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We have limited places available for our individual one on one specialist coaching service

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TriCoach.ie One On One Specialist Coaching

We have limited places available for our individual one on one specialist coaching service

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The best type of Ironman training that’s not big volume

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Someone commented on an article I wrote a while ago that while volume might be the best way to get Ironman fit that’s all well and good if you can fit it in. But what if you can’t fit in big volume? What if you just don’t have the time? Surely there are ways to improve but without committing so much time that you arrive home to find a suitcase on the doorstep after yet another 6 hour bike ride. 
There is one type of training that delivers huge gains and is also key when it comes to racing. Being strong is as crucial to Ironman success as being fit. How do you get strong and why is it so important? Read on for the good stuff…

Swimming 

  • Ok so I’m going to tell you to swim long here. I know I said that there are other ways to improve but the cornerstone of any Ironman plan has to be your long sessions and the long swim is the best way to fit a long session into a busy life. Depending on your fitness your long ride might take 5-7 hours in your biggest weeks but a 3-4k swim can usually be done in 60-90 minutes. If you’re training for Ironman and can’t fit in a 90 minute session a couple of times a week you’re in the wrong sport. Bang for your buck it delivers the biggest gains. 
  • Strength as I said is key for Ironman and the best way I’ve found to get strong in the water is with paddles. Introducing them slowly and gradually is key. Start with small paddles for short intervals first. A typical weekly progression might look something like this. 5x 100 the first week, then 3x 200, 8x 100, 5×200 and over the 16-20 weeks of an Ironman program you could build up to 5-6x 400 repeats. Combined with pull buoy and a band tying your ankles together is the most effective. 

The bike 

  • Compressed climbing 

This is one of my favourite ways to get strong on the bike. With most of these “short cuts” however there is a downside. They are purely training sessions and not necessarily the most entertaining but they do deliver results. I find a climb or a series of climbs and ride seated big gear repeats with a ride down recovery. To give you an example of how efficient it is one of my early season 3.5-4 hour 100k rides has over 3000m climbing in it. The Wicklow 200 which is widely recognised as being the hardest 200k sportive ride in Ireland has a similar amount of climbing and would take 2-3 times as long to complete. Big gear riding and over geared seated climbing is the most effective way to build strength on the bike and this session allows me compress a huge amount of high quality work into a shorter ride. 

  • Turbo trainer

The turbo, like quite a few of the more mentally challenging sessions is one of those areas neglected by many for that exact reason, how difficult it is to get your head around. In physical benefit terms I reckon an hour on the turbo is probably worth 90 mins to 2 hours on the road but only if what you’re doing is a quality session, if you’re sitting there tooling along watching coronation street then it’s probably not quite as beneficial. 

Running 

  • Hills

Running hills or hill repeats works on the strength aspect of training again and delivers big results. I try to do my long run on the hills or if that’s not possible I will do a hill repeat session on whatever climb I can find. If I’m traveling and don’t know the area I will fo the session on the treadmill with the incline set up.   

  • Split long run. 

It’s not always possible to fit in a long run to your life but sometimes it is possible to fit in two shorter ones. Maybe as your commute into and home from work. The benefits are that you can incorporate more quality into the session and I’ve found that recovery is faster than if I’m just running straight through. 

Most of these ways around doing big volume are things that I include in my training all year round. I think that being strong is one of the most important aspects of Ironman. It’s not the fastest athlete who succeeds, rather the one who slows down the least and in my experience slowing down in Ironman is usually as a result of poor pacing, bad nutrition or because somethings breaking down. The weakest point of the body will fail first and that failure will cause you to slow down. It might be weak hip flexors, a weak core or an old partially fixed injury. Whatever it is being strong will help you not break down and fall apart. 

We coach a small number of athletes each season if you’re interested in talking to us about coaching you can do that here

If you’re interested in reading about how I went from smoker to Kona you can do that here

I’ve written a mini book on the lessons I’ve learned myself and that I’ve learned from some of the most successful Irish Ironman athletes and you can download it free here

You can also keep up with my weekly training blog as I attempt to qualify for Kona again here. 

Ironman Mallorca Race Report

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This was written at close to 1 am the night of the race. I had it rolling around in my head and was so wired on all the caffeine and sugar I’d taken on during the race and I was so bloody sore I had no hope of sleeping so I went to the kitchen and made food and wrote this. I eventually managed to get about 2-3 hours of sleep. It’s also written with all the emotion, exhaustion, elation and disappointment of race day still clouding my response to it a little. I’ll post a less emotional review and analysis of how it went and how I feel about it in my next post.

Race Report Ironman Mallorca 2016

The day started with a surprise announcement. Our apartment was 10 feet from transition and at 6am I heard Paul Kaye say over the PA system that the water temperature had dropped surprisingly overnight and we were going to be allowed to swim in wetsuits. We immediately texted everyone we knew who was racing to let them know before they left their hotels. After all the usual transition stuff which I won’t bore you with we headed to the swim, wished each other luck and headed to our respective start corrals. Ais had been nervous about the prospect of a non wetsuit swim and I think she was quite relieved it had been changed.

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#mykillersession part 1

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Every so often we hear about something that lights a fire inside of us. It can be a race or an event or even a training session that sounds exciting or challenging. For me one such session is the 100×100’s swim set. Ever since I heard of it I’ve had this strange sort of fascination with it. My longest ever swim at the time of writing is somewhere around 6.5km. The 100×100 is 10k (obviously) so that puts it up there for me as a long, long way to go. For real swimmers maybe a 10k swim isn’t that crazy but for any sort of triathlete it is an extraordinarily long time to be in the water. I’ve just passed up on the opportunity to be paced through it by a real swimmer. I think I mentioned it to a mate of mine, Patrick or maybe he read about it on my blog and he then messaged me to offer his help getting me through it. There was several convenient excuses not to try this time. I was too close to Ironman Mallorca, work was too busy, I had a sore throat but at the back of it all was the fear of the swim itself or maybe more honestly the fear of failure. 

Anyway I’ve said to Patrick that I would do the 100×100’s after Mallorca so here I am putting it out in public (for all 4 people who read the blog, hey Mam, hey Ais and if you’re reading Patrick I’ll see you at the end of October) I should really learn to keep my mouth shut and keep the crazy ideas to myself. 

So onto the session. I first read about pro triathlete Hillary Biscay. She did it on her birthday as a present from her coach Brett Sutton 

“The mindset required for the birthday swim is perfect preparation for the mental challenge of an iron-distance race. Unlike other swim workouts in which we often find ourselves counting down the remaining yardage, this workout requires a ‘swim all day’ mindset. It’s a workout to really embrace the process, being in the pool and being in the moment. Kind of like in an Ironman, it’s best not to think about the finish line till you get there!” Says Biscay 

It’s very like to how Ais approaches an ultra marathon, thinking about it similarly to how she would a day in work. “I just start it with the idea that this is what I’m going to be doing for the next 8-10 hours, exactly the same way I think about a day in work so it’s not so scary then” 

I’m not completely convinced it’ll be that easy but I’ll post a blog when I get it done. You can read more about the 100×100’s session in this post here at triathlon.com

Have you done the 100×100’s? What’s been your longest swim workout? Post in the comments below. 

The Kona Project: Robs Training Diary: Week 34

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I’m feeling ready to race, or maybe more accurately I’m ready for a break from heavy structured training. I’m looking forward to lie-ins and a return to eating cake (Ais would probably tell you I never stopped eating the cake) I’m looking forward to 3 hours being a long bike ride instead of 6. I’m looking forward to mountain biking for fun and trail running. I’m looking forward to doing all off the stuff that doesn’t really fit in with Ironman training like putting a bag on my back and heading into the mountains for a full days running with Ais and arriving home that evening wet, dirty, tired, sore and full of the stories of the day’s adventure. 
Don’t get me wrong I love Ironman, Ironman training and the whole lifestyle surrounding it but every so often I need to switch the head and body off and recharge to get ready to go again. The last month before a race is usually when I start to feel like this. The training is almost finished and all that’s left is to go and do it. 

I think I’ve gotten as much training done as I could have and I think I’m in decent shape. I just don’t have any markers to confirm it as I haven’t raced at all this year. There have been some “breakthrough” sessions which sort of indicate that I’m on track but it’s hard to know as so much of the training is done heavily fatigued. Either way I’m feeling strangely relaxed about it all now. All I can do is try to nail the best race performance I can, that’s the only thing within my control. If I do that I’ll either qualify or I won’t but that’s not within my power to control at the moment so I’m not worrying too much about it. 

Monday 12 1:30 (2)

Run :25 4.5k easy jog AM

Run 1:05 13k 1km interval set PM
I finally gave in and went to the doctors and got some drugs for the sore throat. He assures me that they won’t have any negative effects on the body for the race and that they are not on the banned list. Ais wanted me to do a second run in the afternoon (you could read between the lines and see “proper run”) after this mornings lazy short jog with the dog. I agreed it was a good idea but somehow forgot I was running later and had 2 pieces of cake with lunch. Let me tell you cake is lovely, running is great but join the two and you do not get lovely-great. You get wanting to puke. I’ll say it’s a lesson learned but I can’t promise that I won’t do it again if faced with the same choices. 

Tuesday 13 :50 (1)

Run :50 9k easy

Wednesday 14 :40 (1)
Swim :40 2000m  
Got into the pool this morning and bumped into Rob Hughes who is racing Ironman Wales this weekend. I normally don’t do the whole hanging around chatting at the end of the pool thing. I don’t leave myself enough time for it. If I’ve a 90 min swim to do I normally allow 85 minutes. I don’t know how I think I’m going to fit a 90 minute session into 85 mins but I keep on trying. Anyway Rob was pretty chilled as he’s only days out from his race and well into his taper so we ended up talking for 10 minutes and I still fitted in the whole 2k swim before they closed the pool at 9:30. 
Thursday 15 1:55 (2)
Swim :55 2550m

Bike 1:00 35k turbo 

Felt good in the water this morning. We swam in the local pool instead of going out to the national aquatic centre and I’m convinced it’s faster. I don’t know if it’s the depth of the pool or what but my times in this local pool are typically 5-10 seconds faster per 100 than in the NAC. Maybe it’s short, maybe they ran over budget when they were building it and chopped 2 foot off the pool to save money.


Friday 16 1:05 (1)

Swim 1:05 3100m 5×100 strong 

1:50, 1:46, 1:46, 1:46, 1:48. NAC 50m

Saturday 17 1:30 (2)

Run :30 5k easy 

Bike 1:00 32k easy no efforts. 
This was the last chance to make any changes to the bike before its collected by Ship My Tri Bike who will transport it to Mallorca. This has to be the best investment anyone can make in their race. The bike and a bag are included and the bike is shipped complete so there is no hassle breaking down and rebuilding it for race day. I headed into the shop early before we opened to make the last few adjustments and fitting the race day kit. I have a loan of Bryan Mc Crystals disc wheel and also his 90mm front and rear Bontrager Aeolus 9’s that he’s been racing and winning on all season (hopefully some of Bryan’s success will transfer with the wheels) I fitted a new ceramic bottom bracket, new chain and my front hydration system. I headed out for the spin feeling like a little bit of a tool with the full disc and all on the bike but I quickly forgot about it and enjoyed the ride. Legs feel good. 

Sunday 18 1:10 (1)

Bike 1:10 29k

Total hours/sessions 8:40 (10)

Swim 2:40 7650m (3)

Bike 3:10 96k (3)

Run 2:50 31.5k (4) 

S&C —

The Kona Project: Robs Blog: Training Diary. Week 33

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Two weekly blogs in one week? Where did I pull those extra 7 days from you ask? The training diary has been a week behind all year to allow me an extra couple of days float in case I didn’t have time to get it up when it was due. 

As a result conversations were always a little funny when someone commented on what they had read in that weeks diary.it might go a little like 

“So you’re flying in training then Rob?” 

I would pause and try to figure how they got that idea, I’ve been floored for the last week and then the penny drops, I was flying 2 weeks ago and that diary was published yesterday. 

I would then try to explain why the blog is actually 2 weeks behind where I am and that I’m not really flying anymore and I see their eyes glaze over as they think “Jeez I was only being polite making conversation I didn’t want your life story” they smile and nod and I try to change the subject. 

So seeing as how you came here looking for the update here is the life story. Or at least this weeks instalment. Read on…
It’s funny that I didn’t go as crazy not training for the last week as I might have expected to or as much as I normally would. I think the fact that work was so demanding both in terms of the hours and the work itself for the last few weeks meant that I was occupied and tired every day and it was almost a relief not to train. 

The other aspect of it was that being this close to race day (I’m less than three weeks out now) I was too afraid to risk training while I was sick, even with only a throat infection. I just wasn’t willing to risk tipping myself completely over the edge in the hope of gaining that last 1 or 2 percent. 

I’m also not really willing to go and get antibiotics as I would be very worried about the effect they would have on the body this close to the race, I would be afraid that they could do more damage than the infection. But maybe that’s just me being paranoid. 
I don’t know if I’ve done enough at this stage but I feel sort of calm and accepting of where I am fitness wise. I’ll go out on the day and just aim to go as fast as I can. I’m thinking that I’ll race without a watch or Garmin. My first and I think one of my best executed Ironman races in UK in 2011 was done without a Garmin on either the swim or bike. I used one that day on the run as I wasn’t experienced enough to be able too pace a marathon on feel back then. I think that a part of me would want to race to my expected time and if conditions on the day mean it’s slower than usual I might cook myself. I’ll decide for sure closer to the day. 

Monday 5

Off

Tuesday 6

Run :25 4.5k easy jog 

After a week of no training I was starting to worry that I’m losing fitness (it’s funny that the logical part of the brain knows I’m not but the emotional bit worries anyway) as soon as I started running this morning though I felt light and springy and it was easy. The throat infection isn’t fully cleared but I sort of needed to do something for the head more than the body. It was an easy jog with Ais and the dog so not exactly training, more like easy exercise but enjoyable nonetheless. 

Wednesday 7 

S&C:15 

Core, back and stretching. This was a half arsed effort to do something beneficial but not too taxing on the body. I’m including it for the purpose of “padding the hours” to make me feel better but the training benefit was negligible. If one of our athletes included a 15 minute stretching and core session as training I’d kick their arses. Maybe Ais won’t notice this one… 

Thursday 8 

Off 

Friday 9 1:10 (1)

Run 1:10 13k 

Easy run, felt good. Throat still not better but seems to be improving. I can’t remember having an infection last this long before. 

Saturday 10 

Bike 2:00 60k 

Easy session, feeling a bit flat but that’s to be expected after over a week off the bike and being sick. Happy to be back training. 

Sunday 11 

Bike 2:00 64k 

Easy start and built a little to a moderate cruise. Felt stronger than yesterday. 

Still have the swollen glands/sore throat thing going on, that’s almost 2 weeks now. Not too sure what’s going on with that. 

Total hours/sessions 5:50 (5)

Swim —

Bike 4:00 124k (2)

Run 1:35 17.5k (2)

S&C :15
Monthly accumulated hours/sessions 5:50 (5)

Swim —

Bike 4:00 124k (2)

Run 1:35 17.5k (2)

S&C :15

This weekend and the early part of next week see the last real training before taking the foot off the gas and heading into the taper. We normally do a full two week taper but because I’ve missed over a week training due to the mysterious never ending throat infection we reckon I’m not as fatigued as I would normally be so will try to get a couple more sessions in. 

The Kona Project: Robs Training Diary Week 32: The experimental donkey

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I think we all have an internal image of ourselves, of what we think defines us. Whether it’s related to being parents, athletes, our job or business its can be a source of pleasure or pain, it can drive us or leave us satisfied with who we are. 

Usually how we internally visualise ourselves is quite different to how the world perceives us. I remember doing a swim coaching weekend a couple of years ago and after showing each athlete their video they were asked what stood out about it. I answered that I was surprised that I didn’t look just like Michael Phelps in the water (that probably explained why I was so much slower than him too) Most people made a comment that they were actually doing the complete opposite of what they thought they were doing. When it came to Aisling’s turn she answered in a small, upset and somewhat disillusioned voice that she always thought that she was taller. 

Like I said our internal perception of ourselves is often quite different to the actual reality or how other people see us. In my case I wasn’t actually Michael Phelps, in Aisling’s she was a foot shorter than she perceived herself to be. We were both a bit gutted. 

Anyway what’s with the name of this weeks blog? What the hell is an experimental donkey? I’m the experimental donkey. Read on to find out why…

Monday 29

Run 2:45 28k slow hilly run. 

Tuesday 30 
Off

Wednesday 31

Off 

Thursday 1

Off

Friday 2

Off

Saturday 3

Off

Sunday 4

Off

I thought I felt a bit of a sore throat coming on on Tuesday and sure enough it was there when I woke Wednesday. I had a little bit of that feverish sort of flu feeling but it’s still pretty mild. I’ll take a couple of days off to allow the body sort itself out. 

I sort of think that a big training block can often tip me over the edge. Between the depletion caused by the volume and in this case the lack of proper nutrition over the weekend (cakes, scones and cream and chocolate do not count as good recovery foods) and the heavy training load I think the body’s systems are fairly stressed and susceptible to picking up an infection or cold or flu. This of course is my unscientific observation but if I’m right then the gains coming from a big block of training need to be looked at in relation to any potential setback from missed days if I’m sick. Over a season if I get sick half a dozen times and lose 4-8 days training each time am I getting bigger gains from the super compensation effect that comes from pushing past my limits with the big blocks of training than I’m losing to sickness? 

I think it’s a risk that we run when you’re trying to turn a very ordinary engine into one big enough to compete with the best athletes in one of the biggest Ironman races in Europe. I remember listening to an interview with Brett Sutton a couple of years ago (Brett claims to be the most successful triathlon coach in the history of the sport) anyway his story was something along the lines that he would only experiment with a donkey not a thoroughbred. His thinking if I remember correctly was that if an athlete didn’t have the natural talent required to compete at a certain level then it was ok to experiment with them to see if he could get gains by pushing boundaries or trying unorthodox methods but that he didn’t think doing that was necessarily a good idea if the athlete already had a world class engine. Anyway I think what got me to Kona both previous times was a lot of hard work in training and racing and pushing up to and often past my limits. I think if I hadn’t been lucky enough to find and work with the coaches I have since the start of this from Peter Kern, Bill Black, Stephen Delaney and right through to Ais then I wouldn’t have learned as much as I have or progressed as far as I did.

In some cases I think it was only their willingness to take risks and push me way past the point that most coaches would be comfortable at to try that got me to being physically able to compete at that level. 

In Sutton terms I guess I always thought that I was the experimental donkey. Coach, take me and to what you will. 

Weekly Totals Hours/Sessions

Total 2:45 (1)

Swim —

Bike —

Run 2:45 28k (1)

S&C —

Monthly Accumulated Hours/Sessions

Total 81:25 (38)

Swim 10:50 30,400m (8)

Bike 42:15 1367k (13)

Run 21:45 240.5k (17)

S&C :25 (1)

Building habits so you don’t need will power

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I was in the shop last week eating lunch at the counter (a fairly regular occurence) It was a large bowl of salad with salmon fillets and boiled eggs and a customer commented how healthy it looked and said I must have great will power. It got me thinking about a lot of the things that I now take for granted like what and how we eat.
Anyone who knows me well or who has seen me pay a visit to the Avoca cafe in Rathcoole where a portion of Pavlova is as big as my head knows that will power isn’t necessarily my strongest suit. Sitting down to a desert that should really feed a small family with the determination not to be beaten by a piece of confectionery and usually finishing it looking a little green around the gills. 

But I don’t quit when it comes to cake, maybe that’s the willpower bit…

Anyway like I said it got me thinking, I don’t think willpower is what we need to have to develop any good habits, be it healthy eating, training, work or anything else we want to improve or change in our lives. I like a lot of people who came to sport late in life wasn’t fit when I was younger and even when I got fit I realised that fit doesn’t necessarily equal healthy. I always thought that just because I trained a lot and didn’t put on weight I was healthy. No matter what I ate I just burnt it off. Cake, sweets, ice cream, chips, burgers were all flash fried in a metabolism on overdrive. 

It eventually dawned on me that just because I was skinny didn’t mean I was healthy. Eating rubbish food must be having adverse effects somewhere down the line even if it wasn’t showing on my waistline. It was actually Ais who first started with the healthy food buzz. We initially went very strictly a Paleo and later adapted it as we found what worked for us. 

Anyway back to the original point of the post. It was savage hard for the first month of the Paleo diet to get off sugar and carbs and it certainly took a lot of will power but as we adapted and found ways to live with a very different diet we learned that in order to be successful we needed to eliminate the risks of falling off the wagon as much as possible. We realised there were certain instances that were very difficult to have the willpower and eat the right food. For us that was often in work or coming home after the late shift in the shop. So what we did was to have a routine of cooking enough food for the three late nights in the shop on Tuesday (our day off). In this way we weren’t dealing with temptation when we were tired, hungry and hadn’t got food prepared. 

I think that developing good habits and building our lives in a way that makes it more difficult to do the “bad” behaviour is more important than constantly relying on will power. Like the idea of having the food already prepared before we are hungry so we dont just hit the f**k it switch and eat junk. Arranging sessions where you meet friends is another of avoiding the danger of rolling over and hitting the snooze button instead of heading to the pool for that early morning swim. Organising things ahead of time very often makes the decision to make the good choice the easier one to take and eliminates to a large extent the need to have savage will power. 

Also choosing to be a certain type of person can be very empowering. When both myself and Ais stopped smoking we thought of ourselves as non smokers, not as having “given up” smoking which carries an air of sacrifice and needing will power to sustain. Instead being a non smoker was hugely empowering and required no will power but instead provided motivation. 

Rob

If you liked this or found it useful please feel free to share it. 

You can check out the best lessons I learned about racing Ironman here 

Or my weekly blog here 

The Kona Project: Robs Training Diary: Week 31 

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Only four weeks to go. You spend all year preparing for an event that seems so far away and then all of a sudden it’s almost upon you. Four week to go means I’ve really only got two weeks training left when you factor in the taper. A couple of long rides and runs is all that’s left before easing back. 

I’m divided between the thoughts that I’m not ready, not fit enough, haven’t done enough training and the desire to get it over with. It’s the longest lead into any race I’ve done and I’m getting to the stage that I’m tired of the training and want my life back, I want to lie in instead of getting up at 5am to go out for another 6 hour ride, I want to have a morning reading or loafing around the city (this usually only lasts until about 24 hours after the race then I want to go at it all again) anyway let’s get onto this weeks update. 

Monday 22 2:25 (2)
Swim 1:25 4000m 

Run 1:00 10k easy
Tuesday 23 

Off 
Wednesday 24 1:25 (1)

Swim 1:25 4000m 
Thursday 25 6:55 (2)

Bike 6:25 166k 

Run :30 6k 

Myself and Ais are riding the four day Tour de Leinster, a sportive cycle event covering between 140-160k each day for the four days. The pace is controlled and easy with the exception of the last 10k before the lunch stop and the last 10k of each day where we are allowed “off the leash” and can race. For us the main aim is to cram in a bit of bike volume and I want to do some hard riding as I’ve done very little intensity this year and I feel like I’m missing those higher gears at the moment. 

Friday 26 5:45 (1) 

Bike 5:45 150k 

To allow for the fact that the riding is very easy I tend to stay on the front of the group in the wind for most of the day and I also grind the biggest gear I can. I’ve found that big gear strength work is very effective for Ironman. 

Saturday 27 6:10 (1)

Bike 6:10 163k 

The first two days took a bit of settling in to. I’ve been off the road bike for a couple of months and grinding away in the big ring and the 11 all day in a position I’m not used to means the legs are sore. To be honest I was surprised that I’d get what feels like such a good workout riding at a relatively slow pace. The combination of 5+ hours of overgear work every day and 20k of racing at the end on tired legs have me feeling a little tender. 

Sunday 28 6:00 (1)

Bike 6:25 170k 

Weekly Totals Hours/Sessions

Total 29:05 (8)

Swim 2:50 8000m (2) 

Bike 24:45 647k (4) 

Run 1:30 16k (2)

S&C —
Monthly Accumulated Hours/Sessions

Total 78:40 (37)

Swim 10:50 30,400m (8)

Bike 42:15 1367k (13)

Run 19:00 212.5k (16)

S&C :25 (1)

31 things I do to prepare in the last month before Ironman 

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I think there are a couple of things that differentiate not only successful athletes but successful people in all walks of life. I’m a big fan of both business and sports personality interviews and with the growth in podcasting it’s possible to binge listen to and accelerate learning from very succesful athletes and business people. My favourite type of story is the one of the person who starts off in a very ordinary situation and figures a way to either master a sport and gradually rise up to become world class or they build a business from nothing to success. As inspirational and fascinating as the stories of the Steve Jobs or Usain Bolts of this world are it’s almost impossible for me to relate to them. They are just so far from my or for that matter most of our realities as to be fantasy. Listening to someone tell the story of how they have gone from nothing to starting a business to building it to a level of success that, while aspirational is within the scope of most peoples reality I think is a great way to learn. And to be honest it makes a pleasant change to learning from my own mistakes.

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The Kona Project: Robs Training Diary. Week 30

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Monday 15 

Very tired after all the excitement of Ironman Dublin 70.3 yesterday so just did some push ups and crunches and had a nap. 

Tuesday 16 6:50 (2)

Bike 5:55 180k 

Run :55 9.5k

Felt guilty after no training yesterday so I probably went out a bit hard to make up for it. A bit too hard as it happens and I was more than a little fried by the end of the ride. It was also a very long way off the usual negative split I would do on a long ride where I tend to start easy and build into the ride as I go. 

I just went easy on the run off the bike. Not really out of choice but because that was the only gear I had today. I even had to stop at a shop and eat a Mars bar, a pack of Fruit Pastilles and a large Coke in the middle of the run I was hanging so badly. That sort of makes me think it wasn’t just poor pacing on the bike but also poor nutrition. I had to fight the urge to speed up on the way back to get it over with as the sugar overdose kicked in. I reckon I would have keeled over if I tried. 

Wednesday 17 1:30 (1)

Bike 1:05 40k intervals 

Run :25 5k treadmill 

Thursday 18 4:00 (2)

Swim 1:30 4650m 

Run 2:30 28k

The swim was a Css set 5×400 off :15 recovery and I was happy with the numbers and effort. The funny number was because we were doing what Ais calls racing the “lane-line guy” they take out the pool lanes after the morning session and we often end up pushing hard to finish a set before we are ejected to allow them raise the floor. I was hoping to hit 5000m but ran out of time before they changed the format of the pool. 

Swim Splits 6:45, 6:51, 6:58, 6:51, 6:55

The run was a set of 800’s which I did on the track. 


Friday 19 1:50 (1)

Bike 1:50 44k 

Easy coffee ride


Saturday 20 :40 (1)

Run :40 7k 

Easy run still sore & tired 

Sunday 21 2:05 (2)

Run :50 8k easy

Swim 1:15 3350m 

The swim was a strength set with paddles, pull buoy and band and just in case you’re wondering about the funny distance it was to “fix” the weeks overall swim distance. Thursday’s swim was cut a bit short as we ran out of time to finish out the 5000m planned and I finished at 4650 which for my distance ocd is a dreadful number. It’s now fixed and the weeks total is a nice round number of 8000 meters. I’m not crazy. Honest. I remember running with a guy who used to run laps of the car park at the end of a run to bring the distance up to what he called a proper number. If we finished at 9.5 miles he would run laps around the parked cars until he hit 10 miles while we were in ordering coffee. Although with hindsight maybe he just wanted to avoid his turn at paying for the cakes. 

Weekly Totals Hours/Sessions

Total 16:55 (10)

Swim 2:45 8000m (2)

Bike 8:50 264k (3)

Run 5:20 57.5k (5)

S&C —
Monthly Accumulated Hours/Sessions

Total 49:35 (29)

Swim 8:00 22,400 (6)

Bike 23:40 720k (9)

Run 17:30 196.5k (14)

S&C :25 (1) 



Fried myself on Thursdays track session. I stupidly got carried away with it when I was feeling good and went too hard. I think it’s sort of like getting greedy. If “x” amount of training is good then x+y must be better. If x speed for this session is good then maybe if I just go a little faster it will be better. I started at the correct intensity and after 3-4 reps thought I could pick it up a little. When I could maintain that I thought let’s try a little faster and then for the last three I thought lets go full gas. I stopped doing what Ais is always teaching which is go on effort or feel and I started chasing numbers which resulted in going too hard. 

The knock on effect was that I was so fried and sore I couldn’t train properly for three days afterwards. Friday was just an easy ride, Saturday’s run was slow and cut short because Ais didn’t feel there was anything to gain from slogging through a 70-90 minute run when I was that tired and sore and I was also too tired to do one of the key sessions of the week, the long ride on Sunday. Stupid amateur mistake. 

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