Can you complete/compete at the 140.6 distance w/ only 10 hrs of training per week?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Less is more

The "10 Hr Project" is certainly being lived out in this season of life.

After IML I took about a week off from training and then worked back into a rhythm. Training for IMF officially commenced on September 14th. Since then I have averaged 6 hrs and 40 min of training per week.

I have been dialing in on more higher threshold efforts w/ an emphasis on strength/power. The frequency has been 2 to 3 sessions a week regarding organized strength sessions.

Today reflected the 'less is more' methodology for sure. Below is a quick breakdown of how this day broke down:

  • 3 x 10 min efforts at a norm power of 310 watts and an ave HR of 140
  • Between each 10 min block the following strength regimen was employed:
Slide Board...60 reps
Walking Lunges w/ 20 to 30 lbs...32 reps
Push ups w/ 10 to 15 lbs row...12 reps
Deep Squats w/ 20 to 30 lbs...15 to 20 reps
Dynamic Forearm plank...1 to 2 min
  • 3.50 miles at tempo/threshold pace; 6:37 ave pace...146 ave HR...
What I love about this approach to training is that it leaves you wanting MUCH more when it is all said and done.

Sensing momentum building. Will be dialing in on a 15-17 miler at 7 to 6:50 pace and a 2 HR IMF race simulation ride before Take Flight this weekend w/ another strength session similar to the session noted above.

My only concern at this point is fine tuning my 'shark fighting' skills per my encounter in 2007 w/ SonniD at my side... ;)

Stay strong and stay focused...Coach L

Friday, September 25, 2009


Funny how life can come at you from so many angles at one time. I did not envision selling our house and moving to another house on the radar screen (within a 2-3 week window). Throw trying to add another 'little one' to the Leo Team and you have some interesting weeks/months leading into IMF prep.

The "10 HR Project" fits well here and I am elated to report that progress is being made towards IMF. Today the goal was to hit 13 miles on a rolling course (1.35 mile loop and finishing the last 4 on a more rolling loop) in Highland Creek and fine tune my approach to the aid stations; run hard and fast through em'. This kid is going to IMF with one thing in mind; go as fast as possible.

Here is the hard data:

6:57 (mile split) / 135 (average HR)
6:46 / 144
6:52 / 151
6:58 / 154
7:03 / 154
6:57 / 156
7:01 / 158
6:58 / 160
7:13 / 159
6:58 / 163
6:50 / 160
7:10 / 168
6:59 / 172
4:35 / 175 (.66 m)...13.69 miles

Glad I bailed out last week per the ITB 'sensations' I was feeling. Love how the body adapts and grows stronger when you give it time to do so.

So...all is good in the hood. Hoping to hit 2 hrs on the Tacx Flow (my CT is still broken and I have not had time to return it) at 230 to 250 watts. The goal here is to see how the legs and HR hold up to race simulation power output.

Have a great weekend all! Coach L

Several months ago I made it very clear what my goals were for IML. I will do the same here for IMF:

Swim - 50 to 55
Bike - 4:50 to 4:55
Run - 3:10 to 3:30

I love goals and see them as essential. So...the plan is to earn a spot for Kona in 2010 via the "Ironman in 10" training methods.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Game On!"

It is official...I have registered for IMF 2009!

Opted to pull out of the 13 miler I had planned for this weekend and hit 8 instead. The body began to throw signals that made me re-evaluate the original plan. The new biomechanics I have adopted will force the quads, glutes, and other stabilizers to work more synergistically.

Feeling confident that another 3 or so weeks of consistent and progressive loading will set things up well for IMF.

Excited about the opportunity come November and looking FWD to seeing how things will unfold.

Stay tuned friends....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Decision Time nearing; IMF 2009

It appears that the "IM in 10" Project will continue into November of this year w/ IMF.

Everything is pointing in that direction, which is exciting indeed.

Tomorrow I plan on exposing the legs/calves to a 13 miler at an intensity that will be higher then IML training. The goal is to work in the 6:30 to 7:00/mile range for this run. Two things have allowed this faster pacing; cooler temps and the 'booster shot' I received from IML. I will also be working on a far more aggressive aid station approach. I look FWD to seeing how my gut will respond to running at IMF goal race pace through my 'aid stations loop'; 1 to 2 mile loop w/ a mock aid station stocked w/ Gatorade Endurance.

What I love about this 10 Hr Project is how it can really be modified to add 'icing to the cake' post an Ironman. In other words, post hitting IML I have been able to evaluate the weak links that were present and address them appropriately as November draws closer.

Case in point: I need to have greater sustainable power in the legs. My default is a high cadence of 95 to 100 in training/racing. In the weeks ahead I will be exposing the legs and systems to low cadence work to prep them for the course specificity seen at IMF; FLAT.

Below is how I will be building sustainable power at varying RPM and wattage ranges:

This workout wears on ya from a muscular endurance stand point and not from a central perspective (in my case). I love how the quads begin to ache and the fatigue increases through each 5 min progression. I also like dialing in on controlling HR response despite high wattage numbers. Much can be taken from this workout.

Oh, and then post this Tacx Flow ergo load I ran a 2 miler on the treadmill. Easy 7:30 pace was held w/ my Lunar Trainers, which I absolutely love!

Looking FWD to seeing what the Lord has in store for me tomorrow.

Power on friends and have a stellar weekend!
Coach L

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ironman Florida 2009?

Today proved to be the kind of day that left me thinking that IMF is doable for 2009.

At this stage of the game the goals are:
(1) Determine if the calf can take the loading that I intend to put on it at IMF
(2) To create the next progression toward sharpening the blade for IMF

There are 8 weeks before IMF and I am planning on upping the ante on the intensity aspect of things. Below is a summation of how this AM looked per the "IM in 10 Project" mindset/methodology.

This morning I prepped the legs w/ a a high intensity effort on the Tacx Flow that progressively built to 400 watts in the last 5 min segment. The game plan will be to widen these to up to 20 min at Functional Threshold Power (FTP). To further strengthen and stress the legs I jumped off the bike and hit 5 specific strength exercises w/ no rest:

2 sets
(1) Slider board x 40 reps
(2) Deep Squats w/ shoulder press; 20 lbs x 12-15
(3) Dumbbell row push ups; 10 lbs x 10
(4) Alternating leg lunges on instability pad; 20 lbs x 20
(5) Stability ball back extension w/ "T"s; 3 lbs x 12-15

The fun really began later this afternoon w/ the 10 miler. Very happy to report that the calf held up very well to a 6:36 average pace for this run. The game plan is to run long tempo efforts for IMF. I ran this run at tempo pace and hope to work up to 15-17 miles at this pace. For IML I was not holding close to this pace so I am seeing the positive adaptations from Aug 30, 2009.

Hoping to hit another longer run effort off an IMF race simulation (1:00 to 1:30 at 220-250 watts) in the next 4 to 5 days to further determine if IMF will be a go or not. $1,800 is not pocket change and I do not want to drag my beautiful wife and mini-L to FL for a calf induced walk fest.

Have an outstanding day folks!

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Is the "10 Hr Project" for me?"

Since IML I have been asked by several athletes if this approach to training would work for them.

Without going into great detail here I will use my dear wife as an example. I think after reading this post you will have a better feel for how this training method/approach could fit many athletes. Luke would say, "...lets do this/it...!"

Anne posted an outstanding time for her first go at the Ironman distance. I could not be any prouder of her effort/showing! Below is a quick overview worth posting. I hope this encourages those who are new to this blog and to the veterans:
  • Ran marathons prior to marrying me...
  • Had major knee surgery in 2003-2004; micro-fracture surgery (told she would never run more then a 5K)...God is good...all the time...
  • Training commences for her first super sprint (UNC Wellness - 2008)
  • Takes down White Lake 1/2, Duke 1/2 (2008), and Florida 70.3 (2009)
  • Signed up for IML in 2008 and began training in November
  • Trained for IML following my "10 Hr Project" mindset/methods
I will provide more detail as requested. I firmly believe that this approach will serve the first time IM athlete w/ limited time and for the athlete seeking Kona qualification.

In upcoming posts I will go into more detail on what you will need to have to take this method on. I firmly believe the key to succeeding via the "10 Hr Project" is developing/training your mental capacities. It takes great fortitude to ride hard and strong in one place for 2 to 4 hrs.

Stay tuned friends...and feel free to ask/post questions...

(Side Note: I will be inserting emails I am receiving from athletes in future posts that may help answer Qs that are most common)

Friday, September 4, 2009

IML 2009 - Race Report

Well, I am elated to report that I was able to answer the question posed from the creation of this blog. Is it possible to complete/compete at the IM distance w/ only 10 hrs of training per week?

The training period for IML was 12 weeks. The focus was 10 hrs of training per week. Those who have followed this blog from its creation know the following, but here is a quick summary:

(1) All bike training done on the CompuTrainer Interactive Real Course videos; IML.
- the only outdoor riding I did was to warm the legs for my two long runs; 7 miles each.

(2) Run training was threshold specific and done outdoors on the Highland Creek Parkway solely. I utilized a 1 to 1.35 mile loop to mimic/serve as aid stations.

(3) A heavy percentage of the swimming was done via a tether system.

Per the breakdown of Hrs:Min and distances covered within this 12 week block:

It came down to being 8 hrs and 39 min of training per week on average.

The objective data above leaves me very encouraged and I certainly hope others will see the potential in such an approach.

Below is a graphical summation of the bike leg from IML:

The goal on race day was to ride well below my Lactate Balance Point (LBP) per the test I conducted on myself on the Day 50 posting (Sunday, July 12). Moreover, the goal was to target a wattage range of 200 to 230 watts (per the trends I saw in training - see below).

Average watts ended up being 223 at an HR average of 150 bpm on race day.

Okay...that covers the objective side of things. The hard facts, the nitty gritty.


The goal was to hold a steady and controlled pace throughout. No surging, no aggressive segments, just steady. To make sure I was not digging into the reserves that would be needed later on I employed bi-lateral and breathing every 5 strokes sporadically throughout. Felt good in the mighty Ohio and swam it conservatively. Totally stoked w/ a sub hr swim having spent most of my time using the tether system and per the laid back approach to this first leg.

The Rocket Science Sports skin suit was awesome. Highly recommend this product and thank Cody ( again for helping me land this suit! Thanks bro.

Mad props to CompuTrainer (CT) and the Interactive Real Course (IRC) videos that they have put together. As you all know by now my bike training was done solely in my garage and on the CT. I used the IRC for all of this training. The longest ride for IML was 4 hrs and 12 min (82.16 miles). I took the first loop conservatively and then began to work it in the last 30 to 40 miles. The ultra cool thing I need to report here folks is that my legs never felt fatigued. I firmly believe that the harder then normal efforts on the CT conditioned the legs well. Riding harder (per watts and HR) then I would at the IM distance made the difference here. In past IM events I would want to get off the bike at the 75-95 mile range. At IML that never showed up on the radar screen.

Got wrongly pegged for 'crossing the double yellow' by the refree. Not cool. Did my time in the penalty tent at around the 85 mile mark. Amazing how cool God was in this non-optimal moment. The Lord led me to shine instead of pout like a baby w/ wet pants and the folks at the tent appreciated that. In no time I was off and making up for lost time. Thank you Jesus!

Was hoping to hit closer to 5 hrs, but the first 60 miles were taken too conservatively to hit that for this 112. Came off ready to run hard and fast. Seriously felt like I had rode 50 miles. Buy a CT, buy the IRV relevant to your next IM (make sure they have released it), and train hard and smart w/ it!

This is where the day came to a quick end from the standpoint of earning the Kona spot. Came off the old Trek feeling like a 16 yr old. Shooting straight felt easy to hold 7 to 7:30s. No heavy/labored breathing. Felt bouncy and light on the feet. Then wammo....the R calf decided to show up. My good friend Mike Danenberg ( worked hard to eliminate this issue in the 2 weeks leading into IML, but the adhesions were not fully eliminated and the biomechanical adjustments were not 'burned into' the noggan. So, post 3 miles I was forced to stretch the calve. Every mile the calf would tighten up to a point that made running difficult/very challenging. It was very frustrating to see the Garmin go from low 7s to high 8s through this segment of the day.

What I found amazing about this 'negative' turn of events was how the Lord stepped in. I clearly remember praying at mile 3..."....Lord Jesus, I turn this day over to you and may your will for this day prevail...". Not sure of the exact words, but it went something like that. Bottom line, from that very moment I had absolute peace about the outcome. I wasn't happy w/ His will for the day (just being honest), but I had a sense of peace/joy/thankfullness that is hard to put words to.

So, the 3:15 goal quickly faded to..."...just keep moving...". I am so stinking hungry to hit another IM I could spit. I felt more then prepared for this IM and I am left w/ the intense desire to get back into the game...soon. It is hard to beat the challenge that an IM presents.

Overall, I am grateful that I had the opportunity to move for 10 hours. What an awesome gift it is to hurt, to work a hill, and to stress the heart and lungs. Thank you Jesus for all your blessings.

Hey,....did anyone notice how cool God is? All of the stops to stretch, pee on myself (bike and run), and every aspect of the day was orchestrated perfectly for me to break tape in 10 hrs and 10 min. He is too much and certainly has a sense of humor. The "10 Hr Project" produced a 10:10 day. Not a coincidence, not luck, but His will for the day.

So...what is next?

Well, honestly, I am praying about it. I'd love to do IMF via a Charity/Community Slot, but not sure if that fits for this season/chapter of life. A part of me is getting pulled to the beaches of Panama City in a big way...despite my 'shark scare' w/ my good man SonniD in 2008. I see this as a great place to truly test the "10 Hr Project". If the Lord permits I would like to shoot for a 9 hr finish at IMF.

In the meantime, I am focusing on absorbing IML and eliminating this calf issue.

Many thanks to all of you who have followed this project for the last 12 weeks. I plan to keep this blog thing alive and well. Stay tuned. Special thanks to my dear wife for the support along the way. Still can't get over how awesome her day went. SO grateful it went so well. You go Annie! Way to rock it out in your first IM showing; 12:08!

Props also to Meredith D, Bruce R, Julia B, Jim R, Crystal R, John B, Brad W, Ken B, Owen C, etc. Sorry if I forgot a name...

Train smart and consider all the options...Coach L

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Iron Babe

Annie is the first to take on the "IM in 10" project. Couldn't be more proud of her. She did only one 1oo mile ride (outdoors at Duke 1/2 course) and the rest was indoors. I designed her plan around balancing life w/ training. She did not want to make IM training all consuming; no life but training. She also wanted to be Mommy to Luke and a rockstar wife to me. She excelled at both.

Despite swallowing a solid percentage of the crystal clean Ohio River she was still able to work through the bike. Six hours of intense stomach cramps took her a bit off her game.

Still in awe of how she was told that running was no longer going to be a part of her life and then she breaks tape last Sunday. "Go God!"

Below is her finish. Not NBC Sports quality...but the Flip Video worked. Priceless footage. Oh, the 'screamers' are my dear Aunt Ellen, Uncle Bill, and me. Dang was that music loud ;). Had to throw a Studio7 water bottle at her to get her attention...

Fun clip of the best place to eat in Louisville (for breakfast):

Race report to follow...Coach L