Kona-NZ Transition Phase

SAD = Standard American Diet and it’s pretty much what Fiona and I have consumed since completing the Ironman World Championship. It started with pork rolls and domino’s pizza after the Ironman and continued on with beer, kranskies, steak, chicken, pork, yogurt, cows milk, pancakes, eggs, ice cream, wine nearly every night, whisky one night, chocolate, coke out of convenience, dinners out, breakfasts out with bacon and sausage, and culminated with the double stacker with bacon from Hungry Jacks (Burger King) today for lunch; none of which we consumed for most of the 9 months leading up to Kona. Over the last two weeks we have ate absolutely anything we wanted while still consuming salads at a few lunches, fruit of apples and bananas, and nuts of almonds, macadamias, and cashews. Even while still exercising I have put on between 6-8lbs or 3-4kgs. My stomach has become quite bloated with a noticeable layer of excess and I can’t wait to get this season underway to go away from these evil ways.

I love the Ironman lifestyle. It has led me to my wife, the finding of the best diet to consume (whole foods-plant based), keeps me fit, builds special relationships, and allows me to find personal reward by challenging myself and pursuing goals with Passion and Love. And, I look forward to seeing where it will take me in the future with a very real goal of acting as a Guide of a Blind man for Ironman, or something to this effect.

I’ve certainly learned and grown as an athlete over the last 9 iron-distance races culminating with the goal that I sought out so long ago. And, I did it myself. While I have bought training plans in my early days and most recently had a swim coach via a great mate giving Fiona and I swim sessions, it’s really been me and what I’ve taken from Friel, Coggan, Vance, Alexander, and Daniels. So while I did have a momentary idea of hiring a coach in pursuit of Ironman New Zealand, I realize that I’ve always been an independent person, answering to myself. And, I realize that while I have had some success, there are still many levels I need to achieve first before I believe it would even be worth going to a coach. But, this is just me. I live and breathe this stuff and cannot get enough of it.

Since my first Ironman in June 2012, I’ve gone through season after season which ends in a 2-6 week transition period. And after Kona, nothing changes. I had 2 races, a duathlon and triathlon as part of the 30th Alice Springs Masters Games and I was happy to win overall; these were my only swim/run’s in transition phase. During week 2 I did strength training and cycling as well.

This weekend I started planning our season since I coach Fiona as well, although she may be venturing to a prior coach for a run-program. I believe there are real benefits she could reap from getting a run program but believe that it will take another 3-5 years to build up to be able to run a 3:10ish for me and a 3:15ish for her.

I started out with the annual hours of 1,050 from pg 129 of Joe Friel, The Cyclist’s Training Bible. This is the level I’ve been using for the past couple of seasons because it’s at a professional level and took me 7 years to get here increasing from 355hours in 2009 to 924hours in 2015. I don’t believe in Quality over Quantity; there is a reason the pro’s train 25-40hours per week. Then I used Joe Friel, Your Best Triathlon which I have used for 3 years now as the core of my program using a periodization plan through Prep, Base, Build, Peak, and Race. This is the plan I have advocated with all my mates. I even bought around 6 copies and sold them at cost to those mates because I believe in the plan so much; after all, it did get 3 of us to Kona. I then built the plan around my key swim sessions which are tues/thurs/sat (if I get to use the pool again) and how I plan my key bike and key run sessions. Then, I went to some specific workouts with Coggan’s book Training and Racing with a Power Meter, Craig Alexanders book, Daniels Running Formula etc. Although I won’t start the plan till tomorrow and it will most certainly change, I’m looking at around 441 hours over 19weeks at 23hours/week with a max of 28.5hrs/week. The season will see less swimming at 16%, less cycling than Kona but consistent with most seasons at 57%, and 27% run which will be the highest since Geelong 70.3 in 2015.

This season’s goal will not change; qualify for kona. But of course there is a whole list of other goals like setting a PB overall and in each discipline. I believe I can do it and I’m looking forward to racing once again in New Zealand, my 2nd favorite country in the world, after Italy. I’m also looking to a wetsuit swim, a hilly ride, and undulating run in cool temperatures which play to my strengths being a larger athlete.

I’ll once again be giving it all I have this season and continue to look at improving in all aspects of triathlon.

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