Last night I presented my opinions on base training and how I use a heart rate monitor and power meter in the process. We talked about testing and actually got into why so many folks at gym are really heavy and are at the gym 2+ hours every night sweating buckets. They are working too hard. One of the guys who I admire for his ability and intelligence in training is Mark Allen. I found "his formula" for base aerobic training on the web. This is the formula Mark Allen uses to calculate an athletes maximum aerobic training heart rate because it doesn't require you to know your maximum heart rate. We used this last night for some of the folks at the seminar and we compared this heart rate with what they have been training at currently and what other formulas say. The formula, or calculation is:
1. Take 180 and subtract your age.
2. Take that number and correct it by the amount next to the statement that best describes your level of fitness:
a. Subtract five beats if you are recovering from a major illness or injury that has kept you from training for six months or more.
b. Leave the number where it is if you have been working out about two to three days per week for at least a year.
c. Add five beats if you have been working out more than three days per week for at least a year.
d. Add 10 beats if you have been working out more than five days per week for at least five years without recurring colds, illnesses, injuries or long periods of burnout.
e. If you are older than 55 years old or younger than 25 years old, add an additional five beats to whatever number you have right now.
(Note: if you are trying to decide between two of the above statements, it is much better to pick the one that gives you a lower training heart rate than the one that will give you the higher training heart rate.)
By using this formula over the next three months, I'll have a strong base to work from into the 2008 season. The next 18 months will be tough - racing, MBA studies, a monster lawn, work...and family life. My base fitness is going to be my critical success factor and I know it. Even if I am missing some of the "high end" speed I will have the aerobic engine to compete well.
NOTHING in Ironman is ever done fast. It is all at aerobic pace. The difference - who is stronger and still aerobic. My friend Andrew and Ted learned this the hard way in 2006 at Ironman Wisconsin. They trained all summer HARD. They didn't do the long aerobic rides required...they did HARD 3-4 hour rides planning to be done "before I'd need the endurance". Well...both had long days. In this year's Ironman USA and Ironman Wisconsin Ted used the aerobic method of training...finished both races in the low 11 hour range. Not bad for a guy who travels 3-4 days a week for work (every week) and has a family with young children.
I hope this helps your training.