I transferred my entry from Ironman UK to Ironman Weymouth and with hindsight I’m so glad I did. Following Ironman Texas I enjoyed a lovely walking holiday in The Lake District and then had great fun at Engadin Swim Run but it was clear that there’s no way I would have been in a good state to race Ironman UK.
I took to wearing a heart rate monitor on the bike as I returned to serious training in June. This was following reading some new books on the Maffetone method on the like. This takes me back to my early days of Triathlon. I read “The Maffetone Method” and started using a HR monitor in theory to cap my efforts but back then I found that I’d already been training at a relatively low intensity and it was actually quite hard work to run or bike at the HR cap. This time however, I found that the cap was forcing me to really back off on my efforts. I now wonder whether a lot of my lack of motivation for quite a few years now has been to being over-trained. To riding too hard on the bike for a lot of the time. I made the decision to go back to formally following a cap and just letting Weymouth happen as it will. Instead the focus is on getting back in to shape for racing Frankfurt next year.
Over the past few years I’ve come close to qualifying on several occasions. It’s always boiled down to not running quick enough – I think (without checking) on all those occasions of coming close I’ve run over 4 hours. Really not a performance of a Kona qualifier. I feel that it’s very rare in Ironman that you don’t get a result that reflects your training. You hear many an excuse which boils down to “having a bad day” but I personally don’t feel that happens that often (a mechanical being the only one I can recall for myself). My performances have definitely reflected my training, I may be disappointed but on reflection it’s disappointment in not having trained enough. Intellectually I’ve recognised my massive lack of run truing but it’s not translated in to anything thats motivated me to run more. Thats been until this year. I don’t want to jinx it but my enjoyment in running is returning. I took a look at the running I’ve done over the years and how that’s reflected in Kona qualification:
In my early years when I qualified every time I tried I was averaging over 40 miles per week with at least one 20+k run each week and about one 30+k run every other week. 2009 was when I snapped my FHL and in a rush of enthusiasm in the year after I managed to qualify twice again probably drawing on the run fitness that was still around from the years before. Since then it’s been dismal culminating in 2014/15 where I only managed in two years the mileage I covered in 6 months in 2005. So far 2016 is on track to be better than 2010 which shows a glimmer of hope for running well on Sunday but it’s important to look at the years preceding and I’m not convinced my run form is anything like that.
So… I’m going in to the race in good shape, excited to race but don’t feel I’m in Kona qualifying shape.
Early September is not the best time for my swimming as my squad has it’s break in August. That said I’ve been doing the odd swim run session with Rachel – we’re tethered and it’s proving to be a about the best open water training I’ve done. Also, the years I’ve had Graham working on maintaining my stroke length feel like they’re paying off now. This morning I was cruising 1:18s off 1:40 and 1:14s off 1:55 holding 14/15 stroke count (25m pool). I feel i can swim pretty conservative and be around 55 mins.
Swim – 55 mins
New course this year so looking at last years times doesn’t help much. Jo reckons it’s a harder course and certainly looks like more climbing. I’ve decided that I’m going to ride without power for this race and almost certainly without my HRM. I just want to go out and ride on feel.
So …. finger in the air stuff
Bike – 5:35
I’ve certainly seen my pace at my HR cap (135) increase – in late June I could hardly run uphill and be running in the high 5 mins per KM. Now I typically am running between 5:15 and 5:30 KMs but have had the odd run where I’ve been under 5 mins per KM.
Run – 3:45
Putting it all together:
0:55 - Swim 0:04 - T1 5:35 - Bike 0:03 - T2 3:45 - Run 10:22 - TOTAL