Ironman Race Report Part 1 – Preparation

Part 1
Preparation

Ironman Report

Completely humbled by the overwhelming support but let me back track.

Thirty years ago I participated in my first triathlons with Bowral friends – Bernard, Glen and Shane. At the time I was too scared to do an Ironman and watched in envy as my friends embarked on their journey at Foster and Akuna Bay. In 2005 with the support of “The Colin” I went to Port Macquarie to compete in the first Half Ironman to qualify for Ironman 2006. Needless to say I was too old, slow, did not qualify and relegated the dream to what could have been.

The next 9 years had my involvement in Cool Running Australia, the running of several marathons, Six Foot Track, Poor Man’s Comrades (Gosford to Opera House) and Narrabeen 12 Hour race trail races. I was confident now I could actually finish an Ironman if I decided to commit.

I made excuses for a few years as I talked to my good friend Murry and cool runners who had competed in Ironman man races like Uncle Dave, Aunty Karin, Paul Every, Brick, Zoe, Chonky, Green Machine,Greg, Brendan, Dominic, Big Chris, Kevin Tiller ….. there were others sorry if I missed you, A few years later there were no more excuses once the entry criteria was relaxed.

Two injuries over the period of 4 years really did prevent me from entering and in 2013 those excuses were gone and I committed. Twelve months ago I approach my Principal for leave and she was was 100% supportive of my dream. I committed to family and friends in person and on social media – I was on the way.

Once I committed it was time to head to the fattening pastures for winter with the Gold Coast Marathon and some trail running till August which was to be the start of Stage 1 – Half Ironman Racing . In this stage the aim was to get fit so after the CP 50 km I ramped up the training to compete in the Port 70.3 and Foster Half Ironman Challenge. Along with these I did a few Hills Tri club Races and the Nepean Triathon. These were all successful outings and my last races of any kind until last weekend.

Once again after hibernating for a month I started training specifically for the May race in December – a six month lead which involved base training through the school holidays. This essentially consisted of a few hours of exercise per day in preparation for a modified program in Term 1 taking into account family and work commitments.

The plan for February – May was simple – train to complete not compete.

Swim:- Monday 2km and Wednesday 3 km and bonus swim on weekends – but rarely happened,
Runs:- All were 6 km runs with one 20 km run which left me as a cripple for a week
Ride:- at least one 30 k ride during the week and Saturday rides of 4- 6 hours through the gorges or M7 for 10 weeks.

All the literature said a beginner Ironman training schedules suggested at least 10 hours per week. Looking at this now it does not seem I did enough but it was all I was prepared to do and it worked.

In summary the training from May 2013 to May 2014 was as follows:

Summary

Total Swims 118 km
Total Rides 5205 km
Total Runs 1014 km

April 2014
Swim 7.5 km,
Ride 537 km
Run 78 km

March 2014
Swim 23.6 km
Ride 885 km
Run 68 km

February 2014
Swim 7.3 km
Ride 984 km
Run 76 km

January 2014
Swim 18 km
Ride 576 km
Run 110 km

December 2013
Swim 17 km
Cycle 632 km
Run 57 km

November 2013
Swim 6 km
Ride 286 km
Run 75 km

October 2013
Swim 13 km
Ride 227 km
Run 82 km

September 2013
Swim 16.5 km
Ride 557 km
Run 80 km

August
Swim 7.5 km
Ride 140 km
Run 91 km

July
Swim 0 km
Ride 176 km
Run 96 km

June

Swim 0 km
Ride 15 km
Run 123 km

May
Swim 2km
Ride 190km
Run 78 km

Training Completed

Summary May 2013  to May 2014

Total Swims 118 km

Total Rides 5205 km

Total Runs 1014 km

 

April 2014

Swim 7.5 km,

Ride 537 km

Run 78 km

 

March 2014

Swim 23.6 km

Ride 885 km

Run 68 km

 

February 2014

Swim 7.3 km

Ride 984 km

Run 76 km

 

January 2014

Swim 18 km

Ride 576 km

Run 110 km

 

December 2013

Swim 17 km

Cycle 632 km

Run 57 km

 

November 2013

Swim 6 km

Ride 286 km

Run 75 km

 

October 2013

Swim 13 km

Ride 227 km

Run 82 km

 

September 2013

Swim 16.5 km

Ride 557  km

Run 80 km

 

August

Swim 7.5 km

Ride 140 km

run 91 km

 

July

Swim 0 km

Ride 176 km

Run 96 km

 

June

 

Swim  0 km

Ride 15 km

Run 123 km

 

May

Swim 2km

Ride 190km

Run 78 km

 

Reflections on 10 weeks of long rides

Reflections on 10 weekends of long rides – #imoz

Well it has finally caught up with me. I had the best intentions to follow up with another ride last Sunday I was really tired and slept on and off all day. I guess it was to be expected. People say you are always tired when you train for an Ironman and my version of the training has caught up with me.

mgp  m7 2014

Time for a bit of reflection on my bike riding. Here are the rides I did over the past 10 weekends.

156km
150km
90/70km
121/27km
138km
142km
90/50km
150/50km
155/70km
150km

A few thoughts

1. The timing is fine to be really tired as this is my last weekend for a long ride.

2. Each week I have got better with the food and drinking while riding and always have finished the rides with energy and have comfortably completed a 6 km brick run after each ride.

3. I seem to be riding 150km consistently on the M7 in 6:00-6:10 hours which included 4-5 drink stops. I am pleased with this pace.

4. The endurance tyres have given me a level of confidence while I ride and I in theory now know how to use then canister pump should I need to use it.

5. The more I have ridden the more spooked I have become about staying upright so the last month I have been on the M7 which has a similar profile to Port, though the M7 is a smoother surface. Prior to this the rides have been the three gorges which have been slower and out and about in Dural, Kenturst Annangrove.

6. I am close to getting the clothes right for the race. I chopped and changed quite a bit with the constant theme of trying to keep warm.

7. One highlight which toughened me up physically and mentally was the 6 hour ride in the pouring rain in March.

8. Six hour rides on weekend is just not natural. I never thought I would be looking forward to the next three weeks of 3 hour rides as a break.

 

cheers Martin

Managing all the gear for the bike ride

Hi all,

 

Today some thoughts on gear management for the 180km ride in the race. My logic  is that as I get tired in race I will think less clearly and need to rely on my routines to make sure I know where to look and do things automatically with out thinking.

In training I have reading glasses, dates and my phone in my bag near the handle bar,  I carry two bidons and in the bag under my seat I have my ID – old drivers licence-,  two tubes canisters and tyre levers.  I also have a pump  for the canisters and a second pump because  I can not seem to  use the canisters.

As for the  tri top I try and use the same  pockets each ride for gear.  My left hand one carries my peanut butter sandwiches and Cadel food bars.  My middle pocket  carry Gatorade powder sachets, sun cream, salt tablets in  a contact case, sunglasses and a spray jacket while my right hand pocket carries all my gels.

In the race, because there will be aid stations,  I will carry less but may have a long sleeve thermal wrapped around my waist if the weather is cold and wet.

 

Hopefully I will finish the ride aerobically and with energy for the run .

cheers Martin

March Update

March Ironman Update

I don’t know where to start. My goal was to have more time to reflect and write about my journey and I have been too busy holding the journey together to write.

Swim 

My greatest improvement and potentially enjoyment has been in swimming. I enjoy my time in the water and try and balance my pace with stroke consistency – there is a lot of thinking and concentrating involved in swimming. I tend to swim 2 km on Monday and 3-3.8 km on Wednesday. The times have not really changed in 12 months, however, I am consistently doing 42-43 minutes for 2 km with less effort if you get what I mean. The 3km and 3.8 km swims are manageable, though I am conscious of the frantic nature of the race. In training I am bilaterally breathing with two stokes on each side. In the race I will breath on one side and stay out of trouble.

Ride

Spooked is the best word to describe my bike riding. On one ride 6 weeks ago I witnessed three bike crashes, two friends had severe accident requiring hospitalisation in another incident and then all the press about bike accidents. In training my goal is to stay upright and in the race it is to finish it aerobically with energy in the tank. I have done more riding in February and March compared to 6 weeks holidays. For a few weekends I had a few work commitments and had trouble getting in 6 hour rides. I had to split them between school commitments a few times. I purchased endurance tyres to hopefully prevent the likelihood of flats and have been riding in all weather conditions – no excuses. The tyres sacrificed speed but I have peace of mind since I cannot change a tyre and inflated it quickly enough. On the longer rides I tend to start slow and feel good from about 75 km.

Run

Mind games best sums up my running. The 6 km runs are perfect for holding my body together but is is playing with my mind for the race. I have completed six foot track, marathons and 50 km races on the back of 6 km training runs. On Sunday 23 March I did a longer brick run and both my left foot metatarsal and hip flexor has rendered me hobbling. This run/walk suggests I should have time to meet the cut off if I get off the bike in a reasonable time. I have to respect and distance and my body, however, I need to make a decision. I am going to have to back what has worked in the past (6 km running and brick sessions) and make sure I finish the ride as fresh as possible.

Nutrition

On rides the nutrition involves about 500ml of gatorade / water each hour, a gel each hour, one and a half peanut butter sandwiches lasts till about 130km and then I tend to eat Cadel bars and a snack on dates. I will need to work on taking the salt tablets but am yet to master doing this while riding the bike. My diet for meals has not really changed. No one in my family likes cooking and we never have food in the house. So not much happens on the pre-training fuel intake and I have to work hard at refueling after a long ride.

Sleep and rest

All I am doing is working training and resting. My friends know what I am doing, are supportive and know I am not going out. I have not had a beer since New Years Eve. Friday nights involve getting gear ready for the morning ride. Those who know me well know how hard it is for me to get up and ride in the morning. The weekends just revolve around training and I do what I can do during the week.

Clothes

I have decided on what gear I will ride and run in. What is doing my head in is planning for the weather. One thing I don’t what to do is get cold on the ride and on the run into the evening. This may could put a stop to my race. There is still a fair bit to do on this front. I have not mastered the layered approach riding and running – basically I don’t have the gear and don’t know what to buy.

Complete not compete

When I started this journey I had ideas of a time and paid lip service to the notion of complete not compete. These are no longer just words. This is my real goal. All the training has just proven there are so many variables to finish the race let alone meeting the cut offs – cramps in the foot during swims which render me kicking, rather in effectively, with my foot perpendicular to my body till it goes, flat tyres, mechaniical failure, malfunctioning cleats, the risk of an accident due to minor lapses in concentration and cramp in the muscles behind the knee, holding it all together in the run on the back of 6 km runs and my ailing running body. This is just a small selection of what I have experienced to date.

The mind 

Playing every trick in the book to not get sick. Last week I was not feeling 100%, was not sleeping well so I rugged up had three days off training and stayed indoors in the evening when I had no work commitments watching TV and resting.

In relation to the race all my thinking is working backwards from cut off times, calculating pace to cut offs and planning for all conceivable scenarios. Hence new bike has endurance tyres, decision made by the body to stay with 6km training runs despite the risk, nutrition almost sorted in my head though work to do with clothes….

Feel grateful for all the support from family, friends and work. Coming with this is a mixture of feelings of expectation, pride respect for the race and a sense of achievement even before I reach the starting line.

232 km weekend of rides

HI all,

90km yesterday.

This was followed up with 142 km today in 6 hours- exactly and includes two refill breaks. Ride – Penno , Hornsby, Galston Gorge, Glenorie, Kenthurst, Annangrove, Rouse Hill and up Old Windsor Road to M7 out to Light Horse interchange past Rooty Hill and back via hills of Gilbert Rd Glenhaven and Cherrybrook. Finished with a brick 6km in 41 minutes.

ImageImage

Nutrition – 4 gatorades, 4 water, peanut butter sandwich, 5 gels, one Cadel bar and three handfuls of dates.

Headache at 125km on Glenhaven climbs. I had everything I had left on the food front to get energy levels up. Will need to include salt tablets on the ride.

Applied suncream three times.

No flats this time. I have sacrificed speed for tractor tyres. Definitely have to work harder to get up to speed.The 90km yesterday was followed up with 142 km today in 6 hours- exactly and includes two refill breaks. Ride – Penno , Hornsby, Galston Gorge, Glenorie, Kenthurst, Annangrove, Rouse Hill and up Old Windsor Road to M7 out to Light Horse interchange past Rooty Hill and back via hills of Gilbert Rd Glenhaven and Cherrybrook. Finished with a brick 6km in 41 minutes.

Nutrition – 4 gatorades, 4 water, peanut butter sandwich, 5 gels, one Cadel bar and three handfuls of dates.

Headache at 125km on Glenhaven climbs. I had everything I had left on the food front to get energy levels up. Will need to include salt tablets on the ride.

Applied suncream three times.

No flats this time. I have sacrificed speed for tractor tyres. Definitely have to work harder to get up to speed.

Garmin details – happy with 23-24 km per hour with the climbs and the gorge,

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/457540665

February Training

Go figure – I have done more exercise in February while at work  than in January when I was on holidays.
 
Meanwhile we had an 18th and 21st birthday.
 
Image
 
February Exercise
Swim 2 3 3 2 2.5 3 2 2.6 = 20 –  8 sessions – 7.3 hours – 40 hours
Cycle 156, 20 18 150 70 17 28 90 57 132 27 25 = 984km – 12 sessions
Run 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 =76 km – 12 sessions – 4 hours
 
Total February hours 56 hours
 
January Exercise
Swim 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 =18km = 13.5 hours
Cycle 25 75 47 28 60 40 40 40 60 50 60 91 =576km = 23 hours
run 8 6 6 6 6 6 10 6 6 6 6 6 68 6 6 6= 110km = 12 hours
 
Total hours = 48 hours
 
Saturday 1 February 156 km cycle 6:21
Saturday 1 February 6 km brick 38:00
Sunday 2 February 2km swim 41:51 -10:25, 10:26, 10:25 10:39
Monday 3 February 45 min spin
Tuesday 4 February 6km 41:00 min
Wednesday 5 February 3 km- 1:04:50- 10:53,10:22, 10:34, 10:46, 11:13 and 11:00. Had to change lanes a few times.
Wednesday 5 February Run 41:05
Thursday 6 February 18 km ride with Nick
Friday 7 February 6 km school oval run 38:00
Saturday 8 February 150 km cycle 5:50 – over 25 km per hour
Saturday 8 February 6 km brick run M7 38:40 minutes
Sunday 9 February 70km three gorges ride
Monday 10 February 3km swim 1:09 
Tuesday 11 February 6km run 38:00
Wednesday 12 February
Thursday 13 February night ride 17km. 
Friday 14 February 28 km cycle 1:06 hours 
Saturday 15 February 90 km Hornsby , Westleigh and Penno loops 3:4
Sunday 16 February 2 km swim. 42:53 – 10:49, 10:33, 10:44 and 10:45. Still feel I am struggling for breath when I try and go faster.
Monday 17 February 2.5 km 42:49- 10:44, 10:14, 10:46 and 11:03. 500m breaststroke and freestyle alternating for 11:39.
Monday 17 February 6 km penno west 40:15 minutes
Tuesday 18 February 57 km 2:30 hours
Wednesday 19 February 3km 1:07:11 – 11:14, 11:26, 11:18, 11:00, 11:09 and 11:03. Mood – mixed feelings.
Wednesday 19 February 6 km run 45 minutes
Thursday 20 February 
Friday 21 February nick and Ali party
Saturday 22 February 6:16  hours 132 km 5 gorges ride
Saturday 22 February 6 km brick run 41 minutes
Sunday 23 February 27 km Westleigh 1:18 hours
Sunday 23 February 6 km brick run 42 minutes. 
Monday 24 February  2km – 42:43- 10:40, 10:40, 10:40 and 10:38. Had to work to hold the pace. Sort of peaked a bit to be even in the splits.  
Tuesday 25 February 6 km penno west 43 minutes
Wednesday 26 February 2.6 km swim. – 57:55 – 10:38, 10:59, 11:05, 10:57, 10:55 and 2:18. We were all asked to leave water due to thunder and lightening.
Thursday 27 February Westleigh 25 km 1:05
Friday 28 February 4 km walk