20 Week Ironman Training: Road to Ironman
Today will finish out Week 2 of a 20-week build to Augusta. The 20-week plan is actually a full Ironman distance plan. My objective is to build 20 weeks into Augusta, take a week off, and then repeat the last five weeks going into Panama City.
For the past several months my focus has been building muscular strength and power, as well as rebuilding my swim stroke. At some point in my final training stretch I need to cut down the heavy lifts and gym session frequency. A couple of weeks ago my right knee felt weird doing front squats, which precipitated a break from leg work in the gym. That on the heels of my back seizure incident, let’s me know the timing for this switch was right. With double sessions virtually every day, the recovery time needed from heavy lifts and three times a week frequency creates too heavy a training load.
Week one went well, and I capped it off with Jekyll Island Turtle Crawl Olympic Triathlon.
This past week, my local county pool was closed for routine maintenance going into Memorial Day, so that gave me the opportunity to get some extra gym work in. Knees are feeling better.
Right now I am as fit as I was going into Augusta last year. My specific race fitness isn’t there, particularly in the run. However, on the bike and in the water, with little race specific training, I am stronger than ever.
For the past several weeks I’ve been repeating the week one training going into the actual 20 Week build. However, my recent back incident and Life have made it slightly difficult. I have however, been able to reproduce the swim side for the past few weeks.
Additionally, those unexpected interruptions have left me feeling stronger. And if there were any doubt, today in the gym I was able to do five sets of power cleans, where my best to that point has been three.
Strength training wise, I’ll go down to twice a week in the gym, with a calisthenic & running speed session, for example Tabata protocol, or Crossfit-style “Helens”.
Given the past few races, and recent long sessions these are my emphases for this season:
- Swim–technique and endurance.
- Bike–muscular endurance.
- Run–Muscular endurance, Speed.