Prep Period Complete – A Time to Take Stock

It’s now 17 weeks since I decided to do Ironman New Zealand and laid out my rough training schedule. That means it is 25 weeks till race day. That means it is 5 weeks until my 20 week training block begins. That means it is 1 day until baby number 4 is born! I honestly cannot believe that time has gone so FAST!

So the 15 week preparation training block is complete. What happened?


The Training Numbers:

  • 19 hours swimming, 39 hours running, 61 hours biking for 119 hours total.
  • 70 mins swimming per week, 2.5 hours running and 4 hours biking for an average of 7.5 hours per week.
  • 500 TSS points per week on average.

I’m pretty happy with those numbers. For me, that is a steady training block; pretty similar to the volume that I’ve done when training for an Olympic distance triathlon (although this had far less intensity).


So, now that I have these fancy new gadgets and software, how did this volume affect my fitness? Using the WKO+ software, fitness is represented by your CTL (Chronic Training Load). Basically it is just a number, and more is better! CTL goes up as you train, and down when you don’t.

Starting CTL Ending CTL Difference % Increase
Swim Fitness 10 13 +3 +30%
Bike Fitness 18 31 +13 +72%
Run Fitness 19 24 +5 +26%
Overall Fitness 46 68 +22 +48%


One thing that is very clear from this graph, is that when I took one week off training in the middle of this period, it took 3-4 weeks to et back to where I was. It would have been better to try and get in at least a few short, sharp sessions to minimise the loss of fitness during this break.

The other thing you can see is that my run fitness has been tailing off during the past two months. This has been due to ongoing injury niggles. Solution? Don’t get a run injury! (if only!)

The Good…

  • The weekly routine. Good. But how will it stand up with a baby in the house? Will I still be able to get out for those 3 mornings a week? Let’s hope so!
  • The swimming. Good. I hit a 2km time trial PB. Most of my swimming has been comfortable. I’m happy to tke this (rather slow) pace into an Ironman race. I just need to be able to swim 3.8km at this pace.
  • The biking. Good. I’ve increased my volume without the motivation of an imminent race.

The Bad…

  • The long rides. Bad. I only managed 1 ride over 100km and bailed on 3 or 4. I might need to find some riding buddies!
  • The running. Bad. I’ve got more niggles than when I started. The latest are some plantar issues. These run injuries all lead back to tight calves.
  • The diet. Bad. I’ve put weight on an my diet is unhealthy.
  • The core work. Bad. I did none!

The Rest…

  • The mojo. Average. It has been strange not having any races to drive my training so I’m happy with the amount of training I’ve done. Mentally I’ve been a bit up and down during these 4 months. Things like core and diet would have been better if my mojo was stronger. I will make sure there are some races in my 20 week IMNZ plan.

Next week I’ll have a think about what non-training things I can work on during this five week training break.

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