No more dreaming......Zofingen 2015

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No more dreaming......Zofingen 2015

Postby IronGirl » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:01 am

It's been a long road getting to this point. I did a lot of triathlon until about 7 years ago. Ironman pb was 12 hours and Half Ironman pb was 5 hours 14min. I gave up after getting into a very destructive cycle of training more and more and harder and harder. I was breaking down rather than building up. I was shattered, so I decided to take a month off. One month became two months, became a year and then I got involved in other things.

I've had a lot of time to consider what went wong. I started running again just over 12 months ago and decided this summer that I was going to have another go at triathlon. Lots of things needed to change, lots of things already have. I'll explain as this diary unfolds.
Last edited by IronGirl on Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby runner » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:12 am

It's a pitty that many athletes have to go to these face,..

Many people left sports behind after over training.

Hope you'll refind pleasure and reach your goals without falling over the thin line of overtraining

good luck!!
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Postby IronGirl » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:03 pm

runner Yes I think I learnt the hard way, but will hopefully come back stronger because of it. Thanks for the encouragement.

Here's a few things that went wrong before:

1. Diet,
Diet is the 4th discipline of triathlon and I was getting it wrong.
I was over trained and comfort eating to make myself feel better.
I was then increasing training volume to maintain my weight.
I was consuming lots of products containing aspartame, I was drinking too much caffeine and I was drinking too much alcohol.

2. Recovery / Unbalanced Program
I was not getting enough recovery time.
I was doing Lots of long steady bike rides and long steady runs. My training was very much in the style of "Chis Rea" a british triathlete and Royal Marine with a lot of attitude and over the top training approach. His training regime worked for him when he won the first Longest Day Ironman distance event in the UK. The rest of us followed his approach without thinking. Killer weekends were his speciality i.e. Friday 6k in the pool, Saturday 120 mile bike straight into 6 mile run, Sunday 20 mile bike straight into a 3 hour run. If you could survive that you were ready for Ironman!

I was "too far away from speed", my program had little speed endurance work and if I was tired it would be the first thing to go.

3. Not enough races / fun
I would focus on one race and basically put all my eggs in the one basket. If my program had been more balanced I could have got several shorter races into a season. This is supposed to be fun after all

I've changed or am in the process of changing all of these things. (see next post)
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Postby The Duke » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:24 pm

IronGirl wrote:I've changed or am in the process of changing all of these things. (see next post)


Can't wait.

Interesting stuff so far that I can relate to.

Especially "Diet". God, I find it so hard to get that bit right!!

Excellent point about the alcohol.

I'm off the pop at the moment and what a difference it makes. 4 cans of beer, a few whiskies, and crisp sandwiches do not make a good recovery meal after a heavy session eh?

Good luck and keep posting.
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Postby IronGirl » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:37 pm

Changes or Proposed Changes

1. Diet,

I have been vegan for nearly 18 months now. I'm half way through reading Brendan Brazier's Thrive book and have found that my diet is already very close to his recommendations. I eat a healthy wholefood diet with loads of fruit and veg, nothing processed, I don't drink anything with caffeine and I gave up alcohol 6 months ago.
In my time off I'd gained 3 stone and didn't recognise what I saw in the mirror. I've lost that now and I'd say that I look healthy. I think another 12 months on the same diet plus another years training I should be starting to look more athletic and be in shape for an ironman.

2. Recovery / Unbalanced Program
I'm not afraid to rest. I'm listening to my body much more. If I'm still tired after a rest day I'll take an extra day or 2 if need be.
I'm aiming for a more balanced program with a good mixture of endurance, speed endurance and strength.
I'm not doing another Ironman until I'm ready (although my husband, who is also an ironman has to keep me on the straight and narrow with this!) I could so easy just ramp up the distances and go for it next year.
But as well as doing Ironman again I want to improve, so I need to develop a firm foundation and develop some basic speed.

3. Not enough races / fun
I've done LOTS of short stuff this year. 10ks, cross country races, half marathons, short triathlons, cyclo-cross, time trials. It's been great fun and I'm really enjoying my sport again, whereas it had become a chore.
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Postby IronGirl » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:40 pm

The Duke I know what you mean and it is the recovery that gets you stronger, so it is so important.

I managed to stop drinking after analysing why I was drinking. I was drinking when I was tired either physically from training or mentally from work. If I had a bad day I would drink in the evening or if my legs were buzzing and I didn't want to get off the sofa I'd have a drink. Mmm several G&Ts and an indian takeaway is not the recipe for optimum recovery.

Compare that with this week so far.

Sunday I did Stroud Half Marathon and got a seasons best of 1 hour 45min. I got home and immediately had a mixed berry protein shake. After dinner I still felt tired so I had an early night.

Mon Rest

Tue 15 min very easy run, just enough to warm muscles for a good stretch.

Wed 30 min easy run and lots of stretching.

Each day I've focused on the nutrition e.g. today

Breakfast: Mixed fruit, toasted nut and oat museli with Soya Milk
Lunch: Green Salad, Mixed grain and lentil salad, chunky coleslaw.
Mixed Berry and Hemp smoothie
Dinner Pak choi, tomato and spring onion salad
Mixed fruit, nut and couscous salad
Pinto and Haricot beans

Result ready to start training again tomorrow.
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Postby IronGirl » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:32 pm

Stroud Half effectively marked the end of summer for me. Very apt as the clocks also went back on Sunday morning.

I have some clear goals for next year and lots of fun stuff that I want to do.

A Races / Goals
Improve 10K run time and 25 mile TT time.
March Clumber Clasic Duathlon (World Du Qualifier)
April Big Cow Duathlon (World Du Qualifier)
Early July Eastnor Half Ironman
Sept Edinburgh Duathlon ?? (World Du)


B Races (or my wish list of things I'd like to fit in for fun)
Forest of Dean Half Marathon as my husband's work team are doing it for charity and it would be cold sitting on the side lines.
Blaenavon Triathlon because it's tough
Mountain Meyhem 24 hour mountain bike event as a team relay for fun
Questars adventure races a fun way to do 6 hours steady training and it will be a totally different experience.
One or two Olympic distance triathlons to help get ready for the half

Well that's the idea at the moment, but next year is still a long way off!
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Postby Mr. Cleetus » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:46 pm

Looks like a fun plan for next year! I'll be watching your log develop. :)

Sounds like you had a pretty typical programme for 10 years ago. We were all doing more more more more! Some people can handle that well and race very well on it and can go for years, others cannot. It's hard to know if its actually really optimal for anybody tho, eh? For me, I learned a long time ago I cannot do that on the run or I fall apart.

Do you tend to write out a programme ahead of time or make it up as you go?

The fun races are a great idea and help to keep things in perspective. Too often in "modern" IM training people race one or two races/yr and that's it. As you say, it can make it a chore, and if those one or two races go badly it can be tough on the head!! In old-school training I think we tended to over-do things, but at least we had fun doing it. :)
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Postby IronGirl » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:32 pm

Mr Cleetus:

I certainly think people have got smarter at ironman training in the last 10 years. We were all doing what we thaught was best and we did have fun. Goodness I wouldn't be back here if it hadn't been fun. It's going to be interesting to see how I go with a more modern approach.

On programmes I'm a scientist and I like to plan, so it all gets written out ahead, macrocycles, microcycles the lot. However I am calmer than I was 10 years ago, I remember having planned a 100 mile bike ride during a key weekend, it was a very cold day and after 80 miles we had to take a short cut home due to a blizzard. When we got home I got on the turbo and did the last 20 miles, I'd planned a 100 and that's the way it was going to be. Then again a little stubbornness helps get you round an ironman?
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Postby downhillingdemon » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:27 pm

Cor blimy, this is gonna be an interesting log 8)
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Postby IronGirl » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:52 pm

Ooops moved to ironman 70.3 thread!
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Postby IronGirl » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:39 pm

Thursday 1 hour bike
A bit of a test to see if my legs had recovered from the half marathon.
Did my Suckley Hills, Bringsty Common Loop in 55 minutes.
This one is roughly 30 min down and 30 min up. Triathletes should not live at the top of hills!
The descents are getting smoother I think, will have to get my husband (advanced motorcyclist) to assess this again. I'm sure the cross is helping this. The main part of the climb breaks nicely into 3 x 5 min, kept the effort going without going stupid.
As is usual with these recovery rides I feel lots better for having done it.
Off now to do some stretching.
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Postby IronGirl » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:47 pm

Friday 50 min Run

Hills, mud and woodland trails around Brockhampton Estate.
6 X 90 sec hill reps in the middle with 90sec recovery
Able to push heart rate so recovered from the half.
Still unseasonally warm, shorts and tee shirt again today.

Will be building this to 10 x 90sec this month and then to 12 x 90sec next month. Curretly working out a full programme knowing that my first key race is only 4 months away. Oh ek!
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Postby IronGirl » Sat Oct 31, 2009 5:46 pm

Saturday 2 hour Hilly Bike

Down to Knightwick and then around the big loop of the "Little Mountain time trial". Ankerdine and Stanford Bank, hehe! Fueled with a homemade energy drink of grape juice, acai berry juice, water and a pinch salt. Tasted really refreshing on the go and I seemed to have energy till the end despite the relentless hills on this route.
A yummy papaya, mango, pineapple, banana and hemp shake to recover.
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Postby IronGirl » Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:03 pm

Sunday 1 hour 40min Run

Steady run around Bringsty common, Brockhampton Estate and back over the fields. Blowing a gale out there today!
Just about doable in trail shoes, mostly good going but some sections are getting very slippy. It only takes a bit of rain on our Herefordshire clay before the Walsh Pb's have to come out.

Followed by blueberry, banana, carob and goji recovery pudding - a slight twist on a "Thrive" recipe. Delicious.
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