Well with the Asia Pacific Ironman Championships Melbourne only 3 and a half weeks away the excitement, tension, anxiety and nerves are all building, 226kms of mental and physical challenges await and honestly those 3 and a half weeks can’t go quick enough.
It’s quite funny when you think of the event itself the distance and challenge of it all is daunting but the fact is that the training is just as daunting and challenging. The race day ultimately is a day of celebration that follows many weeks and months of the hard slog that is training. I try and think of the day in that context and am really looking forward to getting out there amongst it and taking in the whole day. I’m just like all the other age groupers out there I’m in it to get to the finish line not to break records, and I’m going to have fun all the way from beginning to end.
In terms of the training work load I have been trying to put in around 25 to 30 hours a week. As for kms, it does vary quite a fair bit but as a base I’m trying to run around 60 to 120kms/wk (with at least 2 long run efforts of 20kms plus), swimming 15 to 25kms/wk and riding around 250 to 400kms/week (with two long rides on the weekend and the rest done on the indoor trainer). I think the time though is the more important thing and keeping training consistent is the key for me. However I found it is very important to listen to your body and if you feel tired and run down which does happen with that sort of consistent workload then it can be a good idea to have a day off here and there and recharge the batteries. In saying that I’m always hearing the notion of train smarter not harder, and in the case for Ironman training I honestly believe this to have substance.
With that said I have had the opportunity to have some threshold fitness testing done with Dean McNamara at Sydney Sports & Exercise Physiology. What that has given me is a baseline of my VO2 max and Anaerobic Thresholds // on the bike and run. Without going into detail what that means is that I can focus my training on specific areas to get fitter with far less effort, therefore training smarter not harder. This sort of information is incredibly valuable for anyone and everyone not just athletes. But for endurance athletes it can create a great exercise platform to increase fitness without increase load which so many people do. Info on the testing can be found at Triathlon and specifically the longer distance events such as ironman and half ironman, things like nutrition and equipment can play a major role in training and also racing. In terms of the bike I’m lucky to be riding the Trek Speed Concept which is one of the fastest bikes on the planet and I honestly need all the help I can get. When you’re on the bike for up to 6 or 7 hours comfort is key and I find this works very well for me. I have been able to dial in the fit perfectly. With Nutrition, it’s very individual and also a trial and error subject. For me I use gels and an electrolyte drink on the bike along with salt tablets and on the run again gels, coke and water. Like I said it’s very individual and some things may work for some and not others. On the run I stick to my tried and tested Brooks T7 racers, superlight and perfect for my foot type and with the swim,( here’s hoping it’s a wetsuit swim in Melbourne) I use a 2XU wetsuit, which as we all know is a lifesaver in the water.
Well like I said less than a month away so I hope to get through the final stages of training injury free and be at the start line full of energy and ready to go.
By Matt Code Brooks Sales Executive