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Archives for the day Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Moving up from international (Olympic) distance to half Ironman distance triathlons is a big leap.  It can sometimes mean going from 2 ½ to 3 hours for the event up to 6 to 7 hours for the event.

When you are training for a half Ironman or 70.3, you can do an international distance triathlon on Saturday and still have to go do a long training day on Sunday.   To maintain a happy family life, I had to make a deal with my wife that Saturdays would be my training day and Sunday would be my day for her.

The time commitment is huge.  I had to invest a lot of time and effort to finish in 6 ½ hours.  If I want to finish in 5 ½ hours, I would have to make another huge time investment.  Make sure your significant other and family understand the time and dedication required to successfully complete a 70.3 event.

Finishing in 6.5 hours was a big success for me.  I started serious training six months before the triathlon.  When I started training, I could do all of the events individually.  I could not do them back-to-back but I could do them.  I started out by building for three weeks and resting for one week.  The rest week would be about 50% of the total workout time of the training week.

Swimming – A typical week would entail of mornings swims four or five times a week varying between distance and speed work for a total of four swim miles per week.  I would occasionally add a weekend long swim in the bay to keep the open water swimming skills up.

Running – I would run at lunch from Monday to Thursday varying the distances from four-to-eight miles per day.  Some weeks, I would forgo the long run and do a faster tempo run instead.  On Saturdays, I would do a long run of 6-10 miles followed by a short bike ride of less than 50 miles.  Some weeks, I would do a half marathon with no bike ride after.

Cycling – I am a reluctant cyclist, so I always looked for an excuse to get out of riding but I forced myself to do a long bike ride on Saturdays.  I usually did 50-100 miles per week on the bike.  I never did speed work.  I just got on the thing and rode.

There is a lot to training for a half Ironman.  I woke up before 6:00 AM, almost every day of the week.  Some Saturdays, I would leave my house at 8:00 AM and get home at 8:00 PM.  During the week, I was in bed before 10:00 PM.

To learn how to train for a long triathlon, I read a lot of books on training and nutrition.  My physiology likes to stop eating while I am doing long distance training.  Poor nutrition on long training days has bad side effects.