Ironman Training – Weeks 3-5

I am now 5 weeks into the 30-week training plan. If I had to rate the last 3 weeks, I would say they were acceptable. This last week was rough as I didn’t run at all. I don’t really have any excuse. Weeks 3 and 4 were pretty good.

I still can’t swim. I emailed the two pools that I can swim at to find out when they will be opening and no one can give me an answer. I am on a mailing list for a Master’s swim group, but I don’t swim with them as their pools are quite far away, but a recent email from them indicated that the pools they swim at will not open until the beginning of July at the earliest. I suspect my pools will be the same.

Due to being unable to swim, I am seriously considering deferring my Ironman entry to 2021. Even if the pools open on July 1, when you remove the 3-week taper, that only gives me 4 months to bring my swim up to the 2.4 mile distance and by the beginning of July, it would have been 4 months since I last swim. That is a very tall order!!

This realization that I may have to defer is impacting my motivation and is a large part of the reason that I didn’t run this past week.

I’m starting to think about how to approach my training if I do defer. I wouldn’t have any upcoming race to work towards. One option is to pick a sport, say cycling or running, and really focus on that, whether it is to build by cycling FTP or my running speed.

Ironman Training – Weeks 1-2

The first 2 weeks of my 30-week training is in the bag. In looking back at my training log, I have managed to do all the run and bike workouts as prescribed except for one run. That one run had called for 45 mins in Z1-Z2, but I only did 24 mins. For that run, my body was just tired and I could tell from the first few feet that I wasn’t going to be able to do the whole run.

The biggest concern though is the lack of swimming. With all the pools closed due to COVID-19, I have not done any swimming for about 9 weeks and it may well be several more before I can swim again. Swimming is my achilles heel and not even being able to swim is raising all kinds of doubts in my mind.

One the bike, I’m doing more indoor cycling that in the past. While I hate being on the trainer, I think it’s better especially for the shorter mid-week rides. For example, one ride is always done at 100+ RPM and it’s easier to replicate that RPM on the trainer than on the road. My hope is to get into. routine where I do the mid-weeks ride indoors and the longer weekend ride outdoors.

This past weekend, the Ironman Virtual Race #6 is very close to the distances I needed to do , I so completed that event. For the 6 Ironman VR races, I have done 4 of them. It is unlikely I will do any more unless the distance matches or is very closed to my training plan. Since I’m gradually building up, that may have to wait until I’m running 13 miles or so on the weekend. The sprint and olympic distances would be too short

Ironman Training – Week 30 – November 11 – November 20 2019

The astute among you will notice that this weekly report doesn’t actually cover the entire week. That’s because I’ve have decided to shutdown my training and I will not be doing any more workouts before my race on Sunday.

I was sick and I am still recovering, but I’m not at 100%. I’m probably at 95%. I figured it was best to completely rest so I can be as healthy as possibly.

This week I only managed to do one run and then a 2500 yard swim yesterday. Its crazy, but when I checked, I realized that I had gone two weeks without swimming. This was due to work travel and then being sick last week.

I managed to pack everything yesterday as I fly to Phoenix early Thursday morning. It’s amazing how much stuff is needed for the Ironman when you actor in all the clothes, nutrition, and equipment. I’ve been working off various checklists as I don’t want to get to Arizona and find that I forgot something, especially if it’s something I can’t easily buy.

Now my days are spent worrying about the event and working through what can go wrong. I don’t know what the probably of my not finishing is, whether it’s 50%, 30%, 10% etc. but I decided that if I can get through the swim within the cutoff that probability will drop by half. The swim is the shortest event in terms of both time and distance, but for me, it’ll account for half the probability of not finishing.

If I can then do a bike split in the 6 hr 30 min range, the probability of not finishing will then drop by half again. I’m fully capable of doing a 6 hr or just over 6 hr bile split so the biggest concern or risk factor will be getting one or more flat tires or doing something silly like not following my nutrition plan – something I found out during my sprint triathlon that is easy to forget when you get caught up in the race.

If I can then start the run with 7-8 hours of available time, then I should be almost guaranteed of finishing as I can walk the entire marathon in that time if needed.

I do have some margin for error. For example getting a flat will not be the end of my race, but my margin is probably smaller than most.

Ironman Training – Week 29 – November 11 – November 17 2019

I woke up Monday morning with a sore throat and runny nose…I was sick two weeks before my Ironman. Any other time I would train normally, but this was not like any other time.

I decided to skip the bike workout planned for the Monday morning, but I ended up doing it in the afternoon. I had a swim planned for the afternoon and I skipped that. I then had a decision to make. I can try and train as planned, or as close as possible, or to try and get as much rest as possible. Since this was a taper week anyway, I decided to try rest.

For the next 4 days I didn’t do any workouts. It was very disconcerting seeing my “fitness” number on TrainingPeaks drop each day. I know I can’t get any fitter during the taper, but I was distressed about losing fitness. I got worse the next couple days, but by Saturday I was starting to tell that I was getting better. I wasn’t 100%, but I felt I was OK to train.

I had a 2-hr bike and 30-min run BRICK session planned for Saturday. I ended up just doing the 2-hr bike ride. It went well except for being a bit chilly. I had a 1-hr run planned for Sunday and I did that also.

Due to missing 4 days of training, I only ended up doing just under 4 hours of training for the week. I’m still not 100%, but hopefully with the lighter load planned anyway for this last week and the week to fully recover I can be back to 10% by Sunday

With just one week left to my Ironman, I am now in the planning and packing stage ensuring I make as many lists and checklists as possible to ensure I pack and have everything I need before I fly to Tempe and for my race.