Monday, 27 May 2013

Ironman Training pt II - When training plans go wrong

For those that have been paying attention I've now completed 15 weeks of my 30 week training plan. And, for those who are mathematically challenged that's halfway.

I start my new job next week, the good news is that I'll be working a 4 day week, however the price to pay is that I'll be starting work at 7:30.

The obvious position is now I will be unable to train before work in the morning. This is a shame, as I really enjoy getting my working day kicked off with a training session.

The intensity of an Ironman training plan means that I'm currently training in the morning and the evening; my standard training week looks something like this

The impact of my new working hours means that I'll now have to amend this plan to look something like this

The major points to note in the revised plan are

  • It still includes all of the sessions of the previous plan
  • There are no rest days
I've got a few reservations regarding the new plan, but unfortunately my new working hours mean that I don't really have an option. The obvious issue is the fact that there is no longer a rest/recovery day; another problem I'll experience is that there is little scope to move sessions around to accommodate the curve balls that life throws our way.

Week 15

After 7 very interesting years (yes, being an accountant is VERY interesting), this will be my last week in my current role. Unfortunately, my role is being made redundant.

After some pretty in depth investigating it looks like there isn't much call in the professional sporting circuit for a slightly below average triathlete, and it doesn't look like this will be the route of making my fortune. Therefore, in the meantime, I'll continue with being an exceptional accountant.

To this end, I've secured a new position which will start on 3 June. However, there is the small matter of a starting time of 7:30, which means morning training sessions will be going out of the window. But, on the plus side, I will now be working a four day week.

After a tough week's training, Monday's rest day was a welcome tonic. Even more so was taking in the very pleasant evening courtesy of a BBQ and just the one beer.

Really didn't feel the love for the swim on Tuesday morning; the main set being 4 x 200m, 6 x 100m, 3 x 50m. I was glad to see the back of the pool once I was done.

Boom! Smashed out a smashfest on Tuesday's run. A 60 minute Z2 run with 2 x 6 minute Z4 efforts. I covered a distance of 12.6km in 61 minutes giving me an average speed of 4:50 kms.

Wednesday morning is rowing and weights time. and why should this week be any different. Bang! All done.

It was a tough session on the turbo on Wednesday evening, 60 minutes with 4 x 5 minute Z4 efforts. These eye popping sets are as much a test of mental fortitude as of physical endurance; as you have to keep on going to the well when you're already hurting.

I felt that the swim set on Thursday went well, the main set being 16 x 25m, 600m pull buoy, 16 x 25m.

My legs felt a little heavy in the brick session on Thursday evening, and this was apparent with a slightly slower run.

I flew seemed to fly through the swim set on Friday morning, the main set being 10 x 50m, 5 x 100m, 8 x 50m.

It is my last day at CyDen today, it is has been an emotional day. I'll miss the friends and colleagues I leave behind. But now I've got to think about the challenges ahead.

Took advantage of an early finish to get my afternoon run in before attending the Dunvant RFC 125 year anniversary dinner. Gareth Edwards was the speaker, and he regaled stories on his trials for the Welsh team and starting out with the Lions. It was great to hear that even legends have the same doubts and feelings of uncertainty that us mere mortals go through.

James's presentation day was starting at midday, so I switched my run/bike days. So, I was up nice and early got my 45 minutes done on the turbo, followed by a great run with @NAGabriel 

We had a great time at the presentation day (some of us more than others, but I'm not naming names). I kept my imbibing to an acceptable level and was up and out on my bike for a 4 hour ride by about 10:15 on Sunday morning. 

I wasn't in the mood to pick a route so I just headed west for 2 hours and turned around and came back - I got as far as Nantgaredig.

The profile was pretty much flat, lumpy, flat, lumpy, flat, climb. With the section between Kidwelly and Carmarthen providing the hills

I covered a distance of 110km in just over 4 hours giving me an average speed of 26.6kmh, not bad with 803m of climbing.

I followed this with a 30 minute brick run, thankfully I was collecting the car from Saturday night, so I didn't have to climb back up the hill. I covered 6km giving me a very acceptable speed of 5 minute kilometres.

Summary of Week 15
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 4:05 3:00 +1:05 25%
Bike 6:38 6:30 +0:08 41%
Run 4:15 4:15 0:00 26%
Other 1:22 0:45 +0:37 8%
Total 16:20 14:30 +1:50

Very pleased to break 16 hours and felt strong and full of energy at the end of the week.

Cumulative Summary
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 40:22 35:00 +5:22 25%
Bike 61:23 61:30 -0.07 38%
Run 45:20 49:45 -4:25 28%
Other 15:50 11:15 +4:35 10%
Total 162:55 157:30 +5:25

Monday, 20 May 2013

Week 14

Due to Angela's work I had to shift my rest day from Monday to Tuesday. This wasn't too much of an issue as I'd not had a heavy load of training on the weekend.

I started the week with a swim session, the main set being 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m. A good solid set that sets me up for the week.

Monday evening's run was a 60 minute Z2 run with 2 4:30 minute blasts of Z4. Clocking up 12.3 kms in 61 minutes, giving me an average pace of 4:58 kms.

I enjoyed having Tuesday as a rest day, it seemed to sit well in the week. Considering the awful weather I was doubly glad.

Back in the pool on Wednesday morning and ticked off another 3km session; with the main set being 7 x 125m and 7 x 75m.

These mid-week turbo sessions are starting to get tough; 60 minutes of Z2 with  3 x 5 minutes of Z4 thrown in for good measure.

I felt that Thursday's gym session went well, I felt strong in the rowing warm up and that I'm making gains on the weights.

Another hot, sweaty session on the turbo in the conservatory which was followed by my first evening t-shirt run. This must mean that summer might actually be on its way.

Friday morning's swim was a 3km time trial; and with a time of 1:04:55 this was 3 minutes down on my last time posted 3 weeks ago. I can only assume that I have miscounted on one of the sessions. Otherwise my swimming is going backwards (almost literally).

The boys went to youth club, which meant I could have my evening run; a 60 minute run with 7:30 Z4. Covering a distance of 12km in what was quite a lumpy run, consisting of 148m of climbing.

It's been a month since my last ride, and Saturday was a lovely day it was for a ride. However, it only took 8 minutes for some idiot to pull out in a car in front of me whilst I was ploughing along at about 45kph. A quick expletive and a continental hand gesture as I passed him, and then I was on my way.

I covered a distance of 87.5km in a time of 3:31, which gave me a very acceptable speed of 24.9kmh.

Plenty of hills too, with 949m of climbing.

This was all followed off with a 30 minute brick run, I really struggled coming back up the hill. But it was all good preparation for the run up to New Hedges.

My legs felt heavy when I got up on Sunday morning, and the thought of a long run wasn't filling me with euphoria. However, it was made all the more enjoyable that I had the ever pleasant company of @davmort and @deckersboy not forgetting that the pacemaker for the run was @rat1970 

Finished off the week with a 30 minute recovery session on the turbo

Summary of Week 14
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 3:35 3:00 +0:35 24%
Bike 5:46 5:45 +0:01 39%
Run 4:04 4:00 +0:04 28%
Other 1:22 0:45 +0:37 9%
Total 14:47 13:30 +1:16

It was a tough week but it felt great to hit all my sessions.

Cumulative Summary
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 36:17 32:00 +4:17 25%
Bike 54:45 55:00 -0.15 37%
Run 41:04 45:30 -4:25 28%
Other 14:28 10:30 +3:58 10%
Total 146:35 143:00 +3:35

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Week 13

Woke up on Monday morning feeling better but still not right. Due a family wedding on the weekend my training week needs to be shuffled around and the planned run for today was cancelled.

Following on from being hit with this virus, I've leaned that it can cause a considerable groin pain, I got the following passage from Buzzle
Enlarged Lymph Glands: The lymph nodes are a very important part of our immune system, and help fight infections and other foreign substances. Enlarged or swollen lymph glands actually refers to the enlargement of one or more lymph nodes in the groin area, which may occur due to different bacterial or viral infections. In rare cases, these may be painful.
Moving forward, I'll treat unexpected groin pain with a little bit more respect and be wary that it might be the onset of a virus. Because with hindsight I started feeling this on Saturday morning.

I still wasn't feeling 100% on Tuesday morning, so I decided to give the swim session a miss. As the day progressed I was becoming more and more certain that another full day's rest would be beneficial, so that is what I did.

Wednesday morning, and I'm back on it. Obviously my training week has already been disrupted, so I'm going to wing it for the rest of the week. I felt the best way to ease back into it would be a session in the pool. Very happy to get another 3km set under my belt; the main set being 4 x 200m, 6 x 100m, 3 x 50m.

What better way to spend a Wednesday evening than with an hour of the turbo (with a couple of 5 minute Z4 efforts), I tell you how it's better: by adding going out with the lads for some mid-week drinking and a curry. 

The alarm on Thursday morning seemed to go off far to early, thankfully I wasn't too late going to bed. But the swim session really seemed to drag; main set being 16 x 25m, 600m pull buoy, 16 x 25m.

We had some atrocious weather in the afternoon, with torrential rain and gusts over 70mph. Definitely not training weather, thankfully by the time I went out for my run in the evening it had somewhat relented. This was my first run for over a week and it wasn't too much of a shock to the system.

Back in the pool for the third day running, the main set was 10 x 50m, 5 x 100m, 8 x 50m. All pretty much went to plan

After what has already been a momentous season for Swansea City, it looks like they'll be part of another piece of history. As well as being part of the award of the Premier League trophy, it will also be the last home game for Sir Alex Ferguson. British football will certainly be different without his presence, I really admire what he has achieved in his 26 years at United, but having read his biography and watching his antics over the years, I'm pretty sure I don't like him.

I did my longest ever turbo session on Friday evening, 180 minutes of sweaty turbo action. And it really was sweaty. The worst bit was the fact the Sky+ box hadn't recorded the Giro. The turbo session was followed by a 30 minute hilly run

We had a lovely day at the wedding on Saturday. We were up and on the road by 8 o'clock, so any early morning session wasn't on the cards. But there was an added bonus when we got to the hotel, as there was a very nice gym there and I managed to get a strength and core session ticked off.

Well done to Wigan in winning the FA Cup! 

Despite having a reasonably late night and a few pink pints, I set the alarm for 7 o'clock to get my run in before we set off home. Unfortunately I fell back off to sleep after switching off the alarm. But as the saying goes "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions". I've had some poor sleeps this week so I probably needed the extra sleep.

I finished off the week with a gentle 30 minute spin on the turbo. Even though it's an easy session I was pleased to get it done as it could have been very easy to have not bothered.

Unfortunately, Swansea City couldn't hold out to spoil Sir Alex's farewell party, but they put in a great performance and pushed the champions all the way.

Summary of Week 13
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 3:57 3:00 +0:57 37%
Bike 4:30 5:15 -0:45 42%
Run 1:30 3:45 -2:15 14%
Other 0:41 0:45 -0:04 6%
Total 10:38 12:45 -2:07

A week where I missed off sessions to start with due to injury and missed one off at the end due to to life just getting in the way.

Cumulative Summary
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 32:42 29:00 +3:42 25%
Bike 48:59 49:15 -0.16 37%
Run 37:01 41:30 -4:29 28%
Other 13:06 9:45 +3:21 10%
Total 131:48 129:30 +2:18

After two weeks of not hitting my training targets, I'm determined that week 14 will be back on plan.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Week 12

Monday's recovery day was a necessary rest for my calf, it was very tight when I got up in the morning and needed strapping for the rest of the day

Another satisfying swim session on Tuesday morning. The main set was 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m. My feel for the water continues to gather momentum. It'll be interesting to see how Friday's 3,000m time trial goes.

As this is a recovery week, the run on Tuesday evening was only 45 minutes. so I managed to squeeze this in whilst James was at rugby training. Ran up and down the cycle path, and also included a 5 minute Z4 burst. I found out when I got home that I must have tasty skin as I had been bitten to high heaven on all exposed parts.

Wednesday morning means gym work, I didn't feel the love for it this morning.

Woo hoo! There's exciting as goodies turned up this morning, it my new Compressport calf guards. And anybody who says that my legs are so skinny that I need to use arm warmers on my legs is just being mean.

Hopefully they will help sort out my calf issues. And they're bound to look better than the tube grip bandages I've been using in the meantime.

Sweating like a good un in the warmth of the conservatory whist on the turbo. The 5 minutes of Z4 making it even more so.

Back in the pool for Thursday morning's swim set, the main set being 7 x 125m and 7 x 75m.

Really enjoyed the brick session on Thursday evening, I'm not sure I should be using the word enjoy when it comes to being on the turbo and then some hilly running. 

Friday's swim set was a 3,000m time trial; it was quite boring but with a time of 1:01:49, I was very pleased with the progress being made.

After 12 weeks and 134 training sessions, on Friday night I missed my first workout. 

Woke up on Saturday morning to wind and rain, so I decided to do my long bike session on the turbo. Much to my disappointment within 30 minutes the sun was out and had regretted the decision. I'd also woken up with a soreness to my lower shin and a tightness in my groin, this didn't affect the turbo session but I was not comfortable running so I left out the brick run.

I felt out of sorts when I woke up on Sunday, so I decided to give my long run a miss. Following a family lunch I really wasn't with it and by 6pm I was in bed, feeling sorry for myself. I spent the next 14 hours in bed sweating like I was on the turbo

Summary of Week 12
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 3:30 3:00 +0:30 36%
Bike 4:15 4:45 -0.30 44%
Run 1:00 3:15 -2:15 10%
Other 0:54 0:45 +0:09 9%
Total 9:39 11:45 -2:06

Disappointed to have missed my first planned sessions, but needs must as I need to recover and get well.

Cumulative Summary
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 28:45 26:00 +2:45 23%
Bike 44:29 44:00 +0.29 36%
Run 35:31 37:45 -2:13 31%
Other 12:25 9:00 +3:25 10%
Total 121:10 116:45 +4:25

Despite being behind on my running plan I'm determined not to chase the numbers down and risk overtraining and becoming injured 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Week 11

Week 11 of the 30 week plan means the commencement of the Build phase. Longer training hours and the introduction of some bursts of intensity.

Monday's rest day involved packing up and getting back from New Quay, thankful that I didn't have another day on the beer.

The swim sessions are a bit longer (now at approximately 3km each), the main set was 4 x 200m, 6 x 100m, 3 x 50m. All in all the swim set felt really good.

Tuesday evening's run should have involved 5 x 1 minute Z4 efforts, but due to still feeling a tightness in my calf I decided to keep the run at Z2 for the duration.

There's a slight change to the weights session as this now consists of 3 sets of 10 reps. All pretty good really, and as this is my least favourite session, I surprisingly still enjoying it.

Stepped up the bike session on Wednesday night, 75 minutes of zone 2 with 5 x 1 minute intervals. Managed to build up a nice sweat.

Really felt the gains on Thursday's swim, really had a good feel for the water. The main set was 16 x 25m, 600m pull buoy, 16 x 25m.

Tested my calf with Thursday's 45/15 brick session and on the whole it held up. Had a bit of soreness, but all in all pretty, pretty, good.

Third swim session of the week on Friday, and could really feel it across my shoulders. Last week swimming was 5km, this week I'm up to 9km; so obviously I'm going to feel it. The main set consisted of 10 x 50m, 5 x 100m, 8 x 50m.

Another interval run session was planned for Friday night and I strapped up my calf and decided to see how it went. Whilst I could feel a tightness, I was more than comfortable with the 5 one minute efforts.

Last week for the long ride, I had please of taking in the beautiful Cardigan coastline, unfortunately this week it was two and a half hours on the turbo. But as a special treat as I'm now in the build phase, there was a cheeky 15 minute brick run tagged on.

Woke up on Sunday morning with the other calf feeling tight, However, I had a lovely 75 minute run with @NAGabriel we were ticking along nicely with some 8 minute miling. A beautiful morning for a run, really enjoyed especially nice with a bit of company. This was capped off with a nice Z1 turbo session on Sunday afternoon.

Summary of Week 11
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 3:45 3:00 +0:45 28%
Bike 5:00 5:00 +0.00 38%
Run 3:41 3:45 -0:04 28%
Other 0:53 0:45 +0:09 7%
Total 13:19 12:30 +0:49

A very satisfactory week's training, but this calf issue is causing me some concern though.

Cumulative Summary
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 25:15 23:00 +2:15 23%
Bike 40:14 39:15 +0.59 36%
Run 34:31 34:30 +0:01 31%
Other 11:31 8:15 +3:16 10%
Total 111:31 105:00 +6:31