Feb 20, 2017 5:38 a.m
Happy Family Day! Hope everyone who has the day off gets out and enjoys it.
Yesterday was my long swim day. 3500 m total. First time I have swum farther than 2500 m this training period. It felt surprisingly good. Took a while. It was busy at the pool. A water polo game, half the big pool closed so everyone had to come to the other pool where I was swimming. One thing about training for an IRONMAN swim is that many people come and go in your lane while you are swimming. It is rare that someone is in the lane longer than I am. I have mentioned before that I don’t like being bumped or touched while swimming so when I have to share a lane my stress level goes up. No issues yesterday. I need to win the lottery and build my own private pool. That would be fantastic!
Today is my YOGA/STRETCH day. Probably the day I need the most and yet it is the day I give very little attention to. If I don’t get on top of my stretching I will run into troubles in CDA. My left hammy is tight from an old rugby injury, my hips are tight, quads tight, shoulders tight. You get the picture. I can’t half ass it on Monday. Now that I am telling you how I ignore this day I guess I better stop ignoring it. Monday and Wednesday I try to/will do yoga or 30 minutes of stretching.
I am tracking all my mileage and activity since I started this training. At the end of February I will give you an update on the totals. One of the areas that I track is called MISSED DAYS. That is a day where I have done nothing. For an activity to count it has to last for 30 min. Or if you doubled up on two activities it has to total 30 minutes. That is why stretching for 30 minutes counts. Most Yoga DVDs are a minimum of 30 minutes. The goal is to have zero missed days. My day offs are yoga or stretching. Good goal in theory but as you all know, there are days where you don’t feel like doing anything. More on missed days and tracking later.
We have covered the swim and the bike as well as how the nutrition plan should work.
Now… THE RUN. 42 km.
A marathon after you have swam 3.8 km and biked 180 km. Nice way to the end the day! Actually, it is for me. I look forward to the run because out of the 3 activities the run is my favourite, it is the one I am probably better at and it also means if I am running, the race will soon end.
I am not saying the run is easy. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The “fun” is just beginning on the run. Your day can be going great and then on the run, poof, your day has turned into a nightmare. My friend Heather (wife of Laz) threw up on the race course when she did her IRONMAN. People stop moving or all they can do is walk. The run can be a crazy time.
One thing is true, you will run into problems on the run. They may be mental hurdles or physical, or both but you will have them. If you haven’t taken in enough nutrition on the bike then you are guaranteed to have a painful run. Too late to turn back and try to eat on the course then. You are running on an empty tank.
My good buddy Phipper once told me prior to my 2004 IRONMAN that on the run there is a big monkey waiting for every runner. He waits and then he pounces. He will get on your back, he will hit you with a stick, he will beat you down. Then he will leave. You have to keep moving while that mean, mean monkey beats you. If you stop moving, it is over. That monkey waits for everyone too. We will all experience a point in the run where we are sore, tired, hungry, not hungry, emotional, sad, mad, did I mentioned tired and sore? You have to fight through, keep pushing. Walk if you have to. A lot of people walk. Keep moving!
I think people take many approaches to training for the run in an IRONMAN. My first IRONMAN in 2004, I made sure I put in the mileage. I put in the long runs, did a Marathon race 3 months before the IRONMAN. My run time in 2004 was good. I think I was about 5 and a half hours. I finished, I was happy😃
In 2008, it was different. The longest run I did was 2 hour 45 minutes. That probably put me somewhere in the 25-30 km range I am guessing. I looked back but can’t find the distance that I did that day. Nothing longer during the whole training schedule. In fact, I only ran twice per week. My 2008 time was 35 minutes faster than in 2004. Also, I was 197 lbs in 2004 and 203 in 2008.
So this year, I am doing the same. Up until this past week I was only running once per week and no more than 8 km max. The odd time if it was a nice Friday I might go and do a 10 km or 12 km but those types of runs so far might add up to 3 times. The rest are short distances. I don’t want to put the wear and tear on this old frame too soon. Lose weight, work on my speed but don’t push the kms just yet.
Now, 6 months out, that has changed. Now the runs on Fridays will get longer, still work on speed and still continue to lose weight. By June I want to be up to 22 km for one of my long runs and by August be up to 27-30 km. Also, I have added brick workouts every Saturday after my bike. Depending on the bike ride my runs might be 20 minutes or they may be up to 90 minutes. I don’t plan on running longer that 27-30 km on any long run this time around either. It worked in 2008. Lighter and faster, that is the key. I don’t believe you need to run a marathon before you do your first IRONMAN. If you can run 25 or 30 km, you can run 42 km. However, some may feel that it is a mental hurdle and I get that so do what works for you. In the run training, be careful you don’t over do it. Running is a high impact activity when you are running that far. I think I read it is 3 x your body weight every stride you take. Could be wrong, google it.
What is the nutrition plan on the run you ask? Stuff your face!
If you haven’t eaten properly up to this point, you are doomed to suffer. If you have eaten properly, you will still suffer but you will some energy to fight through it. My plan on the run is to walk through/stop at each aid station. I believe they are set up every mile. Run to the next aide station and eat and drink and then repeat at the next station. This is where I can walk, catch my breath, take in whatever the aide station is offering and then move on. I don’t recall if I carried a water bottle with me or any gels while I was running. I try to travel light and use only the aide stations but I may have in the past. That will be a game time decision. I probably will carry some gels with me. Maybe a water bottle. OK, I will be carrying a bottle and some gels as I run👌I better go out and buy one of those water bottle things, I am sure I threw my last one out a long time ago.
FLAT COKE. Champagne of run aid stations. If you have done an IRONMAN you know what I am talking about. At the previous two IRONMANs that I have done the run aide stations had coke. Of course by the time I get there it is flat and it tastes GLORIOUS! It must be the sugar. I look forward to that drink at every aid station. It is delicious. Also, in 2004 they served chicken soup broth. Again, tasted like champagne. Outstanding. Need the salt.
Make sure you take a moment at each aid station to get liquid and food into your belly. You may not feel like eating or drinking but you have to. You are going to have troubles on the run, by passing the aide stations and not taking anything in will only make the troubles worse. You can be in a lot of discomfort or you can be in A LOT OF DISCOMFORT. Your choice.
I am going to go do my stretching now so I can tell you next time that I did it😊 Today, stretching and Jen and I will take our puppy for a long walk. That is about all the activity I have planned for today. I forgot to mention the SPECIAL NEEDS BAGs that you have at IRONMAN races. I will bring that up next blog.
Enjoy your day. Thanks for reading. I am surprised how many people have taken a moment to read these blogs. Really appreciate it. I thought it would be just me, Jen, RV, Joe and Laz.
I am figuring out how to add photos. I added a photo to this one but it is not relevant to the run but I will get some that are😁 Bare with me. I am new to this👍