Ironman Conditioning: For First Timers Over 50

Ironman Conditioning Can Benefit From Coaching And Mentoring

Ironman conditioning issues: Don't inject cortisone into sore spots, unless you know what your doing.

Because it’s sore there, don’t assume the problem is there, or that you should inject cortisone there! For heaven’s sake!!!!

Conditioning: “Bringing (something) into the desired state for use.”

As you ramp up your training, you will encounter issues that need to be fixed along the way.

Types Of Ironman conditioning (recommended assistance in brackets):

Split saddle for Ironman conditioning

Get the right saddle, guys, and condition your butt, or you’ll be in trouble about 100 miles into the ride!

These thoughts popped into my head, while doing a 3:15:00 trainer ride, at 110 watts, with 90 cadence.

Why three hours and fifteen minutes? Because that is my estimated time for the upcoming, 2016, Raleigh Half Ironman – Is my butt ready? Yep, fine.

Why 110 watts? Because that is my estimated perfect wattage needed to encourage mitochondrial growth (increase oxygen burning efficiency – oxidative phosphorylation), while minimizing lactic acid build up, as my Cori Cycle will be able to keep up with the lactate->glucose load.

Why 90 cadence? Recommended by cycling coaches for efficiency, and it does seem to work.

Look out for localized pain during long workouts, as you ramp up.

Mild pain can indicate the potential for injury, so fix it now!

Ironman conditioning: FitOldDog rolling his calves

Some muscles respond to stretching, others to rolling. Either way you’re having a conversation with your muscles, not doing things to them. Take the roll to the point of irritation, not severe pain. Go slow, focus on trigger points.

For instance, during this Ironman conditioning ride, at about 2 hours, I noticed mild pain on the inside of the big toe (hallux), of my left foot. Not severe, just irritating. At about 3 hours, there was similar discomfort on the outside edge of my right foot, and odd tingling in my left pinky.

This was no surprise, as they are ‘old friends.’ Did I rush to the doctor for injections of cortisone into the sites of pain – BAD IDEA! The location of such pain is rarely where the problem lies. That is my pet, plantar fasciitis treatment bugaboo!

Let’s address these issues, sequentially!

Medial margin (inside edge) of left big toe: Return of a tight muscle (same one every time) leading to tension in the tensor hallicus longus tendon. This is easily diagnosed by exploring your calves, thighs and hips with a thumb, roller or tennis ballSolution – Diagnose, then roll, stretch AND strengthen the affected muscle.

Lateral margin (outside edge) of right foot: Left-over soft tissue imbalance from my sub-luxated (mildly dislocated) pelvis, from that bike wreck in 2013. Expected this one, and it’s fading rapidly. Due to tension in my gluts and hamstrings, resulting in tight calf muscles. Solution – Diagnose, then roll, stretch AND strengthen the affected muscles.

Left hand tingling: Heart attack? NOPE! Left over tightness in my left shoulder, due to dislocation many years ago. Largely, but not completely, fixed by a bottle of beer thrown from a passing truck. Solution – Diagnose, then increase neglected Feldenkrais-based shoulder loosening work.

Well! I’ve scratched the surface of this fascinating subject. Ironman conditioning. It’s a journey, not a destination.

Happy Trails,


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.