Ironman UK Training through the eyes of a first timer! Week 22 of 28!
The big news this week was that I managed to nail 2 x 47 mile IMUK circuits back to back well within my planned time for race day, but more on that in a minute!
First, I just wanted to share something that I have been meaning to for ages….
And that is about food.
My goodness what is happening to me?
I have never known hunger like it…..
I buy a loaf of warburtons fruit bread that would usually last a week and it now lasts about 24 hours.
The entire loaf gone, before you can even think about putting it under the toaster..
Worse still, it’s the combination that frightens me.
Peanut butter on the warburtons fruit bread anyone?
What the hell is going on?
Am I pregnant?
I feel like a man possessed as I ransack the cupboards night after night in some crazy, sugar enduced rage.
Entire packets of Fig Rolls are obliterated in one sitting.
When I put things like a kit kat into my stomach it feels like putting a twig onto a roaring fire, nothing happens, it just instantly evaporates….. so I gorge on the whole sleeve.
The other night my wife came into the kitchen at midnight to ask me what I was doing….
‘Making some rice’ I replied?
Also, See the picture to the left?
That is not me joking around.
That actually happened.
Cocco Pops are meant to be what my little girl has for breakfast, but now there aren’t any left….
It has got to the point where my wife actually hides food from me in a secret stash…
The final straw came when I was making my porridge the other morning.
As I reached into the fridge to get the milk, half a twix was somehow left over from the night before….
I used the twix to stir the milk into the oats before putting it into the microwave then happily chomped on the chocolate whilst I waited for my porridge to cook.
If you too are experiencing similar pangs then don’t worry, you are not alone!
Apparently it is quite common amongst trainee Ironmen!
The other thing I found is this….
You know those people that say ‘I’m training for an Ironman, I can eat whatever I want and I never put on any weight’
Well I found this to be bollocks.
My personal experience is as follows…
It doesn’t matter how much training you are doing….
If you eat a sufficient number of Kit Kats, you will still pile on the pounds!
At the start of the year, I weighed 13 stone 11.
I have been hovering around the 13 stone mark for weeks now.
Ok, I have lost 11 llbs…..whoopy doo…..
But the reason I have not made my way down into the magical 12 stone?
Simple as that!
Whilst we are on this subject, one final thing I discovered deep into Ironman Training….
There is a direct correlation between the food I eat and the way I feel the next day!
It’s almost as if when you are training for an Ironman, eating bad food gives you a hangover!
I must try and remember that next time the ‘red hunger mist’ descends! (tonight)
Here is how I got on with training this week:
Swim in Penny Flash then Babylon Lane & Back on the bike (28 miles) www.strava.com/activities/1007617487
So I am in a nice little routine now where I practice swimming in the flash every Saturday then immediately get onto my bike to ride the actual 14 mile ‘pre loop’.
For those that don’t know the IMUK bike route, once you leave the flash you cycle for 14 miles over to Babylon Lane where you pick up the main 47 Mile bike ‘Circuit’.
I was late down to the flash this week so only managed to squeeze in 1300 metres.
I wanted to do more but its my own fault for being late.
Went and collected the bike from security and have to say am loving practicing the actual 14 mile ‘pre loop’ directly after a swim.
I was within the allowance of an hour for this section and upon arriving at Babylon lane was absolutely itching to go and ‘bang out a loop’.
Thankfully I managed to resist and made my way back to the flash instead!
Sunday : Rossendale Triathlon – 400 metre swim, 21km bike, 5km run
I retuned to Rossendale Tri last weekend, the place where it all began.
I will probably never be fitter than what I am in my life right now so I was really interested to see what effect my new found fitness would have on my time.
I thought I would smash it.
I did not.
In fact I was 3 minutes slower than last year.
Two key differences:
- I found the hill climbs much easier this time round
- At the end of the race, Instead of feeling like I needed a lie down like I did first time I had a crack, this time I felt like I could easily ‘go again’
At the end of the day, point 2) above is what my journey is all about right now, So I’ll leave chasing rainbows for another day…..
Monday – Day Off
Tuesday – Gym – Weights & sauna
Wednesday 2 x 47 Mile IMUK Bike loops
Lap 1 3:08 (strava error) www.strava.com/activities/1014299874
It was a beautiful day on Wednesday, red hot with little wind, so I was well up for the bike as you can imagine.
I was really excited to see what effect going out in beautiful conditions would have on my time.
Out on the loop, I found myself caught in a very strange situation.
Part of me wanted to ‘go for it’ and try to PB.
The other part of me wanted to ‘hold back’ as I knew I had another circuit waiting for me once this one was out of the way.
I ended the loop on 3:08.
I should be pleased with this as my plan for race day is 3:30 but I wasn’t….
I had ‘the needle’ for 4 main reasons
- It felt like there was a strong wind for the last 40 minutes which agitated me.
- I was disappointed that I didn’t go sub 3.
- I was expecting the fine weather to make the circuit feel easier but it didn’t, I still had to ‘work it’
- I ended the first loop feeling considerably more fatigued than I would have liked given my performance from a time perspective.
47 Mile IMUK Loop Lap 2 – 3:22 (strava error!!) www.strava.com/activities/1014660520
After a 5 minute ‘power break’ I started lap 2 with a completely different attitude.
Forget the PB, give me 3:30 and i’m over the moon for this second lap.
I was more than a little weary as I made my way up Babylon Lane for the second time.
My energy was lifted however when I passed a girl pushing her bike up sheep House as the sun beamed down on us….
‘Alrite Babe?’ I asked her
‘No I am Not’ came the stern reply.
Got to be honest, this gave me a boost.
It was the way that she said it and the look on her face, it made me laugh.
But make no mistake, we have all been there, myself included.
I got a further boost when I hit the other side of sheep house with the clock showing 30mins, on a par with lap 1.
This time though I was going to play the course at it’s own game.
I know that loop like the back of my hand and I know exactly where all the ‘free gifts’ are.
I can’t over emphasise the advantage course knowledge gives you from a first timer perspective.
Knowing when you need to pedal and knowing when you can ‘freewheel’ – it’s gold dust.
If you are a first timer yourself, get your arse up to Bolton, I don’t care where you live. there are still 6 weeks left. Stop making excuses and get up here, get out onto the loop!
Before you start saying ‘it’s alright for you’ bear in mind that Penny Flash is still a near 2 hour round trip for me.
But if you want something, you will find a way.
Back to lap 2 and whilst I spent plenty of time in ‘cruise control’ I still had checkpoints that I wanted to hit and pushed myself to do so.
By the time I got round to Hunters Hill for the second time though, I’d had enough.
Ok, I made it up Hunters fine, but I found the last 50 minutes ‘tough going’,
I get to the point on these long rides where I am sick of pedalling and just want to get off the damn bike!!
I made it round to Babylon in 3:22 which I should be over the moon with as it was within budget of 3:30 however got to be honest….
I was spanked.
But let’s have it right, Cycling nearly 100 miles on the bike is a big ask, nice day or not.
On reflection, two things need celebrating.
First, my plan for race day is 7 hours for the two loops.
Today I did it in 6:35.
The other thing was this….
Whilst I felt considerably fatigued at the end of the bike, after about 10 minutes of ‘chilling’ by the car, my energy started to return and I felt ready to ‘kick on’.
One thing is certain – The double loops need more practice!!
Thursday : Pool Swim : 120 lengths
It comes to something when you don’t feel like you are getting going until length 90!
That was very much the case here.
I was only going to do 100 but kicked on to 120 and by the end felt like I could go forever which I was pleased with,
Friday – Gym – Weights & Sauna Session!
Next Update : 10/6/17.
Can’t believe that there are just six short weeks to go!
To your amazing journey!
Don’t miss interview with Nick Thomas who has completed 13 x Iron Distance, Double Iron, Triple Iron and Raced at Kona! – will be uploaded to blog Tomorrow morning (Sunday) @10am
Readers should not be under the illusion that I am going into this 28 week Ironman plan straight ‘off the bat’ as it is not the case.
Full details of my journey, together with the exact daily training plans that I followed for each race and of course the secrets from the Iron men themselves will be revealed in my book, which will be available to download soon.
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