about it now I could have put on my helmet while running to the bike. For your T2 change you only need to stop to put your shoes and socks on, the rest can be put on while running (hat, sunscreen, fuel belt, garmin). Consider putting your race number belt and arm warmers on under your wetsuit – you won’t feel them.


Lists/planning
This amount of planning can make the lead up to race day stress-free and straightforward. Even planning your meals etc can prevent making poor decisions in race week. Having a race day equipment list as a minimum can make setting your bike and transition bags very simple (and you can use it again and again and refine your approach). Less stress = less wasted energy. Lists for the supporters too, so they know what you’re doing and when, where to see you on the course, etc.


There is no special sauce!

That's pretty much the answer to all training. Do it often - Do it at a range of intensities - Don't do toio much - Don't do too little.


I base my taper on the theory that it takes 7-10 days for training to be converted into improved performance. Don't know where I read this, but it works for me. With that in mind I'll train normally untill my final long run of 36Km about 10 days out. As cycling takes less out of me I'll probably do a 4-5 hour bike the weekend before as well as a 25TT to test my FTP. I'll then have a couple of days rest for the body to go into full recovery mode (generally feeling rubbish and fatigued), before filling in the remaining time with. shorter faster stuff to keep the body ticking over, plus a fair bit of swimming to keep a feel for the water.


Before achieving anything, you always need a strategy.

A great strategy looks at how to overcome the critical factors in a situation (i.e. the obstacles and hurdles). For a sub-10, the strategy for me had to be:

The Strategy: Maximising your gains by concentrating on your weaknesses

Ask yourself what is going to add the most time value. It is actually very individual. Unless you are a Pro, this is guaranteed to be the quickest way to quicken your overall pace. So many people just want to keep getting better at what they already are good at with minimal overall gain. For example, if I doubled my swim training to 2 hours per week (say added an extra 2.4km), I might knock off a minute or two from my IM time. Other weaker swimmers might gain much more benefit though. My weakness was the bike. Therefore I have skewed my training so on taking 3 weeks of holidays (not at once) in the 6 months prior to the IM, this was all I cared about. This knocked off 10 mins from my bike time but more importantly meant I wasn't destroyed coming off the bike and was ready to run a decent marathon.

Whilst circa 50% of race time is on the bike it isn’t necessarily where the most gains can be made. Another guy, with a 75 min swim and a previous 10hr 15ish finish would likely maximize his gain using the same total weekly training hours by concentrating on his weakness which is the swim and maintaining his fitness in the other disciplines by doing 2 to 3 quality sessions. Dave Scott's view (not going to dismiss his advice in a hurry!) is that the swim would benefit his run too. All of a sudden, his 75 min swim is a 65 min swim. His Mara time drops by 5 mins too and all of a sudden he is sub-10er. The advantage of swim training too, of course, is that if you are more predisposed to injury, it is a low risk gain.

I have already told you my background was smoking and drinking. You need a bloody good strategy to overcome these weakness in a short space of time and go sub-10. This was it for me.

Once you have your strategy (perhaps you will devise another one more pertinent to your needs), other key points for me were:

Swim specific training – if you are a thrasher, get lessons and sort out your stroke. The IM swim of around an hour for a sub-10 needs to feel easy. Also, if your technique is average like mine but good enough for around an hour, when doing those 20 x 100m sessions, take at least 20 seconds (and as much as 30 seconds) rest to make sure you don’t just thrash them out but feel rested enough to maintain as good as technique as possible. Sav does not do a 47 min swim by thrashing.

Bike specific training– it is not all about the length of time on the bike although total volume still counts. It is about the QUALITY and number of repetitions. JimboP (multiple Kona Qualifier) taught me that when we were at Hobbo’s training camp in Lanza this year. Plenty of 1.5 to 4 hours of threshold stuff, often riding by yourself if your mates are at a different speed.

Run specific training– in the final 4 to 6 weeks before tapering, run long twice (mine was a 1 x 1hr 15 and a 1 x 1hr 75). If your body can handle running frequently, add some other shorter sessions in there at low intensity (thanks Russ…this was out of your book). Personally, like Nobbie states, I never run over 25k in training…it simply takes too much out of me to train effectively the next day.
I did these long runs faster than my anticipated IM splits but I think this may be duff advice (see my ‘legends of our sport’ point below).

Note: when it comes to the race, after the first 10k, the mara will always feels ROCK HARD even if you have done a decent pace on the bike. HTFU.

CONSISTENCY in your training: The Ace in the Pack….play it.

Transitions – course dependent of course, you should be aiming for 5 mins total for both. If it is higher, then really question why that is the case (I was fairly close but over this target and on reflection it comes down to the fact I spent a minute faffing with a towel and then applying suntan lotion when there are products out there that last longer than the swim).

Taper – listen to someone who has done it before….Daz Carter, sub 9er, provided me with the 3 week taper

Nutrition – find something that works for you. Everyone’s stomach handles it differently. There are loads of stuff out there that work and not necessarily just tri food (i.e. peanuts with honey on is like rocket fuel for me!). If you have a blue mood on the bike, eat more and quickly.

HR / Power – never used either so my only comment is that although they are undoubtedly useful and would be beneficial, they are not essential. You generally know from your breathing how hard your heart is working and power is expensive. Just make sure you do plenty of training at threshold, i.e. when your breathing just starts to be feel laboured.

Training Camp / Higher Volume Period– Richard Hobson attracts a good crowd of people in Lanza. Go try it for a cheap week abroad (well, in comparison to my previous booze filled trips) and get in a lot of cycling miles. If not, have a week at home and brave the weather. Just get a high volume week in for the one discipline that is your core weakness.

Training hours – Triathletes are obsessed with hours. Try not to be. To help those that are, when I did my first IM in late 2010 (10:44 ), this was on an average of 7.4 hours a week. In mid 2012 when I broke sub-10, I had increased this average to 14 hours a week. This was due to 3 weeks of high volume (i.e. 30 hours+) though and my weekly total was normally between 10 and 13 hours. This was consistent, week on week and includes 1-2 hours of pilates and weights. Of course, the benefit of the extra hours diminish as you keep increasing the time invested so unless you are getting ultra serious or don't have a demanding job, I would say go back to my main strategy and alter the amount of time in each discipline to suit your weaknesses.

Training Miles – The old skool training mantra that in our preparation for Ironman we should make sure we cover the race distance in each of the disciplines throughout an average training week. This year for the first time I am at 100% for swim, 120% for bike, and 90% for run (rather than at c.50%). This is not because I have managed to do this each week but largely down to the fact I have been on 3 weeks of holidays where I have spent most of the time training (and drunk a fair few beers!).

Get a coach – it is not something I have done as my work pattern of constant travelling doesn’t allow a schedule. That said, I have invested a lot of time in reading (and listening!) to others whose opinions have gravitas. Daz Carter or Russ Cox would be high on my list. If not, I am sure you have a local person you can respect.

Choose the ‘easy’ option race – Roth, Austria, Florida, Outlaw, Barca, etc.

Keep a balance to life and perhaps look longer-term – Although I really wanted sub-10, I also have an awesome wife I like to spend time with, a great sets of friends I like to see and a job I enjoy which involves lots of travelling and which I need to dedicate a decent amount of time (i.e. certainly more than 50 hours a week). A few years of consistent and quality training is better than busting everything in 1-2 years and it not happening!?

Smoking – of the 4 IMs I have done, the 2 best ones have been 10hr 44 off 7hrs a week training and the 9hr 59 36 secs off an average of 14hrs a week training (in a 20-24 week period) – both of which I have not smoked for 16 weeks prior to the race. Most of you guys will almost definitely not participate and I strongly go with this theory. Even with 16 weeks of non-smoking, it was definitely a limiter on the marathon time. I truly wish I have finally cracked this useless, waste of time habit I spent 20 years cultivating.

Drinking – try doing your long run or bike off a hangover. As we tend to do our long stuff at the weekends, it is definitely a scenario following a Friday or Saturday night. It might clear the mind but your performance is still rubbish. And don’t kid yourself that it is not. Although I have had a few hangovers this year (we are not pro’s) it had been rare in comparison to other years.

Legends of our sport – Listen to the virtues of the greats. Dave Scott (IM training is mostly about the swim and bike) and Dave Allen (all about the HR and enabling your ability to do more for less) have a lot of wisdom based on success. Admittedly I did not try them as I learnt about them only recently but after learning more about this Sport during 2012, this is my next step. Why not try their philosophies straight away?

Dream – so much of life is ‘in the head’. That is not to say you don’t need to train. Of course you do. That is a given. It is just that you need to believe it is on too!

Weight – Although it is important to be leanish for your height, you don’t need to be excessive though for a sub-10. You are not going sub 9. Personally I am at my heaviest (by 5lbs) for nearly 2 years although most of my excessive eating has been decent food. Except for the wheelbarrow of ice-cream and haribo, that is.

Pace it, don’t race it - Someone summed it up as ‘130.6 miles of pacing then 10 miles of racing” – spot on! If anything as Steven Lord stated that on the bike ‘you should have a slight worry throughout that you are not going hard enough’ (took that advice) and ‘On the run even if it feels too easy I would never push up you're planned pace until 10k to go ... even then I'd take a few Ks to think about it’ (didn’t take this advice and paid for it by having to do it the hard way!)
Use the resources – There are some great websites and articles out there…Russ (trainingtimes), Gordo (endurancecorner), and Mark K are a few
My thoughts on some of the advice from you guys:

• Russ – you have contributed massively to this thread and with the amount of your athletes gunning for sub-10, surely you have more to add ; )
• Daz – you helped me to Sub-10. THANKS!!
• Skipper –some good front of the pack thoughts that gives people stuff to think about rather than HR and power
• Sav – your last 5 years improvements and records speak for themselves
• RTYD – like your recommendation to log perceived effort
• Steven Lord – thanks for your training spreadsheet that I downloaded from your blog. That is the one I now use to log my miles : )
• Poet – really appreciate your dedication in doing something you know will happen…..P.S. my 10k time is 4-5 mins off yours!
• Nobbie – for the plain and simple approach of consistently banging out those bike and run miles
• E-J for going through this thread and summarizing many nights worth of reading : )
• Jibberjin – ‘Do it often - Do it at a range of intensities - Don't do too much - Don't do too little’ – love this summary

Some of the #@?# advice on this thread (and there is very little of it):

• You need to go 2:02 / 2:03 in an Oly
• Spend 18 to 22 hours per week training – you should be on the plane to Kona with that volume!!
• All of the above….I have only done it once by the skin of my teeth!

And truly last, where are the girls!? Join us and give your point of view.


My s pence on the subject is work on speed through the winter and increasing your threshold and then as the season get's closer about 8-12 weeks before your race do the following:

1. Increase your long ride to eventually 4.5-5 hours and include 30- 60 minute efforts at ironman pace (actual ironman intensity no pootling around) This is a key session and I would aim for around 2.5- 3 hours of ironman intensity during the ride.


2. Some threshold intervals on the turbo either 4*12m with 8 minutes recovery (for the last rep I used to do 30 seconds at 110% 1m30 @ 90%.


Through the winter I would do some longer intervals though start off at doing say 3*15m then build up to doing 3*25s these will be done under threshold still bloody hard though and will build strength and even though they are below threshold I found that they still raised mine.


3. For running I think a long tempo run for me it was 10 miles at a hard pace. This won't necessarily make you faster but it makes you bloody strong and I think it's a key ingredient to running well. It's a grim session and is one which a lot of people won't do but then again a lot of people don't run well either in an ironman.



All of this is my own opinion and I might not know much but what I do know is it took me to a 4.28 bike and a 2.58 run and I had never ever ran over 19 miles until the ironman. Also my longest bike ride in the 8 weeks before the race was 4 hours.



Nutrition wise when I'm racing I will very rarely take gels on the bike, I normally take flapjack and then resort to gels or shot blocks on the run.

A good session I find for Ironman is a 4 hour ride with some 30 minute tempo efforts in and then a hard last 30 minutes, then a quick transition and a 7-8 mile run above ironman pace. If I can do this well and do a fast run at the end of this session I know I'm in good shape. In the race I normally run a bit slower then what I have done in this session but I know I can keep it up. I think confidence ijs the big key, if you are confident you can hold the pace you start off at and have ran faster in training in the race you should definitely be able to hold it.


One session which I will probably do in the build up to Florida would be a 4.5 hour ride where I'll do 3f0 minutes between 220-240w, 30 minutes at 310-320w *4 and then a 30 minutes at around 220-240 then I'll do 8 miles at around 6m 10 pace. If this session goes well I know I'm in good shape and should be able to do a good race.

http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm

http://www.everymantri.com/everyman_triathlon/2010/12/how-to-break-a-10-hour-ironman-time-in-2011-part-i.html

http://www.ironman.com/lifestyle/training.aspx#axzz2otW13uW0

http://chris-lakerfan.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/im-bike-execution-using-rpe-power-and.html

http://www.tritalk.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=73634

Best till last loads on here
http://www.coachcox.co.uk/2010/08/22/a-simple-ironman-training-weeks-plan/
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Rooney




Joined: 02 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now to start training Wink

Who's going to outlaw 2014 then ?
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Daz




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Posts: 11694
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was a pleasure to help mate.

Yeh it doesn't matter how many months/years of training you do towards an event, get the taper wrong and you won't optimise your ability, and could even end up having a v bad day.


Rooney wrote:
2 days of reading Very Happy or scanning and I have copied some of the bits I think are most relevant. Lots of good stuff .....

Especially that poet likes to tell everyone how fast he is in a 10k but can't run a marathon and jorgan firing the bullets for him Wink

Anyway Iv copied and pasted below the info along with some of the links to other sites

Enjoy

Training
kilometer IM
2.4km swim (40mins)
112km Bike (3.5-4hours)
26km run (02:20:00)


Some keys to performing are:
• Consistency in training every week, month,
• Frequency of sessions weekly,
• Specificity to the distance and time goals,
• Recovery. 8hrs a night. Quality nutrition. Soft tissue work.
• Trying to raise one's LT / FTP,

Try not to do 2 long, or hard, or long and hard days in a row as this could lead to a culmination of chronic fatigue. Very difficult to recover from running hard intervals when your running long the very next day.
Think about how long it takes to recover from such sessions.
Recovery is the key here.
In between such sessions work on technique, drills, efficiency, form, economy training.


Swim
Swim and transitions in under 1.15. Under 1.10 preferably

Bike
5.20 - got to stay areo, and have your nutrition strategy nailed on the bike.

Bike setup – Things that can make a considerable difference in efficiency include an aero helmet a rear disc and a deep front. Also paying attention to the little things all add up. Idea’s include: cleaning up the excess gear and brake cabling, not carrying excess bottles (you only need two max), keeping your flat kit out of the wind (e.g. under the saddle), having a new(ish) chain, keeping your brakes from rubbing against the rim.

Always Aero on the Bike – Assuming you are correctly fit on your time trial bike, you should be spending 97% of you time in the aero position. That leaves around 10 minutes (for a 5:20 split) where you are not in the aero position. This 10 minutes could mean: stretching, standing on more difficult hills, and going through aid stations etc.

Bike pacing - too hard on the bike and you'll suffer at some point in the run. A lot of people state they went easy on the bike, but then seem to suffer on the run - this always raises the question of if they really went easy enough. Ironman bike pace is really not that hard an effort I think many over estimate their pacing.

Bike nutrition - not eating enough or eating too much on the bike is going to lead to nutritional problems on the run. Whether it's energy lows and poorer performance or stomach cramps. It's always hard to judge on the first race, but worth really examining what you need. If you're going sub 10 forget comfort foods eat for racing and be focussed on eating what you need to keep going at race pace - no more or less.


Run

3.30 for the run, which is 8 min miles and pretty straight forward as long as you dont go off like a mad man or run into any problems

Run pacing - I always feel great in the first few Ks off the bike and do tend to go out too fast. Reign that in and look to start conservatively. As mentioned get it right and potentially you can pick things up in the last 10km or so. Your pace may not improve, but your perceived exertion will, sometimes that just means you maintain speed.

Run nutrition - stomach issues on the run can again come down to mixing nutritions, taking on board things you wouldn't normally or not enough fluids. Keep things simple, go for what you know works and opt for frequent, light fuelling (e.g. a gel every 20 minutes rather than stuffing yourself every 40). In part let the need for energy override some of the stomach discomfort. If you're running low on energy later in the run, you need to take on more during the bike/earlier in the run.

Cramping on the run - can be an electrolyte issue certainly, but also can simply be a muscle fatigue issue. Both have been known to cause cramps. It's worth ensuring you take something in with electrolytes during the race (how much depends on how you sweat - I need very little) I just sip energy drink at some aid stations on the run. Muscle fatigue issues will come from insufficient fitness to support your pacing strategy - i.e. you've been going too fast at some point at least.

Transitions
You can bleed time in transitions if you are not prepared. Keep your bag contents to a minimum. I had one energy bar in my T1 bag, the rest was on the bike, although thinking about it now I could have put on my helmet while running to the bike. For your T2 change you only need to stop to put your shoes and socks on, the rest can be put on while running (hat, sunscreen, fuel belt, garmin). Consider putting your race number belt and arm warmers on under your wetsuit – you won’t feel them.


Lists/planning
This amount of planning can make the lead up to race day stress-free and straightforward. Even planning your meals etc can prevent making poor decisions in race week. Having a race day equipment list as a minimum can make setting your bike and transition bags very simple (and you can use it again and again and refine your approach). Less stress = less wasted energy. Lists for the supporters too, so they know what you’re doing and when, where to see you on the course, etc.


There is no special sauce!

That's pretty much the answer to all training. Do it often - Do it at a range of intensities - Don't do toio much - Don't do too little.


I base my taper on the theory that it takes 7-10 days for training to be converted into improved performance. Don't know where I read this, but it works for me. With that in mind I'll train normally untill my final long run of 36Km about 10 days out. As cycling takes less out of me I'll probably do a 4-5 hour bike the weekend before as well as a 25TT to test my FTP. I'll then have a couple of days rest for the body to go into full recovery mode (generally feeling rubbish and fatigued), before filling in the remaining time with. shorter faster stuff to keep the body ticking over, plus a fair bit of swimming to keep a feel for the water.


Before achieving anything, you always need a strategy.

A great strategy looks at how to overcome the critical factors in a situation (i.e. the obstacles and hurdles). For a sub-10, the strategy for me had to be:

The Strategy: Maximising your gains by concentrating on your weaknesses

Ask yourself what is going to add the most time value. It is actually very individual. Unless you are a Pro, this is guaranteed to be the quickest way to quicken your overall pace. So many people just want to keep getting better at what they already are good at with minimal overall gain. For example, if I doubled my swim training to 2 hours per week (say added an extra 2.4km), I might knock off a minute or two from my IM time. Other weaker swimmers might gain much more benefit though. My weakness was the bike. Therefore I have skewed my training so on taking 3 weeks of holidays (not at once) in the 6 months prior to the IM, this was all I cared about. This knocked off 10 mins from my bike time but more importantly meant I wasn't destroyed coming off the bike and was ready to run a decent marathon.

Whilst circa 50% of race time is on the bike it isn’t necessarily where the most gains can be made. Another guy, with a 75 min swim and a previous 10hr 15ish finish would likely maximize his gain using the same total weekly training hours by concentrating on his weakness which is the swim and maintaining his fitness in the other disciplines by doing 2 to 3 quality sessions. Dave Scott's view (not going to dismiss his advice in a hurry!) is that the swim would benefit his run too. All of a sudden, his 75 min swim is a 65 min swim. His Mara time drops by 5 mins too and all of a sudden he is sub-10er. The advantage of swim training too, of course, is that if you are more predisposed to injury, it is a low risk gain.

I have already told you my background was smoking and drinking. You need a bloody good strategy to overcome these weakness in a short space of time and go sub-10. This was it for me.

Once you have your strategy (perhaps you will devise another one more pertinent to your needs), other key points for me were:

Swim specific training – if you are a thrasher, get lessons and sort out your stroke. The IM swim of around an hour for a sub-10 needs to feel easy. Also, if your technique is average like mine but good enough for around an hour, when doing those 20 x 100m sessions, take at least 20 seconds (and as much as 30 seconds) rest to make sure you don’t just thrash them out but feel rested enough to maintain as good as technique as possible. Sav does not do a 47 min swim by thrashing.

Bike specific training– it is not all about the length of time on the bike although total volume still counts. It is about the QUALITY and number of repetitions. JimboP (multiple Kona Qualifier) taught me that when we were at Hobbo’s training camp in Lanza this year. Plenty of 1.5 to 4 hours of threshold stuff, often riding by yourself if your mates are at a different speed.

Run specific training– in the final 4 to 6 weeks before tapering, run long twice (mine was a 1 x 1hr 15 and a 1 x 1hr 75). If your body can handle running frequently, add some other shorter sessions in there at low intensity (thanks Russ…this was out of your book). Personally, like Nobbie states, I never run over 25k in training…it simply takes too much out of me to train effectively the next day.
I did these long runs faster than my anticipated IM splits but I think this may be duff advice (see my ‘legends of our sport’ point below).

Note: when it comes to the race, after the first 10k, the mara will always feels ROCK HARD even if you have done a decent pace on the bike. HTFU.

CONSISTENCY in your training: The Ace in the Pack….play it.

Transitions – course dependent of course, you should be aiming for 5 mins total for both. If it is higher, then really question why that is the case (I was fairly close but over this target and on reflection it comes down to the fact I spent a minute faffing with a towel and then applying suntan lotion when there are products out there that last longer than the swim).

Taper – listen to someone who has done it before….Daz Carter, sub 9er, provided me with the 3 week taper

Nutrition – find something that works for you. Everyone’s stomach handles it differently. There are loads of stuff out there that work and not necessarily just tri food (i.e. peanuts with honey on is like rocket fuel for me!). If you have a blue mood on the bike, eat more and quickly.

HR / Power – never used either so my only comment is that although they are undoubtedly useful and would be beneficial, they are not essential. You generally know from your breathing how hard your heart is working and power is expensive. Just make sure you do plenty of training at threshold, i.e. when your breathing just starts to be feel laboured.

Training Camp / Higher Volume Period– Richard Hobson attracts a good crowd of people in Lanza. Go try it for a cheap week abroad (well, in comparison to my previous booze filled trips) and get in a lot of cycling miles. If not, have a week at home and brave the weather. Just get a high volume week in for the one discipline that is your core weakness.

Training hours – Triathletes are obsessed with hours. Try not to be. To help those that are, when I did my first IM in late 2010 (10:44 ), this was on an average of 7.4 hours a week. In mid 2012 when I broke sub-10, I had increased this average to 14 hours a week. This was due to 3 weeks of high volume (i.e. 30 hours+) though and my weekly total was normally between 10 and 13 hours. This was consistent, week on week and includes 1-2 hours of pilates and weights. Of course, the benefit of the extra hours diminish as you keep increasing the time invested so unless you are getting ultra serious or don't have a demanding job, I would say go back to my main strategy and alter the amount of time in each discipline to suit your weaknesses.

Training Miles – The old skool training mantra that in our preparation for Ironman we should make sure we cover the race distance in each of the disciplines throughout an average training week. This year for the first time I am at 100% for swim, 120% for bike, and 90% for run (rather than at c.50%). This is not because I have managed to do this each week but largely down to the fact I have been on 3 weeks of holidays where I have spent most of the time training (and drunk a fair few beers!).

Get a coach – it is not something I have done as my work pattern of constant travelling doesn’t allow a schedule. That said, I have invested a lot of time in reading (and listening!) to others whose opinions have gravitas. Daz Carter or Russ Cox would be high on my list. If not, I am sure you have a local person you can respect.

Choose the ‘easy’ option race – Roth, Austria, Florida, Outlaw, Barca, etc.

Keep a balance to life and perhaps look longer-term – Although I really wanted sub-10, I also have an awesome wife I like to spend time with, a great sets of friends I like to see and a job I enjoy which involves lots of travelling and which I need to dedicate a decent amount of time (i.e. certainly more than 50 hours a week). A few years of consistent and quality training is better than busting everything in 1-2 years and it not happening!?

Smoking – of the 4 IMs I have done, the 2 best ones have been 10hr 44 off 7hrs a week training and the 9hr 59 36 secs off an average of 14hrs a week training (in a 20-24 week period) – both of which I have not smoked for 16 weeks prior to the race. Most of you guys will almost definitely not participate and I strongly go with this theory. Even with 16 weeks of non-smoking, it was definitely a limiter on the marathon time. I truly wish I have finally cracked this useless, waste of time habit I spent 20 years cultivating.

Drinking – try doing your long run or bike off a hangover. As we tend to do our long stuff at the weekends, it is definitely a scenario following a Friday or Saturday night. It might clear the mind but your performance is still rubbish. And don’t kid yourself that it is not. Although I have had a few hangovers this year (we are not pro’s) it had been rare in comparison to other years.

Legends of our sport – Listen to the virtues of the greats. Dave Scott (IM training is mostly about the swim and bike) and Dave Allen (all about the HR and enabling your ability to do more for less) have a lot of wisdom based on success. Admittedly I did not try them as I learnt about them only recently but after learning more about this Sport during 2012, this is my next step. Why not try their philosophies straight away?

Dream – so much of life is ‘in the head’. That is not to say you don’t need to train. Of course you do. That is a given. It is just that you need to believe it is on too!

Weight – Although it is important to be leanish for your height, you don’t need to be excessive though for a sub-10. You are not going sub 9. Personally I am at my heaviest (by 5lbs) for nearly 2 years although most of my excessive eating has been decent food. Except for the wheelbarrow of ice-cream and haribo, that is.

Pace it, don’t race it - Someone summed it up as ‘130.6 miles of pacing then 10 miles of racing” – spot on! If anything as Steven Lord stated that on the bike ‘you should have a slight worry throughout that you are not going hard enough’ (took that advice) and ‘On the run even if it feels too easy I would never push up you're planned pace until 10k to go ... even then I'd take a few Ks to think about it’ (didn’t take this advice and paid for it by having to do it the hard way!)
Use the resources – There are some great websites and articles out there…Russ (trainingtimes), Gordo (endurancecorner), and Mark K are a few
My thoughts on some of the advice from you guys:

• Russ – you have contributed massively to this thread and with the amount of your athletes gunning for sub-10, surely you have more to add ; )
• Daz – you helped me to Sub-10. THANKS!!
• Skipper –some good front of the pack thoughts that gives people stuff to think about rather than HR and power
• Sav – your last 5 years improvements and records speak for themselves
• RTYD – like your recommendation to log perceived effort
• Steven Lord – thanks for your training spreadsheet that I downloaded from your blog. That is the one I now use to log my miles : )
• Poet – really appreciate your dedication in doing something you know will happen…..P.S. my 10k time is 4-5 mins off yours!
• Nobbie – for the plain and simple approach of consistently banging out those bike and run miles
• E-J for going through this thread and summarizing many nights worth of reading : )
• Jibberjin – ‘Do it often - Do it at a range of intensities - Don't do too much - Don't do too little’ – love this summary

Some of the #@?# advice on this thread (and there is very little of it):

• You need to go 2:02 / 2:03 in an Oly
• Spend 18 to 22 hours per week training – you should be on the plane to Kona with that volume!!
• All of the above….I have only done it once by the skin of my teeth!

And truly last, where are the girls!? Join us and give your point of view.


My s pence on the subject is work on speed through the winter and increasing your threshold and then as the season get's closer about 8-12 weeks before your race do the following:

1. Increase your long ride to eventually 4.5-5 hours and include 30- 60 minute efforts at ironman pace (actual ironman intensity no pootling around) This is a key session and I would aim for around 2.5- 3 hours of ironman intensity during the ride.


2. Some threshold intervals on the turbo either 4*12m with 8 minutes recovery (for the last rep I used to do 30 seconds at 110% 1m30 @ 90%.


Through the winter I would do some longer intervals though start off at doing say 3*15m then build up to doing 3*25s these will be done under threshold still bloody hard though and will build strength and even though they are below threshold I found that they still raised mine.


3. For running I think a long tempo run for me it was 10 miles at a hard pace. This won't necessarily make you faster but it makes you bloody strong and I think it's a key ingredient to running well. It's a grim session and is one which a lot of people won't do but then again a lot of people don't run well either in an ironman.



All of this is my own opinion and I might not know much but what I do know is it took me to a 4.28 bike and a 2.58 run and I had never ever ran over 19 miles until the ironman. Also my longest bike ride in the 8 weeks before the race was 4 hours.



Nutrition wise when I'm racing I will very rarely take gels on the bike, I normally take flapjack and then resort to gels or shot blocks on the run.

A good session I find for Ironman is a 4 hour ride with some 30 minute tempo efforts in and then a hard last 30 minutes, then a quick transition and a 7-8 mile run above ironman pace. If I can do this well and do a fast run at the end of this session I know I'm in good shape. In the race I normally run a bit slower then what I have done in this session but I know I can keep it up. I think confidence ijs the big key, if you are confident you can hold the pace you start off at and have ran faster in training in the race you should definitely be able to hold it.


One session which I will probably do in the build up to Florida would be a 4.5 hour ride where I'll do 3f0 minutes between 220-240w, 30 minutes at 310-320w *4 and then a 30 minutes at around 220-240 then I'll do 8 miles at around 6m 10 pace. If this session goes well I know I'm in good shape and should be able to do a good race.

http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm

http://www.everymantri.com/everyman_triathlon/2010/12/how-to-break-a-10-hour-ironman-time-in-2011-part-i.html

http://www.ironman.com/lifestyle/training.aspx#axzz2otW13uW0

http://chris-lakerfan.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/im-bike-execution-using-rpe-power-and.html

http://www.tritalk.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=73634

Best till last loads on here
http://www.coachcox.co.uk/2010/08/22/a-simple-ironman-training-weeks-plan/

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Last edited by Daz on Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SidSnot




Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 1460

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rooney, good summary
I'm not of sub-10 calibre, but I'm a long time lurker on this thread as there are some great tips for people of all speeds doing an IM.
I shall be incorporating some in y prep for IM Wales
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Nobbie




Joined: 24 Jul 2006
Posts: 4394
Location: Wilmslow

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rooney,

That's a really usefull summary and well done on the sub 10. I'd love to join you at Outlaw, but taking a bit of time out from biking this winter to concentrate on running ahead of the manchester marathon. Maybe 2015 if it doesn't clash with 70.3 Worlds Wink
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Rooney




Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2074

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iv not gone sub 10 yet .....this year 😄 I'm going #allin
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Rooney




Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2074

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the summary was copied from previous posts. 😄
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