(Unedited - Work in progress)
Last year I registered for an Ironman thinking I have plenty of time to get ready. My family and consulting practice took priority and I didn't train.
Rather than losing out on the 900 dollars, I decided to see if I can get ready in two months.
I have been running and lifting weights since Ultraman two years go. I haven't been training but merely trying to stay in shape. I have been on my bike 3 times in the past two years and have only swum once.
I have asked my first coach(Iron Mike) to help me. His plan is to ramp up volume immediately with a focus on biking and swimming.
So that I avoid injury, I plan on eating mostly a plant-based and fish diet.
- Breakfast: Green smoothie
- Lunch: Salad, fruit, sweet potato, fish
- Snacks: Nuts and dried fruit
- Dinner: Salad, fruit and fish
- Pre-workout: Daterade.
- Post workout: Protein shake
I will post my diet and exercise log here in case anyone would like to attempt the same experiment in the future.
My goal: Finish Ironman Maryland in under 13 hours.
Did the experiment work?
I can get Ironman ready in 8 weeks with a base level of fitness. After years of doing this my body can response a very quick increase in training volume. I did not get injured. Had the swim not been cancelled, I believe I would have finished the race between 12 hours - 12h15 minutes.
Ironman Maryland (2016)
- Bike pace: 17.34
- Run Pace: 9:54
Ironman Austria (2011)
- Bike Pace:18.09
- Run Pace: 09:19
What I learned
I really underestimate what my body is capable of. I can train and race a half and full ironman in two months while:
- Organizing and speaking at a conference in Amsterdam(Combined with a family vacation)
- Teaching 4 classes. One in London and 3 in NYC
- Two business trips to Chicago
- Doing the majority of my long rides at home with the kids
- Used the same bike for both bikes. Road bike for both races. Didn't use aero bars for Maryland.
- Conditions were much windier in Maryland than in Austria
- Swim was cancelled due to weather conditions in Maryland. I have no doubt I would have finished the swim though. I had comfortably done the distance the week before.
- Felt really strong on the run. This makes sense as I kept my running fitness relatively consistent since 2011.
- You should do a full ironman on a road bike. My triceps were not happy.
- Slept really well the night before Maryland. Could barely sleep the night before Austria.
- Nutrition was dialed in for Maryland.
- Felt really strong for ironman Atlantic City. It was one of my fasted half ironman. I believe I could have even went 5 minutes faster than 5:45.
- Lost about 8 pounds. Much leaner now.
- I only did about 80% of my training that mike put in my calendar.
- I learned what is wrong with my stroke.
|Week One: Removing the cob webs
August 1 - 7
|Recover||Weights. Chest and Triceps.
|(Run) Long run to see where my fitness is. 11 miles. Felt strong.
|(Bike) 30 Miles. First bike in a long time. Felt week.
|(Swim) 1500. 3x300 + warm and cool down. Was a hot mess.
|(Bike) Time trial in Richmod park.
|(Bike) 62 miles with Mike. Really pushed myself to keep up with him. Averaged 17.5 to windsor back. Mike wanted me to push a harder gear rather than an easier gear and maintain 90-100 RPM. Doing so started really engaging my hamstrings and glutes.
|10 hours & 45 Minutes||I paid the price of not cycling or swimming this week.|
|Week Two: Shock and Awe
August 8 - 14
|Recover||(Bike) 3 Time trial laps of Richmond Park. Averaged around 21 minutes for the 7mile loop.
(Swim) 8x200. Total distance 2200 m.
|(Run) Long run at race pace. Did 18 miles at a good pace. Note to self: dont have sushi for lunch. Suffered from some acid reflux.
|(Bike) Turbo session with Fullontri.
(swim) Group swim session. Coaches noticed that i'd dragging my feet and I need to do more leg drills.
|Recovery||(Ride) Long ride with fullontri. 85 miles. Felt strong.
|Travel to Chicago
Upperbody in the hotel gym
|13 hours||I am not doing a good job at recovery. My left achilles started hurting after my log run. My right knee is niggling from the bike ride & my siatic nerve hurts from swimming. I am not sleeping well, not foam roaling or stretching. Need to fix that ASAP.|
Ironman training while travelling to chicago.
|(Run)8.5 Mile in 75 min
(Weights)Legs, abs, foam rolling
|(Swim) 500m long and steady warm up.15 x 100m hard pace with 20s in-between each one.500m steady cooldown.||(bike) Soul cycle||(Swim) 20 x 200 in 94min. Outch!||(Weights) Chest, Bis, Tris, Shoulders
10 mins warm up. 2 x 20 mins hard as you can with 5 mins rest easy between each one. 10 mins easy cooldown.
|(bike) 90 min Turbo||(swim) 45 minute open water
(run) 12.5 miles
|11 Hours 19 Minutes.||It took a lot of preplanning to not miss a session this week. The last minute trip to New Jersey ruined the long ride. It felt stupid to go for a 5 hour bike ride when my family was all around me.
What I did well: Preplanning. Eg. Finding a pool in Chicago, Soul Cycle.
What I can improve on: Sleeping in on Saturday and missing the ride with Mofo and Mohamed. Not doing another loop of the swim. I was mentally strong in Chicago, wasnt in New Jersey. Wonder if it had anything to do with bad sleep?
|Week 4: Still in Chicago. Cracking the swim||(Run) 9 miles. Felt strong. Maybe ran a bit too fast at the end. 75 Minutes||(swim) 90 Minutes. Crazy swim set.||(run) 80 Minute run.
(bike) Soul Cycle
|(swim) 3 x 1000meters.
|travel||travel||(bike) 4 hour turbo with hard efforts followed by a 20 minute run||total time: 11 hours and 5 minutes||Swim has been the high light of this week. Feel like i'm finally back on track with the swim.|
|Week 5: Back in London and then straight to Amsterdam.||work||Work||Work||Work||2 Hour turbo||4 Hour turbo trainer with some hard efforts||18 mile run in 2 hours 35 Minutes||total time: 8 hours and 35 minutes||Jet Lag, lots of work. Not an ideal training week.|
|Week 6: Back in London. Big training week.||Weights. Upper body||1h 45m minute ride to Richmond. Used a big gear. Felt strong
8 Miles in 74 minutes.
|Swim 90 Minutes Drills plus some long efforts||21 Mile run in 3 Hours and 18 minutes||1 Hour 45 Hard Tubo effort
45 Half ironman distance swim
|4 Hours on the turbo||total time: 15 hours||Body/mind are physically exausted. Feel the need to rest.|
|Week 7: Ironman Atlantic City||Bike Ride||Ironman AC|
|Week 8: Taper||2.2 Mile open water swim|
|Week 9: The Race||The Race! Ironman Maryland|