Week 11… The Ups and Downs of Ironman Training

So Ellie wasn’t lying when she said this four week block was going to be tough…

11 hours (ish) last week, followed by another 10 this week. Don’t get me wrong I love training, why else would I be putting myself through it?! But I think last weekend at the hen do took it out of me rather a lot, I’ve been feeling knackered again. I was flicking through my blog posts from the beginning and there’s definitely a recurring theme with feeling exhausted and energyless and it’s definitely about time I did something about it.

Monday was a 2:00 bike session- I managed 1:40, mainly because I was shattered and started to get hungry!

Tuesday was a 3.8km swim, which felt good, followed by a 1:10 bike session in the evening, which again felt pretty good. Tuesday was Valentine’s Day so we went to the cinema to see La La Land, something I’d wanted to see for a while! Annoyingly though, and what seems to have become something of a pattern, I fell asleep! Arghhh! It seems any time I sit still for longer than 15-20 mins at the moment I fall asleep, not ideal!

Wednesday morning I was up at 6 to get to the gym to get my brick session done before work. Despite feeling tired and like training was the last thing I wanted to do when I woke up I dragged myself to the gym and got it done. 1:10 bike and 37ish minute brick run on the treaddie. Job done.

Needless to say later in the day I felt exhausted, absolutely drained and energyless. But thankful I’d got my session done! Another night of falling asleep on the sofa was avoided by going to bed at 9:15! 

Thursday morning I woke up feeling slightly more refreshed and headed to the pool to get my swim done. One of the girls I’ve met via instagram who is a runner with a local running club came and joined me for some of the swim, which was nice! I felt good while I was swimming, but like I still hadn’t really woken up.

We had run out of caffeinated coffee at home, and I only had decaf tea and work, so by about 1:30 I was feeling pretty knackered, and started to develop a fairly savage headache. Whether that was because of a lack of caffeine or sugar I wasn’t sure. I caved and grabbed a chocolate bar, which slightly solved the problem temporarily… I got home and really couldn’t face the run set I had been looking forward to. I text Ellie to get some advice, the answer was exactly what I knew it would be… rest.

I had a bath, and lay on the sofa. An hour or so later, I woke up when Simon got home. I felt really wierd, the kind of tired you feel when you’re absolutely exhausted. But as I woke up I started to feel a bit better and we had a lovely evening with our friends Corinne and Liam, with a big vegan meal (she’s gone vegan in 2017) of veggie fajitas followed by a delish courgette and orange cake she made. And then another relatively early night!

Friday morning I had a bit of a lie in… until 6:30 woooo! Off I went to work, and after a delivery of Nespresso pods on Thursday it was good to get my regular two caffeinated coffees in before work- it definitely helped!!

After work I headed to the gym for the final Wattbike session of the week… 1:30 with some 10 min Z3 efforts and a 20 min Z2 spin. It felt hard initially and I seem to struggle to get my heart rate up when I’m tired, it always takes a little longer. After about 30 minutes it got above 120! It ended up being a good session πŸ‘πŸ» followed by homemade pizzas and cards with Simon before another reasonably early night!

Saturday was rest day… and it was amazing 😊 we had a lie in until 9, then took Zeus for a walk before heading into Wokingham for brunch at Cote and a potter round town which was lovely πŸ’œ followed by an afternoon of baking and tidying the house and garden before we headed for a few drinks at Simon’s cousin’s birthday party in London… needless to say we didn’t stay too long!

Sunday morning came round quickly, an early alarm for the first race of 2017… Bramley 20 miler! After a yummy pre race breakfast of banana and honey on toast with a cup of coffee, we headed off to Bramley.

I love this race organized by our old club, Reading Roadrunners, and it’s been the first of the 20+ long runs in the build up to a spring marathon for the last three years for me. After the foot troubles and recent lack of running I was pretty nervous going into the race. Not to mention the crazy long toilet queues, which meant I had a mad dash to get to the start line!

Bang on time we set off, two 10 mile loops around gorgeous Hampshire countryside. I had no real plan going into the race, I’d thought about trying to hold 7:30s and then push on, but quickly gave up on that plan after the first 4 miles were all sub 7:00! Feeing good I pushed on, and came through the first lap in 1:10.

Out I went again, knowing what was coming in terms of hills, where spectators and club mates were going to be, and sticking to my plan of one shot block every 5 miles, the miles seemed to fly past. I felt great until about 15.5 miles when there was a longish steady hill up to 16 miles. That took quite a lot out of the legs! But from there I kept telling myself it’s just a Parkrun and a bit to go!

I pushed on, glancing at my watch I realized I was going to beat my time from last year… something I honestly had not thought would have been possible! 

I passed 19 miles and that final mile felt like it was never going to end… but I ran through the finish in 2:23:03… and was over the moon! A tad emotional actually haha! A new 20 mile PB by 3 minutes!!

After grabbing my bag and changing out of my sweaty kit I headed back to the finish area to wait for Simon… who was tackling the 20 miles on no training!!! What a nutter!! He crossed the line in 2:47ish, which was bloody good considering!! Needless to say he wasn’t feeling so great afterwards and demanded a trip to KFC for refueling on the way home!

We had a good chill out for the rest of the day, popped round to see Ellie and Ian and their kiddos for a cuppa and some cake, before meal prep and dinner making and a relatively early night ready to start it all again!

Feeling very happy with how the race went, and starting to feel very positive about London. Hard work and determination pays off ☺️ in terms of the tiredness I am determined to get a couple of early nights in each week, preferably early in the week to help prevent the cycle of feeling shattered towards the end of the week. I’ve also contacted a lady who specialises in sports nutrition to see whether we can target it that way, taking into consideration the three autoimmune conditions I have too. I’m only 29, I shouldn’t be feeling like this… enough is enough! 

Has anyone got an experience of training for marathons and ironmans while being hypothyroid? Is there anything out there that helps with energy levels?

So onto week 12 of Ironman training, and just under 9 weeks to go until London… loving the journey so far 😊


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