So I have been building my training steadily since March. It has reached the point where I can tolerate 9 sessions a week without getting sick, 3 swims, 3 rides and 3 runs.
It looks something like this on a typical week:
- 6AM Swim 2km
- lunch 8.4 km run
- 7am 40 min ride on spin bike in gym holding heart rate between 140-150
Wed - 6AM Swim 2km - lunch 8.4 km run or 6-8 kms high intensity intervals on treadmill Thurs - 40 mins high intensity intervals on spin bike in gym, 2 mins on 1 min off Fri
- 6am swim 2km plus a little bit if I have time
- 6:30am 24km hill run or 7:30am 11km intense hill run
- 100km hill ride or 120km Beach rd ride
Now that Ironman is 121 days away, I have to work out how to take things to the next level without adding too much training time.
I need more swimming pace, might have to do some stroke correction and maybe some squads.
I need to do more riding at a steady effort on flatter roads.
I need to run off long rides to get used to the feeling of running on tired legs.
All this training has transformed me physically. I have only a few kgs but have dropped my body fat percentage drastically.
So things aren't going to bad, just have to work out how to step up a level.
The high from running a good marathon is dangerous.
It makes you do stupid things.
Very stupid things.
Things like sign-up for Ironman Melbourne 2014.
Those not familiar with Ironman, it is a single day triathlon comprised of a 3.8km swim, 180km ride and a 42km run (a marathon). It's a big step up with the longest I triathlon I have done being the Olympic distance of 1500 metre swim, 40km ride and 10km run. That said I have done the run and ride distances as stand alone events, it is only the swim and putting them all together on the same day that will be new.
So the next few months will be spent building a cycle base, working on run speed and avoiding swimming. I finish my Masters in June/July at which time I will start a more structured training program in all 3 disciplines. It's hard to get up at 5am when you have been studying to midnight.
Once into my structured program I will probably be doing 9 sessions a week, minimum 10-12 hours in total and building up to a peak of somewhere around 16 hours for a few weeks. This isn't a lot by Ironman standards so I will have to focus on getting the most out of each session. Learning nutrition will also be an important part of training. Finding out what food I can tolerated when under extreme stress and how many calories I can consume per hour.
It's a huge challenge, but I have learnt that if you manage your nutrition and get your pacing right the very hard becomes manageable. The pacing is the really tough one and the only way to learn it is through lots of good strong training and then not getting carried away on race day.
Having a goal is good for motivation and my weight has been steadily decreasing all year. Most of all I am loving getting out on my bike on a Sunday morning and spending a few hours enjoying the hills of Melbourne's North Eastern green wedge.
So I ran my first marathon back in 2006 with a finish time of 3:47. That beat my target of 4 hours, it also beat Toadie from Neighbours and I was pretty happy with it.
But not as happy as I would be if I beat 3:30 and so a goal was set.
I was on track of about a 3:33 in 2007 until I cramped so violently at the 38km mark that my first thought was I had torn my hamstring from the bone. It was a battle to finish that one in 3:42, but at least it was still a personal best.
There was quite a break before I ran my one in 2010, I was coming back from a bad planter fascia tear which had seen me gain a heap of weight. Overweight and underdone I battled through for a 3:47 which was OK all things considered, but Toadie from Neighbours did beat me (not my PB though).
Then there was 2012. I had spent the 2011/12 summer training and racing in a few triathlons. My training regime had reached as much as 8 sessions a week with lots of short distance speed work in it. I was running 5kms at close to 4 min/km pace and feeling pretty good about it.
Once the triathlon season wound up, I kept the speed work in, cut a couple of sessions and started focusing on my diet. Weight came down to about 88-90kgs (from a peak in 2010 of about 114kgs) and I started building my long run. The running continued to a peak of about 70kms a week (~32km long run) with 3 weights sessions per week. While I had a calf strain followed by severe calf tightening, I didn't suffer any of the sickness that kept me out of the 2011 marathon.
The 2012 Melbourne Marathon was held last Sunday and it went well for me. I stuck with the 3:30 pacer Ruth until about the 38km mark, then took off by myself to finish in 3:25.
Ever so slight negative split and the best I have ever felt in a marathon (disclaimer: the last 3-4kms still hurt A LOT).
I now have nothing left to prove to myself and never HAVE to run another one of these things. That doesn't mean I won't chose to run another, but I don't HAVE to.
BEAT THAT TOADIE!
Things I have learnt about running marathons
If you did all the things that people say give you a 5% or 10% benefit you would be at 300%. Focus on doing the training, sleeping 2 nights before and knowing your pace.
Knowing your pace is really, really hard. Expect to get it wrong on your first marathon. The pace guides on the net are OK, so do a half marathon a couple of months before your full to get a feel for your pace. To put it into perspective, I passed over 300 people in the last 12kms.
Carbo loading can mean just eat normally but ensuring there are carbs in your meals. It doesn't have to mean cram in the pasta and feel bloated.
It is important to drink during your run, especially the sports drinks to avoid leg cramps (warning: too much will give you gut cramps if you are not used to them). But it is equally important not to drink too much, if you feel bloated you are drinking too much.
Have fun, make a point of feeding off other's energy. It helps pass the time if nothing else. High fiving kids as you run is a bit of fun.
It's going to hurt, but be mentally prepared for when it REALLY hurts. You can use a mantra, emergency jelly beans or anything else that works.
Train. There is no substitute for training. If you combine great training with hitting the right pace you will minimise the pain on the day.
So I went hiddey for a little while as there was a chance some work people may stumble past.
Now I think I have sufficiently sanitised things I can stick my head back up.
Not that I have much to say anyway. Running is going well, weight is right down and kms are right up. Doing 60-70kms per week with my long run at about 34kms. Should really be doing about 90kms per week but I reckon I would be permanently injured if I tried. Still I have the best chance ever to run a sub 3:30 marathon, provided I can handle the last 5kms. Anything sub 3:40 will still be a success.
If you are trying to drop a few kgs (Havock I am looking at you) try MyFitnessPal. Helps you track your daily calorie intake and the barcode scanner hasn't failed me yet. It has kept me down to 1 donut a day which makes it some kind of miracle app.
Plenty going on on the work front, was in Newcastle last week and will be in Brissie the first week of October for a couple of days. Did some leadership training that was quite interesting and gives another perspective on the leaders within the company. Didn't get to mention my King of the World ideas during the training, maybe in the followup session.
Ok, that's enough procrastinating from study, better get back to it. Got to get up early and get into the gym before work, loving having an on-site gym at work.
In a classic example of common sense, whilst recovering from a badly strained calf I have entered the Melbourne Marathon.
Normally, due to my penchant for injury under large kilometre training, I don't enter the marathon until as late as possible. This year I wanted to take advantage of the cheaper early bird entry fees which close today.
I was way ahead in training, but this calf strain put me back a couple of weeks. That said, if I can have a clear block of training from here to the event I will be fine. If I can run the Sandy Point Half in a few weeks time, it will be of great benefit and if I can do it in 90 - 95 mins then I will be right on track.
It's a bit of a catch 22, train early and hard and my performance should be better. But lots of kilometres at a high intensity almost guarantees something will break on me. I'm hoping the calf strain will be it and I will have enough common sense not to push too hard over the next couple of weeks while it finishes healing. I don't like my odds.
Don't really have anything to say, but that's never stopped me in the past.
So what's going on? Just back from JP's and soprano gurl's awesome wedding that we extended into a holiday. It was a genuine 3 day wedding and a bunch of fun.
I got into triathlons last summer and interestingly the speed work has had a positive effect on my distance running. My long run is currently a hilly 24kms in about 1:42 which for me is flying.
Things are busy at work and my masters is still chugging along. Sophasaurus is doing really well and the iPad we brought has turned into a fantastic educational tool for her. It is quite surprising how effective a learning aid it is.
Dr Yobbo if you read this http://racearoundtheweb.com.au/ is tailor made for The World of Bollocks, get into it.
Last point of this pretty shitty post - Wiggins is overrated, he is not in Cadel's league.
Now off to see if I can find a Green Frog......