February went really well and my motivation to train is high. I’m starting to see some physical adaptations in all three sports but probably most pronounced in the swim. The other good development is that my back is getting better. For the last couple of months I’d been lazy about doing my prescribed strength and conditioning and as a result where I’d had surgery my back had gotten gradually weaker and, particularly first thing in the morning I would be in pain and unable to bend over. I’ve been a bit more diligent about getting the work done and I’m starting to see the benefits. Probably the most critical aspect of the process isn’t getting fit enough to race and qualify but to get the weakest link in the chain (my back) strong enough that it will support the training and racing load. It’s rarely a lack of fitness that is the limiting factor for Ironman. Often it’s the fact that our weakest area will start to break down. If my back goes during either training or racing then it’s game over, therefore it, not fitness is my limiting factor at the moment. The volume and load of training will show up every weakness over the next few months. It will be very important to be proactive and address them before they become injuries. Anyway let’s move onto the weeks training.
Tuesday 1. 1 1:00 (1) Work off
Sleep 8+ hours good. Woke without an alarm at 7am.
S&C 1:00 A good session with John including squats. The weight is relatively low at the moment. John is more concerned with getting perfect form while lifting and building slowly but I’m delighted that I’m onto proper lifting. There is still lots of work on range of movement and strengthening the back but overall the session was much more enjoyable (like I said before we don’t come here for entertainment or enjoyment we come for results so we are happy to do whatever John decides is necessary)
Energy: Tired, glad it’s a short if not exactly easy day.
Wednesday 2. 3:15 (1) Work 1-9 8 hours
Bike 3:15 72k 3×20 min IMRP
Sleep 8+ hours and woke without alarm at 7:30
Energy Felt tired for first hour, better after doing RP. Good for rest of day
Thursday 3. 3:20 (2) work 11-9 10 hours
S&C:10 I’ve finally started doing daily maintenance for the back. As the motivation for training is growing so is the motivation to tick all the other boxes. Rest, S&C and nutrition.
Run 1:30 17.5k grass easy/steady pace 5:20/km avg.
Swim 1:40 4500m 30×100 off reducing rec 10@2:00 10@1:55 10@1:50 leading first 5 of each then on feet for second 5
To put this swim in context these are the splits from a 10×100 set during a 2600mt swim just 4 weeks ago.
That’s a 20 second per 100 improvement in 4 weeks and for 3 times the distance and I’d credit most of that as a result of the 30,000 meter swim week in Lanza. I was buzzing all day after this swim.
Sleep 6 hours (unusually late night)
Energy good during sessions. Tired in afternoon. I think the runs are still taking a lot out of me. Although I’ve clocked almost 11 hours of training so far this week.
Friday 4. 1:35 (1) Work 9 hours 12-9
Bike 1:35 57k turbo 5×7 min Olympic pace
Loving the turbo when I’m on it. Got a new Kickr but it’s a bit wasted on me. I’ll start including power numbers here too from those sessions although I don’t use power as a training metric/tool.
Saturday 5. 2:20 (1) Work 12-6 6 hours
Run 2:10 25k build run
The build run is one of my favourites and is a bit of a staple of Ironman training for us. 30 minutes easy, 30 slightly faster and building again for the last 30. The very loose target was 6 min/km’s for the first 30 mins, 5’s for the next and 4:30’s for the last 30 minutes. These were a rough guide as it’s my first time running it in a long, long time. I do this one on feel so there would be a bit of settling as I went. I was happy with the splits and how I felt. I went on to do another 40 minutes cool down and although the legs were tired I didn’t feel too bad.
Sleep 8 hours good
Sunday 6. 4:30 105k (2) Work 11-6 7 hours
AM Bike 4:10 97k
Lots of big gear work including 2×20 minutes on a steep climb. Felt really good. Felt like doing another 2 hours or more but had to get into work.
PM Bike :20 8k easy pedal home.
Sleep 8.5 hours good
Motivation very high
Weekly total hours/sessions 19:20 (10)
Swim 3:25 9500m (2)
Bike 9:20 234k (4)
Run 5:10 58.5k (3)
S&C 1:25 (1)
Month accu. hours/sessions 16:00 (8)
Swim 1:40 4500m (1)
Bike 9:20 234k (4)
Run 4:40 42.5k (2)
S&C 1:25 (1)
Another really solid weeks training. I’ve started to note sleep, energy and motivation daily in the diary too as it’s useful to be able to look back at patterns after a few weeks.
I have written a report examining how 5 of the most successful Irish Ironman triathletes have qualified for Kona an incredible 29 times. You can access it free here.
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