Last week kicked off my “official” Ironman training for IMCDA. After a week of recovery from Oceanside I’m back into a great consistent routine and most of all, my attitude about the sport and training are at an all-time high right now. I feel like my maturity for each discipline has grown exponentially over the past few weeks. What was once a hesitancy about my chances of qualifying for Kona on my first go are now becoming a confident, “I will have a great race and qualify if I can continue to stay focused, stay consistent and BELIEVE.”
You always hear people say they are excited to do an Ironman. I’m excited to RACE an Ironman. The distance and idea has always intimidated me, until now. Here’s why I say that. I’ll break down each discipline individually to give you an idea of what our plan for is in our build towards IMCDA and where I am at physically and mentally.
Swim: Flanny and I decided to actually bring my swim volume down a notch. Although this may gain some criticism – I truly believe it is the right call. I noticed I was swimming the same whether I swam 10k/week or 15k/week. Some call this “maintenance mileage” – basically I’m not getting any faster or slower. I believe with the level I am at and the experience I have, I won’t really see any improvements unless I get up to the 18-20k/week range. So we brought it down to 10k/week (3 swims a week vs. 4-5 swims a week). This gives me two additional workouts a week where I can do a bike or run. HOWEVER, my workouts in the pool are a lot more focused, intense and include more paddle work to gain strength which is key in long course.
Takeaways: I’ve noticed more energy in my bike and run workouts leading to more quality sessions. I’ve also noticed that I sustain pacing deep into the latter parts of 3500/4000 yard days when normally I would fade. I contribute that to paddle work and really focusing on keeping form when fatigue sets in.
Bike: Time for volume to go up! We’ll start incorporating back to back long rides on the weekends with some tempo work and recovery rides during the weekdays. My SRM Power meter has really helped take my cycling to the next level. I’m really starting to learn how to use it. Not just chasing watts but studying output when out of aero, out of the saddle, speed, wind, etc. There is a lot to it and it’s been fun seeing speed improvements with just simple adjustments in my riding style. This really is what IMCDA all comes down to – how well I ride, and a big part of that is how smart I am and the SRM plays a huge part of that.
Takeaways: I’m closing long rides better and running off the bike even better. I’m seeing power numbers; speed, energy and recovery time all go up. I had no idea how big of a tool a Power meter could be until now.
Run: Run volume will also increase. I’m already starting to see some gains because of it. For the past 3 years in triathlon I’ve always kept my mileage between 15-25 miles a week which is very low but with my running background I’ve been able to get away with it in most cases. Well, I have no doubt that my true running ability will start to show with the higher mileage.
Takeaways: With the extra consistency and volume, I’m seeing quicker/effortless recovery runs and it’s also given me the ability to work on perfecting my form and efficiency. We’ll be smart about the ramp up in volume and I’m excited about the prospects of crushing that marathon at IMCDA.
Here’s last week’s workouts:
Monday: 2 workouts
BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 75 mins / 3500 yds
700 warm up
8×50 on :50
10×100 on 1:40(50easy/50 fast)
500 kick with fins
800 pull (1:30 pace)
Post workout notes: Mondays always feel like a time to shake out the cobwebs since I hadn’t swam since Friday. Good workout
Flanny’s workout: We now turn our focus to Ironman. Your current speed and strength will serve you well at Wildfllower but we need to start focusing you on the full distance. This will consist of LOTS of tempo work as our quality. VO2max work is now a thing of the past and Threshold will be an ocassional treat but not used as we have been to date.
2 hours today with 3 x 20 minutes at your 70.3 race watts on 5 minutes easy riding between efforts.
Post workout notes: (listed in power file)
Tuesday: 1 workout
Workout details & notes: (listed in data file). Still felt a little tired from the race and being sick. Just stayed smart and cruised through the intervals.
Wednesday: 2 workouts
BlueSeventy Flanny Swim: 1hr / 3000 yds
400 Pull w/ Paddles
15 x 100 best avg you can hold on 15 sec rest
6 x 50 as 1 fast 1 easy on 10 sec rest
Post workout notes: Held 1:30’s for the 100’s, felt good.
SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Trainer: 1:34 / 25 miles / 16.4mph
Flanny’s workout: Simple Zone 2 ride as recovery.
Post workout notes: Just threw on some Netflix and enjoyed the recovery ride.
Thursday: 1 workout
Flanny’s Workout: 30 min of Warm Up, 45 minutes building from low Z3 to mid Z3, 15min Easy to finish it out.
Post workout notes: (listed in Data file)
Friday: 1 workout
BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 75 mins / 3500 yards
500 wup, 4×100 on 1:40, 4×50 on 50
Main set (x2):
8×25 on 30
4X50 on 50
2×100 on 1:30
200 on 3:00
500 fins and paddles
Post workout notes: Loving the burn from the paddle work.
Saturday: 2 workout
SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Ride, Power file HERE. 4:37 / 71 miles / 15.4 mph / 6k+ of climbing
Flanny’s workout: Lets knock out a good Long Session today with a short run off the bike. Get in some solid climbing and make sure nutrition is a focus and reported.
Post workout notes: Notes attached to the power file above. This was a point to point ride with the infamous Palomar mountain climb right smack in the middle. The climb is 12 miles long with 4k of climbing. Fun workout!
Rudy Project Brick Run- 25 mins / 3.4 miles/ 7:27 AVG pace. Data File HERE.
Flanny’s workout: Controlled 30 min Z2
Post workout notes: (Notes listed in data file)
Sunday: 1 workout
SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Ride: 2:05 / 33 miles / 16 mph
Flanny’s workout: No concern for watts or speed today.
Post workout notes: Just a nice cruise through wine country. Legs felt surprisingly good and really enjoyed the ride. Threw in some sprints to open the legs up a bit too.
Totals (3 swims, 4 rides, 3 runs)
Swim: 10,000 yds /3:30
Bike: 164 miles / 10:14
Run: 22.5 miles / 2:53
Total hours: 16:37
Questions / Comments always appreciated!
For more info/pictures and James’ website visit: www.konajourney.com