Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How Many Hours Per Week Do You Need to Complete an IRONMAN?

How Many Hours Per Week Do You Need for an IRONMAN? has been asked millions of times and I've contributed to the asking.  My answer:  I don't know.  I registered for IMWI, then figured out not how many hours are needed, but how many can I put in.  I figured I will have to make it work on what I can do, not what others say are needed.  If you're going for sub 10 hours, trying to qualify for Kona, then you would probably have to make a plan that will get you there.  Not for me.  When I planned out my training for the year, I had it building up slowly, trying to do one multisport race per month, staring in May, each one longer than that last and I sprinkled in several running races as well--in my thinking, I figured that running is the last leg of the race and even if I have to walk some of it, which I plan on, my legs need to be ready for it.  Here's the multi's I've raced, each one longer than the last (except for Tri-Star):
  • May: Falls Du (3 mile run, 14 mile bike, 3 mile run)
  • June: Rocheterfest Olympic Distance Tri (.9 m swim, 24.8 m bike, 6.1 m run)
  • July: Chisago Lakes Half Iron Distance Tri (1.2 m swim, 56 m bike, 13.1 m run--ok, 12.9 mile run)
  • August (registered): this is a taper race- Tri-Star 111 MN (1.0 kilometer swim, 100 k bike, 10 k run)
Then Ironman Wisconsin on September 11.

I set up my training periods for the year in 4 week blocks progressively building up thru the season. These were 3 week work/training periods, followed by 1 week of recovery with reduced hours and reduced intensity. My hours peak during the weeks of August 1 thru 7, and August 8 thru 14. Both weeks are schedule at 13.75 hours of training. Many people say that you "gotta do at least 15 hour a week" for Ironman. Is that an average? If that was average, then you'd have some weeks up near 20 hours because of the reduced training for a recovery weeks. I thought, with building up to 13.75 hours I'll probably average 10 hours per week. Sounds right...right? Well, I just took a look at my training thus far, added what I plan for the rest of this week and I'll have 281 hours and some change in by end of day Sunday. Divided by 31 weeks of training so far this year (Jan 3 thru Aug 7) and that gives me an average of roughly 9 hours per week average. I'm going to finish IMWI on that?  Yes. I. Am..

Joe (Moyer) told me the other day that there's this guy (named in the second link below) who actually trains 10 or less hour per week and goes sub-10 hours at IM distance races.  WHAT?!?! 

I did some searching and found a lot of information on this topic.  Ther's a good one that provide some frame work for IM training which focuses on eliminating junk-miles from your training and only doing workouts that will benefit you.  Obvious, right? You gotta read it.  They say no easy training, but by that they mean no junk miles just to put time in for the sake of putting time in.   I think that upper end endurance/tempo level counts as NOT being easy.  They don't mean you go ALL OUT every time. You wouldn't survive.  Anyway, take a look: 10 hour IM in 10 Hrs Per Week

Here's the link that Joe told me about. Quite a conversation:  Training For IM 10 hours per Week

1 comment:

Brian said...

You will finish and you will surprise yourself with your time. Your history shows you compete at a very high level on 'minimal' mileage.