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With the Ironman World Championship just days away—and so many eyes on the Norwegian podium favorites Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden, this week’s One-Hour Workout gives us a sneak peek into the run session they’ll be doing on Friday, the day before the Big Dance. Famous for their threshold work and lactate testing, it is perhaps no surprise that that style of training is all done and dusted by now, as their coach, Olav Aleksander Bu said: “By now, the work is all done and the focus is on tapering. Last week, we kept it all very simple and relaxed in terms of measurements, and this week it is all about the athletes’ well-being.”
He said this run workout, which he described as having “universal applicability,” is highly race-specific and is designed to be done the day before race day.
The session begins with a progressive 20-minute warm-up. The main set involves two rounds of 10 minutes at race pace, on a short rest. The workout is wrapped up with a short cooldown—then it’s back to resting.
Bu said: “The goal with the workout is more to remind and maintain ‘memory’ around target speed (it can be on a specific section of the course). It’s also about visualization, technique, and nutrition, although it is an entirely different feeling to run a workout like this when rested and tapered compared to at the end of an Ironman, but that is a part of the visualization work—and understanding how you will feel at critical points during the race, and what your coping strategies are.”
He said the workouts of his athletes in race week largely “boil down to the science” as well as the individual needs of the athlete when it comes to tapering, frequency in all disciplines, maintaining routine, and getting ready . “Less is more,” he said, as his advice to others in the final week before a race.
One-Hour Workout: The Norwegians’ Pre-Race Day Run Session
20 min. progressive run
2 x 10 min. @ race pace, short rest after each interval
Relaxed easy jog