This week sees a couple of breakthrough bike sessions. I’m finally starting to feel good on the bike which is a bit of a relief as a part of me was getting worried. I don’t know why because it always takes me 3-4 months of base and strength training before I start to feel like I’m going well. The run is also progressing nicely but swimming has sorta fallen off me and I feel like I’ve got all the grace and style of a wind up swimming frog toy. Ironman is so hard to balance all three sports. I rarely feel good in all three sports at the same time (although as long as I do on race day that’s all that matters) anyway click on through for this weeks update.
Monday 13 :45 (1) Work off
This was a hard session with John Belton. We did a mixture of the back and core stuff I’ve been working on up to now and today we started some actual lifting and harder stuff. Squats, shoulder presses, chin ups (it’s only when you have to start doing chin up’s that you realise how weak those puny triathletes arms are) and a couple of other ones but while John wasn’t going to load up heavy weights he didn’t want it to be easy so he had me do them as what he calls “supersets” I would combine two or three exercises without recovery between each set.
For example the first set was: 5x moderate heavy squats straight into strict form chin ups to failure and then straight into very strict form dumbbell shoulder presses before recovering. I repeated this superset three times. The total overall session was just under an hour and that’s me done for the day.
Tuesday 14 5:25 (2) Work off
Bike 5:00 134.5k
This is the one session that I credit with getting me in shape both times I qualified for Kona. This one is the secret sauce, the actual magic bullet. And it’s not going in the blog. Sorry. I was on a huge buzz all day after this session. Had to constantly bite my tongue so as not to be talking about training all day afterwards but it was all I could think about. Felt like a bit of a breakthrough after months of feeling weak and slow on the bike. I started really easy and built into it and just felt stronger as I went on. I got caught in some torrential, monsoon like cloudbursts but was feeling so good I didn’t care. Ais called me about 3 hours in to see how I was getting on and offered to come get me if I was too cold and wet to continue. Normally it would take a lot of willpower to say no on a day like that but I just wanted to keep on riding. I also didn’t fancy the thought of having to do another 5 hour ride because I wimped out of this one.
Wednesday 15 2:25 (2) Work 9 hours
Run 1:25 16k WNR loop
Swim 1:00 2800 1800 paddles
The swim was cut short as I had some of the worst cramping I’ve had in months. The leg has been much better so I had slacked off doing the nerve exercises. I was pretty annoyed with myself having to cut a session short because of something that’s within my control.
Thursday 16 – work 9 hours
Friday 17 2:50 (2)
Bike 1:30 35k anaerobic hill repeats
Swim 1:20 4000 20×200
If anyone who’s read any of my posts on how I improved my swimming here, here or here saw me swimming today they’d probably be laughing their asses off. Either that or scratching their heads wondering where all the improvements I talked about were. The joys of not being a swimmer. Felt like I was swimming through mud.
Saturday 18 2:00 (1)
Run 2:00 23.5k
Build run 30 min easy, 30 min mod/hard, 15 min hard. The rest steady.
Funny dog story on the run today. I was about 25 minutes in and was just about to start to do the first part of the build when a little west highland terrier ran out in front of me. I was expecting to see someone pop out looking for him but no one did. He also had no collar on. To my surprise he ran alongside me for the next 2k looking like he was enjoying himself immensely. I passed a woman going the opposite direction and he decided to join her instead. On my next lap as I passed her he decided to follow me and again ran with me for a while (it sorta felt like I was being unfaithful to Cooper running with another dog) I figured he had escaped from somewhere but didn’t really know what to do with him. I couldn’t really bring him home as Cooper would just eat him. In the end one of the guys working in the area took him to their office and I presume looked after him (or maybe fed him to their security dogs) anyway the rest of the run went well and was more or less uneventful. I was pretty happy with the pace I managed (except for the part of me that always wants to be faster)
Sunday 19 4:50 (1) Work 7 hours
Bike 4:50 135k
The same bike session as Tuesday and it went better again. Finally starting to feel some fitness, strength and speed coming. With about 12 weeks to go to Ironman Mallorca that’s very encouraging.
Total weekly hours/sessions 18:15 (9)
Swim 2:20 6800 (2)
Bike 11:20 304.5k (3)
Run 3:50 54.5k (3)
S&C :45 (1)
Monthly accumulated hours/sessions
Total 44:10 (26)
Swim 6:00 16800m (5)
Bike 24:50 641.5k (9)
Run 11:45 145k (10)
S&C 1:35 (2)
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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