Ironman Training Recap {Weeks 11 & 12}


Week 11 started off Phase 2 of the training cycle. It was also the start of swimming three times a week 😦 BOO!! (I am following the Intermediate Be Iron Fit plan.)

Phase 1 only had me swimming two days a week and even then I thought it was a bit much! Now every time I turn around I have to get back in the pool *sigh* but I guess that should be expected as part of Ironman training. I will say though, for Half Ironman training I only swam once a week and still finished in decent time (46 minutes). There’s hope, right? Regardless I still plan on following the plan, so even as much as I complain about it I’m still going to do it!! (But can I get a show of hands and an AMEN for the girls who only wash their hair once or twice a week?! Swimming three days is really messing with my hair washing schedule! LOL!)

I can't with this meme, but for real when is there ever an open lane?!

I can’t with this meme, but for real when is there ever an open lane?!

Week 11
Total Mileage: 84 Miles
Total Time: 11:02 Hours

On March 12th the hubs turned 30! Whaaaat? That’s just crazy to me. We had an epic weekend and a big ole’ party for him. I took a much needed (and deserved) rest day the Sunday after to recover from a good night with good friends 🙂

Happy Birthday, Age!

Here’s some motivation for when you don’t feel like training and ask yourself “Why am I doing this?!” Because it makes the race achievable. Not easy, but achievable and realistic. Training is worse than the actual race.

Week 12 of training was a solid week. Although I can tell I am starting to get cabin fever. Just looking at pictures and videos of outside training makes me ache for longer and warmer days. The treadmill and trainer are starting to drive me nuts! Cruising down a country road on my bike, sun shining and birds chirping — that’s all this girl wants!

Week 12
Total Mileage: 83 Miles
Total Time: 10:54 Hours

I’ve also been trying REALLY hard to lift twice a week. Sometimes it’s a scramble and sometimes I get in a solid, non-cardio focused workout and I feel great. I was happy to see progress when I was being a complete meathead at the gym the other day. Go figure!

So today was the first day of week 13 and I ran into a snag at 5:30AM! I arrived at my gym to find the parking lot completely empty and a sketchy note on the gym door. The note said that the gym had shut down and memberships had been sent to the nearest location — 33 minutes away. Uhh NO! Homegirl had to get to work at some point today! I couldn’t drive 33 minutes away and then back again! I was annoyed, but also fired up. Yesterday I had a pep talk with myself that I needed to start pushing harder in my workouts. I’ve built a solid base and the fact that it’s literally now spring has lit a fire under my butt. I couldn’t even fall asleep last night because I was so pumped to workout this morning, then I get to the gym and it’s closed!?…

So without giving myself the opportunity to talk myself out of it, I called the YMCA near me and asked about a guest pass. They said it was $10 and I needed exact change. Low and behold I looked and had exactly $10 — and I NEVER carry cash with me ever. The triathlon gods were smiling upon me. I went to the gym as a guest and although I didn’t know where anything was I walked around like I did (LOL). Fake it til you make it, right?!

I got in a solid run on the treadmill with faster than normal times and then moved on to find the pool. I found it and walked in and it was packed! Like we’re talking 3 people in a lane packed. I sat on the side and got my stuff ready. The entire time I was so intimidated because everyone looked like professionals. I didn’t want to annoy them by hoping in and sharing a lane if I was much slower. Thankfully someone got out right as I was walking over and I was able to hop in and swim with just one other person (who, mind you, I was much faster than!! I had nothing to worry about.)

I swam for about 30 minutes and all of a sudden the lifeguard started pulling in the lane lines. WTF? Why? Then a nice lady explained to me that we could still swim laps, but we would all be together and it would run counter clockwise. At this point I had about 12 laps left and thought about calling it quits, because after everything that had happened that morning I didn’t want to mess around with weird stuff like this. I somehow convinced myself to stay and finish and I’m so glad I did! Swimming without lane lines and with four other swimmers was the closest thing I’ve had to an open water swim in so long! It was tiring, but just what I needed to start pushing harder in my training. I finished my laps and chatted happily with another swimmer who had asked me what I was training for. What a great way to start off a Monday! (And no I’m actually not being sarcastic!) Sure it wasn’t ideal, but it forced me out of my comfort zone (typical triathlon!) and made me push to not only get in the workout, but to finish it. It would have been much easier to accept defeat and to accept that the workout wouldn’t happen today. It was a sink or swim situation and I’m proud of myself for choosing to swim 🙂

Now I have to solve this pesky problem of not having a pool to swim in…and I better solve it quickly since I still have two more swims this week. CHEERS!

5 thoughts on “Ironman Training Recap {Weeks 11 & 12}

  1. Not finish the swim? You have nothing to worry about. I typically swam 42-44 minute swims in 70.3s (except Racine…but that’s another story). I did 88 minute swim in Madison. The main thing is to gradually increase distance and gain endurance, mental toughness and confidence. The extra swims may shave off 5 – 10 minutes off the swim time. For me, there was some importance to that since I needed the breathing room on the bike. The other thing is that you are doing Lake Placid. The swim is fairly predictable. If it were an ocean swim, the conditions could be rough and unpredictable and the swim strength could make the difference in making the cutoff. But Placid (like Madison) has an more predictable swim leg (which both courses make up for on the bike). Certainly, if the swim has the greatest room for improvement…or you are gunning for Kona…or if your swim were significantly weaker…then the extra swim time and drills would matter. With your 1.2 mile swim time, not finishing is not something you need to fear.

  2. Brittany — I love your determination!! I’m glad you signed up for a 70.3 already! Why wait?! Life is too short. Go all in 🙂 This is the first time I have followed the Be Iron Fit plan, but I know many people who have followed it for a 70.3 and completed weeks 1-22 like you mentioned. I think this will work well for you.

    I looked at Steelhead 70.3 as one of my original first races that I wanted to do! You will have to tell me all about it. I did read that sometimes the swim can get cancelled because of the waves, and as Ray pointed out, Lake Michigan can be unpredictable. I don’t think this should deter you though. Just something to keep in mind. You seem determined to make it happen, which I love!

  3. Ray — For the longest time I was not worried about the swim! Only recently did I begin to freak myself out. I was reading a blog post about missing the swim cut off by mere seconds and I thought to myself “I CANNOT let that happen to me!!” So when the plan suddenly called for swimming 3X a week I figured I’d better oblige. I have two short distance swims during the week (about 45 minutes each, around 1.2 miles) and then I have been doing a long swim on the weekend (1.8 to 2 miles, around 1 hour 15 mins). I can already feel a difference the long swim has made, but I agree if I am cut short on timing I think one of the swims will go (probably 1 of the 45 min ones).

  4. I never swam more then twice a week except the last few weeks when I finally had a chance to get into open water (mostly to get a little bit of training without wetsuit, with wetsuit, and with sleeveless wetsuit). I did try to get one longer swim weekly to get some comfort in my swim stamina. I found getting to the pool such a time suck that I could not justify it. Swim #3 would be the first workout to sacrifice if time gets tight. But, my training was unconventional…

    Brittany, there is a Be Iron Fit book for the 70.3 now. Steelhead was my first 70.3 and second triathlon. Great race, but Lake Michigan can be unpredictable.

  5. I’m really enjoying reading your blog! I’m a tri newbie, virgin really, and I just purchased the Ironfit book. Im being kinda ballsy and signing up for the I’M Steelhead 70.3 in August and I’m curious if you adapted the book for a half IM before or if you just trained weeks 1-22 (where it actually has a 70.3 as part of your training)?

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