13 December 2014

Ironman Training

Ironman Training will do this weak boy some good.

I have spent much time away from this blog, and in that time I have discovered much about training and racing. And that new knowledge will come out in future posts, but for now I want to catch people up on the training I'm doing and why I'm doing it.

First, the why. I have registered for Ironman Taiwan (IMT), which will take place on 12 April 2015. I am the last of the Windmill Warriors (my racing team with The Jewish Stallion, El Doce, and The Swiss Assassin) to complete an Ironman, so I need to get it done. And since the Windmill Warriors and their families will spend a week this summer together in southern France, I couldn't have picked a better time to do one: I'll need good stories to share during our time together and I don't want everyone else to talk about something I've not done. The ribbing could get merciless.

Of course, I'm not only doing this race because everyone else has. I'm also doing it as a way to achieve something I've thought about since I was a boy watching ABC's Wide World of Sports.

I decided to spend 24 weeks of training focused on IMT. The first eight weeks would be spent building a solid base of swimming, biking, and run training, and the final 16 weeks would be spent introducing and completing tougher and tougher workouts, including a good number of open water swims (I've never swum in the ocean) and race simulations.

About four weeks ago, I posted on Facebook an accounting of my first three weeks of training:

First three weeks of ‪Ironman Taiwan‬ training have gone well:

Week One: 8 total hours. Two Swims (longest--1100m, total--2100m); Two Bikes (longest--40 miles, total--58 miles); Four Runs (longest 7.5--miles, total--19.5 miles); and Two Strength Training Sessions.

Week Two: 10 total hours. Two Swims (longest--1500m, total--2700m); Three Bikes (longest--52 miles, total--115 miles); Three runs (longest--4 miles, total--12 miles); and One Strength Training Session.

Week Three: 12 total hours. Two Swims (longest--1400m, total--2600m); Three Bikes (longest--66.5 miles, total--138 miles); Four runs (longest--5 miles, total--16.5 miles); and Two Strength Training Sessions. I also did my first brick today: 37 miles on the bike at 18.5 mph and then four miles on the run at 7:56/mi.

So far things have gone well. My running has been limited by uncooperative knees, but the limited mileage seems to be helping, as is the strength training. (I found an interesting article this week discussing how hip strengthening helps people recover from runner's knee more quickly than quad strengthening.)

Will spend this week recovering after increasing my total hours for the last three weeks. Will probably hit about 8 total hours.

21 more weeks to go. I think the biggest challenge I will face is staying motivated for so long. But right now, I'm enjoying the training.

Over the last four weeks, I discovered how not to handle a recovery week and how to recover from a recovery week gone bad. I have also built up my ability to handle more and more training hours, all the while finding my knees feeling better and better each week. For the last three weeks I've averaged 14-15 hours per week of training, and I will detail the events of these weeks in subsequent posts. I will also post daily about my diet, my workouts, my rest, my fears, my hopes, everything that goes into preparing for (what I hope to be) an 11-12 hour race.

I hope you'll follow along with me in my preparations, and if you know someone who could benefit from the information I offer, please let them know about my blog. Also, if you're on Strava, you can follow all my training there too.

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