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, 25 June 2011


Couple of break through sessions in the week so decided to have a break. Went to the sauna.

Friday, 24 June 2011


(250W x 65rpm x 20min on 5min) x 3

Run walk 4min/km x 5
2 km cool down

Another break through session - have only ever managed to string 2 blocks of 250W together.

Thursday, 23 June 2011


Endurance-tempo set
500m warm up - easy
6 x 50m as (easy/hard hard/easy hard/hard) x 2
6 x 400m all with pull. Set 2 and 4 with paddles at IMP. 50 sec rest between each.
8 x 50m warm down.

Total = 3.6km

This was a big session. I have only ever done 4 x 400m at IMP. Didn't know whether i'd be able to step up to another two. I'm fairly new to using the pull buoy as well. Was about 3-4 seconds off by set 5. Ditched the pull buoy for the final set and was about 5 seconds ahead for the final set.
Found it much easier in the sets following using the paddles. The amount of effort to go that extra bit faster is huge and wouldn't be worth it in a race. My main technique difficulty was keeping my hand facing the back wall and not letting it slice through the water. More wrist strength needed?

So today is what is called a "break through" session, i.e. more than before - these are important and help with the confidence and help to demonstrate a progression in the right direction. The art to it all is knowing when to include these - it's easy to try and do too many too quickly.

Otherwise it was a massive childcare day with countless nappies changed and hand washing.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


aerobic out to IDE hill - 3 loops with friend who is training for this year's etape du tour.
It's the site of the oldest cycle race in the world.
The back wheel span on a couple of occasions which was disconcerting. It was a reminder to keep pedalling smoothly. Mountain bikers have the best pedalling action as uneven power (stamping on the pedals) makes the wheel spin with lost traction.
Planned to run off the bike but I was way too wet and feet too cold to risk it.
Quite a lot of fatigue in the legs from the strength focus yesterday.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


5mins 60rpm 300W

Looking after children all day so some welcome rest. Did this when Will was asleep. All the longer sessions can leave you wondering if the top end power is declining - this went well so a bit of a confidence booster.

Did a little bit of strength work too - 5mins of squats and deadlifts in the back yard.

Monday, 20 June 2011


10x 50m Catch up
200m easy free front quadrant
300m easy shoulder width catch up, pull buoy
10 x 50m on 20sec high elbow finger trail catch up
700m free, pull buoy. (did some with band round ankles)

Ella came as we have her parents staying so they could look after George and Will - she's a bit of a swim star. Apparently my hand position is good when doing catch up but not so good when i'm not. Something else to think about.

Listened to a great interview with Matt Dixon today who coached Ryan Hall to a 2.04 marathon at Boston this year.
The main point was thinking about performance as four equally important pillars;
1. Training
2. Nutrition
3. Recovery
4. Functional strength
Most of us get too caught up in how much training we've done and forget about the others. My weak area is functional strength I think - may do a bit more of this (carefully I hope)

Sunday, 19 June 2011


1 hour 170watts 80-90rpm
2 hours as 4 x (25mins 220watts 80-90rpm on 5mins recovery) 4min aero 1min upright
1 hour - some standing 1min on 1min off, 200-170watts

10km - 8.5km as walk run - 4min run 30secs walk, with 1.5km easy jog cool down.

Luckily it was father's day so I was able to get the 5hours it took to do all of this without too much negotiation - thank you Ella.
- bit uncomfortable on the bike but largely due to the long run on Friday I think.
- no improvement in heart rate between aero position and normal, but a global improvement overall. the last set being about 140/min.
- starting to take on a proper amount of carbohydrate during all this - about 260g of table sugar for the bike! - the aim is to get about 60g/hr in. The rest was to take me through onto the run. I took most of it during the main 2 hours which was OK. This is also trainable, some people can get 100g in which can give you a huge advantage. One of the most common reasons for not finishing an ironman is digestion problems.

- I tried the run walk strategy for the first time in a triathlon setting. I had done the exact same thing in the  London marathon as an experiment and it had worked far better than expected. I have been putting this off feeling that I didn't want to disturb the training. I was remarkable, I keep to 4min/km pace and felt like the usual niggles didn't get worse as time went on.
- I am coming round to the idea of adopting this for the race, it will take a huge amount of faith that you aren't loosing too much whilst walking. 
- Thinking a lot about why this strategy should work so well - may be in our evolution we never ran continuously. Stopping either to check the tracks of animals, regroup, check we weren't being followed etc,