Monday Morning Training Report: It’s Official, We’re New Orleans Ironman 70.3 Bound!
It’s official, we’re registered for the New Orleans Ironman 70.3! Ever since our triathlon last fall, the idea has been in the back of Courtney and my mind that we’d like to someday complete an Ironman. This feels like the ultimate fitness accomplishment to me, the Holy Grail if you will. I know we could do it, but I’m not sure that I’m willing to commit to the amount of training it would entail. While much more manageable, I was hesitant to even commit to training for a half-Ironman (that’s this 70.3) – summer is just so dang fun! But when I saw there was a race on our anniversary in one of my favorite cities, I knew it was meant to be. What better way to celebrate six years of marriage than to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles together?!
While we didn’t use a training plan for the Olympic, I felt like we needed one for this longer distance. We’re following Training Zone’s 12 week training plan for time-poor athletes, which entails 7-10 hours of training per week. We just finished our third week of training, giving us just 9 more weeks to prep for the race! Right now we’re averaging about 8-9 hours, and it’s a pretty big time commitment on the weekend of 2-3 hours per day. We’re not incorporating the training zones, but are following the general training structure:
Mondays: Swim (starting at 1.6km, maxing at 2.6km)
Tuesdays: Short Run (35-40 minutes)
Wednesdays: Swim (starting at 1.6km, maxing at 2.6km)
Thursdays: Long Run (starting at 8 miles, maxing at 13)
Fridays: Rest Day
Saturdays: BRICK workout (1:40 bike followed immediately by a 20 minute run)
Sundays: Long ride (starting at 2:15, maxing at 3 hours)
Biggest Challenges & Concerns:
The Swim: This is my weakest link. For my last race and in past training I swam entirely breaststroke. I’ve started practicing my freestyle during our pool workouts, and already I’ve gotten significantly better! I do worry that this won’t be the case when I’m out in open water without lanes, but I’ll always have my breaststroke to fall back on.
The Bike: This is where I’m most out of my comfort zone. Riding on open roads really scared me during the Giant Acorn – I’m hoping that this race isn’t as bad.
Putting it all together: Overall, I’m pretty confident in our physical ability to do any single leg of the race – my biggest concern is our ability to put them all together. I am a very mental athlete, and I think knowing that I have to run a half marathon after spending all that time in the water and on a bike will be tough. The BRICK workouts are good practice for this, but 13.1 miles is a lot longer than the 30 minutes we’ve been running. I may try to add a couple longer BRICKs to increase my confidence.
Things we can’t control: Primarily bike malfunctions and travel logistics. I can change a tire, but it takes me a very long time and is a struggle – if it happened on the course, it could be a problem. With travel, we’re flying in Friday night and plan to check our bikes in bike bags on Southwest (it’s free!) so we don’t have a lot of time for delayed flights, lost bags or fixing any issues that arise on the bike from partially unassembling them.
Week 3 Training Recap:
Monday: 2 km swim
Tuesdays: 40 minute run, Chisel
Wednesdays: 2 km Swim
Thursdays: 8 mile run, softball
Fridays: Rest Day
Saturdays: BRICK workout (1:40 bike followed immediately by a 30 minute run), ninja warrior games
Sundays: Long ride (2:45 – 38 miles)
+daily 35 minutes to/from work
Swimming: We swim at the Eastern Market indoor pool, and have been getting our swims in in the morning before work – only problem being I smell like chlorine all day. When we started swimming three weeks ago, I was doing mostly breaststroke with freestyle occasionally interspersed for part of a lap. I’ve gotten closer to half and half, rotating down freestyle and back breaststroke.
Long Run: This week’s long run took us down to the Lincoln, across the Arlington bridge, and back up the 14th St. bridge. It certainly wasn’t our strongest run since we were still feeling the after affects of a 4 course, 3 cocktail restaurant week dinner the night before, but we pushed through without any emergencies.
BRICK: We’ve been biking down to Haines Point to do laps because it’s fast and flat with no traffic. This week we got 7 laps in. I wasn’t as jello-y during the run, which took us down to Navy Yard and back, ending at Dunkin Donuts, as always. Because we did it after playing ninja games in the morning, we got a late start and it was hot, which I find to be more problematic on the run than on the bike – but we pushed through.
Long Ride: Time completely got away from us on Saturday night (morning?), and before we knew it it was 3:00am and we were still playing drinking games at a rooftop pool. Needless to say, Sunday’s long ride out to Mt. Vernon and back was hot and painful – especially for Courtney, who got stung by a bee! You can’t go super fast on the trail because it’s windy and crowded, but it’s a good long recovery ride and gives us some practice on hillier terrain.
Nutrition: I really need to work on this. I’ve actually gained weight since we started training because I’ve been using it as excuse to eat ALL the sugar. I have a master’s degree in nutrition education – I know better! But it’s amazing how the mind compensates and justifies way more than you’ve actually burned. Once we’re back from vacation at the start of September I’m going to start getting back into a pattern of regular meal prep and eating out less, but in the meantime I’m going to try really hard to stop snacking so dang much. I also need to do some research on how we should be fueling during the actual race since we’ll be out there for 6-8 hours!
- Night before: haven’t been paying attention to this, but we need to!
- Pre-workout meals: some combination of peanut butter and banana/jelly/honey/fluff (for serious) on an English muffin.
- Mid-workout snacks: dates and almond butter.
- Post-workout treat: Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee
Life Balance: So far, we’ve really not had to make very many sacrifices to fit training into our schedule. We already had a fairly high exercise baseline, for the most part training has just replaced group fitness classes. If anything, it’s our chores that are falling to the wayside. During the week, doing workouts in the morning has kept our evenings free – although this may become challenging as the long run gets longer. On the weekends we’ve been lucky to have pretty moderate weather, which has given us flexibility to start later. After Sunday’s painful long ride I think it’s pretty clear we need to dial back the alcohol and dial up the sleep!
Week to Come: throughout the training, there are 2 rest weeks, giving the body time to recover before increasing the distance. This is one of them, which physically feels very much needed and is convenient since we have guests in town this weekend!
M – 1.4 km swim (we’ll probably stick with 2 km)
T – rest day (I’ll probably do Chisel and possibly a spin class too)
W – 2 km swim
Th – 30 min run (I may do 45)
F – rest day
Sat – BRICK (1 hr bike, 20 min run)
Sun – 90 min bike ride