A half distance Iron Triathlon followed up with a 500lbs squat and 550lbs deadlift.What is the point?The goal was prove the methods I use in my END-Strength programming could produce and maintain a respectable level of strength that is not degraded tremendously by intense endurance output.
The plan was to complete the Beach 2 Battleship Half Iron Distance Triathlon in less than 6 hours and follow it up with a 500lbs squat and a 550lbs deadlift within 24 hours of the race.The primary purpose of achieving this is the applications for our military and of course, to also further prove the methods. The only way to figure out how far we can go with this type of training is to push the limits.
Our military, especially our special operations forces (SOF), already juggle too many tasks.The methods I am employing are not only effective, but very simple.The volume of training one sees in this program is surprisingly low… less strength work than any lifters use and far less endurance work than typical running or tri coaches would problem.So It is my ultimate goal to have a lasting and positive influence on the way SOF, and all our military, prepare themselves physically.In over two years of training this way, I have had no injury.That in and of itself is notable to the military. Injuries in training account for millions of lost man hours each year.
As for the race, like many, it did not go completely as planned. All triathlons have variables.Each year each race is different. Weather conditions are the biggest variable. Hot weather can kill a race time, but in October in North Carolina, you can just as likely have cold weather and hypothermia threats. Winds can play a huge role on the bike. A slight head wind can easily lure an athlete into overexertion that kills their run. For the most part, we had a beautiful race day.The B2B swim is in a channel. The currents fluctuate with rising and ebbing tides. The schedule the B2B so the race morning’s tide work in favor of the athletes. However, the currents differ from hour to hour. Each division may get more, or less, aid from the currents depending on when they start the race.
I felt a little of the night before and had a slightly sore throat. My girlfriend and training partner, Melissa, had had significant cold / flu the week before the race, so I knew I was getting a touch of it.
As I waited for the start I still felt fine.It was only a few minutes into the swim that my guts started cramping. I did not swallow salt water, nor I did not eat anything different than I usually train on and I do not get nervous butterflies. So it was just a thing for the day.
The swim went well, I cannot freestyle, the fastest swim technique, because of my torn supraspinatus. Instead I use a version of the side stroke called the UDT recovery stroke.I estimate that I am 2-4 minutes slower with it than the freestyle on the Half Distance’s 1.2 mile swim. Swim time: 36:09
The cramping and pain increased on the cycle. I was able to keep to my planned pacing, but it hurt a bit. There was a head wind for the majority of the course. It added 10 or 12 minutes to my time on the 56 mile bike. Bike time: 2.50:05.
The run… the run absolutely sucked. My insides were so torn up I wanted to withdrawal. After numerous porta-potty stops and quite of bit of walking along the first ten miles of the course I finally was able to sustain a decent pace for the last three. I had trained for and planned on a 1:50 on the run.Instead, I had the worst 13.1 mile run time ever slower than I can complete the same distance with a 50lbs pack on any other healthy day. Time: 2.48:45
With transitions (the times between the events where you change shoes, etc.) my total race time was 6.25:15.
So not at all the best race experience of my life, worst to date actually.On the upside I was not sore or hurting in any way the following day.I went to the gym and quickly worked up to a 505lbs squat and followed it up with a 565lbs pull.Both were more than I had said I would do, so I logged an overall success.
As I said in intro, I am purposefully doing this work to R&D better training methods for our military troopers. It actually goes far beyond the requirements needed by our military. There is not a job in the military that requires a 500 plus lbs squat and pull and the endurance of a sub six hour half iron distance triathlon. By exceeded both the strength and endurance needed by our troops, I can provide our warfighters proven information on the relatively small amount of training needed to reach the numbers I, and few others have, with no injuries and with such a small amount of time.
For civilian enthusiasts who want a blend of strength and endurance, this stuff is very simple and easy.The two rarely go hand in hand these days most coaches over complicate training, often in an effort to sell a more scientific training method. I prefer to go the other direction with training and make it simplistic. It tends to be more effective.