I started this blog in 2010 when there were 11 weeks to go before my next Ironman triathlon. People have found it interesting (mainly my Mum!) so I continue to write.
The Ironman is a long distance triathlon; Swim 2.4miles, Cycle 112miles, Run 26.2 miles (marathon). I have competed in one every year since 2004. I hope this blog can help others see what is involved. I find the process of writing it makes me more accountable and motivates me to do the harder sessions when i'm not feeling like it!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Drive to half ironman - registration, packing transition bags, racking bike, pitching tent etc,

If the A race this year was this half ironman the week would have had the following sessions;

Monday; Cycle 2hours dead flat easy gears, swim tempo 3.6km main set 6x50m and 6x400m
Tuesday; Rest
Wednesday; Swim drill
Thursday; Cycle 90km with 3-4x15km at race pace on 5mins recovery run off bike 10km at race pace with 4km cool down, swim 3km drill (pull and paddles)
Friday; Rest
Saturday; Cycle very light 30km
Sunday; Race

Will do a page on what went into the transition bags and what I will change - this is mainly for me, to save time for the full in 6 weeks.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Rest day

Most programs for a Sunday race have a rest day on the Friday and a gentle mobilisation day on the Saturday. I think the principle is to accumulate muscle glycogen on the Friday and then do enough on Saturday that you don't seize up but use very little of your hard earned carb stores.

So in an ideal world I would do a swim just rolling arms over a very slow 20km bike and a run that is only just up from walking. I will however be in the car driving down.

Trying to resist the temptation to try things out for the first time etc,

Thursday, 17 June 2010

15min warm up
20m x 250w x 90 rpm
10min easy spinning
10min x 250w x 90rpm
5min easy spinning
10min x 250w x 90rpm
5min cool down


Using the spin scan to see how efficiently I am pedalling - seem to hover around 85/100 can get it as high as 97/100 but not for long. This is a measure of how evenly the back wheel is spinning and reflects therefore how evenly you are pedalling. Beginners will tend to stamp on the pedals a get very low numbers - a very peak and trough bar chart, or a less round nyquist plot below. Lance Armstrong is probably in the high 90s all the time - an almost flat bar chart.

All this fancy stuff however can be done on the bike by just listening to the back wheel, your trying to eliminate the oscillating sound and create a continuous one - that is just as good.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Swim 9 x 200m at CSS on 25-50 sec

Plan was to do 10 sets (adding one a week) but had collision with someone not looking where they were going - I came off worse. Felt the benefit of the drills on Monday so plan to keep them going.

Massage in afternoon with Mark Edmonds http://www.1stopbodyshop.co.uk/welcome.html He used to be one of the fastest triathletes in the country - it has taken me a while to find someone who knows what they are doing. I'm always a bit suspect of massage and whether it's worth the money but Mark comes highly recommended.

Went to cycle fit to get some spare screws for my cleats, a very expensive bike shop - I asked what the most expensive one they've sold was - answer "oh quite a few for £12,000"

Currently working on an article about carbo-loading; just doing the maths side of things to see if it all hangs together.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Turbo 7 x (260w x 65rpm x 4min) on 3 mins rest

15min warm up prior.


Good to check out the new bike position. Hard to keep on the aerobars for longer than 5mins - always find this but seem to be able to stay on them when racing. Raised the aerobars 5mm as think it is a lot to ask to tolerate this position on Sunday.

Spirit level on saddle showed it was pointing down a bit so flattened it out. Not having your saddle level is a common mistake. I had mine pointing down for years which meant I spent a lot of energy pushing myself up it without realising.

Would have gone for a run round the block but on the night shift looking after Will, and on call for the hospital.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Swim Drill

After looking at last year's videos, decided I need to work on technique. Took it easy as yesterday was hard.
1. On side with fins
2. Pull buoy
3. Paddles with  pull buoy
4. Pull with closed hands/fists
5. Breast stroke

The bike fit yesterday was really good. This is the third time in the last 12 years i've been measured up. The first time was £30 with a system called bio-racer. It gave me a print out of the ideal dimensions for a bike. This gave me the confidence to buy a second hand one that would be ok for me. The second time in 2004 was a bit more in depth at cyclefit in covent garden http://www.cyclefit.co.uk/ for £100. I've just looked at their website and they now want £350!!! can't believe it, they are also completely booked for the foreseeable future! So the bloke I went to see used to work at cyclefit and has set up on his own - he (Ronan) charges £99 for the same service and was twenty times better. Ronan paid real attention to detail and wasn't happy till I was absolutely happy.

At one point when we were moving things 1mm at a time and then "splitting the difference" I felt like the "princess and the pea" I had a lot of questions which he was more than happy to answer. A slight difference was that once we were close to ideal a lot was then based on feel - which I think is more appropriate. I also now know in what direction to move things if discomfort occurs.

This fit was £120 which was the for a time trial set up. I have done this by guess work up until now and two years ago I had a shocker. It's quite late in the day to do this so it will be interesting to see how the half ironman goes - I will take some allen keys!

The time trial set up is different because they take your road position and if looked at from the side rotate it. Bringing you further forwards and flatter therefore reducing your frontal profile.

We ended up moving my saddle down and forward. Moving the right cleat back and left forward. (Found I had been doing the right thing for hot foot which is to move the cleat back) also put some insoles in that stop power loss when your arch (which I haven't got) flattens. Had a video analysis looking for alignment issues - surprisingly it was ok.

Ronan's website is http://www.progresscycle.co.uk/# thoroughly recommended.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

7 weeks to go

Brick; Cycle 80km medium pace Run 10km IMP


Plan was to set the bike up for next weekend and run 10km off the bike race pace.

Added some classic video of Sian Welch and Wendy Ingraham.

Thoughts today were about heart rate and intensity;  because the bike supports you, the heart rate is usually less on the bike than the run for a given intensity. There is usually a difference of about 7/min so if you plan to run at say 147, similar metabolic demands would be placed on the body if you cycled at 140.