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Old 04-25-2014, 01:25 PM   #1
Jon Bettis
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Ironman

I've taken off about 100/lbs in the last couple of years mostly by aerobic training. I made my way through numerous Half-Marathons and Marathons. Last month I completed Ironman Oceanside 70.3 (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1 run) in 8:00:43. I have now signed up for a Full Distance Ironman Arizona in November.

Of course I spent an incredible amount of time training for the 70.3 and probably even more for the 140.6 however I've read some articles about 'less can be more'.

Can anyone direct me to CrossFit for triathlon.

Thanks
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:27 PM   #2
Andrew Bell
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Re: Ironman

Welcome to the site Jon, and congratulations on both losing a lot of pounds, and completing all those events. I ran my first half marathon this past November with no plans to run another one afterwards. Lol

I definitely believe a less is more approach is good for many things. There is also the keep it simple and stupid method. However, I do believe that for something as specific as Ironman, a generalist routine such as CrossFit may not be the best idea. While I definitely think that it can help you in some areas, I am more of the belief that a full endurance program based around Ironman training is your best bet.

The basis of crossfit is to help you get much better at being a very well-rounded athlete. The demands of Ironman are rather laid out well in advance. Very long endurance efforts at three different disciplines. Personally, I would focus on those three disciplines more than anything else to get through this.

Well I am a fan of CrossFit in many cases, I am not a fan of using this style of training for something as specific as Ironman. While I believe that the training of muscular endurance can be a benefit, I would definitely be cautious about the met cons prescribed in any CrossFit workout for a training so specific as Ironman.

That's some of my thoughts and my opinions. There are thousands others like it, and thousands not like it. Perhaps someone who is a fan of using CrossFit for Ironman training can speak up. Just doing my due diligence to ensure that you do not throw caution to the wind and think about what I have mentioned here.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:21 PM   #3
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: Ironman

Dunno if there is a "Crossfit Triathlon."

The closest might be Crossfit Endurance (wfs).

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Old 04-25-2014, 11:07 PM   #4
Nick Hoffman
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Re: Ironman

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Originally Posted by Andrew Bell View Post
Welcome to the site Jon, and congratulations on both losing a lot of pounds, and completing all those events. I ran my first half marathon this past November with no plans to run another one afterwards. Lol

I definitely believe a less is more approach is good for many things. There is also the keep it simple and stupid method. However, I do believe that for something as specific as Ironman, a generalist routine such as CrossFit may not be the best idea. While I definitely think that it can help you in some areas, I am more of the belief that a full endurance program based around Ironman training is your best bet.

The basis of crossfit is to help you get much better at being a very well-rounded athlete. The demands of Ironman are rather laid out well in advance. Very long endurance efforts at three different disciplines. Personally, I would focus on those three disciplines more than anything else to get through this.

Well I am a fan of CrossFit in many cases, I am not a fan of using this style of training for something as specific as Ironman. While I believe that the training of muscular endurance can be a benefit, I would definitely be cautious about the met cons prescribed in any CrossFit workout for a training so specific as Ironman.

That's some of my thoughts and my opinions. There are thousands others like it, and thousands not like it. Perhaps someone who is a fan of using CrossFit for Ironman training can speak up. Just doing my due diligence to ensure that you do not throw caution to the wind and think about what I have mentioned here.
That.

A full Ironman is a very specific event. Your training should be focused on it.

I would be careful about using Crossfit Endurance. Last time I checked (been awhile), the creator himself has DNF'd every ultra he's participated in since. The only person I know of that's actually completed ultras on CFE does not think very highly of that style of training.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:10 PM   #5
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: Ironman

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Originally Posted by Nick Hoffman View Post
I would be careful about using Crossfit Endurance. Last time I checked (been awhile), the creator himself has DNF'd every ultra he's participated in since. The only person I know of that's actually completed ultras on CFE does not think very highly of that style of training.
Yeah. I probably should have put in a disclaimer of some sort. I don't really know much of anything about CFE and really don't care to. It'd be up to the OP to do his own investigation.

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Old 04-29-2014, 07:54 AM   #6
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Ironman

CrossFit can be used in place of short days.

The idea is to reduce volume, add different types of training, be stronger particularly on the bike and avoid or reduce repetitive motion injuries.

You will still need your long days.

This is pure speculation having trained both disciplines but I would guess subbing in the CrossFit will allow you to become a better triathlete up to a certain point.

Once you reach that point specializing will produce faster times. Most very good triathletes are lighter, thinner then what CrossFit training will produce.

What was your half time? What is your goal?
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:35 AM   #7
Richard Colon
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Re: Ironman

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Originally Posted by Jon Bettis View Post
Can anyone direct me to CrossFit for triathlon.
Just train as the triathletes do. Period. You need to put in the "road work."

Crossfit is all mainstream, high and mighty and almost the 800lb gorilla in fitness these days but it is still a single method that is not always (and often is certainly not) the best option for many training goals.

A full triathlon is no joke. You have nutrition concerns and an exhaustive training process to get there. Granted, you aren't trying to win Kona but don't look for shortcuts. You have to also establish the grind to get your mind right. Take what you did and double it. On paper that sounds like "well duh", but consider the break down of the body and the extra fatigue and that is only the physical. Ride the bike for twice as long and then get off and run the full marathon. It is a mental grind that you need to train for as well, and sometimes you need a bunch of those 3+hr days to get to that place.

Train for that. Just as Crossfit can expose you to and give you love for Olympic lifting, if Olympic weightlifting specifically is your goal, then train that specifically - don't use Crossfit as the means to increase your Snatch and Clean and Jerk. Top end Crossfitters like Aja Barto are doing just that. Sure some top end Crossfitters can hold their own in USA Weightlifting circles but internationally, the best Snatch and C&J Crossfit numbers are equivalent to female numbers in the same weight classes (if that.) The same goes for a full ironman. It is a specialized event that requires specialized training. Try a 4+hr road day after 'Crossfit' with some Squat cleans or Tabata squats. 2 different approaches with interference.

You can have some triathletes transition well to Crossfit because they have that grind, that mental drive and obvious endurance. However I find it hard to believe that someone is prepping for an Ironman by doing Crossfit. A close friend and client of mine is an amazing athlete. Someone capable of qualifying for regionals in Crossfit with 2-3 honest months of full Crossfit effort. Guaranteed. She finished an ironman in 12ish I think...She has said many times, and this being a fan of all things Crossfit and how amazing it has made her perform in many things - "I'd never train non ironman for that ironman that I did."

In short, just do triathlon stuff. Look on those boards and talk to those in those circles. Pick the goal and make it count. Give it your best. Assuming many of the full ironman times are in effect, even if you just doubled your best 1/2 tri, you are 1 hour from being DNF for not making the cutoff (I think it is 17hr time limit)..

that sounds like you need some long a$$ endurance work to me. Quite counter to typical metcon Crossfit - even in Crossfit endurance.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:22 PM   #8
Richard Macaulay
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Re: Ironman

Check our Ben Greenfield. He has some interesting ideas.

http://bengreenfieldtri.blogspot.co....alist.html?m=1

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Old 05-19-2014, 10:50 PM   #9
Dakota Base
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Re: Ironman

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Originally Posted by Jon Bettis View Post
Of course I spent an incredible amount of time training for the 70.3 and probably even more for the 140.6 however I've read some articles about 'less can be more'.

Can anyone direct me to CrossFit for triathlon.
How many hours per week were you training for your 70.3? Which program were you on?

In my limited (about 16mos of training over the last 20), CFE is a "I want to finish a triathlon" program, and less really isn't more if you want to make a habit of doing well. In other words, if you want to FINISH an IM140.6, sure, you can CFE your way there in 10hrs a week, but you'll get better gains doing a traditional Ironman training program. I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted CFE to work for me, since I'm a power athlete turned endurance triathlete myself, but after I had done a 16wk traditional program, then tried to reduce my training volume by going to CFE for the next cycle, I could tell the difference. And as soon as I picked back up into a traditional SBR program, my performance improved more rapidly again. CFE is a great "couch to ironman" program, but it's not a great Ironman training program.

Considering your 8hr 70.3 finish, you'll need to make pace gains before you pursue a 140.6, otherwise you'll likely miss the cut off of 17hrs - keeping in mind that you also have to hit the 2:20 mark out of the water and 10:30 mark or less off of the bike. Depending on how your splits look, I'd be focusing on improving your speed/pace and your capacity to handle that speed. I personally have to focus on developing my speed front to back - the fresher I am coming out of the water, the better I can burn it on the bike. The more efficient I can be on the bike, the better I can beat it down on foot. No matter how efficient I've trained to be running, it doesn't make up for having an empty gas tank coming out of the water and fighting the bike. But the swim is also my weakest link, and the bike my strongest.

Since you lost 100lbs, I'm assuming you had a coach of some sort during your training so far, but was it a weight-loss coach or a triathlon coach? Have you ever used a triathlon coach?
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:55 PM   #10
Dakota Base
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Re: Ironman

Others have mentioned it, but if you look at Brian McKenzie's record with IM's or other triathlons, and his abysmal Ultra record, it speaks to the "efficiency" of CFE.

Sure, it's less miles, but if you look at the HOURS of training in CFE compared to that of someone that was time pressed and just did a traditional SBR program, the finishing times still aren't as good for CFE.

I remember last fall there was a series of threads, maybe 3 or 4 threads, where CFE folks were bragging up their marathon times. The best I recall was 4hrs. I'm not saying a 4hr marathon is anything to scoff at, because it's 26POINT TWO miles, but it sure aint a competitive time for someone that had been training CFE for marathon for a couple years.

I suppose I'd attest that CFE is a great OCR training program, but at the same time, only a select few OCR's are competitive, and at that pace, CFE won't get you there without a big time mileage commitment between strength/MetCon work.
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