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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

IMF 2010 - Training Summary

The taper is in full swing and I am now left wondering how the day will unfold on November 6. As I look back at the past 12 weeks I must admit it was not the ideal Ironman prep. The knee surgeries of 2010 and the somewhat irregular sleeping patterns of my 3 month old and almost 4 year old made this training period challening to say the least.

I can't help but compare my trainining from IML 2009 vs. IMF 2010.

IML 2009 Averages per Week
Swim 40 min / 1,175 yds
Bike 5:25 hrs / 120 miles
Run 2:04 / 16.9 miles
Weekly Hours 7:54

IMF 2010 Averages per Week
Swim 40 min / 1,650 yds
Bike 3:30 hrs / 106 miles
Run 2:02 / 17.8 miles
Weekly Hours 7:35*
*excluding 2 weeks of little to no training per knee surgery

Below you will see the allocation of time per each discipline from July 26 to present (excluding taper phase):

The one thing I look forward to analyzing both during and post IMF is how the strength training helped 'fill the gap' for the 2 hr difference on the bike. IML reflected an average bike time per week of 5 hrs and 25 min vs. 3 hrs and 30 min for IMF.

I have never felt stronger for an Ironman and certainly feel the 'mental reserves' have not been tapped. Its amazing how important those reserves are for this distance.

The challenge of the Iron distance awaits and I am eager to test the "IM in 10" methods once again.

Stay tuned friends,
Coach Lance

Monday, October 18, 2010

18 x 1 and props

With only 3 weeks out from IMF I wanted to make sure to hit one last "long run". Given the knee surgeries (February and August) of this year my running has not been built as I would have liked. To make up for this I have made sure to dial in on the strength training and I think I am seeing the fruits of my times with Bill Scibetta (

This past Sunday I did the unthinkable and ran 18 times around a relatively flat 1/2 mile section of Highland Creek (see below).

The logic here was to run on a surface as similar to IMF as I could and fuel each mile with PowerBar PERFORM. I have not felt so good on a run as I did this cool Sunday morning!

The goal was to mirror goal pacing for IMF (7 to 7:30 min/mile), but I was unable to pull back. I know most of you reading this have had a similar experience. Some call it the 'runners high' and others call it the 'flow state'. I was there. It ended up being a 6:40 min/mile average day. It was truly a spiritual moment for me. I know the motorists thought I was a whack job, but I couldn't resist lifting my hands to the heavens when my 310XT audibly notified me of the 18 miles. The Lord was all over this run and I praise Him! I am in awe of how He has healed my knees in 2010!

So, excitement is building toward November 6. I know anything can happen at an IM, but I am optimistic about how things could turn out.

Switching gears for a moment. It would not be right if I did not give props to my dear wife Anne! I couldn't be prouder of her efforts. Last Sunday she toed the line at Take Flight (3 months post the birth of Grace Kells Leo) and had a great race. What amazed me most about her performance was how close she was to her time of 2009. She was 3 min slower on the run, but pretty spot on in the other two!

I am most proud of how she is more then able to excel as an exceptional Mama/Mommy and wife to Team Leo. She simply does not miss a beat. In my opinion, she is the perfect example of how one can shine as an excellent mother/wife and triathlete. Thanks Annie for your hard work 'on and off the field'.

Train smart friends,
Coach L

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LBP and IMF 2010

I could not be happier with the Lactate Balance Point (LBP) test that I conducted on myself this morning!

Those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning know that I am a big fan of the LBP. I came to believe in the LBP when I simply became uneasy with applying absolute lactate values to all athletes; 2, 3, and 4 mmols of lactate. As I studied the logic/science behind the LBP I quickly adopted it as my go to test for setting training zones for myself and my athletes.

In a nutshell, the LBP is the point at which the body becomes more reliant/dependant on the 'short term'/exhaustable energy substrates; blood glucose and liver/muscle glycogen. Moreover, the LBP identifies the upper limit at which your body is able to metabolize lactate. Efforts that exist just above the LBP will eventually leave an athlete unable to maintain their power output or pace.

So, lets take some real world data and bring this all together. Last week I took part in an oustanding race that came to be per the tragic loss of a little boy by the name of Garrett Campbell (; Take Flight Triathlon. I'd strongly encourage you to take part and support this event in the years to come!

At this event I averaged 364 watts on the 10 mile bike course. This equates to a Functional Threhsold Power (FTP) of 346 watts (364 x .95). Making this relevant to IMF 2010 one can multiply the FTP by .7 to .76 to get a wattage range of 242 to 262.

This is where the numbers from this morning come in. I do not want overwhelm this post with numbers so I narrowed the focus to the 220 to 280 wattage range:

The take home point from todays test is this: At IMF if I opt to roll at the low end of my IM wattage range (242 watts) I will likely be ~30 bpm BELOW my LBP of 160 bpm. For the record, I plan on riding conservatively at IMF and will likely open up at 220 watts for the first 15 miles to assess the signals the body is presenting me.

In the perfect racing world there would be NO head winds, ideal temperatures, a compliant stomach, etc. The unpredictable nature of racing will certainly force me to evaluate both HR and watts constantly at IMF. One must not get so dialed in on holding a specific wattage that they ignore an upward drifting HR response.

I am now even more excited about IMF then I was on Monday. I know lab testing has its limitations, but it is nice to see a HR response of 134 and 144 bpm at the low and high end of my IM wattage ranges. I look forward to using my newly tested LBP HR at IMF in November!

To further strengthen the validity of this test and the results noted above I plan on doing a LBP Validation Test. This test will hone in on maintaining a HR that is 10 bpm below LBP, at LBP, and 1o bpm above LBP. I plan on doing this test next week.

Stay tuned friends and train smart,
Coach Lance

Friday, October 8, 2010

What is your weekly average?

At this point I have been hitting on average 7 hrs and 12 min of training per week. Training for IMF officially commenced on July 26, 2010. Two key events have taken place just before and after this date:

(1) Grace Kells Leo came into the world on July 13. Those who have young children know the challenges that come with a baby - they are many. I am happy to report that Grace found her thumb about 4 nights ago. To get almost 7 hrs of sleep has been incredible and we are like new people at the Leo compound. Her smile is simply beautiful!

(2) Knee surgery on August 19; a medial and lateral meniscal tear were found in my R knee. This certainly forced me to slow 'the wheels' down. As noted previously, I take every obstacle that is thrown at me and try to see what the Lord is telling me. In this case, I was reminded how weak and susceptible I am and how strong and able He is.

This has not been the ideal year for Ironman training/racing. I do have to admit that Anne had warned me to stay clear of IMF, but I pressed on like a stubborn male. Confession made.

From a training perspective I have done my best to prepare for IMF. Here is a quick snapshot of some totals that will bring more clarity to what has been done July 26 to present:

Duration and % / Distance and %

Swim: 3.8 hrs and 5.7% / 5901 yds and N/A
Bike: 30.2 hrs and 45.8% / 918.9 miles and 86.2%
Run: 16.5 hrs and 25.4% / 143.8 miles and 13.5%
Strength: 10.42 hrs and 15.8% / N/A

Miscelaneous Facts:
Longest Open Water Swim = 750 meters (Latta Tri - June 12)
Longest Bike = 2:30 hrs (on CompuTrainer - Aug 13)
Longest Run = 13.1 miles (Highland Creek - Oct 8)

As you can see, there has been very little attention given to the swim and a heavier emphasis on the bike. The knee surgery really pulled my run training down significantly! What I look forward to most, however, is to see how the consistent strength training may 'fill in' for the lack of run miles.

In the closing weeks I plan on hitting the following 'to do list' items:

(1) Execute a Lactate Balance Point (LBP) test on the bike. Those who have been following this blog since IML 2009 know that this was one key tool that I use for pacing/training. I look forward to seeing where my numbers are in comparison to 2009. This test coupled with the data I extrapolate from a CP20 test will also serve to pace me for IMF. I intend to the LBP this week.

(2) Complete a 2:30 to 3:00 hr ride on the CompuTrainer where attention will be on riding under the LBP by as much as 20 bpm. The data collected from the CP20 will allow me to sync in precisely with realistic IM watts, which will compliment my LBP data. In other words, I have found my IM wattage range to elicit a HR response that is as much as 20 bpm lower then my LBP! Stay tuned for my findings.

(3) Complete a 2:00 hr run where the focus will be on consuming race course fuel (Powerbar PERFORM) at goal pacing; 6:45 to 7:30 min/mile. I will also be analyzing stride rate throughout.

(4) Continue to dial in with Bill Scibetta (Precision Fitness) where attention will be on maintaining core strength integrity and muscular endurance within the kinetic chain.

(5) Put the finishing touches to my bike. My good friend, Justin Andrews, put on a new 'cockpit' to my Trek last week. A new base bar, aerobars, etc were put on. I have never felt so good on my bike. I finally feel locked in and on top of my pedals.

Going into IMF with a weekly total high of 10 hrs and 51 min and weekly total low of zero hrs (knee surgery) leaves me wondering how the day will go.

I have no idea how it will unfold, but I look forward to the challenge. I look forward to the experience of trusting the Lord and in enjoying the gifts He has given me.

Stay tuned friends. I plan on posting my LBP results before the week is done.

Train smart,
Coach L