As I have said before, I am not a typical endurance athlete. I came to the swim.bike.run world with a sprinter's past and a weight lifter's mentality. In the years that followed my college track career I got very into a system of training that is currently gaining immense popularity known as Crossfit. Back in 2005 some members at my unit and I adopted their daily workout strategy and quickly believed that it would quickly become the new standard in fitness - and simply be "the norm" for how real athletes train.
Fast forward to today, and you see a guy who uses a traditional periodization style LSD based training program for getting ready for races. By the end of a 70.3 training schedule I am dying to get back to Crossfitting for just a few weeks in order to recover some of the strength and speed that fade over the miles and miles of endurance training. And if weak and frail is how I feel by the end of a 70.3 program, I wonder how I'll feel after this year's Ironman...
I recently discovered a coaching program that claims to be able to use a Crossfit-style traning strategy to prepare athletes for Ironman distance events. By improving what they refer to as anaerobic endurance, they state that an athlete can enter a 140.6 distance race in greater overall health (strength, speed, endurance) than using traditional methods while training less than 10-12 hours per week.
I have tried Crossfit Endurance workouts in the past, and was blown away by their intensity. At the time, I was training for my first 70.3 - but in the end I failed to commit and transitioned to LSD type training a couple of months prior to the event.
I am currently considering the possibility of committing to a Crossfit Endurance style program to prepare for IM FL in November. The risks of adopting such an "unorthodox" strategy include the added consideration that such a coaching program is not exactly inexpensive. Thus, committing to a CFE plan is literally quite a gamble when you consider entry fees and 4-6 months of coaching costs (not to mention the risk of a dreaded DNF.)
And so, I thought I'd ask the experts out there:
Do you think this is feasible?
Can an IM virgin put up a sub-12hr finish based on interval and strength style training alone?
Or is simply putting in the miles the only way to go?
*Post Draft Addition*
While discussing this with a friend of mine, he informed me that Crossfit Endurance was featured in a Triathlete Magazine article just a couple of months ago. Coincidence? Or fate?