Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Importance of 10k run speed for Ironman athletes

Have you ever found yourself feeling like you are stuck in 3rd gear running in the Ironman marathon and unable do anything about it?

Fluid athlete Jenny Zenker - 2:05hr Olympic Tri
For many years of coaching Ironman athletes, I have found to run a fast marathon off the bike it pays to inject quality intervals fartlek and sustained efforts into your Ironman run training. These efforts would range from 5k to 21.1k race intensity.

There is a couple of ways this style of run training can be done. One way is in unison with equally balance bike training load within a specific Ironman phase say 15-20weeks out from your goal race. Within the final 10weeks of your prep some of these quality runs would be immediately after a hard bike set so you start your run carrying some leg fatigue. Getting the balance right of how fatigued your legs should be off the bike to ensure you still run fast enough is key.

The other way is to include a pre-specific run phase say from 25weeks out to 15weeks out from race day. You load your run training with workouts that target 10k-21.1k run speed. Just be careful to ensure you are allowing enough recovery from each session, as running faster requires the athlete to be fresher pre-session. With this in mind, to counterbalance this run emphasis it may be worth reducing the total bike training load and intensity to ensure you adapt to the number 1 priority of this phase, the run.

At the end of a run phase like this, it’s a good idea to complete a benchmark test such as a 10k or 21.1k event or TT to see what effect this has had on your running. Then it’s a matter of completing run speed maintenance training so you don’t lose your run ‘ZIP’ prior to race day.

Employing this type of run training in an Ironman preparation will see you run a faster Ironman marathon time off the bike.  As we all know the key to doing well in Ironman distance races is running up to your ability following strong swim and bike legs. ‘Ride for show run for dough.’

Suggested workouts targeting 10km for a strong runner
Pre-specific phase run set

Run 5-8 x (800m at 83-87%max with 300m recovery)
Specific phase run set – off the bike

Ride 75mins including 6 x (1km at 85%max with increasing recoveries of 1k, 2k, 3k, 4k, 5k)
Run immediately off the bike for 24mins inc. (3mins at 85%max, 1.5min rec, 2mins 85-87%max, 1.5mins rec, 1min at 90%max, 1.5min rec, 3mins at 85%max, 1.5min rec, 2mins 85-87%max, 1.5mins rec, 1min at 90%max, run down easy to time)   

Coach Foz

No comments:

Post a Comment