Half-Iron Triathlon Training Weeks 5-8

Half Iron Triathlon Training

Regular readers will know that my big goal for this year is the Cotswolds 113 Middle Distance triathlon on 12th June. I’ve now got just over 3 months until race day, so I thought I’d share a monthly recap of my training leading up to the event. I’ve been working with a triathlon coach on a more formalised routine since the beginning of the year- you can catch up on my first month here.

Training has been going well in terms of swimming and cycling, however my running is not progressing as well as I would like. Ever since I eased back into training after recovering from my stress fracture, I’ve been suffering with another injury- shin splints. I’ve always been prone to shin problems, but they seem to be extra sore after taking an extended break. It’s frustrating to come back from one injury and go straight into another. I’ve been working with my physio on strengthening exercises and with my coach on a run/walk programme to avoid overloading too soon. I haven’t really been able to run any great distance yet- no more than 3-4 miles. 

At present, it seems unlikely that I will be able to run my ‘B’ race- the Southampton Half-Marathon at the end of April. Fortunately, they have a 10k run on the same day which I could potentially do instead. I’m holding off on making a decision until nearer the time. 

The past week has been less than ideal- I’ve been ill with a virus which has totally wiped me out. I’ve focused on rest and recovery and my coach has rescheduled my training to push everything back one week. It shouldn’t make too much of a difference in the overall scheme of things to miss a week’s training. I’m back on form now and catching up on the sessions I missed. 

Here’s how my training has looked for the past four weeks…

Week 5
Monday: 45 minute spin class, then 10 minute run off the bike
Tuesday: 63 minute swim intervals (2.5km)
Wednesday: 44 minute run intervals (4.26 miles)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 60 minute tri club swim, then 30 minute core session
Sunday: 2 hours 52 minutes cycling sportive (39 miles)

Week 6
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 90 minute turbo trainer session (16.4 miles)
Wednesday: 29 minute negative split run (3.2 miles)
Thursday: 30 minute treadmill run (3 miles), then 28 minute swim (1100m)
Friday: 45 minute spin class
Saturday: 60 minute tri club swim, then 30 minute core session
Sunday: 45 minute spin class, then 20 minute run off the bike (2 miles)

Week 7
Monday: 90 minute double spin class
Tuesday: 38 minute turbo trainer session including 10km time trial, then 60 minute swim (2000m)
Wednesday: 40 minute run (4.14 miles)
Thursday: Rest 
Friday: 30 minute run (3.1 miles)
Saturday: 60 minute tri club swim, then 30 minute core session
Sunday: 45 minute run (4.4 miles)

Week 8
Monday: Rest (sick)
Tuesday: Rest (sick)
Wednesday: Rest (sick)
Thursday: Rest (sick)
Friday: Rest (sick)
Saturday: Rest (sick)
Sunday: Rest (sick)

My coach prescribes my training sessions based on RPE or Rated Perceived Exertion, which runs on a scale of 0 to 10. The scale relies on assessing bodily sensations during exercise such as muscular fatigue, increased breathing and heart rate and increased sweating. Hard intervals will be done at RPE 8-9, whilst recovery will be at RPE 4. I find this method of rating my exertion quite effective, as I don’t need to worry about wearing a Heart Rate Monitor or setting up zones. However, it does mean being honest with myself!

The 10km time trial on the bike trainer was particularly challenging. I was warned that this would be a tough session and it was indeed! I’ve never done a time trial on the bike before, so it was good to set a benchmark- I was pleased with my time of 18:46. I’m scheduled for a 15km and 20km time trial in the coming weeks. 

My triathlon club started a 30 minute core training session, which slots in nicely after our 7am Saturday swim and before parkrun begins at 9am. The session is lead by my coach Jon, so it’s an opportunity to catch up with him on my progress over the week. The workout is pretty intense, he has us working constantly with only minimal rest between each exercise. There are usually lots of grunts and groans from the group- it’s funny how we can all swim, bike and run for miles, but holding a 30 second plank absolutely destroys us! 

What are you training for this year? How is your training going?

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