Three Full Ironmans in One Month
The Ironman circuit has offered me many opportunities to travel over the last eight years. Since 2008, I have competed in and completed eight international Full Ironman races and the Inaugural Ironman Vineman race this year in Sonoma, Ca.
In 2013, I began racing shorter sprint triathlons, winning my age group in almost every single event, and racking up my total race count to over 100 events around the world. I have also moved up in the ranks from a Bronze AWA medalist in 2014 this past year to a Silver AWA medalist in 2015 earning a little more respect along the way. I also did the 2015 Clydesdale 220 lb+ National Champion and still hold the fastest time in the Olympic Distance triathlon event in Grand Rapids Michigan.
The reason why I decided to do attempt to race three Ironmans in one calendar month was so that I could try and get to my goal sooner of becoming an Ironman Legacy qualifier. I am training for that elusive legacy spot in Kona, Hawaii. Since the Ironman Lottery was banned last year, the only way to get into the race is to either qualify with time or become an Ironman Legacy.
You must complete 12 Full Ironman branded distance events and then you have a chance to be selected for a spot into the coveted Ironman World Championships in Hawaii!
I also want people to be educated about the benefits of cross training especially with the indoor rowing machine since I owns and operates my own business in Long Beach Ca. named Roworx.
I educate various athletes during the year and encourage people to train during recovery blocks throughout the season that help swimmers, cyclists, and runners stay injury free and mentally fresh. The key benefits of rowing for triathletes consist of maintaining a low impact and total body workout while enduring the pain and high caloric burn of rowing.
Ironman #1 Vineman, Sonoma July 30, 2016
They announced there were over 2,100 athletes racing. The original creator of the Vineman had always dreamed of having the full Ironman distance event having over 2,000 participants and after 28 years of the event going on they made it a reality.
I will be racing next year in 2017 at the newly announced Ironman Santa Rosa which is 10 miles away from the original Ironman Vineman. It will be my 10th Full Ironman competition!
Ironman #2 Kalmar, Sweden August 19th, 2016
Ironman Sweden, now in its 5th year, is a role model of how every major Ironman race should be modeled after. I described the Kalmar Ironman as a fun, historical, flat, and beautiful course. The fan base consists of thousands of spectators and a supporting community that offers incredible positive energy towards all of the participating athletes along the course.
Ironman #3 Vichy, France August 27, 2016
Ironman Vichy, France is now in its second year of operation and offers a unique blend of history and beauty to a very professional and technical course. The Vichy Ironman and 70.3 are held on the same weekend but alternate days as they really sold this race to the absolute max– more than 5,000 competitors turned out to challenge the Vichy Ironman course.
I chose to participate in the Vichy Ironman mainly because of my very aggressive plan to complete two full Ironman’s in Europe that were only eight days apart. Coming off the Kalmar, Sweden Ironman I decided I would try and get my 9th overall Ironman checked off the list. I was very determined to get qualified for that elusive Ironman Legacy spot of 12 Full Ironman finishes.
This decision turned out to be the hardest series of race events in endurance training that I have ever done in my life. I felt good mentally after the Kalmar Ironman, but my body was broken and I found myself with barely a week to recover between races.
Logistically, this race was going to be a bit tough as I had planned to turn around in eight days after Ironman Kalmar and race another full Ironman in Vichy, but I was on a mission. I knew that I was going to need every bit of help to recover from the Kalmar Ironman so I took advantage of my new sponsor, Red Ace Beets and Juice Plus supplements.
I also used my new Normatec leg compression technology to reduce swelling and enhance circulation through my legs and hips in order to speed up muscle recovery. I drove from Kalmar to Copenhagen and then flew to Frankfurt, Germany. I rented a car and got on my way visiting Cologne, Germany, Paris, Leon France, and then onto Vichy.
The Vichy Ironman course has some sentimental value as my father rowed on the exact same swim course in 1967 during the European rowing championships in the double sculls event. My father, John Nunn, had been there twice and explained to me that it was a beautiful place to visit as well as compete.
I completed all three full Ironman’s in one month on an average finish time of 12 hours flat. It was the hardest athletic challenge I have ever done in my entire life and I not recommend anyone try it unless they are have tremendous physical and mental health.
It pushed me to the edge of injury and nearly broke me. However, I survived to tell my story so that I can inspire other to cross train with rowing and other unconventional training methods.
Here are some basic things to think about while training for a full or half Ironman. Make sure that you keep moving and stay at a steady heart rate. Try to do most your riding indoors on the trainer in order to avoid accidents out on the road.
Two or three times a week jump in the pool, warm up as quickly as possible (5 minutes or so), then just start in with your main set. There are plenty of challenging main sets you can do in 25-40 minutes. Try to do more long slow and steady intervals on short rest instead of sprints on long rest.
Three to five times a week get on the indoor trainer and put in the miles! The bike portion of the Ironman distance race is nearly half of the time of the competition so you must try and put half the total hours of your training into various cycling workouts during your training weeks.
Utilize cycling and also rowing interval training and in the early base focus mostly on extreme high and low cadence in your steady zone with a mix of tempo and maximum threshold workouts. Your default ride will be to go steady on the flats and on into tempo on the hills. Long rides should mostly be done outdoors from 3-5 hours long once every other week or so. Most of the cycling sessions you do should also mostly include steady intensity for an hour in the aerobars.
Being in ‘aero’ position on the bike and learning how to stay in that position is crucial to finding ‘free speed’ in terms of wind resistance. The aero position is not necessarily comfortable and you have to strengthen your core and back in order to get use to this position so that you can create maximum speed efficiency on the bike portion of the race.
Three to five times a week go out and run a steady 5-7 miles. When you start you run be sure to go easy for a few minutes to warm up then run entirely in your steady heart rate zone. Late in the season you can add a few reps of 3-4 minutes of tempo during the run and perhaps a tempo finish.
Make sure to also practice your transition runs and do a ‘brick run’ at least once a week so that you can familiarize yourself with the feeling of getting of the bike and then on into a run. You can also cross-train with rowing in order to become a more efficient and stronger runner when you are in your upper steady heart rate zone and then add a bit more tempo to and running when you get closer to race day.
The run is infamous in triathlon as being the hardest leg mostly because it is the last leg of the race and it is long and arduous especially since you have been fatigued for hours coming off a long swim and bike.
Make sure to try utilizing training camps and or clubs around the area and get a personalized triathlon coach whenever possible. Roworx offers personalized triathlon coaching and training plans.
Take advantage of your time and use those long weekends in order to consider doing a big block of training if that is an option for you.
Practice race rehearsals about 3-4 months out from your race and set up some mini triathlon courses on your own or with a personalized coach so that you can become more aware and comfortable with transitions. You will need to do some big race rehearsal training segments every 2nd or 3rd weekend and you will find that this will add a couple of hours per week to your training.
Remember that consistency and maintaining a steady amount of training hours per week is key and if you find yourself missing workouts and hours of training it will come back to haunt you and your goals of making your goal finish times. The more time you spend at training and fitness specifically tuned towards triathlons, the better prepared you will be to handle the stress of the race.
DON’T BE FOOLED! There is an interesting trend in endurance training and the thought process of making workouts shorter (30 minutes instead of one hour) and more intense is better than training for a complete hour.
Think about it… when was the last time someone spent less time at something and got better at it? For fitness and training the importance of the F.I.T.T. principle is still as important as ever.
Training in shorter segments is NOT the answer and an individual needs to spend the time and training hours in order to improve overall finish times in any Ironman distance event. Below is a sample of a training week I designed in order to train for a Full Ironman.
I consistently try to put together an average of 18 or more hours of cardio and strength training in per week in order to beat his personal best times with Ironman’s and other various competitions.
F- Frequency… How often are you working out and training?
I- Intensity… How intense are your training intervals and are you pushing yourself past your ‘comfort levels’?
T- TIME… The more.. the better! How much time and how many hours are you training per week/per month?
T- Type… Rowing is the BEST total body low impact workout. What kind of workouts are you incorporating in your daily routine?
My typical workout week schedule:
- 9:15 a.m-10:15 a.m Teach a one hour Roworx Rowing Class In Long Beach
- Noon-1 p.m Teach a one hour Roworx Rowing Class In Long Beach
- 3-5 p.m Run 6 miles and or swim laps in the pool
- 7 p.m Teach a 1 hour Spin/Cycling Class
- 9 p.m in bed trying to get at least 8 hours sleep a night
I usually teaches two back to back hour long Roworx Classes followed up by a long run (more than 6 miles) or a long bike ride (more than 40 miles). I will average about 3-4 hours of endurance training with rowing, biking, running, and swimming every day
Tags: Extreme triathlon, Faster triathlon times, Indoor rowing for triathlon training, Ironman, Ironman Kalmar, Ironman legacy, Ironman Vichy, Jack Nunn, Multiple Ironmans in one month, Roworx, triathlon, Triathlon coach, Triathlon speed tips, Triathlon training hours, Vineman