Longest Day (Ironman) 2004 - Carl's thread



  • Hi Carl.
    This is my first visit to your thread and it looks like you are getting some excellent suggestions and encouragement.
    I would also like to offer some comments:

    You seem to pick up a few injuries and these are often more than random bad luck....
    Could you run more on grass or soft ground and less on hard pavement?
    The difference in duration between your "regular runs" and you occasional long run is quite harsh. I think on a weekly basis you should try to achieve more runs in the 60 to 90 minute range. And think more about the duration, less about the distance.
    If you are still having shoulder problems you may still be able to go to the pool - do you have a kick-board. Kicking is great for the running muscles.

    It's good to see you are doing commuter training now, as someone suggested earlier.
    Do you have cleated pedals on your MTB? It's worth it (or at least clips - careful in the traffic though) if you are doing significant training on that bike. These types of pedals can use slightly different muscles to plain pedals too.
    A 20-odd minute run immediately after any ride is time well spent because your heartrate is already elevated plus you get that all important bike-run transition experience.

    Remember - a lot of injuries can be trained around.

    Good luck.
  • Thanks Kiwi, some very good points you’ve raised, I certainly think my injuries have been more to do with training than bad luck. I will take on board what you have said any maybe trim down to 3 runs a week, a long one (90mins – 2hrs) and a couple of short 20-30 minute ones when I get home from work on my bike.

    My MBT im using for work just had normal pedals – no cleets or straps, I may consider getting it serviced and new peddles after your comments. Im lucky my work commute is all off road (cycle routes – Milton Keynes is good for that but you have to watch out for suicidal moms with push chairs and school children lol).

    As for the injuries my legs are completely clear so that’s good news (oh save for a couple of blisters I picked up on Sunday), I think I was over training earlier in the year and pushing to hard / not enough rest or emphasis on longer quality runs like you say. Ive picked up on other comments and have slowed my running down i.e. base training pace.

    My shoulder is a lot better with the help of a physio ive changed my stroke slightly (cutting out the S for the time being) and that seems to have helped as do some special excercies he gave me. My shoulder is a lot stronger now. Ive been keeping up the swimming and moved from 1 20 minute session per week to 2 30 minute ones, im now contemplating adding a 3rd session a week as my swimming is still very weak. Im also going to book a few more lessons.

    Over the next few weeks im going to just try and consolidate my current fitness level and hopefully when the weather improves and we get some lighter nights ill be able to increase my durations further (though a lot slower than before).

    Once again thanks for your interest and support…

    Wimped out on the 2hr bike ride tonight – did 50 mins but also cycled to and from work so its still nearly 90mins… 40 min swim planned for tomorrow, im going to skip the midweek run and maybe do a 60 minute very easy on Saturday (blister permitting).

    Lastly and I don’t know if anyone has any experience of this but I have a high arch and suffer from Plantifantilitis (probably spelt wrong, but other wise known as fallen arches). I have some specially made inserts for my trainers but never wear them as they’ve never really felt comfortable. My Chropodist says my high arch could be the cause of many a injury and im half inclined to agree though cant get to grips with / face using inserts – have any of you any experience of this or any thoughts?
  • Carl,
    another way to deal with Plantar Faciitis is strapping, but you need a physio to show you how to do that properly - bit of an artform. If you strap properly, you can continue to train no problems. Unfortunately the strapping tape is not cheap.
    Arch supports are worth trying to get used to, but I know what you mean.
  • Thanks I will inquire about that, im not well off but dont see cost as a barrier to achieving fitness. I think the rewards and health benefits far outweight any moderate expeses. Will be speaking to my physio asap.
  • Hi all, time for me to join in with the training bit and questions. Firstly, good on you Carl, when time allows, I always have a quick read of what training you are doing, helps keep me motivated - keep it up!

    Secondly, my racing plan is looking like this:

    Belfast Marathon (May)
    Spint Tri (May)
    Weymouth HIM distance (June)
    A couple of audax rides, tt's in July
    London tri olympic distance (start August)
    HIMUK (end August)

    Questions are:

    > I am currently training everyday for the last goodness knows how long, although I treat swim sessions and weight sessions as days off (easier on the mind that way and lets other parts of the body recover). However, despite getting at least 8 hours kip a night (normally go for 10 though), sometimes I still feel quite knackered the next day. I think this has to do with nutrition or lack of it. I eat loads of fresh fruit and veg but by the time I finish training at night, sometimes it doesn't leave much time for grub - so its whack in the pasta, job done, bed. I am not using recovery drinks at moment but I know I probably ought to. I just wondered what are other people's experience of this is?

    > I also wondered what people's view is on training between races (see schedule above)? E.g. I did the Reading half a couple of weeks ago and the Monday became a swim/weights session night to let the legs recover. Tuesday was back to normal. I reckon I will take a day off after Belfast and then hopefully back into swimming/cycling. I haven't had any iunjuries (and want to aviod them where possible) - any opinions on this?
  • NB,
    You need rest days in your schedule. Training works on an overload - recovery cycle, ie hard training takes it out of you and the recovery rebuilds. The recovery is the bit where you actually get fitter.
    If you don't have enough recovery you will reach a fitness plateau where you won't improve no matter how hard you train, you will be constantly tired, you will probably get lots of colds as overtraining suppresses your immune system, and you most certainly won't race well.
    The idea of treating swim & weight sessions as rest is a complete no-no. Swimming is hard work, and weight training isn't exactly a soft option. Both of these activities use the whole body so you certainly won't be resting.
    My tip is to make sure you have at least one full rest day each week, even if you feel good. Listen to your body, & don't be afraid to take extra rest.
    One rule of thumb to have one rest day per week (ie total rest - no training), one rest week per month (you can train, but make it a very easy week)and one rest month per year (easy month).
    PS, I read a quote by Lance Armstrong (5x winner of Tour de France); can't quite remember the words but he said that ".. the guy who recovers best is the one who wins, recovery is the key ...". If its good enough for him ....

  • Man NB, you like to pack them in...good!

    I have just a couple of ideas based (only) on my own experience, which (therefore) you may prefer to ignore:
    1. When you are in "the zone" it is sometimes hard to make yourself take a full rest day, meaning also no swim or gym, and it also makes fitting all of the workouts in even harder. But for most of us I think it is worth it so that the body can properly recover, plus you can get into some gear maintenance, do groceries, rediscover family etc. This is advise I didn't heed until I started getting ill all the time.
    We are all a little different, but it might be worth experimenting to see if a full rest day helps the fatigue. Having said that, I reckon if you're not a bit knackered part of the time you are not doing enough - aren't we all trying to test our limits?

    2. "...loads of fresh fruit and veg...".
    Without intending to get personal, how often do you go to the loo? I once had a similar diet to yours. Fruit is important but you can have too much fruit & fibre (especially if it makes you go) as the body needs time to absorb all the goodies from what you eat.
    The rules about nutrition keep changing, and some of the old stuff is now out of favour, but I still like a honey or banana sandwich asap after a long session, to quickly bring energy levels back up.
  • Sorry Martin, I should've refreshed before starting my post - didn't mean to parrot part of yours, above.
  • Carl,
    another thing about the plantar fasciitis I forgot to mention...
    Usually a running injury but cycling on your toes doesn't help. You may want to adjust the lugs (don't know the correct terminology) under your cycling shoes so that your feet are as far forward as possible when cycling - may not be optimal for perfomance, but really makes stuff all difference.
  • Kiwi,
    No problem, both of us saying the same thing emphasises the point
  • NB, read your post with interest and the advise being given. Havnt contributed myself as I dont really know what to say and am still very inexperienced but learning all the time.

    Kiwi, thanks for the tip, I dont actually get the associated Plantar Fascilitus pains that often (onece or twice a year for a day or so). My main concern is that my toenails are very brittle and seem to be dying (my trainers are 1/2 size to big but I have wide feet and suffer pins and needles in my forefoot - balls of toes). I also wondered if the Plantar Fancilitus could be casuing some of my injuries as it may mean I dont have an ideal running style though I am a neautral runner/step). I'll give the strapping a try anyway and will make a point of trying to bear with my inserts for a few months to see if they help.
  • NB

    You could try supplementing your post-training recovery drink (presumably you take one... within 10 minutes or whatever?) with 10g of l-glutamine and 10g of mixed amino acids (all from health food shops)

    it works for me and has for others
  • Thanks all. I will take advice on board and work in a rest day. I know it sounds ridiculous but it is tricky enough to give yourself a rest day when all is going well - went sub 1:22 at the Reading half (one of my goals for the year) and have made good progress on the bike and swimming. Fortunately, I haven't had any colds etc., and KA, the stomach is pretty robust unless I am running big mileage (cracked me up, I would share concern if it were a problem!). Friday is a good day for a rest, although Monday would probably be the sensible option.

    Cheers Andy C, will look into the l-glutamine + amino acid supplements.
  • 1:22.........that's smokin'. Well done for hitting the goal - you must be planning some kind of sub 3hr for Belfast.

    Incidentally NB, what are "audax rides"?
  • Well done NB that is super quick, you must be really pleased.

    As a matter of interest can you post your typical training week?
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    Can any of you let me know how many hours I should be aiming to build up to before LD?

    At the moment I'm sticking to a 3-week build and then a recovery week(4) thats half the previous week.
    This cycle has been Week1-7.5hours, Week2(this week)-8.5hours and hope to do 9.5hours next week.

    I'm starting to feel it a bit though, as previously only really do 4-6 hours a week average.

    So do I need to build up further? 12 or 15 hours a week? Only have 3 of these macro cycles left....

    Endurance Coach @ DazCarterFitness.com
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • Yeah I was well chuffed with the Reading time and am aiming to go sub 3hr at Belfast (would be delighted if I did).

    KA, audax rides....to be honest I am probably not the best person to ask here, Cougie, Popsider, Andy C would all be better placed to answer that. In a nutshell though - they tend to be long distance rides (not races) where you stop at checkpoints along the way. Good social thing as far as I can gather, where you stop and grab a decent bit of food and drink.

    Carl a typical training week....hmmm, would go something like:

    Friday - easy 15 mins jog, easy 15 mins bike and weights session, working on core strength (although now going to be a day off)

    Saturday - 1hr swim, breakfast, then approx 2.5-5 hours cycle

    Sunday - long run (18-25 miles) or race depending what is on

    Monday - Weights session and stretching

    Tuesday - 45 mins spinning followed by an hours run

    Wednesday - 1 hour turbo, weights

    Thursday - 1 hour run and 1 hour swim

    Was hoping to fit in another swim session maybe on a Tuesday morning (although I am crap with early starts and not helped as my swimming is pants = low motivation at that time of the morning).

    Any suggestions/improvements to training welcome....

  • Update week commencing 22/3/04

    Its been a good week, my best yet…

    Mon – 40 mins swim
    Tue – Cycle to & from work + 1hr Bike in evening
    Wed – 50 mins swim
    Thur – 1hr ½ Bike
    Fri – 50 mins swim & 6 mile run
    Sat – Rest
    Sun – 2hr bike (32 miles ave 16.1mph).

    Total training time 7.5 hours

    Achieved three milestones this week:

    1) First time to swim 16x25meter lengths front crawl without stopping (could have done more as well)
    2) Longest bike ride to date – 2hrs and kept a pretty good speed (for me) felt I could have done another couple of hours to.
    3) Most training hours in 1 week (7.5).

    I feel really positive and motivated, had a great week and hope to continue building slowly, perhaps up to 10hrs by the end of April, you never know I may make Longest Day yet but its still only a distant dream. I know I need to get in some longer bike rides, will do a 4 hour ride this week. The swimming still leaves a lot to be desired but ive seemed to suddenly click and jumped from only about 10 lengths to 16 in a week and felt like I could have done 10 more.

    I need to focus on my willpower over the coming weeks, I don’t push or train hard enough, what I mean is like today when I only did a 2 hour bike ride when I could and should have done more. Still, im making good progress and on the other hand don’t want to overtrain.
  • i wouldn't worry, you're miles away from overtraining

    as they say: get out there and ride the bloody thing
  • JjJj ✭✭✭
    oooo - you've come over all...stern.

  • tee hee yes

    i got two extra hours in though due to my gmt/bst dusk adjustment cock up though, which was nice
  • Cheers Candy, I need a kick up the arse sometimes.

    Think im pretty safe from injury on the bike, its the running thats caused all my injuries in the past. Will do a 3hr+ ride this week plus a couple of 90mins+ at least.

    aiming for 9hrs training.
  • Daz,
    About weekly training hours.
    What you fill those hours up with is most important. You really want to heed what Martin Lewis advised recently on your other thread about longest rides etc. That's crucial.
    But even if you think about a 5hr longest ride and a 2.5hr longest run (personally I would do more, and aim to get in some over-distance workouts), plus say 2.5 hours of swim training you are already up to 10 hours. You also need AT LEAST another decent run and another decent bike session (again, I would do more, and aim for 3 sessions per discipline so I cannot advise what might work from personal experience). So you would want to do at least 12 hours per week, preferably more.
    I think I've heard of people doing it on 8 (don't know how they fared, tho); to get all the good bits into your programme you'd be getting closer to 15, but I think you'll get by on 12.

    It would be interesting to know what other people have done prior to their 1st ironman, in the peak week of training. I think I did something in the mid 20’s (way back in 1991) but I knew even then that it was OTT to the point of irresponsible. So it would be good to hear from some-one smarter, who got by on far fewer hours.

    - Another thing, watch the rate of build-up - you shouldn't really build up the running more than about 10% per week, but you can get away with a lot more than that rate in your swimming, and I suppose a bit more in the cycling too.

    You are supposed to feel a bit knackered in the build up. In fact, if asked in December what the hardest thing you have done is, this year, the answer should not be “LD”; it should be “training for LD”. You’re well on the way, mate.
  • NB
    Do any of those runs include speedwork? If not, that makes your 82 minutes look even better.
    On your programme, I would like to make a few minor comments;
    1. Longest ride on Saturday vs longest run on Sunday is a little risky.

    2. To help your time budget, you could live without some of the weight work, but the core session on Friday (which you imply you will drop) is probably the most useful. Also, stretching can be done at either end (some say both ends) of your regular workouts. Flexibility = Speed.

    3. I agree another swim session would be worth the effort. I am the same about early starts, but it has to be done. Battling the mind is the hardest part of this sport.
  • JjJj ✭✭✭
    Where *is* Richard?

  • Further to the recent discussions re the training required to complete Longest Day I wonder if you could give some comment on:

    1) My current fitness level and the likelihood of being ready for Longest Day (there are 15 weeks left).

    Over the last month ive averaged 5-6 hours training a week and am now building up to 8 hours (should be 10 by the end of April). My longest run is 18 miles (2:15:00), longest bike is 2 hours (32 miles). Swimming, Im pretty sure I could sustain breastroke in a pool for 2 hours and do 160 lengths fairly easily now but my front crawl is only up to 20x 25m lengths in around 40 secs per length.

    2) What would you say the minimum milestones I need to acheive to have a good chance of being within the cut off's (can you include distances and times please) e.g. 100 bike in 6 hours.

    3) How many hours training minimum should I be aiming for in May (the critical month as far as I am concerned) - would 12 hours be enough?

    4) The cut off for deferring my entry is 6th June, what do I need to achieve during May to be in a position to decide to go for it?

    3 weeks ago I had given up on the prospect but im starting to think there is a very very small chance I can still have a go? Would really appreciate some realistic info and guidance to consider.
  • Suplimental re above..

    Oh yes I know I need to get out on my bike more, should have a 90 min, 2 hour and 3.5 hour rides this week, my first 5 hour should be in mid April I guess.

    Must also point out im very very slow i.e. I should just about have the stamina to a Marathon now but would probably have to run/walk the last 8 miles, I guess I could finish sub 5hr.

    Over the next month as said above I should fit in 2 5 hour bike's plus maybe a 20 mile run (around 3hr 15mins I guess).

  • Carl, You really do need to get out on the bike and do some long rides. You need to have done at the very least one 100 mile + ride, preferably several, and you should go over race distance at least once if at all possible. No need to go mad, just steady riding will be fine. This will get you used to being on the bike for a long time, it will give you a chance to practice eating & drinking, and it will give you confidence for race day.
    To help you decide I think you should have ridden over 100 miles at least once before your D-day, you should have completed at least 1 20+ mile run, and you should be able to do the swim (2 hour cutoff). Aim for mid May.
    No need to panic, there is still plenty of time and long bike rides are much easier now the days are longer.
    Keep at it!!
  • Carl, In addition to what I posted earlier I need to tell you that every year many people complete TLD or other IM distance races on what what might be considered insufficient training. Self confidence & self belief can carry you a very long way!
    I've done TLD and now I marshall each year, and I can tell you we do our very best to get you round. We won't pull anyone out of the race if they are a few minutes late for the cutoff.
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