Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Prev Next
Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM!
Quote | Reply
About me: I've been a triathlete for 3 years and raced 4 HIMs, all resulting in finish times between 4:52 and 4:49. Just turned 40 this year and have a running background. My races have generally broken down into 35ish for swim, 2:32-2:40 bike, and 1:29-1:35 for the run. I believe I have the potential to finish in the 4:30 range; just haven't figured out how to make the necessary improvements in my training. I have about 10 hours/week to train. Any thoughts, suggestions, or words of wisdom on how and where to put the effort in? My thoughts are that swimming and biking are my low hanging fruit and I have been putting more focus into them than running. I swim about 6k/week and really just started doing speedwork this winter. On the bike I've been riding 100+ miles/week with tempo type efforts on my hard days. Run-wise, I average about 30 miles/week trying to run 5 days a week with a long run of about 13 miles and one day of tempo effort. What can I maximize here? Am I not pushing hard enough with the speedwork? Are my 40 year old legs just not up to the task?

"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [splatt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Swim less bike lots more. Then bike more.
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [splatt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Do you have a coach? Invest in a coach. My coach shaved 41 minutes off my Half Ironman time in 6 months. Austin Mitchell from training peaks and FastesTTransition. Go check him out.
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [splatt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
How's your bike setup? Are you running fast tires and latex tubes, aero helmet, fast clothing etc?
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [turningscrews] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Thanks TS- I've done some higher mileage weeks but wonder if I need more specificity/intensity in those miles. I read a lot about people using trainerroad and zwift doing a couple of high intensity bike workouts per week. Thoughts about volume vs. intensity or some balance of the two?

"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [Zenmaster28] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Zenmaster28 wrote:
How's your bike setup? Are you running fast tires and latex tubes, aero helmet, fast clothing etc?

I've got a Trek Speed Concept 7.5 with some generic carbon wheels. I've got to check into fast tires and latex tubes, thanks for that tip. I've got the Giro Air Attack helmet and a seemingly decently fast trisuit. At the moment I can't get into a more aero position as my hamstrings and hips are pretty tight. That's a longer term goal though.

"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [splatt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
1) Be fast
2) Don't be slow

You are welcome. :)
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [splatt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Your run is fine. If you want to make long term triathlon progress you'd do well to run less for awhile so you can swim and bike more. Drop it down to 20 mpw, so ~ 2.5-3 hrs per week.

So now you've got 7-7.5 hrs to work with for swim and bike.

Try and double that swim volume to 12k/wk. ~3-3.5 hrs (either 3x4k or 4x3k). Some folks would say not to put this much effort into the swim, because you may save what 5 min max? But it's not just about that. It's getting to your bike fresh so that you can hit 80-85% of your FTP for the whole ride.

Then you've got 4hrs to bike. If you can squeeze anymore than the 10 hrs this is where to do it. Ride hard. If you've never done them then you'd really benefit from some VO2 max intervals to raise that FTP (you didn't mention what it was?). Rides would be roughly: 1 hr of VO2 max intervals, 1 hr of straight tempo with a tempoish run off the bike of 3-5 miles (it's imperative to get comfortable riding hard for extended amount of time and gaining confidence running off of it), 2 hr of sweet spot intervals. Over time make the tempo ride the longer ride. Or just join trainerroad and do their HIM low or mid volume plan. I do this but just use it for the bike and brick sessions and plan my own swim/run sessions.

Also as mentioned, get that bike fit dialed in and pay attention to all of the details to squeeze every last bit of speed out of your watts that you can. Good luck!

Strava I Instagram
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [TED4289] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
TED4289 wrote:
Do you have a coach? Invest in a coach. My coach shaved 41 minutes off my Half Ironman time in 6 months. Austin Mitchell from training peaks and FastesTTransition. Go check him out.

I'm looking to self-coach as I feel that triathlon is already expensive enough without adding a monthly coaching fee into the mix, but I do see the potential benefit. Question for you TED- when your coach helped you drop all of that time, what was your original time and what did you drop down to?

"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [Sean H] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Sean H wrote:
Your run is fine. If you want to make long term triathlon progress you'd do well to run less for awhile so you can swim and bike more. Drop it down to 20 mpw, so ~ 2.5-3 hrs per week.

So now you've got 7-7.5 hrs to work with for swim and bike.

Try and double that swim volume to 12k/wk. ~3-3.5 hrs (either 3x4k or 4x3k). Some folks would say not to put this much effort into the swim, because you may save what 5 min max? But it's not just about that. It's getting to your bike fresh so that you can hit 80-85% of your FTP for the whole ride.

Then you've got 4hrs to bike. If you can squeeze anymore than the 10 hrs this is where to do it. Ride hard. If you've never done them then you'd really benefit from some VO2 max intervals to raise that FTP (you didn't mention what it was?). Rides would be roughly: 1 hr of VO2 max intervals, 1 hr of straight tempo with a tempoish run off the bike of 3-5 miles (it's imperative to get comfortable riding hard for extended amount of time and gaining confidence running off of it), 2 hr of sweet spot intervals. Over time make the tempo ride the longer ride. Or just join trainerroad and do their HIM low or mid volume plan. I do this but just use it for the bike and brick sessions and plan my own swim/run sessions.

Also as mentioned, get that bike fit dialed in and pay attention to all of the details to squeeze every last bit of speed out of your watts that you can. Good luck!

Thanks for the specific advice Sean. I don't have a powermeter, so am not sure what my FTP is. That is on my triathlon wish list and is a likely purchase for next season. When you say VO2 max intervals, would tabata repeats fall into that category? 1 minute at at 90% 1 minute spin then repeat x10. Or should the duration be longer for greater effect? Beyond the specifics, I get what you're driving at with the ride hard- I can't expect to get faster without some suffering.

"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [splatt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
splatt wrote:


Thanks for the specific advice Sean. I don't have a powermeter, so am not sure what my FTP is. That is on my triathlon wish list and is a likely purchase for next season. When you say VO2 max intervals, would tabata repeats fall into that category? 1 minute at at 90% 1 minute spin then repeat x10. Or should the duration be longer for greater effect? Beyond the specifics, I get what you're driving at with the ride hard- I can't expect to get faster without some suffering.


Well, without a powermeter it's hard to know exactly what you're doing. I'm sure someone will tell me I'm wrong (which I might be), but VO2 max intervals are generally 110-120% (so without PM, just go balls to the wall, your legs will be on fire). You can do them 30s on 30s off or up to 3-5 min on w/ 1-3 min off. The key is to get your HR up into that VO2 max zone for 20 min for maximum benefit. So if you're doing the 30s/30s, you're not getting much recovery so your HR will stay relatively high once it gets there, but may take a few cycles to get into VO2 max. With the longer intervals w/ longer rest intervals it will take the first bit of each interval to get your HR up into VO2 max. So you could just monitor via HR. Make sure you have plenty of airflow for these so your HR isn't spiking early due to overheating.

Anyone that knows better than me please correct me.

Edit: And with you having a running background, I agree that you probably just need to learn how to suffer on the bike. It's completely different to me than suffering on the run. Your legs will feel like they can't possibly keep going, but they can. Got to learn mental toughness. Don't quit and you will gain confidence and momentum in your training.

Strava I Instagram
Last edited by: Sean H: Jun 16, 17 12:34
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [turningscrews] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
With a 35 minute swim, I would NOT be counselling anyone to swim less and bike more. There are four or five easy minutes there.

***
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [M----n] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Bike more.

Get a powermeter, get Trainerroad, get a bike fit, follow a plan.
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [splatt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Make sure your coach gives you a trucker hat.
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [splatt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
splatt wrote:
Zenmaster28 wrote:
How's your bike setup? Are you running fast tires and latex tubes, aero helmet, fast clothing etc?


I've got a Trek Speed Concept 7.5 with some generic carbon wheels. I've got to check into fast tires and latex tubes, thanks for that tip. I've got the Giro Air Attack helmet and a seemingly decently fast trisuit. At the moment I can't get into a more aero position as my hamstrings and hips are pretty tight. That's a longer term goal though.

Your positioning is really something to work on. I'd be cautious about just going and getting a fitting, it's only worthwhile if you do it with a very reputable fitter that is focused on performance-oriented aerodynamic positioning. Lots of fitters out there that are a waste of time. It doesn't take that much flexibility to ride in a very aero position so I'd really do a lot of research in this area. I've used the Chung/virtual elevation technique to good effect, I'm 63 and over the last 3 years I've gotten faster on the bike each year despite a stable to slightly declining FTP due to continually refining my aero position and tweaking my setup.

You've got a real fast bike but the integrated handlebars are not the best for doing continuous positioning experimentation.

As for the swimming, try to swim with a master's group at least a couple of times a week, it's by far the best way to improve your swimming. I wouldn't recommend less swimming but you probably don't need to do massive yards to improve if you swim with a master's group.
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [tttiltheend] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
tttiltheend wrote:
splatt wrote:
Zenmaster28 wrote:
How's your bike setup? Are you running fast tires and latex tubes, aero helmet, fast clothing etc?


I've got a Trek Speed Concept 7.5 with some generic carbon wheels. I've got to check into fast tires and latex tubes, thanks for that tip. I've got the Giro Air Attack helmet and a seemingly decently fast trisuit. At the moment I can't get into a more aero position as my hamstrings and hips are pretty tight. That's a longer term goal though.

Your positioning is really something to work on. I'd be cautious about just going and getting a fitting, it's only worthwhile if you do it with a very reputable fitter that is focused on performance-oriented aerodynamic positioning. Lots of fitters out there that are a waste of time. It doesn't take that much flexibility to ride in a very aero position so I'd really do a lot of research in this area. I've used the Chung/virtual elevation technique to good effect, I'm 63 and over the last 3 years I've gotten faster on the bike each year despite a stable to slightly declining FTP due to continually refining my aero position and tweaking my setup.

You've got a real fast bike but the integrated handlebars are not the best for doing continuous positioning experimentation.

As for the swimming, try to swim with a master's group at least a couple of times a week, it's by far the best way to improve your swimming. I wouldn't recommend less swimming but you probably don't need to do massive yards to improve if you swim with a master's group.

Thanks for the info on the Chung technique tt. I've not heard of it but it sounds very useful, especially as a diy-er. You're not kidding about those handlebars. I've changed the spacer out and literally had to follow the factory instructions to get it back together! Regarding the masters swimming, that is something I've looked into but the only options are out of my area. Time is tight with a 3 y/o and another on the way! But you are getting me thinking about some lessons offered in my area that I can purchase and maybe get some similar benefit. Thanks again

"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [M----n] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
M----n wrote:
With a 35 minute swim, I would NOT be counselling anyone to swim less and bike more. There are four or five easy minutes there.

Really? You want him to spend 3 more hrs per week on the swim to gain 3-5 minutes. I want him to spend 3 more hours on the bike to gain 15 minutes.

FWIW, I am not far off his splits. 70.3 bests 25/2:18/1:34. I rarely swim more than 3 times a week (9000m), & I am not coached.
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [splatt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I don't think lessons are of the same benefit as masters swim - personally. Masters swim stretches you to limits, and causes you to have mini races with others, where you start to feel what feels fast, and find ways to make yourself faster in the water to keep up with others.

Swim lessons on the other hand will help you with better form, but they aren't going to 'push' you to get better. I think both are valuable, but master swim (with a great instructor) provides the best of both worlds, people to push you harder as well as a coach on deck to watch and give helpful advice.

Master swim has generally been the best bang for the buck for me.
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [splatt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
5:21 to 4:41
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [turningscrews] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Yes, really. A 35 minute swim is mediocre, at best, compared to the bike & run splits. Swim better. Swim faster. Swim easier. Don't feel trashed going into the bike & then you ride faster. It's a triathlon. If you want to just smash the bike & run move to Duathlon. That's what the off-season is for...train your weaknesses...

https://www.gofundme.com/ITURotterdam
#howihammer #swimmingmatters
Those who can tri. Those who can't du. Those who won't cycle.
http://www.swimmertri.com
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [splatt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Lots of n=1 on the replies, and that gives you some good ideas. Here are my general thoughts:
1. Swim frequency will help you. 4x per week: One day of 2k straight, pretty fast. 1-2 day(s) of Masters or 2 swims with 2000-2500 main sets, and one easy recovery day (after long run is perfect). This is about 3 hours / 4 swims, lots of quality.
2. Ride hard, ride more. Make this 4.5-5 hours per week. 1 day of VO2 - 30x30" like someone mentioned of 15x1' and/or build to 3x5'. 15' max and the entire workout can be done in 50 minutes. 1 day of LT intervals - 40k efforts - build to 45' of these. Long ride should involve tempo or HIM riding - it hurts, but you can keep going. Another easy ride would be good.
3. Running - long run - keep it to 10 miles and throw in something longer, easier every 3rd week. Tempo efforts in these long runs would help - something like 2x3 miles or something like that. One day of speed would be good - 10x1' fast - 5k pace. A few easy bricks off the harder efforts - even 20-30' would be great. That's about 2.5-3 hours of running. Plenty for you to improve across the board.

I agree that great swim fitness will set up a great bike, as fitness rolls down hill. Same for the bike - better fitness here will let you have a great run too. Keep it fun, mix it up and keep challenging yourself. You're on your way.

Mike

Mike Ricci
USAT National Coach of the Year
10% of Kona athletes from CO were Coached by D3 Multisport!
Coaching Triathletes since 1992.
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [Mike Ricci] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I don't think you need a coach if you hold yourself accountable and have some understanding of training. I don't, aside from the masters swim. I've only done 1 HIM but put down a solid time and have 2 more this season.

I swim 3x a week 2 masters at a 50m pool and 1 open water
run 3-4x a week long run 13+, tempo 5+ (total run comes out to 10-12) intervals, depending on the week, I've done 16x400, or 8 x mile and everything in between. I'll be adding 4x2mile in pretty soon too.
Bike, I try to get in a ride as often as I can.

I typically get in about 13-14 hours a week and some high weeks are as much as 17 and recovery weeks are 9-10.

A milers kick does the trick
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [Mike Ricci] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Mike Ricci wrote:
Lots of n=1 on the replies, and that gives you some good ideas. Here are my general thoughts:
1. Swim frequency will help you. 4x per week: One day of 2k straight, pretty fast. 1-2 day(s) of Masters or 2 swims with 2000-2500 main sets, and one easy recovery day (after long run is perfect). This is about 3 hours / 4 swims, lots of quality.
2. Ride hard, ride more. Make this 4.5-5 hours per week. 1 day of VO2 - 30x30" like someone mentioned of 15x1' and/or build to 3x5'. 15' max and the entire workout can be done in 50 minutes. 1 day of LT intervals - 40k efforts - build to 45' of these. Long ride should involve tempo or HIM riding - it hurts, but you can keep going. Another easy ride would be good.
3. Running - long run - keep it to 10 miles and throw in something longer, easier every 3rd week. Tempo efforts in these long runs would help - something like 2x3 miles or something like that. One day of speed would be good - 10x1' fast - 5k pace. A few easy bricks off the harder efforts - even 20-30' would be great. That's about 2.5-3 hours of running. Plenty for you to improve across the board.

I agree that great swim fitness will set up a great bike, as fitness rolls down hill. Same for the bike - better fitness here will let you have a great run too. Keep it fun, mix it up and keep challenging yourself. You're on your way.

Mike

Basically... what he said (above). Good triathletes (meaning fast) come out of the water in 27 or less feeling ready to rock on the bike. A 35 swimmer is putting out more effort and getting less - which sets up the balance of day for sub-par racing.

Swim volume is great, same with the bike. BUT, more important is doing all kinds of fast stuff (suffer, then suffer more :-| ). The body can take and needs a high level of stress - (with recovery, of course). Not the same for running (recipe for injury).

It's a journey, enjoy it.


I could break the course record - theoretically, Bishop Pickering - from the movie "Caddyshack"
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [splatt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
First of all if you only can train 10 hours per week, every day you work out is your hard day. There are no easy or recovery type workouts that you should do, flat out most of the time. You can do intervals so that you can keep up the higher paces, but no junk miles.

And since time is a crunch for you and I'm assuming you have to drive somewhere to swim, knock the 6 workouts down to 4, just increase the yardage in those workouts( fast stuff, not drills or longer warmups). If you can swim with masters, do it. Be drilled after each and every swim. Make every ride average 20 to 25+ MPH, do shorter runs about 30 seconds faster than race pace with an occasional longish 10+ miler.

So that is your workout schedule, since you only train 10 hours, you will have plenty of days off to recover. Go get a proper fit, talk to the masters coach and see if they can help you, and get plenty of sleep..
Quote Reply
Re: Coach me to shave 20 minutes off my HIM! [LazyEP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
LazyEP wrote:
Yes, really. A 35 minute swim is mediocre, at best, compared to the bike & run splits. Swim better. Swim faster. Swim easier. Don't feel trashed going into the bike & then you ride faster. It's a triathlon. If you want to just smash the bike & run move to Duathlon. That's what the off-season is for...train your weaknesses...

With a 15 hr training week I concur. With a 10 hr week, 30-40% of that time in the pool is ridiculous.
Quote Reply

Prev Next