Ironman NZ – 7 Weeks To Go

Summary of Week 8 : BASE 3 – First Week
Training Hours: 15:44 (Swim 2:04, Bike 11:24, Run 2:16) checkmark2.jpeg
Training Stress: 762
CTL Ramp Rate: + 1.7 (to 101.4)
Distance: Swim 5.9 km, Bike 317 km, Run 26km

Fitness at 7 weeks to go

The Highlights

  • Tonnes of Tonnes. Two more 100km+ rides this week – that makes seven tonnes(!) since my Ironman training started in October 2010. And now my first 150km training ride, which is a new hi score (up by 24km). I also got within 7km of my 324km weekly bike PB – next time!

    Interestingly, I’ve felt very flat and weak on the bike these last two weeks and I’ve been seeing that in slower times on familiar routes. BUT, yesterday, after 150km on the bike and a 2km run, my legs have been fine (not fine “I haven’t done anything today fine”, but rather fine “I can walk up and down the stairs without clutching the handrail like a drunk on the Titanic fine”). It looks like I’m getting some sort of training effect.


  • Big Day Training #FAIL. My whole Big Day Training experience was ugly. The idea was to give my body a taste of race-day fatigue by doing a long swim, long bike and a long run back-to-back with perhaps a wee break between each. As I stated last week, it was always going to be tough to find the time to pull this off – I’ve got a set training routine and the BDT was going to be significantly outside that routine. There were negotiations, and then re-negotiations as other things arose. I spent so much time and effort trying to arrange the training that when it came time to do it, I hadn’t worked out the simple things like:

    • “Where can I ride for 4 hours in the aerobars?”
    • “What, and how much, nutrition will I need?”
    • “What are my target wattages/heart rates?”
    • “What clothing/gear will I wear/use?”

    In the end I got no swim, I managed a 4 hour ride at Ironman pace in the morning and then I ran for 2 hours at Ironman pace some six hours later. I think I learned more about how not-to prepare for Big Day Training than I did about how my body will cope with an Ironman effort!

    I honestly don’t think that the amount of energy I blew trying to arrange the training, and the amount of damage it did to the goodwill in our relationship, was worth it. I was aware that this one training session could jeopardise the next four massive weeks of training, so I didn’t push it. But even so, some damage will’ve been done.

    For a working athlete with a family, Big Day Training needs to be scheduled and planned well in advance. Block out a whole day on the calendar and say “I won’t be here that day”. If you can swing that, then go ahead and do it. Otherwise, don’t bother trying!

  • Back to Work. Today is my first day back after four weeks off. It’s going to be interesting to see how my current mentally fatigued state deals with having to think hard and solve problems. Perhaps it’s just been the holidays that has caused my brain fog? We’ll know soon enough! Hopefully I can find a spare 40 hours a week to fit the work into…
  • Training Plan Doubts. The last week or so I’ve started to doubt my training plan. This culminated on my Sunday long ride where I seriously considered bailing out to do some shorter, harder efforts instead. I’m investing a lot of time in this training plan, and it’s just something I got for free off the internet, so I’ve got good cause to question it. This has been compounded by the arrival of “Training and Racing with a Power Meter” which was held up by Xmas shipping and has arrived just in time to scuttle my plans. It wants me to do further testing and then start training in certain power zones. It is too late in the game for me to be tweaking my plan, and I’m just a novice so it makes more sense for me to just keep it simple. “Stay the course!”
  • StayTheCourse.gif

Coming Up?

Week 7. This is the second week of my 5 week BASE3 training block. Another big ride – this time 6 hrs which I’m considering doing down in the aerobars on the cycle lane beside the Pacific Highway to Byron Bay – it’s a great place for uninterrupted time-trialling (providing you live to tell the story)! And there is a big run this week – 2.5 hours at tempo pace. Ouch! There will be suffering this week!

Total training planned : 17 hours.

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