willthames's blog

Lanzarote bike rides

Playa Blanca to Timanfaya via El Golfo

Playa Blanca to just past Maguez (ride abandoned due to genuine danger of aquaplaning in torrential rain - rare for Lanzarote!)

Playa Blanca to Orzola - better route finding past Maguez this time allowed me to take more direct route to Orzola (if the section between Haria and Maguez looks long, it was significantly flatter than the direct route)

Ironman Switzerland - 13 weeks to go

Since my last write-up, four weeks have passed. The number of days left until IMCH is now down to double digits - indeed less than 90!

Much of the lack of entries here has been due to my holiday in Lanzarote that was supposed to be 7 days and ended up being 12. Lanzarote should in theory be a great place to be stuck as a triathlete - plenty of long hilly bike rides to do - and indeed the bike was my most trained discipline with over 8 hours logged. I got a good couple of longish runs (I hesitate them to call them long runs at this point of training - they were a bit shorter than planned, but also significantly hotter and hillier). I did very little swimming. And we ate out a lot. Found many fine restaurants. And lazed around by the pool a bit. Compared to what it might have been, it was quite an active holiday, however. But not as active as if I'd not been relaxing on holiday!

After a stag do at the weekend that pretty much wrote off any desire to train, it's now time to get back in the groove.

One run in today and it all feels good again, planning a swim and bike tomorrow, another run on Weds, bike Thursday and swim Friday. Oh, and then a wedding on Saturday. May really isn't going to be much better than April ended, what with a second wedding two weeks later followed by a short holiday in Scotland (might take some training kit and squeeze something in). As it's a long weekend, I'll plan a run on Sunday and then long bike on Monday, so this wedding shouldn't hit too hard.

Ironman Switzerland - 17 weeks to go

Very happy with my training last week - while there was room for improvement (an extra swim and an extra bike would have been good), it was mostly to let life get in the way (e.g. a useful work trip to the pub).

My long bike was great training, and my long run seemed easy compared to last week's, although not too surprising as it was shorter, and I felt less broken after the bike ride.

Won't get to do too much over the next couple of weekends, and how much I do in Lanzarote remains doubtful (sure I can hire a bike, swim in a pool or the sea, and go for runs, but that all competes with drinking cocktails by the pool).

Happy with where I am right now training-wise, but need to keep motivated over the next few weeks to remain on target.

Tyre pressure matters!

So, a sluggish start to tonight's rollers session. I tested that the rollers weren't obstructed, that the wheels were turning fine. What I didn't check was tyre pressure.

After 30 mins of an awful session, I got the pump out. Plugging it in I found my tyres were at 40 PSI! Oops!

Pumped them back up to 90, and what a difference - from struggling to exceed 24kph for longer than a minute at a time, to exceeding 30kph for the rest of the session.

Yet another chink in the armour stopping me shelling out on a powermeter - I'd at least have spotted that the effort required was much bigger than it should have been.

Paces for FIRST training

Repeats

400m: 01:43
600m: 02:37
800m: 03:31
1000m: 04:26
1200m: 05:22
1600m: 07:20
2000m: 09:12

Tempo

Short: 04:54
Medium: 05:03
Long: 05:13
Easy: 05:53

MP: 05:26

Ironman goals

I plan to do Ironman Switzerland in 14 hours, broken down as follows:

  • Swim: 1h30
  • Bike: 7h30
  • Run: 4h40

plus 20 mins for transitions (very generous but allows for full changes of clothes from swim to bike and bike to run)

All of those should be doable, and indeed the run is 40 mins longer than I'd expect a standalone marathon to take. It may be the case that with a wetsuit on, I can do 3.8km quicker than 1h30, but there's no rush for me for that leg.

Other than injury, which obviously I won't seek out, what are the major obstacles to achieving this?

Nutrition

I will create a proper nutrition plan for the day - in summary I plan to use provided water and add energy powder, and also eat bars, gels, and shot bloks. I haven't yet decided how to add savoury to my diet - mini cheddars have pros and cons.

Bike

Basically be as comfortable as I can (so wear cycle shorts rather than trishorts) - training will hopefully improve my stamina to stay in one position for that long, my main aggravators currently are my hands and wrists (aerobars could help there) and lower back (made worse by hills). My knees are another possible source of pain, especially on hills. Speaking of hills, they are probably my main limiter, in both directions - so I plan to do more hill intervals, probably on weeknights once it gets dark later.

Run

As long as I don't destroy myself on the bike, and can provide myself sufficient calories, I see the run as mostly mental - being able to just keep pushing forward even though I'm tired and would like a nice rest now.

Ironman Switzerland - 18 weeks to go

After a week off for skiing, and accompanying weight gain due to excessive reblochon and vin rouge, I had plenty of motivation for a solid week's training. The Cheltenham horse racing festival meant that lunch break training was a little more risky than normal, but by Friday I'd decided that I could escape for an hour.

This week I managed two swims, two bikes and three runs. The long bike was my longest ride ever, at 125kms, but it's still a long way short of the Ironman bike leg. My run today following that long bike really hurt towards the end - again, at 25km it's well short of the run leg distance.

I'll just have to keep extending my distances until they're a lot closer to IM distance. I'm going to move over to the FIRST marathon plan from now - there are 16 weeks on the plan, which will fit realistically with my schedule, as I have two weeks where I doubt I'll get any decent running in.

I have plans to post a separate update about my nutrition thoughts for the race day, and another update finally stating what my goal times are (while I could just say it's my first IM and I'm just aiming to compete, I wouldn't be training as hard as I am if I didn't have marginally more ambitious plans). Along with my goals I'll also detail what the limiters are, and how I propose to overcome them.

A quick update

Missed quite a few weekly updates - it's now less than 19 weeks to go! Scary! I should probably be in the build phase now, but I need to remind myself what that looks like.

Although my training log should shortly show what I've been up to (I've been a bit remiss there too), it's worth briefly laying it out. I spent last week skiing in Les Arcs, which probably wasn't ideal triathlon training but did make for a lovely holiday. Since my return I've been active nearly every day; before I left I had a pretty active week too until the Thursday at least.

Need to get properly into the swing of things, although the calendar isn't looking great for the long rides - there'll be a few missed ones in the next few months, due to holidays (although hoping to get a bike or two done in Lanzarote) and weddings (three in six weekends from May to June).

Grrr! Pool closed!

Fitting in three pool sessions around everything else is tricky. As a result, I typically swim in the morning on Monday and Wednesday, due to other constraints. Yesterday I restricted my alcohol intake to a glass of wine with dinner, and went sure we went to bed at a reasonably sensible hour, and set my alarm for 06:45. I didn't sleep brilliantly, so I didn't quite get up then, but nevertheless I was at the pool for 07:30. I could see the pool was empty, excitingly, as I love having the pool to myself.

Unfortunately this was accompanied by a sign saying 'Pool closed until further notice' - apparently they are having technical problems. So no swim for me today :(. I hate getting up early for no good reason!

Ironman Switzerland - 22 weeks to go

Type Hours done Hours planned Total distance Max distance
Swim 1.25 3 2.3km 2.3km
Bike 5 7 107km 107km
Run 4 4 45km 26.2km
Core 0 0.5    
Total 10.25 14.5    

What went well

Excellent long bike, excellent long run, a reasonable number of training hours done.

What didn't go well

Fell off my bike, which hurt, missed a lot of swimming and cycling - mostly due to social commitments - although struggling with the front mech for an hour instead of training for an hour didn't help.

Thoughts for next week's plan

I didn't actually have a plan for this week - just a planned number of sessions. I think in general I'll continue with that - I know I want to get three swims, three bikes and three runs done per week, so it's just a matter of fitting them in where I can. Anything more structured than that seems to fail when it meets the real world.

Syndicate content