Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ironman Arizona 2011 Training Report

First off, thanks to Kirsten for giving me so much support over the past 12 months. She's endured hundreds of mornings alone (some to her delight I'm sure:) while I was out playing on the bike, Rillito running path, and mountain trails. Also, many thanks to all our friends who have posted such wonderful comments about the event. Training for and finishing an Ironman triathlon was very much an individual experience for me, but being able to share the outcome with friends and family makes it all the more meaningful.

Training for this event really started a year ago today. After signing up online a day after last years event the clock started ticking, and the countdown was on. Training consisted of doing what I love; riding my bike, running, swimming and cross training. I trained 6-7 days a week, rode about 4,550 miles, ran over 1,400 miles and swam 94 miles. I trained from 30 minutes t0 7 hours per session. Cross training consisted mostly of rock climbing, tennis, hiking, and bicycle commuting to work.

I burned a lot of calories. These numbers are a bit exaggerated because they are calculated by my watch or bike computer but it's the best estimate I've got. I burned around 220,000 calories biking, 174,000 running, and 28,000 swimming, and 103,000 cross-training.

I spent a lot of time training in each discipline. I spent 275 hours biking, 210 running, 58 swimming, and 190 cross-training. Most of these hours were spent alone, without music. Yes, I had plenty of time to think and learn about myself. It was time well spent and I encourage others to try it.

The key to high volume training for me was to keep it fresh and interesting. Maybe I could have trained smarter and finished faster but I can truly say I never burned out and never over-trained. I logged all my athletic activities this last year and spent 37.5% biking, 28.7% running, 13% hiking/climbing (mostly on rock climbing approach and descents...thanks Dave!), 12% tennis, 8% swimming, and 10% in the gym.

And now it's over and another year begins....

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