Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Ironman Sweden – Training Update

It’s only 7 weeks of training until Ironman Sweden now and probably a good time to summarise the training completed and what’s still to be done.

Structured training, started in February and has consisted of 3 Base months, concentrating on high volume, Low intensity work and 1 Build month, with less volume but more race specific work. I have a second Build month before 2 weeks peak/taper remaining where I have several BT (breakthrough) sessions planned, which replicate race situations and help build confidence. All this before travelling to Kalmar for the 17th August.

Each Base month consisted of 3 weeks of increasing volume with a 4th week resting (50% volume of the 3rd week). A typical week would involve a 3.5K pool swim, 3-4 bike rides and 2-3 runs. The rides would increase in length and be a mix of commuting, turbo sessions and longer group/solo rides. The runs would be a mix of distances and paces on and off road but all with a goal of improving efficiency over race distance at race pace.

Key training sessions of the first Build month were:
5K Open water swim Race @ Eton (1:22:16)
5 hour bike ride (95 miles 7oaks-Brighton & back) 19mph ave  with 4 mile brick run
2 hour (15 mile) trail run with race fuelling 25 secs faster than IM pace
3 hour time trial (cyclopark) with race fuelling 22mph ave speed
5 hour group ride (90 miles Ashdown forest loop) 18mph ave with 4 mile brick run
2 ¼ hour road run 25 secs/mile  faster than IM pace with simulated race fuelling

Key planned training sessions for the second Build month:
London Sportive – 100 miles, aim for approx. 17.5mph ave (allowing for feed stops etc.) 5.5 hours
2 ½ hour trail run 8-8:15 min miles (approx. 18 miles)
3 ½ hour time trial (cyclopark) with race fuelling 21.5mph ave speed with 2 mile brick run @ IM pace
3 hour road run @ IM pace (8:15 min miles) 22 miles
Metric Ironman – Full IM 2.4 mile swim, 112 Km (70 mile) bike, 26.2 Km (16.3 mile) run – 7 ¼ hours)
6 hour bike ride (group) with 1 hour (7.5 mile) brick run

Key planned training sessions for the 2 Peak/taper weeks:
BT1 – 2:45 bike / 45 min run brick 2 days recovery
BT2 – 3:00 bike / 60 min run brick 2 days recovery
BT3 – 2:15 bike / 45 min run brick 2 days recovery
BT4 – 1:30 bike / 30 min run brick 2 days recovery

Race Week
Tue       60 min turbo and 5K run (all easy)  Ferry to Denmark in PM
Wed      REST                                          Drive to Kalmar
Thurs    Swim ½ (1 lap) of course              Race Registration
Fri         Easy 45 min bike/15 min run        Rack bike and bags
Sat        RACE DAY                                   
Sun       REST

So i'm hoping the body doesn't fall apart and I can continue to train smart for the next 7 weeks.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Eton 5K Swim – 27th May 2013

I’d entered this open water event for a few reasons. Firstly it would a good test to gauge my IM pace in race conditions and also it was my friend Nat’s first Open Water race (she was doing the 750m swim).

I’ve swum at Eton several times before and it’s always been pretty good there and post Olympics (where the lake was used for the rowing), I was expecting good things.

I have completed three open water swims so far this season and in each case I have suffered with the cold. It has been a colder than usual start for the year and the temp at Leybourne Lakes hasn't risen above 13 degrees. Eton was supposedly nearer 15 degrees???

It was a sunny day but cool and gusty. Registration was delayed and the car park was a good mile away, so there was a lot of walking before the race. Due to the winds and the high number of entrants, the organisers had decided to alter the course so effectively swimmers in the 5K would be swimming in both directions either side of a line of bouys for separation. With all the chop, swimmers were inevitably crossing the line of bouys and I encountered more than one head on collision. The far turn around bouy had blown over to the bank side, leaving only a meter or so for all the swimmers to pass. It was less than a meter deep here the water resembled mud soup.

That's the excuses out of the way. I swam the 10K here in 2011 in a time of 2:56 hrs. So I reckoned I should be able to swim just less that half of that. I got really cold after an hour but kept a pretty good pace/rhythm managing to stay on some faster feet periodically. The biggest problem was the 10K race was being held at the same time and these guys went out before us. So for the entire race we were lapping slower swimmers. That said, I managed 1:22:16 hrs, 29th out of about 200 swimmers, which equates to an Ironman (3800m) equivalent time of 1:02:30 - which I would settle for in Sweden come August 17th.

Eton 5K swim results 2013

The event picture of me exiting the lake looks like death! so heres a nicer one - Nat, just like Stu in the 7Oaks Tri, looks far to relaxed moments after her swim (looks like she even managed a bit of shopping).