I’ve been looking for it. I know it’s around somewhere. Probably hidden in one of the boxes in the basement, covered in cobwebs. It’s time to fish out the Ironman head by getting some quality spec sessions in. As I said in the previous blog I have to come up with a crash 5-6 week Ironman training programme that will take me into Challenge Roth on 10 July.
I managed a 16hr training week after the virus, followed by a 25hr week last week. The plan was then to take a half week off from 6-9 June, and then get another solid two weeks of training in before a slight taper to the Worcester Sprint Triathlon on 26 June. Well I almost managed it in one piece. Unfortunately I picked up a cold last Saturday night which forced me to rest a day early. A pity my body couldn’t just hold out a couple more days, but that’s the risk I sometimes take. I’d rather push myself right to the edge on optimal training and occasionally fall off, than under-train.
The 25hr week included a 136mile and 129mile bike ride over the Chilterns, Cotswolds and Teme Valley (to and from my parents). I always try to get a bike-block (multi-day cycling), back2back and/or split days in to my training programme around May. Unfortunately this year I could only manage the two days but in previous years I tend to do around four consecutive days of around 100-120miles. Back in 2005 and 2006 I even did Lejog which doubled up as an extended training session. I feel these long days in the saddle are very useful in terms of Ironman. From a mental perspective, 5hrs all-out in the saddle will be a lot more manageable having done several days of 8hrs+. It doesn’t have to be quick, but it does have to be tiring. A few choice hills and added bike weight will introduce some good strength and muscular endurance into the legs.
Along with the two long bike rides I have also spent more time in the gym on weights and core, and in the pool. My arms and shoulders are already coming back (having been sucked dry by the ultra running) and the power is increasing on the bike. I don’t have time to work on my speed but then I’ve barely done that in the last two years anyway. Strength and endurance have always been enough for me. I’m starting to get my Ironman head back on, which is important. It’s not until the final third of both the Ironman bike and run that you have to delve into your physical and mental reserves. And that’s when it’s important to be both head strong and get your nutrition just right. I have the latter sorted but the former still requires a little more work.
Finished off the rest of the Ironman admin (accommodation and travel) for both Challenge Roth and IMUK. I’ll be driving over to Roth (two-stop) with Yve on 6 July. Spending five days in Nuremberg, and then driving north to visit her Mother in Suhl.
I took the Argon race bike for a test drive today and everything seems to be in working order. I’ll do another test tomorrow with the zipp wheels on (404 and sub9 disc) and then go for my first wetsuit swim since double iron lanza, in a local lido. The cold is thankfully quite weak so I can get the training in and prepare for a possible last minute triathlon at the weekend, where I will get the chance to try out my racing gear again. I’d rather not have the Worcester Sprint Tri as my only pre-Ironman ‘warm-up’ race. Until then I have a few more weeks in which to, as my favourite Ironman athlete would say, “get more pow-wah!”
Sun 26 Jun – Worcester Sprint Triathlon
Sun 10 Jul – Challenge Roth (IM-Distance)
Sun 31 Jul – Ironman UK