Thursday, 16 February 2012

16 days until.....

Wow, IMNZ has come around so fast. It was always going to be challenging backing up IMWA with another race just 13 weeks later and it has definitely been a learning experience in listening to my body and adapting my training to suit.

A short summary since Busso would be that I have found getting through the training hard, particularly running, there is no doubt that Ironman racing takes a pretty big toll on your body so my initial weeks getting back into it were largely bike and swim based.

Essentially since Busso I had 3 weeks of almost complete rest with next to no training, then a solid 7 week block. I’m now into week 8 and starting to ease down a bit before the real taper begins with 2 weeks to go.

I’ve found running the hardest part so have tried to adopt a ‘little and often’ type of approach rather than hitting as many big sessions as I would have done pre Busso. This chart shows my runs over the equivalent 7 week blocks in the build up, I’ve actually run more often for NZ (column on the right) than I did pre Busso but the average session distance has been 11.1k compared to 14.2k. Overall volume is only about 60k less over the whole 7 weeks though which considering where I was starting from is a good outcome.

I made some huge gains in my swimming pre-Busso and was pleased with my swim time there. I’ve taken a calculated decision to back off the swimming a little in this build, mainly as I think I can generate more time savings through additional bike focus whereas I am starting to get to the point with my swimming where the gains are pretty marginal and the time/effort required to achieve them is significant.

That’s not to say I haven’t been swimming though, I’ve still been consistent in the pool as well as getting some wetsuit time in. A highlight has to be the Williamstown 2k swim on Australia day – one of the roughest bay swims I have done but still managed a decent time.

(As a quick side note – I managed to swim a 1.26 100m during our main set the other day, not sure who was more surprised, me or Ben (coach) but that has to be a good sign that I’m still getting faster!!!)

If you ask me what my best leg in triathlon is, my natural answer would always be the bike, however, whilst that seems pretty true over the shorter distances, I’ve not really shown it over the Ironman.

So in recent weeks, I’ve dropped a swim each week and replaced it with an extra ride. I’ve also been doing all I can to get the most out of my weekend rides, and doing lots of good quality work at above my intended race intensity. I’ve hit some decent sessions in training so confidence in this part is returning. And 2,360km in 7 weeks is not to bad either!


I don’t think you ever really feel ready for these events but I’ve really worked hard over these last 7 weeks and I think mentally, as much as physically I am ready to get into that taper and then execute the race plan.

I’m really looking forward to getting to NZ, I only hear good things about Taupo and the local support for the event and for once my weather concerns are more in relation to cold and wet rather than stressing about the heat. I’ve trained in all sorts of conditions in this build up so feel like I’m ready for what the day will throw at me. Standard conditions over there look to be a relatively cool start to the day with top temperature in the low 20s with a reasonably high chance of showers/rain, I’d take that over 36 degrees any day!

Ironman Melbourne
I had an interesting email from one of my good friends the other day talking about having the motivation to get out and do the hard yards in your build up to an Ironman.

One of the things that I loved this weekend was heading down to Geelong and doing my long run whilst lots of the guys did the long course race out there, many as prep for Ironman Melbourne in 5 weeks time. I was able to be out on the bike course and watch the pro’s, then get back in time to give everyone a good shout as they fought their way around the run course. I know that for me, having people who know what you put yourself through to get to the start line for these events either cheer you on or race with gives you a massive boost and watching the guys that I train with reap the rewards of their hard work was the motivation I needed to see this training program right through to the end.

So post NZ, whilst I have some different racing goals in mind (will do a post on that later) my next focus will be having an awesome day as a spectator in Melbourne. I’ll be looking to pick up a few tips from the professional Ironman supporter (i.e. Erika) but really looking forward to getting out there on the course and doing my little bit to help people get through it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rob, I must say thanks so much for cheering me on during Geelong this weekend, and I fully subscribe to your thoughts on how it motivates both ways! I am looking forward to receiving your support on 25 March!