How Much Triathletes Should Train to Finish a Half-Ironman 70.3 Fast


– I don’t want to go outside. And then hulk yourself up. So you know when a lot
of you trainiacs say that it’s neat that I live up in Winnipeg and I get to experience snow and winter and white Christmases. Today is not one of those days. I got out on the bike and
it was literally frozen. I could not unlock my bike in my garage because the lock was frozen for starters. Then I hopped on the bike, made a little adjustment to the chain. That broke it and the
rear wheel didn’t spin. I’m like, “Okay, I’m driving today.” You gotta see this. When I talk about frozen tundra, this is it and we got the good end of the winter storm that
happened last night. It’s about minus-15 Celsius but there’s about 30
kilometer/20 miles an hour winds. This is intense out here. Check this out. (upbeat music) I’m driving today. Fun story, though. In the pool, I’m going to
try out my new swimsuit. I’m there right now. I gotta go in. I don’t want to go outside. It’s deathly out there. – Taren, are you excited? – For what? (laughs) I’m excited for this. It’s a real treat to get into. – In the rest of today’s practice, we’ll be watching Taren get dressed. (upbeat music) – They get easier after that one, right? – Yeah. – First impressions of the HUUB. Pretty good. Remember what I said about
there being no structure? I was wrong. There’s stiffer lines along the side and down the back. I think three. Go like this and it eliminates
a lot of the fishtailing that could happen. So that was good. I sat a little bit higher in the water. That made me faster. Pat said that I popped out of the water after that dive faster. And I forgot to say this
when I was looking around for the string for the zipper. I don’t need one. The HUUB, you just flip the zipper up and then hulk yourself out. Check this out. Zipper down. Zipper up. Easy as that. As long as nobody flips up my zipper in the swim, we’re good. Everyone’s probably going to ask what was the rest period on that set with the 50s and the dives. There’s no rest. Hop out. Walk over to the other side of the lane. Dive in. That was fun after no
workout because I was late. (upbeat music) Anyone ever noticed
that the first few days of the taper process,
everything starts falling apart. It feels like you’re going to be injured any minute now. Oh, the joys of triathlon. Gotta make a special note of
working all this stuff out over the next couple of weeks. Because I am not getting
any faster in-between now and the race. So it’s just a matter of staying active and making my body stay healthy, but also making sure that
it doesn’t fall apart. I hop up on deck in my
speedo and contort myself into awkward position making everyone else around me uncomfortable. You’re welcome, Winnipeg. And Mel, who gets to edit this. – My eyes. (upbeat music) – Do you all remember
a couple of weeks ago when I did a 25K run even though we’re only doing 21.1K in a half-Ironman? You guys remember that? I get a lot of comments about, “Man, you do such massive distances.” I alluded to the fact,
maybe about a week ago that, just to finish a race,
you don’t have to do big, big distances like that. You don’t have to be
doing hundred-plus-K rides if you’re doing a
half-Ironman or an Olympic or a sprint. I think that when I constantly
do those big numbers, that it might be a little
bit off-putting to people who are just getting into the sport. And it’s intimidating
because you think that you might have to be doing
those types of distances. And that type of volume. And training 10-15 times
a week for 20 hours-plus. You don’t have to. Addressing that, like I
mentioned a couple of weeks ago, if you just want to finish a race, you don’t have to train
your nearly that much. It’s quite a bit less. Three, four times a week you
can probably get away with. But if you’re looking to
have your absolute best race, I think that you need to train with what I call over-distances. Other people might also
call them over-distances and I just think that it’s
something that I came up with. I don’t actually know if
that’s right or if it’s not. Over-distances are something that I found extremely helpful as I’ve
increased the distance that I’ve been competing in. Back when I was doing sprints, I could get away with
training three, four, five, six times a week and I’d
still have a pretty good race. But when you start getting
into longer distances, your body needs to be a lot stronger. If you start getting into longer distances and you want to have your
absolute best race possible. Like, you want to be
putting in personal records. Personal best. PR. PBs. It’s important to have over-distances so that when you get to
that long-distance race, it’s not a struggle just
to complete the distance. You want to get to a point
that you have biked so much, ran so much, swam so much, the distances in each leg of the race are completely attainable. And then it’s just a
matter of can you hold a fast race pace for that length of time. What we look at in our
training group is… Half-Ironman distance, for me, is 1,900 meters. We’re doing like 3,000-4,500 meter swims. In bikes, over the winter, I haven’t put in huge
distances on the bike. But last winter, when I was
training for a half-Ironman, we were doing like 130,
140-50K rides so that the 90K ride in a half-Ironman
was not a big deal. Runs, last year, I didn’t
really do any runs longer than about 20K and I really
felt that when I got out onto the racecourse. This year, training for Campeche, we started including 18K
runs basically as a standard. That was like the shortest
long run that we did. And then we started building
up to 21K, 22K, 23K, and 25K runs over the
last couple of months. And by the time we got to that 25K run, a 21K run at a fast pace,
easy-peasy lemon-squeezy. If you’re looking to have
your absolute best race that you possible can, you
gotta put in a lot of miles. And it’s gotta get to the
point that you can hold a race pace for the distance
of the leg of that race because you’ve trained for huge volumes and longer distances. And then you can put
out faster times because a half-Ironman is a shorter distance. Now, I’m going to give
this a big word of caution. The longer you go in racing, like you’re getting to a full Ironman, you probably don’t want to
be doing like 250K rides. It takes a big, big toll on the body and past six, seven,
eight-hour training days, you’re not getting a whole
lot of benefit from that. I would say that over-distances
that are training days longer than the distance
that you’re actually going to race in probably only make sense for sprints, Olympics, half-Ironmans. By the time you get to a full Ironman, your seven to nine-hour training days are going to end up being probably enough. Why I know that for a fact even though that I haven’t done a full Ironman is because when we
train for the lake swim, that we knew was going
to take about nine hours, we only got up to about a five or six-hour training swim in open water. The reason for that is the
idea is just to get your body used to the fact that
it’s going to be going for a really long period of time
and figure out your nutrition. If you get that pacing down, it’s just chugga-chug,
chugga-chug, chugga-chug. Then it’s a matter of
just fueling yourself and constantly going at that
chugga-chug, chugga-chug. So you don’t need to be
necessarily doing over-distances for full Ironmans and Ultraman events or like marathon swims or Ultra-runs. Yeah, you’re not going to run 120 miles for a 100-mile run. But certainly for sprints,
Olympics, and half-Ironmans, over-distances are a big benefit. Makes you strong up here, too, to know that you can go
that distance without issue. That is all for today. It’s nice that I got home early. We called in a snow day and
everyone went home early. Back at it tomorrow. Have a good night. See you, trainiacs. Do you want to say
goodbye to the trainiacs? (growl) You want show them your bone? There he is. There, you showed them your bone. Good work.

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