As your building up for your key Ironman Race(s) for the year, there are always those handful of key workouts that have significant benefits for a great race day performance. It might be an epic long ride on a tough course similar to your target race terrain. For example, if your racing a course where you will be climbing on the bike with a hilly course you will focus on specific long training rides with climbing. Also, it could be a long ride on the weekend followed by a strong hard run where you had to dig real deep to maintain focus and learning to run on severely fatigued legs.
We all experience those break through days in training that can be reflected on when your feeling a bad patch come race day. The key as we all know is to simulate race conditions in training throughout your buildup.
Here is a workout to challenge you (build up to this workout gradually). Keep in mind this workout is to be added to your program after several months of consistent training – after base building.
1. 6 Hour Ride (simulate race conditions, so if your riding a hilly race – prepare for the hills in training) and add this set: 2 Hours at a steady 75% target heart range followed by 10 X 15 minutes at 85% with 5 minutes easy spinning recovery between each 10 minute set. Then finish the ride at 65% heart rate zone, easy spinning.
Immediately change to your running shoes as quickly as possible and head out for a 3 hour trail run. The first hour force to keep your heart range in the 65% range, then complete a set of 6 hill repeats on a hill that takes 3 minutes to climb (recover easily as you run down the hill before the next repeat) Follow these hill repeats with steady running at 70% target heart range for 30 minutes. Then finish the remainder of the run by continuing to pick up the pace to a maximum of 85% heart rate range.
This workout is tough and you will be continuing to learn how to focus on running with fatigue. The hill repeats during the run will prepare you mentally to push through the tough spots during the Ironman race. This 9 hour workout should occur on a Sat. and follow up the next day with an easy recovery swim and run for a few hours on Sunday.
By Wayne Kurtz
Wayne Kurtz is founder of RaceTwitch.com and Endurance Racing Report, he has a lifelong passion for racing in various endurance sport races throughout the world. He is also the author of: ‘Beyond the Iron, a training guide for ultra-distance triathlons.’