I started this blog in 2010 when there were 11 weeks to go before my next Ironman triathlon. People have found it interesting (mainly my Mum!) so I continue to write.
The Ironman is a long distance triathlon; Swim 2.4miles, Cycle 112miles, Run 26.2 miles (marathon). I have competed in one every year since 2004. I hope this blog can help others see what is involved. I find the process of writing it makes me more accountable and motivates me to do the harder sessions when i'm not feeling like it!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Friday, 16 July 2010

Cycle 130km
Strictly zone 1. Did this before breakfast - have taken on a lot of sports drink with the sessions recently so wanted to see whether my fat burning was still up to it. Surprising but managed the complete cycle without taking on any fuel and felt absolutely fine.


Rationale behind this - fasting so no insulin (storage hormone) exercising so adrenaline (fat burning) low intensity (carbohydrate sparing, ratio of fat to carbohydrate used relatively high - will write about this soon). On the bike so low impact (less likelihood of injury compared to running with no fuel).

This was the first time on the road for a few weeks -
1. Practiced getting on the bike with the shoes already on it
2. Managed to stay in the aero position for the entire duration.
3. Played around with position - mm here and there. As before right leg likes the seat up and left leg likes it down - tried to get round this by compromising on saddle height, removing a wedge from the right cleat and moving right cleat back (foot forwards)
4. Did have concerns about the triathlon shorts as previously I have always worn proper cycling shorts for the padding - triathlon shorts were fine - main reason is it's always a pain changing shorts as there is no nudity allowed in transition.

Kept to the programme and Ran off bike;
Incorporate 7 x 2min at 10km pace/anaerobic threshold on 2mins recovery. "Main priority leg turnover with good form, don't flail"
20min warm down.


Got a new gadget today - a little foot pod that goes on your laces and tells you your strides per minute - it was half price and I was curious to see where I was - apparently about 90/min is good but this will vary with your build etc, anyway another number to look at / help the psychology?

Evening - Swim, threshold
400m warm up
8 x 50m on 1min as hard 25 easy 25
10 x 200m on 1min keep in comfortable-uncomfortable range. Try and hold high speed, 1-5 free 6-10 pull and paddles
4 x 100 2arm drill

Managed to do this but ran out of time to do the last drill set

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Programme today says "optional 2hr easy aerobic ride- stay in zone 1"
Haven't decided whether to do it or not.

Decided to go for the early night. Did a bit of stretching and some core work.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Swim - Drill

400m easy warm up
9 x 100m on 20sec rest as catch up down easy free back
200 easy free
10 x 50m on 20sec as 1 arm drill; right arm 25m left arm 25m
200 easy catch up with buoy
6 x 50m on 20sec as 1 arm drill; right arm 25m left arm 25m

Enjoyed this after the endless pool session a little while ago. The penny is starting to drop about the catch. It was interesting to see where asymmetries in my stroke are with the one arm drill. For some reason I was drifting to the right when swimming with both arms but going off to the the left when swimming with the left arm only, and managing to go straight when just using the right. Will try and figure that one out. I can now appreciate doing these drills is the only way to move towards a better stroke.

Turbo/Run Brick

Warm up Zone 1 10mins
5 mins move through Zone 2-3
Set 5 x 5mins on 90sec recovery in Zone 4 (lactate threshold) at 95-105rpm
Warm down Zone 1-2 5 mins

Run off bike - incorporate 4 x 4 min at mid threshold (zone 4)
Warm down 15 mins easy jog/walk


- sticking to the programme to the letter - a different intensity this week compared to the last 8 weeks so quite taxing. It teaches you quite a bit about your technique to up the intensity as it all starts falling apart!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


cadence/heart rate pyramid
5mins @ 124bpm - 85rpm,
10mins @ 130bpm - 90rpm,
10mins @ 130-136bpm - 95rpm
10mins @ 136-140bpm - 100rpm
20mins @ 140-147bpm - 105rpm -THIS IS STILL AEROBIC-
10mins @ 124-130bpm -90rpm

Had to split the 20min block into 10/5/5 mins


Surprisingly hard session - although aerobic, the higher cadence made it tough.
Raised the saddle a couple of mm as wearing less padded shorts now - ouch!
Think the principle of this session is "neuromuscular adaptation" your synapses can get used to firing at a particular frequency and these sessions can shake all that up. It's also a good at demonstrating how little pressure you have to put on the pedals to push them round and if you can get it right you can produce a lot of watts (which I couldn't!)

Tough to do after a 7am-7pm day at work.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Taper week 1 of 3

Swim (anaerobic set);
400 warm up
8x50m on 1min as 25m hard 25m easy
4x50m on 1min as 25m sprint 25m float easy to wall
200m easy with pull
4x50m on 1min as 25m easy 25m sprint
300m easy with pull
4x50m on 1min as 25m sprint 25m float
200m easy with pull then out

Seemed to go ok no fracas

Plan this week is
Mon; Swim sprints
Tue; 65min high cadence turbo
Wed; Turbo/Run brick
Thur; 2hr recovery ride
Fri; 130km aerobic bike+Run with 7x2min 10km pace intervals & swim
Sat: Rest
Sun: 1hr run

Here's what the coach said in 2004;
Have cut the mileage back and the focus is on the threshold sessions to bring you up so don't go anywhere near grey area on the long sessions - keep the chi in supply for the (AT) sessions in other words -really light on longer sessions.
Don't worry about the reduction in key session miles -you've got enough in the bank now to take you through till Christmas so I'm sure you'll make it to APRIL 7 in good shape -should be in better shape than you have all year if you maximise this taper.
Don't think that you will be feeling good after this week because the
intensity is up and it's my experience you could be in for a little turbulence in the first 10 days so don't be surprised as we back off if you feel a bit second hand -it's normal.

Sunday, 11 July 2010


Brick - Turbo Run

6hour turbo
1 hour warm up
3hr 30 main set; 3 x 57 min at 220W 90rpm on 7min recovery
2 hour cool down

Run off bike;
15km at IMP with middle 5km at track for pace judgment


Really pleased to get this session in the bank. This programme which i've followed for all my races is based around this type of session. Every week the bike gets a little harder either by duration or the intervals as does the run. Three weeks out this is the hardest. There have been years when i've not been able to train as well but i've always done this session.

The biggest change this year has been moving from the road to the turbo. Previously I would do laps of Richmond park adding an extra one on every week ending up with a session like this.

The turbo this year has enabled me to do more focused sessions without stopping for traffic, water etc, Its also allowed me to play about with the position and at least be around the house. Tried to do a few transition type things, putting the shoes on with them already on the bike - need a bit more practice. Will be keen to get the road skills back though.

Main triumph today though was keeping the aero position for all three intervals - did 10mins on 2mins off. Only got a heart rate increase of a couple of beats for this so very happy. I was able to do this because found that I had my aerobar pads set up all wrong. When I went for that fitting the bloke said- "that's funny it's the first time i've seen the pads lower than the handlebar" I thought nothing of it at the time. Today I moved them so they are where they are meant to be - at least 2cm higher. Not sure what to think about that - when I paid for the set up you expect those sort of things to be covered. Having said that he's not going to  know all the ins and outs of every type there is. Main thing it's taught me is I have to keep asking questions - "do you think they are set up wrong then?, I was just guessing when I put them on" etc,
- no wonder the heart rate jumped up - I was bent double. If I hadn't done this training on the turbo I am sure I would have never thought of looking at that.

Didn't press start on the garmin for the turbo so no bike data. Heart rate started at low 130's and steadily climbed through the morning to end at mid 140's for the last set. I was wondering how many watts to go for. A couple of weeks ago 225W for 40min was plenty so went for 220W with the plan of knocking 5 off each set. Managed to stay with the 220W for all three.
- Good lesson from today; not going out too fast. If the plan is to maintain an even power throughout then the first hour has got to feel comfortable or your going to slow down a lot in the last third.

Enjoyed the run - stuck right on the pace after the lessons from last week. Need to take feeling good maybe as a cue to take on food rather than to go faster. Painful left forefoot towards end - will see what happens there.

Sorry if a bit long winded - a big day with a fair bit of stuff I needed to get down.

Whoohoo - let the taper begin!