This post is a response to a reader’s request for information on triathlon training at age 65 compared to when he or she was 55. The reader wrote “The last of my 6 IM races was 10 years ago when I was 55. I’m able to train and race at 70.3 distance, but can’t seem to knock out a 12 – 14 hour training week anymore.”
Since the reader did not give his or her name, I was not able to clarify the request. However, I assume IM refers to IRONMAN 140.6. This is how I framed my request of Kurt Madden.
by Kurt Madden, Head of Coach Development, TriDot
As we go through life, we often know that “experience is the best teacher.” Ideally, all of us will get better and find satisfaction and fulfillment by reaching our fitness goals too.
Before answering the specific request about training for an IRONMAN 140.6 race, I will answer two questions about the TriDot training system.
- How does TriDot factor in age into training plans for IRONMAN races?
- What type of options and/or plans and resources does TriDot provide that will meet the wide range, including age, of people in the sport, from beginner to mid-packer to elite?
The beauty and benefit of the TriDot training plan is the utilization of Normalized Training Stress (NTS). We are the only online training platform that offers this feature. NTS simply means that the system quantifies the amount of training stress, environmental conditions, and age for each training session.
For example, if TriDot prescribed a 50-minute run with intervals, it might give a 35-year-old beginner triathlete a warm-up of 10 minutes, drills and strides, and a main set of 3 x 6 minutes at Zone 4 with 1 minute of recovery between each repetition and a cool down. Conversely, for a 65-year-old beginner triathlete, the session might be 45 minutes, with a warm-up of 10 minutes, different drills, fewer strides, and a main set of 3 x 4 minute at Zone 3 with 2 minutes of recovery between each repetition and a cool down.
The differences are based off the NTS that gathers that information to create the workout rather than an athlete guessing or a coach guessing what type of session would be best for each athlete. Furthermore, the personalized workout is based on the data that continuously goes into the TriDot system. The system is continuously adjusting the duration and intensity depending upon data and your recovery. TriDot takes the guesswork out of what type of workout is best for the athlete through the NTS. This prevents injuries while optimizing their fitness.
TriDot also utilizes our Environmental Normalization. This accounts for temperature, humidity, elevation, and terrain to assess the impact on an athlete’s performance. This is invaluable to help prescribe the best session for the athlete and also works in coordination with the NTS.
For example, the run workout just mentioned for a 65-year-old athlete would have different paces and different heart rate zones, due to the Enviromental Normalization and NTS that TriDot provides, if he were at home in Florida or on vacation in Boulder, Colorado. TriDot takes all the guesswork out of what training session is optimal for this athlete.
Experience With Older Athletes
As a TriDot coach, I find athletes who are in the 55 – 80 age range continue to have success with their training plans and IRONMAN races with fewer injuries. For example, I had three male athletes at the recent IRONMAN California event. Each one’s time improved by over an hour from their race the year before and all were training approximately 13 – 16 hours per week.
Additionally, an athlete that I have coached for six years with TriDot will turn 80 years old next year. He has qualified for both the IRONMAN World Championships in Kailua-Kona and the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in New Zealand. He trains an average of 10 – 12 hours per week without being injured. His times in all three disciplines are impressive. As his coach, I can also make adjustments to his training sessions when needed. I also work with him on nutrition, goal setting, recovery, and race execution.
Now, About IRONMAN Triathlon Training Hours Per Week At Age 65
Training for a full IRONMAN race on much less than 12 – 14 hours a week, such as 10 – 12 hours a week, is a little bit of a stretch. I suggest training 12 – 14 on most weeks, with every fourth week being a recovery or “unloading” week. A recovery or “unloading” week is when the volume of training and intensity of training is reduced. This gives the athlete’s body a chance to regenerate and recovery. When this occurs, typically an athlete will find they will be able to generate more power or train at a faster pace in all three disciplines.
Feel free to contact me by email or through the Comments below if you have other questions.
The other attraction with utilizing the TriDot platform is the various options we offer for all of our athletes. For the beginner, we have an Essentials option which provides the TriDot platform which is ideal for the beginner to intermediate or budget-conscious triathlete at $29.00 per month. The Complete option provides fully optimized training for the intermediate to competitive triathlete at $99.00 per month.
The next option is the Mark Allen Edition option. This includes fully optimized training for the intermediate to highly competitive triathlete. This option includes various videos and supplemental material from Mark Allen and is priced at $149.00 per month. The fourth option is Premium, which offers fully optimized training with your dedicated coach ranging in price from $249.00 – $399.00 per month.
Other resources that TriDot provides are weekly podcasts that are educational and entertaining. A few months ago, we downloaded our 1,000,000th podcast. Access these free podcasts at https://tridot.com/podcast-index/.
If you have to choose one, please check out Episode 123: Aging Up: Getting Faster as You get Older, in which I am featured.
Moreover, TriDot’s Facebook page has close to 17,000 followers. This is a great community and forum for triathletes and coaches.
“Never Say You Are Too Old”
In summary, I encourage all of you to look further into the benefits of training and racing with TriDot. We are the only online platform that has the NTS and Environmental Normalization which makes adjustment for the age of the athlete as well as environmental conditions where the training or racing is taking place.
An added option is to include a coach. A coach will help you be accountable and will enhance your performance over someone just training on their own. Never say you are too old to achieve your goals and stay healthy. It is much better to say that you are “trusting the process” and getting “faster before going further” and that you have a coach.
About Kurt Madden
Learn more about Coach Kurt Madden at https://seniortriathletes.com/kurt-madden/
Leave Your Questions and Comments Below
Do you have questions about the TriDot training system for Coach Madden? Please leave it below.
Comments: Please note that I review all comments before they are posted. You will be notified by email when your comment is approved. Even if you do not submit a comment, you may subscribe to be notified when a comment is published.