It has been a while since I last wrote here. Things have been pretty hectic between work, family and training – well I might as well say life is being pretty hectic!
Anyway I’m enjoying all of this, I feel like I’m living at the fullest and all this positive energy keeps the blood flowing in my veins even when the muscles feel tired from all the workouts.
I feel I’m a bit sleep deprived, but, who isn’t? The weird thing is that I’m logging anywhere between 5 to 7 hours per night, yet I manage to wake up easily sometimes even before the alarm clock starts buzzing.
I believe this is the second post I’m writing aboard of an airplane, this time we are flying to Stockholm for a short weekend break. It will be nice to change the routine for a few days even if there are some workouts already planned and sports gear in my luggage!
The Ironman is about 10 weeks out and I still feel I have a lot to do to be ready for it. I still believe I can do better on the bike and I feel the need to go faster. Of course it’s easier said than done, when you go up in the saddle logging 3 to 5 hours everything seems harder.
For the last weeks the training plan is being fairly steady, putting in 2 swim sessions a week (with the swim masters), 3 indoor bike sessions (2 sessions on the trainer and 1 group class), 3 running sessions (including 1 long run per week), 1 long bike ride (going up to 120k until now) and 2 core and strength workouts. Considering only training time (no logistics, proper eating or commuting) it adds up to 14/18 hours per week meaning before you are an Ironman you get to be what I like to call a master time juggler 🙂 with no time to waste.
Although I train at night 3 times a week I’m all into waking really early and getting things done. It’s the best way to make sure no random event during the day will force you to skip any session.
Coming from a running background I was used to log the distance without any additional workout (besides some kitesurfing) and I had not set foot in the gym for quite some years. Now preparing for the Ironman I quickly understood that it would not be feasible to skip the gym specially because of the core and strength workouts which I think are the reason why my body is not falling apart with all the volume. I now better understand the impact of the strength workout on the other sports – legs and knees feel stronger for the run and bike and abs help you support your body weight with a better posture.
Even if I’m logging fewer km per week than what I’m used to prepare for a marathon, my overall pace seems to be increasing so I guess I’m reaping the benefits of this cross training structure.
Regarding the Ironman I still have to push a bit more on the bike since I would like to be able to sustain the 30km/h for the whole 180km and I have to figure out some things on the nutrition side, because there is still room for improvement to make sure my stomach just won’t shut down after 6 or 8 hours into the race. On the swimming part I recently broke the 43s barrier for the 50m (which is still pretty slow compared to the guys on the masters class, but it was a nice improvement for me). I must do some more long open water sessions to make sure I’m at ease with the 3.8km but I don’t expect a significant pace improvement on the water. Regarding the running part I would be happy to log the 42k anywhere under 4 hours, so a under 12 hours Ironman is what I would be looking for, let’s hope everything goes according to the plan.
This whole triathlon thing has a lot more moving parts than running. Logistics is much more complex, a lot more gear is needed (the bike is something that requires much attention – saddle, tires and flat tires, bike fit, bike shoes, CO2, trainer wheels, cadence sensor…), nutrition goes to a whole different level, so I just hope in the end I’m able to manage all things like it is needed and reach the finish line in a decent shape.
In the end I feel like consistency is very important, you need to put in the training, day in, day out. It is very easy to find an excuse for skipping some training (work, social activities with family and friends, plain bad days, sore muscles, overall fatigue). Yet you need to keep on pushing with “mind over body” control, because it is also going to be hard when you reach 20km into the marathon after more than 10 hours of race, right? 🙂