I now have 4 very solid weeks of Ironman training under my belt. I have to toot my own horn here, it has been awesome and I have only missed one work out in 4 weeks. When I say that, I am meaning I have only missed one workout that is on my training plan. I have added in on my own 3 strength trainings a week, and couple of transition runs after the bike, that are not actually on the Matt Fitzgerald plan I am following. Even with those add ons, I have missed very few.
I am averaging 8-10 hours a week right now. I know that will build, but I have never had this kind of volume consistently. I am finding that I really like it! I look forward to my training time! My body is handling it as well. However, there are things that have changed in my life while training for an Ironman. I will call them "Casualties of Ironman Training".
1) A Normal Diet. HA! This is out the door. While I am eating pretty clean, I am eating a ton. Or what seems like to me a ton. I find I am hungry All. The. Time. I wake up at 2:45 am with a growling stomach. I have to constantly keep snacks with me. It's insane! Now, all this being said, for me I am still taking in around 2200 calories a day. Normal for me would be around 1600-1700. Yeah, not anymore. As long as I am eating healthy, which I am 90% of the time, I am not worried about it. I have to fuel my body for the added training load.
2) My insomnia. Gone. I think I am wearing myself out with the training because once my head hits the pillow, I'm out. It's quite nice actually. I only wake up when I am hungry :)
3) Straight hair. My hair is naturally curly. I have spent a lifetime straightening it. Not anymore! Ain't nobody got time for that! And with me showering often 2x a day with workouts, I really don't have time for that!
4) Excuses. I find that I am making them less than ever. It doesn't even occur to me to skip a work out. Which, for me, is hard to believe. I used to talk myself out of doing many work outs due to lack of motivation, weather conditions, whatever. Now I tell myself, "Suck it up, Ironman" and just do it. Now, I have made some adjustments to the work outs, like maybe do it on a treadmill instead of outside, but I get it done!
5) Anything social on Friday nights. My training plan calls for my long rides to be on Fridays. Long runs Saturday. I still have to work during the day, which means the trainer ride comes after work. I told Ken, my IronSherpa, to make any and all plans he wants to for Fridays, but don't make me part of them until after May 16 :)
6) Training without a purpose. My approach to training in the past has always been to just put in the miles/time. My training plan NOW has a specific purpose to each workout. They may be intervals, or speedwork, hill training, or "just stay in this Zone" instructions, but I have liked having this. It makes me feel quite accomplished when I nail whatever it is it calls for. In fact, only two work outs a week (the long ride and long run) are actual "just do the miles" work outs. Every other work out is broken down for me. Pretty cool! It has completely changed my outlook on training.
7) Stress. As weird as it sounds, I am pretty happy these days. I think that some people need therapy. Some people need medication. I need to train. It is seriously my sanity and having daily doses and the consistency I have had, I haven't stressed much lately. I have been less moody and grumpy. Even though there is a lot on my plate with being a full time wife, mom, teacher, etc AND training for an Ironman, I have been shocked by how smooth it is going. I think my positive mood and outlook has a lot to do with that. I have noticed during training lulls in the past, I get more moody, grumpy, etc.
8) My hate of treadmills. I have always loathed them. I had one for awhile and actually sold it because it never got used. Now I am finding that with most of my work outs calling for intervals or hills, this is the easiest way to do them, is on the 'mill. When I have a set work out to do it goes quicker anyhow. And it is awfully convenient too!
I can honestly say I am loving this. I love the training. I see more and more why people say that the actual Ironman race is just a celebration of the training and journey it took to get there. I know that I still have 18 weeks to go, but so far this is one of the most amazing things I have taken part in. It is one heck of a journey! That is not saying it is easy, because it is dang hard juggling everything, but it has been pretty incredible so far.
Happy Training All!