With Ironman Hawaii last weekend, there is a treasure trove of data waiting to be mined.
I took a look through my speedy friends’ activities to see what I could learn.
I started with a summary of January to October weekly averages.
The first thing I noticed is they do a lot of exercise!
That said, it’s not as much as I expected. The implied range is 12-22 hours a week. When I was a speedy 40-something, my range was 18-28 hours per week.
So perhaps this is a “stay good” level of training – these guys are already at the top.
What can you, and I, learn from these athletes?
Think about a Basic Week and forget about the pace that you’re going.
- Three swims
- Three runs
- Bike leads metabolic fitness improvement
- Strength work to address personal limiters and injury risks
- Mobility – 10′ minimum every single day
My Rx for you, and me, would be 5 months of that program (November to March).
That might seem like a lot but ~300 aerobic hours is a drop in the bucket compared to the lifetime mileage of top endurance athletes.
How fast are these guys?
I started by pulling up the marathon splits of the Best-of-the-Vets in Kona.
- Mens 50-54 ran 3:15 to 3:40
- Mens 55-59 ran 3:25 to 4:00
Not as fast as expected, except for the handful of sub-3:20 tropical marathons.
I headed over to the Boston Marathon site to have a look.
- Mens 50-54 was 2:30-2:45
- Mens 55-59 was 2:40-2:55
Still really quick, and my pals remain quick over shorter durations
Implications for me, and you.
Best in class race pace is ~8 minutes per mile, ~5 minutes per km
Right now, fresh, I can run that 30 bpm under max, 15 bpm under threshold – I’ve been running for five months, it’s reasonable to expect some improvement.
The best Ironman athletes (50+) in the world aren’t running much faster than 8 min mile pace – takes a lot of pace pressure off my run sessions.
Might do the same for you…
…and that would give you energy to place elsewhere in your program
…or recover faster
…or do something else!
That’s enough for today, more to come