Ok so, blog 1 of my Ironman journey. I guess I should start by saying that yep, I have signed up to compete in Ironman UK which takes place in town in northern England called Bolton. For those who don’t know me that well, I am not a triathlete by any stretch of the imagination. I may have taken part in one sprint triathlon in 2017 (LAST OF THE SUMMER TRI 2017 RACE RECAP) and done fairly well for my first crack at it, but I still don’t see myself as a triathlete. I can run and I can ride my bike, but swimming? well swimming is not going well, I can get from one side of the pool to the other, I can just keep going but its not fast and the technique most likely resembles a fish on dry land trying to wriggle back into the pond.
So why have I signed up for Ironman UK? why have I signed up to swimming 2.4 miles, riding 112 miles and running 26.2 miles? looking at it now I have just typed that I am wondering WHY?? The real reason why I am attempting Ironman UK is because it is something that I have not done before, something that I don’t know whether I can do it? its long, its tough, its brutal and it is punishing, but then I asked myself, why can’t you do it? what is stopping you? you are a fit healthy man so get your shit together and train train train and then come July go out there and smash it.
2 years ago I signed up to run my first 10k race, at the time I had my doubts about whether I could do it, I did some training, I made mistakes and I got injured but come race day, still not knowing if I can run 10k, I ran and ran and ran. I ran the whole 10k without stopping, my longest ever run at that time. Fast forward 12 months to April 2017, I lined up to run my first ever marathon, not knowing whether I could make it. Guess what? I did it and it felt AMAZING. So what is stopping me from finishing Ironman UK and hearing those immortal and so empowering words “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN” as I run down that red carpet? There is only one thing stopping me and that is myself. This is step one of getting myself across that finish line.
November / December 2017.
November 27th was the first day of my Ironman training. I had given myself a 2 week rest after running ROCK n ROLL LAS VEGAS MARATHON and now it was time to lace up those running shoes, clip on to those peddles and belly flop into that pool. Yes we are swimming, biking and running….. but also strength training and stretching and not forgetting resting too.
I aim to write a monthly training update and will include my weekly stats at the bottom of each blog.
Week 1 started off well, the rest had done me good, I had been feeling tired after pretty much 11 months of constant marathon training. I know, 2 weeks rest isn’t much but I didn’t want to lose any of the fitness and speed I had gained during 2017. I am planning to run less days than previously, but increase the mileage on those days. The thinking behind this is, I have struggled in the latter stages of the last three marathons and I think this is due to not running enough long runs during training. Last year I ran five marathons, yet in training I only ran two 16 mile and one 18 mile run. This time around I plan on running long every Sunday, starting off at 10 miles and increasing by 1 mile each week up to 22 miles. Every sixth week I will drop the mileage by 25% in comparison to the previous week and run slow steady recovery pace for that week. Taking a recovery week in other words.
Biking wise, I have brought myself a Wahoo Kickr and signed up to Zwift so that I have NO excuses for not getting some miles in. It maybe winter, it maybe cold, dark and wet but I can ride indoors on the smart trainer and still push myself.
Swimming, the plan for the first two months is just to get some pool time. I did get back into swimming during 2017 and got up to 2 miles swimming in open water. So for now, I will be doing lengths at my local 25m pool, pretty boring but I know from running that doing it over and over again sees improvements, I also know that doing something wrong over and over again sees slow progress and bad form, so at some point in January I will get my stroke analysed and picked apart so that I can see where I am going wrong and try to rectify that.
So week one was 4 runs, 2 cycle commutes to work (this is before I got the Kickr) and 2 swims. I good solid first week. I am putting more effort into the running side up until April as I have two marathons to run in the first half of April so expect to see these weeks weighted towards the runs for the time being.
Week two, again 4 runs but only 1 cycle commute and 1 swim.
Week three, yep 4 runs, 1 cycle commute and 1 exploratory ride on Zwift and 1 swim.
Week four, this week wasn’t as smooth as the first three had been. I had to move the runs around as I was due to give blood on the Wednesday so I ran on Monday and Tuesday, took Thursday off and then caught my daughters cold which then meant that the Saturday and Sunday runs were a slow slog. I rode twice again this week, commuting to work on the Wednesday and then another ride on Zwift but no swimming due to having a cold.
Week five, Christmas week!! So Christmas was a total write off, I had the cold anyway but also ended up with a sickness bug on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, this resulted in losing 9lbs of weight and all energy sapped out of me. I did run on the Wednesday and Friday, I moved my long run to the Saturday so I could attempt a 145km ride on Zwift on New Years Eve, but I had to call off the long run 7 miles in, I just felt too ill to continue. I had one ride on Zwift on the Thursday, which was a 17 mile race, but lack of energy and having to run into the house to get my power cable meant I finished last. No swimming again.
That takes us up to the end of December and the end of 2017.
- Swim: 1,419yrds, 35mins
- Bike: 29.7miles, 1hr 57mins
- Run: 32.1miles, 4hr 2mins
- Swim: 1,094yrds, 24mins
- Bike: 12.9miles, 47mins
- Run: 33.2miles, 4hr 44mins
- Swim: 1,094yrds, 23mins
- Bike: 23.2miles, 1hr 12mins
- Run: 33.1miles, 4hr 17mins
- Swim: 0yrds, 0mins
- Bike: 24.7miles, 1hr 38mins
- Run: 33.4miles, 4hr 21mins
- Swim: 0yrds, 0mins
- Bike: 17.4miles, 50mins
- Run: 23miles, 3hr 2mins