Ok so we are in May now, well June by the time you read this but we will roll with May for now. This is my sixth monthly Ironman UK training update blog post. The previous five months are linked under the Training menu if you want to see where this journey began. Although, in truth the actual journey to becoming an Ironman began months and months before I officially kicked off my 7 month training plan on the 27th November. Back in March 2015 I brought a bike and went on a ride, October 2015 I went for my first run and August 2017 I returned to the pool for the first time in 25 years.
Having completed five months of this training plan which will hopefully see me progress from a cyclist who runs marathons to a Ironman. Whereas April was all about running the Greater Manchester & London marathons, May is now time to build the cycling and swimming back up and start the 2018 open water swimming session off.
This month I only have three running races (5k, 10k & half marathon) so I will have more time to focus on the training. I am also taking part in the London Revolution 300km bike ride which is split over two days. I am going to be using the 100 mile and 85 mile rides as long training rides and testing out the nutrition I want to take on the bike leg of Ironman.
Week Twenty Three:
- Swim: 6,616yrds, 2hrs 17mins
- Bike: 124.9 miles, 6hrs 32mins
- Run: 38.9 miles, 5hrs 11mins
After 7 weeks without swimming I forced myself to get into the pool and swim. Three 2km swims in fact and it appears that I have not lost my pace, well when I say pace, I mean my kind of pace which isn’t that great.
Bike wise, I got in 6 rides. I was aiming for 7 20 mile rides but I missed one day. I did get outside and bank two outdoor rides over the weekend which will be good practice for next weeks London Revolution ride. Running was a fairly standard weekend of easy runs and a long(ish) 10 miles on Saturday before I decided to sign up and run the Red Bull Wings for Life run. Basically for this one you set off running with no set end to the race. A sweeper car sets off 30 mins after the start at 15kph, your race ends when you are caught by the car. I managed to run 21.1km before being caught. I had hoped for around 30km but it was a warm humid day and I just felt tired from a big week of training.
Week Twenty Four:
- Swim: 2,734 yrds, 56mins
- Bike: 226.6 miles, 14hrs 22mins
- Run: 25.1 miles, 3hrs 10mins
This week was all about the London Revolution 300km 2 day bike ride. I didn’t want to do too much running, swimming or cycling before the weekend so just the one swim this week, but I did push that out to a 2.5km swim and managed to cope well with the extra distance. Still some way off the 4.25km I will be swimming at Ironman, but that will come. Running was a couple of easy runs and the NYRR Virtual 5k race where I came 56th out of just under 200 people with a 21:17, not my best time but it will do. The legs still aren’t feeling great. Then the bike, so I cycled to the train station and back for work on the Tuesday, thats only 6 miles each way but its outdoors at least, then Wednesday I took on the Mow Cop Killer Mile, which is a 550ft 1 mile climb, number 36 on the top 100 UK climbs. I am still yet to make it to the top without having to push part of the way but at least today I cycled up there quicker than my running PB. That was the first time I could ride it faster than running! Friday was a 20mile bike, 8 mile run brick session. I really hate these as they are killers but absolutely essential practice for any triathlon. I managed to hold 7:23 pace for the 8 mile run. Very pleased with how that went.
The weekend was then spent cycling the 300km loop around London at the London Revolution. You can read how that went in more detail in my LONDON REVOLUTION RECAP
Week Twenty Five:
- Swim: 4,867 yrds, 1hr 39mins
- Bike: 30 miles, 2hrs 10mins
- Run: 34.4 miles, 4hrs 5mins
Following on from a busy week of riding last week, this week the focus is more on running with the Rock n Roll Liverpool 5k and half marathon this weekend, as well as the Great Manchester 10k. The cycling was scaled back to a 9.9 mile climb up Alpe Du Zwift and a steady 20 miles on Friday, again on Zwift. Swimming I got in another 2.5km swim and then a 1.9km swim to gage roughly where my time is for Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire next month.
Running was about saving the legs for the weekend. This past few weeks they have felt tired and I have struggled with fast running such as my NYRR virtual 5k and the Wings for Life Run. So Tuesday was a steady 4 miles, Thursday a 8 mile tempo run at 7:02 pace…. I know!! I know!! saving the legs for the weekend right, but honestly, after that run my confidence was so much better.
Week Twenty Six:
- Swim: 8,599 yrds, 2hrs 48mins
- Bike: 110 miles, 6hrs 19mins
- Run: 26 miles, 3hrs 26mins
After the success on the bike at the London Revolution and success running the Rock n Roll Liverpool half, I just needed something to give me a good confidence boost on the swimming side to complete the set. This week was saw my return to open water swimming for the first time since the SWIM SERPENTINE 2 MILE CHALLENGE last September. I from now until Ironman UK I will be swimming Wednesday evenings at Salford Quays and Sunday afternoons near Knutsford. Wednesdays first open water swim went really well. I swam 2.3km in 1:52 / 100 yrd pace, the first time I have ever dipped below the 2 minute mark. The new wetsuit fitted well and I was able to get in on and off easily, a massive improvement on last years wetsuit struggles. Sunday I swam 4km at 1:56, again under the 2 mins and just 250m short of the full Ironman distance. Super pleased with how both of these open water swims went and I am really looking forward to Wednesday to go again.
Bike was two steady 20 milers early in the week and another hill rep session on Mow Cop, this time beasting 7 reps of the lower part of the climb with just under 2,000ft of climbing. Then Sunday was a 56 mile race simulation ready for Ironman Staffs. 56 miles averaging 18.2mph despite strong winds. I also tested out the nutrition I will be taking on the bike leg and eating every 20 mins. This went well, I came off the bike feeling good, not half marathon PB good but good enough to hopefully run a 1:45 half marathon after the bike leg. Hopefully I will feel better with less wind making the bike tougher, but you never know what will get thrown at you on race day so its all good prep.
Running again was hit and miss. Tuesday I did some speed work, 1 mile warm up & cool down with 3 x 2 mile reps at 6:50 pace and 800m recovery jog. This went well. Friday was an easy 5 so again, went well then my long Saturday run was planned for 16 miles at 7:45 pace, however my back had been aching since Wednesday evenings swim, 12 miles into my run I decided to call it a day rather than pushing on for the remaining 4 miles and putting more pressure on my back.
Week Twenty Seven:
- Swim: 2,433 yrds, 49mins
- Bike: 79.9 miles, 4hrs 59mins
- Run: 16.4 miles, 2hrs 7mins
This week officially marks the beginning of my two week taper for Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire. Although this week was due to be reduced mileage anyway, things have been difficult to fit in. My mother in-law was admitted to hospital on Monday which meant I am on dad duties every evening and as a result I have skipped the Wednesday night open water swim, then Saturday morning I was ill so I didn’t get my Sunday open water swim done either. I have reduced my pool swims to 1km drill sessions for the next two weeks. Bike wise I clocked up a 32 miler on the Monday and a 36 mile 3,500ft climb ride on Sunday so not too bad. My plan was to ride 60 miles on Sunday but after being ill I thought I would drop the mileage back. Running has again been hit and miss. Monday I couldn’t even manage a 4 mile easy pace run, my legs and body just had nothing in them so I called that a day after 3.4 miles and took 2 days off running. The back has felt good which is a positive. Thursday I managed 8 easy paced miles and Friday I banked a progressive 5 miler and felt really good coming home with a 6:43 last mile. Saturday I should have ran 10 miles but missed that altogether.
I am not that concerned about the missed open water sessions and reduced run and bike mileage. With one week to go until Staffs having some extra rest can only be a good thing.