I’d felt really tired in the middle of last week and Ais pulled the plug on a couple of my sessions. What ones I did were either shortened or less intense than originally planned.
This week was looking like being a bit messy from a training point of view. Work hours were going to be shuffled, I had a days work outside of the shop on Thursday which meant I most likely wouldn’t get anything done and Ais was away Friday and Saturday at a family wedding.
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Ais put my big training day down for Tuesday and moved some of her stuff around to accommodate it. Orla and Grace in the shop also covered me for some hours during the week. It was another reminder that Ironman might be an individual sport but I very much have a team behind me supporting and helping me train and race, without whom I’d never be able to do this.
Tuesday was down as a big day, 4000m swim, five hour bike and run off it for one hour twenty. I was a bit nervous as I still felt tired and wasn’t sure how I’d cope with it.
Related: Big Day Training
I was in the pool early and did a straight through 3.8k wetsuit tt. I’ve been testing a number of wetsuits lately and will do a separate blog detailing the results in a month or so.
Anyway the swim went well, really well. I’m not sure if it was down to being fresh after the easy few days last week or if the suit I swam in was just faster. I have a suspicion that it was probably a bit of both.
I headed out for the long ride after eating breakfast and settled into a comfortable pace. Ais wanted me to do most of this ride at Ironman effort. I’m a little out of practice at both the pacing and nutrition for this session and had a couple of mini bonks. I had to get stuck into a huge sandwich standing outside a service station about half way around which seemed to sort me out.
Related: Our 25 Rules Of Nutrition
The speed was higher than I’d expected for the ride at 30.5kph average and I finished on a bit of a high (The higher speed probably had as much to do with poor pacing as well as having good legs)
Straight off the bike I still had an eighty minute run to go but I’d forgotten to bring home any gels for it. I had to choose between going out without anything and risking another bonk or doing a two lap run and stopping back at the house for something to eat.
I headed out and decided to do the two lap course and make a call at the half way point. Ais had said to do the first forty minutes steady then run the second forty at, or faster than Ironman race effort.
Right from the start the legs felt good and after what was a relatively challenging bike I was really encouraged. I cruised easily through the first half. But I sort of felt like I might not have another gear. I decided to try to pick up the effort and just see how I felt. If I felt good I’d keep pushing, if not I’d drop back to the cruising speed I’d been holding for the first half.
My pace went from 5 minute kilometres to 4:50’s then 4:40’s then mid 4:30’s. I held that all the way through to the 17k point. I couldn’t believe how good the legs felt running fairly hard at the back end of a big day. I also didn’t stop for food or drinks at any point in the 17k which would point towards being efficient enough at that pace that I wasn’t burning through whatever fuel I had left in the body after the swim and bike.
Wednesday was another fairly tough day with a long morning swim and an evening turbo session before having a day off on Thursday.
Friday was my first 5k swim of the year and Ais had me down to just swim. It was just about getting the distance done. I decided to have a go at doing it as 50×100’s in an attempt to see how I held onto a steady pace.
I was delighted to hold between 1:42-1:45 for all 50 of them. Granted I was going off two minutes so had a fairly long recovery but I was more interested in just getting the distance done and not frying myself by going too hard. I was also in the 25 meter pool which is a bit faster than my usual 50 meter one.
That unfortunately was about as good as the week got. I pulled the plug on Saturdays turbo and Sundays run after an hour each day as I was feeling so bad. I wasn’t sure what caused it but it felt very like the fatigue I suffered with last year that we thought was due to an allergic reaction.
I need to remind myself that to finish with over fifteen hours training and nine sessions in a week when things fell apart a bit is still solid. Also the sessions that went well went really well.
Monday 19 1:15 (1)
- Run 1:15 12.5k easy
Tuesday 20 7:30 (3)
- Swim 1:10 4000m 3800m TT 1:05:14
- Bike 5:00 150k 4.5h at IMRP
- Run 1:20 15.5k 40 min easy 40 min hard
Wednesday 21 3:15 (2)
- Swim 1:25 4000m
- Bike 1:50 55k
Thursday 22 —
Friday 23 1:45 (1)
- Swim 1:45 5000m
Saturday 24 :55 (1)
- Bike :55 23k
Sunday 25 1:10 (1)
- Run 1:10 13k
- Total 15:50 (9)
- Swim 4:20 13000m (3)
- Bike 7:45 228k (3)
- Run 3:45 41k (3)
- S&C —
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From smoker to back of the pack triathlete to the Ironman World Championships.
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