Next week my 36 week training plan gets under way. Since my last Ironman I have had a serious back injury (which took 2 years of injections, physiotherapy and Pilates to fix) and most recently I have spent 8 weeks in a boot on crutches healing a bone problem in my foot. Not an ideal situation, but the rest has done me good- I’ve focused on upper body strength, swimming (sort of) and worked on flexibility.
I feel like I’m starting right at the bottom of my cardio fitness. My kit is too small (it’s shrunk, clearly- nothing to do with mincepie intake), my goggles are old and leak, I couldn’t find the attachments to even put my saddle back on my bike (yes, it’s been that long!) but I’m excited.
I’ve spent this week preparing my cupboards – stocking with tempting foods (mostly carb free- more on this later) and trying to dust off/find my kit!
In the past I have had the support of a coach- I chose the amazing stats man Steven Lord (www.everydaytraining.org.uk) to see me through Vitruvian (70.3) Ironman Lanzarote, 70.3 Lanzarote and into Ironman Wales. This time around I am trying an online plan – I feel more confident in managing my time and know the areas I should focus on, so hopefully the plan and my experience will get me round in a good time. I am training and racing with 10 friends, a complete mix from 8+ Ironman experienced to complete newbies who have never done a tri… We are all following the same plan, so it will be interesting to see how it suits us all! At 36 weeks long the plan allows for a few hiccups along the way, so if anyone has an injury/sickness/holiday they shouldn’t lose too much on the plan.
To kick things off I am starting with a carb free diet. Not because they are the enemy (quite the reverse!) I was carb free 18 weeks leading into Ironman Wales to try and manage GI issues on the run. Marathons had started to bring on crippling stitches and this sounded a good plan- swap carbs for fats- slower burning, less eating required, therefore less chances for tummy issues. It worked- not only did I drop the spare 5kg I was carrying but I had a problem free race. The only downside was power- I could “plod” for days but I was lacking in explosive power!
To try and combat this, I am starting carb free early in my training to drop the excess Christmas weight and tidy up my diet a little, but as the training volume increases I will carb cycle (adding small amounts of carbs pre training to boost energy for session) using pulses and sweet potatoes etc (still avoiding rice/bread/processed foods etc) to see how that affects my power.
This blog will talk you through how I prep kit/food/training, how I fit in full time work (and hopefully a social life!) so if you are considering a race or adventure in the future I hope you may be able to find some information of use here.