Well, here we go again, update number three on the progress towards the 2019 triathlons. In update number 2 I suffered from a lack of motivation and the long runs were a struggle as a result. This isn’t a problem with the triathlons in mind, my first race in Mallorca is still over three months away but more pressing is the need to get some good long runs done before the Tokyo Marathon, which is on the very last day of this update. So I have four weeks to get some long stuff done, two of which are going to be taper leaving week 9 and 10. No pressure then.
I have a feeling this update will be mostly run related given the upcoming marathon major, but I do also hope to build on my biggest ever month of swimming and keep progressing on the bike.
A few new things I am also looking at building into the training, possibly during February are pilates for triathletes and also track cycling at the velodrome.
Week 9 – 4th – 10th February
So in my three-week cycle, we begin this update with a hard week…. start as you mean to go on right?
Three swims once again and following the same schedule as the previous two weeks. A Technique set, distance speed set, and speed set. They went ok, although by the Friday speed swim I was feeling tired and run down, I had a few unsettled nights sleep as my daughter had been up coughing with a cold which subsequently I caught by the weekend.
I only had two bike sessions this week, a hard muscle development ride aimed at building the bike strength to push harder for longer and then a long ride with sprints and 1:30 at 7 RPE and higher. This session was in the plan for Sunday along with a 20-mile long run which I thought would be far too much so I used a holiday and took Friday off to get the bike done. As mentioned above, the Friday swim was a struggle and that followed into the bike session which I cut short after 1:15. I just didn’t have the energy to hold the 260w for the 30min 9RPE block and I wanted to save something for the long run on Sunday. In my eyes, that session was more important at this stage of the plan.
Running was a really big week and the motivation was high to see this one through then it was just one more big effort next week and its taper time. I started off with a 1hr hill rep session which I really enjoyed, then on Wednesday I had a medium run with an hour at goal marathon pace, again, really loved this. I love nothing more than just running at pace. Thursday was intervals.
Saturday was race day, the second of my 10k attempts at running a sub 40, although I had done that in January so I was going to take this steady especially after not feeling great on Friday and coming down with a cold and also I didn’t want to risk affecting Sunday’s long run. The weather forecast was terrible. Wet & very windy so I thought just take it easy and bag the medal….. well that didn’t happen! you can read my Tatton Park 10k Recap for more details but I ran a 37:48, taking 1:58 of my PB from January and finished in 3rd place too.
Running the PB on Saturday was great but that then put the pressure on the Sunday long run. I had no choice but to do the long run with so little time felt and now had to do it on tired legs from the race and also affected by a cold. I decided to run it on a flat route with Tokyo being flat but nothing around here is flat so I ended up running 20 one mile laps around the local Mere. Very very challenging to mentally get around the course and running on a trail made it tougher too but I managed it. 20 miles ran and 18 miles at goal marathon pace or faster. Such a massive and timely confidence boost. If I could hold that pace over the remaining 10k then I would be looking at somewhere around 3:15 and a marathon PB.
- Swim – 8,558yrds, 2hrs 56mins
- Bike – 47.1miles, 2hrs 21mins
- Run – 53miles, 6hrs 39mins
Week 10 – 11th – 17th February
The final big week of training before running Tokyo, the next two are gradually going to be winding down and giving the body time to recover, although not as much of a taper as in previous years. Tokyo is not the A race, or even B, C or D race but you still have to respect the marathon distance and put a good chunk of work in.
Swimming has been a miss this week, Monday was a distance swim made up of a warm up / cool down with two 1k blocks. I swam well and actually swam that 2k quicker than the 70.3 swim in Staffs last year. Some signs of progress.
The bike week was made up of three rides, a short 1-hour interval session on Monday, a 1-hour tempo ride on Wednesday and Sunday was a long 2-hour tempo ride followed by a 29min brick run and 15min cool down spin on the bike again.
I really enjoyed that long ride, I got in 48 miles at 22.5mph and a fairly decent 225w average for the 2 hours. The legs felt rough in the first mile of the run but soon settled into it. That is the first of many brick sessions between now and Ironman Wales.
The plan only had an easy run, a medium tempo run and the brick run which I felt was not sufficient for the week prior to taper starting, I wanted to back up last weeks great week of running, I did start the week with the cold but that pretty much cleared by Sunday.
Monday was a 4-mile recovery run, testing the legs out after the long run and they felt great. I then ran the planned 1-hour easy run Tuesday. Thursday I added a 12-mile marathon paced run, but 4-miles into that my stomach just didn’t feel great, I nearly turned back to make is an 8-mile run but decided to push on to 6 and head back. At 6-miles I still wasn’t feeling good so I changed my plan and ran the last 6-miles at an easy pace, I took a different route home which actually turned out to be further than just going back the way I came. So the run that was planned for 12 miles, nearly got cut short at 4 and then ended up being 13.1-miles.
I had booked Friday off work again so that I could fit in a long run without losing family time over the weekend. I was planning a 20-mile easy paced run but my stomach still didn’t feel too good so I ended up pushing the long run to Saturday but changing it to 18-miles and ran Saturdays medium tempo run Friday.
I think overall the week has gone well, I did miss two swims but at this stage missing a swim isn’t a big deal. The bike went really well, that cross-training will also benefit the running.
- Swim – 2,515 yrds, 48mins
- Bike – 91.7 miles, 4hr 23mins
- Run – 51.7 miles, 7hr 7mins
Week 11 – 18th – 24th February
The week started off well, the last dose of Cold & Flu tablets, let’s hope that is me done for the rest of winter.
I will sum the swim and bike up together this week. Both have been massively reduced as I concentrate on running.
Two swims, the first being a repeat of last weeks 2x1k efforts and a few seconds faster so I will take that. The second swim just an easy hour recovery swim. Both bike sessions were 30 min recovery spins, just to give the legs a rest from pounding the pavement but!!!! as the weather is so nice I did take the bike outside and did the rides outdoors rather than in the garage.
Five runs this week, starting with hill reps on Monday, easy runs Tuesday & Sunday, Intervals on Thursday and a 20k marathon pace run on Saturday. All pretty relaxed with next week in mind, I did, however, increase the marathon pace from 7:30 to 7:20. I will still run Tokyo with 7:30 in mind, but the plan is to get myself out of that 7:30 comfort zone and run faster in Manchester in April.
- Swim – 4,674yrds, 1hr 25mins
- Bike – 19.2miles, 1hr 3mins
- Run – 42.5miles, 5hr 59mins
Week 12 – 25th February – 3rd March
This one is race week and with flying to the other side of the world, the swim and bike sessions were limited to one easy block of each on Monday & Tuesday.
I also had a 1-hour sports massage on Monday which really did the trick on some knots I couldn’t get at with the foam roller. The legs felt great.
I had one run in the UK on Tuesday which was two small blocks at the faster 7:20 marathon pace. Then two easy sessions in Tokyo to get the legs loose and moving ready for the race on Sunday. You can read my Tokyo Marathon Race Recap to see how the race actually went. It keeps this post a lot shorter. Spoiler alert, it went quite well.
- Swim – 2,351yrds, 47mins
- Bike – 17.3 miles, 47mins
- Run – 43.3miles, 5hr 19mins