We spoke to Precision Fuel & Hydration pro triathlete Brett Halliwell about how his training has been effected by the coronavirus-induced lockdown situation and we wanted to get an age-grouper's insight as well.
So, Finlay McAndrew - who went sub-9 hours at IRONMAN Barcelona in 2019 - has kindly stepped up to the plate and shown how his training plan has changed as he's using this time to focus on getting stronger and faster...
Finlay McAndrew's lockdown training plan
The biggest change in my training plan now is that all my bike sessions are indoors and there’s no swimming.
I’m not doing the same volume of cycling but I’m doing more regular sessions. In fact, I cycled 14 days in a row just to get the Zwift badge; it’s strange what small sources of motivation you can get from things like that.
Below is what a typical week looks like at the moment. I’m trying to strike a good balance across all the zones and just focusing on getting stronger.
I would have more ‘brick’ sessions in my plan and more specific race pace work in there if I was going with my original plan.
I’ve added more Zwift racing to my routine which I wouldn’t have previously done. While you have to take the racing with a pinch of salt because of dodgy power meters and weight doping, it’s great fun and you can gauge your performance from week-to-week. It’s definitely acts as a source of motivation and gets you in the racing mindset.
As you can see from my fatigue score on TrainingPeaks (below), I’ve definitely upped my load. Part of this down to the hard efforts on Zwift as you pretty much end up setting a new FTP every time you race.
The main element I’ve decided to focus on during this period is my running. I’ve set some distance goals which I never normally do and ran 100km 4 weeks in a row. This is by no means crazy mileage, but it’s a jump for me and it’s all high quality.
I’ve been doing a tempo session, 5x1km VO2 session, an IM style long run session and then lots of solid Zone 2 work. This has a led to a significant improvement in performance and I’m really pleased with the result.
My intention is to keep building up the distance and set some pace goals that I want to hit for 5km and 10km. The graph below shows that I’ve built my load in a very gradual and consistent manner which is why my performance has improved so much.
I’m definitely trying to make the absolute most of this situation and using it to focus on getting stronger. I often neglect specific speed work as I race IRONMAN and it’s hard to fit everything in. Setting some simple targets like running a 5km PB is very motivating.
Due to not being able to swim, I’ve added more upper body strength training. While it’s great to have equipment, I find one of the most effective exercises is press ups.
So, I’ve set a target that I want to do every day and then I’m adding one rep to that each week. It’s simple but effective and is an easy way to keep up specific strength.
We clearly have to be careful and not overload our systems but the racing will come and I want to be ready for when it does.
I’ve qualified for Kona, and right now I think it’s highly unlikely it will go ahead this year, but you can’t think like that and have to keep going as normal as possible.
Finlay McAndrew has completed multiple IRONMAN events, including the IM World Championships at Kona. Finlay finished 11th overall at IM UK in 2017.