As mentioned in my previous post that I have been looking to find a plan / programme / method of training that suit me and my busy work / life schedule.
As mentioned previously during the last two previous IMUK’s I have followed two different plans with varying success. In the build up to IMUK 2012 I followed my own plan which was based loosely on the article 13 Weeks to a 13-Hour Ironman which held me in good stead allowing me to complete my first Ironman Triathlon in a little under 14 hours.
In the build up to IMUK 2013 I wanted a lot more structure to my training sessions. Rather than going for a ‘2 bike in Zone 2’ I wanted to undertake a ‘2 hours Crisscross Threshold Bike’ which would include:
– W/up to Zone 4
– Build to Zone 5a within 2 mins
– Back off to Zone 4 within 2 mins
– Continue pattern
– Low cadence
– Flat Course
The above session was just one of many that I meticulously planned to undertake after reading The Triathlon Bible. However, what I did find by using this method was that I was constantly in the state of being de-motivated due to the structure of the sessions which I would feel disappointed with myself if I didn’t complete the sessions ‘to the letter’ in the time allocated on the particular day. I finished up abandoning the training plan about 8-10 weeks out from the Ironman and reverted back to the previous years methodology. I completed the IMUK 2013 also in a little under 14 hours, however I had the overwhelming feeling that I had under preformed due to my under preparation for the event.
Ironman UK 2014
For this season (building up to IMUK 2014 I am looking at making a number of changes. The first is to post updates to this site on regular occasions. I am doing this as I find that writing down my experiences, feelings and thoughs helps me to review my current progress and take action if something needs to change. I have done this throughput my sporting career and have primarily decided to upload my posts so I can find them on the go. If I want to find where I read up on healthy snacks for surfers I can go here. If anyone else finds the posts and the site in general useful posting comments and questions that is all the better by me.
The second action that I have been undertaking is the find a training plan that both motivates me to achieve the success I am looking for at IMUK 2014 whilst remaining flexible enough to allow me to work it around my busy work and social life. Anyway who has ready any of my previous posts will know that my usual way of undertaking such tasks is to enlist the help of google.
Upon geveral search for ironman triathlon plans I have found numerous training plans claiming to be for all abilities with cheesy videos of coaches endorseing their products. Most of these link you to trainingpeaks which lists hundreds upon hundreds of different plans ranging from $97 to $197 (£59 to £120) which in the scheme of how much I am willing to pay for a bike is not much at all. I left the search feeling over whelmed and which create more confused than ever.
I decided to take a different approach and googled for more specific training plans that involved minimalist, time constraint plans which are much more like what I am after. I came across a site called www.bengreenfieldfitness.com who is one of the top amateur triathletes in the world.
The Triathlon Dominator jumped out at me immediately due to the claim that you get everything that you need to suceed with time flexibility and only 8-12 weekly training hours. The plan is based upon 7 principles which I have copied below from their site:
Principle 1 – “HIT Training”: allowing you to simulate the endurance enhancing effect of a 3-4 hour training session with as little as 30-40 minutes
Principle 2 – “Periodization”: Periodization is the practice of splitting a training and an eating year (or in this case, a 9 month period of time) into specific blocks of training and eating, each with a specific purpose. The principle of Periodization means that your plan includes precise instructions for swim form drills, cycling skill workouts, running drills, how to calculate your heart rate zones…
Principle 3 – “Strategic Rest & Test”: Most training programs adhere to the ho-hum concept of simply laying off and resting every 4th week. Instead of utilizing this rigid method during your 9 months of training for Ironman, you’ll never go more than just a few weeks without getting to recover, re-test and discover exactly how quickly your body is transforming to dominate Ironman.
[This is much like the method used by Sami Inkinen in my previous post.]
Principle 4 – “Racing”: The fastest path to both physical and mental domination in Ironman triathlon is to race and compete in triathlons during your build-up to the big day.
Principle 5 – “No Guesswork”: You can’t afford to waste any time this is key for me as I spent most of my preparation for IMUK 2013 this year in this state instead of getting myself out there and training.
Principle 6 – “Holistic Fueling”: the solution involves focusing on promoting rapid recovery, fighting inflammation, reducing potential toxins, and powering the immune system.
Principle 7 – “Time Flexibility”: Let’s face it – life happens. A good plan should be incredibly flexible and can be re-arranged without disrupting the overall effectiveness of the program.
[As mentioned above the in-flexibility of my programme last year led to constant feeling of failure and de-motivation]
This without a shadow of a doubt ticks all of the boxes for me and would be my plan of choice for 2014 (it will be for 2015 if I re-enter). However, this plan is based upon a 9 month (or 36 weeks) training duration and as I have only 7 months or so to the IMUK 2014 I don’t feel that I would want to start the programme such a long time into it. I appeciate that the periodisation allows the ability to jump it at any point but it just doesn’f feel right to me to do so.
This leads me onto the next option, Tri-Ripped. This programme is based around training for a triathlon without getting the “skinny-fat” look stating that “You can swim, bike and run fast – and still have an amazing body”. Again much like the Triathlon Dominator there are 5 steps to get you there:
1. LIFT RIGHT: a style of lifting that is neglected among endurance athletes, but a long-kept tradition of the bodybuilding industry: “hypertrophy” style training. With hypertrophy training, you can add and define lean muscle very quickly choosing full body, functional exercises while scattering in just enough explosive and heavy weightlifting to keep your muscles extremely functional and fast.
2. EAT RIGHT: if you’re trying to be fast at triathlon and also have an amazing body, you should eat a diet comprised of a high amount of healthy fats, add in moderate helpings of natural protein to keep amino acids elevated for your muscles and brain, and top it off with strategically timed carbohydrate doses when they really matter, such as before or after your exercise sessions.
3. TRAIN RIGHT: Long, slow aerobic training completely nullify any attempts to add lean muscle or get a nice, defined body, but it also depletes hormones, causes overtraining syndrome, and takes away precious time from family, career and other hobbies. Instead, for the triathlete who wants to avoid the skinny-fat look and get an amazing, muscular body, the training plan should incorporate strategically targeted high-intensity bursts of energy, a moderate amount of slightly longer “tempo” work, and finally, a low amount of long aerobic training strategically saving long rides, runs or swims for times when they are completely necessary and crucial to the program.
4. SUPPLEMENT RIGHT: Extra help comes in the form of completely legal sports nutrition supplementation like digestive enzymes, fish oil, vitamin D, greens supplements, magnesium and Chinese adaptogenic herbs. If you are pushing your body beyond it’s natural tendencies, then even in a situation where your diet is perfect, supplementation is a must if you want to be fast and also have an amazing body.
5. LIVE RIGHT: These are just a few of the little lifestyle tweaks that you can make, but they’re incredibly important if you want to add muscle and athleticism while getting the body of your dreams and still being fast for triathlon.
Tri-Ripped is an 8 month programme which aligns very well with the timescales that I have to train for the IMUK 2014. I do not feel the same uncomfortable feeling that I got when thinking about starting the Triathlon Dominator part way through as Tri-Ripped is as much a lifestyle change as much as anything else. (Plus I am going to Las Vegas with the boys later in the year so a nice body will do me nicely around the pool at the MGM Grand!)
Both the Tri-Ripped and Triathlon Dominator are price at $97 (£59) for the digital version and $197 (£120) for the Hard Copy. As mentioned above I think that most of these are pretty reasonable given the amount of money that I am willing to spend on a new bike.
In conclusion, as I mentioned before if I had found the Triathlon Dominator plan a month ago that would have been the option that I personally would have gone for. However, due to the constraint of time until my Ironman event I have opted to purchase the Tri-Ripped Digital Package . I have gone for the digital package as that is my preferred way of working in every day life (hence using this site instead of a journal). However, if you prefer there is a Hard Copy version which include trainging logs etc.
I will be following the Tri-Ripped Package from now until the IMUK 2014 on the 20th July 2013. I’ll keep posting updates on my progress and providing feedback on my progress to knocking a bucket load of time off my previous Ironman PB.
All the best