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

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


  1. Great job, Coach! Excellent race report.

  2. Thanks so much the 'code name' my friend! Hope you are feeling strong and ready to do battle 'out west'! Game on on!

  3. Proud to call you coach and friend. Praise God for his goodness and the opportunity for you and Anne. Ironpeople.

  4. I am proud of you both but am amazed by Anne. Lance, you are supposed to do well but she had to train and take care of two kids :) She rocks! I still plan on trying the Patriot Half next weekend on my "Zero hr/wk" training plan! I can always get the knee replaced later right.