Season Finale and Demonstrable Effect of an Ironman (on me)

As Rotterdam’s ITU Final finishes the season for the Age Grouper triathletes, I await the tales of potential woe from the bike course. The pro course on Saturday, which I imagine was a similar route to the AG route, looked technically demanding in the wet as I watched it live on the BBC.

Of course it’s great to challenge us Age Groupers as well as the pro’s. However there were a few 10s of pro’s on the bike course and there will be many, many 10s of Age Groupers on what looks to be a narrow course with oncoming traffic at times and other hazards (bridges and kerbs). Let’s hope it wasn’t an obstacle course…albeit an expensive one to enter.

Of course the risk assessment box will have been ticked. But, even so….

That was NOT my season finale. This year has been the year of the LONG race for me and I’m sort of looking forward to the Hever Half Distance Triathlon in Kent next weekend. Swim motivation is down, running has been non-existent for a month or so but the bike should be good. So the strategy is simple…swim very fast (for me), cycle almost very fast and then hold on and hope the legs don’t break whilst running slowly. I’ve tried that strategy many times. It always fails. Maybe this time will be different 😉 I also have lots of new bits of kit to try for the first time on race day. My saddle has broken….does that really happen??? Sigh.

Actually, based on that summary of my competitive condition I’ve no idea why I’m looking forward to it. But I am.

I had hoped for better. After Ironman training I felt like I could ‘nail’ a HIM but as of now in September that looks hopeful. I had also hoped to get my 5K times back up to around 80% age graded but that looks more fanciful than hopeful.

This ‘running fast’ seems to be made for others rather than me these days. I had hoped that super resilience from IM training would mean I could re-live past running (imagined-) glories but, sadly, “no”. This site shall be renamed to the10krunner or 10k-hobbler or something similar. Maybe. Perhaps.

Back to the title of the post that may have brought you here: The Potential Effect of an Ironman on You

Here is what I think is an interesting chart about my sleeping- and waking-HRV readings this year.


Each vertical, white bar represents the lower, going-to-sleep HRV figure and the green line formed by the top of the white bars represents the waking HRV figure. A long white bar, sort-of, represents adaptation. I think each bar is a rolling weekly average, or similar, and the dots are probably outliers. But the point is clear from the shortening length of the white bars leading up to race day in July: IM training for a race in July REALLY takes it out of you from April onwards. And you can see that it took me probably 4 MORE weeks to get waking-HRV levels back to normal and that was including light training and including a holiday after IM UK.

You could probably also argue that I trained too hard, as HRV did not sufficiently rebound before race day AND I taper quite lightly/sensibly. If you argued that, I’d probably agree with you. You could also argue that nightly adaptation seemed to reduce as the training got harder…again, probably a sign of getting too close to overtraining. Either that or being too old for all this sporty stuff!

I’d be interested to know if/how any of you look at adaptation/recovery trends over months.

The data is from EMFIT


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