Overall duration of IM plan only 23 weeks? | 80/20 Endurance

Overall duration of IM plan only 23 weeks?

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  • #9071
    Frank
    Participant

    Hi,

    the overall duration of an Ironman Level 3 plan is 23 weeks. Compared to my previous plans this is approx. 10 to 12 weeks shorter. For my A competition end of June or beginning of July I have started to train beginning of November. Is this part of the 80/20 training philosophy or is this the specific plan only and your recommend something like a base plane for the first 3 months?

    Kind regards
    Frank

    #9072

    IM level 3 is divided into GENERAL Phase weeks 1-12, RACE Specific 13-21, TAPER 22-23.
    So full period. Resting is part of training, but normally I extend the general phase 1-4/1-4/5-8/5-8/9-12 (for 3+1 periods).

    #9077
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Krzysztof is correct, that is the periodization of the L3 plan.

    We do recommend that no individual formal plan be longer than 24 weeks, and that recommendation is reflected in our plans. It’s an extension of our rejection that “more is always better.”

    This doesn’t mean that the best athletes don’t train year-round. An annual training plan should include 45+ weeks of training for peak performance, but the year should be split up into distinct seasons: 2 or 3 formal plans separated by deliberate rest and recovery. More than 24 weeks at a time of non-stop training will, unequivocally, lead to overtraining. It may take 2, 3, 4 years, but there is a debt that is built up (particularly in red blood cell destruction) that must be re-paid every 6 months or so through rest.

    Therefore, we encourage long-term, annual planning. But if your event is more than 6 months in the future, split that period into two seasons. In your case, consider the free Maintenance plan to tie you over until January, take 1-2 weeks off, then start your formal IM plan.

    Commercially, I’m confident that we could make more money if we offered 8+ month IM plans. We could charge more for the plan, and perhaps more people are interested in starting a plan for a race almost a year away. We just know it is not in the athlete’s best long-term interest.

    Finally, our position is supported by Bompa’s Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training and Friel’s Triathlete’s Training Bible which both also recommend the ~6-month limit.

    David

    #9079
    Charles
    Participant

    David,

    Thank you for clarifying the 80/20 annual training philosophy. I’m a believer.

    I’m probably not alone becoming restless between trains segments; doing nothing is a challenge. I notice that some elite runners don’t take more than a week or so totally off. They seem to do several weeks of recovery effort runs, lower intensity than even the maintenance plans.

    Is that sort of recovery effort running consistent with 80/20 training and is advisable based on your coaching experience?

    Charles

    #9080
    Frank
    Participant

    Thank a lot. Makes sense to me. My A race is on July 4th, will probably extend my plan in a similar way.

    #9081
    Frank
    Participant

    Thanks a lot David. You convinced me that choosing 80/20 is a very good decision.

    Frank

    #9082
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Charles, a week is really the minimum, and you’re right, that is consistent with elite runners. It is also consistent with our recommendations, but I think two weeks is better than one, and there is nothing wrong with taking a month off every year as well.

    Remember, “off” does not mean zero activity. It means a significant reduction in training. I’m personally taking 6 weeks off this fall from formal training and trying my hand at pickleball as my “rest” period.

    David

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