Think you know what an IRONMAN looks like? May 29, 2019 16:36 Updated Not a Member yet? $25/month Get Purple Patch Education Membership, A complete performance education program for coaches and athletes. SUBSCRIBE You need to sign in to view this page. The coaching team at Purple Patch Fitness works with plenty of athletes aspiring to be Age-Group, Amateur and World Champions. But our athletes' goals are not always about being first across the line or standing on the top step of the podium. For many Purple Patch athletes just reaching the finish line is an enormous victory. Athlete Profile: Angus McCarthy Age: 52 2015 Northstar: Finish an IRONMAN Challenges: Heavier build (220 lbs) and bad knees from years of team sports Several orthopedic surgeons suggested that Angus submit to knee replacement surgery immediately. Other doctors prescribed preventative therapy with low impact exercise in order to delay surgical intervention by 5-10 years. Hearing the words You are an IRONMAN did not seem realistic to Angus. When Angus teamed with Purple Patch Fitness for his IRONMAN goal, he was in solid cardiovascular shape, and a competent swimmer. However, the question remained whether he had the physical stamina to complete the bike and run portions of the Ironman within the 17-hour time time restrictions, given his knee pain and stress reported with running and high-impact exercise. There were a few options available to Angus. Firstly, he could have ditched the IRONMAN goal and refocused his attention on shorter distances. He could also have taken the Ortho's advice and submitted to knee replacement surgery. Angus' third option was a personalized training plan from Purple Patch Fitness that was swim and bike heavy, building mechanical endurance and a tremendous fitness base, while also preparing Angus to run/walk the marathon leg without compromising his knees. Angus had 10-14 hours per week available to train which included swimming 3x week as part of the Purple Patch San Francisco swims, 2x 90 minute Computrainer based cycling classes and 2x strength sessions per week. Given his previous triathlon experience and his existing training protocol, Matt Dixon recommended that Angus focus on his strengths, maximizing his swim and bike abilities enough to deliver him to the run portion of the IRONMAN with time and energy to complete the marathon leg. Angus' high-level training plan developed by Purple Patch: * Develop high cardiovascular fitness with a large amount of interval based swimming * Focus on massive cycling fitness and improving sustainable cycling output * Integrate strength, conditioning and preventative work to maintain joint health and resilience * 'Run' training focused on power-walks, treadmill walking and very short runs that all included walk breaks There was no need to increase Angus' weekly training time beyond ~10-14hrs/week when he began training for an IRONMAN, however, he did incorporate two week-long cycling vacations into his training plan which supplemented the mid-week trainer rides and the longer weekend rides, to further boost his cycling fitness. Run training remained low-stress, with lots of power walking and treadmill walks, in order to avoid chronically fatiguing his knee joints. This also fit well with the ultimate race plan of Angus completing the swim and bike portions with plenty of time available to power-walk the marathon. Angus toed the line at IRONMAN Arizona in November 2015. He completed the swim in 1hr 35mins, in line with expectations. Once on the bike, he rode strongly, completing the 112 miles in 6hrs and 21mins, well ahead of his goal time of 7hrs 15mins. After a successful first two legs, Angus brimmed with confidence power-walking the marathon in just over 7hrs to cross the finish line in a total time of 15hrs and 23mins. Angus, You are an IRONMAN! After a magical experience, Angus just signed up for his second IRONMAN and we can't wait to help him achieve his goals once more. Cheeky peek at Angus in action! Related articles Optimize Squad with Coach Liz Lindsay How do I know if I should select the 4, 7 or 10-week race build plan, or just apply Race Week Prep weeks to the baseline plan? How often do I communicate with my coach? How do I determine my training zones and thresholds?