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2013-08-20 10:43 AM

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Subject: Advice on Ironman Training
Yesterday I posed a question in the Iron Distance section about finding the best Iron Man training plan and got some good advice about stretching and lifting weights (which is good advice).

Having thought about it for 12 hours (oh no, I'm not compulsive )... I think I have a better understanding of exactly what I am looking for. I'm looking for a plan that is explicit in its directions so as to prevent me from injuring myself with my "more is better" paradigm. Do you know the quote by Calvin Colledge about persistence - I literally live by its last two lines. "Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan press on has and always will solve the problems of the human race." I put everything into every workout as I do in all aspects of my life. Unfortunately, I am my own worst enemy. While my ethos has allowed me to accomplish some good things - it has led to more suffering and failures than successes.

So as I approach this goal, I am looking for a plan that's "Dave Proof" I know that my compulsiveness will help keep me in line (no Dave - today is a slow day, you do not need to see how fast you can bike home. No Dave, you don't need to set PR for running up this hill. No dave,, you only need to swim a mile. It wouldn't be cooler to see if you can swim twice as far (these are actual conversations). This plan, if it exits will make injury prevention a priority (weight training, stretching, yoga, diet, icing, and rest (what's that?) will be integral components). Since I just want to finish - this plan will do the calculus for me (since biking has less of a chance of injury, you should focus more on that and do this harder workout on the bike and easier running workout to avoid injury and make it to the finish line.

The more I think about it - what I really need is a personal coach but being on sabbatical (I'm taking a year off from teaching to spend time with my sons) makes that an impossible dream.

Any advice would be super appreciated!

DQ


2013-08-20 10:45 AM
in reply to: Qua17

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training
Honestly, I don't think a plan will hold you back. Have you considered coaching? A good coach may be able to look at your training and say, hey Dave, knock it off, stick to the plan.
2013-08-20 10:52 AM
in reply to: Qua17

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training
I agree with the above poster regarding that you may want to consider an actual coach because of some things you admitted regarding your personality....you may need someone to keep you in line. Though I do not think a coach is necessary to finish but worth considering in your case.....have you looked at the plans on this site.....many people have used them with success

Just one last thing regarding a plan to prevent injury. Coming from someone who has treated exercise induces injuries for 20 yrs....there is no plan that can 100% eliminate the inherent risk of injury.....You can decrease your chances, and that is probably what you meant however training especially an IM you are going to at times teeter on the brink of acute or chronic injury if you are pushing yourself.....I am not saying all people get injured during training just dont have the expectiation that just because you have a good plan that you will have zero risk of injury

good luck
2013-08-20 12:05 PM
in reply to: dmiller5

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training
Originally posted by dmiller5

Honestly, I don't think a plan will hold you back. Have you considered coaching? A good coach may be able to look at your training and say, hey Dave, knock it off, stick to the plan.


Ha! I say some people need a coach to protect them from themselves.

My guy Jeff wants to go hard and fast ALL THE TIME. Once he started coaching with me, and saw that going easy some days had its purpose, he was OK with it. He always stuck to the plan and he got the results he wanted.

Check out his profile: http://athletemaker.com/my-athletes/

2013-08-20 10:10 PM
in reply to: KSH

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your thoughts and advice.
2013-08-20 10:49 PM
in reply to: Qua17

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training
Obviously I'm biased, but agree with what other's have said. Get a coach! I think a coach is valuable for every event throughout the year, but especially true for an IM distance race. There's so much time and $ committed to the race, that you'll get the most of out it with a coach pushing you along the way.

Being that your looking for more then endurance training, a good coach should also be able to guide you with weight training routines and the nutritional aspect, so shop around if that's the route you take!

Good luck!


2013-08-21 12:08 AM
in reply to: Qua17


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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training
Your statements indicate you want regular feedback. Many coaching services only allow a minimum (weekly) interactive session and additional time will cost extra. A major "name brand service" charges $100 per hour for this feature. Something to keep in mind.
2013-08-21 5:24 AM
in reply to: #4834287

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training
I am going to go against the grain here and say it sounds like you know yourself pretty well. Find a good plan. There are lots out there. Then focus on following it zone1 means zone1 - so do that workout the best you can. Sometimes staying in zone- is not easy.
2013-08-21 5:42 AM
in reply to: Qua17

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training
You are not unlike many athletes, especially many who sign up for an Ironman race. BTW, have you already signed up for a race?

A couple things to keep in mind:

Any "canned" training program should be treated as a guide, not gospel. The 20-week plan here on BT was written without knowing anything at all about you, your life, your goals, the weather, etc. Now this actually makes your job harder, because you'll think "go harder/longer" because you feel good now.

Fatigue, overuse, and burnout are very common in athletes training for an IM. More people fail to start the race than fail to finish it. You're probably in a better place to finish the race if you've done 90% of the training than if you've done 110%. Adapt your race-day strategy to what you've accomplished in training. If you've missed some long rides, go easy on the bike for example. It's a lot harder to hobble through the "run" with a puffed up knee because you insisted on getting that 20-miler in even though your knee was already shot during that last build phase.

You can think of IM training as a growth opportunity, and you've already identified the area where you need to grow (resisting the "mo better" mantra). Learning this in training will also help you in the race when you feel good early on and think "maybe I can push now..." (don't)

Finally, as you train, always ask yourself "Is this going to help me FINISH the race?" If you're knee is throbbing and it consistently takes 3 days to recover from your long run, you're doing something wrong, and insisting on another long run isn't going to help you finish the race.
2013-08-21 7:25 AM
in reply to: Qua17

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training
Coaches can be great, but you said you cannot afford one, and I am quite certain that you do not NEED one to meet your goals.

Injury prevention is hard, but it is really about forcing yourself to be sensible and paying attention to how things feel. (I'm leaving out the random things that happen to us unforeseen.)

I think that there are (at least) two key points that people often seem to miss:

1. There is a difference between 'this is hard' and 'this hurts'. On your hard days (which should be few and far between when you are prepping for your first IM -- I'm assuming this is your first, though I see you've done some HIMs), it should feel hard, but you do not 'run through the pain' if you feel, for example, like someone is squeezing your quad as hard as they can.

2. Injury is frequently preceded by a small pain or 'twinge' that, if caught early, will not blossom into a full-blown injury. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard people say things like "Well, I've got this nagging pain in my Achilles, but it isn't too bad and it doesn't slow me down. Let's do hill repeats." Uh huh. Why not just yank on it with pliers and be done with it?

Find a decent plan --- any decent plan -- that is geared to whatever is your level of fitness. Follow it. Learn the difference between 'hard' and 'hurts'. Learn to recognize the precursors to injury, and pay attention to them. The rest (yoga, stretching, buttermilk massage, etc.) might be helpful, might not.
2013-08-21 7:56 AM
in reply to: Experior

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training

Great advice given already.

The two points Micheal gave a very key and athlete needs to be aware of those working on their own or working with a coach.

I get it is very big investment of time, energy, focus, and money. You need to be wise about how you spend all your IM resources. For some it is having a coach, others it is researching training plan, but being in tune with your body and mind is key.

There are many coaches that are reasonable in the $100-150/month range with full access to your coach.

Best thing you can do now, is train consistently and focus on another goal or race. Focusing 12 months on 1 race can make it bigger in your head than it needs to be.

Clearly you are respecting the distance and are in for quite an adventure. Have fun!



2013-08-21 8:33 AM
in reply to: KathyG

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training
The journey to IM is all about learning and growing. It's a wonderful journey and can teach you many things about yourself and the limitations your mind/personality impose. Learn from it. You seem pretty self-aware so use that awareness to teach yourself and reach your goal. It sounds like this journey may be able to teach you some self control among other things. As stated above, take a plan and use it as a guide. Learn all you can about endurance fitness both mental and physical and apply that which fits you. Experiment. Learn to let go. Most importantly, learn to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
2013-08-26 5:14 PM
in reply to: La Tortuga

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training
The advice you have all giving me is fantastic! Thank you so much for all of your great points. A coach saw this thread and has offered to help me for a reduced fee - for which I am very thankful. I just need to do what you are all telling me to do - to listen to my body, to follow the plan and make changes were needed.

During my first year doing triathlons my watch words were happy and healthy. I think "less is more" should be my mantra.
2013-08-26 5:35 PM
in reply to: Qua17

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training
Have fun on your journey. You will find that discipline in this sport is key. And "discipline" often means doing exactly what the workout says. Easy means EASY. Recover means RECOVER. And most importantly, rest means REST.

I'm glad you found a coach. This site has a way of bringing people together for the betterment of the sport.
2013-08-26 6:02 PM
in reply to: Billyk

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Subject: RE: Advice on Ironman Training

Originally posted by Billyk Your statements indicate you want regular feedback. Many coaching services only allow a minimum (weekly) interactive session and additional time will cost extra. A major "name brand service" charges $100 per hour for this feature. Something to keep in mind.

Uh, this is an overgeneralization.  There are plenty of coaching services who offer unlimited communication for a very reasonable monthly fee.

 

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