Ironman 2014 vs 2015

I originally only planned to write this in Swedish, but since I think some of my English speaking triathlon friends might get something out of this, I will re-post here in English.

This year I crossed the finished line of my second Ironman roughly 64 minutes slower than last years race, which was my debut. Most of my friends were able to go 15-45 minutes faster.  What happened to me, and was I happy with my time?

Short answer: After last years race I took a 4 week break from training, but during September I lost my drive/interest in all the lonely training and found other things to do with my time. I was actually happier with the results of this years race than I was with my faster race last year.

Long answer: The idea behind this post is to share with you how I changed my training from 2014 to 2015 and how the amount of time and type of training I did effect me and my race.

2014 –> 11:24 came after 644 hours of training the 365 days prior to the race.

2015 –> 12:28 with only 375 hours before this years race in Kalmar.

If we look at the overall training in hours

During aug 2013-2014 I managed to get 644 hours of training. These came from 763 workouts over 333 days. Which meant a lot of days with double works and only 32 days during the year with no training at all. I collect a total of 10,206 km swimming, biking and running and I only weight 86 kg at the start of my Ironman week.

During aug 2014-2015 I only came up to 375 hours. These hours through 483 workouts over 273 days and 90 days with no training at all, usually because of work or family plans. I only came up with 4,038 km and when I got to Kalmar this year I was just over 100 kg.

A brief analysis:

I rest 3x more this year from training, I only managed to obtain 40% of the distance I had the year before, and I was 15-1 kg more than the year before.  Not a good plan for an Ironman race.

A Detailed analysis:

Since everyone works out at different speeds, I will concentrate on the number of km instead of hours. This because one person could bike 100 km in 2:30, while another in 4:00. So time is not as important as the distance.

Let us start with swimming.  Before the start of my 2014 race I swam 462 km and was at the pool or lake 3-4 x/week. I started swimming out in the lake in April and swam nearly all of my spring summer workouts in the lake. I was in such great swimming shape that I even competed in the Vidösternsimmet which was 21+ km swimming the week before Kalmar. I got these 462 km even though I had a 6 week pause in swimming during Sept – Oct because of my broken collarbone. But during the weeks following my first race, I convinced my wife to start working out, and then with her schedule and my teams new schedule I was only swimming 1-2x/week.  When the lake opened up after winter, it was still cold and rainy, so my OW start was near the end of May. So before this years race I only had 218 km. That is only 47% of the distance I managed the year before.

Results: I swam about 7 minutes slower this year compared to last. It was not the best swimming conditions this year so I feel that I lost about 4-5 minutes because of my lack of swimming and 2-3 minutes because of the waves/wind. But coming into the race I only guessed a time around 60 minutes.

On to biking. Biking was the one type of training that I liked the least during 2014. But I manged to get 7994 km before the start. Once I had decided to do something, I did it. so there were lots of mornings up at 04:45 and lots of afternoons out on the bike. I bike in our Monday group, was even in training for a 300 km ride and I competed as often as I could. Basically I put in the time that is expected of a Ironman in training.  This year I slept in until 06:00 nearly every day. I only had 2-3 workouts on my trainer, not a single ride with the Monday group. Not a single race either biking or triathlon, and I only managed to bike over 60 km once and road on my tempo bike less than 10 times.   So going into this years race I only had 2937 km on a bike. That’s just about 37% of last years total.

Results: I only biked 6 minutes slower than last year. Over a distance of 180 km, I was only 6 minutes slower. that is less than 0.5 kmp slower.A lot of racers complained about the wind, but I thought the wind was a bigger issue last year. I am proud of my biking split. Before the race I was just hoping for a time under 6:00.

And on to running.  When I started running (jogging) 3-4 years ago, it was with music.  In May 2014 I bought my Suunto and stopped running with music because I no longer needed my phone to record my route. Music made running relaxing. it was easy to go our for a run whether it was 25 C or -18 C outside. I ran 7-12 km all the time. a few 15+ km runs and every now and then 21 km. during 2014 I got 1412 km before my start.  I felt strong and energetic during my runs. I even managed to stay injury free. But just like biking, running with out music became less fun. So I ran next to nothing until may this year.  and since I was nearly 100 kg, it was slow and hard. Most of my running the 2-3 months prior came from Swimrun work outs. where I managed to run 523 km this year, where 200 km where from Swimrun workouts. And I would up just like biking to only manage 37% of last years total running distance.

Results: My run split was 48 minutes slower. Some people say that one kg is about 1 min/kg per 10 km. if that was true for me I should have run 60-64 minutes slower. Being 100 kg was no fun on my feet or ankles.  I stopped at all the depots just like last year, but this year I even stopped to enjoyed the crowd and the volunteers, something I did not do last year because I really wanted the best time possible.  As I left T2 at 7 hours I really deep down thought that I could manage to run around 5:00 and over over the finish line at 12:00.  But I can not complain about running at 5:23 this year. I had to walk more, I stopped to say hi, and give hugs.

Summary

I strongly believe that my time this year was no effected as much by my training, but more by the extra 15-16 kg and slightly by the fact that I was not all in this year. That I was roughly 64 minutes slower with 48 of them coming from running is no all that bad, in my eyes. Who knows what would have happened if I had trained like last year, or even if I just kept the weight off. To start an Ironman with as little training as I had is not something I would recommend.

NOTE: of the 375 hours training I had this year nearly 100 hours of them come from crossfit. Crossfit did not exist to me during my 2014 training.

====================================================

I will not start Ironman Kalmar next year.  Not because the race is not fun, but because I want to get back into shape and find a daily routing that works for me. I don’t need the pressure of a big race to get me there. So this year will be similar to last. I will spend more time at home and train what I like most, group training like masters swimming, crossfit and swimrun,

But I want to note, that if I were to race next year the only thing about this years training that I would would change to be prepared for an Ironman is:

Double my running distance.  I think 1000 km is the least about of running I need to be able to do well
I would weigh a max 88 kg at the start of the race.
I would compete as often as I could during the spring and summer before my Ironman.

My friend Jonas has said he wants to race again when he turns 40, and Lily when she turns 18, so the longest I will be out of IM races is 8-9 years.

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