Ironman 70.3 Training – Week 2

Week 2 (W/C 13/5/2019)

Week 1 recap

In my mind, my first week of Ironman training was a success. In the last couple of years I’ve only ever cycled or run because I felt like it, never because I had an end goal or a training plan to stick to. I found a suitable swimming pool, built my training plan around their opening hours and negotiated to work flexibly to make training easier. In my first week, I went swimming 3 times, cycling 3 times and running twice. Despite the run and swims being off pace or quite short, I’m pleased I pretty much stuck to the plan and initiated the routine. I was confident that the pace and distance would build over the coming weeks and i’d hopefully see that I’m on track.

Swimming – I was nervous at first. I entered the pool genuinely wondering whether I’d need rescuing. My breathing was totally out and it took me a while to settle. I upped my distance, and endurance pretty quickly, from 25m to 100m and practiced breathing techniques during my sessions. I spent a lot of the first week sessions watching others to help this development. Cycling is my strongest so I knew i’d be okay with fitting in 1 hour rides after work. I’m hoping i’ll be able to increase this to 2 or 3 hours regularly. Running was a concern for me, especially regarding my knee injury. I knew I needed new shoes so I wasn’t keen on running too much before getting some, but I got into the routine, if only running 1km at a time.

Week 2

The week

Week 2 got off to a bad start. Bank holiday Monday meant the pool was closed so I didn’t go for my morning swim. I was pretty tired from the weekend and ended up only running late at night when I decided I really shout get out. On Tuesday and Wednesday I rode as planned, avoiding heavy thunderstorms by reducing the distance. I did enjoy these rides though. I explored some new roads and spent much of the time peering over hedges to look at nice houses! I’ll certainly be riding that route again! But after Wednesday’s ride it all went downhill. We arrived at the pool to find that it was all locked up despite the calendar suggesting it’d be open. We headed back home and later found a Facebook post informing us of an unexpected closure.

On Thursday I didn’t feel like running. I’d also planned to have the van serviced so I worked from home, however due to more unforeseen circumstances, the van wasn’t serviced. By working from home, I also toyed with the idea of a lunchtime swim, except that didn’t happen either! Thursday – FAIL. Friday was a similar story really. I didn’t get up early to go swimming, and instead went straight to work. I drove down to London for a Montane Winter Mountaineering skills lecture, so my step count was higher but no running involved!

The weekend

Feeling pretty bummed about the lack of activities I’d managed to fit in during the week days, I mustered enough energy to head to Derby Runner. I got my feet checked out and the sales assistant suggested some shoes. After many minutes on the treadmill comparing odd shoes on opposite feet I bought the 2nd pair she suggested. I spent a while sat looking at them when I got home, but eventually decided to try them out. My plan was to run 1km – a gentle introduction but I passed the 500m turn around point and kept running. Instead i ran 2km, feeling great. The bounce and improved rolling of the shoes certainly improved comfort, reduced shock and saw my pace increase from 5.30min/km to approx 5.11min/km.

On Sunday we had some family visiting so after a short lie-in I headed out for a ride, and what a day for it. I felt like I could have kept going. It was just warm enough, a gentle breeze and bright blue skies. Getting out early also meant there were more runners and cyclists out than cars which made it more enjoyable. In my training plan, I’d put the weekends as times to experiment, mix up my training and work on different things as I wanted. Last week I completed a race distance ride, so this week I thought i’d try a ride into run. I only ran 1km after the 27km ride, but it was great to see how my legs would react. In short – well, though I was at a blistering pace (for me). From usually running between 5.30min/km and 6.00min/km, I dropped to 4.40min/km. I didn’t monitor my pace, but I could tell from my breathing that I was running faster.

Key take aways

  • Don’t get down about not training. Sometimes life gets in the way or your body needs a rest. Mine was definitely telling me.
  • Join facebook groups or the most active social chat for your local pool / gym
  • A traithlon isn’t just about the 3 activities, it also includes the transition. Train for this too
  • Running feels super slow after cycling.
  • It’s only week 2!

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