January 9, 2013

How Much Time Does it Really Take to Train for an Ironman?

Once again I've been quiet for a week and it's because I've been tired. Not necessarily from the 6 hours I spent training (because we all know if I hadn't surfed the couch for a year, 6 hours would be a piece of cake), but from the overwhelming re-introduction to the life of an Ironman.

I'm talking about the little things that don't end up on your training log: packing up bags, planning and making special meals, packing up said meals for on-the-go access, studying your training plan, learning new workouts, laundry, walking to and from the gym 1.3 miles away, setting up the trainer, taking down the trainer, more laundry, foam rolling, stretching, soaking in Epsom salts (ok, maybe that's just me)... you get the point. For that 6 hours of training I had at least another 3 hours of "other stuff" that made it feel like so much more.

When I was a pre-burnout training machine I didn't notice these things as much. I was so used to being tired and stretched thin that it felt normal. Now that I'm accustomed to 9 hours of sleep and leisurely morning coffee it's rather shocking. Luckily I have a flexible work schedule so once I get back into a rhythm I know it will be easier.

On the training front, let's just say it's going to take some time. I am the definition of "letting yourself go" and can't expect to leap up from the ashes and suddenly be a long-distance triathlete again. I have 20 pounds to lose and a lot of fitness to regain, and I'm going to have to fight for every last bit. I haven't started swimming yet, for obvious reasons if you know me at all, but I did 3 solid bike workouts, 3 runs and 2 strength training sessions. I'm determined to keep up the strength even though I felt as though I'd been beaten with hammers from head to toe. In the long run I'll be thankful for it.


  1. Then it gets warmer, then you have to add drive time from home to your bike training routes (it is not safe for me to ride my bike from home to where I want to train, I dont trust city drivers at all), loading your bike and then unloading it, and repeat that when you get home. What if your training parnters are running late? It can be brutal at times.

    I havent been in the pool yet either, just biking, running, and lifting weights

    1. A big ride here is a full day investment since I live in NYC and have to leave for a decent ride! I do love it despite the hassle.

  2. It's kind of a shock to the system again, isn't it? Take your time... it'll come back to you!

  3. It's amazing how many things you have to do for triathlon that aren't just running, biking and swimming.

  4. Gah, I remember those days.. 5 am swims, then after work runs. It's tough, but man oh man it's so worth it.

  5. I'm with you. I've been at the half Iron volume for almost 2 years, but lots of diversions (broken bones, margarita benders) along the way. The scared straight that is happening with my IM training is shocking.



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