Message To FitOldDog From His Ironman Coach: “You need to manage yourself OUTside of training better in order to have better training!”


Hi folks,

FitOldDog's Ironman Coach, AIMP Ironman Coaching, Chris Hauth,

FitOldDog’s Ironman Coach, Chris Hauth, of AIMP Ironman Coaching.

If you decide to undertake endurance sports I strongly recommend that you find yourself an experienced coach. Chris Hauth of Advanced Ironman Protocol (AIMP) has been coaching me for some time now, and I have found him to be a man of few words. His main goal is the success of his athletes, but he doesn’t do this by patting them on the back all the time, instead he points out where you are going wrong, and it pays to listen. For instance, several years ago I took about 45 minutes off of my best time in the Lake Placid Ironman race, and duly sent Chris all of the statistics from my bike computer, which records cadence, wattage, heart rate, and so forth. I expected a “Well done Kevin!” What I actually received was a single line e-mail that said, “What happened to your cadence on the bike?” I checked the stats, which I must admit don’t usually get much attention from me, and there it was, ‘Average cadence, 77 rpm,’ far below the optimal 90 rpm. I proceded to work on pedal cadence for a year or so, and now it is coming into reach of my target range, 90-95 rpm, with the ability to spin up to 120-140 rpm as needed.

workout log, training schedule, FitOldDog's training, Chris Hauth, AIMP Ironman coaching

You will see that FitOldDog had no problem with a 1 hour 15 min run at 100 degrees, but he was completely slammed by a 1 hour run two days later at only 90 degrees. Click for details.

I receive all of my workouts from Chris via Workout Log, a great online training tool, where one can record all sorts of arcane details about your performance. This is where I go to find out what is in store for the day or the week, and I often access it the previous day via my iPhone, except for weekends, which I really have to plan ahead for family reasons.

This week I have been severely jet lagged and the temperature where I live has been in the high 90s to low 100s, with a fairly high humidity. I don’t always handle heat too well. Furthermore, there were a number of long runs scheduled by Chris, two of which are the subject of this blog. I must admit that I’m not too good at entering the details of my workouts into the log, unless there is some critical issue to report.

The training log entries (see adjacent figure) for two recent runs revealed the impact of exhaustion on the second of two fairly long runs in the middle of the day in a North Carolina summer. The first run at about 100°F was no problem, and I cruised right along. Two days later it was another story, when I came off of a 3-hour fairly easy bike ride into a 1-hour run as a brick (going straight from one activity to another, as you do in the race). It was as much as I could do to hobble through the run, with my whole body and mind complaining bitterly the whole time. I described this depressing experience in my log, and Chris jumped right on it, with the comment, “You need to manage yourself OUTside of training better in order to have better training!” Somehow Chris seems to know when and how I screw up. In this case, I wasn’t getting enough sleep – there was a lot of family activity going on, plus it is hard to sleep in this heat, as we don’t like air conditioning, just fresh air with a lot of fans going.

I promised myself to take it easy between workouts and get my energy level back on track, and Scooter, our lovely little dog, kindly offered his assistance.

Rest is an essential part of training, Ironman resting, FitOldDog,

FitOldDog following his coach’s instructions for this training set, doing a hard resting workout with Scooter for company.

This is why you need a skilled coach if you are embarking on a program of safe exercise for better health, especially if you undertake endurance sports.

Even my coach, who is still competing in Ironman races, has a coach!!!

-k @FitOldDog


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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.