IronFitIronFit: Strength Training and Nutrition for Endurance Athletes
Don Fink and Melanie Fink
Lyons Press
2013

IronFit provides sport-specific strength training plans for nine different sports:  Long-Course Triathlete, Short-Course Triathlete, Runners (5k – Marathon), Runners (Ultra), Distance Cyclists, Distance Swimmers, Cross-Country Skiers, Duathletes, and Adventure Racers. Each IronFit program 3 levels: basic, intermediate, and advanced.

The strength training programs are further divided into three sections based on the athlete’s current training goals. Off-season, Preseason, and Competitive Season. The program specificity of IronFit allows athletes to find a program geared towards their sport and their specific training needs at any time throughout the year.

IronFit uses photographs to demonstrate proper exercise technique. Many of the exercise are simple resistance exercises, but others require equipment. IronFit training programs utilize a BOSU Ball, Dumbbells, Foam Roller, Kettle Bells, Medicine Ball, Stabilty Ball/Swiss Ball, and Stretch Cords or Resistance Tubing. Programs are efficient and effective. Each workout can be finished in under 30 minutes.

The nutritional needs of the endurance athlete, are complex and intimidating. The Finks break it down for you with five 7-day healthy eating plans based on a targeted number of calories per day. After doing some preliminary calculations to find your caloric needs, you can select an IronFit meal plan. As with any plan, you can then modify it to meet your specific needs and tastes.

Nutrition is more than just 6 small meals each day. You need to consider your body’s hydration and fueling requirements before, during, and after your races if you want to do your best and recover quickly. Ignoring your needs during an endurance race can result in poor performance and missed opportunities after months of strenuous training and preparation.

IronFit explains how you can calculate your own unique hydration needs using the Sweat Rate Test. This test helps you understand your hydration requirements so that you can drink as much as you need during your race. Additional tips on aid station strategy, drinking on the run, and use of energy drinks will help you hydrate effectively on race day.

Fueling during a run can help you avoid the dreaded “bonk.” According to the Finks, the body needs extra calories after 75 minutes of racing or else performance begins to deteriorate. An athlete should refuel on the run in a consistent and timely manner. For this reason, it is crucial to have a fueling plan in place before race day.

IronFit is a great resource for the serious endurance athlete looking to reach their peak performance.

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