Half Iron Level 2 but with only 2 swims per week
February 23, 2021 at 7:35 am #10614
Is there an easy way to determine what swim workouts to drop (and which to keep) if I feel like I am a strong (enough) swimmer with limited time and want to do the Half Level 2 plan but with only 2 swims per week (and generally 3-4 runs and 3-4 bikes per week as the schedule defines)? Or does it come down to doing 80/20 math each week? I know the whole week should be 80/20 compliant, but wondered if there was a simple tip to drop a certain type of swim workout, or to keep certain types of workouts, or some rule of thumb specific to your plans like “drop any Mon-Fri swims after the first one (keep the first one), and keep the weekend swim.” Thanks!February 23, 2021 at 7:51 am #10617
I’ll tell you the simplest GOOD way to do it and let you decide if it’s simple enough! First, never drop the weekly swim focused on endurance. In the first half of the plan, alternate between dropping the swim most focused on moderate intensity (Zone 3) and the swim most focused on high intensity (Zones 4-5). In the second half of the plan, always drop the swim most focused on high intensity except in recovery weeks, when you can keep that one and drop the swim most focused on moderate intensity. This is the best way I can think of to maintain an appropriate overall swim intensity balance and the appropriate ratio of moderate:high-intensity swimming for IM 70.3 prep.February 23, 2021 at 10:50 am #10625
Thanks, Matt. I imagine I can work with that as a guide. One question occurs to me immediately though, what about the STT1 workouts scheduled for recovery weeks to test fitness and adjust zones? Those are moderate intensity, Z3. Are you suggesting that in the second half of the training plan (so starting in Week 11, the Race Specific phase), I should drop the STT1 workouts and do higher intensity swim workouts (like SMI1) on recovery weeks and skip the STT1 fitness tests (and opportunity to measure current fitness and adjust zones)?February 23, 2021 at 11:47 am #10627
Good point. What I’m really saying is that you should drop more high-intensity swims than moderate-intensity swims in the second half of the plan. If you depend on the STT’s to monitor progress and update zones, keep those and drop other Z3 swims.February 23, 2021 at 4:26 pm #10639
In the book (p. 138), it says “Because all 80/20 swim workouts are specified by distance, you will have to do a separate, distance based calculation for this discipline” and then suggests for 80% of swim time to be easy, you should do 75% of the swim distance easy. Emphasis here is mine. So, first, for swimming, I get it. That’s clear how to be manage intensity distribution for swimming by distance, with 75/25 distance to get 80/20 time in swimming.
My question is, the above then presumably means the time based calculations for cycling and running combined (not factoring in swimming), should equal or be close to 80/20. What I’m getting at: should I think about an 80/20 time distribution (or actually 75/25 distance distribution) for swimming and then an 80/20 time distribution for the combined time in biking and running (in their respective zones)? With this method I’m not really broadly arriving at 80/20 from the combined time in all 3 disciplines but I’m doing two separate calculations each week. My point isn’t about a burden of math. It’s just about what kind of latitude once has in weekly planning. If the calculation were 80/20 across all three disciplines, then each could be a little more low, or a little more mod-high, and if it all rolls up to about 80/20 you are good. And I understand that if I instead wanted to do all of the time converted calculations for swim workout distances then all 3 disciplines could roll up for a time based overall 80/20 calculation. But following your advice that the distance to time conversion isn’t worth the effort, do you just think of weekly planning in terms of getting swimming to 75/25 (distance) and then the combination of cycling and running to 80/20 (time), or do you use some method to bring the swim distance split and the cycling/running split together for an overall calc that allows the swimming and cycling+running buckets to each deviate from their text book ideals (75/25, and 80/20 respectively)?February 23, 2021 at 7:23 pm #10642
Also – Matt, when you say “never drop the workout focused on endurance”, based on your other comments about dropping workouts that have Z3-Z5, when you say “endurance” swim workouts, are you talking about just SF and SAe (workouts that have no Z3-Z5)? The word endurance isn’t used either in the title or description of any swim workout as far as I can tell. Obviously workouts with lots of 25 and 50 sprints are a different beast, but I am not sure if SCI, or others in the book, are also considered endurance.February 24, 2021 at 6:25 am #10647
By “endurance” I mean any swim focused on zones below Z3.February 24, 2021 at 4:23 pm #10649David WardenKeymaster
Ted, to answer the other question Matt artfully dodged, your description of how to calculate a week of 80/20 intensity between the swim, bike and run is how we do it. We calculate the swim separately from the combined bike/run since the former is by distance the the latter by duration.
See the attached sneak peek into our primary plan spreadsheet and how we validate that each week falls into the right range. It’s a random week from one of our tri plans. You can see that we take the total swim distance and add up the Z1-Z5 distance, and then a separate calculation for the bike/run time by zone and validate 80/20 for the bike/run and 75/25 for the swim.
DavidApril 27, 2021 at 3:12 am #11717Marius TParticipant
Taking inspiration from another post, what about the following solution?
Keeping both moderate intensity (Zone 3) and high intensity (Zones 4-5) sessions but adding at the end of the workout half of the distance from the endurance swim.
A typical week:
SCI15 — 300 yd Z1, 3 x (300 yd Z3/15″ rest) 300 yd Z1
SSP5 — 250 yd Z1, 500 yd Z2, 10 x (50 yd Z4/20″ rest) 250 yd Z1
SAe2 — 250 yd Z1, 5 x (500 yd Z2, 60″ rest) 250 yd Z1
A 2 days week:
300 yd Z1,3 x (300 yd Z3/15″ rest), 3 x (500 yd Z2, 60″ rest) 250 yd Z1
250 yd Z1,500 yd Z2,10 x (50 yd Z4/20″ rest),2 x (500 yd Z2, 60″ rest), 250 yd Z1
Any thoughts about this?April 27, 2021 at 6:02 pm #11726David WardenKeymaster
Yes! Brilliant. This is another great solution to merge swims and maintain the plan integrity. You can slice and splice all or part of the the swim workouts, especially the easy swim workouts, into any other swim workout.
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