Saturday, 13 August 2011

12 weeks Aaaargh

Part 1 - Written in a red wine haze on Saturday

Holy crap, it's 12 weeks until Ironman Florida. Erm, erm, erm I guess I should write something ........... but I've had a slack week this week and there's nothing really to write about. Apparently I'm supposed to take recovery weeks during my training so I guess this has kinda become one although I did have a cracking 15mile run with Rosie pup on Thursday.

Today we had friends round for most of the day............. heck, I should re-phrase that.......... Today we had my God Daughter and her family round for the day. Can you believe anybody would be crazy enough to ask? Me neither, but they did.

So old friends of ours Wayne and Tracy came down to Bude for the week with their daughter Emma (god-daughter) and son Brad (they knew better by then) and came to visit us for the day. After a morning sat around catching up on various things, including Wayne's awesome Finish at OUTLAW TRIATHLON we headed over to Braunton Burrows and messed around jumping off some of the sand dunes. It was like being 12 all over again. Great fun :-D

So I mentioned on Twitter that I needed to blog but had nothing to write about so GORDON and BARB both said they wanted to know "what you've learned between your first IM and now. Things you thought in the beginning that you don't now"........

If I'm honest most of the stuff I've learnt is stuff that most people would know from the start anyway. Mostly that you can't blag it like you can other races.
Part 2 - Written in a tired state on Sunday

Woohoo, I managed a 70mile bike ride this morning to rescue my week, although I still didn't crack 9hrs. Then we had more friends around that we haven't seen for years and headed over the Burrows again for more sand dune silliness. Amazing, we've seen nobody down here for years (other than family of course) then we get two lots of visitors in 2 days and if I'm honest it's been great.

So back to What have I learnt though Ironman? Or more likely what didn't I know at the beginning? Of course a lot of this only applies to me, I'm no coach and I've never had one ....... although if someone asked me the best way to do an Ironman well a GOOD coach be the first thing I suggested they get.

1) The swim - It doesn't really matter. It's just the warm up. I'm not going to miss the cut off so too much training is a waste, it just takes time from place I need it. I swim once a week, sometimes less. Sure I could swim 5mins quicker if I swam 5 times a week but that's just false economy
2) T1 - Don't rush!! Make sure you're comfy on the bike. If you race Florida you'll hit T1 with sandy feet. If you're putting socks on clean your feet off first or that sand will be causing friction for a LONG time. Dry, change, do whatever you need to. Unless you're chasing a Kona slot a couple of extra mins here won't hurt anything.
3) The Bike - For me this is what it's ALL about! For my first Ironman hardly trained on the bike. I quickly learnt that I couldn't blag it like I could a Sprint Tri. Now it's all about being strong enough to take it easy. Sounds strange, but if you bike too hard you'll gain minutes but it's no good if you loose hours then on the run because of it.
4) T2 - Same as T1. Nice and easy, get things right!
5) The Run - Hahaha! Going to run it are we? I've never run all of one yet. As with the bike it's all about pacing, IF you can actually run off the bike. In theory I 'should' be able to run close to 3hrs off the bike, I've run everything from 3:30 to 5hrs. 3:30 hurts, 5hrs hurt a lot more for a lot longer.
6) The whole thing - Unless you're a Pro then it's not a 'race', it's a test of your endurance pacing. Go too hard and you'll suffer, go too easy and you're probably still going too hard.

Of course this is only what's popped into my head while I've been sat here typing. If you know me you'll know that I'm not the type to sit down and plan these posts. If however you are seriously looking at the best way to pace an Ironman I thoroughly recommend you have a read through the Endurance Nation Four Keys to Ironman Racing, it's well worth a few minutes of anybody's time.

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