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waldick 02-05-14 09:16 AM

Couch to Sprint to 1/2 IM question...
Within the last two years I have gone from couch to Sprint Tri to this year a 1/2 IM. I had a extended recovery period from my last TT of right around 37 years. Somewhere along the way I seem to have lost 60 lbs or so; and hope not to find it again. I rode just over 4000 miles last year, swam 2-3 a week during the summer 30-45 minutes and ran 2 times a week 3 miles at a time prior to the Tri and then just stopped. The sprint tri went well, mostly, 10th out of the water, 10th off the bike and then...was passed by 34 people to finish 44th overall out of 100 or so people, 3rd in my AG (55-59). So, yes, running is my big weakness...I'm happy just to run a 10min/mi pace...

Now I'm training for the 1/2 IM in July. I bought Joe Friel's book and fashioned a training plan as outlined in the book, using 500 yearly hours as a basis and the suggested daily hours. I'm through 3 weeks of prep at 7.5 hours a week and now into Base 1/1 at 10.5 hours a week, peaking at Base 1/3 for 13.5 hours.

The amount of time per event in a 1/2 IM breaks out to about 15% swim, 50% bike and 35% run...roughly. But in the training plan the time spent on the individual events is disproportionate to the %s. For example, on my long swim day this week I swam 90 minutes, on my long run day I ran 90 minutes and then rode 90 minutes...

However, in two weeks, it looks like I'm scheduled to swim, bike, run for 120 minutes... seems like a huge increase per week (well in excess of the max 10% increase generally recommended).

I'm just wondering if I'm missing something or if I need to train that hard for that long....can I break the long workouts into 2 shorter sessions. Right now I'm doing Swim/Ride, Run/XT combinations alternating every day with Sundays off. Should I do a swim/swim/ride for example?

What have other people done with the Friel training plans ?

alex jb 02-06-14 04:37 PM

There's plenty of free actual training plans out there, take a look at
the longer sessions should be less frequent than the others and at a lower intensity, but you do need to start getting used to long rides. Do you know how you feel after a 3hr ride? Have you tried running for a mile or two after a long ride?
You need to get to grips with the long stuff

Chicycle 02-07-14 04:35 AM

Agree with getting to grips with how it feels to do the longer ride. Your training also depends on what you want to achieve - do you want to simply finish or do you want to get a brilliant time?
If it helps - I did an ironman based on a very loose programme (I had started a new job and had limited time). I think this shows that you can still be successful even without following a rigorous training plan.

My aim was to finish and so my training focussed around making sure I was confident in doing the distance. My programme was this:
1 x 2.4 mile swim every Sunday
2 x 5-10km runs each week
1 x longer run weekly (up to 12 miles)
1 x cycle (every 2 weeks) 112 miles as fast as possible.

Hope this helps!

waldick 02-24-14 07:50 PM

Thanks for the input. I went to the Beginner Triathlete site and decided to use their beginner HIM RPE plan. I'm much happier now and don't feel like I'm killing myself training. My goal is finishing at or under 6 hours, which should be do-able assuming I can go 45 in the water, 18.5 average on the bike and run at a 10MPH pace.

The longest run for me so far has been an 8 miler, the longest swim 3000y and the longest bike ride 75 miles. The fastest I have gone for a long distance on a bike was 20.2 MPH average for 41 miles last summer.

So hopefully if I follow the plan I'll make it in or under 6 hours total...

Zero7 03-05-14 08:00 PM

I've done a few of these, and have some advice for you:
  • Glad you like your new training plan. The amount of hours in the original plan for a 1/2 sounded high, although admittedly I've been lazy training for my last two :)
  • Keep up the swimming, especially if you aren't used to it. But once you can swim the distance (1.2 mi), concentrate on getting faster with intervals
  • If it's an open water swim, go do some open water swims. It's a different feeling to be in the middle of a lake etc. swimming far from the shore
  • Find out what they're serving at the race (e.g. Powerade, Gatorade, etc), and do some training with those brands / flavors. You don't want your stomach (and you) to be unpleasantly surprised during the race
  • Stick to your plan during the race, keep your HR in the right zone.

Good luck!

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