In this installment of James Adams’ Kona Journey, his coach Robert Flanigan of Black Dragon Racing goes over his athlete development plan for Adams. For more specific workouts, look for Flanigan’s workouts here at lavamagazine.com.
James and I started working in late May of 2013 as he was coming off of a long period of illness. From the start it was very apparent that James was like most other high level athletes in that he was extremely motivated, self driven, and eager for success. These three traits are a blessing and a curse at the same time. Normally those traits are accompanied by a lack of patience, desire to do more, and the ego. Adams is thankfully an exception to this and from day one was eager to listen, stuck to his plan, asked questions when clarification was needed. He showed the patience needed to succeed.
This year’s development of James can be simply broken down to one word: Consistency. He has the tools required to succeed at Iron distance racing but needs more than anything consistency week after week, month after month, and beyond. His run ability is lethal but will do us little good if the 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bike put a dent in him that he cannot recover from. Volume and Training with Purpose will become his best friends.
In this early part of the season, we are going to keep the volume moderate and work on developing his threshold power on the bike (and thankfully his power meter will be under him shortly) while educating him on how to use power as a tool (and how to not become a slave to it), increasing run frequency and volume, and swimming as often as possible. A few swim sessions a week are dedicated to the development of his stroke while the others are Masters sessions to keep building his aerobic engine.
We will keep up this effort until we are ready for his build to Ironman CDA where we will then switch gears. His volume will increase to as much as he can maintain while keeping him married and remaining a good father. Tempo sessions will dominate where higher intensity work resided and we will teach his body to execute specific efforts on a very fatigued body. We will also be very focused on how he recovers from his efforts.
The last piece is the most difficult in my opinion. There are three types of people on the course at an Iron-distance race: those who participate, those who compete, and those who RACE. Learning to race that distance is very difficult, and requires a great deal of confidence, understanding of ones body and its limits, a mindset to push those limits, and execution of a proper race plan. This is where I think James has a big advantage over those he will line up against. I believe he has the tools to learn, absorb and retain what is required to not just compete … but to race Ironman CDA.
Check back next week to get Adams’ weekly workout details.