The 2005 Ironman World Champion Faris Al Sultan and now coach for the German Federation, past coach for two time Ironman world champion Patrick Lange.
Here are some of Faris’s coaching philosophies with a focus at more Ironman.
How to win an Ironman
Faris’s quick guide on what it takes to win at Ironman, you need to be within the range of what he calls “The Big Four.” If you are able to swim a minute and a 4th of a minute (1:15 per 100m), can cycle 4 watts per kg and run a 4min kilometer, you put yourself in a position to win the Ironman race.
Training Volume & Quality of Movement:
When it comes to Ironman training, there are two key factors that are just as important as each other. Volume and the quality of movement. There is no point increasing training volume unless the athlete has good quality of movement. Even if you cut back the volume to focus on the quality of movement then increase volume.
For the majority of world class athletes Faris coaches, a yearly volume of 1000 to 1200 hours is required.
Training for an Ironman
The athlete maintains a solid amount of volume with no tapers throughout the year. Once the athlete reaches 6-5 weeks out from Ironman, there is a bigger block of training and the athletes starts to taper from two weeks out from their key race.
To get faster at Ironman
With an endurance sport like Ironman, volume is very important, it also needs to be managed correctly. You can’t take an athlete who has an annual training volume of 800 hours and suddenly increase it to 1200 hours because this is where they need to be competitive. It takes time
Throughout the season, there is an effort for the athlete to focus on maintaining their natural speed they use to have at a younger age. This includes a lot of short faster efforts at the track.
Feris is big on athletes lifting weights with squats and deadlifts are two key aspects he gets his athletes to do within their programs. Weight training is done throughout the year.
While a good training session may help a athlete 1% of 1%, focusing of the athlete’s brain could all of a sudden have a percent improvement within one key session.