Adjustments to Time based RF on a slow targeted Pace

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    Good Day 8020 Coaches,

    Hard to come up with a short and concise title. I understand and agree that you base the runs on time, instead of distance. It does make sense as to why you do it. When you built the plans, what avg pace did you base the run time on? There is a large discrepancy in runners who would do the IM L0 or L1 plans. I would imagine the run finish times would range from 3:30 to 6 hrs. So would the longest run of 2:40hrs provide the same benefit to the fastest and slowest runner?

    As someone who will probably be targetting(based on current performance) 4:45hrs to 5:15hrs on the marathon portion of my first IM, would it be beneficial to add 10% the all the long runs and/or add an additional Recovery or RF run into weekly balance? Just due to concerns of being a bigger athlete, I would balance adding the 20% intensity to the bike workouts. The current training plan, L0, would only have me completing a half marathon at low intensity….and for at least the mental component, it would be nicer if one had at least completed say 30-32km of a run… 3/4 of the way. Never ran a marathon before, never ran an IM. I have few HM distance runs, but just for “fun” in Z1/Z2.

    Great job as always!

    PS did you guys release the different levels of the maintenance plans yet?

    David Warden


    We used a runner with a 50-minute 10K time as our “baseline” athlete to determine our run durations.

    Regarding whether a 2:40 long run is “enough”, I just had this exact same question from one of our Gold subscribers this morning, I’m just going to copy and paste my response here!

    The challenge here is that you really can’t recover from more than a 6-hour ride or a 2.75-hour run fast enough to continue to train the following week. It doesn’t matter if you cover 200K in 6 hours or 150K in 6 hours, it’s going to take about 7-10 days to recover for either athlete. Some on the run. That’s one of the reasons we use Time and not Distance for these workouts: to ensure that the athlete has enough recovery. Otherwise, if we dictated a 22-mile run Athlete A would be be running for 2.5 hours, but Athlete B would be running for 3.75 hours and that could destroy you training for two weeks.

    But, is it a risk that you won’t have enough miles under your belt for the IM? Yes. But, we’re trying to balance the risk of insufficient recovery with the risk of lack of distance-specific preparation. The “typical” athlete can finish an Ironman with the duration we have laid out in the training plan.

    So, the bottom line is: for you, knowing yourself better than me, what is the best balanced risk? Maybe you recover better than a “typical” athlete. You could add an hour to your longest bike ride and 45 minutes to your longest run… can you train the following week effectively? Will it actually just thrash you for race day? Will it destroy your taper? Or, maybe you just add 30 minutes to each longest ride and run as a compromise.



    Great Answer David. I know it’s part of my mentality and maybe other Triathletes aswell, but it always helps me trust the process if I know the “why”. Your programs haven’t let me down yet.

    As a big guy, running is my weakest sport and my great chance of injury. So I like to push that area more but it helps to know why limitations are in place so I don’t do anything too stupid.

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