Tiago Costa

Internet entrepreneur and triathlete (Ironman Finisher). Founder of WayNext – digital agency and other companies. Blogging for myself, this is not the agency voice. Welcome!

Ironman Frankfurt 2014 – Training in progress


It’s been a while since I last wrote on this blog. First it was the holiday season and then the training season for the IM has picked up and is now on full steam.

A lot of very interesting things have been happening in the last few weeks related to this triathlon. First on the 6th January real focused IM training has began

Don Fink - Be Iron FitAfter reading Don Fink‘s book and a lot of other training literature I have decided to follow his plan. This will be my first time trying to follow a real training plan (for all the races I have entered before I didn’t had a strict written down plan, but this time is different). The good thing about Don Fink’s plan is that it was designed to match busy agendas of people who put in above average hours at work and then also have families to take care of. So the plan is “less” (I have to use quotes on less…) demanding during the week and allows you to fit the long training sessions on the weekends. I sense it is a program very focused on achieving your goal, which in my case (and for now) is only about finishing the race in decent shape – it’s probably not the program if your goal is to race a sub-10h IM, but if you would be into that you would probably need a specific coach and a book plan would not be an option.

Anyway, when I write “less” demanding this is not to be taken lightly because it still needs you to commit 10-14 hours per week and that will most likely mean putting 2 training sessions in a couple of days per week. Anyway Don Fink does the math, your week has 168 hours, so we are talking about 8% of your week being committed to training for which, if you have a reasonably demanding career and family will mean that before you manage to be an IM you will be a master time juggler 😉

Another interesting premise on Don Fink’s plan is that you should not train miles, but time. He believes the best training results come from training for a certain time at a certain heart rate zone. So this are your basic units: time and heart rate; you don’t go out for a 50km bike ride, you go out for a 90m bike ride at Z1-Z2. You can calculate your approximate heart rate zones but I advise you to get tested at some medical facility, because this are average zones that may not apply to you. You should also run a medical check-up before starting all this, but if you are considering an IM you probably have been there already. Just for the sake of example, my running HR zones would be something like this:

Zone 4 – 167/177 – Anaerobic training
Zone 3 – 160/166 – Middle zone, no man’s land (don’t waste time at)
Zone 2 – 140/158 – High end aerobic training
Zone 1 – 121 / 138 – Low end aerobic training

I still have a bit more to write about training with an Ultraman (oh yeah!) and the new TT bike (and its challenges) but I will have to leave it to another post. My time juggler skills require me to quit writing now!


Author: Tiago Costa

Internet entrepreneur, Ironman Finisher and kitesurfer. Founder of WayNext – web agency and other companies. Blogging for myself, this is not the agency voice.

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