The Plan: Mark II

In terms of my intial training plan, I was meant to have completed some consistent and important Base training over the last few weeks. This didn't happen, and based on a couple of runs last week and some observations taken during yesterday's threshold session, I haven't developed a strong fitness base. This has influenced the main changes to my revamped training plan.

The main change, is I am now extending the base period, and shortening the VO2 period before leading into the rest of training. The general approach is still in line with my initial training guidelines:
  1. Develop and maintain a body capable of handling and adapting to the training
  2. Progressively develop a sound, but not overdone aerobic base
  3. Increase VO2max to as high as possible
  4. Increase velocity achieved at Anaerobic Threshold
  5. Increase ability to sustain Anaerobic Threshold
  6. Develop specific race skills and abilities
  7. Recover appropriately

BASE (6 weeks)

Even development of all aspects of fitness with particular focus on Guideline 1 is the goal here. To achieve this, a training week will consist of 8-11 days (depending on work commitments), and will include the following key sessions:

  • Long endurance at 60-80%HRmax (2500 swim, 80-110km bike, 2:30-2:50 run)
  • Threshold at 80-90%HRmax as 2x20min or 1x30min
  • VO2 at >90%HRmax as 3x3min with 5min recovery
  • Plyometrics
  • Strength Training x2

On top of these I will include low intensity, easy aerobic and technique sessions in each discipline. Overall the training load should feel comfortable and recovery should not take longer than 24 hours from each training session.

I will finish this period with two running races (10km and 5km) and a sprint distance duathlon that will take place of the Threshold and VO2 sets. These races will play an important role in determining paces and heart rate zones for the following phase.

VO2 (4 weeks)

These four weeks are devoted to increasing my VO2max, otherwise termed my aerobic capacity. The typical session to achieve this will involve training at paces eliciting a HR greater than 90% of my maximum held between 3-6 minutes with 3-5 minutes of recovery.

In keeping with possbily the most important aspect of Ironman training, developing a sound aerobic base so I can cover the distance I will maintain a long endurance session in each discipline. Continuous swims will build to 3000m, I'll cover 110-130km on long rides and maintain running between 2:30-2:45.

Training weeks will revolve around a 6 day cycle and on top of one VO2max set and one long endurance session in each discipline will include one plyometric set and one strength set. Threshold training will be dropped in order ensure a managable work load. It is important to remember that the VO2max sets as described above do have a positive effect on threshold paces. The extra low intensity sessions will be significantly curtailed, and will likely on consist of short active recovery work.

AT (4 weeks)

Now the focus shifts to increasing the speed achieved at around the so-called anaerobic threshold. I will use two key sessions for each discipline. The first will be intervals of about 10 minutes at 85-92%HRmax with short recoveries. The second will be a steady session of 30-45 minutes at 80-90%HRmax.

The endurance sessions will see continuous swimming reach 4000m, cycling 150km and running 3hours held at 70-80%HRmax. VO2max will be maintained with a short brick session every couple of weeks. Strength and plyometrics will be combined into 2-3 sets per week.

HIM (4 weeks)

Two weeks of fine tuning lead into the Shepparton Half Ironman, followed by two weeks of recovery.

IM I (8 weeks)

The key here is volume overload. I'll be looking to achieving swims of 6000m, rides of 200km and long runs over 3 hours. The second goal is to extend my ability to work at or just below my anaerobic threshold with progressively long sets at 80-90%HRmax.

IM II (8 weeks)

Race simulation and Ironman pace work are the main focus before leading into the taper.

"The journey is the reward." - Chinese Proverb


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