With so many blogs, articles, and newsletters out there why would someone read this blog or follow it? What will differentiate what I have to say from others? Well, I’d say it’s because I’m inviting you to my journey. One that has taken me from triathlon-Olympic distance newbie to Kona-Qualified Finisher. And, with all the magazines, books, articles, and blogs I read, most of it won’t truly make an athlete grow because it’s not relatable or practical; this is insight into what I put into practice. This post is about the last 4 weeks including Transition/Prep looking back at Kona and looking forward to IMNZ, season planning, and equipment purchases.
Looking back I guzzled too much Gatorade during the week of Kona But, it hydrated me by moving me from 178lbs to 186lbs in the week leading up to the big dance. After the IM effort, flying back to Alice Springs, Australia, and eating anything I wanted, the weight solidified to that 186 number.
I did one Z2 bike ride 4 days after the race (or is it 3 because I lost a day while flying?) and then raced the 30th Alice Springs Masters games Duathlon and Triathlon for total exercise of 3.2 hours that week.
The next week I started lifting with a Tuesday lower body lift that had me sore until Sunday. 5 lifts and Z1/Z2 cycling of 223km for the week. 11.3 total training hours. No structure, just movement.
That weekend I laid out the base planning for my season which would include IMNZ and IMCairns. I had to factor in the 2 weeks we’ll be in NY/NJ for our American Thanksgiving and the 2 week cruise we’ll be doing 3 days after IMNZ. The periodization schedule of Base, Build, Peak will include a few new training sessions but really focus on getting my run to the level I want it to be. This means 3-5 swims/week, 5 days of cycling/week which will include 3 days of double sessions, and 6 runs per week with many now being Bricks.
Last season I spread quality bikes throughout the week but found that it left me too fatigued for quality runs. So I’ve adjusted this season to front load the week with bike, back load the week with run, and maintain the long run Saturday and long bike Sunday with different approaches such as splitting the long run and choosing different cycling courses to simulate the IMNZ Race Course. We’ll also run a lot more in the Outback summer heat to truly get the HR up vs inside where the HR takes significant time and speed to escalate. This is completely new to my theory of doing most work inside last season. In the end, HR was too low and quality was too low. So when I got to Kona the pace wasn’t there under the extreme conditions.
It will continue to be a work in progress as I review my library and come up with new ideas but the base plan is essentially laid out and builds upon the last 6 years.
Although leading up to my 9:22 at IMWA’15 I ran a 3:02 marathon at the end of a 30hour training week, somehow more recovery on top of my increased cycling efforts led me to a poor 3:19 in the 2016 Alice Springs Marathon. Knowing this, I’ll continue to stick to my high volume with Build weeks of 25hrs+ and keeping volume higher into the Peak Phase knowing that this works for me. This will lead me to much higher fitness levels this season.
Also, as Gold AWA’s, Fiona and I both received priority entry into Ironman Arizona. Since we plan on living there by July 2017, we added it to our race schedule in the same town as my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins.
If I am fortunate enough to qualify for Kona again, then that could be 4 IM’s next year with a real challenge of IMAZ, 6 weeks after Kona. I truly hope I get the opportunity to rise to that challenge! I did do IMNT’12, 2 months after IMCairns’12, but that was 4 years ago and my first 2 IM’s.
Training has been going really well. Already 2 weeks of 20+ hours with lots of Z2 work has included quality and improvement in the pool without falling off too much since last season, cycling that has seen an FTP drop from 357 to somewhere in the low 330’s, and runs that are very slow with high HR but in the heat and on Outback Trails.
Quality nutrition is back on with a mostly-vegan diet consisting of plenty of fruit, veg, curries, stirfry’s, and whole-grain plant-based food. VEGA Recovery and RawFusion Protein, and use of our Normatec’s. Sleep has also already improved this season with the attempt to get in bed between 9/9:30 each night.
Strava Premium has served me well over the last year but I have finally signed up for a Training Peaks Premium account to gauge my CTL, ATL, and TSB. I started without any prior season imports to start from scratch and have found various benefits such as setting up goals, events, and graphs seeing your strengths and weaknesses.
We have bought Fiona a brand new Giant AVOW Advanced Pro with SRAM RED Etap for $7,000AUD from Alice Springs Smith St Velo, and will be moving over her Quarq power meter, and ZIPP V3 wheelset over to have her on a $10,000USD setup.
We also sold her old softshell bike bag and bought a top of the line Scicon AeroTech Evolution TSA Bicycle Travel Case. This case costs $1,200USD but somehow I was able to find it at www.probikekit.com.au for $714USD. I have used a TRICO Iron Sports Case which has been amazing for me for 6 years now and love using a hard-shell case to protect these very costly bikes!
Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about the Ironman lifestyle that Fiona and I have chosen. We get to train daily keeping our bodies fit, we get to race and grow through these challenges, we get to travel to other places in the world to do what we love, and we help inspire others for letting them understand that Anything is Possible. This is the path that Fi and I have chosen fueled by the best diet to drastically reduce the risk of chronic disease, cancer, and death. And while I absolutely can’t wait to gain back and improve upon my fitness in the coming months, it’s about runs like yesterday where Fiona and I ran through the Outback Trails in the “Golden Hour” seeing a little kangaroo jump off and away that makes you realize it’s about the journey, not the destination.