- Prioritising training over sleep. When training upward of 12 hours per week we need upwards of 8 hours sleep per night for adequate recovery. You can get away with less for a while but you will inevitable plateau and be vulnerable to injury and illness. If you suffer from sleep apnea our can’t sleep due to stress then a focus on solving this needs to be a focus. Some good advice can be found here.
Key point: don’t cut sleep to keep to the training volume, trim the training volume to allow you to get adequate sleep!
- Poor everyday nutrition. In general most men eat too much and women too little. Most have a poor balance with an overconsumption of carbohydrates and protein. Overconsumption of either will increase inflammation and slow recovery, while making optimal weight difficult to achieve. Every athlete is different but a good starting point is 1.1 grams protein per lean body mass in kgs and 150 grams carbs per day, with the exception of big training days of 5 hours+. The majority of calories coming from healthy fats. Try this calculator to establish how much you really need.
Key Point: Don’t calorie count, keep to recommended protein and carb intake and eats heaps of varied non starchy vegetables and healthy fats to satiety, no control required on these!
- To much high intensity training. IRONMAN is an aerobic sport where 98%+ of your intensity will be in the aerobic range is you are going to last the distance. For ts reason 80% of your sessions and 90%+ of your training needs to be in the aerobic heart rate range. To calculate your aerobic maximum subtract your age from 180 or use this calculator. Most athletes new to endurance will find they will need to walk hills to keep their HR below their threshold. This is a good indication that they will be walking on the second half of the run regardless how strong a runner they are. It’s true what they say, you need to slow down to get fast. It biggest struggle I have with new athletes is convince them to lose the ego, stop being concerned what their friend will think or their Strava unloads and slow right down. Hey even sub 3:00 hour marathoners do runs at 6:30 / km.