Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Is this for real?

First--soooooooo excited-- just found out tonight that I'll be working on an awesome oral history project through where I earned my M.A. in history (CSU). I'll be advising a team of other teachers this summer and together we will be collecting, recording, and digitizing oral history about various Cleveland landmarks and places...and I'm getting PAID to do this! Woo hoo!!! I am really pumped. :)

Okay, onto the tri related stuff...been spending this week reading Joe Friel's Going Long, which is AWESOME. Especially for a mostly self-coached chick like myself. It's full of tons of great tips and training suggestions, as well as sample workouts and just good advice. I highly recommend it for anyone who's trying to figure out how the heck ya train for an IM.

In the book, the swim and bike sections are really extensive, and the run section is really small! Basically, Friel swears up and down that you don't need to do ANY runs more than 2 1/2 hours!!! (Unless, he says, you plan on winning...which I DON'T) He says time and time again that since running is so much harder on your body, it takes longer to recover, and anything over 2 1/2 hours will actually not do much good. You should instead spend this extra time on your bike, and focus on shorter transition runs off the bike.

But this is a hard pill for me to swallow...first off, I love running. I'm already up to 2 hours now...well, at least I was before my chest imploded with this stupid bug. Second, I'm coming off a few seasons of road racing, marathons and half-marathons where I PR'd last year by really putting in the miles and doing some serious track work. I know some of you out there do much more than this, but for me, my 50 mile weeks were really intense and I know it helped me PR by 56 minutes from my first marathon (2002) to my second (last year). And losing 28 pounds helped, too. (I can't give all the credit to speed...ha ha)

So I'm not the fastest out there, but for me 2 1/2 hours will be at most probably 15 miles.

15 miles????

Is that the LONGEST I should be running before the freaking IM?

It just seems so wierd to me. Any advice from Chris or other IMers out there (especially IM MOO)? Is this Joe Friel guy onto something? He must be....he has all the credentials in the world.

I dunno...it just seems so....WIERD.

Anyone have any thoughts?


Eric said...

In preparing for my marathon and IMUSA, Coach Angela will not have me running more than two hours at a time. Lately it's been two hours in the morning and maybe a second run of 30 minutes in the evening.

The abuse on the body that running imposes is not to be taken lightly.

I think it's something to take to heart.

BuckeyeRunner said...

That is kind of weird. I think my longest training runs for marathons take around 3:30! But looking over the 18 week 1/2 iron schedule I have, it does look like the runs are under 2.5. Weird. I have a feeling I will definitely be cheating my bike miles for run miles. ;)

Curly Su said...

yeah, i've heard this too...that you don't concentrate on the running for im. because here's the thing...your run is not going to be 'fast' regardless. in other words, it's never going to be the same speed you could normally do a marathon in...instead, you should concentrate on being able to run a consistent SLOWER speed for a while after getting off a bike. after you get used to that transition and MAKING your legs go slower than they're used to, the extra 11.2m isn't going to matter because you have such a high level of fitness anyhow. that's what my coach says in any case...but i'm not doing an im just yet, so feel free to ignore me! :)

Cliff said...


I have use that book to set my training schedule for this season. I see it like training a marathon. You never run the marathon distance when training for one. Just like in Ironman, where it is really taxing on the body (especially the running part).

I am now in the second week of my base and already my long run is 2 hr 5 min (today). I am really tempted to run more than 2 1/2 hr.

However, I see the relevancy in keeping the running to 2 1/2 hr. Unlike my marathon training, I am not taking any day off. I am increasing my training time by 4-5 hr. This can be a lot of stress on the body. I rather have a shorter run and let me body recover for next day.

He did mentioned once u get one run to 2 1/2 hr, ur next goal (if u choose to) is to get a second run to about the same time). Not requirement but maybe that's what I will work on.

I will miss those 3 hr runs. But I am looking forward for those 5-6 hr bike rides :).

Chad Austin said...

Sara, I'm not expert, but I did do IM-Moo in 2003. I agree with the 2.5 hour limit. You're already a good runner and have confidence in your run. In order to take advantage of that you have to become more efficient at biking and swimming.

It won't matter how great of running shape you're in if you expend too much energy on the bike. Limiting your runs to 2.5 hours will allow you to work on your swim and bike more.

TriSaraTops said...

Thanks guys....this is all good stuff! I'm glad to hear that you veterans follow this philosophy...in that case I'm stickin' to it! :) I need to remember I'm training to "run" a marathon very SLOWLY--and as I'm learning, it's very different than trying to train to run a marathon FAST!

Chris said...

Going Long! I love it. It's been my bible for the past two years.

As for the 2.5 hours of running thing, that's pretty much what I've done the past two years. Once you get up to doing a long run of 2.5 a week, you can start building up a second long run for the week if you want. Pretty much the idea of it is that the aerobic returns of workouts longer than 2.5 hours aren't worth the risk of injury after that time.

Besides, if you can run for 2.5 hours straight off the bike after your first IM, you're a real stud. Most mortals will probably have resorted to a run/walk strategy by then. Just another thing to consider.

Congrats on your history project that you get to work on. I won't pretend to know what all it entails, but you sound really excited about it, so I'm excited for you! :)

Susan said...

I think 2.5 is a good limit. Good luck with the training.

Siren said...

Thanks for the great book recommendation - I'm adding it to my reading list.

Rae said...

Hmmm, I'm not a tri-er so that sounds like weird advice to me. But it sounds like a lot of the other accomplished ppl have had it work for them! It would definately save some time!