March: Ironman on 5 hours of training per week?



The Basement "Spa"

March Summary

Starting weight (first three morning average): 214

Ending weight: 210

Total workouts: 16

Weekly Avg Work: 5 hours

Actual bike watts/1.5 hours (aero): 199 watts (terrible)

Estimated Ironman finishing time: 11.5 hours (1:20/6:30/3:40)

Hardest workout: Crank the Cank computrainer at 230 watts—DNF (blown up at 1:15)


I averaged 5-hour workout weeks in March, about 40% of what I’ll do on Ironman day alone. I don’t feel too far behind. My body has gotten used to quick ramp-ups (and free *Falls*). Besides, these next two years are workload experiments. By 2015, when I want a max effort at 45-years-old, I’ll know what mix of workouts is most efficient.

As any time-crunched 40-something athlete knows, time and injuries dominate performance. We can’t yet retire, and devote weekday daylight to workouts, but the wheels are coming loose. Let’s leave injuries for another post and take a look at my current time allocation.

50 hours sleeping

50 hours for Goldman, Sachs

40 hours family time

5 hours/week coaching the boys’ football and soccer teams

5 hours workouts

2 hours writing

16 hours commuting

Last year, I was writing much more (both at night and on the train) trying to finish a book, and sleeping a bit less. This year I’ve had more Goldman work on the train. And anyway I needed a break from hardcore writing. Looking at the time allocation, it’s pretty obvious where the extra workout time in April, May, June and July will come from: Sleep and commuting. This month I started occasionally bike commuting from Greenwich, CT to Goldman HQ in lower Manhattan. It’s 42 miles, but more importantly, these commutes don’t interfere with family life in the mornings and minimize the impact on the way home.

Train+ subway commute: 1.5 hours

Bike commute: 2.25 hours in, 2.5 hours home through Bronx rush hour.

Run Commute (9.6 miles to 125th street): 1:15 run to 125th Street adds only :30 to commute.

Bottomline: If I move to 2 roundtrip bikes to work-per-week (from one) and add one run, I can add another ~6 hours of work at the cost of 2 hours of sleep and 4 hours of commuting. That will put at 10-11 hours of training per week. That’s still below the minimum of 12 hours recommended by time-crunched triathletes, but 10 hours will have to suffice this year.


No more basketball until 2016

March Workouts

Mar 1: 60 minutes Startrac cycle, 220 watts HR 155 (sprained ankle recovery)

Mar 3: 45 minutes hilly computrainer in aero/230 watts/ 180 HR

Mar 4: 35 mile Greenwich ride with Dave Lehman/slightly hilly/HR 160/2 hours

Mar 5: 45 minutes steady state Lifecycle bike 220 watts/155 HR

Mar 6: 4×5 minutes 235 watts Lifecycle/178 HR

Mar 10: 1:05 hilly computrainer/230 watts/HR 175 (:10), 180 (:18), 187 (:50) Mar Mar 11: 38 mi ride Greenwich with Jake Gearhart/HR 155/2:20

Mar 14: 9.6 mi run to 125th Street/ 1:13/ HR 160-170

Mar 17: 1:15 hilly aero computrainer/ 225 watts/HR 175-188

Mar 18: 90 mins steady state aero computrainer (160/170/175) 199 watts

Mar 20: 42 mile ride to work/2:23

Mar 22: 5X 5 mins 315 watts

Mar 23: 20 min run through French Quarter

Mar 24: 50 min run around Tulane

Mar 29: 42 mile ride home from work/2:35

Mar 31: 90 mins aero computrainer, 197 watts, HR 160+ :30, HR 170+ at :45…still seeing drift but not as bad.