As a master athlete, we often wonder how to train. If we don’t overdo it. Or if we do enough. It is very frustrating to compare yourself to young champions. Because the leaders are often young, professionals, and without children. Then they training and aiming for performance everyday. It seems to be easier than for us, who are older and busy all day with our jobs. So, we are going to look at an amateur master triathlete who can inspire us: Tony Kanaan. This Brazilian born in 1974 is almost 50 years old at the time of this article. He’s a professional racing driver, and has a long career as a champcar driver in the United States. Including a victory at the Indy 500 in 2013.
Like any pro racing driver, Tony needs a lot of practice. To strengthen his neck, and to practice aerobic sports. Mainly cycling, which allows you to make long sessions, without stressing your back. And our Brazilian athlete is a Zwifter! For our greatest pleasure, he publicly publishes his trainings. So, let’s have a look at 2 virtual cycling and running sessions he did:
July 11, 2022
- 35.1km (22 miles) traveled in less than 1 hour at Watopia
- Average cadence: 82 (93 max)
- Average heartbeat: 135 (155 max)
- Watts developed: 174 watts on average, and 395 watts maximum
July 8, 2022
- 6km run in 35 minutes approx.
- Average pace: 5’53/km
According to this data, and all the sessions available on his Zwift account, these 2 sessions are fairly representative of Tony Kanaan’s overall training. We could summarize them by “lots of aerobics”. He does not necessarily practice strength work when he gets on his bike, like Chris Hoy ie.. Which also risks being harmful for him: by building his thighs too much, he risks becoming heavier. And weight is a very critical parameter in motorsport.
In 2015, Tony Kanaan was already an Ironman 70.3 finisher in Miami, despite a puncture during his race.
His time: 5 hours 11 minutes 10 seconds. To achieve this, he had notably worked on his posture on the bike. To gain aerodynamics and save watts. Considering the cars he drives, aerodynamics holds no secrets for him.
Here are his times:
- 1.2-mile swim in 32min. 47sec. (361e)
- 56-mile bike ride in 2h 33min. 29sec. 367e. Very good speed indeed!
- 13.1 mile run 2h 01 min. 20sec. 576e. On the 3rd part of the race, Tony seemd to be exhausted
He finished 361th, and 54th in the M40-44 category.
What we can learn from his sessions is that working on volume, without forcing, ultimately allows you to improve your general physical condition. This is also the type of training recommended for IronMan. Tony is a 70.3 finisher: if you are a master athlete like him, then don’t force it. Practice your sports regularly, being careful not to get hurt. “In Order To Finish First, First You Must Finish“, as would say his friend Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR driver.
Tony is known to be a very friendly guy.
If you want to see his gym hall, he gives you a free tour on this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6dnh138_jM
And by following him on Zwift, you can also find him regularly on virtual tracks. He rides a lot in the world of Watopia, and sometimes participates in group rides.
Tony Kanaan is on more social medias: