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, 17 September 2011

Brick (=Bike Run)
30min warm up
(50min x 200W on 10min recovery) x 3
Total 3hr 30min
Easy pace to gym 4km
Treadmill 8km at race pace (14km/hr)
Easy run home 4km
Total = 16km
1hour 10min

Today was really good for the confidence. I've had a lot going on this week and the 4th week before the race is meant to be the huge volume week followed by a 3 week taper.
It didn't look like it was realistic to do the 180km cycle both weather and time wise. Negotiated with Ella - I took the kids to the park in the morning, did the lunch etc, whilst she went for a run. Ella took them to her sisters in the afternoon.

Will did his best to have a go at Peckham Rye's "green gym" Unfortunately much to his annoyance his arms and legs weren't long enough to work the machines!

The 180km cycle was to have 3 x 30km at race pace in it so I just did this part of it.
I had a couple of really good learning points from this;
1. Previously I have taken "race pace" as 220W because i've not really peaked for this week I decided to take it cautiously and go at 200W. The heart rate (HR) data tells it all;
The HR was low for the first set and I felt like the intensity wasn't enough. By the third set it was right where i'd want to be on race day but the intensity hadn't changed. This is a mirror of how you should race which until now I hadn't fully appreciated. It should feel easy for the first few hours. I think in previous races I going by heart rate I have gone too fast and paid for it later. This is the advantage of having a power meter - I need to save my pocket money! Bottom line though is that I need to be really strict with a heart rate ceiling early on.

2. The bike position. - leading up to the last race I felt a little uncomfortable on the bike and so started putting little wedges in the cleats. This led to major cramps later on that cost me 20mins lowering the saddle. I had the same feeling today and so lowered the saddle - eureka - the position felt fantastic. This also fits in with my thoughts on psoas muscle imbalance/tightness. Lowering the saddle (only 2mm!) should reduce the affect of any imbalance.
The bike fit took place with a different saddle so this makes me think the new one is actually a little deeper despite looking fairly similar.

The run,
Only thing to mention here is the treadmill was set to display km/hr but only when I finished did I realise the distance was set in miles - so instead of doing 5km I did 8km.
It reminded me of my younger weight training days - I did my best ever bench press of 105kg but only because I had put more weight on than I realised - So much comes down to perception and what your mind tells you.
The middle section is on the treadmill. The spike in the third is artefact. 
In a perfect world we'd have checked out the bike powered cinema at Peckham Rye this evening but it wasn't meant to be. 

Friday, 16 September 2011

30mins easy pace

I had a big meeting today so just took it easy in the gym for an hour. It's a shame as the weather this weekend is not forecast to be so good - lets hope they got it wrong. I have a 180km cycle and run in the program - the weather today would have been great for it.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Rest day
Well not strictly rest. Cycling Will and George around in the cargo bike and running errands, (getting some special boots for George) I felt very virtuous with the bike full with a week's ASDA shopping. 2hours in total.

That's not George and Will - but it's the photo that was responsible for me buying the bike!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

As 30min warm up
60min x 200W x 85rpm

A busy day, up at 04.30 for train to Manchester. Lunch with Mum.
Arrived home, Ella went for a run and I looked after George and Will.
The turbo intensity is down on what i'd normally do but intuitively it seemed right.
As I think more about the race in Bolton the more it looks like I went too fast on the bike in the first half. Then spending the rest of the race a little over-cooked. This may explain the leg cramps etc,
I've also been thinking a lot about the origins of the bike set up difficulties. i.e. get one leg right and the other feels out and vice versa. I went through it logically today and have come to the conclusion the psoas muscle is the likely culprit. Now I just have to work out what combination of  weak/strong and long/short on each side. I came off a motorbike at 17 and hit my back which makes the case even stronger.
Spent a fair bit of the later half of the day tired which i now know makes me insatiably  hungry.
This should be a the high volume week with a three week taper starting saturday. There's a lot going on so just doing what I can.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Race pace set
Warm up 600m
6 x 50 as 25 solid 25 easy
Main set - 5 x 400m on 20sec rest at race pace
Warm down - 6 x 50 on 1min rest

It was difficult to drag myself to the pool for this. A day of looking after Will where I decided the TV wouldn't go on at all - I don't like the way it can become an extra parent (well I like it, but don't think it does him any good!). There's a lot mentally happening on top of training at the moment - it's only this last year i've noticed that mental work and physical come from the same internal bank. However, it all came good after 10mins or so and I was glad I went.

Walked around with Will in the baby rucksack for an hour as well today - he's getting heavier. We went to visit a friend of mine Paolo but he wasn't in.

Monday, 12 September 2011

4km to gym
20min in Sauna, then,
90min run in park, picking up pace for last 45min to near race pace. Back to take Will and George to the park.

I felt very asymmetrical today. Legs all over the place with lots of niggles. I think this is due to the cycling yesterday - my cue to do some stretching.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

3hours - variable pace, laps round Regent's park.
Traffic dreadful!

30mins warm up
60mins 200W 90rpm

20mins working on back bends and hip mobility - still amazed I can eventually get into the lotus position (not for long though!)

Today was a bit of a compromise - I had a lot of paperwork to do so had to forgo the 180km cycle and 10km run that was in the schedule.
I was glad however for the time on the road as like before the position from the turbo didn't translate so well to the road. I've given up trying to work out why and just went back to how it was after the fitting.
The calorie counting app is proving to be interesting - I think it gets a little overwhelmed. I took in 4000 calories which it was telling me was too much. I can now see that is one of the problems when I reduce the training after a race - the appetite stays elevated for a while. It maybe of more use then.
Caught a little bit of the Rugby world cup. It brought back memories of some good times working out in Australia the year England won.

My friend Rob with a big Martin Johnson.