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Over the past many years, I have been training athletes seeking to race their first Ironman distance triathlon, as well as athletes aiming at racing faster at that distance.
Many of them had challenging schedules: business executives traveling the world on a regular basis, entrepreneurs with irregular, demanding schedules, surgeons and ER doctors with unique schedule specificities; not to mention children to take to soccer practices, swim meets, university visits, and other family activities taking place on weekends and throughout the week.
Devoting 15 to 18 hours a week, or more, on a regular and consistent basis to train across 3 disciplines during the months leading to an Ironman distance race proved to be somewhat impossible for these time-crunched ironman athletes. Yet, they succeeded in achieving their goals.
In this paper, I will highlight what made the athlete/coach approach and relationship successful, along with some lessons learned. Though some of these considerations would apply to any athletes, they become even more important, and actually critical when it comes to athletes training for ironman distance races, where the training volume and workload can be quite significant and in direct conflict with the athlete’s available time for training.