Ironman Boulder Training- Week 1

Well, 2015 has started off with some changes to my workouts and commitments.  I registered for my first full Ironman!  This was one of my 15 Things To Look Forward to in 2015.  It has been something I’ve wanted to do for awhile.  I debated between Louisville and Boulder for my first.  Louisville would allow more training time, a closer location and more similar terrain.  Boulder would be timed at the end of summer to avoid training falling off in the fall once I’m back at school and my kids’ activities are at their busiest, but doing my first ironman at a higher elevation is a bit scary.

After reflecting on my training for Border Wars, I did really great through the summer, but had a hard time keeping up with training through August and September when life got busier.  Also, weather in October can be very questionable.  You have no idea whether you will have a really hot day or a really cold day.  After researching IM Boulder’s course quite a bit and reading race reports, I decided to take a chance on elevation and go for it.  As of this week, I have fully committed (AKA paid registration fees) to Ironman Boulder 2015!!!!!

Given the shorter timeframe for this goal (versus Louisville in October), I decided to enlist the help of a coach.  I want to make sure that I am tackling this distance in a safe way and challenging myself to the highest level possible without being reckless.  My coach didn’t disappoint with the first week of challenges!  I love having a training plan again and am enjoying comparing my workout numbers to previous workouts.

Monday:  Tempo Run 5.73 Miles, 49:51, Average 8:41 pace

I ended up completing this on a treadmill at the local gym because of scheduling and cold.  My son had basketball practice and between my chauffeur duties and the temperature in the teens, I decided to just suck it up and do my first treadmill run in nearly a year.  Although I worried about fighting with New Year’s Resolutionists for treadmill time, one opened up at just the right time and it was overlooking the gym.  I was able to watch a middle school girl and her dad working on shots and techniques while I ran.  As my dreadmill attention span is quite short, I made a game out of it.  Every time the girl below made 5 shots, I had to increase my speed.  I did this from 6.6-7.2, then back down to 6.6.  There were times where she made the 5 shots much too quickly and I was increasing faster than I wanted to and then she seemed to miss a ton when I was on 7.2 so I had to maintain that speed for awhile (of course).  But overall I really enjoyed the workout and was entertained and distracted enough to get it in without hating the treadmill too much.

Tuesday: Bike Ride, 17 miles, 1:10:14, 14.5 mph average

By far my least favorite workout of the week.  I got up at 4:30 AM to start this ride, which was the earliest I’ve ever done.  Since our forecast for the week was extra cold, I moved my trainer from the garage into the living room.  I did this workout while watching Friends on Netflix, which helped.  Since I’ve only done a few rides on my trainer so far, I’m still learning about it.  For this ride, I had the resistance pushed against my rear wheel too much and even the easiest gear seemed very difficult.  Regardless, got through it and felt better when it was over.

Wednesday: Swim and Bike.  Swim-2500 yds, 1:01, 2:27/100 average.  Bike- 28.48 miles, 1:49:12, 15.6 avg

 I lucked out this day and had a day off of school because of the extreme cold temperatures.  My kids’ school did not get called off, so I had the day to myself to get these workouts in, which was wonderful!  The swim was first, I went mid-morning, just after the water aerobics class was finishing.  To my surprise, the pool was pretty crowded that day.  Though it only has three lanes, the entire time I was there, at least 5 people were swimming laps.  It worked out that I only had to share a little bit of the time.  This workout involved a number of different distances, stroke types, etc.  What was especially challenging was the :20 rest between most of the repeats, a big change when I am used to :60 rest.  But it felt really good, I was able to complete it with very consistent splits and was happy about that.

The bike I did with the help of a Sufferfest video, ISAGLIATT (It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time).  The video is their longest, and involves a number of climbs.  I haven’t spent much time on the bike at all since October and feel like I’m starting over here to some extent.  Both the prescribed workout from my coach and the sufferfest video call for pretty high cadence throughout.  I only started tracking cadence in September so am still learning to ride by cadence, whereas before I chose a harder gear and lower cadence.  I’d still like my bike speed to be higher than it is, but I’m sure it will get there.  I like the challenge of the videos and am hopeful that by spring when I can ride outside, I’ll have the hang of this higher cadence!

Thursday- Rest Day

This was needed after Wednesday!  Although I was tempted to throw in a workout, especially since I ended up having another day off school, I didn’t.  I haven’t had this many workouts in a week since August, recovery day is a good thing!

Friday- Swim 2450 yds, 58:05, 2:22/100 avg

This was a repeat of the swim workout I did on Wednesday.  Since I enjoyed it so much on Wednesday, I was really looking forward to it.  When my legs felt like lead during the warmup, I was concerned.  The workout felt tougher than it did on Wednesday, which I was surprised about since I was coming off of a rest day, but I powered through it.  I tried to focus on consistent efforts and making sure my form wasn’t sloppy even though it felt like I was working harder.  When I got home and uploaded the workout to Garmin Connect, I was pleased to see that I was a little bit faster overall.  (I was 50 yards short of Wednesday’s workout because I accidentally miscounted that day and did an extra repeat, but still faster overall even taking that into account).

Saturday-Long Bike Ride, 2:00:03, 31.1 miles, 15.47 avg

Another Sufferfest video here, this time Blender.  This one was intervals of every type, from an all out :20 sprint to a long 10 minute interval.  There was a section they call “Pain Shakes”.  This one was tough.  My speed still isn’t where I want, but more time on the bike will certainly help there.


Sunday-Long Run, 6.1 miles 58:22, 9:35/mile avg

This run was done at an easy pace on a perfectly flat bike trail.  It was a very enjoyable run and although it was drizzling and raining throughout, I was thankful to have warmer temps that allowed me to get outside.

Overall I am really pleased with the week and it was fun to have a full week’s workouts to record in my Believe journal!


4 thoughts on “Ironman Boulder Training- Week 1

  1. YAY!! We will definitely have to get together on race weekend as we will be in Boulder racing also 😉 It looks like you had a great week of workouts!! I have heard great things about the Sufferfest videos, but haven’t tried them out yet. Is it something I should strongly consider? Biking is my weakness and I definitely want to get stronger on the bike this year, so my power tap and I are going to become very good friends 😉


    1. I think we have a number of races this year where we’ll have to meet up, which is definitely fun! I’m really enjoying the Sufferfest videos. They’re real challenging, but I can’t say I’ve been bored on the trainer yet. Check out Tour of Sufferlandria, starting next Saturday. It’s a 9 day challenge where they assign which video to do each day (ITunes app is $10/month). I am weakest on bike too, so hoping to make some gains through the winter using my trainer and be ready for outside riding once spring hits.

      Liked by 1 person

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