Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Intensity and Frequency

So I'm now into my fourth week of structured training with the coach. We've been gradually building up the hours so that this week will be 15 hours of total training time. I'd say that the time is spread out pretty evenly among swim, bike, and run. But for me, that means a sh!tload of swimming, quite a bit of running, and very little biking.

My coach's training philosophy for Ironman, in a nutshell, is to periodize by first focusing on intensity or "speed" (speed is relative because I am learning I don't have any), which he says is general training, and then move to specific long training as the Ironman approaches. That is very different from what I have done in the past, which was pretty much reverse: i.e., first focus on long, relatively low power, pace, heart rate efforts, followed by race pace and lactate threshold efforts as the Ironman approaches. My coach's intense efforts though, are much more intense than I have ever trained before, such as doing 5K pace and sprint efforts.

Each week has consisted of about 5-6 swims, 5 runs, and 3 bikes. So frequency with respect to swimming and running has been key. The main workouts have consisted of a fartlek run, a long run, two-three main swims, and two days of bike intervals.

The training stimulus so far has been great. I am already swimming faster than I have ever swam before. My running is solid right now. And while my biking legs are not quite there, my power is not bad for this time of the year.

The nice thing about focusing on these intense efforts is that it provides a very much needed incentive to lose weight, and quickly. I definitely feel the extra pounds on the farlek runs. And I am carrying A LOT of extra weight - I put on about 20 lbs from IMWA to the end of my trip in Australia. After having lost some weight over the past few weeks, I'm now at 165....