a “Big Day” of training

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of gfd gfd 6 years, 9 months ago.

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    Profile photo of TriLiving

    I’m a big fan of Joe Friel’s training philosophy and plans – seems to work well with my adaptation, etc.. I have used him off and on and the years I used his plans, had great performances. I used his Intermediate Half plan for my first half ever after only 1 year or so in tris and did 5:01. I am using his plan for IM Louisville and the training has been going well and I have also had some of my best sprint and Oly finishes (probably given the HUGE base I have now).

    On Joe’s blog, he mentioned doing a “big day” 2 times during the final 12 weeks. Once at 10 weeks out (this weekend) followed by RR week and then once a little closer to the beginning of the taper. The big day consists of the following: Wake up the same as you will on race day 2 to 3 hours before and have a big meal. Then, 1 Hour swim (OW if possible). Rest 90 minutes with light calories and legs up. Next, ride for 5 hours. Then another 90 minutes rest. Finally run 2 hours.

    His rationale is that you will be “focusing on training” for 11 to 14 hours (if you include the early morning nutrition) and will be physically training for 8 hours. It’s supposed to be a good gauge of not only your fitness but your mental focus.

    I am considering doing it this weekend. Otherwise my weekend would be Saturday 2:30 run and 1:15 swim and Sunday 5:30 bike with 15 minute run. Ideally, I would like to do a half sometime in the next month or so, but I cannot find one that fits my schedule …. would like to know what others think about the idea of a “big day” during training.

    Profile photo of jarhead

    Very hard to argue with Joe Friel and his proven track record. I can definitely see the benefit metally of ensuring that you can race for that long, but is it necessary? I’m trying to picture myself doing that and every time it comes to a 90 minute rest I don’t see myself getting back off the couch to put myself through the torture. I would rather go straight through as it is less painful to jump from one sport to another then to have a long rest period where the muscles tighten up.

    For pro’s and elites who have nothing to do but train, this is probably a typical long workout, but for average joe who holds down a job and has a family I can think of better ways to train.

    If you decide to do this, let us know how it went.

    Profile photo of trekrider

    i agree with the 90 min break…just long enough for the muscles to tighten up and the couch to feel more comfortable. SO therefore the mental toughness part would be key!!

    Profile photo of TriLiving

    I think the idea is that the 90 minutes gives you enough rest to maybe help control injury, yet allows enough fatibgue to feel a bit like the race. Also give time to mnage nutrition and hydration a little better to better handle recovery….. still debating. Here is the link to Joe’s Blog.


    Profile photo of Anton

    I think it’s a great idea! One of the ideas behind long workouts and back to backs, is to get you used to accumulating fatigue. This sounds like this method would do that AND lesson the chance for injury.
    Next time out of the gate I’ll have to try it.

    Profile photo of TriSooner
    jarhead wrote:
    . . . but is it necessary? I’m trying to picture myself doing that and every time it comes to a 90 minute rest I don’t see myself getting back off the couch to put myself through the torture . . . For pro’s and elites who have nothing to do but train, this is probably a typical long workout, but for average joe who holds down a job and has a family I can think of better ways to train.

    +1 What happened to “train as you would race?” Does anyone take :90 transitions? Ergo, this is bunk. Try it, and you won’t go back out. At least not when the difference between 7:00am and 12:00 noon is about 30 degrees hotter.

    Profile photo of TriLiving

    If the 90 minute breaks is the issue, would anyone do that big of a brick?

    Profile photo of dkhartung

    And then there’s life getting in the way of training plans.
    I have found it easier to get to it early (long brick – something like 4 hr. bike, 1 hr. run), play with the family for the afternoon, then get back to it later by spinning on the trainer for an hour to warm back up and then a 2 hr. run. Makes for a long training day while not missing everything else.

    Maybe I’m not pushing the training up hard enough for my first IM, but I figure a 5 on the bike and 3 running on a single day, even when broken up, is a pretty good fitness test. I don’t recall marathon training plans calling for runs of 26.2, so I’m not convinced that an IM training plan needs to take you up to the full distances either. We’ll see soon.

    Profile photo of TriLiving

    Totally understand the “life getting in the way thing”. I’m married with 2 kids and work full time. The beauty of this weekend is that my wife and kid are gone all day Saturday AND with Sunday being father’s day, I’ll get to totally recover during the US Open finals….

    Profile photo of TriLiving

    Yesterday was my “big day” trial run. I decided to opt against the longer rest periods, based on not only on some of the advice, but because we ended up having plans in the evening and I needed to get done :-)

    Woke up at 5:30 and had a good meal. I headed out to the open water swim venue at about 6:30. This year the OWS venue has opened up a 4 lap option around a 750 meter course but only to the first wave of swimmer. Swim started at 8:15am. I went out with a good comfortable steady pace and my sighting was great. I was fast enough that I lapped some folks planning to do 4 laps and they let me do a 5th lap to get in 3750 meters or 2.33 miles (though my Garmin 310XT said I did 2.5 miles.) Time 1:13.

    The only break I took was the 30 minutes to drive home and finish getting my bike gear together. I headed out for a 4.5 hour ride and put in 82 miles at 18 MPH (right around my target speed for my first IM). It was getting really hot, 90+ degrees, during the ride. My nutrition was really good and I thought my hydration was good. I came in and took maybe another 30 minutes to cool off a little, change cloths and get ready for the run.

    By the time the run started it was about 94 degrees. I headed out to do 15 to 16 miles in 2:30. My plan was to do 3, 50 minutes loops with a little mock aid station I set up with a cooler full of ice. The first 1:30 was pretty good, averaging around 9:00 to 9:45 pace. Then the wheels came off. My energy plummeted. By the end I was running a mile, walking a mile. I finished only getting in 12 miles at a 10:30 to 11 Pace. I felt like my nutrition was good….BUT, when I got back to the house, I was in bad shape. I had lost almost 8 pounds during the day in water so obviously my hydration was not good.

    My assessment is that I am in a good place for my goal of a finish and maybe a sub 13 hours. My nutrition is pretty good, though I need to work on what I can stomach better on the run. Hydration was the issue. I felt I was drinking enough, but I think my sodium was not right especially with the heat yesterday. My big mistake was that I had planned to take 3 to 4 salt tabs, and only took 1 (need to stock up). I think more sodium would have pulled more fluid out of my gut so I could have had more to drink….

    I learned a lot and still have 10 weeks to go….

    Profile photo of gfd

    That is a heck of a workout. Your confidence should be really high for the IM.

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