After not so much thought, I've signed up for my first triathlon (swim/bike/run) and not just any ordinary event, an Ironman!
This event will be my A race this year, and it won't be easy but I'll come away from it stronger both physically and mentally.
Event: Ironman Weymouth 70.3
Location: Weymouth, UK
Swim: 1.6 km, Bike: 90 km, Run: 21.1 km
See the Course here.
So I've not been swimming properly for years, and when I say years, I'm talking a good 15 years, last time I remember swimming freestyle or front crawl would have been in school. Now I was never good, but rather quite average, I do remember swimming a whole length underwater in one breath, however I can't actually remember the length of the pool (15 or 25 meters?) so this might not be as cool as I remember.
The plan will be mostly swimming up to 1.6 km without stopping and at that point I'll look at increasing my pace and efficiency, I'll also try to do some open water swimming since the swim itself will be in the sea.
I've done some research and found the decathlon rc-520 road bike has a similar feature set (Shimano 105) to other popular brands but at a significantly lower price, for a first bike, this is ideal. Any off parts can be replaced easily, i.e. tyres, wheels, pedals etc
The bike section of the course actually makes up over half of the time in the event, so I should do most of my training here, I'll do my long rides to get towards 90 km and I'll also look at higher intensity rides since this should give me the most improvement, riding in a gym would be ideal for me, but we'll see, not sure I can commit to the membership.
Now I'm pretty confident about running a half-marathon, this isn't my first rodeo in running, it'll be a little more difficult with 'heavy legs' after the swim and bike sections, so I'll train by running after my long rides, also called brick training and I'll also look at increasing my speed, by increasing my volume of tempo and higher intensity runs.
A brick session is a training set that involves more than one discipline/sport back-to-back.
OK, so I'm getting on in life, it's a lot harder to avoid injury and I'll be training a lot!
What can I do to make the training successful and injury free?
I'll take a good 10-20 minutes after each training session to stretch those muscle groups that have been worked to aid the healing process.
Don't over do it, by rotating training days I should avoid overuse on a single muscle group and joints, i.e. swim on Friday, run on Saturday, bike on Sunday, swim on Monday etc
Since I'll be burning through a lot more calories, it's important to replace them, and with good sources!
A few years ago my sister and her partner started to use Huel, it's a vegan meal replacement with the right balance between macros, essential nutrients and vitamins, it's super convenient so it makes up my lunches and any quick meals, ideal for post exercise if I'm in a hurry, and I can also use this to top up my calories after a harder workout.
You can use my referral to get £10 off your first order of huel https://huel.mention-me.com/m/ol/xd0jn-927cdfb887, hopefully you enjoy it as much as I do.
Now since I'm living on my own switching between shared houses, cooking from fresh isn't ideal sadly, and I don't want to be hoarding around kitchen utensils. So my cooking strategy for breakfast and dinners is super simple, at the moment being, toast with peanut butter or Alpen muesli with soya for breakfast and for dinner, fresh Pasta with olive oil, salt, pepper and blue cheese or margherita pizza with hummus... sound enticing? Thought not.
Huel is nutritionally complete, convenient, affordable food with minimal impact on animals and the environment.
Since signing up to the event I've been watching back-to-back YouTube videos about how to prepare, turns out there's a fourth discipline in this triathlon business and that's the transitions between each activity, interestingly, there's no `changing rooms` to switch from your swim wear to your bike wear or running gear etc, so I've learnt I'll need to buy a tri-suit to wear between all four disciplines.
Here's what else I need to buy/consider