Ironman Training - the journey so far
Ironman Frankfurt is no more on the plan for me.
Ironman Italy is where its at!
After doing my first 80 mile bike ride in New Forest in March I realised that I would not be fast enough for the 112 miles bike ride in Frankfurt, I would really need to push myself to meet that deadline and there was a huge chance I would go through to do the second loop and be told I cannot continue. Not one wants to invest all that money, time, sweat, tears and blood to not at least have the opportunity to go all the way! In conjunction with the fast that the race is only 15 hours long, I had to make the choice:
- have a really stressed panicked few months with the possibility of not getting to the finish line
- change / postpone the race till later in the season.
In a panicked state on the night after the 80 mile ride, I decided to look for another opportunity if possible. I messaged Kostas, my colleague that is my Coach on this journey to be an Ironman, we call him Koachstas, and we found two possibilities: Ironman Barcelona or Ironman Emilia Romagna.
I decided to sleep on it and see what happens. Luckily the 80 mile ride was early on the schedule and I was still in the window to allow change of race for the fee of 48 pounds. The next day I was convinced that was the right thing to do. I started the process ASAP and also starting looking for flights and stay etc. There would be a bit of a hit on my wallet. Maybe a bit more than a bit actually. But it was what needed to happen in order to allow the possibility of becoming an Ironman. So it was back to the drawing board. There have been quite a few downs in the past couple of months:
- Hay-fever was in full swing from Feb to the beginning of May. (must be the tree pollen)
- Late Winter illness swept the office in March. Got his quite bad from that.
- Injury of my left hamstring after a ride with Andy Clyde up the Christmas Common Hill.
- Shoulder issues after the 80 miles causing a need to re-evaluate the fit with Bryan.
- This last week my right hamstring is currently having issues. Possibly tendonopathy due to some weird reason… not sure why. Current thing I am dealing with. I am seeing my Physio Dominic next week to see what can be done and if I can race next weekend.
I have my first Olympic race next weekend and I would like to be on the start line, and finish without causing injuries.
After meeting Bryan today for a bike fit, I said “I enjoy the learning of the bike fit and my body, but I just want to be on the road” I miss the ride and the running! I want to stop being injured constantly, have the fitness to push and exercise!
What I have been coming to realise in the last few hours though, that this is the journey! This is what is going to make the Ironman race worth it. Focusing on my health and ensuring I get to the start line, do my best and hopefully finish is what all this about! There is a lot of pain involve but it will make me stronger, and it is something I really want.
I am luckily to have such a great group of people around me to support me and help me get through these hard times. I have loving and understanding girlfriend, colleagues that focus on getting me there, friends that are willing to ride with me at times and professional people that can guide me when I am a bit injured or gone to far.
The plan and monitoring fitness
Since taking the foot of the Gas I have been starting to re-evaluate a few things:
- the cost of Training Peaks
- the sessions I need to do (once my body lets me)
Move off training peaks temporary due to huge expense it is.
Starting with Training Peaks. Training Peaks is a great planning tool and a great weapon in the armory to plan the season. But its so expensive! After being on it a year or two I was starting to way 60 quid a quarter to a software to give me a timeline of my fitness and fatigue over time! So I started looking at other options to do it cheaper or even for free!
The choice was Elevate the chrome extension in conjunction with the Strava Summit section for power. I had compared the result of Training peaks with the result of Elevate, and they were identical! To the extent I care about at least. Its an open source tool that pools all the Strava sessions and calculates the same graph as Training peaks. Training peaks does allow planning in advance, but once you have that why pay 11 extra months?! Strava Summit I am warming up to, I like the fitness graph and some of the extra analysis it provides on my runs and rides. I am not 100% on it but will try it out. For the power reading its only 18 quid a year I think? So we shall see.
Another tool I am currently trying to get my head round is Xert. I am not about this yet.. I don’t understand what all the different set of numbers mean… It just so different from everything else. Currently, the arrow on the dashboard keeps telling me I am “falling behind” which I can believe, but the issue is it has not idea what event I am doing. It just knows I am doing an event in September. And also it seems the login on its main page never wants to work. Not completely sold on its worth yet.
The routing I would like to do from June onwards
The workout is based on the video from GTN. The strength exercises are a combo of GTN videos and my physio’s recommendations.
2 x 45 swim sessions
- 45 swimming not rest - Monday morning. could use pull boys
- Threshold 400m
12-15x 100M - 15seconds. to 10-12x 150M - 25 seconds rest to 12 200M - 35 seconds rest.
- Indoor thershold interval Or hill reps
15 min build wth 4-5 x30 seconds hard
6 x5 minutes at Zone 4-5 with 2.5 min recovery spinto
3x10 minute at Zone 4-5 with 5 min recovery spin
Or hill reps
4-5 x 2 min with 2 min recovery down hillat 5-8 % gradient
Sessions should be 1-1:15 hours
- Long bike ride
- Nutrition ride: 3.5-4 hours riding a will
4x30 min @ zone 3 with 15 min spinto
4x45 min @ zone 3 with 15min spin
Add 30 min steady run after this!
- Alternation of one of the following workouts
- Hill workout - 15 min hill job 12-15 x 45sec reps recovery jog down
- Threshold workout - 15min easy jog 14 x5 min at @ RPE 6-7 2 min jog
- Building pyramid
RPE 8/10 30 sec to sec 30 rest 45 sec to 45 sec rest
- Long Run increase by 15 min over 4-5 weeks
If time allows - a brick bike
- Yoga - 1-2 times a week.
- External shoulder rotation - with band
- Internal shoulder rotation - with band
- Reverse lunges x3 10-12 reps
- Theraband - the walking sideways and the forwards as per video
- On leg box sitting - single leg squat on box
- Yoga ball - bridge (hip bridge leg curl)
- Stepping on the box with one leg - with good posture
- Nordic hamstring curls
- Bent over barbell row - for shoulders - aim to 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
- Calfs stretches - with heels hanging over the edge
- Press up
- Ab workout
Let this journey continue! Keep pushing and keep doing the best I can! Thats what is the most important thing! (and don’t get injured!!)
Thank you for reading! 👋
If you notice any mistakes please contact me on Twitter.
Foot notes: from Bike fit today for future reference
Bike saddle height position: the tape that Bryan added is the min heigh I can have before my Knees starting hurting.
Seat position: if I go to that lowest saddle height position I will need to move the seat to the position the tape has been placed. (the closest metal)