Training Ironman France 2013 – 10 weeks to go

by Amy  - April 15, 2013

Last night I didn’t sleep much. I could pretend I don’t know why but the reality is I’m pretty sure it’s because I have this massive race in 10 weeks and of course, I’m not sure if I’m ready.

What am I saying?

I’m not ready.

I’m not supposed to be ready – it’s 10 weeks away.

I’ve done a terrible job of taking pictures this week. So sorry. This will be wordy and not imagey.

Trying big swim fins

My husband was in the office early this week so my swimming volume came up short. When he has to be in the office early I can’t make it to early swimming – c’est la vie. I wish it hadn’t but it’s not that big of a deal actually so it doesn’t stress me out too much.

I did try bigger fins on Wednesday in swimming. Holy Cow what a difference that makes. I was so much faster as in 100s in 1:30 (without fins swimming easy I’m closer to 2:00 usually). So, I’m confused on the whole fin issue. My fellow masters swimmer Paola tells me that I’m not cheating by using the big fins. That using the big fins help me strengthen the thigh muscles which is where the power for the kick comes which will make me faster and a better kicker. But mentally I feel like I’m cheating so I’m not sure what to do. Especially since I’m not training for a sprint but a long swim. Actually I am sure what to do I’m going to get there a few minutes early today and ask the coach what he suggests. After all that’s what I pay him for, right? If anyone has thoughts on this speak up because I’m all ears. The big fins are a little bit like swimming “crack.” Which is to say it feels so fun to be flying like that I wanted to swim with them all the time but they were a little too small and hurt my feet so I did take them off.

Riding the Ironman France course on Computrainer

The coolest thing that I did this week on the bike was that I rode part of the IM France course at a Computrainer center in Boca Raton. It’s called Doghouse Performance Cycling. All three of us that are going from South Florida to France for the Ironman France were there. I did get my butt kicked by the other two guys who are preparing for France but whatever – to be expected, actually.   

I tried my race day nutrition plan on Saturday which is that since I cannot carry 8 20 oz bottles of Infinit (because it’s practically impossible) I used a concentrated 3 hour bottle. Let me back up because for people who don’t use this type of nutrition this might not make sense. I should say I had used Infinit for about 6 months before I even heard of concentrating it – maybe I wasn’t paying much attention.

Infinit is a powder. It comes in a big bag with a scoop (like coffee or kool-aid) and the recommended mix is 2 scoops for 20 oz of water. Until this week if I was going on a 4 hour ride I loaded up 4 pre-mixed bottles at that 2:20 Infinit:Water ratio.

For Saturday I put 6 scoops into one bottle and mixed it with water. Then I had another bottle with straight water and every 5-10 minutes I took a sip of Infinit followed by water.

Takeaways from this trial are:

  • Oh My Goodness it’s sweet. It tasted exactly like the syrup you drink for a Glucose Tolerance Test which is rather unpleasant, actually.
  • It requires a little bit more thinking this way. Calories – Water, Calories – Water. Certainly not impossible but more practice is needed because it needs to be automatic. When the bottles are premixed and all you have to do is remember to drink every few minutes it’s pretty mindless. I always wondered how on earth anybody could mess that up on an Ironman course. Now I understand how it happens. When your calories are concentrated like that each sip is important and if you mess up a few times and take water and not calories you might create a deficit that becomes hard to recover.
  • More practice is needed. Next week I’ll be on the road with this. Trying it first on the trainer was good because I didn’t have to think about anything else (like steering or falling over or stopping).

So, in case anyone cares my plan for the race is to have 3 of these bottles ready to go. Why 3? It is very possible that I could be on the bike course for 8 hours. So 3 of these bottles is a 9 hour supply. Better to have more than less. I am still thinking about how I will break this up. Will I carry all 3 from the start and just have an emergency backup in special needs. Yes probably this will be my plan because relying on things like restocking in special needs will make me too nervous. Okay good – that’s decided 🙂 Thanks for your help everyone.

I ran this week. Ta- dah! I continue to be amazed at how bizarrely slow my long runs are when they are the day after the long bike. My heart rate is low, it doesn’t feel overly hard and yet I cannot move my legs faster than a 12 minute mile. Bizarre. But I just roll with it.  

Have a good week everyone 🙂


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Amy Stone (she/her/hers) is a life coach who helps adults in blended families. She is a mom, step-mom and a step-grandma. Other random fun facts include that She is a 7-time Ironman triathlon finisher and many many marathons and shorter races. She created

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