Ironman Day: August 25th, 2014

I decided to do one more video prior to the 70.3 world championship. This one has a bit of a different flavour than the last one. It’s a bit long, so set it aside for when you’ve got some free time.

Here is the data from the bike ride:

4 Hour Long Ride


Thanks for watching!!

14 thoughts on “Ironman Day: August 25th, 2014

  1. Hey Lionel,

    Awesome videos – 2 questions for you: how much of your riding is on the trainer vs on the road?
    And, what are your thoughts, if any, on polarized training?


    • Thanks for the comments Scott. I do 99% of my riding on the indoor trainer. The only time I don’t ride there is when I travel to a race and get there a day or two before. Even then, if I could bring my CompuTrainer, I’d ride inside still.

      I think polarized training is very important if you want to reach your full potential in terms of speed. Without making the peaks progressively higher, you will eventually reach a plateau. With little micro increases over time, I think you can get the peaks very high. But to do this you may have to make the easy days shorter, slower, etc. in order to have more in the tank to hit the progressively higher peaks.

      • As well, I think polarization becomes progressively more important, as you near your limits. I.e. as it becomes harder and harder to achieve a new level, you must polarize more and more.

  2. Hey Lionel,

    Super impressive series of workouts.
    I love watching these videos to get an inside look at the hard work that is put in to achieve the race results that you have.

    A couple quick questions for you as follows:
    1. In a big training day like the two filmed, what do you typically eat during the day to ensure you have enough fuel for the workouts (regular meals, pre and post workout, as well as during the long rides and runs).
    2. In a typical day, how much do you sleep per night and do you nap at all between workouts to get ready for the next?
    3. How do you keep yourself entertained while training indoors (movies, netflix, music etc).

    Good luck at 70.3 WC’s.

    • Hey Dale. Thanks for the feedback and the questions.

      1.) Someone asked me this same question on twitter about what I eat on the “Ironman Day.” My big go to is chocolate milk. On that day I drank 4 litres, which right there is over 2500 calories. For breakfast I had two big bowls of cereal and a cup of coffee as well as a glass of water. During the ride I had about 4 granola bars and 5 gummy worms, as well as around 4 gatorades, a can of coke, and 2 bottles of water. For lunch I had two sausages and a big bowl of coleslaw, then a fruit smoothie. I had another bowl of cereal about 1.5 hours before the run, and another coffee. During the run I had another granola bar and probably 5 gummy worms, as well as a gatorade and a bottle of water. I had another bowl of cereal before swimming. After swimming I ate 3/4 of a large pizza with double cheese. I had two cans of coke with this. I then had two ice cream sandwiches for desert. Throughout the day I am constantly drinking water.

      2.) I have slept very poorly since before I can remember. If I get 7 hours I am doing good. Usually it is really crappy quality. I will get into bed around 11 and won’t fall asleep until 12:30, then wake up 3 or 4 times throughout the night and have trouble falling back to sleep. It is something that I have been exploring ways to fix i.e. meditation, etc. As for napping, I do nap when it is extremely necessary i.e. when I sleep very poorly at night, otherwise I refrain from napping as I think during this time the body goes into repair mode and it is difficult to get it out of it. I find it makes the afternoon works more challenging in many instances.

      3.) Good tunes man! Hours and hours of good tunes. I listen to several different podcasts: Above and Beyond Group Therapy, as well as Armin Van Burren’s A State of Trance. That’s four hours of tunes right there each week, and I will usually listen to them a couple times throughout the week until a new episode is released. Plus, I have nearly a terabyte of music I have accumulated!

  3. Good luck at worlds, rooting for you. Awesome videos, really neat to get an inside look on your training. Couple of quick questions for you:

    1) Do you typically ride with a cadence of around 80 on your workouts? I saw the 4 hr trainer ride had an avg cadence of 78 or so. Do you also race with that cadence level?

    2) Curious as to what your workouts were the days before and after the two videos you posted?

    • Thanks Mason. And thanks also for the questions.

      1.) I try and keep it above 80. I’m usually around 80-82. If I’m really striving to get it up high I’m around 85-87. When I did that four hour ride I was already very tired from all the training I had done beforehand, so I more or less was just trying to get through it, without much thought about cadence. 78 is a bit below where I like to be, but at that stage of the training block, I was happy with it. In a race situation I am usually around 8-85. In Steelhead 70.3 for instance, I averaged 81. In the past, I have thought that perhaps this is too low, and have tried to change it, but I have since been advised that cadence tends to be a by product of biology, and so trying to make drastic changes can have more negative than positive effects. I have since abandoned that cause. I don’t have a very pretty runny stride either, but I’m not about to go and try and change that.

      2.) I basically go one day easy, one day hard. On the easy day I will bike anywhere from 1-2 hours and run anywhere from 5-15k depending on how I am feeling. The workout before the first video I posted (so two days prior) was:

      15m w/u to 6x30s@380 w/1mR@200 to 6x1m@370 w/1.5mR@200 to 6x2m@360 w/2mR@200 to 6x4m@350 w/2.5mR@200 to 6x8m@340 w/3mR@200 to 11m c/d.

      And the run workout about 3 hours afterwards was:

      2.5mi w/u to 4x2mi@11.6mph w/0.5miR@7.5mph to 1mi@11.6mph w/0.25R@7.5mph to 1.25 c/d

      The workouts I did two days after the “Ironman Day” were:


      15m w/u to 6x(2m@400w+ w/2mR to 10m@345w+ w/3mR) to 15m c/d

      Run 3 hours later:

      2.5mi w/u to 6x(1.25mi@11.6mph w/.25miR@7.1mph) to 2.5mi c/d.

  4. Best of luck at WCs. Hope you find some fast feet early and are able to shock everybody with how strong you are on the bike and run.

    Do you also do most of your run training indoors? Do you play around with the incline to simulate hills or just vary the speed while keeping the belt flat?

    • Thanks man. It’s much appreciated.

      I do the vast majority of my running indoors. I like running with the tunes cranked, no shirt, etc.

      I do a bit of tinkering with the incline. Mainly when I run out of speed. I have a decent treadmill, but it’s older. It only goes up to 12mph. If I’m doing half mile repeats, this is too slow, so I will put the incline up to 2% max. I should note that I think my treadmill is a bit faster than the treadmills at my local gym (which are brand new). For instance, mile repeats at 12mph and 0% on my treadmill are very challenging, but if I go do this same workout at the gym, it is too easy and I have to raise the incline to about 2% to get the same effect. I estimate my treadmill as being 0.3-0.5mph faster than the ones at the gym. In the future, I will invest in a treadmill that goes up to 15mph, and then I will never play with the incline, I will only increase the speed. I think comfort at progressively faster leg turnovers is what really translates into faster running.

  5. Wow you are a beast!
    Interesting. about the cadence. I personally have a lower cadence which is why I was curious. I’ve heard that cadence is definitely a physiology trait and unique to each athlete but have not seen many triathletes which a cadence that low. But as you allude to if it works not always a good idea to try and conform. As for your run form, i laugh at the person that would try and change your stride!

    • I’ve been told that the high cadence craze stemmed from Lance Armstrong. He was winning a ton of races at 100+RPM, and everyone thought that was his secret. Apparently that sort of logic has spilled over into triathlon. I’ve definitely noticed that my cadence changes depending on the output. At over 400w it is very challenging to hold a sub 80 cadence. I am unable to generate the torque to turn the pedals over; not for very long anyway. As the wattage decreases, I am able to hold progressively lower and lower cadences. I read one study that claimed that at constant power output, a lower cadence will have more of a training effect than a higher cadence. I believe they attributed this to the increased force required to turn the pedals over, which caused an increase in testosterone, etc. All I know is that in a race situation, without any cadence data showing on my bike computer, I tend to push around 80RPM. So if I’m around that in practice, I’m cool with it!

  6. i was in the moment of, should i go run, i’m tired but saw your video. ready to roll!!!! good luck out there from Chile, great performances!!!!

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