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, 24 July 2010


Was meant to do 15km easy run today - managed 6km but felt sick + headache - could be what Ella has been having so called it a day and played it safe - more important to do Sunday's 2hour turbo 1hour run.

Took george for disabled swim session in morning. Had sports massage in the afternoon - fell asleep again. Picnic with NCT (national childbirth trust) friends in afternoon - not allowed to eat any nice stuff!

Friday, 23 July 2010


Warm up 800m
5 x 100m build to IMP (50sec rest)
Main set 6 x 150m at IMP (25sec rest)
5 x 100m pull

Small run to see how foot was - seems ok, a little tender.

Great news from work - rostered off for the Friday next week (thanks Phil). We were all dreading going up late Friday night - 2 children small car etc, then rushing around on the Saturday getting the bike racked without time to catch my breath. Studies have shown that the quality of sleep the 2 nights before the race is what is important - so the Friday night before a Sunday race. Poor sleep on the Saturday and a very early start doesn't seem to impact - well not until Monday.

Watched the Tour de France today - they said the riders were going along at 70km/hr at 500watts - amazing. Rest of my time reading up for potential job interview - the boy's grandparents are being life savers. Oh and the life gaurds who look after my mobile phone at the pool as am on call all weekend. This is turning into a real team effort - Thank you.

Thursday, 22 July 2010


threshold set>
400 easy,
6x 50 as eh/he/hh x2,e=easy h=hard
4x {5x 100m on 10sec rest} @ threshold pace have -3mins
recovery between each set -set #3 and #4 with paddles,
3x 200 on 30sec rest easy catchup with pull buoy..

Feeling a bit dodgy today – Ella has had D&V for the past couple of days and had to take over from someone at work who had similar on Tuesday – have been trying to avoid anyone with a cold. I guess more will be revealed, will probably back off a bit.

Saw chiropodist to sort out foot - risky as unknown territory, having a someone wave a knife around near your foot was interesting. Think he was a little over zealous and now have a sore spot - have to hope it works out. Was meant to do a run but will skip it today. I received loads of replys from people at the serpentine running club www.serpentine.org.uk all recommended the chiropodist route.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Warm up 20min Z1, 10min Z2 5min Z2-3
Set 4 x 5km on 4min recovery at olympic distance pace/AT cadence 95-100rpm
Warm down 1hour Z1


Run 10km easy aerobic off bike.

- the turbo was hard++, music on for the last set had miraculous effect at removing fatigue
- run was good except doubtful can do marathon in the lighter trainers as pretty painful left forefoot in a blister type way, otherwise good.

again changed position - left leg had ache in lateral thigh decided this was best addressed by moving foot out a little. It worked well. Annoying to have to keep making these changes but on a positive think I now deserve a PhD in bike fitting.

Had a good look at foot - sorry for details! - but there is a big area of dry thick skin there which will definitely lead to a big blister if I don't sort it out. Have sent out a message to my running clubs email forum to see what they come up with. My gut instinct is to file it off - but how much is too much? etc, I thought tough skin was good.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Turbo Run Brick
5 mins 85rpm zone 1
5 mins 90rpm zone 2
5 mins 95rpm zone 3
set - 12 x 30 sec on 2min at 110+ rpm - aim to maintain smooth stroke, heart rate will lag efforts as not long.
5mins 85rpm zone 1

Run of bike 15-18km aerobic with 4-5 x 3mins on 90sec recovery at 10km pace.

I have always found these faster cadence sessions work wonders for the bike, think the key is to stop bouncing around. Also a subtle way to show you that you can put a lot of work down if you take the cadence up.
Still not 100% happy with bike position am starting to feel like the princess and the pea

Run- went to Battersea track and did the efforts as 5x(3min for 800m with 400m jog recovery). Also used this as chance to calibrate the foot pod on the garmin.

Tomorrow say's 2hr bike 10km run, AT (anaerobic threshold swim)
although off from work have to go in to have a dry run of some teaching i'm doing, electricity board coming to house, and Ella has a GP partners meeting! may have to swap it for another day?

Monday, 19 July 2010

Swim drill 1.5km
Mainly single arm up (25m) other arm back (25m)
Finding this new drill really useful. Only problem is when you go back to normal 2 arm swimming it's hard to hold on to the technique - guess it will come with time.

I've added a few youtube videos of swim drills in the drills link above.

Nearly didn't happen as colleague felt very unwell last night so had to pick George up drop him home and go back into work. Did the last case and just had time to get to the pool for half an hour. Also now on call for the night.

Sunday, 18 July 2010


Run 80mins
New trainers - asics ds racers - maybe pushing it on the lighter less support option but have been making the move over the last year in this direction, will see how it goes.

Rest of day spent tidying up job application and a cardiac department BBQ.

Added a few things in the drills section, also a bit about pace here

Heard a good rule last night about what pace to go at.
For ironman, look at your heart rate or power for a half ironman race, find the average - this should be your ceiling during the race, ease off if you start hitting this (should be 73%FTP)
Similarly for a half ironman do the same with your olympic race average etc,

I had decided that my heart rate ceiling should be 144 from the turbo. Looking at the half ironman data the average is 143 so i'm sold on this.

Never hit your Vo2 max power/heart rate in the race.
Professional cyclists visualise the race as having a box of matches, and every sprint/chase/blast up a hill burns a match. They know how many matches they have in "their" box and aim to finish with at least 1 or 2 matches left. When they have run out of matches they sit in the pack and pray no one attacks. This is what is going on in the tour de france. With ironman you want to get off the bike with a FULL box of matches.
- I have never managed to ride this intelligently - it means; back off on hills, don't chase people, use whatever easy periods you can get (coasting etc), apply your effort to where you get the maximum reward i.e. no point bombing down hill for and extra 2miles an hour which costs a lot and delivers little extra. The power profiles of tour de france riders (hard to get hold of as they are very secretive) shows the winners cycle the least!!! conceptually that is very hard to get your head around.

This all sounds great but i've yet to be so mechanical, I need to read this the day before.

Plan for the week

Mon: Swim - drill
Tue: Brick - high cadence adaptation turbo, Run 15km with 5x3min 10km pace
Wed: Brick 2hrs bike with 4x5km at olympic pace, Run easy 10km, (swim threshold)
Thur: Run 12km with 10x60sec 10km pace
Fri: Swim 3.3km with 1.7km race pace as intervals
Sat: Run easy pace 15km
Sun: Brick, bike 90km easy with 5x4km at low threshold Run, 13km IMP (comfortable pace not too hard), optional swim 1-2km easy pull.

This is what the coach said about this week;

Here's the whole taper. I think this is the best option for getting you to the line in good shape while being fresh at the same time.
Tried to cover everything and I am confident that if you lay it down you'll have a good race so don't be afraid to let fly this time - you should have enough in the tank to come back even if you get into trouble - be confident that you've done enough to reach a bit further down than normal but of course don't blow either.
Work on your mind in the taper - no seriously - just try to get into a calm state of mind and be open to all possibilities in the race and before hand. It's better to have a still mind that is blank rather than a negative one, take a leaf from the buddest book and meditate.