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!

Drills / Routines / Zones


Deep water starts - not many (including me) practice this but it could help a lot. Tread water, swim fast for 10m then steady for approx. 40m

Torpedo - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3977708583811689960&hl=un#

Sculling - http://www.youtube.com/user/swimfortri#p/u/47/mxOQbUgR_ak


Two drills to improve efficiency;

Single leg drill - on stationary bike - build up to intervals of a minute per leg
High cadence - pedal at rpm of 105+ without bouncing

Turbo drills

1. The hour of power - at normal cadence - see how many watts or speed you can keep on for an hour. This is the bench mark (functional threshold or tempo pace that a lot of other things are based upon)

2. 2 x20 min at lactic threshold (90rpm) on 5 minutes recovery

3. 4-8 x 4min at VO2 max (60rpm) the core workout to improve "strength endurance" this was really the only turbo I did from 2004-2008. Many people would do 8min at FTP (100%) with 4min recovery and see this as the same workout. 

4. N by 1min at anaerobic threshold (usually 10-12 intervals with 2mins recovery) this is for proper cyclists who need to keep with the pack and make attacks etc, maybe a little less for us mortals.

I find the details below come in handy when thinking about what you want to achieve and the adaptations that may result;

You can see that working in some zones will be to the detriment of others - it may look complicated but for simple people like me all it really shows is that you get most from your time relatively safely by working zone 3/4 - although this is for cycling it shows why the Kenyans do most of their work at that "tempo" pace.

Good time to describe the zones more fully;

These are great descriptions that you can end up coming back to again and again.

Extra drills that are worth considering
1. 12mins steady 3 mins hard - alternating 
The rationale is to learn to recover by going steady! In races we don't usually have the usual easy periods after hard efforts. Compare this to jog recovery with running rather than standing still.

2. Change ups
(90sec high cadence, 60 sec hard gear, 30 sec high cadence, 60 sec hard gear, 30 sec rest) repeat

3. "tripple 3's"
(3min standing, 3min seated 90 cadence, 3min seated 75 cadence) repeat 
Good practice for hills. Want the hour to go fast - do this session. A favourite of Gordo Bryn. 

4. 1min hard 1min easy (10-30 intervals)
Apparently this has worked well for older athletes which is me now.
Toby Radcliffe recommends this followed by an hour at race pace. 

5. Training to cycle race - 15sec at 150% FTP 15sec at 50% repeated as long as you want. 

Some Lance Armstrong weights


See blog entry about running drills