As of today, I am exactly eleven months away from Ironman Coeur d’Alene. I thought it might be a good idea to check in monthly with a little update as to where I am in my training cycle. I basically just write posts about things that I would want to read in a blog, and I know that I’d love to self-consciously compare my workouts at a specific point in Ironman training with someone else’s workouts at that same point. So I’ve decided that I’ll do a monthly post on the 21st of each month that documents my levels of preparedness for various aspects of the race.
Considering I’m not actually on an official training plan right now and have been taking advantage of that to get some rest, I’m feeling good about my physical fitness. I am loving not having to do multiple workouts a day, but I’m also trying to make sure the workouts I do are quality, unless they are specifically for recovery. That has helped my running a lot. Running with my pace in mind instead of just going out for long runs has already brought my average times down and has given me a solid understanding of where I currently am as a runner which I will need in November when I start marathon training.
The only health issue I’ve had lately is my appetite. My appetite is a constant struggle for me. I often do not feel like eating which leads to me underfueling and losing weight. It got pretty bad earlier this summer to the point where I’m pretty sure it was affecting my performance (I was down to 126 pounds). But I’ve been doing better lately. Most days, I don’t have trouble getting food down. But I haven’t been able to back all the weight I lost yet, and I still have days where the thought of food kind of turns my stomach, especially in the mornings.
Overall, this was an encouraging month. Because of that, I’m feeling mentally strong right now. The fact that I’m not on an official training plan at this point has allowed me to shrug off bad workouts in a way that I would struggle to do if I felt I underperformed or couldn’t meet the goals of an “official” workout. I’ve enjoyed the freedom to do what I want. And I’ve enjoyed the rest too. I am really loving taking it easier during the week and hitting it hard on the weekend.
Longest swim workout: 2000yds
Longest ride: 54 miles
Longest run: 7 miles
Most encouraging workout: Tied between my five mile run at a 7:44/pace (wait, I’m still kind of a runner?!) and my 54 mile Big Cottonwood ride (hard miles that I was thrilled I was able to finish).
Most discouraging workout: A hot, uncharacteristically slow climb up Emigration that left me feeling sick and frustrated.
Average time per sport per week
Swimming: 52.5 minutes
Cycling: 4 hours 17.5 minutes
Running: 1 hour 42.5 minutes
Looking to the future
It’s pretty clear from my averages this month that I’ve been focusing on cycling. I wanted to take advantage of the pleasant cycling weather in late summer/early fall and get some hard miles in before it gets too cold. I’m happy with the miles and climbing I’ve done so far and feel confident I made the right decision. However, I’m starting marathon training in November, so I expect that partway through October, I’ll start shifting focus from the bike to the run so that I’m ready. Swimming will probably continue to take a backseat until it gets too cold to ride outside on a regular basis. I’ll have time to hammer the swim a couple times a week once the Salt Lake City winter really hits. I expect the above chart to look very different in a couple of months.