I’ve been a bit slow to post last week’s training as I had a hectic week preparing for my PhD viva, starting a new job and, well, training for an Ironman.

This wasn’t going to be a typical week of training as I had a mini-break to Berlin planned for Friday – Monday. Instead of the usual long swim and long ride at the weekend, I’d be visiting family, sightseeing, and enjoying plenty of beer and bratwurst. As I won’t be able to ride at all over the weekend, I planned three hard rides on back-to-back days midweek instead.

Weekly totals

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 19.08.50


I started the week with the Masters swim session at John Charles Centre (JCC).Leading into Kona, where it will be a non-wetsuit swim, I’m wanting to push my swim on so that I can hopefully swim comfortably around 60-65 minutes and not lose a stack of time. I always swim better with a group and these morning Masters sessions in Leeds are the hardest sessions I’ve been to. The threshold session this morning was a beast and I was really hanging on at the back of the lane. The 60 minute set was:

800m on 12mins
2 x 400m on 6.15
4 x 200m on 3.15
8 x 100m on 1.40
8 x 50m on 60 seconds

The 200’s, coming in at about 2.45, were an absolute battle and I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my head (although my knowledge of anatomy told me that that this wouldn’t be the case). Really struggled to get through these and had some strong words with myself not to skip a turnaround out, but once at 150m it was manageable to finish off the distance. It didn’t get any easier after the 200’s and I was gassed.

Straight after the swim I met a mate, Chris Wray,  who did his first (but not last!) Ironman at Lanzarote this year for a 2 hour strength and conditioning session. Chris is a Personal Trainer and we worked together on a load of functional movements focusing on mobility and control for the hips, ankles and shoulders. Luckily there is no photo evidence of this as I’ve got a lot to improve on, especially my weak attempt at an un-aided pull up!

Swim = 60 mins, 3.6km
S&C= 2 hours


Started the day with another masters swim at JCC. Tuesday is a tecnhique session with a variety of drills and a load of IM. It isn’t normally a hard session (which is why it’s also known as toss-off-Tuesday!) but we finished today with a set of 8 x 25m with no breathing each length!! Yet another set where I felt the onset of a heart attack!

Over lunch I met Tom Hughes of Tri-mechanics for a short run and we followed that up with a top coffee in Headingley (Bare cafe, well worth trying out). I’m still slowly building up my run distance and at almost 6km, this was my longest run since IM Nice and running another marathon currently seems a long way off!

In the evening I did a turbo session using Trainerroad. I started using Trainerroad over the winter last year and it’s been the best change I’ve made to strengthen my riding. There are over 2000 workouts all filtered into different categories and you also have the option to create your own workouts. The first of the rides in the 3 day block was today, which was 5 x 7 minutes at 102% of FTP. No Netflix for these harder sessions – I just put my headphones in with spotify and some old Kona coverage on the screen. I had to pack in some caffeine before the session to wake me up but felt good once got going.

Turbo set up: Bron loves the puddle of sweat left on the floor!!

Swim= 60 mins, 2.7km
Run= 25 mins, 4.5km
Bike= 1h15mins turbo


For the second of the three day block of riding, I did a big ride on the TT bike which I haven’t ridden much recently. The main focus of the ride was to stay in TT position for the whole ride with blocks of intervals at and above Ironman race intensity. I started out with 1 hour steady, then went into 1 hour at 75% (IM effort) and finished the ride with 4 x 20 minutes of (5 mins 75%, 5 mins 85%, 5 mins 90%, 5 mins easy). There was nothing interesting about today’s route, I went straight up and down the A168 from Wetherby to Dishforth which is a straight and wide road so was able to get in TT mode and not have to move around for traffic or junctions. I hit a headwind coming home for the last 60km which made it challenging but I kept telling myself it was good prep for the winds in Kona! The winds made for some interesting debris in the air too and I was almost taken out by an empty KFC bucket on the way home!! I just dodged the missile but could have done with the fuel as I was pretty wiped out by the end of the ride.

On top of the swim, bike and run training I recently started to incorporate 15-20 minutes of a core stability work 3-4 days a week. I was struggling really badly with back pain in the aero position on the bike earlier in the year but todays ride of 4 hours was pain free.

Bike= 4 hours, 142km
Core = 20 mins


I was going to open water swim today but the forecast looked dire – back to typical English summer weather again – and it was raining in the morning so I went to the morning Masters session at JCC again. The pool was so hot today and another tough swim set didn’t help with staying cool! Though, the heat didn’t seem to affect Harry Wilshire in the next lane doing the session in a wetsuit and trainers!

This set is etched in my head:

200m warm up (drill)
4 x 400m off 6.30 with broken 400’s, averaging 5.45 for the 400’s
4 x 300m off 5 with broken 300’s averaging sub 1.20 per 100m
2 x 200m off 4, broken 200’s averaging sub 1.20 per 100m

Another really tough session to get through and the temptation was there to sit out a 50m and take an extra rest, but I hung in and completed the whole set and kept on target pace.

Later in the day I did the third and final ride in the continuous block of three. It was another session using Trainerroad. This session (Gibraltar) was 1h30mins of around 80-85% of FTP and I included some big gear/low cadence work in the final 30 minutes. This is a ride I like to do fairly frequently as it requires sustained riding at above IM pace and although physically achievable, it’s more mentally challenging to keep the effort continuous and not ease off. The big gear riding in the second half is a nice change in focus for the last part of the session but more importantly I include it to build leg strength on tired legs.

Swim= 60 mins
Bike= 1h45mins


I was flying to Berlin today and I only had time for a short early morning run before heading to the airport. There won’t be a lot of training done this weekend (more eating and drinking) but 3 swims and 3 quality bike sessions completed already this week is adequate and I’m happy with how my bike form is shaping up.

Run = 20 mins
Core = 20 mins


One of the highlights of going to different places is being able to run somewhere new. Whilst in Berlin there wasn’t much time for training as we had a packed itinerary planned to see family and tick off the tourist spots. Me and Bron just had time for a 30 minute run in the morning and I tried scouting out the local lake to go for a swim but the tall fence and strongly worded sign made sure that didn’t happen! What a shame as the lake looked serene in the morning…

Important rehydration took place in the afternoon at a brilliant roof top bar over looking Berlin. A balance between training and life is always important!


Too much mayo? I think so
Beer garden with a view
That’ll do nicely

Run= 30 mins
Core = 20 mins
Beers= more than 5, less than 10


Such a disappointment this morning as I located an ace looking 50m outdoor pool not far from the apartment we were staying. However, after running the 2.5km to get there the lady behind the desk told me they didn’t take card payment and she wasn’t too helpful in pointing me towards a cash point. So much for German efficiency. I could have swam here…..


My view from outside!
A stock image, shame I didn’t get to see this for real


But instead I did some run drills before jogging home in time for breakfast.

Run = 30 mins
Swim = A disappointing zero
Core = 10 mins
Beers = 1 less than yesterday


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