I am training a fit 33-year-old male. He is interested in training for an Ironman competition that includes kayaking/mountain trekking and biking. I was wondering if you have any exercise program ideas that could help me out. Currently, he is running/biking a total of five times a week, and I have put him on a Full Body Routine, which he does two to three times a week.
Thanks for your question regarding Ironman training! Mountain Biking and Mountain Trekking with a Kayak leg... wow, that sounds gruesome. There are a few questions that need to be asked that will greatly effect your client’s program. The first concern is the distances of the events, followed by the altitude and how much kayaking is being done presently.
You describe your client’s present training program of five times week run and ride, but no paddling? What type of full body routine are you using? Is it appropriate to your client’s goals? Is it too much?
You can see how difficult it can be to properly “dial in” someone who is trying to compete in a multi-task event, especially when it is of “Ironman” distances (and especially when we don’t have the benefit of personal assessment that you do). So the following suggestions may already be in place by your observation and adjustments to the present program. However, we will throw in a few more training ideas to the mix.
One of the things of concern with endurance athletes is over training and not being able to recover between work “cycles.” A general rule of thumb that seems to work well for everyone is planned down time. After a two to four week cycle of work, take two to four days of very light to no training and very little training volume (one day for every week of a training cycle). This allows all the nagging aches and “tweaks” to heal and psychologically lets the person rest. Not to mention it allows glycogen restoration... when someone trains a lot, it is difficult to eat correctly.
Again, it is difficult to suggest things without a full view of what is presently happening. I agree with your idea on total body two and possibly three times a week. The overall complexion of the program may want to stay below 45 minutes of overall time spent to maintain testosterone levels and focus on multi-joint exercises. One option to try is five exercises per training session with a good variety of lifts to minimize any over repetitiveness. A strong mid-section and shoulder complex care will also be a must. You can design the program around these two areas for injury prevention and build from there. Try the PTN Exercise Library for some ideas on exercises.
Lastly, look through our archives for hydration and supplement concerns. It will be of importance for your client to maintain his health, so he may push forward with his training. Good luck, and let us know how you do. After all, it is a “team” effort (trainer + athlete).