Endurance Training and the 300 Pound Man

EnduranceThe issue keeps coming up about how you can lose weight while training for an endurance race like an Ironman and is it even possible? When we put the podcast out to everyone to send in topics and potential questions, this one issue has been brought up a number of times, so it is obviously something that weighs (ha ha) on many minds. Especially us “BoP’ers”.

When I broach the topic with other athletes or podcast guests I get the normal response.

“It depends”

Oh … well that makes sense. Thanks! Very hepful!!

I am joking of course … it really depends on the type of workouts you do. To make a few points.

One thing that endurance athletes always forsake is weight training. In all fairness, though, it is not usually because we don’t like lifting weights, actually the majority of us do like it, but more that we just don’t have the time to add this into our weekly training. I personally love lifting weights, but I back off when real specific training because of the time and of the fear of over training legs/arms/back and not being able to fully train what counts on race day.

Is this wrong thinking? Perhaps so. The opinions vary across coaches and online sources. Go into Slowtwitch and mention weight training and you’ll be drummed out of the room, but go to Beginner Triathlete and you’ll find another whole way of thinking. Ask one coach and they are against weight training during the season and relegates it to the off season only, but then another builds a 9 month plan that allows for three weight training days a week. As a newbie, where does one turn?

I personally believe that your time should be spent on your weaknesses. If you are a strong swimmer and a weak runner, then your time is probably not best spent in the pool three days a week for a race that is down river, as Chattanooga is. Rather, you should be spending most of the time you have running.

But again, if you’re throwing in weight training, where do you find the time?

Like this …

Long Slow Distance vs. High Intensity Interval Training
I started reading and listening to Jonathan Bailor at The Smarter Science of Slim. He advocates reducing the number of LSD (long slow distance) training to once per week and filling the middle of the week with short, intense, “in and out” sessions. If you are doing this, for example, as fast 30 minute swim you have time to throw in a fast free weight session that is muscle specific to your training.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is new to me, but it is something I have been both interested in and have been asked about by others. Since my run is an issue, it is something I am very eager to try. I wanted to set up a workout after work at the University of Tampa track. It should prove interesting … both in seeing how it affects my LSD sessions but also how ridiculous I am going to look sprinting down a track.

I am planning a series of blog posts centered around the “myths of training”. I have become interested in these because I am finding that the majority of training plans you can find out there, either from books or from coaches, contradict each other, and are more often than not centered around the elite to high performing athlete and not the 250 pound guy whose body cannot take 8-10 mile runs 5 days in a row. A current book I am reading, “The Well Built Triathlete” by Mark Dixon, comments on a numbers of myths he has found while training elite level athletes for triathlon and a number of them rang true. I will be sharing some of these in this blog over the next week or so, plus adding in my own experiences and opinion. I am sure that the elite levels of you that read this blog (not sure how many there are, but it’s possible) will not agree with some of them (for example, the LSD method of training is considered outdated even in Dixon’s book), but it should provide a good insight into “training heavy”.  If you have a few “myths” or common practices you are told that you find don’t work well for you, drop me a line.

4 thoughts on “Endurance Training and the 300 Pound Man

  • June 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Ever since instarted lifting, i have taken minutes off my swim workouts (but not distance). Lifting has made me more confident of NOT getting injuries AND has made me a stronger cyclist, too.

  • June 23, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I did a 34 minute half marathon PB in 5 months by adding a little HIIT track work and improving my overall fitness through cycling and swimming. I’m still mystified by running though as it seems to be getting harder the faster that I’m going. Looking forward to more myths.

  • June 23, 2014 at 10:55 am

    How about the myth that lifting weights will make women bulky? While it’s a weight-training myth and not an endurance training myth, I hear it all the time

    • June 23, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Oh man … for sure … I hear that all the time also.

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