Faster at Ironman??… Not so fast…

October 19, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Posted in Fitness, Marathon, Sports and Rec, Swimming, tips, triathlon | Leave a comment
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From the Racelab Blog

Racing long distance triathlons “faster” requires not only time, determination, and the right equipment, but also patience, the right nutrition, gathering and analyzing a lot of data…, and a carefully structured and paced training program.

Many talented athletes hit the wall either during races or in their performance because they lack the patience and approach these events like a 10K running race or a boxing match… Besides being a major physical challenge, long distance endurance training and racing are a mostly a management challenge… Effective management requires realistic goals, data gathering, fact finding, structure, plans, knowledge, strategy, and a disciplined and patient execution.

Some cold facts observed and learned:

  • If you are a talented athlete, you will be faster than most untalented athletes… The few that have better race results simply train and race smarter than you.
  • When competing against equally talented individuals, it’s how effective and smart you manage your training, nutrition, and racing what will determine the result. Not how hard you train or race… You can only be faster than the people that are making the same or more training and/or racing mistakes…
  • All-out racing and toughness are to be used very sparingly and only within a carefully developed racing plan. Heroism applied at the wrong time will make your race slower and will give your competition an advantage. – Successful athletes are ready to give it all, but at the right time…NOT before…
  • Increasing training volume and/or intensity too fast or at the wrong time in the training program raises injury potential and will not allow peaking at the desired times.
  • The right amount of resting / recovery is a key element of successful training. Not enough rest will inhibit progress and raise the potential of injury and sickness.
  • To become truly competitive against your peers, successful athletes develop and execute a multi-season plan of carefully developed trial & error experiments… They learn about their bodies, gather, analyze, and correlate data, work on the gaps, learn to train and race smartly, understand strategy, adapt…
  • At the start of a race, the set of external and internal conditions define your maximum performance potential for that day. The way you manage your race pace and food intake will determine whether you will reach that potential…  Or not…
  • Emulating champion triathletes in training and racing seldom helps… The most successful athletes find their own ways working with a coach that helps … The training methodologies that work best for them.
  • Few athletes who have been successful have been self-coached.

As you advance in your fitness and your performance potential, the progress becomes more difficult and the risk of injury rises significantly… Your training requires specificity, patience, and the careful analysis of data, correlating nutrition, intensity, volume, recovery, heart rates, etc., to come up with the ideal protocols and strategies… Training and racing slowly become a complicated management challenge… See chart below…

performance path.jpg



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