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, 18 June 2011


200m Concentrating on thumb up hand entry, elbow leading recovery
200m Trying to see the palm of my hand at the front of the stroke
200m With PT paddles
200m With band round ankles (25m repeats)
200m Sighting - whilst breathing to left for half then to right
200m Keeping middle finger down midline of body

5 x 200m on 25 seconds recovery at IMP - this was 25 seconds a length

200m Breathing every 5 strokes
200m Taping shoulder on recovery
50m straight arm recovery
50m Waterpolo - head up throughout.

So a bit drill crazy with an IMP main set.
Had some good improvement;
- band round ankles is getting much better, you have to elevate the rate and make sure you don't miss the catch at the start. May be able to go for 2 lengths soon.
- Sighting: i've never been able to sight with my right arm extended out - probably because of years of only breathing to the right. I had a good think about what the difference was and tried to copy this with my right arm extended, finally got it by the end.
- Middle finger drill - helped to keep the pull through going.
- Main set, haven't done this for a while. This was the main thing I was doing once a week at the start of the year. Found it hard to start with but settled into it and actually found I was half a length ahead on the last set. The main thing was to relax a little, trust the stroke and not rush. I would go the same speed for double the effort to start with - like running on ice.
- Breathing every five strokes - really pleased as hasn't felt good like this before, this could really improve things as breathing is where most people's strokes really suffers.
- Waterpolo - what can I say - amazingly difficult and exhausting.

Friday, 17 June 2011


2 hours
- raining in London so went to the gym and did this on the treadmill - mentally difficult especially the first half. There's a mirror in front which is good to look at technique but bad for the obvious reasons!

- pace was 1hour relatively easy (11km/hr) then building up to IMP for the last 25 mins. I wanted to go up to 14km/hr but had to settle for 13km/hr as had some left inner knee pain and some soreness in the right achilles and hamstring. It's amazing how at the time this was a heart sink moment. Now I can see it as just a bad patch at the time.

So that's the longest i've ever done on a treadmill - wouldn't like to do any longer.
Incline was 3% - i'm not sure what it should be to compensate for air resistance etc,

Thursday, 16 June 2011


1000m free style over the imaginary barrel
5 x 200m on 20sec as 1 arm drill down free style back
700m free with pull over the barrel
5 x 100m on 20sec 1 arm drill down free back with pull and paddles
8 x 50m on 20sec 1 arm drill down other arm back

Total = 3.6km

Good session - starting to think my hand entry on the right hand side is improving (little finger/flat first). Also starting to begin the stroke earlier when breathing, which should help to remove a dead spot - this is going to take a long time though as it's a huge change.

Listened to podcast (marathon talk) - They mentioned not smashing yourself when you feel good. It's important to leave yourself somewhere to go - it was developed by Liz Yelling the marathon runner leading up to her PB (personal best time) - it's a reminder to not rush progression. I do it well with the swimming and cycling but need to bear it in mind with the running where I have a tendency to go to fast.

Worked out today how to program the garmin to vibrate after 4 mins and then after 30seconds - so no excuses now to try the run walk strategy into the picture and see if it works.

Bought some delux porridge oats shopping with Mum and Will today - that's about as exciting as it gets

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


30 min warm up
Set - 4 x 20min IMP on 5min recovery
15min cool down

9km as 5km IMP 4km easy

Really good today as finally happy with bike position. Unfortunately it's the perfectionist in me that isn't happy till it's spot on but 6 hours is a long time to be uncomfortable. I won't be surprised at all if further changes get made. The main thing was moving the cleats so the stance on the bike is as wide as possible - this is generally what people do for outer knee pain and outer hip discomfort. It felt odd to start with but worked.
Did the IMP work as 4mins in aero position 1min upright - feeling easier than before. Still have a very noticible increase in heart rate that I hope will get better over the next few weeks. i.e. aiming to flatten that saw tooth pattern in the heart rate.
Also fueling as I would in the race - making up my own sports drink - table sugar, salt and protein powder - it works out at about 5p a bottle instead of £1, money is tight but I think we should all do this anyway.

Run was good. Thought about doing walk run as I did in the London marathon. I have been reluctant to do this so far but must make a point of doing this from now. Also need to be more disciplined with the pace. I'm going way over IMP in these runs as i'm feeling good - sticking to the plan is also something that needs to be practiced!

Cycling the kids to the park was hard work this afternoon.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


600m easy
800m with every 3rd lap single arm stroke for 2 strokes (2 arm drill)
8 x 100m steady
4 x 200m with pull and paddles - 2 arm drill up, free style catch-up coming back.

Really enjoy doing the swimming drill work. I think psychologically I feel it is helping me to become a better swimmer whilst not being too hard cardiovascularly.
I mixed up the 8 x 100m and did - 75m butterfly straight (the best i've ever done), band round ankles, PT paddles etc,
The hardest thing I find is swapping between right and left arms with the 2 arm drill. When going from right arm to left my right looses it - I guess this is the whole point of the drill.
Great to see all the usual faces at the pool. Some time for a good chin wag as well.

Earlier in the day went for a Sauna for 30mins - Will tried out the creche for the first time and loved it as did the people looking after him and he made some new friends.
- with the Sauna i've been doing a bit of research into performance and acclimatisation - basically trying to get the sodium loses in sweat to drop, the sweat rate to go up and my ability to process fluid elevated - a bit of an experiment.

Ella sick with D&V so a lot of rushing around with all the evening feeding and bedtime preparations before I could get off to the pool.

Monday, 13 June 2011


15 min warm up
Set 12 x 30 sec on 2min @ 105-115 rpm - aim is leg speed not heart rate
10 min warm down

8km aerobic off bike
With some drill

Interesting session - really important to do this to lift your cadence (neuromuscular adaptation) I can get a bit stale with my rpm slowly going downhill over the weeks if I don't. Also useful to see how the bike position feels dropped the saddle 1-2mm and felt a whole world of improvement that I couldn't perceive normally.

There was a swim planned for today but dropped it as the key sessions this week are;
140km cycle 10km run
2 hour run
70km cycle 8km run
It's important I go into these not too tired and recover well.

Listened to marathon talk podcast today - A UK bloke called Alex Flynn is running from London to Rome on trails - 1800km in 30days! - he also has Parkinson's - unbelievable!

Sunday, 12 June 2011



Recovery - 2hours round Regent's Park, just about missed the rain with a friend. Had a 10 minute tired patch but otherwise ok. Position felt odd - found seat post was rotated when got back.

Have felt starving all afternoon/evening and have just kept eating.

Starting to do a race strategy list for the first time - basically three columns breaking the race down by time/distance with PACE, MENTAL ASPECTS, and FUELING. I'll post this up once finished.