Two-a-Day Workouts

Distance: 30.0 miles
Time: 1:32:28
Average Watts: 183 watts
Normative Power: 204 watts
Average Heart Rate: 157 bpm
Total Work: 1,016 kJ
Average Speed: 19.4 mph

and…

Distance: 31.9 miles
Time: 1:55:05
Average Watts: 197 watts
Normative Power: 230 watts
Average Heart Rate: 155 bpm
Total Work: 1,248 kJ
Average Speed: 16.6 mph

These were my rides on Wednesday. The first one started with my buddy Dan Hendrickson at 5:30 a.m. and we did intervals by taking 0.5 mile turns on the front on a fairly flat out and back course that we like to do. He was killing it on the front so much so that he dropped me on an uphill section. The second ride was one I did at noon with my buddy Curt LaBelle who was in from NYC. His parents live at the top of a 4.0 mile 950 ft. climb where we started. Coming down the hill was crazy — there are three different sections that are marked 12.0% grades and feel every bit of that. We rode 23.9 miles of an out and back and then had to go back up the hill. If you think you are awesome and need to be humbled, I would suggest a 4.0 mile climb that has three sections that top out at 12.0%. According to my file, it took me about 42 minutes to complete that climb. Keeping with the theme of Wednesday, Curt beat me to the top.

At the top of the hill, we did have the chance to swing by and stop at the cemetery our pal Scooter is buried at. I wear a RoadID I had printed with some of his information on it for every ride just so I can take him with me — cheesy, but it is my way of keeping him close. It was good to get back to the cemetery with Curt. I am a very blessed man because of my family and the quality of my friends.

The good news is I am helping cut trails today so I am not biking. It will be nice to have a day off before my buddy Juston Puchar and I ride Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons Friday. I think I will be taking another huge helping of humility on that ride. Waitress, can you bring a huge slice of Humble Pie? No, scratch that, just bring me the entire thing…

Two-a-Day Workouts for Triathletes

I will sneak in a couple of days of two-a-days from time to time, but I try not to rely on these rides as the staple of my cycling workout schedule. When I am putting together my training schedule for an Ironman, I think that for those of us real people who maintain our roles at work, at home, and in the community, tw0-a-day workouts are the best way to train. But if you are just running or cycling, I personally don’t feel two-a-day workouts are necessary. Because I am so focused on cycling this year, I only do them when a friend wants to ride and I need to fit in a specific workout on top of the ride that day. I don’t count lifting weights or flexibility sessions (including workouts) as a workout because while they benefit performance, they are not designed to be sport specific.

As I trained for Ironman St. George last year, because of the nature of my schedule, Monday through Thursday I always had a morning and a night workout. The morning workout was almost always biking because the impact of a good bike sessions is not as significant as a good swim or run session. My body recovers better from a tough bike session than it does from a tough run or swim. I would then generally alternate the night sessions where one week I would have three swim sessions and one run session and the next I would swim two nights and run two nights. On the weeks I had three swim sessions I would either do a long run or a really hard brick on Saturday. Friday was always a hard bike session in the a.m. and nothing in the evening. Sunday was my rest day and by the time it rolled around man did I need/want it.

For the first three weeks of the two-a-day training schedule, you are definitely more tired, but then your body starts to adapt and you really improve your fitness levels. I would go on a four week schedule and focus on one discipline each week and have really intense sessions in that area and still work hard in the other disciplines, but nothing close to what I was doing in the focus area. Week one I would really stress swimming and do tons of intervals and really kill it in the pool. Week two I focused on cycling, week three I really keyed in on running, and week four I backed off everything and gave myself a recovery week. I would have my distances remain similar to the other weeks, but I would not do any hard intervals or climbing that week. I kept this schedule up for the 22 weeks before the race with the last two weeks included as my taper. It was demanding, but I was glad I did it.

A two-a-day schedule does require discipline. You have to be disciplined enough to workout when you are tired and worn out. You also have to commit to not deviating from the purpose of a workout if you are feeling really good. For example, if you use a McMillian Running Calculator or some related tool to determine your running paces and know that your speed workouts should be done at a pace between 7:20 and 8:10, even if you are feeling good I would stay between that pace and resist the temptation to go faster. It sounds counter-intuitive, but if you follow your schedule you are more likely to improve your speed, endurance, and stay injury free.

Training for a triathlon and especially training for an Ironman is no joke. I wanted to finish under 13:00 and have a 12:xx behind my name, but at Ironman St. George I finished in 13:06. I was extremely grateful for all the training that I did because truthfully, I never went to a dark place all day long. I really enjoyed the day. I was tired by the time I finished of course, but I never had thoughts of quitting or throwing in the towel. It was a great day because of all the training I had done. Tw0-a-day workouts were the vehicle that helped me accomplish that goal.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...