Training in the lead up to my first Middle Distance Triathlon
On Sunday 15th May I will compete in my first ever half Ironman triathlon at Nottingham. This involves a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56 mile bike and a half marathon run afterwards. This will be a big increase in race volume for me. Going from a 2 hour Olympic distance race to a 4 hour half Ironman race will be challenging. Overall, I’ve had to increase the training volume slightly compared to what I have been doing previously. Training has really been going well averaging around 12 hours per week with the last 6 weeks around 14 hours per week. With the last few months of training specifically focusing on 70.3 targeted sessions to make sure that I’m mostly prepared for the big day.
A couple of last big key sessions in the lead up to the race are aimed to see where I am at fitness wise. 10 days out from the race I ran a 13.5 mile run with 8 miles of efforts. This included 3x2 miles at 70.3 effort running 11.05 to 11.08 with 2 and a half minutes rest inbetween. Then finishing off with 2x1 mile at threshold in 5.20 with 90 seconds rest. Other big sessions in the lead up to the race have included brick sessions which involves a hard bike session with a hard run straight afterwards to get used to race conditions. This included a 45 mile bike with 2x30 minutes at 70.3 race pace. Overall averaging over 21mph for the whole ride. After finishing the bike it was straight out onto an undulating 6 mile run with a 4 mile effort at 70.3 pace averaging 5.45 min per mile. A tough session meant it was 3 hours of training in total.
The big focus for this race is making sure my nutrition strategy is effective for me. During key sessions I have practiced my nutrition strategy which was aiming to see how many carbohydrates I can consume per hour without it causing any issues with performance. 100g of carbs per hour seems to be working the most effective for me but nutrition strategy is very personal and it shows how important it is to practice whether that’s a triathlon or a marathon that you are training for.
10 days before the race I recced the bike course to check terrain and specifically looking at bad parts of the course to watch out for on race day. Having a check of the course just gives some familiarisation so that it’s one less thing to worry about on race day as there’s so much to think about.
The last week of preparation for me is aimed at tapering to get the body and mind fresh and ready to race. This will also include extra practice on the little areas in the race such as bike mount practice, swim dive starts and carbohydrate loading.