Ironman Switzerland question

QuestionHelp! I'm just about to enter my 3rd IM (Switzerland 2008). I've managed to convince my wife not to divorce me, so now to the easy bit, training! I suspect I've massively over trained when compared to others I talk to averaging 12-13 sess/week taking 17-19 hrs for the last 7 months. I've self trained & managed a 14:21 for IMA 2006 and 12:48 for IMA 2007.

I believe I can break 12hrs for next year but think my main weakness is leg strength. I wouldr> like to incorporate. Some weights into my training and hopefully cut out any junk miles/time in a hope to save my home life.

What would you suggest? My current week looks like this:
SWIM - 3-4 sessions include 1 Open water swim & 1 club swim Approx 6m.
BIKE - 4 sessions. 2 x TT, 2 x road (1x2.5hrs, 1x5hrs+) Approx 160-170m.
RUN - 5 sessions. 4 x short, 1 x long Approx 35-40m.

Could you offer some guidance along with giving me a clue on what to do with the weights? I train at home and have a fairly good set of weights and bench (very rarely used!)

Ironmate Answer: While it is difficult from your summary to give exact help from the brief information and without you’re past sporting history and no mention of rest and recovery. I have made the following observations.

12-13 sessions a week and total time training of 17-19 hours a week for 7 months for a 41 year old in my opinion is far too much.

Not enough rest and each session not long enough, so not Ironman specific.
Two cycle Time Trials a week is also asking for trouble as you can actually reduce leg strength due to the work/ rest ratio I doubt if you would recover? Leg strength will be improved by doing at least 8 months of leg weights. Especially over the winter months rather than lots of long rides.

To train for the 11 months without planned rests for next year is far too long and you will risk over training and lowering your immune>

Weight training is a very Time efficient way to help you. It gives another resource to draw upon during the Ironman itself. Your improvement of 1 hour 33 minutes self trained is very impressive so you should also be able to improve at least half this time next year with good progressive training and recovery.

Only train 6-10 hours including weights for 3 months.
This will help you improve strength and save you hopefully from divorce?

Consider more cycling to the end of the summer while the weather is good. Work on your weaknesses sport to help you go faster and allow you to be more efficient long term. Do blocks of training 2-3 weeks emphasis cycling then 2-3 weeks more swimming 1-3 weeks more running providing you are not injury prone because you have lots of time to build up for 2008. Your first aim is to catch up on other things need doing while you recover from this years IM with little or NO hard efforts/ racing especially running for up to 4 weeks after an Ironman triathlon Weight training.

After any endurance block of training and Ironman involving a marathon you will nearly always lose strength. Super compensation of strength can occur if you allow your body to recover.

Adding a few small races can have the opposite effect. If you have not done weights for some time aim to do 3x 15-20 repetitions of 20-40% of your one maximum lift/push. I.e. if you can lift 100 lbs or number 10 aim for 20lbs or number 4 and build up every 3-5 weeks. First build Complete 7-12 different exercises including back.

CAUTION: The above tips are based on our experience with a number of triathletes.Make sure you have a good warm up. Easy 10-15 minute cycle or run before completing any weights session. This should include a warm up set of half the weights or half the reps to make sure you have not an injury and the weights are secure and safe.

Everyone is different. Please monitor your body and stop if you experience pain at any time. Remember to log on again for questions answered and updates, thanks.