Sunday, 31 August 2008

Training so far

Since entering th event in July (about 7 weeks ago), the numbers stack up as follows:

Swim - 15.5km (9.7 miles)
Bike - 1,075km (672 miles)
Run - 229km (143 miles)

This includes a 9 day period of complete rest. I've known some people who really struggle to do no training, I'm pleased to say that I am not yet that obsessed with being fit as I found it pretty easy to do nothing!

My ironman focussed training only started a couple of weeks ago and I am starting to build my endurance up from the distances that I am comfortable with so am currently running for 1hour 45 inutes and riding about 4 hours. I've also joined the gym next to work which has a 20m pool, not ideal but means that it is much easier to swim regularly which can only be a good thing for me.

My run today was pretty hard going, but got through to the end of 1hour 47 minutes, lesson learned was that I need to take more water out with me next time!

Tomorrow holds a ride down to Folkestone, my aim is to ride for 4 hours 15 mins and then do a slow 20 min jog straight off the bike. The ride down took me about 3hours 45 last time I did it so I will have to do a bit of a tour of the coast when I get down there to make up the time, I hope that the hill around Folkestone does not cauce me as many problems as last time (nearly fell off I was going so slowly), I may stop at the top and take some pictures this time to prove to all the people in Melbourne that England is a nice place!

The Plan

How do you complete an Ironman?? I learnt a lot from doing a half Ironman, mainly that despite being confident of being able to complete the distances without too much trouble, stringing them all together on race day is pretty hard to do. I was pleased with my Geelong time, although in hindsight, I went a bit to fast on the bike, didn't concentrate enough on my nutrition whilst running and as a result had a real fight with my body for the last few k's!

Luckily there were plenty of people there to help me through the low points and I felt amazing to complete the race.

Those that have trained with me over the last year or so have probably picked up on some obsessive compulsive traits! For one thing, can no-one please challenge me to do anything stupid, who said that riding 1,000km in a week was a good idea? (done in 6 days for those who were not there to witness!). I also like my numbers and always keep track of exactly what training I have done. Part of the reason for writing this blog is for me to keep track of the training that I am doing, and also give some other people an idea of what I am up to.

So what do I want to achieve? Well, number 1 priority is to complete the event, 17 hours is the time limit so anything under that and I will be happy to be an Ironman.

I'm not too concerned about my time, there are so many things that can happen on the day that I don't want to put too much pressure on myself to achieve a particular time, although 12 hours is a nice round number that would be my ultimate goal for this one.

I've done plenty of research on how to train for these events and have already been bugging those people that have done an Ironman before for advice so am pretty confident that if I stick to my plan I should achieve my aims.

My training plan through to the end of this year is to basically work on my base fitness and get my endurance up, this means lots of long and relatively slow bike and run sessions, I want to be comfortable with running for 2.5hours and riding for 6 hours, as well as swimming with some consistency.

I know that I have the determination to achieve this, just needs some careful planning to fit it all in with work and other committments!

A brief history...

So how did I end up here? Well, I left for Melbourne a bit overweight and very unfit and then enjoyed the culinary delights for a few months and became more overweight and no fitter.

After a couple of fun runs to try and address the problem, I stepped into Erika's team for a corporate triathlon in March 2007. From that point on I have not looked back, got progressivly fitter and managed to shed a fair bit of weight in the process which was great. This all culminated in me completing a half ironman in Geelong in February 2008, just a year after taking up the sport.

It was in the run up to that race and being part of a major achievement in so many people's lives that put the Ironman thought in my head, although originally I thought I would leave it for a few years before attempting that somewhat stupid challenge.

That didn't last long though, after leaving all of my triathlon buddies back in Australia I felt that I needed a major focus to help me stay committed to the training so decided that I would enter an Ironman for the following year.

These races are pretty hard to get in to and I had initially wanted to do Ironman Germany in Frankfurt but that was already fully booked so decided that I would go for Ironman Austria instead, the online entires opened a couple of days later and I managed to get an entry.

With the London triathlon to do in August I decided that I would get through that and then start planning out my training for the coming year, and come up with a plan for achieving this new goal