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, 28 May 2011


Warm up 600m
Catch up focus on body roll 10 x 100m on 15s
Front quad pull (easy pace) 1 x 400
Paddle/pull front quadrant 5 x 100 (Small paddles, finis freestylers, finis PT paddles, Small paddles, Small paddles)

total 3000m
Really trying to focus on a little finger first entry into the water on the right side - years of doing it thumb first to over ride.

listen to podcast today - marathon talk - interview with Ed Whitlock - amazing, he has all the records for marathons over 70 etc, (he did sub 3hrs at 70 y.o.) and is the age adjusted fastest runner in the world!

Friday, 27 May 2011

am Yoga
45 mins

pm Brick: Turbo Run
5mins Zone 1 85rpm
10mins Zone 2 90 rpm
5mins Zone 3 95 rpm

set - 6 x 4min 280W 65rpm concentrating on form

5mins cool down zone 1/2 90 rpm

Run off bike - 3x90secs on 90s jog recovery, 4 x 60s on 60s recovery, 4 x 15s on 15s recovery

10mins warm down to a walk.

The turbo was a killer - wasn't sure whether I had chosen the right wattage. For the last 2 sets I dialed it back to 270W as the aim wasn't to go anaerobic. So I aimed to stay below 160bpm heart rate, which is very high for me.

Very concious I haven't written anything else except for what sessions i'm doing. Hopefully there will be time soon. What I do know is that I couldn't have done this session last year. I would probably be around 260W.

Run off the bike was good - this session is ideal for teaching the ability to run fast off the bike with fatigued legs.

I feel a like the "princess and the pea" with my bike set up, lowered the saddle a fraction before starting as I thought I had gone too high, only to raise it again half way through.
I had a new insight regarding the height - if you load one leg up going round the stroke and try and push through from 9 through 12 to 3 o'clock positions my thighs protest a lot by raising the saddle (or moving the cleats forward) this is removed and I actually felt like I was spinning for the first time. I'll play around with this and see how it goes.
- It's very frustrating to think that prior to last years race I wasn't feeling good on the bike and spent hours messing with the pedals I didn't even think about changing the saddle height.
- Anyway boring myself now, just got a BUPA 10km number through the post for Monday that I must have entered - can't remember! will change things around a bit to factor that in.

Little bit of kiddie transportation as well today:

Thursday, 26 May 2011

1 Hour turbo (recovery) 175w 90rpm
1 Hour cycling around transporting children!

Raised saddle slightly - probably too much, It was most likely down to the longish day yesterday.

500m Warm up
500m Pull with PT paddles
500m Pull with speedo paddles
500m Pull
250m single arm breathing to other side
250m single arm breathing same side
500m Cool down

Still finding it hard to keep the buoy from moving. The PT paddles are good - really improves the feel for the water, but they do make you look stupid.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

am: Cycle (recovery)
3 Hours - decided to do this on the turbo. Less messing around and still playing with the position. Just kept it at 175 watts and 90rpm and tried to spin whilst on the aerobars.

Listened to a podcast by Gordo Bryn about nutrition - it seems like the Atkins way of thinking is coming into triathlon - i'm not sure what to think about that. On the one hand you want to become a fat burner and therefore insulin isn't great but you want to repair muscle and move quickly whilst training and racing. I'm not sure what way it'll go - probably best to take the middle ground, a bit of everything.

Part of the turbo was spent out of the saddle - one minute on one off - I figured the UK course is hilly and I need to start getting ready for it.

pm: Run
Upper aerobic 100min - went up to the Serpentine running club run around the park about 7min mile pace for about 30mins. Legs pretty tired. Lots of people milling around Buckingham palace.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Swim (endurance/tempo)
warm up 500m
6x25m E/H H/E H/H x2 (E=easy H=hard)
5x400m all with pull buoy at high aerobic pace with 50sec recovery between sets. Consistent pace. Sets 2 and 4 paddles as well.
8x50m with pull warm down.
Total = 3350m

This went well - managed to keep to 25sec per 25m for the main set. Lost the pull buoy at one point - I don't use one very often.
Ditched the paddles after a short go - they were useful to reinforce a proper hand entry. Main focus needs to be removing the dead spot at the front (over gliding)

30 mins of Greg McMillan's level 3 routine - i've been doing this on and off for a year now, it's slowly getting easier!

Monday, 23 May 2011

am: Turbo
40mins 90rpm
40mins 95rpm
40mins 100rpm
20mins 90rpm
Aerobic throughout
15min run off bike concentrating on form.

pm: 10km run
"recovery pace" 50mins approx.

Felt pretty stale and demotivated this morning - got on the bike and after 10mins felt great. It's days like this I need to remember, it's important to give it a go and see if the fatigue shakes off or stays, otherwise you'd never train.

Made some changes to the bike position (as usual!) saddle forward as want to take the strain of the hamstrings. Feet forwards (cleats back) to take load off calves. Feet out as lateral knees were a bit sore.
Ideally i'd like to get further forward so I could add a longer stem as the bike handling has a lot to be desired (longer stem = more movement for the same degree of steering therefore feels more stable)

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Crystal Palace sprint triathlon

750m swim, 20km Bike, 5km Run
Came 38th/500

The plan was to use this for a bit of race simulation and not go for it. Basically to practice getting on the bike with the shoes clipped on etc,

- Tired from yesterday's swim. Wore tri top and heart rate monitor - tri top acted like a parachute and heart rate strap kept moving down my legs! A good learning experience.
The big difference this compared to last year is when I felt like I was slipping water I knew what I needed to focus on technique wise.

- Comfortable but as always not happy with position - felt too low - like the saddle should be further back for the height. Hope to have this sorted by race day. Shoes on bike was fine could improve but no problems.
- now have a third brake on the aerobars which was fantastic.
- still very unconfident when faced with rougher surfaces as it's quite a whippy bike - I may be able to improve this with a longer stem once i'm happier with the seat position.
- gear changes poor, probably need to focus on getting the cadence up higher and working the gears around that rather than slowing down and changing gear to get out of trouble.
- getting our of shoes prior to transition - good

- ripped both old running socks putting them on - wouldn't be good prior to a marathon.

- Really good - 9th fastest of the day - not pushing too hard as aware of borderline injury with right hamstring.

Overall happy with result - limiter on swim was wearing top. Lots of improvements to be made on bike. Run good. Transitions good.

Training today was meant to be an 80km cycle 10km Run - was going to do it in the evening - hamstring pretty angry so will leave it alone today and aim to do it tomorrow.

Stretching - My impression at the moment is that the hamstring problem is due to;
tight rec femoris (quad) = inhibited glut = overworked/long weak hamstring
So plan is to work on the quad.