Ironman training is not all about going hard. There is a quote from my childhood of ‘go hard or go home’ but if I listen to this, I will certainly be going home. That’s if I even make it to IMW injury free.
So my early days of Ironman training has been an attempt to focus on technique and pacing. Doesn’t have the same ring as go hard or go home but I know it’ll benefit me in the long run.
I have focussed on two pool sessions a week, and I’m certainly seeing improvements in efficiency thanks to some Saturday morning sessions with Stephen Power before work. However, I didn’t realise there were so many training aids out there. Kickboard! Paddles! Pullbuoy! Fins…yes fins! And no, I don’t take a snorkel in with me! However trying to breathe bilaterally has ended with me swallowing a good couple of litres of water, so I wished I had taken a snorkel in. But the training aids are all helping to improve the weaknesses of my stroke.
The bike…hmm…so I spoke about pacing but the go hard or go home mentality still lingered on a 50 mile loop down to Neath, up Cimla, the Bwlch, followed by Treherbert. The first 26 miles were flat so thought I would push the pace. The next 24 are certainly not flat! Getting cramp prior to the ascent from Treherbert is not an enjoyable experience, but it’s about learning and I can assure you that I learnt from this. Go hard and you won’t make it home! Throughout the winter, the turbo trainer will certainly be used to work on some structured sessions.
Running has been more of a success though. The key to this has been the change of music. I have always run with high intensity workout music to keep me going but have realised I try to run to the beat. When the Rocky theme tune comes on, you instinctively run quicker. So out with the Rocky and in with the Pilates playlist. It has helped me keep the pace around the 9.00 min/mile mark on the long runs which is my aim for the Ironman marathon.
There’s a few training tips in there for the people reading this but the biggest tip is don’t neglect the strength and mobility work! Teaching 5 Pilates classes a week certainly has it’s benefit. It gives me some time for mobility and core strength, something that will be relied upon for IMW. The stronger you are, the more resilient you are, the less injuries you will pick up. It’s the part that many triathletes fall down on so don’t be afraid to lift those weights. Improve your conditioning, improve your time!
Thanks for reading and I hope you join me for my next blog.
P.S. If you are on Strava, feel free to follow my training.