Month 1 Roundup-Ironman Mont-Tremblant Training

Wow where did March go?! January and February were pretty quick for my pre-training plan months but March flew by and I know April is going to go quickly as I’m traveling quite a bit this month. March was the kickoff of my official training plan and it didn’t disappoint. One thing I know I have learned from listening to others, reading blog posts and having trained for triathlons in the past, there are days where you are not going to feel like working out but you have to pull yourself together and get it done and then there are other days where training will actually be detrimental to you and your health and its best to let your body rest.

I experienced both sides of the coin on this one as I got (what I am now understanding) is my yearly March cold. Thankfully, it didn’t kick my butt nearly as much as last year but it did keep me off of my feet for a weekend a workday. I had zero energy, chest congestion, mild fever and sore throat. I don’t think I lost much fitness as the last week of the month was fairly strong all things considered (Read: Week 4 Training Recap).

Looking ahead to the next couple of months I know a couple of things. April is going to be tough due to travel and being in New York for the full work week towards the end and I’ll be doing some travel. Some of which I just got back from. May is fairly open and since I didn’t get to compete in Clermont, I am most likely going to race my hometown’s sprint triathlon in the middle of the month just to get a tri under my belt before going to Ironman Raleigh 70.3.

Raleigh is at the very end of May which leaves me two and half solid months of training with no races and very little travel. I planned it purposely so hopefully all goes to plan!

Here’s what my first “official” month of Ironman training looked like:

Swim – 15,650 yards, 5:11

Bike – 155 miles, 10:19

Run – 47.3 miles, 9:19

Race – Gate River Run 15k

Total time: 26 hours. 220.6 miles

Longest week: 7:48

Shortest week: 4:37 (sick week)

My focus has been and will continue to be Quality over Quantity. There is no use for junk miles in Ironman training. Nor is there much use for high heart rate work except on certain days. This is a tortoise and the hare kind of race where slow and steady does much better! I do need to get better about getting certain workouts done by getting up early in the morning. Lately, I’ve been better about it but I will admit its been a struggle.

With the above stated, this does not mean that I won’t be getting long rides and runs in though my long runs won’t come near those of my rides as I know through all of this training, my endurance will be built up for race day and I will get it done on the run. My main concern right now is the bike first and foremost followed by staying consistent with my swimming and running.

Hope you’re training is going well…swift feet and tailwinds.

Week 4 Ironman Mont-Tremblant Training

The last week of the first month of training was fairly solid and ended on a long ride of 44 miles on the Ironman Florida 70.3 course in Haines City. I got in three solid sessions of yoga early in the week and two good swim sessions of 2275 yards and 2000 yards. I purposely focused on biking and swimming this week as my running is solid right now and I knew the next two weeks were going to be running filled with Run til Your Boared 16k and Ragnar Trail Relays the following weekend.

I did a Power Hour workout on Tuesday on the Wahoo Kickr and a 5 mile run heart rate test to establish a base of heart rate zones moving forward. During that run, the sky was looking iffy but there was no way I was going to go to the treadmill after the day I had had. I headed out and did a loop our my neighborhood before going east toward some open sidewalks. The clouds were gathering and getting darker. I am not one for being outside in a storm but can appreciate them safely tucked inside my home.

Well, as I made the turn to go back, I faced a black wall of clouds with heavy drops coming down. Considering this was a heart rate test, I was already running hard but soon there was cracking of lightning going on so I pushed harder and ended up under the overpass of the interstate. I was there for our about 10 minutes with people wizzing by and trying to remain calm with the lightning overhead.

Eventually, it calmed down and I headed back out into the pouring rain. to finish up the rest of the run towards home. There’s something about running in the rain that just makes you feel like a badass but I have to admit I felt like a stupid badass due to the lightning.

Anyways, for the three main miles in between the warm up and cool down, I produced the following statistics:

Mile 1 – 8:46 – average heart rate: 166

Mile 2 – 8:34 – average heart rate: 171

Mile 3 – 8:32 – average heart rate: 169

These miles were hard but controlled and obviously not an all out sprint. When I have a chance this week, I will work on my actual zones but I have a pretty good idea of where I am comfortable heart rate wise for certain distances.

The week ended with a trip to South Florida and day spent in Haines City (home of Lego Land) to ride the IMFL 70.3 course. This was my third time riding here and first on my own. I had forgotten that most of the course does not have bike lanes since I was usually in a group. It was unseasonably chilly that morning so I was worried about being warm enough but thankfully I keep all sorts of things in my car and had my bright pink wind breaker with me.

For the most part, the drivers were courteous because they are used to cyclists in the area especially with race day 2 weeks away. There were some people who were obnoxious to me on purpose which I really did not appreciate. What really got me though out on the course were the heavy winds that day.

The winds were so bad that when you had a good down hill you either didn’t get much momentum, enough that even in my hardest gear I was still pedaling, or that the wind was coming across and you had to get out of area position to keep from getting blown over. The hills there are fair, nothing too crazy, but the added wind definitely slowed things down. My legs felt better than the last time I rode this which was late Spring last year and my saddle issues were definitely better. Eventually, I had enough of the wind and cut the course short by going up some more hills and not adding in the last loop part. I have no qualms with this as the wind did me in!

I got in 44 miles in 2:40. Certainly not my fastest ride but a stronger ride due to the wind. I also wasn’t looking at my pace but rather my heart rate. I didn’t do laps or anything so I have just the entire ride’s data. I had an average heart rate of 140 with a max of 169 and an elevation gain of 1090 feet at 16.3 mph. I did start the ride out of aero position in the small chain ring for about 20 minutes or so bringing down the average.

Due to the cold and wind, I have zero pictures from my day in Haines City but oh well!

Here are my weekly totals:

Swim: 4275 yards, 1:31

Bike: 63.6 miles, 3:40

Run: 5 miles, :46

Yoga: three sessions

Total for the week: 7:23

Weeks 1-3 Ironman Mont-Tremblant Training

While I have been “unofficially, officially” training for Ironman Mont-Tremblant since the New Year, my official training plan kicked off on Monday, March 2 with….a Rest Day! I started my first official week by being in Atlanta for work Wednesday-Friday, forcing me to reorganize workouts and take another rest day that Friday.

Week 1 Workouts

Swim: 2200 yards

Bike: 2 hours 46 minutes

Run: 17 miles, 2:58

Crosstrain: 1:30

Total Time: 7:49

Heading into week 2 of training was race week for the Gate River Run 15k (race report here). With the Gate being my last stand along running event until after Ironman, I wanted to feel a bit fresher on Saturday morning. I didn’t taper or anything but I watched my pacing and efforts. Tuesday night’s bridge run with the group meant pulling back the reigns a bit and not getting caught up in other’s run.

Interesting to note, those who pushed it Tuesday night, actually finished behind me. This is NOT a brag but a key point in training and knowing when to simply go easy and save it for race day. These folks are awesome people and runners.

Baldwin-Trail last Sunday

Baldwin-Trail last Sunday

Week 2 Workouts

Swim: 5700 yards

Bike: 1:51 (recovery ride Sunday after the Gate)

Run: 16.27 miles, 3:00

My rest day was the Friday before the race where I was able to enjoy the expo and get a good night’s sleep in my own bed before race day. I did have three solid swim days too!

Weeks 1 and 2 in Training Peaks

Weeks 1 and 2 in Training Peaks

Now, going into Week 3, my focus was on my upcoming, first triathlon of the season in Clermont, FL. Monday was an enjoyable rest day with Mr. Memphis and I going to the beach. It was too nice of a night to pass up. I’m sure glad we went as we both had a good time and he got to run up and down as many sand dunes as he wanted.

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On Tuesday, I noticed my appetite was pretty much non-existent which for me is rather unusual as I’m normally counting the minutes until my next snack or meal. I was stressed that day from work stuff so I decided to go the trails and run there to switch things up. Wednesday morning I awoke with a headache but this has been somewhat of an ongoing thing so other than being really annoying, I didn’t put too much stock into it.

I headed out Wednesday morning for my first early ride around my area. I noticed the effort felt harder than what was registering on my watch and wind was a non-factor so I chalked it up to just an off ride. Later that day, during a long conference call, my throat got sore. I was hoping it was just dry and from talking but as I headed to the pool for a swim after work, there was no denying that I was getting sick.

Sure as sh**, I woke up Thursday morning with a really bad sore throat and feeling lethargic. I was told to go home but I actually didn’t have any where to go as my apartment was getting a bug treatment sometime during the day so both Memphis and I had no where to go. Of course, they didn’t come until the end of the day so for the first few hours I was home, we dealt with bug fumes. I decided yogurt would help my sore throat and it did so it was a lovely dinner of fro-yo!

When I woke up Friday, I felt ok, not great but better than the day before. People at work asked me if I was still going to race and I said yes barring anything dramatically changing the next day. I was even able to go to a nice dinner and dine al fresco with Tom Friday evening but come Saturday morning when Memphis and I went for our morning walk, I was coughing up lovely greeness and feeling my breathing catch due to my lungs being filled with yuckiness. I was able to cancel that night’s hotel reservation without penalty and laid on the couch or in bed the rest of the day. I made a trip to Publix to get food and essentials and that all but wiped me out. After that trip, I knew I made the right decision to for-go the race.

Seeing everyone’s pictures throughout the weekend was sad but I knew I was in no shape to race. But more than that, this race was a C race, one to shake off the rust and go through the motions. The goal of the season was not to PR in Clermont; the goal is take on Mont-Tremblant and get there with a healthy body. It has taken me years to put things into perspective when it comes to my athletic pursuits. Had something like this happened when I was younger, it would have really brought me down mentally and probably affect me health even more. Now I understand and appreciate the time I have to train when preparing properly and know that missing this one race does not mean ruining the whole season of training.

While I don’t have another triathlon between now and Ironman Raleigh 70.3, I do plan on doing a mock tri or at least part of it to go through my transitions. I feel confident in this plan and will execute it to my best ability. So while the third week of training was not great due to my sickness, it is what it is. I now have set the goal for this fourth week to hit all of my workout sessions even if it means cutting back the intensity or duration so that I get all disciplines in. I am also ramping up the bike sessions as I have focused more on the run and swim as of late.

Week 3 Workouts

Swim: 1800 yards (cut short when I had nothing left in the tank)

Bike: 1:00, 16.4 miles

Run: 45 minutes on the trail

Looking Forward to Week 4

Today, I am feeling much better and was able to start the day off with some yoga. Since today is technically my day off and I want to be smart, I am not doing anything other than errands and another session of yoga tonight along with foam rolling and stretching. I’m vowing to get back on the yoga wagon.

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I am also going to try BodyPump at the Y this week to see if its a good fit for strength training as I’m really lacking in this area and want to add muscle back. I’ll try that on my swim days (Wednesday and Friday). I’m also going to try out the Beta version of Zwift, a competitive, gaming platform for trainer sessions. I’ve heard good things so hopefully I find it useful as well. This Saturday is a long ride of 2:00 and then Sunday is the first bigger brick session of the year with an hour ride and 20 minute run plus a swim later that day. I’m looking forward to a full week of training (hopefully without any interruptions).

Here’s to a happy week of training!

PS if you’re looking for great yoga videos that provide many different focuses especially for runners and triathletes, I highly recommend the Yoga with Adrienne YouTube Channel :) 

yoga