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, 2 July 2011


2hrs 45min
30 mins warm up.
(50mins at race pace 90rpm (220-230W) on 10mins rest) x 2

10km as 4x1km race pace intervals and 6km easy aerobic cool down with some drill routines.

It was difficult to work out what to do today following yesterday's "just not happening". This weekend the program had me down for a 180km cycle with 3 x 30km IMP followed by easy 10km. So I have decided to split this by repeating what I did today, tomorrow. The rationale being it's less tough on the childcare and family and with the dodgy day yesterday I don't wan to push too hard.

Only difficulty today was that I couldn't face the aero position.

Friday, 1 July 2011


- today was meant to be 80km with 3 x 15km at race pace followed by 10km run, 8km of which at race pace.
- Managed to do 1 x 15km but just wasn't happening. Went for a quick run round the block - now to get an early night.
- I had some good advice recently. Very often it's hard to tell if you are tired or just being lazy. The key is to start anyway and see what happens. More often than not you come good but if you don't it's ok to try another day and it's not laziness.
- I have had a lot going on today. It's amazing the impact non-physical things can have on the physical. Previously I would have pushed on but now I think there's more to risk than to gain.

Thursday, 30 June 2011


3 x 200m on 20sec easy aerobic
10 x 100m on 25sec rest at IMP
150m easy
10 x 100m on 25sec rest at IMP with pull buoy
150m easy
5 x 100m on 25sec rest at IMP with pull buoy and paddles

Total = 3.4km

The last set was meant to be 6 x 100m followed by 8 x 50m cool down but I ran out of time.
Really interesting adding in the buoy and then paddles. I have underestimated how much using paddles can teach you about technique. I found my stroke improved when I extended more as this led to better rotation and engaging the shoulder - the elbow discomfort I had been getting disappeared. Will revisit this.


Usual 30 minute routine. Made extra difficult by Will climbing on me in just the wrong places at just the wrong time. I think he thought he was helping - bless.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


2 hours, aerobic. As run/walk - run 4mins walk 30secs. Really hard work today, not sure why. Probably a lot of fatigue in the legs from the weekend. After 30 minutes thought about calling it a day. I find it's important to realise that often just a phase that will pass. It's sessions like this that help a lot more than they first appear.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


All moderate pace. Of note:
50m x 5 with band round ankles - i'm getting better at this slowly.
50m x 7 single arm drill
500m with PT paddles
100m Butterfly - the most i've ever done without stopping is 75m so really pleased with this. I started this with a few friends last summer and we've all had varying success at increasing the distance.
I actually had what proper swimmers describe as "feel for the water" for the first time ever tonight. Things are looking up.

As an aside I have been looking into knee pain on the bike as I get the odd niggle. I think i have developed a rule of thumb;
Upper anterior pain (quad) - saddle too low
Posterior pain - (hamstrings) - saddle too high
Lateral knee pain - stance to narrow and too toed in
Medial knee pain - stance to wide
I'll do a bit more digging and see whether it holds true.

Monday, 27 June 2011


Very tired from yesterday so legs up and taking it easy. Sauna - the person in there was very interested in why I was doing what must have seemed like some strange stretching (hamstrings!).

Lots of ice cream and cake - thank you to Ella's mum and dad.

Sunday, 26 June 2011


120 miles.
Multiple stops, a tyre blow out that left me stranded and Garmin GPS problems - total time 9 hours.

Went up to Bolton to ride the course. The main aim was to familarise myself with the course - it's very technical in places and a fair bit of time can be saved if you know which corners need to be slowed down for etc,

I have to say a massive thank you to Tracy and Jed who very kindly rescued me. The inner tube herniated through the side wall of the tyre and burst as did the second one I tried. This left me stranded. They gave me a lift to Halfords and drove me back to their house to repair it. I am now duty bound to perform the same act of kindness to a stranger in need and pass the karma on.

I also wanted to see how the bike performed - Did the position on the indoor trainer i've worked hard on convert to riding on the road?
The night before I changed the chainset to a compact - this has less teeth; 50/34 rather than the standard 53/39 you find on most bikes. I was surprised how easy this was to do. A ten minute job. Years ago it would have required specialist equipment (crank extractors etc,) and have taken an afternoon.
Bottom line - should have done this ages ago. It was far easier on the steep climbs, shifting was better and there were far more usable gears (less overlap of ratios and a better gradation of change between adjacent gears). Contact me on line if you want to know any more about it.

There's a good site by someone who lives and breathes cycling - http://www.sheldonbrown.com/ that has more about bike gearing. In particular look at his "gear calculator"

Other things about the ride - 90% in aero position, 60g of carbohydrate an hour, 6 hour pace for the 112miles or 180km seemed about right (30km/hr).