The Ironman Game Plan

Episode #354

March 9, 2020

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Today we look at the coaching philosophy from Dan Lorang who helped make Jan Frodeno and Anne Haug BOTH Ironman Champions in 2019. We don’t always talk about pros, but amateurs can take a LOT away from these approaches to training and racing. The discussion was ignited by this article in from 220 Triathlon. We’ve been talking about a lot of this along the way, but today take a deeper dive into each of the elements both Frodeno and Haug said helped them become champions in Kona.

“His biggest ability is to slow me down, something no one before has ever done. This enabled me to get consistency, and not just amazing training days but actually okay days and good weeks that make very good months and great years.”

Jan Frodeno

Consistency is the Key

Working for long-term results… identifying their physiology and what workouts they can handle, and build up from there.

“The well being of his athletes is always top priority”

Anne Haug

Slow, very healthy progressions… that peak and hold as long as you can… but never go overboard for a short-term goal.

Listen to Your Body

With distance coaching there is a responsibility of the athlete to listen to their body and give good feedback.
Coaches need to analyze workload.
Supporting and empowering athlete decisions.
Short term decisions for long term results
How to manage Zone 2 Workouts

Manage Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Build a complete triathlete that can react to any race scenario.
Ironman is about energy management.
Triathlon is ONE sport.
The swim may take the most effort to manage your weakness

“If you’re behind in the swim, it takes more on the bike to catch up…than it affects your run.”

Jan Frodeno

Establish Training Phases

  1. Technique and vo2max – increase aerobic capacity
  2. Strength and endurance
  3. Economisation and race intervals

“Getting benefit from intervals and not only training long.”


Manage the Move to Ironman

It takes time to adapt to longer distances.
Doing it faster risks injuries and failing.

“The hardest thing for me when moving up from ITU races was the bike.”

Anne Haug

Balance In and Outdoor Riding

Easier to do intervals on the trainer – safer.
Frodeno almost always runs outside.
You have to be able to push big watts for a long period without drafting.

Build Run Strength Over Speed

Long uphill runs at low intensity for strength
Long runs intervals of 1km race pace 1km easy
You have to build a cake before you add icing

Running for IM racing is more about strength and endurance than speed. Speed work mostly in prep for 70.3. This year I couldn’t handle much high intensity.


Race Sharp

Don’t use races as training sessions. When you race, race.
Racing as a performance diagnostic…prepare…then evaluate.

If I’m on the start line, I want to go all-in.


Temper Nutritional Extremes

“…extremes never really work for me. The more I restrict myself, the worse I go.”


Develop Your Own Tri Psychology

  • Not letting the pressure be too high on yourself
  • Concentrating on yourself and not others in training
  • Think about race tactics and training situations

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