How much Intensity in training?

Well…it all depends 🙂

…ok…let’s get into it…how ‘ambitious’ you need to get with Intensity depends on two things:

  • your goals
  • who you ask

…alright I noticed the picture too…okay let’s pause for a moment and click on it for the larger version…alrighty then…that’s our ‘intensity example picture for today’ …looks to me like about a Friel 5c / Daniel ‘Repetition Pace’ Intensity level…nice form 🙂

…okay…regroup…carry on…

And your goals typically have 4 main elements:

  • a speed goal in a race
  • how much speed improvement you need in order to achieve your race goal
  • how far away the race is
  • the amount of time per week in training that you’re willing to invest to get to your goal

2007 First Ironman Finishsooo, if your goal is complete an Ironman in under the 17 hour cutoff 2 years from now…my original Ironman goal in 2005…you don’t have to push up the Intensity as much to get there…you may still want to be ‘faster’ than that…by race time I was thinking I could maybe end up under 14 hours (1st goal under 17 hours, ‘exceeds’ goal under 14 hours, you-da-man goal under 13 hours), and did end up at 13:31:30 official time in my first Ironman…totally glorious 🙂 …but there won’t be as much ‘need’ to cram a lot of Intensity into workouts if a ‘finish’ is fundamentally a ‘win’

…if you’re 56 years old, finished 4 Ironman, one in each of the last 4 years, and your fastest one was 12:57:44…and that was 3 years ago, and for some weird reason…like your daughter deciding to challenge your broken down senior body to another Ironman :)…you decide that you want a new PR (Personal Record) this year…closer to 12:00 hours…and willing to spend about 15 training hours a week to get there…then you just-may-need-to-pick-up-the-pace…like Iron Dad has this year

Intensity is ‘work’…and to get faster you need to train faster…so train with more Intensity…but it comes with a risk…overdo it, and you run a high risk of:

  • injury
  • getting into a over-trained state so that you can’t complete workouts properly
  • and/or get sick

…and the wheels come off

…and any of that costs you a _TON_ of lost fitness as you need to stand down, recover, and re-build to where you were…and trust me when I say it-ain’t-a-good-feeling…and then you wait as the body sorts itself out and you can go forward again…bad bad bad…avoid avoid avoid.

So a lot my recent discussions with Coach Gale Bernhardt were about how much training Intensity I/she/we thought that I could squeeze into each week without blowing up…oh…I do have this bum right knee, but we’re removing that from the decision process, since…so far…it’s a ‘factor’, but not in workouts…so far…so I’ve decided to follow my own…well Bruce Lee’s…advise when faced with such things: if-it-kills-you-it-kills-you

How-we-got-there is a great Post unto itself…coming up…so for today here’s what we ended up deciding for my 12 week Half Ironman training plan:

  • focus on speed improvements in the bike and run…they’re the biggest elements of the race
  • kill swimming intensity in the short-term, and focus on form, to put as much Intensity (speed) into the bike and run as possible each week…_maybe_ ‘squeak’ in some Intensity into 1 swim a week…but primarily put the onus on Coach Dinah Mistilis to get me faster by getting me to be as sleek as a seal in the water instead of a barge
  • therefore a total of 4 High Intensity Training (HIT) workouts per week:
    • 2 BIG Key Workouts: long run (Tuesday) with Intensity and long bike (Saturday) with Intensity…as far apart in the week as possible to give me recovery time
    • 2 shorter, Intensity Level Optional Bike (Wed.) and Run (Thurs.) if I’m holding up

next up, the total amount of Intensity in a week, and the look at the differences in Intensity opinion from ‘studies’ and the ‘experts’…wild stuff…the long and the short of it is this:

New study says 90% of studies are flawed 

… still too funny that a new study determines that 90% of studies are flawed 🙂

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