Ironman Training – Week 17 – August 19 – 25 2019

This week is probably as close to a perfect training week for the last couple months as I have come. I didn’t miss any workouts and I actually ended up doing almost 13 hours of training time, an hour more than planned for the week. The extra hour wasn’t because of any extra workouts, but just from adding a few minutes to each of the planned workouts.

The week started off great with my swim. I didn’t plan this, but I ended up swimming just shy of 3,000 yards continuously and I know I could have swam for more if needed. The full Ironman is about 4,300 yards so just 1,300 further. For the entire week, I got in 3 swim workouts which is more than I have done for any given week for the last 2 months.

For my running, I have been doing a lot of experimenting and I have come to the conclusion that I can run/walk for 1 min each and still average a 13min/mile. Seeing that I currently run 12 min/mile in the heat, I am happy with the run/walk strategy and I am much less tired while running. My Ironman should be much less humid and hopefully cooler so I may be able to do a 2:1 run:walk.

For my long bike ride, I decided to try a few different things. Based on my sweat rate, I drank a bottle of Gatorade Endurance every 30 mins and took Oreo cookies and gummi worms with me. The hope was to stay hydrated to avoid cramping. Unfortunately that didn’t work and like clockwork, at around 2:30, I started to cramp.

Firstly, the amount of fluid I drank was too much. It just felt like it was sitting in my stomach. I think the most I can probably manage is going to be about 1.25-1.5 bottles every hour. The Oreo cookies weren’t bad. They were convenient and I popped one in my mouth every 5 miles. The only issue is that I need to figure out a good way to carry them., I had them in an open ziplock in my jersey pocket, but I spent a lot of time trying to fish one out each time. The gummi worms were a disaster. It was taking too long to chew and I ended up spitting out the first one I tried and I didn’t try any more after that. So for my next long ride, I’ll stick to 1.25-1.5 bottles of Gatorade Endurance per hour and one Oreo cook every 5 miles.

For my cramping, it is back to the drawing board. For my next ride, I plan to take in more salt to see if that helps.

Ironman Training – Week 16 – August 12 – 18 2019

This week would have been a perfect training week except for 2 workouts.

I only did two swims and missed one. Also, for my long bike ride, instead of doing a 3 hr ride, I only rode for 1 hr 20 mins. I don’t really have any good excuses for those two workouts and I will try and do better this coming week.

The big change for me this past week was the pool that I swim at. I have been swimming at the Kirby Creek Natatorium for over a year now but the main issue is that their lap swim times are only for 1 hour. It is also late at night at 8pm, but I could have lived with that. The problem is that I need to swim for more than an hour. So, I ended up joining a 24Hr Fitness gym. They have a 25 yd indoor lap swim pool and its open all day. I used a 3-day trial pass to swim this past week and it worked out well. The water is a bit cold, but I was able to get a lane when I wanted. I’ve signed up for the month-to-month plan so I can cancel when I want. I will end up cancelling it around mid-November.

Apart from being able to swim for more than one hour at a time, I love being able to go swimming right after work. So I’m done before dinner time and I can get to bed by 9pm. When swimming at Kirby Creek, I would have to eat dinner early and then by the time I got home and into bed, it would be almost 10pm. The gym is also much closer and so I save time commuting. to swim.

Over the weekend I decided to raise my bike seat by about 10-15cm. I will see how that feels over the next few rides. I did this to see if I can get into a more aggressive aero position.

Ironman Training – Week 14-15 – July 29 – August 11 2019

Weeks 14 and 15 were the first two weeks since getting back from Vacation in Trinidad. My training went well except for the swimming.

One of the weeks was spent in FL for work. In the past, I would swim in the small hotel pool, but for the last couple trips, this was hard as the pool was normally rather busy with kids and vacationers. For this trip, I decided to try a pool that wasn’t too far from the hotel but which had proper swim lanes. The pool was very nice with a lot of available lap swim lanes. The downside though is that it was closed for 2 of the evenings due to weather. So for that week, I only did one swim. It was a long one though. I plan to continue to use this pool for future trips and hopefully the weather will be better.

For these two weeks, I had two long bike rides of 4 hrs each. On the first one, I started to get cramps at around the 2.5 hr mark. I had a bottle of HotShot which I decided to try for the very first time. In all, I was quite happy with it. The cramps didn’t stop instantaneously, but by about 15-20 minutes are drinking it, my legs felt normal. The taste was interesting!

For my other long ride, I started to get cramps at around the 2 hr mark. Rather than wait, I drank a bottle of HotShot immediately. Again, the cramps didn’t go away instantaneously, but after about 15 mins, my legs felt normal. I did start to feel the cramps coming back at around the 3:30 hr mark and so I ended up cutting the ride short and only riding for 3:45 instead of the full 4 hours.

While the HotShot seems to help, I’m very concerned about cramping, especially since they came back about 90 mins after drinking the HotShot. I hope this is only due to the hot and humid weather and that once the cooler weather returns, it wouldn’t be an issue.

My running has not been going great either as I seem to be unable to run for any length of time without taking walking breaks. To offset that, I am doing a lot of run/walking, but for the runs, I pick up the pace and run them at a 8-9 min/mile pace. So in the end, my average pace per mile is around the 12 min mark.

My training is now at the half-way mark with 15 weeks down, and 15 weeks to go. At a time when my confidence should be high, it is very low with a lot of doubts starting to creep in as to whether I can actually do the Ironman. While the running has been hard, I’m not too worried as I expect the run leg to be a lot of walking anyway. I’m happy with the bike except for the camping. The real concern is the swimming!

This week I’m going to try and different poo at a 24 hr Fitness where I’m not limited to a one-hour lap swim time as I need to stat swimming for longer than an hour.