Ironman Lake Placid (IMLP) 2014 Race Report: Minimalist Training Program

Scan 2

A family tradition…in a few years I’ll be escorting the boys with my cane.

When I sampled Ironman in the early 90s, I viewed the 45+ age-groupers with curiosity. So I was unsurprised when a kid at my Lake Placid hotel last week asked me why “an older guy” would subject his body to 141 miles. Twenty years ago I was curious about them. Now I was curious about myself.

 Many of you are curious about Ironman so here’s a brief. I finished the hilly Placid course in 10:55, good for 14th of 349 in my age group. Two years earlier I completed Ironman New York in 10:46, which was 28th of 385. This November in Florida I’m gunning for 10:26, which would beat my time as a 24-year-old.

Ironman has three categories: the machines going for Kona qualification on 12-20 hours/week, those who want to finish with support of coaches and family, and the weirdos.

So to all weirdos who read these presents, greeting.


My buddy, Ryan Atkinson, and I decided to test the minimalist training threshold at Ironman Lake Placid. The winter was the busiest I’ve ever experienced in my job. In springtime, I was coaching both soccer and football for both boys in different age groups. I didn’t have time for a conventional workup, with weekends dominated by low intensity rides and runs. With golfing-like time allocation. So we took the only road available to time-crunched dads: make every workout count. Cut out some beer. But not enough to lose our devil-may-care attitudes.