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, 20 August 2011

2.5 hours
with 2 x 20min at race pace.

10km with 3km at race pace

30mins as 15,5,5,5

The main aim today was to get used to the new saddle. The pressure is now distributed to the sitting bones which is more appropriate but the areas are smaller. This results in the actual pressure in these areas being higher. The nose is also very wide and there's a fair bit of discomfort especially on the right side for some reason. I have been told that some people cable tie the front to bring it closer together. After an hour of it not working and also siding down it I tilted it up a bit and also cable tied it. I also found that I had to move it forwards a fair bit till it felt right - when I get the full fit details from freespeed i'll have a better idea if it's right.
The race pace simulations were much better and I found at times I hit a really nice rhythm and feel - hopefully a sign of things to come.

Ran to gym did the 3km on the treadmill at 14km/hr and then straight into the sauna.

What a difference exercising before the sauna - the time until I had to get out came much sooner.

Run back from the gym - this was slow but I figured it would be good to get used to running hot a fatigued.

Dropped garmin and cracked the screen - bummer.

Friday, 19 August 2011

2 hours just tracing the pedals round.


The new "aggressive" position on the bike will take some getting used to. Also because it tilts you forward so much more I found I needed a different saddle - I put that on today. The whole set up is now completely different and is a real leap of faith.

I'm just going to stick with it and see what happens. Unfortunately it means the dimensions from the fit I had need to be adjusted.

Also went out on the road for an hour - Richard at freespeed helped me put it in the correct position. 

Thursday, 18 August 2011

30mins just tracing the pedals round - trying to get used to the new position.

Sauna - 30mins no breaks.

400m warm up
Main set 15 x 100m on 25sec rest at race pace
10 x 25m PT paddles
10 x 25m Hand paddles
Cool down.

Also 2 hours cycling the children around with the tricycle - going to Swiss cottage up the hill was tough.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

16km, in middle 4 x 800m at half marathon pace on 90sec recovery at the track. First decent run since the race - probably a little too fast at the track - sore calves now.

1500m drill - single arm, band round legs,
I was planning to do twice that but it was a "general" session in the pool and was being dive bombed too often!

Couldn't manage the 30mins straight today. I think this was because of the run and swim before. Two chicken out 30sec breaks. Also found standing up much harder than sitting down. It's not surprising as there's two opposing forces - blood vessels dilating to loose heat in the legs and constricting to counteract gravity. So that's the new goal - 30mins standing with no breaks before I leave.

I have just started a just giving appeal for the charity that looks after children with George's condition. The blue thingy in the top left hand corner will take you there if your feeling charitable. Thank You X

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Managed the full 30mins today, with no breaks. Wore the heart rate monitor again, not sure it will last long in the heat. Being Peckham the conversations still centre around the riots.

Childcare was hectic and Ella not home till 10pm so no other training done - even though I feel like I have.

Did do a bit of core work and some stretching - the "pigeon" yoga pose has been recommended so gave that a go.

It's hard not to get nervous when I have a non planned rest day. As it's now Hawaii and not Bolton.

Monday, 15 August 2011


10min warm up
4 x 10min at IMP (ironman pace) on 5min recovery
5min cool down

I was keen to do this session as it is the first following my bike fit at freespeed this morning. The bike fit was absolutely brilliant, extremely high-tec. It involved putting dots on various parts of your body. It could then be calculated where these dots were in 3D space in real time.
So instead of one angle at a time being measured a complete dynamic picture could be seen. Especially important is knee tracking as this can lead to lots of problems and has been responsible for me messing around with my position ad infinitum.
We took all the wedges out and went back to the starting point - to my surprise the tracking was pretty much spot on! So the rest of the time was spent getting me more aerodynamic. Raising the seat and getting me further forwards. Whilst keeping the hip flexor angle as open as possible so as not to compromise the run.
Richard was amazing, very patient, informative and passionate about getting it right. I have learnt a lot too and when i've more time I'll write more about this.
Bottom line, I can't recommend him enough.

The session tonight felt strange - a lot of movement has been made. It's going to take a while to get used to it. I think there's just enough time. My heart rate was normal for the effort, if anything a bit lower. The right leg was absolutely spot on, the left just a bit uncomfortable - I think this is down to me and the need to stretch the ITB etc,

When I get the report i'll post the before and after pictures.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

30mins (19 + 5 + 6)
I wore the heart rate monitor - really interesting to see it climb despite not doing any physical work. By the time it hit 130 I was ready to get out.

Mainly drill: single arm, PT paddles, ankle band.

Received a helpful email from Paul Newsome (swim coach, swim smooth) - I had asked him about the differences with swimming in the sea compared to the pool.

Hi James

Apologies for the delay - I've been over in Canada doing some swim coaching and your email caught me mid-transfer - sorry about that!

Good question - have you checked out: http://swimsmooth.com/triathlon - 5 top tips for open water swimming.

With respect to actual adjustments to your stroke, a few more ideas:

  1. If it's rough, aim to swim with a slightly straighter arm recovery to ensure good arm clearance over the chop, swell and other swimmers
  2. Maintain a rhythmical, flowing stroke with a slightly elevated stroke rate over what you'd normally use in the pool - especially useful at the start during the washing machine effect.
  3. Pace yourself accordingly - it's tempting to go off like a bat out of hell at the start, but doing so could really wreck your race. You need to get a good start, but just like in the pool, remember that you have a threshold pace, whereby if you step too far over that for too long at the start you're sure to blow up.

Keep us posted with how you get on.



Kind regards


Paul Newsome
Head Coach
World Class Coaching in Your Language!
Tel. +61 (0) 431 540 980