Along with the one other man competing with a triathlon goal in mind, Irva will be given full access to the cutting edge TrainingPeaks software that Ben uses for testing and coaching, from Pacific Elite Fitness. Using this software, Ben will be setting Irva up with aomplete annual training and racing plan based on her unique ICU nursing schedule, personal profile, skill level, limitations, and racing history. She will be e-mailed with detailed daily workout instructions every night, or she can look ahead and see what the next week's workout will bring! She can even export her workouts to her Outlook calendar or phone to keep everything in one place in her busy schedule, and full training logs are provided for her to fill out after her workouts.

Nutrition will be a key part of Irva's training plan and her plan will allow her to record meals for Ben to analyze her nutrition, help plan her menu, and ensure peak performance fueling. Planning, graphing and analysis capabilities will allow Ben to track her training and nutrition progress and monitor improvements and changes. She'll even be able to upload workout data from her Garmin 405 watch!

Ben will be developing a customized heart rate zone training chart for Irva based on the results of her exercise metabolic test in his downtown laboratory. Click here to read a blog post and hear Ben Greenfield's podcast about Exercise Metabolic Testing.

Irva's heart rate zone training chart will be based off her ventilatory threshold heart rate of 150, and proper heart rate tracking will be important for her Ironman training. At this heart rate, Irva burns about 580 calories per hour. Her more intense workouts will take place at or above a heart rate of 150.

Meanwhile, her “long, slow” cardio sessions to develop aerobic endurance for Ironman, will occur at a heart rate range of 127-133. At this heart rate, her exercise metabolic test shows that she burns about 520 calories per hour, and she will begin teaching her body to absorb fuel while training by ingesting 30-40% of this, or 150-200 calories per hour.

During her Ironman training, it will be important that Irva consumes at least 1650 calories per day from whole food sources. This is her resting metabolic rate, and undercutting it will lead to poor performance and a loss in lean muscle and energy levels.

Beginning of Program

Weight: 158; Body Fat: 35.5%


In February, Ben and Irva met for a nutritional session, during which Ben created a
“Work Day Weight Loss” nutrition plan, and a “Workout Day Sports Performance” nutrition plan, so that Irva could fuel her body according to her daily activity levels.

Want to find out what happens? Can Irva balance her job as an ICU nurse and busy mother of 4, and still compete in Ironman Coeur D' Alene? Would you like to stay tuned to this story?

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