Ironman Training..It all starts here

Ironman training diary, July 2015  

Hi there,

So I decided last week that in a years’ time I will attempt my first ever full Ironman triathlon (2.4m swim, 112mile bike and 26.2mile run). Not only just an Ironman, but also the European Championships in Frankfurt, Germany (I tend to go full on when I decide I’m going to do something!)

I have decided to post every one in a while for the next 12 months with my training, my feelings, problems and successes and my insights that I may gain on the way. Not necessarily because I want to people to read it (but read on if you want!) but mainly for my own record.

triathlon123

My best friend Luke Cottam very kindly let me have his old Garmin 910 watch (he’s just upgraded to the new 920), which I have been using to log my workouts, so I can confidently say that the data that I present during these posts are reliable enough. I also decided to get myself a speed meter and cadence meter for my bike, not because at the moment it will do me any good but because I feel like I am slowly turning into an data junkie (which I have read many triathletes are, so I already feel that I fit in!). If you want to follow me on Strava and get some more up to date progress on my training, please click here.

So then, here we go:

Month 1

Total hours in training: 22

Total distance covered: 195km

Total number of activities: 38

One thing to note about the first month is just that….it was the first month! I also had two weeks off when I went on holiday so strictly speaking this is just under three weeks’ worth of data (apart from the one 14k run that I did whilst on holiday).

Some people may think that I actually did quite a lot of training for my first month, which I suppose is true, but a lot of these training sessions were classes that I would have taught anyway, but I have quantified these training session by wearing the Garmin plus a heart rate monitor. I thought about whether I should include these sessions as official ‘training sessions’ however considering my HR regularly gets up to 170-180bpm for a large proportion of the class these sessions will be classified as ‘cross-training’ sessions.

One thing that I have noticed this month is that my running is well below par for me. I used to be able to smash out a 10k in 38 or so minutes and a half marathon in 1hr 30m but at the moment I am nowhere near that. The reason for this is simply that I have not done any serious running for about two years (I sometimes want to blame it on that I have just turned 30 and am ‘old’, but realistically that’s not an excuse I can use!). This could be one of the major challenges coming up to the race.

Another thing that I have noticed, which I suppose I had thought about before but did not really appreciate fully, is the amount of time that this is going to take from my life. Long runs, cycles and swims (not to mention brick training, which is two or more of these discipline straight after one another) aren’t just long in themselves, but the prep beforehand, then the stretching, foam rolling and ice bathing afterwards makes the whole session last a very long time indeed. This brings with it two challenges: 1. How am I going to manage my time so that I can see my girlfriend, have a life, become an awesome Les Mills instructor and have some down time with all this training. 2. How am I going to structure my eating habits to cope with the increasing loads of training that I will have to be putting in? These are things that I will be thinking about in August.

One thing that has been a real positive about the first months training is the discovery of ice baths. They are amazing. Uncomfortable at first but oh my word it speeds up recovery time. I am also playing with compression and taping during August, and will provide an update on this next month.

ice bath after run

Next month I have a half-ironman (on the 23rd August) that Luke gently persuaded me to do as a warm up race. The run up to this race is how I have structured my training over the past month and my workouts leading up to the race have been scheduled. One great thing about having this sort of race so early in my training as I can see exactly where my weaknesses lie, and address them in good time. The plan for the week after the race, after I have had a couple of days to chill and recover, is to see how I can address these weaknesses over the coming 11 months and start to put together a long-term training plan.

Having had a month to let it all sink in, the only thing I want to do in the big race next year is finish the thing without being massively injured. I will also be raising money for a spinal injuries charity; I will be posting more about this in the next few months and will also add a link to a just-giving page where you can donate if you are feeling charitable.

Finally, if anybody reading this has any advice to give or any comments, please comment on this or message me. I am open to anything at the moment!

MT

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