2016 IMLP Training – WEEK 5

WEEK 5 – January 25, 2016 – January 31, 2016

The participant list for Ironman Lake Placid came out this week, and of course I had to ensure my name was on it.  For many triathletes, in particular newbies, seeing their name listed as a participant is a moment that drives home the point that you are committed to the race – a life just got real moment.

For me, after checking that my name and the names of my buddies were indeed there, seeing the number 53 in the age column was the real eye opener.  When did I get old?  USA Triathlon sets the rules for most triathlons in the US, and one of the age group rules is that you participate at the age you will be at the end of the year.  So that makes this 52 year old already 53 before my fall birthday!

 

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And there it was – 53.
Turning 40 wasn’t that bad, and last year just a week before turning 52, I set a personal best in the marathon, running a 3:28 at Chicago.  So I never really thought I was getting old.  But seeing that 53 gave me some pause.  And with all the recent celebrity deaths at ages in their 60’s, I have become more aware of mortality.

But as I peruse the above list, I can see that I am not alone in vintage.  Plenty of company in the over 50 group.  The 50-54 age group alone has 428 athletes.  I guess it isn’t too surprising that the over 40 crowd makes up a big chunk of the race.  Announcer Mike Reilly always jokes that it’s the biggest group because we have disposable income.  True.

So I guess I should just live in the age I am and make the most out of it, and do the same in 10 or 20 years.  But 53, I am coming for you.

Swim – I had a sort of revelation in regard to my swim this week.  Someone on one of the Ironman Facebook pages I follow posted a response to a post about trying to improve but was getting nowhere.  I am in the same boat.  I just can’t seem to get that swim speed down.  But the response was a suggestion for a drill that I had not heard mentioned before, the vertical kick/deep water drill.  After Googling the drill, I found a really interesting video:  Sea Hiker Swimming

In the video, I could really see for the first time how to move my legs in the water.  It will take some time to learn it well, but I could see an improvement in my 2500 yard straight swim.  My splits went from an average of 2:18 per 100 yards to under 2:10 consistently.  I hope to continue to improve on the kick aspect.  In reality, I may save 5 minutes on the 2.4 mile swim, so it may not be worth it as getting faster may tire me out more for the latter parts of the race.  I will see how training goes.

Bike – The bike went well this week, with my long Saturday ride outside for a change!  Illinois weather sucked much less this week than usual and I took my road bike out for a turn.  Riding outside is so much more enjoyable, even if it is only 46 degrees out.

Run – I am still feeling a little sore in the high hamstring area, and need to implement some more stretching.  But overall, my tempo has been good, and feeling happy about the trail being ice-free so I can get out and run on the trail.

WEEK 5 TOTALS:

Swims: 2, 2 hours, 5000 yards

Bikes: 3 total, 3 hours, approx. 46 miles

Runs: 7 total, 4 hours, approx. 30 miles

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Week 5(3) is DONE!

2016 IMLP Training -WEEK 1

WEEK 1 – December 28, 2015 – January 3, 2016

Training for an Ironman race can be a long distance event by its very nature.  30 weeks of training is hard to wrap your head around somewhat.  But if you take it day by day, or even weekly, the weeks will pass by very quickly.  That’s the plan – put in the daily work and reap the benefits come race day.

Birth of the Gunners

One of the ways to make the training seem to fly by, is to have some good training buddies.  For my second attempt at Ironman, I am very lucky to once again be joined by my life long friends, brothers Dave and John.  We went down this journey once before, and I am thrilled to be creating memories and sharing experiences with them once again.  This time around we are leaving the rolling hills of Madison,Wisconsin for the long steady climbs of Lake Placid, New York.  Like IMWI, Lake Placid has a reputation as being one of the harder Ironman courses.  But we conquered IMWI, we shall reign at IMLP!

Dave and John are bike beasts, and both will lead us old guys out of the water every race.  Dave is our planner and probably the most knowledgeable of the sport.  John is our instigator (he dragged me into this crazy sport, kicking and screaming) and our free spirit.

This time around we are joined by Dave’s son, Alex, an almost 21 year old with an accomplished triathlon pedigree.  Alex is part of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes Tri-Hawks triathlon team, and is very fast.  He keeps us on our toes.  This will be Alex’s first time doing Ironman.

Also joining us is Jeff, another longtime family friend, and although not a total newbie to triathlon, he’s totally an Ironman newbie just like we were in 2013.  Jeff separates himself from the rest of us, because I don’t believe he has reached his full potential yet.  His biking and running ability is killer.  But he’s got a ton of room to improve, and I fully expect to be chasing him from Lake Placid to Keene, and all around the IMLP course on race day.

Myself, I am the worrier and doubter, but these guys make me a believer.  Believe in the training, believe in the goal, believe in yourself.  We proved it once, and we will be Ironman finishers again!

So we had the team, it just lacked a name.  John had been referring to Alex as a “gunner,” and then it just started getting bantered around to any and all of us.  It was pretty clear that the name “GUNNERS” would be very fitting for our group.  Now we just need to finalize a logo, get some shirts and a custom tri kit, and we’ll look like pros!  That’s my hope at least.

Workouts for Week 1

We are following Don Fink’s Be Iron Fit book, and the Competitive Program training plan.  Week 1 is the first of 10 Base Phase weeks, and an fairly easy entry into training.  Monday is a rest day, however I have been enjoying a year long running streak that I am toying around with continuing.  It’s not super important to me, but I will maintain the streak as long as it doesn’t jeopardize the Ironman training.  Tuesdays are a swim and run.  Wednesday a bike/run brick.  Thursdays are a swim and bike.  Fridays will be a run.  The weekends are filled with a Saturday long ride, with Sunday being a long run.  In the beginning, all of the efforts are short, but will build to the point where I will be gone on the weekends.

The training plan started the week of Christmas break for the schools, so swimming for me was not possible.  That scares me a little, because I haven’t swam since September, and Fink’s swim plan is tough from the start in my opinion.  But experience has told me that I can get there and not be penalized for missing the first week.

Here’s to a trouble free 30 weeks, and good times along the way!  We are off to a great start.

WEEK 1 TOTALS:

Swims:  0

Bikes:  3 total, 2 hours, approx. 28 miles

Runs:  7 total, 5 hours, approx. 36 miles (The totals higher than what the plan calls for due to the silly run streak that I am doing.)

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Week 1 is done!  GUNNERS!