This obviously isn't the first Ironman program I have written and to be honest nothing really changes, but it just seems to be that little bit more serious when the race on the line is the big one. It does prompt those thoughts of 'am I forgetting anything' a little more than usual. Pretty sure I am not.
Actually, the start to this program is going to be a fairly gentle one. The athlete in question has just had a couple of weeks off post Cairns and is about to go away for a week in the tropics as a thank you to his long suffering partner, so the program kind of writes it self for those periods. After that things will start getting a bit more serious though.
From tomorrow we have 16 weeks and considering that this athlete is already more or less Ironman fit, we have a lot of time to do the work required. As I said above the next couple of weeks are going to be caught up with building brownie points and then from there I am planning on doing the preparation in roughly four stages:
- Build Output
- Ironman Volume
He is probably fit enough to return to large volumes of work quite soon, however, I don't want to throw him straight back into massive miles because I don't think he will survive either mentally or physically. 16 weeks can be a long time. Instead we are going to spend the first part of the preparation focusing on squeezing a few more watts out of his FTP and driving his threshold pace down by another few seconds. Anything we can do to make his Ironman cruising speed just that little bit quicker. We will get back to those proper Ironman miles soon enough, but this will give him something else to focus on before that.
In the interim I have given him a few little tasks such as, finding out if he swims quicker with his sleeved suit rolled up or down, tracking down a swimskin that fits, finding some 60mm race wheels etc. The list of things that need to get done is a fairly long one.
As I said before 16 weeks can be a long time, but it can also be a very short time and I am fairly certain that the days will start ticking by before we know it. Time to be getting on with the work.