XXX Ironman Training

Week 2/15

July 4 – 10. Week 2 of my triple ironman training! This week was full on whereas last week was kind of a lead into the madness. Not including the lead in week, I’ll be doing 2 hard weeks with the 3rd week being a recovery week. I’m eating all the time and starting to lose a couple of pounds. Here’s the scoop.


3:30 a.m. wake up to get to the gym and in the water by 4:15. I don’t think my body is very happy with that. 2k swim with a drag suit doing drills takes me about an hour. I only work on form in the water Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Then I head to the spin class at 5:30. This is supposed to be my high intensity bike and I’ll build up to 2 hours, but this week is only an hour. I finish it off with a transition run. I try to do this within 10 minutes of the spin class. It’s designed to be relatively easy and short. Today it’s 3 miles at a 10:09 pace.


Another day of drills in the pool in the drag suit to work on form. This one is 3k and then a 50 mile bike ride up north. I get lost in Bull Valley about 90 % of the time and this is no exception. I remember why I call it Death Valley. Some of the roads are really bad and it’s quite hilly so it’s not uncommon to get going down a big hill and go through “pothole heaven” at ridiculous speeds with water bottles flying out of their cages. Somehow I white knuckle my way through it and find my way home.


My “high intensity run” day is 5 miles with a hill repeat. A friend points out that only one hill is not a hill repeat and that knocks me down a notch. Then I remember I just ran 100 miles less than 3 weeks prior and I’m ok with my one little hill. Then to my least favorite part of training – weights! This blog may help keep me accountable to the weight room. I start with 2 sets of 10 reps which will build over the next few weeks to 3 sets of 15 reps. I’m lifting about 65% of max and do the entire body with some core work too. 1 hour is all I can stand. Later, I feel like getting another run in so I head over to the trails and run with the ultra group another 5 miles. This is a nice easy pace and it’s so beautiful with everything getting green and full on the trails. Very nice!


After running in the evening on Thursday, I didn’t get up early to do my long swim this morning. I had a busy day and got home around 9:30. I decided this wasn’t the time to start blowing off training sessions and headed to the pool. I also knew that a late swim with little sleep and a 2 mile open water swim the next morning would be good training for me. So 3k of straight swimming and I get home around midnight.


Saturdays will be my long bike day but this week I’m changing a couple of things since I’m doing the Lake Zurich Triathlon tomorrow. So today is another long swim in Crystal Lake. I’ve heard good things about this race so I thought it would be worthwhile to check it out. They offer a 1 mile and a 2 mile swim so naturally I pick the 2 mile. The water is upper 70’s so I decide on the speedsuit. I notice as the time is drawing near to start, there are no buoys in the water. They announce they are having trouble getting them set, so the race is delayed for about 20 minutes. Finally they are ready to start and there are just a couple of buoys in the water. Most of them are still on shore. The gun goes off and we go! It’s a 2 loop course and the buoys are so far away from each other it’s hard to find them but we all know the general direction to go. I am pretty good at swimming straight but somehow I get way off course one time and am swimming into oncoming swimmers! Oops! I get back on track and carry on. This felt really long and I know that swimming the night before would make me tired. After the second loop I get out of the water and they are starting the award ceremony. That was really slow. I found out later that the turn around buoy wasn’t anchored well and drifted which made the course more like 2.8 miles. Cool – more training.


I finished the week off with an olympic distance triathlon in Lake Zurich. Judy filmed it and will have a video for me to post in the near future. This was to be a training race which means no taper, take it somewhat easy, but push if I can. The water temps were high and I went with the speedsuit again. The swim course was excellent. There were lots of buoys, the staggered start worked well to reduce congestion, and best of all, we didn’t swim into the sun at all. I did the .9 mile swim in about 33 minutes. I was happy with that although my swimming friends will smirk. Got on the bike hard from the start and averaged around 22 mph for the 25 mile course. In T2, I realized I didn’t have elastic laces in these shoes and spent a little time tying my shoes. I’m sure I looked like a rookie doing that. If that didn’t make me look green, my unshaven legs did. I figured it was just a training race so why spend all that time shaving? Anyhow, my run went very well. Started with sub 7 minute miles and averaged around 7:15 minute miles. I was able to keep my heart rate within a couple of beats above and below my threshold for the entire 10k run which told me I was pretty much recovered from the 100 miler a few weeks back. Overall time was 2:32, 42nd overall and 4th in my age group. Not too shabby for a training race.

This was a hard week for me to get through. Next week will be harder since I will add some volume and end the week with the half ironman in Racine on Sunday. I will certainly earn my Monday rest day.

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