Someone sent me a message on how I finished 3 Ironmans when I was a student. I'm gonna answer it here so that everyone can read =)
My routine as a student :
0600 wakie wakie
0645 morning parade
0730 parade dismiss
0800 class starts
1200 - 1400 Lunch
1600 class ends
1700 Game Parade
2230 Roll Call
2359 Lights Off
The University has allocated 2 hours for the cadets to do sports during the weekdays. Friday evening we'll do Military Self Defence (Tempur Tanpa Senjata). On Saturday, we'll be doing military training such as long march, cross country, obstacles course, marching, and military classes. So, the one and only day to do long run, long ride, long swim is during Sunday. Since it seems impossible for me to train for Ironman, I have to optimize all the aspects that'll affect sports performance. I focus on Nutrition, Technique, Mileage and Recovery. Always eat smart, use a Heart Rate Monitor to monitor your calorie burn so that you'll know how much do you need to refuel throughout the course. If you refuel smartly, you can last longer and save yourself from cramping. You'll need to get the right balance for the type of fuel you're pumping in.Not many people do full distance for all the 3 disciplines during training. Either I combine swim and bike or bike and run. Normally, I do only one sport for one day =p Because at night I need to study, some energy need to be reserved to hurdle pass my mountain of assignments. haha.
This is the formula :
Good technique + Good Nutrition + Motivation + Recovery - Training Hours = Ironman Finisher
*Training hours is a disadvantage to students, so I put a minus there. =) See? more advantage than disadvantage =)
One day 2 hours, 3.8km swim is still very possible. The cut off for 3.8km swim is 2 hours 20 minutes, so you're not supposed to swim slower than that. So let's focus on Run and Bike.
180km to be completed within 2 hours is impossible, unless you can ride with the average of 90km/h. The only time left for ACTUAL DISTANCE cycling is during the weekends.
I always emphasize on bike fit because half of the racing period will be spent on the bike. The cut off is at 5.30pm, deduct 2 hours 20 minutes of swim, you'll need to cycle at the average of 24km/h to complete 180km in approximately 7 hours and 30 minutes.
2 hours of cycling a day with average speed of 24km/h = 48km/day
Cycle 2 times a week + 180km weekend ride = 276km/week
180km with a poor posture on a bike? Even the best Time Trial Bike in the market cannot help u. You need a good posture to generate power and be comfortable throughout the course. How to do a basic bike fit? Get a friend to video you cycling on a bike, and measure the angle. You'll see lots of Bike Fit tips on YouTube. Balance between academic and sports, listen to lectures when you cycle on trainer. Don't waste time. This is serious commitment, I stayed back during Raya Haji and I went for long rides, 300km a week. Most of the public holidays, I'll be on my bike. That's the only time I have, the only way to MAXIMIZE my mileage.
From 5.30pm to 12am midnight, 6 hours 30 minutes left for you to complete you very last discipline. The pace required : Around 6 mins/km.
2 hours of running a day with average pace of 6.00min/km = 20km/day
Run 2 times a week = 40km/week
If you find it hard to do long runs, register for races. Let it be your Ironman training. With more people around you, long distance running wouldn't feel so lonely.
A student's recovery period is during class hours.=P In class, exercise your brain, let the body rest. When training, let your brain rest and push your body. Simple? I do take recovery drinks and protein bars to accelerate my recovery. Massage can improve recovery too, but how much can a student pay to have this luxury? So, go for the cheaper option "R.I.C.E". Rest enough, Ice Massage, Compression and Elevation to improve blood flow. I sleep in class when the lecturer is not around. =p I wear compression wear during class hours too. Try to get around 8 hours of sleep a day, your body needs to recover to rebuild the damaged muscles. This wouldn't affect you academically, because you still have 4 hours at night to study every day.
It is not easy to become a student Ironman, but it is very possible. Wouldn't it be cool if a student finished an Ironman before graduation? =) Grab every opportunity to improve your performance. If you really have a passion for this sport, you'll enjoy every single minute of training you put in. As a matter of fact, I feel relieved from academic stresses when I go for Ironman training. Frankly, I love this sport more than anything. Last but not least, stay motivated at all time. This is also a mental challenge, in order to face the distance, you must be mentally tough. Tough times don't last, but tough people do.Good Luck =)
*I'm just sharing with you how I trained. You can train differently, it all depends on how you plan and use your creativity to make your training interesting =)