Will Thames

swim, bike, run, tech

Four Weeks Later

I rode my bike for the first time in four weeks today, did four laps of Richmond Park. I bonked a little on the last lap, but had a gel and a bar and was ok after that. Pretty pleased with my pace, all things considered.

My goal for the London Duathlon is the least ambitious sounding goal I’ve ever come up with - to finish before the cutoff. However, as the cutoff is quite aggressive (6h30, I think), it’ll be relatively tight. I think I should be able to do the 77km bike in 3 hours, if I get my nutrition right (plan will be energy drink and water bottles, and then one gel per lap). That does leave 3h30 for the run, which is longer than I’d aim for, but Richmond Park is a hilly place, and 30km of that could easily take it out of me. And my training plan for the next fortnight will be runs in Australia when I can, and perhaps the odd swim too.

Ah well, it’s only a B race, and if nothing else it will be an endurance training session for the half marathon four weeks later. Which I really need to prepare for - I have no worries about going the distance, but I’d really like to hit 1h45, even if only because that’s what the friend I’m racing against will be aiming for too!

Getting Back in the Groove

Two weeks after Ironman, I’ve yet to regain my mojo. I have a long duathlon in early September and a half marathon in early October that I need to be prepared for, but so far I’ve run three times (admittedly one of those was a fast 5k) and swum once. I haven’t once got on the bike.

I’m not too bothered, I think it’s fairly natural, my motivation to train is diminished (especially swimming - I have no races even planned yet in which I need to swim - but it’s the area that has a lot of gains still to come), but I will get back into it.

I’m starting to think in terms of goals for next year - for example, I’d like to get towards a 2:30 olympic triathlon, towards a 3:30 marathon, towards a 20 minute 5k, and get under a 30 minute pool 1500m swim. As I’m 35 this year, I could aim for a 3:15 marathon in the next couple of years and qualify for Boston - I think there’s more chance of that than qualifying for Hawaii (slowest M35-39 qualifier in Switzerland was 9h24)!

I plan to work on swim and run technique over the next few months, moving towards a more lightweight run shoe, for example (e.g. my new Brooks Green Silence, pictured here - taken on my phone) and will consider more video swim coaching (as well as going to swim group sessions).

Interesting results from my full Ironman results - I was 386th in the swim, 390th on the bike, and 279th on the run - 346th overall. Guess my bike needs as much work as my swim! Also my first run lap (57 mins was ridiculously fast relative to the other three (all around 70 mins)).

Thought for the Day

Unless you’re actually fighting for a position, you are competing against your potential yous. Those potential yous might try harder, have a better strategy, give up earlier; beat as many of them as you can!

Ironman Switzerland Race Report

We arrived in Zurich on Thursday evening and didn’t really do much other than get to the hotel and go to bed. Friday we went to see a bit of Zurich in what turned out to be the pouring rain, before Peta returned to the hotel and I went to register and to the compulsory briefing. Registration was very efficient - took me about 5 minutes, and I then had a brief look around the expo, although the rain (or Swiss Franc prices) didn’t tempt me to do more than quickly browse. The race briefing was very thorough, and was well worth attending for my first Ironman. In the evening I went on the Nirvana-provided coach tour of the bike route, which didn’t help my confidence much but did help me realise that the hills were long and that I should take them easy and treat them with respect.

On Saturday we took it easy with a trip to Rapperswil by ferry, a quick pizza lunch and then the ferry trip back, before I took my bike to transition. Again, considering they were photographing every athlete with their bikes for security reasons, this was remarkably quick. I headed back to the hotel and we then went for a meal at the local trattoria, which was great food, although the one waiter was rushed off his feet serving everyone and it all took a little longer than I’d hoped. Got to bed just after 11, and set my alarm for 04:15!

When the alarm went off I got up, headed down for a couple of bowls of muesli and a coffee, and then went back to the room to pick up my bags and drinks ready for the race. The coach left the hotel at 5am, and headed to the Ibis to pick up the other Nirvana athletes. They were loaded on, some spectators were unloaded to make room, and we set off, arriving at the race site around 05:40. Once at the race site it didn’t take long to set up my transition area and so I put my wetsuit on and headed to the swim warm up which was supposed to open at 6am, according to the race briefing. It finally opened at 06:15, and after a quick trip to the loos I entered the water, which was beautiful - lovely and warm and clear. I didn’t swim very far, just enough to feel loose and ready to go.

After the pro start, they let us into the water at 2 minutes to go, but I hadn’t even got to the start line before the race had started, but I didn’t mind too much - better a little behind at the back than cramped up in the biff at the front. I found plenty of feet to draft off, I sighted well, and even the buoys weren’t too much of a fight. Had a couple of very minor knocks, but nothing race affecting. The channel onto the island at the end of lap one was ridiculously narrow and shallow, and I just pulled myself along the bottom using my hands, ran across the island, back in the water for lap 2. Lap two was fine too, other than the end again - this time the other side of the narrow channel, it got very congested and I was stopped at one point. I thought I could stand on the bottom, but it was too deep and this just gave me massive cramp. This caused me to panic a little, but I remembered to bend my foot and keep swimming - creates more drag and I had to thrash a bit, but by the time I was out the water the cramp was gone and I headed to T1.

T1 was ok, except that I forgot to put on my HRM before putting my gel flasks in my pockets - and the flasks fell out when putting the HRM which cost a little time (probably only fifteen seconds really). The main thing was that I was on the bike within 90 minutes, which was pretty much my swim target, so I was happy there.

Bike was a great ride, if it had been one lap rather than two it would have been a very pleasant ride in the country. I was very pleased with my uphill performance, I overtook loads of people going up (most of them on heavy timetrial bikes who then proceeded to get me back on the flat or downhills). Not bad considering my easiest gear refused to engage (not sure if the hanger got bent on the way over or something). The Beast was nowhere near as bad as it had been made out - it was no worse than a slightly longer, but more gentle, Box Hill. Heartbreak Hill wasn’t too steep either, and I took quite a few people here. I was suffering major stomach cramps at the start of lap two, and I wondered if I could survive until 120km where the next toilet was. However, I made it and after a pit stop I got back on the bike feeling nicely rested, ready for the next 60km. My bike pretty much followed race plan, which was to enjoy the flats and make the most of the downhills and tailwinds. Some people were a bit annoying and were too close to the middle of the road to overtake easily, perhaps I should have passed them earlier.

Finished the bike a little under 6 hours 30, so after around 8 hours, and had hopes for a sub-12 hour result at this point.

Doing a marathon is hard (I speak only from this one experience). I felt after 2km as if I’d already run 20km, which was a worry. My early pace was strong, and I was still on for a four hour marathon by the end of lap one, although it was close. However, I was suffering from the heat quite badly, and was very thirsty (perhaps I should have drank more on the bike?), so was having to stop at pretty much every aid station. Even the kilometres when I wasn’t stopping, I had slowed significantly. By the end of lap two my dreams of a sub-12 finish were fading (as I’d only had these dreams for a few hours it wasn’t too bad) and I just had to dig in to complete the race. If the aid stations had been less frequent I’d have had to go to a run-walk strategy, but as it was, I just ran in between them all and walked the stations.

By the third lap my stomach had settled a little too, and as I started counting down kilometres to go, it started to feel better, until the fourth lap which I managed to almost enjoy (having a blister from wet feet from all the sponges for the last 5km did not help though) - the temperature had cooled too, and I didn’t need as much energy, so managed to skip a few aid stations. Finishing the run in around 4:20 was not a bad result under the circumstances.

You can see me finish - search for 1465.

Final time was 12 hours 17 minutes. I was very happy to pull that out from the depths of the second run lap.

So, I am now officially an Ironman! It’s been a great journey over the last eight months to get here, I won’t be doing it again this year, and probably won’t do another one abroad next year, but haven’t ruled out further challenges. Middle distance triathlon is now officially my favourite though, Long distance is loooooong. Thanks to everyone who has supported me or trained with me!

Ironman! taken by Paul

I do believe I have the potential to do much better in future, I think I could shave at least 20 minutes off each of the splits with better technique in the swim, better bike fitness and more endurance for the run, but I am proud of what I have achieved and the training that I have done so far - saying I can do better is just accepting that I still have untapped potential and working to reduce my limiters and build on my strengths (such as being able to endure a 12 hour race) will not be a waste - I am still far off my potential peak.

Ironman Switzerland - 1 Week to Go

This time next week, if things are going to plan, I should be at the tail end of the marathon that concludes Ironman Switzerland.

I fly to Switzerland on Thursday, ready for a day of registering and briefing and shopping on Friday, and a day of rest (well, sightseeing) and racking on Saturday.

I’ve done my last big swim, my last big brick, everything now will be short for the taper. In terms of preparation, I could have done better - there are weeks that barely register an hour in the training log. On the flip side, there are four weeks where I did more than 14 hours.

In total I’ve done Swim: 61 hours, 118km (nearly 30 IM swim legs) Bike: 95 hours, 2143km (about 12 IM bike legs) Run: 70 hours, 740km (about 18 IM run legs)

We’ll see next week whether that’s enough to do a decent time - I’d like to do under 13 hours, ideally quite a bit under. Finishing, however, will be acceptable - if the last few weeks have taught me anything it’s not to underestimate the heat over that duration and distance.

Thought for the Day

Running is better than walking; walking is better than stopping; stopping is better than giving up.

And that’s how I’ll get through my marathon next weekend - any way I can that stops me from giving up.

Ironman Update - 2 Weeks to Go

Two weeks to go, and another hard training week done

Swim: 03h30, 8km, longest 3.8km Bike: 06h45, 178km, longest 116km Run: 03h50, 40km, longest 26km

While that’s only 14 hours, compared to last week’s 17.5 hours, 8 of those were in a single day across three disciplines

I decided to go for a Long Day, involving a swim in Taplow Lake, a long bike and then a long run

I suffered on the run and will have to devote some time to emergency run-walk strategies in case similar happens in Switzerland - not sure yet whether I’ll cope with 2km run, 1 min walk (which is what I ended up doing yesterday to some degree of success) or will need even more drastic measures. However, decent nutrition and proper hydration (including cooling) should prevent things getting as bad as yesterday.

Still a couple of things on my to-do list that I need to get fixed before the end of the week.

Plan for this week is initial taper - perhaps a week at 3/4 normal volume, and then next week at 1/2 volume.

Too Tired to Blog

I did 4km swim, 116km bike and 26km run today.

I’ll post my Ironman 2 weeks to go and update the training log later in the week…

Ironman Switzerland Race Plan

Following Joe Friel’s advice, here is my race plan:

Ironman Switzerland 2010

“Finish healthily tired”

Goal

13 hrs (01:30/07:30/04:00)

Keys for success

  • Ride consistently
  • Eat well on the bike
  • Eat something on the run
  • Drink consistently
  • Run steadily, with walk breaks for water

Race week

  • In bed by 11pm
  • No alcohol
  • No coffee
  • Day off Thursday to do local preparation (pick up bike box, pack, rest)
  • Race preparation day Friday, Family day Saturday
  • Charge computer and watch

Race day

04:15 wake up, dress, prepare race bottles 04:30 breakfast - one coffee, some cereal, toast 05:00 coach leaves hotel 06:00 body marking? 06:05 Sunscreen on 06:20 Bike ready: low gear, bottles, computer attached, tyres pumped, towel down, socks and armwarmers prerolled 06:25 Run ready: run shoes in place, watch, food in place 06:35 Wetsuit on, body glide applied, goggles under hat 06:45 flush wetsuit and short swim if possible 07:00 We’re off!

Swim

Aim: 01:30 Start at the back left Keep out of everyone’s way, and then just swim smooth and slow until I’m finished Sight well, swim straight

T1

Turn computer on Finish removing wetsuit, goggles, cap Helmet on Dry feet Socks on Shoes on Race belt on Food in pocket Take bike to mount line GO!

Bike

Aim: 07:30 “Make most of flat!”

0-30km flat 30-35km 100m ascent 35-45km flattish 45-52km down 52-57km big up 57-65km down then smaller up 65-70km big descent 70-83km flat 83-85km Heartbreak up and down 85-120km flat 120-125km 100m ascent 125-135km flattish 135-142km down 142-147km big up 147-15km down then smaller up 155-160km big descent 160-173km flat 173-175km Heartbreak up and down 175-180km flat

Computer will be set to beep every 10km - which will be every 24mins, on average After first 10km and then at 100km, eat bar, wash down with water. Drink a small amount of energy drink as I feel Drink from gel flask and wash down with water every 10km that I’m not eating a bar Refill water at 60km if need be as no more water for another 60km! Energy drink will be refreshed through packets of SIS Go that can be emptied into bottle.

Aim to make the most of the flat sections by travelling at around 30kph, and take the climbs nice and easy.

T2

Stop bike computer Rack bike Helmet off Turn watch on Gloves off Bike shoes off Run shoes on Move race belt round Swap to run food GO! Start watch

Run

Aim 04:00 “Finish strong”

Four laps of 10.55km. First lap should feel relatively easy, last lap very hard, but aim is to finish strong.

Target pace of 05:39/km, this allows 6 seconds/km break - so after 5km I can stop for 30seconds or walk for 1 min. This means that I can take on water regularly (both drink and for cooling if very hot)

One shot blok before a water stop at around every 5km, with two taken every ten.

Ironman Switzerland - 3 Weeks to Go

After a couple of slack training weeks in which I recovered from Bala, had our wedding anniversary and then went to California, it was time to get back into proper training.

While all my training can be seen on the Training Log, a quick summary of this week shows: Swim: 3 hours, 5.5km (approx) - longest 4km Bike: 10h45, 258km - longest 180km Run: 3h50, 39km - longest 32km

That’s 17.5 hours training! Almost certainly my biggest ever.

It’s been a hard week with the weather so warm (for here) - I’m not used to training in such temperatures, although this week plus my runs in California must be helping the acclimitisation process! I’ve got to hope it’s cooler in Zurich, but train as if it won’t be.

Next week will be my last hard week. With the work summer party on Friday, I’m taking a rest day on Saturday and then doing a ‘Long Day’ on Sunday - I’ll aim for a 4km lake swim, 110km bike and 26km bike (the latter two being ‘metric IM legs’, seems a waste to do a metric lake swim to shave half an hour off the day). After next week, I start tapering down.

Things to do in the next couple of weeks

  • Hire a bike box (I have a contact, just haven’t heard back yet)
  • Get some straps to tie glasses on with
  • Finalise race day strategy planning
  • Find orange handlebar tape (my wheels aren’t matching my bars, terrible)

Bala Middle Distance 2010

Pre-race

I arrived at Bala at around 4pm on Saturday so that I could registration out of the way and have time to just chill out. Saturday afternoon had glorious weather, the view out onto the lake was awesome. Quite a few people took advantage of the offer to swim the course - I figured I’d just save energy for the race. Lots of Pirates were gathered on the lake front.

After checking into my B&B, I rested up for a bit before heading into town where I grabbed a takeaway hawaiian pizza for dinner, eating it up on the castle mound. It was then time for the England v USA match - I found a suitable pub serving real ale and settled down to watch the game. It wasn’t particularly enjoyable, and some of the locals cheering USA at the end had a fair point! I stuck to two pints, and made sure I had water later.

I slept reasonably well considering, and got up at around 6.40 to organise myself before breakfast which I’d organised for 7am. I had scrambled eggs with lots of toast, and didn’t seem to suffer for it later. I left for the race at 7.30, got to the rugby club, checked my tyres and headed to race HQ to pick up my chip and get marked.

One mistake I made was dressing for the race - so once I got to transition I was wandering around in just my triathlon gear, and my arm warmers didn’t do quite enough. In the end I had to get into my wetsuit to protect myself from the wind - next time I’m taking a jacket and trousers.

After the race briefing we were offered a dip in the lake, which I took to flush my wetsuit - but getting in and out of the lake was excruciating as the floor was very stony.

Swim

Once back in the lake to start the race, via the counting pen, the race got off in fairly short order. I stayed to the back of the wave, and didn’t encounter too many people in the way. Lack of practice in my wetsuit this year really showed, and I spent a while just getting into a comfortable rhythm. I also hadn’t used bodyglide high enough on my neck, so it was a bit itchy. There were times that I definitely didn’t take the straightest line between buoys, but nothing major. It was a swim I was happy with, except for the exit - here again the rocky floor took its toll on me - I pretty much had to pull myself horizontally along the floor until I had to stand, and gingerly exited, stumbling quite a bit (my balance is terrible after a swim at the best of times). I suspect I lost two or three minutes just exiting!

Bike

I took my time putting on gloves, arm warmers, socks and other cycle comfort clothes, ready for the 80km cycle ride. My heart rate monitor wasn’t working well (doesn’t seem to after a swim - perhaps I should just put it on after the swim) so I just paced myself on feel, which worked just fine. On the outbound section, I noticed that I was struggling even on the flat and on small descents (e.g. grades of -1 or -2%) - I realised this was because I was cycling into the wind. One concern on the way out was that I realised I was accumulating altitude debt - the section finished much lower than it started. At the turnaround point I was about 1h33 into the bike, so was relatively happy with my pacing. On the way back, I had to repay the altitude debt, but I was benefited by wind credit - I found even 1% or 2% climbs no worse than I expected normal flats to be - the end result being that I negatively split the bike loop.

While on the bike I had an energy bar after 20 mins, and then just sucked on my gel flask (containing around 7 gels) every so often (it was pretty much empty by the end). I used around half of my 800ml energy drink.

Run

I racked my bike, took my gloves off, I removed my left armwarmer, I put on my run watch, changed shoes, took my helmet off and headed out. In this process I forgot to remove my right armwarmer, pick up my run food (a pack of clif shot bloks) or move my number belt to the front. The kids at run exit told me the latter (I suspect they were telling a lot of people, but handy to be told). I set off on my run, trying to get my watch started as I went - it took about 600m to pick up the satellites (should have started it going as I entered T2 really - I turned on the bike computer as I got to T1). Having the watch tell me my pace every kilometre is quite handy to ensure I don’t go off too fast, but I was mostly pacing the hilly run by feel anyway. As I hit the 7km mark, I felt great considering I was a third of the way through. After that, it really started hurting as I did the 100m of altitude gain between 7km and 10km. Still, settled into a pace that as comfortable as it was ever going to be, and just pressed on. It wasn’t pleasant, but hitting the turnaround was a great psychological boost as I knew it was mostly downhill. I stopped to actually drink the water rather than sip and pour over my head, as I was feeling a little thirsty, but it must have cost me around 10 seconds - a price I was very willing to pay. The downhills were naturally faster than the ups but only the 11th km was much faster as there were still some ups on the return. By the time I hit around 17km, I was feeling it quite hard - I finished the last squeeze of gel at the last water stop and then just pushed on to the finish - I desperately wanted to finish strong, tempting though it was to slow down. My last two and a half kms were at a good pace and I really tore through the last kilometre, to finish well.

My half marathon personal best is 1h51 on an almost entirely flat Grand Union Canal (there were a few bridges and more human traffic there) so getting 1h48 on a 20km run with 170m of climb, after a 2km swim and 84km bike was astonishing to me. My target time for the Royal Parks Half has gone down by 5 mins now!

My results

Swim: 00:44:09 (515th) T1: 00:04:29 Bike: 03:00:25 (452th) T2: 00:02:09 Run: 01:48:03 (344th)

Total time: 05:39:17 (441st out of 662 starters)

I was extremely happy with that time, particularly as I had predicted a 6h30 time - I beat my bike prediction by 20 mins and my run prediction by nearly half an hour!

Lessons learned

This race was intended to be practice for Ironman Switzerland and also to give me confidence that my training is going well. I think it succeeded on both counts.

  • My wetsuit rubs a lot higher on my neck than I thought
  • Have a jacket and spare trousers for before and after the race to stave off the cold
  • Don’t drink too much pre-race, it’ll just be uncomfortable
  • Openwater swim practice is important!
  • Don’t forget to take run nutrition - I got away with it on the run here, but wouldn’t on an IM run!

One Week to Bala

A break from my Ironman updates (7 weeks until IMCH) - it’s only a week until my first race of the season! I’m expecting it to be a fabulous race - everything I’ve heard about Bala has been positive (except that it’s a bit hard).

In terms of readiness, I’m reasonably happy - while my training hasn’t been 100% in the last few months, it’s been reasonable given the circumstances. I know I can do the distances (at least individually!) and the climbs, so I’m not expecting too many problems. I’m now well tested at puncture repairs (although need to stock up on spare tubes!). There are three things missing from my kit list, but all race kit is well tested, as is race nutrition (although haven’t fully decided on nutrition strategy yet - whether to stick purely to gels plus water or use energy drink and shot bloks too).

Car is booked, accommodation is booked (with much thanks to Gareth at Bala TIC who sorted that out for me), so it’ll be a nice gentle week tapering ready for the race.

Predictions: 2km swim: 0:45; 80km bike: 3:20; 20km run: 2:15. T1+T2: 0:10; Total: 06:30

Ironman Switzerland - 8 Weeks to Go

This week was a solid training effort, although it was spread over 8 days to make the most of the bank holiday weekend - I did the long bike on Saturday and the long run today so that I could enjoy family time at the Wetland Centre (and the Stonemasons Arms for Sunday roast).

Not only did I set personal distance records in all three sports, I actually did more of each discipline this week than is in the Ironman race - this is a first for me (perhaps a late first for this stage of training, but I’m still happy with that).

Swim: 6.7km total, 4.1km longest (108% of IM swim) Bike: 227km total, 155km longest (86% of IM bike) Run: 56km total, 35.8km longest (85% of IM run)

Hoping to fit in a reasonable training week in the next 6 days before I start a small taper for Bala - a wedding on Saturday means that I can’t do a long run and long bike, so I’ll do a medium distance brick on the Sunday.

Nearly prepared for Bala - car hire sorted, accommodation looks close to being sorted, so just need to find (or buy) a few things on the checklist (number belt, bodyglide, glasses cords). Oh, and my wetsuit needs to turn up (apparently it should be with me this week)

Ironman Switzerland - 9 Weeks to Go

With nine weeks left, I’ve had my slackest week since I went skiing (and probably got more fitness benefit from that). In fairness, I always knew I wasn’t going to get much done in nine days away in Scotland - the fact I did a 27km hilly offroad run was probably more surprising than if I’d done nothing. Holiday and training just don’t mix well for me - I usually try and fit too much in to days as it is.

Still, I now have two weeks to get some proper training in before I have a small taper for Bala (as it’s not my A race and I’m nowhere near overtrained I’ll probably taper less than I plan to for IMCH).

Following yesterday’s short bike and today’s slow 10km, plans for the rest of the week include Tues: swim, bike; Weds: run; Thurs: bike; Fri: swim; Sat: long bike; Mon: long run

Ironman Switzerland - 12 Weeks to Go

A mixed week this week - happy with my running and swimming leaving, as usual, my cycling to be unhappy about. It was all looking so good until today - an unprecedented 70km done before the weekend, with my first weeknight outing to Richmond Park, and a strong session on the rollers. Tiredness, lethargy, bad weather and disorganisation combined today to knock a large hole in my plans, and the 150km long ride that I’d planned at one point turned into a 60km set of circuits around Richmond Park.

Talking of Richmond Park, I’ve entered the London Duathlon. This year they have an Epic version - 20km run, 80km bike, 10km run. Of course I signed up for that one, in spite of the cut off of 6h30 - which is pretty much my estimated time (2hrs, 3h30, 1hr), if you don’t include transitions! There will be a few minutes I can shave off here and there, but it will be close! I have a suspicion that after 10 laps of Richmond Park, I may never want to see the place again!

On the positive side this week, I did my longest ever run, of 32km. Of course come 25 July I’ll have to do an extra 10km on top of that, after having just swam nearly 4km and biked 180km.

Why Do I Do It to Myself

So, I’ve had my confirmation of my Bala entry confirmed.

Apparently it was rated one of the UK’s 10 toughest triathlons in 2007.

The bike doesn’t look too bad - about 650m climbing, the run could be the harder section with 150m altitude gain.

The Bala distances aren’t quite half the ironman distances - it’s a 2km swim (vs 1.9 for HIM), 80km bike (vs 90km), 20km run (vs 21km).

Taking that into account, I’m hoping to do it in a bit under half my IMCH target - so under 7 hours, with 00:50 swim, 03:20 bike, 02:15 run - allowing ridiculously slow 10 min for each transition (difficult to halve transition times while practising for the main event) that should be 06:50. However, failure to meet this is fine if it results in a learning experience for IMCH - this is not my A race. Things I do want to practise are nutrition and to see if I can survive in trikit or should have a full change in the main event.

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.