2016 IMLP Training – WEEK 26

WEEK 26 – June 20, 2016 – June 26, 2016

“😖 I hate this sport!” – Alex

Week 26 was a tough one.  And it elicited the above statement from one of my training buddies.  It’s his first time going through the 30 week training program in his pursuit of Ironman immortality, but having been through the training once before I can certainly empathize.

To me the weekend training workouts are the true efforts that are reflective of what it takes to get ready for the race.  The other days are hard as well, but much shorter in duration.  But the long Saturday ride and the long Sunday run really give you a taste of what the race will be like.  I write this post on Sundays mostly, and by then the early parts of the week are distant memories, while the weekend distance events are still rather fresh in my mind.

So we bantered around a little in a group text about whether or not we all hate this sport.  We don’t really, it’s just that doing a 5.5 hour ride followed by a 1 hour run on a 90 degree and humid day really makes you think about why we like triathlon at all.

But my friend Dave and I both agree that the training is tough, and although there can be some rough patches and good days of training as well, the training is truly the hard part.  Getting through the 30 weeks prepares you for being ready to handle the distance.  I’ve thought many times that since probably Week 20 or so that I was ready.  This week really drove home the point that until you get past Week 26 and Week 27 (next week – yikes!), you really don’t know that you are ready.  You may think so, but this week and the next will really tell you all you need to know.  The race is really the easy part, utilizing the skills and endurance earned over 30 weeks.  It’s now less than a month away.  Mike Reilly may be at the finish line telling everyone that they are an Ironman, but what’s impressive is that we prepared for 30 weeks to get to the finish line after 140.6 miles to have him tell us that.

As for me this week, the swimming pool is finally done.  I had missed quite a bit of swimming since the high school pools changed their summer hours to a time I couldn’t go, and then opening my own pool to find a torn liner delayed my training.  But all is good now and I have decided to supplement the three swim days of the training plan by adding a 30 minute swim every weekday, and dropping the Friday 3500 yard swim, because of the fact that I never did it anyway!  I should get my endurance and build some of the lost speed back in the next couple of weeks.

We had a graduation party for my high school graduate this weekend, so I had to swap Saturday’s long ride with Sunday’s long run to have time to help prepare for the party.  I think I got lucky because I got the long run done early before the heat had time to get going on Saturday.  And although there was a brief downpour before I started the 5.5 hour ride on Sunday, the skies and humidity cleared nicely and I didn’t really suffer like my Gunner teammates did.

At the two hour and 45 minute turn around.  I was soaked from sweating so much.
Oh yeah?  Well I’m not stealing your water to put in a pot anyway!

The ride was the same as last week, a 5.5 hour ride, but I made to 95 miles last week and was kind of disappointed in myself for not hitting the century mark.  So this week I rode a little extra and ended up at 101.5 miles on the bike.  In 2013, I never reached that plateau until race day.  So it is a nice reminder that I am pretty close to that race distance of 112 miles.

So yes, Week 26 was a challenge.  But the challenge just proves that I have the stuff to become Ironman.


Swims: 4 total, 3 hours, 8550 yards

Bikes: 4 total, 9:50 hours, 162.5 miles

Runs: 7 total, 7:10 hours, 49.7 miles

Training is hard.  The race is fun.


2016 IMLP Training – WEEK 22

WEEK 22 – May 23, 2016 – May 29, 2016

As usual, my wonderful wife keeps pretty close tabs on me during my training.  She knows the effort involved and makes sure I don’t overdo it.  But lately she has been on me about under-doing it, in particular the swim.  Some may call that nagging, but it is really just loving concern.  The schools had their final week of classes this week and therefore adjusted the pool hours to end midday, effectively keeping me out of the pool for another week.  And I am still waiting for my in-ground pool to be fixed.

I had convinced myself that missing a week or two of swimming wasn’t going to affect me, but when my number one fan is concerned, I guess I had better think about it as well.  I guess I will add some upper body strength training (which I loathe, by the way) in the interim until I can get back into swimming.

The Ironman related Facebook pages that I follow were also talking a lot about swimming too, mainly in regard to a condition called SIPE – Swimming Induced Pulmonary Edema.  It appears that this condition may be a big cause of many of the swimming related fatalities in the Ironman swims.  I read up on the topic and even listened to a podcast that discussed it, and truthfully I have never had any of the symptoms of this condition.  But it pays to be aware of them for sure.

As far as the rest of the week of training is concerned, it was somewhat of an easy week that tapered down slightly toward a Half-Iron distance race in the plan for Sunday.  Since this weekend happened to be Memorial Day weekend and my youngest daughter had a soccer tournament, the best day to do this trial run was Saturday.  There was too much going on to do an actual race, so I did the training on my own.  The day started out slightly cool with somewhat threatening skies, but it never did rain.  I stuck to the Old Plank Trail in order to have some shelter available to me in case I needed to dodge a storm.  I ended up doing almost exactly 56 miles, averaging 17.5 mph.

After getting home, I changed into some non-sweaty running clothes and headed for the 6.55 miles out and 6.55 miles back.  But the threatening skies turned sunny, and I had neglected to put on sunscreen.  I was starting to cook.  But I had plenty of water, GU and Base salt with me and I kept up with it.  Of note, I ran the 13.1 miles in 2:01 which was pretty much my best effort for the conditions.  I had run the Frankfort Half Marathon a month earlier in 1:35.  Interesting how much slower you run when you precede it with a 56 mile ride and do it in 80 degree weather.

Upon getting home, I could tell that I had over-done it somewhat.  A shower, some rehydration, and a quick dinner made me whole again. I think I pushed a little too hard on the bike and didn’t hydrate as much as I should have.  That’s what training is for, learning from the mistakes.

69.1 miles later…



Swims: No swimming this week 😦

Bikes: 3 total, 5 hours, 87.5 miles

Runs: 7 total, 5 hours, 34.6 miles

Training gets serious in the next few weeks.