This is the fourth installment of my triathlon training update series. Until now, most of the focus has been on the running discipline, this was to get me ready for the TOKYO MARATHON 2019 where I was amazed to run a 3:01.09 marathon and potentially qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2020. Now that is out of the way, the focus is fully on Ironman 70.3 Mallorca which is now two months away. Whilst my primary goal for Mallorca is to do better than I did in each discipline at Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire 2018 I am fully aware that different courses and different weather conditions can make comparing times difficult, but if I can improve my age group position across the board then that is a good measure of how I am progressing. The ultimate goal is to get into the top three for my 35-40 age group. Not something that will happen overnight but hopefully consistent progress can lead me in the right direction.
Another goal for Mallorca, whilst not high on the list but something I would really LOVE to do and be so proud of, is to finish within 114% of my age group winning time. If I could achieve that, then I could possibly qualify for the Team GB Age Group team. I think I would need to improve my IM Staffs time by at least 45 minutes to be in with a shout. A tall order but something to aim at.
Week 13 – 4th – 10th March
After running the Tokyo Marathon on the 3rd March, this week was all about recovery.
I got back home at 9pm on Monday and was up at 6am Tuesday to a 4-day training course with work. Not my ideal way to get over the jetlag and post-marathon blues but needs must.
Tuesday evening I had a 50min easy ride on the turbo, just something to get the legs moving again.
I had my first post-Tokyo run on Thursday, just a 49min easy run with a few intervals to put some steady pace into the legs.
Thursday & Friday mornings were swims, both went well and again, nothing too taxing.
Friday evening I didn’t feel very well, I was starting to come down with a cold. Not a surprise given I had run a marathon in the 2’c wind & rain on Sunday and then throw in some jetlag and ave of 4:50min sleep over the last 10 days, it was never going to end well.
Saturday was a rest day anyway which was lucky. I was due a 1:50 longer easy ride on Sunday but I just had no energy and the cold was taking hold by then so I decided to rest up and get better before returning to training. Time to listen to the body, it has been through a lot over the last four weeks.
- Swim – 5,441 yrds, 1hr 39mins
- Bike – 18 miles, 50mins
- Run – 5.7 miles, 49mins
Week 14 – 11th – 17th March
I was also on the training course this week which had made it difficult to plan in the swim sessions. This didn’t end up being a problem as I was not well all week. Monday the cold was clearing but my sinuses were blocked and I was feeling really dizzy and having difficulty just walking.
Monday’s 40min easy ride, Tuesday’s 55min Tempo Run and swims on Friday & Sunday were all missed.
I did manage to do a 1hour easy interval session on the turbo on Wednesday, this wasn’t great, I felt terrible and really struggled but being on the turbo meant I had no issues with balance at least.
My daughter was then ill Thursday afternoon through to Sunday. I had to cut my course short on Thursday to collect her from nursery and then took the day off on Friday to look after her.
Friday evening my head was feeling a little better so on Saturday afternoon I went out to my local Parkrun course and ran a 5k to cover the March NYRR virtual 5k run. I gave it everything but with the head not being 100% and still not fully over a cold I only managed a 19:59, which is still a good time, but 2 minutes off where I want to be.
Sunday’s plan was a 2:30 hilly tempo ride. I opted to do this on the turbo to stay in the warmth and cover off any balance issues. It turned out to be a really good ride, I felt strong and fast covering 46.5 miles at 18.6mph. I was really pleased with that given how the last 10 days had gone.
- Swim – 0 yrds, 0mins
- Bike – 65.6 miles, 3hr 31mins
- Run – 4.2 miles, 29mins
Week 15 – 18th – 24th March
This week was hard week. My coach showed no mercy after my illness for the last 10 days. He planned in a brutal looking 14 hours of mostly high-intensity stuff with the Wilmslow 10k at the end of it all. The plan was to give it 100% effect in this race and see what the legs have in them after a big week and coming off the back of an illness, I would take a sub 40 right now if you offered it to me.
I had ordered my wife a Peloton Bike for her birthday and this arrived Monday. Before I could test that out, I had a 75min hard turbo session, long blocks at 280w aiming to build the bike strength up. 2 hours after that I jumped on the Peloton Bike and did a 30 min spin class. I have to admit, this was a harder workout than I had expected. I ended up averaging 232w covering over 11 miles in that half an hour.
Tuesday was an 85min easy paced run, this averaged out at 9:35 pace with a nice low average heart rate of 131bpm.
Wednesday I had a 2.8km medium tempo swim in the morning, a 50min strength turbo session during my lunch break and then back on the Peloton bike for another 30 spin class in the evening.
Thursday was a tough day, the first official double session in a few weeks plus the fatigue was starting to build from the previous days plus factoring in the effects of having a cold not so long ago. It was back in the pool for another 2.8km swim, but this time speed intervals and then a 97min medium tempo ride after work, I took this outdoors for the first time this year and loved it, I love riding my bike and being outside and it was so refreshing to be back out. The results of my winter training on the turbo were clear to be seen. On the ride, I went through 48 Strava segments, PR’ing 32 and 2nd fastest times on the other 16.
Friday was even harder than Thursday, it started off with a repeat of Thursday’s 2.8km speed intervals, my arms felt tired during this and I was low on energy. It got done and to the best of my ability but some of the intervals were slower than yesterday, to be expected really. Lunchtime I had a 95min tempo cross country run. I decided to have a look at the local Gritstone Trail which runs by my house, I ran from mile 1 out to mile 6 and back. I only got lost twice which is a small win but clocked up just shy of 1,500ft of climbing. You can imagine the effect that had on the tiring body. No time or room for excuses though, once my daughter was asleep I was back out for a 50min hill rep session.
Saturday was a 2hr 10min easy ride, I couldn’t go too far with being on call with work so I ended up riding two laps of a nearby 20mile loop.
Sunday was race day, I love race day and the whole race atmosphere, it was so good to be back racing again after the high of running PB’s in Jan & Feb 10k’s and Tokyo. I wasn’t expecting to continue that PB streak today but I was going to give it my absolute everything nevertheless. My WILMSLOW RUNNING FESTIVAL 10K blog tells the story of how that race went.
- Swim – 8,530 yrds, 2hr 37mins
- Bike – 134.3 miles, 6hr 52mins
- Run – 33.1 miles, 4hr 42mins
Week 16 – 25th – 31st March
Back on an easy week and starting off with something called a rest day?? I had to google what that was.
Tuesday should have been a 1-hour medium tempo turbo but I had to miss that as I had been in work all day and then when I went out to the garage to do the ride, I remembered I had the bike broken down after cleaning it at the weekend. I just didn’t fancy building it up at 9pm and then riding for an hour so I pushed that back to later in the week. Instead, I jumped on my wife’s Peloton Bike and did a 45min spin class to give a good high tempo cardio workout.
Wednesday started off with a 2.6km technique swim, this is my least favorite session in the pool. It’s just drill after drill and feels so slow, you are getting in the way of other people, etc etc. I got down and the week was finally off the mark. Lunchtime I was out on a 75min steady paced cross country run, this time avoiding the Gritstone Trail hills of last week so the pace was much higher and the legs far more happy with me. Once my daughter had gone to sleep I was back on the turbo to pick up yesterday’s missed ride.
Thursday I was back in the office and had to feed and bath my daughter after work so it was another lateish night on the turbo in the garage, a 1-hour tough power sweet spot ride. This included five 5 minute blocks at 302w, the legs really felt that.
Friday I had booked off work so I went out for a long ride, this wasn’t on the plan for easy week but I wanted to get out and put a long ride into the legs. I ended up riding 64 miles on a local loop which took in two of the Top 100 Cycling Climbs. The Cat & Fiddle and Mow Cop. That combined with riding around Buxton meant I clocked up over 4,200ft of climbing. Coming 12 hours after the power sweet spot session my legs were struggling towards the end.
Saturday I was due a 2.6km speed swim but as my wife was working in the morning I couldn’t make it to the lane or public swims so I had to miss that session. I did get to spend a nice morning with my daughter taking flowers to my mums grave ready for mothers day. In the afternoon I went out for a short interval set, one block of 5x30sec @ 5:50pace with 2 min recovery jog and one block of 5x1min @ 6:10pace. Following on from a couple of hard days on the bike my legs felt battered at first but felt ok after the first 30sec sprint.
Sunday was Mothers Day so I didn’t want to do much today, just a 2km recovery swim which I got out of the way early doors, freeing up the rest of the day to spend with my wife and daughter.
- Swim – 4,456 yrds, 1hr 29mins
- Bike – 117.3 miles, 6hr 44mins
- Run – 17.2 miles, 2hr 11mins