TT033: Training Questions & Half Ironman Pursuit

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Half Ironman Training Questions

Rodrigo Chaves is the guest for this episode and we discuss several questions based around half ironman training.  Rodrigo lives in New Jersey and 2014 is his second season of racing triathlons. He’s competed in running races for the last 4 years and he’s been swimming for 8 years. He is training for the Syracuse Half Ironman 70.3 on June 22.  Rodrigo at Syracuse 70.3

Be sure to check out episode 34 for his post-race interview.

Here are his questions that we discussed in the interview:


1. What’s the common volume of training for a person on their second season training for their first half? I feel like my training compared to others might have too much volume. Here’s the breakdown:

Mon: Morning swim, Night Bike (20 – 25 miles)
Tue: Morning swim, NIght Run (35 – 45 min)
Wed: Night Bike (30 – 35 miles)
Thu: Morning swim, Night Run (40 – 60 min)
Fri: Off
Sat: Long bike ride (30 – 50 miles), Run (3 miles easy)
Sun: Long run (8 – 10 miles)

3 swims, 3 bikes for 5-6 hours, 4 runs for 3 hours – 10-11 hours/week.

2. Can i get away with biking twice a week for an half Iron? If so, what should be my key workouts?

3. Swim: I used to just train straight 1 – 1.5 miles two or three times a week. This training program is now asking me to do more intervals (say warmup 300, then 8 x 100 with 15 rest, or 4 x 200 with 20 rest, kick, cool down). I feel like i’m going to lose my endurance not having the long swim in. Thoughts?

4. Big goal is Half Iron Syracuse but I have scheduled some road races in between. How good is that during training? How do you recommend approaching those weeks? I have included a half marathon in there.

5. Work / family and training balance: If there is a training in the week that you just have to miss (meetings, business dinners, family commitments things of that nature), which one is the most expendable?

6.Sleeping issues. Since i am training i find it hard to go to sleep. Any comments and advice?


1. My diet is high on carbs. Need that for training. What’s the right volume of carbs that you would recommend for someone in my situation?

2. How close to your race day nutrition should you be in training? I find it hard to get in many fluids in the bike.

3. What’s cola good for? Since the interview with Andy Starykowicz [episode 19] I’ve been using it and it feels right but i don’t know if it’s something that I should always take.

4. Recovery: chocolate milk myth or reality? How soon after training?

5. Anything else in the bike for nutrition that I should consider?

Bike Equipment

1. I Just got my first tri bike and didn’t realize how much you can upgrade it. In order of importance what componentry would you upgrade?

3. Thoughts on indoors trainers? Are they effective or a waste of time/money? Could i substitute an indoor trainer with just a plain spinning bike at the gym?

Race week/day

1. Thoughts on right taper for my training?

2. What are the essentials that i should have in the bike? Tube, CO2, etc?

3. Race day nutrition recommendations.

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