Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What did I sign up for?

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.