So it starts – Ironman Season Training Day #1

PB&J before our ride this weekend

Have you ever heard that saying “Today is first day of the rest of your life”? Today started my Ironman Journey #2 and I was excited last night to get started. No more excuses, no more waiting, today was the day the plan actually started. Of course I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep last night, but I got up anyway and got on my trainer for an hour of high intensity cycling in order to document my Lactate Threshold Heart Rate and Power Zone.

Today, I had to take two Lactate Threshold tests. The LT test determines at what heart rate and power wattage that you blood delivers oxygen to your muscles most efficiently. The scientific definition is the maximum steady state effort that can be maintained without lactate continually increasing. Lactate builds up not allowing oxygen to be utilized. Stay within the LT and the body will be able to keep working efficiently which turns into long amounts of time at that heart rate.

The greatest thing about knowing your Lactate Threshold is that you can train to make it even more efficient. A higher threshold means the body can keep going at higher intensity which turns into speed in the case of triathlon. The caveat is that in order to increase the LT, it has to be done slowly. More workouts above the LT will increase it, but the more the body and muscles are working above it, the shorter the duration until the muscles learn to work with less oxygen making them work a lot more efficiently. This is why the trends have been hit the gym hard, and the endurance will come.

I have a buddy Blayne, whom decided to make the move to CrossFit which is the epitome of high intensity training. I have done a couple of these workouts in the off-season and the actual work in class may only be 20 minutes, but the participants are wrecked afterwards. Let me get back to Blayne. He started taking part in CrossFit religiously, and trained very little for the Rev3 70.3 and completed it with no problem and did really well. The story doesn’t stop there. He entered a 50 mile road race a few weeks later without running more than 9 miles and he completed it and I saw him two days later as he was entering the coffee shop from another CrossFit class and he looked fine. (Maybe I should put the disclaimer that says “results not typical”?) Did I mention the guy is in his 40s?

More and more I have read about triathletes either taking up CrossFit, High Intensity Training(HIT), or supplementing their training with either. It makes sense. A couple of times a week, a short circuit sets of heavy weight(with good form) and the body works higher than it’s LT training the muscles to work with less oxygen. If the body continues to train this way, it makes sense the muscles adapt to utilizing a lower amount of oxygen. When the intensity is lowered, the heart rate reduces allowing more oxygenated blood to the muscles which actually increases the aerobic capacity or VO2. Increased VO2 allows the body to work harder at a longer rate.

Whew! Enough science. My first week looks like this:

I look at it now and it looks daunting. doesn’t it?  This is the base phase of the plan, it gets busier and more intense as we get to the build and peak phases.  I think I am in for a lot of fun this season.  Speaking of season, my race schedule is posted on the right side pane of the page.
Yeah.  Over there 
 
 
FYI – I promise you I am not going to be blogging everyday about my workout that will just get boring, but when I have an epiphone or a breakthrough, that is when the post will be out.  Of course I plan on conitnuing with any race reports, product reviews, cool new recipies and tributes to the those inspirational people I find so…well…inspirational.
Have a great week.
Carpe Viam!  Carpe Momentum!

(the IronGoof) is a certified running coach, triathlon coach, personal trainer and sports nutrition coach who's real passion is to help others enjoy the journey on the way to conquering their goals. He has written many articles and guest posts on the technical, nutritional and psychological aspects of endurance training. He currently lives and trains in Tampa, Florida.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “So it starts – Ironman Season Training Day #1

  1. You have a great race schedule this year! I actually bought a month of unlimited at Crossfit and start in a week or two. I’m excited, but a little scared at the same time 🙂

    • I am contemplating adding it in myself Beka, the only issue I am having is that every place I have looked into is REALLY expensive. There are sites with the WOD(workout of the day) on them. I may just do those at the gym. LAF has most of the equipment. Have fun!