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, 3 July 2010

Turbo Run Brick 

5hour turbo then 10km run

Part of turbo http://connect.garmin.com/activity/39059561
Run http://connect.garmin.com/activity/39059563

My programme said 180km cycle with 3x30km at IMP on 7 mins recovery followed by 10km run.
Decided to do this on the turbo - no traffic lights etc, and could definitely get the 30km intervals done. This can be difficult mentally on the turbo. Cranked the music up and just got on with it.

Decided 30km would be 50mins at 220w (on wednesday did 40min x 225w - thought 225w may be pushing it)

What did I learn?
1. Spent first 1.5 hrs easy spinning did the usual tinkering with position - put saddle up 2mm but felt uncomfortable. Decided to stick with where I am now. Eventually think saddle needs to come up and forwards more so hamstrings not so stretched when try aero position.

2. Heart rate of 144 on the bike is where I want to be

3. Chugged through the sports drink at a rate of knots - need to make sure I pace it properly. Did something really obsessional - saw how many gulps of drink are in one 750ml bottle - ans. 30. I take all my fuel for the whole cycle in a 1L bottle - this will therefore be 40 gulps - which is 7 an hour approx. So will try and stick to one every 10 mins.

4. Also found I could tolerate more carbohydrate than I thought 4 scoops of the high 5 an hour. Really needed this today - a couple of minutes after drinking it the legs started working again. This was profound today and has emphasised that ironman is really fuel limited to a large extent. So think I can try for 80g carbohydrate an hour - only done 60g before so will be in tactical vomit territory if go for 80g.

5. Tried a few things from the running coach - mainly just moving arms forward and backward more - I have a tendency to move my right arm in-front of my body. Felt very fast today - don't know why, extra carbs? would be very happy with this pace on the day.

Massage this afternoon - wonderful! everything done by 3pm - even managed to read some work articles on the turbo!

What my aussie coach said about this session in the past;
note: don't forget to eat and drink during the set as you would in the race- these sessions are extremely depleteing so you will have a massive calorie defecit to make up after training as well.

Sat is a hard day as the interval time has gone up to 30km's -it will
probably be a little slower pace than the 10-15km reps from the previous weeks so don't bury yourself, this session is best done in a pace line with the others with each person taking a 6km pull on the front -it makes it go much quicker mentally and makes the session much more enjoyable- I actually find the longer reps better as you can really hit a good rhythm. Eat like a Trojan after this session because it really is a monster session and Sunday you need to be able to back up.
These are the peak weeks so make sure you are meeting your calorie deficit's -graze all day-don't get hungry and go on binges better to have about 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day when you are putting out hours like this to avoid insulin ups & downs.

Sleep - Remember that it is your ability to gain strength from the sessions that makes you faster and to do that recovery is critcal.

Ella Will and George are at the grandparents this weekend - for once may get that sleep in. On call tomorrow so not planning anything.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Swim technique lesson

Some good bits compared to last time and some awful - First 15mins involved getting told off by Ray for not going more often - he has a point but don't think he realised the Job and Family commitments.

Stretch class

Some thoughts;
about optimising the bike - just aware of how even a couple of watts saving feels like a godsend after a couple of hours - this is equivalent to removing a straw from an aero drink bottle at 40km/hr (not that i'll be going that fast!) Having said all this most drag comes from the rider, not the bike.

A few things said by "the professor" Chris Boardman

90% of energy on bike goes into overcoming air resistance

Equipment cost for reduction in watts at 40km/hr;
Aerohelmet = £5.70/watt
Aerowheels  = £40/watt
Time trial frames = Will knock 20 watts of drag off at 40km/hr
Clip on aerobars = £2/watt

Aerobottle in front - main advantage is not having to move into the wind to drink if you can manage this
Bottle on seat tube increases drag
Bottle on down tube actually reduces drag

An interesting point - although aerodynamics play a larger part as speed increases they make more of a difference to the slower riders because they are out there longer. I didn't realise this.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Run (1 hour drill + later 10km easy aerobic)

Running drills training at http://www.runningschool.co.uk/

Thought I would get some input about technique - figured i'd like to do this at some point. Will try not to make any changes before the race though.
Little bit surprised that looks like all you have to do is move your arms more and get your heel up to your bum. Thought there would be a little more to it - more will be revealed.

Good advice on the stretches and strength exercises that help running. I had got wind that there was a change in sentiment about core training going on - that rotational strength is what really counts. I'll put these exercises in the injury prevention link.

Also added some info on the different turbo sessions you can do (in drills link)

Looked at the bike course and plotted it out with bikehike.co.uk - instructions on the ironman website were pretty bad. If you want the garmin file drop me a line.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Brick session (Turbo 3 hours Run 50 mins)

15 min warm up
3 x (40min x 225W x 90rpm) on 7min rest
15 min easy spinning

10km run easy pace

Hard session - i'm not one for the midweek big session but thought if there's anytime to do it it's now.
Found that trying to imagine the pedals at 180degrees from each other hit a sweet spot (for about 5 mins). Glad I got the sleep in yesterday, no way would I have been able to do this without it.

Read that it's good to have some form of mental image to call upon when things get difficult - tried a few but most made me want to stop! will continue. I know that Lance Armstrong hates his dad and that drives him, and Richard Branson has a "i'll show you" mentality from the knock backs he had in his early days. The psychologists tell us you're more likely to do well with positive images even if the real high flyers use theses uber negative ones. Get in contact if you have anything that works for you.

Next priority session is Saturday, will try and get the other sessions in but will aim to get to Saturday in as good a shape as possible.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Run 3.5km x 2 
(running flats - light racing shoes)

12 hour day at work so ran there and back but that was all really managed to get done.
Decided to get some big sleep hours in so bed at 9pm in hope that can do brick session as planned tomorrow night

Wrote a new page on what I have put in the transition bags, in the past.

Monday, 28 June 2010


With the 3 week taper - this leaves 2 important weeks. 
This is some advice from a coach I had in Oz (Grant Giles -aeromax http://www.aeromaxteam.com/) Think i've corrected most of his spelling? 

"5 weeks out - big
4 weeks out - big
3 weeks out - reduce volume -introduce more raw speed work
2 weeks out - taper
1 weeks out - taper

With Ironman it is best to go in very fresh as it's a bloody hard
race so this is why we will slow up 3 weeks out and go in as fresh as possible, If you go into this race even slightly tired it will hammer you. We 
will be doing threshold in first 2 weeks of the taper albeit short and sharp you'll probably feel really shit in the first 10 days of that back off in mileage for some reason everyone does."


Swim 1hour

Just did what I felt like. Read something interesting about the catching the water at the beginning of the stroke. A lot of people like to feel locked on at the beginning mainly by feeling pressure on their palm, to get this feeling this people drop their wrists (bad) or push directly down (bad) if anything you should get little feeling of pressure at the start, maybe even pressure on the other side of the hand?
- did a bit of swimming thinking about this.

Otherwise -
Warm up 400m
1. paddles and pull buoy
2. pull buoy
3. some stroke timing 60 strokes/min using the wetronome http://www.wetronome.com/
4. What everyone at the pool calls my "dead fish" routine - swimming on side with both arms at side just turning head to breathe.

Am now trying to plan the week so work and family which is the main priority isn't affected, and that enough recovery is factored in.
So broad outline looks like, - all hinges on whether can do the Wednesday evening session afterwork - if not everything will have to shift forwards. Expect everything will change.

Monday Swim
Tuesday ?
Wednesday evening - 80km bike 10km run
Thursday - Run 2hours (on call for hospital from 6pm)
Friday - Swim - Speed
Saturday - 180km Bike 10km run
Sunday - On call - will run if ok

Have taken next week off as last big week

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Turbo Run brick

Warm up 15mins, session all at 90rpm+ with 10min breaks between each
20min (x 250w, x 240w, x230w, x 220w, x220w, x220w) total 3 hours

Run off bike 9km at IMP (trying a few of the new technique pointers!) 40mins

I have been trying to do this 250w x 20min session for a while now but only every managed to get two done - this time took the wattage down - think I should have done this weeks ago. Thinking about what wattage I could maintain for several blocks of 45mins as the big sessions coming up have that sort of duration as intervals. 50:50 whether these get done on the turbo or not.