Ironman Journey: All SiSsed up and nowhere to go

The music lovers and more senior athletes amongst you will recognise the oblique reference in the title to Bat out of Hell. If neither the title nor that reference mean anything to you then, don’t worry, you’re almost certainly faster/younger than me 😉

After the running injury debacle a couple of months ago, things in my hips and legs seemed to have got back to normal. Actually better than normal. So I’m a happy bunny. It looks like injury can reinforce the need and IMPLEMENTATION of strength & conditioning work. Let’s face we’ve probably all thought from time-to-time that we’d much rather go for an aimless run than sit in a hot, sweaty room with hot, sweaty people pushing weights.

Philosophy Point: Are bunnies ever happy?

I’m now supposedly ‘PEAKING’ for IMUK @Bolton. This seems to involve applying a tub of Chamois Crème to my nether regions every week and cycling for a long, long, long, long way. (Did I say LONG?)

Actually it’s not so bad really. I managed 7 hours cycling at the weekend with other bits of nonsense thrown in aka: OWS; running; and playing with my new hard roller’ friend for inordinate amounts of time. And yes, I appreciate you can read that a couple of different ways. One more exciting than the other.

On Saturday that involved 5 hours cycling followed immediately by 90 minutes of running REALLY slow. I was quite pleased that I actually managed to do it regardless of the speed. The 5 hours of cycling were probably at something over 90% of maximum for that duration so, basically, TOTALLY inappropriate training and TOTALLY inappropriate for being able to run afterwards. It’s fine to have a plan but of course if you then share a session with other people (aka friends) and have to keep up with them. Of course they may well be cyclists and have a pub lunch or family lunch to look forward to. Of course they KNOW that I have 3 more gel sachets (SiS GO) and a run to look forward to whilst they are enjoying the delights of a decent meal.

As I’ve moved up triathlon/duathlon distances over the years (got older) I tend to suffer with cramps on the post-bike runs at the newer, longer distances. So the 90 minute run was an unexpected bonus as I had EXPECTED to run for a mile or two and then get debilitating cramps. But I didn’t!! Not even a twinge.

Here are 7 of my weekend cycling buddies:

SiS Science In Sport

I obviously write much of this in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Even though Alberto Salazzar might have various iron supplements in his bathroom cabinet you should NOT take iron supplements like FERROUS FUMARATE (322mg is quite strong) unless you have had tests to show you are deficient in iron. That bit was serious.

I’ve been hoping that Magnesium supplementation/spray would help me avoid the post cycling cramps. It does seem to work ‘somewhat’. But, on one occasion, I basically showered in magnesium oil and had a bottle of magnesium tablets and still got cramp. So it is NOT the entire solution for me. On my long, relatively fast ride this weekend I REALLY made an effort to keep fuelled up and hydrated on what was a hot day. That seemed to help. No cramp.

Maybe the B12 in the caffeine shot helped on the energy front? It’s better than Proplus caffeine tablets as there are other ‘bits’ in it like B2/9/12 and MAGNESIUM.

Back to my 90 minute post-ride run. It’s a sobering experience if you’ve ever tried it. soon enough It becomes fairly difficult to run at 2 MINUTES per km slower than your 5k race pace. So much for Daniels’ tables and running paces. I even started out at 1 min/km slower than my 5k pace and that probably is somewhere close to my real marathon pace. It’s easy for a while. Of course ‘for a while’ means ‘about half an hour’. At which point I was desperately looking around for someone in the park I knew to run and talk with as an excuse for going slower.

On the day I’ll pick some sensible speed to run at, arrived at a bit more scientifically, but these training runs (whilst fatigued) are a seriously sobering experience. It makes you/me realise that however good you/I might feel after an IM cycle distance, the reality of fatigue and an impending hill at IMUK will slow you down considerably and very quickly. Go slow for the first 5k seems reasonable advice.

Of course I have my secret weapon STRYD. he he he. You don’t 😉




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