3/11/2011 3:25 PM
Well it’s been a couple of months since Ironman NZ so I have had a bit of time to have a rest and think about what I want to do for the coming year.
I've started to set up a plan of what events I'm going to do and which ones I was going to peak for. I definitely want to do IM NZ and Tauranga Half IM again so penciled them in first. I also decided I would quite like to do an ironman overseas. I was originally thinking of doing the Ironman in Western Australia in December. However, while I was deciding whether I wanted to be doing my long training sessions in the NZ winter it sold out. I then saw IM Australia in Port Macquarie had been moved back to 1st of May 2011. I wasn't totally sure that I wanted to do it but knew it would sell out in less than a day once it opened. Eventually I just bit the bullet and entered as soon as entries opened. You can't transfer entries and only get about half your entry fee back (Entries are approx AU$750), so looks like I’ll definitely be in Port Macquarie next year. There are a few other events which I will add in but Tauranga Half, IM NZ and IM Australia will be the big three next year.
In terms of my training I have decided to do things completely differently this year. I had read a few articles on the internet about ironman training and thought one by Mark Allen, 6 x IM world Champion, made a lot of sense. He basically said that you need to build a good aerobic base early in the season whereby you increase your body’s ability to burn fast as a source of fuel. This is compared to anaerobic training where you’re burning carbohydrates as a source of fuel. The better you are at burning both types of fuel the bigger your engine will be (click here to read the full article). When I was swimming I remember being told about this as well. We used to do a lactate tolerance set from time to time where we swim intervals going from very slow to max. After each interval we would get a blood test done. One of the things that showed in my results was that I started using carbohydrates or glycogen as a source of fuel much earlier than anyone else.
I also got a cool new Garmin watch for my birthday. Its got a heart rate monitor and GPS built in so you can track your speed and heart rate while you run. You can set training zones for your heart rate or pace and it will show you while your training whether your on pace or not. At the end of your session you can download all your stats to your computer and compare how your improving from week to week.
So for the last month and a half, with my new training methodology and garmin watch, I have been running at a heart rate of less than 150. At the beginning, to keep this heart rate, I had to slow my pace by about 2 minutes a km. It was a bit of a blow to my ego as absolutely everyone started passing me during runs. I now seem to be getting a little faster each run and am about 40 seconds a km faster than when I started, but still below the 150 heart rate. I'm quite pleased with the results so far so will continue sticking to aerobic training for at least another month.
In terms of swimming i haven't been back in the water at all yet but will look to get in a couple of short sessions over the next couple of weeks. I've been back on the bike for a couple of weeks now and just taking it easy to get used to it again. I've got big plans for the bike this year and really want to push for a sub 5 hour bike split in the ironman next year. It will mean I will need to do a bit more cycling and probably sacrifice some swim sessions. However, the 10 minutes I gain on the bike will easily cancel out the minute I might lose on the swim.
Till next time