My Ironman Journey: A Mouthful of Humble Pie Might Have Been Good For Me

ironman-logo-iconIn previous posts I have scoffed a little about ‘Zone 2 training’  which, by now, I have become quite accustomed to. I sort-of noticed the increasing volume as the weeks went by but that was all fine as I was secretly enjoying running/cycling a long way and exploring new bits of my neighbouring areas that I’d not been to before. As well, of course, as spending time chatting with friends/training partners/strangers.

I quite like chatting with strangers. I blame my parents.

Now that the build period is well and truly upon me, it makes sense to start to include some threshold work as well as keeping the volume up. I have to admit it’s getting a ‘bit hard’ already. Not the sessions themselves but the accumulation of it all. I think I’m maybe up to 14/15 hours a week, something like that.

I reckon that Zone’s 3 and 5 are best kept well out of my Ironman training at this stage. 1, 2 and 4 seems like good numbers for zones. And that seems to work: although session X might seem ‘bloomin hard’ because of accumulated fatigue, actually, when waking up the next day it feels pretty good on the whole. Of course by the end of the next day and another session you’re tired again. And so it goes on.

My rest day, Monday, came after a REALLY long weekend of training  – I think over the weekend I did well over a half marathon, Pru Ride London and at least an Olympic tri all squeezed into 2 days of fun (and a 2-beer party+3 hours sleep as well…hmmm).

Anyway Tuesday was a few 10 minute reps interspersing with, yes you guessed it, Z2. That was to be followed by a 90 minute pool session later in the day BUT, and here we get to the point of the article, I’m starting to feel like I’m coming down with something as tonight’s pool session approaches – as an aside that was going to be the test of the new Suunto Spartan SPORT WHR in the wet, but no, not now.

I have been mindfulish about food and nutrients. I’ve been very good and kept well hydrated; tried to have lots of sleep; kept the protein intake up; as well as properly fuelling my sessions. I’m maybe running a very slight calorie deficit and aiming to sensibly lose 1-2kg by race day – not much. But what I have probably been doing wrong is missing out on quality nutrition ie not so many fruit and veg – simplistically I might well have been subconsciously saying to myself something like, “Why have a banana for carbs when a Lucozade sport will suffice‘. So yesterday I started to feel a bit run down and today I think it wise to miss swimming.

My first missed session

I had this strange feeling this morning, “I need a salad”. I guess that’s when I realised it was time to take corrective action. The corrective action, of course, involved vitamin tablets and the like 🙂 but also some of the proper red and green stuff.

I could easily have done the missed session, I suppose. Probably not very well. But I’m hoping that doing the right thing today will have me sorted out tomorrow. Making me raring to go for a 2 hour cycling commute to clients followed by a good old 2×20 thrown in for good measure when I get back and am all nicely warmed up.

Of course if I were paying attention to my HRV stats it would have been obvious to me that I had no recovery overnight on Tuesday (and Wednesday) mornings. Something was amiss before I knew it. I probably shouldn’t have done any training on Tuesday.

The graph from QS EMFIT simply shows Monday=good recovery and Tuesday/Wednesday=no recovery. simple really.
Source: parkrun

The Truth?: In reality I think all of the above may have been subconsciously-induced nonsense. My body REALLY is craving for a sneaky little taper as I plan to ignore my plan and sandwich in a half-speedy 5k parkun on Saturday 😉 That will probably be the reason!!

My Ironman Secret: Readers of this series of posts know that I try to end with a secret of some sort. Well. I used to be a vegetarian for a long, long time. That probably explained why I ached for extended periods of that part of my life. I thought it was because I was training really hard but in reality, I was probably not eating enough protein (and training too hard). Reflecting on that, I really respect anyone that manages to train/compete to a good level whilst being vegetarian – it takes a lot of effort to eat properly. Although, ironically, if  I still were a vegetarian I would definitely have been having all my micro nutrients and wouldn’t be feeling slightly worse-for-wear now. Oh well.

PS: Recommend me some bouncy running shoes please guys. Answers below.


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8 thoughts on “My Ironman Journey: A Mouthful of Humble Pie Might Have Been Good For Me

  1. If you want a “light” bouncy trainer (or for some a “heavy” racer) get the Adidas Adios Boost, which come at round 230g for 9UK. They have setup all the recent marathon records in them. Or even its less glamorous sister Adidas Boston which is some 10g heavier. Both have a great zip but tend to be a bit narrow so it does depend on your foot.

    If you want something with a bit of more weight the NB Vazee Pace comes at around 260g for that size. That is my currrent “heavy” shoe.

    Heavier than probably i would stick to an Adidas still, but there is a big weight gap to the next shoe (Supernova, Ultra etc) so not sure i would go there. Depends on what you need them for.

      1. Adios is a very versatile shoe, people have been using it from 5k to marathons as a racer and also as an almost everyday trainer. Very good on track as well. Although you are shaving some 30 grams from your Mizuno Rider i think. So it depends on whether you want to give up a bit of protection over that long distance. Every now and then you get fire sales of last year version (different colors but same model) for 60/70 quids. In any case is a good shoe to have when you want to go to those zones 4 & 5…

  2. Sorry to hijack – any suggestions of ones that might be available for the larger gentleman? (UK13.5-14, EU49). I’m desperate to try one of these ‘bouncy’ ones but they’re all designed for pixies.

  3. Might be too late now but I needed some lighter cushioned running shoes for road use (weight makes a huge difference to me, 250g or under is good) and bought my first pair of of On ‘Cloud’. I was sceptical about the theory behind their design but absolutely converted now.

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