Several people have asked what my training looks like for an Ironman, so here is my attempt to elaborate.
First, I have to admit I have the BEST coach in the world. I would not be able to do this without Alyssa Godesky. Alyssa has completed more than 33 Ironman distance triathlons, which completely blows my mind after getting a glimpse into what Ironman training looks like. Safe to say she knows what she is doing.
June was a beast. As I explained in a previous blog post, I participated in the “Biscay Coaching” Bingo challenge and decided to go for blackout (see my blog post called “Going for blackout”). July/August has been a little less intense in the number of PR-type hard efforts, but still very hard. Here is what a typical week in July/August looked like:
Sunday: Run (~2.5 hours) AM & Swim (~1 hour) PM
Monday: Bike (~ 5 hours) AM & leg strength workout PM
Tuesday: REST DAY
Wednesday: Swim-Run workout (~ 2 hours) (this means I do a swim workout and then run right after)
Thursday: Bike trainer workout (~1.5 hours)
Friday: Swim (~1 hour) AM & Run (~1 hour) PM
Saturday: Run (~1 hour) AM, Bike trainer (~2 hours) & strength workout PM
For the past few months, I have been training around 17 – 20 hours per week. These workouts definitely fluctuate each week, but this is an example of what one week might look like. One of the reasons I love triathlon is because of the variety in workouts.
Since starting Ironman training, I have had no shame in taking a midday nap. These have been critical for recovery on days with multiple workouts. I also put a lot of focus on nutrition. In triathlon, nutrition is considered the 4th discipline. Without proper fueling, it would be impossible for me to push myself during each workout. Below is an example of what I might eat throughout the day.
Breakfast: OATMEAL – I am not a functioning human without my morning bowl of oatmeal. Whether it is at 4:30 am before a long ride or whenever, I make sure to start my day with this.
During workout #1: What I fuel with during the first workout really depends on whether I am swimming, biking, or running. Biking and running are similar in that I drink a LOT of Nuun hydration products and eat Spring energy gels. On the bike, I will also eat Clif Bars. On the run, I will also eat Honey Stinger chews.
Post-workout #1: Perfect bar, Juice Plus+ protein shake, bagel sandwich. I usually will eat a combination of two of these depending on the length of my workout and what I am doing next.
Lunch: Salad with tempeh, rice bowl with veggies and tempeh, or something of the like
Snack: Pretzels, “ants on a log”, peanut butter and apple, etc.
During workout #2: Similar to workout #1
Dinner: Rice bowl with veggies and tempeh, veggie burger with sweet potato fries, tacos, etc. and always follow this meal up with either dark chocolate, BEN AND JERRY’s (!!) non-dairy ice cream, cake or cookies. I have been eating a lot of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, so some might think I am training for an ice cream eating event.
Before bed: Nuun rest – this is full of magnesium, which helps with recovery and making my muscles less tired the next day
Exactly what I eat definitely depends on what workout I am recovering from and preparing for next. But ultimately it comes down to what my body tells me I need. Oftentimes that is spinach, kale, or other dark leafy greens cooked in lots of butter with rice, Tempeh, sriracha, and salt. This is pretty much my staple meal.