Ironman NZ – 8 Weeks To Go

Summary of Week 9 : BASE 2 ‘Recovery’ Week
Training Hours: 14:14 (Swim 1:44, Bike 8:50, Run 3:40) checkmark2.jpeg
Training Stress: 846
CTL Ramp Rate: + 4.1 (to 99.7)
Distance: Swim 6.8 km, Bike 217 km, Run 46km

Fitness at 8 weeks to go

The Highlights

  • 3 Peaks in the Rain! The long ride this week coincided with a massive low weather system that was expected to bring up to 300mm of rain to the Gold Coast. I checked the BOM radar before I went out and thought I was going to make it round before the weather. I was WRONG! This was the wettest ride I’ve ever done. It was so wet that it was funny. My lights died (I ride with front and rear lights day and night). Cars were pulling over. My glasses were filling up with water! Rivers were spilling into fields. At times the road was like a lake and I couldn’t pick out potholes etc. (I never realised how much smoother it is because I steer around the bad bits of road!) At one point, about 60km from home, I had to cross a rapidly overflowing causeway that was up to my pedals – there were a couple of twitches from the wheels – SCARY! This ride, over the peaks of Springbrook, Numinbah and Tomewin, had 1800m of climbing, and therefore 1800m of descending. That was 1800m of constant brake-pumping on wet rims that were offering me nothing. Stopping distance was, well, actually I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have even stopped on some of those slopes. Anything over 35kph felt suicidal! It was an epic, cool experience! But with another 300mm of rain predicted in the next couple of days, I do feel for the folks living out there!
    murwillumbah flooding.jpg
    Photo of some of the flooding around Murwillumbah during this storm.
  • Back-to-Back Big Weeks Two weeks of over 14 hours in a row. Great to break the big week/little week cycle! Has Mr Consistent come to vist?


  • Fatigue (Physical and Mental). I’ve been physically flat all week. The legs just can’t be arsed it seems. None of my training data tells me why – my TSB (Training Stress Balance) is at a similar level to where it’s been for the past 2 months. I’m putting it down to the effects of the enduro race from last week – my first hard-out effort in over a year. Or it could be the 3,000m of climbing on the bike this week. Or maybe poor nutrition. Or not enough sleep. Or over-analysis…

    Mentally I’ve also been weary. The tiredness is making it hard to change the training plan on the fly because I struggle to visualise what I’m trying to achieve during the week. I also need to be thinking about race-related things like race nutrition, travel arrangements and what clothing/gear to use on race day. I’m hoping for a few moments of clarity this week!

Coming Up?

Week 8. This is the first week of my 5 week BASE3 training block. BASE3 is long rides, long rides, long rides! This week, which is 8 weeks out from the race, I’m planning to do some Big Day Training; I’ll do another Big Day about 4 weeks out. The idea behind a Big Day Training session, apart from getting my body used to the volume, is to help me dial in my nutrition, and also my target bike wattage and run pace.

Initially my Big Day Training was going to be a Half Ironman Simulation on the Thursday, with a rest day before it so I am fresh for it. I planned to swim and bike at half ironman pace (79% of Max HR), and then do the first 10km of the run at half ironman pace (4:40 min/km) with the remainder of the run at full ironman pace (5:30 min/km). This would be a good solid 6 hour session that I could have finished by midday if I start at 5am.

However, further reading on Ironman Big Day Training has given me a few more options. Gordo from Endurance Corner suggests a 60 minute swim, a 5 hour bike, and a 60 minute run. All of this at easy pace, across a full day, with a recovery meal between each – “total time to complete might be up to 12 hours”. OK, my wife will kill me if I try to spend a full day training!

Joe Friel suggests a similar Big Day, with the ride made up of 6-8 x 20 min intervals at IM pace and then running for 2 hours at IM pace; afterwards checking for heart-rate decoupling. Again this session will take most of the day and a lawyer could be required for divorce proceedings!

So my Big Day Training plans are fluid right now. Spousal negotiations are set to commence (the training will be easy in comparison…)!

Total training planned : 16 hours.

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