May 29

Now the Real Training Begins

This past weekend wrapped up week 12 of IM Mont Tremblant training and I couldn’t have done it in better fashion. With 12 weeks to go until race day, it is time to get my game face on and get ready to tackle Ironman number 2.

On Saturday, despite the recovery week, I took the opportunity to do another long bike ride so that I could work on my nutrition plan. (Hi, my name is Kevin and I am addicted to the bike.) My first two century rides of the season ended with some major bonks that left me unable to even think about doing a run off the bike. This weekend, however, was totally different. The ride started off with some questionable weather, but I pressed onward despite ominous looking clouds. Thankfully, the weather held off and it turned out to be a gorgeous morning for a ride.

Less than 3 miles into the ride, two guys in a pickup trunk pulled up next to me at a red light and rolled down their window. Ugh. Barely 10 minutes and someone is already going to harass me. Thankfully, that was not the case. “How much does that bike weigh,” one of them asked? I replied that it was about 18lbs or so (pulled that number out of my ass, but some research afterwards shows I was pretty close). “Wow! That is one sleek looking bike,” he replied. You are damn right it is!! Whew. It was too early in the morning to get in a shouting match over cyclists’ rights.

Any ways, the first hour of my ride got me to KCR & AD’s house where I met up with them. They had a 3 hour ride on their schedule so it worked out great. We hung together for 60 miles or so before I dropped them back off at home and continued on to get in the final 25 miles of my ride.  Still feeling great, I pushed the pace for the final 25 miles. I was able to keep my average about 20mph for each of the final 5 mile splits which led to a negative split for the entire ride.

When I got home, I was feeling awesome so I did quick transition and headed out for a speedy 4 mile run. My legs felt amazing and I had almost no brick feeling at all. I quickly fell into a 7:10 pace and was able to maintain it until the end. AND! I did the entire brick workout sans-socks with no blisters. Gotta love the TriSlide and K-Swiss triathlon shoes!

So, what was the key to the successful brick workout? Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition.  While I could go into the specifics of what I ate and when, I don’t think that is exactly responsible for my success. What I think led to my success was not sticking to my plan. Wait, what? NOT sticking to my plan? That’s right. My normal plan is every 15 minutes I drink and every 30 minutes I eat. However, what I noticed on my last ride is I was that after 60 miles, I was getting thirsty sooner than every 15 minutes and hungry sooner than ever 30 minutes. Despite feeling thirsty/hungry, I held off drinking/eating until each predefined 15 minute interval for fear of running out of food/drink too soon. Bad move. I should have just been listening to my body and eating when hungry and drinking when thirsty. In the end, the 15 min/30 min strategy worked well for the first 60 miles. After that, I needed to switch things up to a 12 min/25 minute plan.  This means that I may have to carry a bit more food/drink, but it should lead to a more successful bike.

After the brick, Jennie and I walked up to Ramona’s Table for a late lunch.  After a morning of liquids, gels, and gummies, real food was a welcome relief.

Image634738940759031350 Image634738941452481013

And then spent the rest of the day relaxing.


I have another century (or 140 miles if I can find some riding buddies) planned for next weekend.  This ride, however, will be organized so it will hopefully be easier to work on my nutrition strategy with lots of stops to refuel.

Sunday wasn’t a huge training day, but it was a tough one. I spent pretty much all day on my feet doing chores. Mowing the lawn, power-washing the entire garage & house, cleaning the garage out, etc. By the time I finished up my projects, it was after 6:00 and I still hadn’t gotten my run it. Sunday is generally my long run day but because it was a recovery week, my “long run” was only 7 miles.

With Jennie by my side on the bike carrying water, I headed out. Thankfully the 90* heat of the day had subsided a bit.  Still, it took a long time to find my legs.  It wasn’t until 5 miles in that I started to feel comfortable. It was a good mental training day though. Despite the tired legs, I was mentally strong and didn’t get too down on myself.

After the easy Sunday workout, it was back to full swing on Monday. The morning began with an early open water swim – my first of the season.  About 12 people from my tri club met at a small lake out in Caledonia.  From the boat launch, straight across to a floating dock on the other side was just about 400 yards.

Photo May 28, 9 24 11 AM

In all, I did 4 laps for a total of roughly 3200 yards. The first 3 laps I did with the wetsuit and then did the final lap without it. It was great practice because I forgot how much faster the arms/shoulders tire when wearing a wetsuit. And, I got to work on my stroke and body position without cheating getting the added the buoyancy of the wetsuit during the final wetsuit-less lap.

I rounded out Monday with a hard 1:15 bike ride. I was scheduled to do 2×14 min at Z4.  I changed it up a bit though and decided to structure my ride around Reeds Lake.  I did 1 lap warmup, 1 lap fast, 1 lap recovery, 1 lap fast, and 1 lap cooldown. I went all out on my fast laps because I needed to redo my HR zones for the bike. I was hitting zone 5.8 and even a nonexistent ?zone 6? at at times so some tweaking was necessary.

Mmmmmm…. data…. (with the newly adjusted HR zones)

I was sooooo close to getting my lap time down to under 11 minutes (11:09), but got slowed down by a Jeep that was attempting to parallel park (and then gave up).  Without that slow down, I think I might have made it.  It all depends on traffic and the stop lights though.  The 2nd lap was 11:42 because I hit two lights.  Even with the slower time, I felt stronger and faster on the second lap.

We spent the rest of the day lounging around and trying to stay cool.

I’ll leave you with one final picture from the weekend of an unhappy Bailey who desperately wanted to join the game of Bocce. He was not happy.

Photo May 28, 6 19 42 PM

How was your Memorial Day weekend???

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2012/05/29/now-the-real-training-begins


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  1. elizabeth

    I love when my jack russell’s ears flop forward like Bailey’s in the last pic. Good luck with IM2 training!! remember, pizza pizza pizza!
    elizabeth recently posted..50 shades of hilarious

  2. amy

    I normally read your blog via RSS (as a stalker/stranger), but for some reason clicked on it today to read it in its own tab. And HOLY CRAP, 81 days to IMMT. I both wish it were tomorrow and wish it wasn’t for another 6 months.

    Sounds like your training is going great! Hopefully we luck into a nice, cool day up there, which will feel amazing after training in much hotter weather.

  3. BDD

    The beginning of build is always so much fun!!

  4. Jeff

    Good ride Kevin. And way to be zeroing in the nutrition already. On Monday Dave and I did 60mi with about 45 of it at tempo and I set my garmin to beep every 15mins for nutrition/hydration/ You and Jason are spot on using that method – within 30mi I was freaking Pavlov’s Dog. I set the bike up exactly as I would for IMMT. Best nutrition day in a long time. We hammered the tempo sections and my legs felt great.

    Going to have to practice the 12/25 strategy and see if that helps towards the end of longer rides? A few mins difference could be huge!
    Jeff recently posted..2,160

  5. Chris

    Sounds like you got some quality training in. Great job!

    Did you use a 6 month plan for IMWI as well?

    I’ve talked to multiple people about the different HR zones based on the different disciplines in triathlon. Some say “yes, there are in fact differences between swim/bike/run HR zones and should be set accordingly.” Others have said to use your run HR for all. Beginner Triathlete says bike should be 10 bpms lower than run and swim 10-15 BPMs lower than run. What are your thoughts on the subject?

    Keep up the great work!


  6. Heather O

    You are a frickin’ monster! How are you so dedicated and so good at what you do?!?!?!? Awesome workouts, Kevin! Way to go!!!!
    Heather O recently posted..Happy Birthday, Mitchell!!!

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      My secret? I have a super supportive wife & crew 🙂

      Working from home helps too.

  7. James F

    You are a machine! I am so glad you do not race down South and push me back another place! You will kill your next race!
    James F recently posted..NEXT…

  8. katie

    addicted to the bike, eh? I love the bike, but I’m pretty addicted to having functional nerve endings in my crotch.
    katie recently posted..Jim McDonnell 5K swim: race report

  9. Annie

    Sounds like everyone is right on track! Can’t wait for the trip!

  10. Matthew Smith

    Bro, you are killing it out there! Nice work on the huge rides and figuring out your nutrition “unplan.” Sometimes being too scheduled doesn’t work for me either. Your heart rate graph was pretty impressive how you were able to just hold it where you wanted it.

    Do you own a pressure washer, or did you rent one?

    Keep up the good work!
    Matthew Smith recently posted..In Memory of "Beryl"

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      My grandpa has a power washer that we borrowed. It isn’t super powerful (only 1500PSI) but it gets the job done. Hopefully this is a once ever 5 years chore because it was a pain the butt. It sure makes a difference though.

  11. sarah

    Great weekend of training! Reading how many long bike rides you have already done makes me worried that I’m not riding enough.
    sarah recently posted..Wordless Wed – Kiwi

  12. Carolina John

    You gotta listen to the body to get through the long rides. If you’re thirsty you should have drank something 5 minutes ago. If you’re notably hungry you should have eaten 10 minutes ago. Don’t get behind in the ironman or you’ll completely blow up on the run.

    You got this down. And btw, your wife is incredibly cute! Not sure I’ve noticed a picture of her before but it’s noteworthy.
    Carolina John recently posted..Ironman gave me a gluten intolerance

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Thanks! I know it! How do guys like us end up with the wives we have? Must be luck right?

      You are definitely right on the nutrition. I just have to plan enough food for that strategy now.

  13. Jon

    12 weeks. Too far out for a panic attack, yet close enough to make you shit your pants. How does that work?!?! Hoping for nice and cool weather on race day!
    Jon recently posted..Memoral Day Weekend Efforts + Swim Race Report

  14. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

    Love it dude. That is a great training weekend right there. 12 weeks to go is amazing.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..RooSports Product Giveaway

  15. Mark in Ottawa

    That sounds like a great training weekend! It’s so much easier to stay motivated when you can train outside and the weather is nice! Glad that you’re on pace with 12 weeks left!

    I also bought and use Tri-Slide (because of your recommendation) and love it…works great, and much better than the other stuff. Also bought and use Foggle…can’t believe I was putting up with being virtually blind during the swim when I didn’t have to! Thanks for the recommendations!

    So when are you going to recon the IMMT course?

    Mark (in Ottawa, Canada)

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Glad that the TriSlide and Foggle is working out for you! The TriSlide almost works too good for me. I put some on my feet for a sockless run today and despite showering, my feet are still pretty slippery feeling.

      Unfortunately I am not going to make it to IMMT to recon prior to the race. It is a 13 hour drive so it is hard to squeeze in a quick trip. Jon @ Swicyclorun.com is going for the 70.3 in June though and is going to be our man on the field.

  16. Colleen

    I love following your training… you are knocking it out of the park my friend!

    Great job with the long ride. Sometimes you have to adjust things on the fly and it seems like it worked out for you. And gotta love the sockless running and tri-slide! 🙂

    I love that Jennie will ride next to you. Tom always carries my water when I run with him. I’m spoiled too so I can appreciate it. 🙂 And I’m impressed that you could run after doing chores. Wears me out.

    How cold is the water up by you? Sans wetsuit probably helped you go faster if the water is still chilly! 🙂

  17. DR

    lots going on and fantastic training all the way around!
    140 mi bike! id be interested to hear if you get that one done….you did a monster long one last year in training for IM#1? I did two over 125 this spring in prep for IM 2.0
    love the OWS
    12wks bring it on – perfect training time next 3mo’s!

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