Ironman Winter Training
Winter is fast approaching and especially here over in the UK we have been promised one of the coldest winters in recent times. I have been pondering of the best way of dealing with this weather as I really want to pick up my ironman winter training during the months of January and February which have been the coldest the last few years.
Time for my usual google search in which I found quite a few interesting sites and articles around what training to do over the winter months and what to consider when planning your types of training to undertake. The initial site that I found A Simple Winter Training Plan from coach cox who has built a general plan with the aim of keeping consistency in all three sports putting a bias towards running to improve your running and at least maintaining bike fitness. I recommend checking out the article as a plan can be tailored to work indoors if the weather is as bad as promised it will be over the winter months.
Another article titled Winter Training for Ironman on mrsmiths.co.nz starts by saying that “If you try to rush it and do too much too soon then chances are you’ll be injured, burned out, or past your best by the time you get to Ironman. So relax for now, keep training, but don’t over do it now.
5–10 hours total per week is plenty of training for now”. Working on technique for your Swim, plenty of hills on the Bike and making sure you don’t overdo the running and risk injury.
Ironman.com’s 5 Ways to Maximize Your Winter Training says “it’s essential to include an offseason to reestablish a strong aerobic base” whilst ensuring that you devote time to rest and recovery. The five ways are listed as:
- Assess the past season: Was it successful? If yes, it would appear you already have a great routine in place. Otherwise, things may need changing. This could include bike setup, training shoes and race nutrition, eating habits and overall training philosophy. Take time to honestly evaluate all factors.
- Address any injuries: Barring a bike crash or other accident, knee pain, fatigue and depression are examples of physical, chemical and mental injuries. The causes of these problems should be found and corrected, which may require help from a professional.
- Develop an endurance-based training plan: About 98 percent of the energy needs for triathlons come from the aerobic system, so re-establishing an aerobic base once (or twice) each year is vital. An important training “partner” and valuable asset for developing an aerobic base is a heart rate monitor.
- Perform an endurance evaluation: You can ensure your endurance development is really taking place by performing ongoing, objective evaluations of your improvement. For example, if you established that your max aerobic training heart rate is 146, and you can run 8:00 minutes per mile at this rate, developing a better aerobic base should result in running at 7:30 pace at the same heart rate. Learn more about MAF Testing from Phil Maffetone here.
- Strength train right: Triathletes can improve both bone and muscle strength with simple, short and non-stressful workouts. Correctly done, using higher weight and lower (5–7 reps) these should not impair endurance. Instead of isolating muscles, use whole body actions such as dead lifts and squats for more extensive strength gains.
The article finishes by stating that “Effective implementation and measurable results should be expected by midwinter and planning a spring-summer training and racing season will then be more tangible. With significant endurance and a balanced body, expect a great performance in your first race.”