Sorry for the little break in editions. I have been working on a few projects and this got neglected. Related I just launched The Sustainable Endurance Playbook. A complete guide to sustainable endurance training.
Welcome to Vol. 033 of The Endure Eq.
Every week you'll get a deep dive into a topic related to endurance training, maximizing your potential or reaching peak performance. Read past editions.
Let’s jump in.
How to add a long day without ruining the rest of your training week
Long days are crucial for Ironman and 70.3 racing.
They teach your body and mind how to go long (on a regular basis).
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use them for other endurance races as well. You can add these in at any experience level because you can scale what ‘long’ means. Long is relative to the rest of your training.
What is a long day?
3 things that make your training a long day:
- Longer than usual workouts
- Builds metabolic fitness
- Pushes you mentally
Long days can quickly get out of hand and not be effective for your training. Which is why I will show you my step-by-step process to building one out.
Some principles to remember when it comes to your next long day:
- Find your ‘All Day’ pace
- Keep it really easy
- Explore around
- Have fun
Long days are crucial for training. Don’t neglect them. One of the biggest game-changers for my own training was learning how to include long-days into my training.
5 reasons why you need to include a regular long day in your triathlon training plan:
Let’s break down each reason:
Training your metabolic system
The biggest benefit of long days is training your metabolic system.
Beyond 3 hours the limiting factor is usually metabolic as opposed to mechanical or aerobic. Meaning you ability to burn fuel (mostly fat).
If you plan on racing that long you should be training that long.
Building mental endurance
Completing long days build mental endurance.
You can begin to shift your perspective on what a “normal” day feels like. For long-course racing you want several hours to feel comfortable.
Find and breakthrough your mental limits.
Learn to keep moving
On race day, you can reach a point where the only task is to keep moving.
One foot in front of the other.
If you’re already used to this mindset you can adapt to whatever the day throws at you.
Practice your fuelling
Long days are your opportunity to test and practice your fuel strategy.
Answer these questions to build your strategy:
- What do you want to eat?
- How often will you take it in?
- Can you carry it all?
Use long days as a chance to practice it.
Test your gear
The final reasons for long days is to test your race gear.
I have a rule: no new gear on race day.
Use your long days to test everything from shoes, to hydration systems, to helmets and body glide.
Leave no stone unturned in your testing.
7 steps to add a long day to your training (at ANY experience level):
Step 1: Pick a day of the week.
Pick 1 day for your weekly long session.
Choose a day when you don’t have family commitments, have a chance to recover and can spend a few hours training.
My long-days are almost always on the weekend.
Step 2: Block off your time
Once you have a day we need to protect the time.
We will talk about scaling the session but plan for at least a few hours for now.
Block the time in your calendar right now.
Step 3: Determine how long your day will be
Depending on your goal race here are some long-day targets:
- Sprint = 90 min
- Standard = 2 hours
- 70.3 = 5-6 hours
- Ironman = 8-12 hours
A good starting point for everyone is 2x your average workout duration.
Step 4: Choose your sports
These long-days don’t need to be a single sport.
For triathlon, I recommend multi-sport days to prepare your body for race day.
Some combos I like:
- Bike + Hike
- Run + Hike
- Swim + Bike + Run
Choose a starting point that is easy for you.
Step 5: Prepare your gear
My long-days start early so that I still have some time to spend with my wife.
So you need to prepare your gear the night before. Lay everything out you plan to use. Ensure it’s all ready to go for your day.
This is good practice for race day.
Step 6: Prepare your fuel
Same plan here, prepare what you want to eat.
Use this long day as a fuel test for race day:
- What does your body handle at longer durations?
- Do you need a mix of savoury and sweet?
Don’t be afraid of real food on these days; it doesn’t need to be race fuel.
Step 7: Build it up
Gradually increase the duration of your long days.
One tip I picked up from another coach is to track how many days it takes to cover your race distance: 10 days? 5 days? 2 days? 1 day?
Aiming to be covering the distance in 2-3 days is a good benchmark.
- Long days are crucial for Ironman and 70.3 racing.
- They tech your body and mind how to keep moving for longer periods of time.
- Long days are scalable for your current fitness level: aim for 2x your average duration to start.
Thank you for being here!
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