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Ironman Barcelona Training…Week 1?

Jun 3, 2019 | Cross Training, Running, Uncategorized | 13 comments

Is this week 1?

With just 19 weeks to go until the Barcelona IM, it’s probably time to get into the pool, buy a proper road bike and start getting out of my comfort zone.

I’ve got quite a packed summer in terms of busy weekends with quite a few weddings, parties and holidays with friends, so a lot of my training is going to be done during the week, with a couple of longer rides and races done on the weekends.

First up, I’ve signed up for the Wargrave Sprint Triathlon, close to our house, on the 22nd June (hopefully with my friend Steph). It’s a river swim 750m, 20K bike then 5K run.

I’ve also signed up for the Henley Mile and the Club to Pub open water Thames river swims in July. I swam the Henley Classic two years ago and really enjoyed it. You can read my swim ‘race’ recap here. (Club to Pub has sold out but there’s still entries to the Henley Classic and Henley Mile open – I’m wave 6 on the Sunday if you want to join me!)

I’m also planning on signing up for at least one in July, and August/Sept to get some practice in. Ideally I’d love to do a 70.3 Ironman event, to get a feel for the scale of the operation but the only one that could work for me time wise and location, is in Ireland and the bike is described as ‘challenging’. I know that 56 miles vs 112 miles should be ok regardless of incline, but the bike scares the shiz out of me at this point

This week was obviously a recovery week following the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday (read the race recap here). I’m not sure my body has just forgotten how sore a marathon really is, or if they were extra battered this time, but I couldn’t walk down stairs for days without pain.

Monday – OFF

Tuesday – OFF

Wednesday – OFF

Thursday – recovery swim

Warm up – 300 free, 200 pull (with a leg buoy)

10 x 100m easy – odds free, even pull

Total 1500m

Friday – 30 min easy spin

Saturday – 2100 yard swim at Tom’s parent’s house before a wedding nearby. It was a gorgeous morning and at first I was sad that I wasn’t heading out for a run but realised how awesome it is to be learning something new. Tom’s parents have a pool in their garden which I took full advantage of, although we think it’s only about 13 yards so it meant a lot of laps. My Garmin only registers 15 yards as the smallest pool so was probably a little out.

Warm up: 300 free, 200 pull, 100 fist

300 easy, 200 moderate, 500 pull (without legs- couldn’t find a buoy), 200 moderate, 100 fast, 200 cool down.

Sunday – recovery/hangover swim, 2000 yard swim

Warm up: 300 easy, 200 pull (without legs!) 100 easy

10 x 100 easy, 8 x 25 ‘fast’, 200 cool down

Thoughts after week 1…

Honestly, I’m nervous about the biking. It’s such a HUGE part of the race and the bit I’m most scared of. I’ve been putting it off but it’s time that I bite the bullet, buy a trainer and sort a road bike out!

I know I’m going to enjoy the swimming, and I’m also prioritising strength, scheduling two gym sessions per week. Plus I’m excited to get back to running tomorrow at the Westin Run Club for Global Running Day (sign up here to join us tomorrow at 6.45am in London Bridge).

But the biking… first outdoor bike session this week – a 2 hour ride with my friend on Sunday. Fingers crossed!

Ever done a triathlon? Do you bike? Any tips/advice for me?


  1. Kat

    Hi Charlotte,

    very cool plans! I have never done an Ironman, but several triathlons over the olympic distance as an amateur/hobby athlete. My advice with regards to the bike part would be to get used to sitting on the bike for such a long time, maybe by cycling to work or similar? I didn’t put too much effort on practising the transition between the disciplines, but took it very easy after the changes to warm up to the new movement patterns so to speak.

    Good luck!

  2. Laura

    Sign up to zwift! I am training for Ride London and it’s so convenient being able to do a workout whenever I want. They have loads of training rides to keep it interesting too. I was very intimidated by the bike when I started and it’s also a good way to get used to the gears and clipping in etc.

  3. steph

    So opposite for me, the swim is pure terror and the bike/run are just dandy. If only my scared brain could put my face in the water! You’ll go great!

  4. ryan

    What’s pull? I think we might use a different name for that stroke in American English!

  5. Alison

    Bike is by far the biggest part of an Ironman so you need to spend a lot of time on it! Also – I’m sure this is in your plan – but brick training sessions (bike then run) are critical. In my Ironman training I had several of these workouts: swim 2 miles, rest 60-90 mins, ride 4 hrs, rest 60 to 90 mins, run 2 hrs. It was brutal and I would spend the rest time lying on the floor not wanting to get up, but it was invaluable! Good luck in your training!

  6. Heidi

    Like the person above I am curious what “pull” means, but also “free” (freestyle?) and “fist”? Well done on your first week of training.

  7. Gilly

    Well done on your marathon 🙂 I did an IM recently with zero biking or swimming experience rush of blood perhaps?)………….you will be fine on the bike, it is literally just practice. Like the others said, just put in the hours and it’ll be fine. One thing I loved about the bike vs running was how much more variety of food you can take in! Enjoy and best of luck

  8. Katie

    So excited to follow your training. I did my first sprint tri last fall and doing another this weekend. I really loved the whole thing. I couldn’t agree more about the bike, I’m terrified. It’s nice you have a friend to go with. I recently met a group and feel so much safer biking with them!! In all, once I get out there it really is fun ( we just live in a small city without great places to ride). Good luck!!!

  9. Mary

    I am a runner before all else. In 2017 I decided to try a Tri. Here is my unsolicited advice: know how to change a flat on your bike and have all supplies needed to do so and practice open water swimming as much as you can. I am a strong swimmer, but when you are contending with the tide and currents, panic can set in because it feels as if you are not moving at all!

  10. Ken Baldwin

    With regards to cycling, I’ve seen many coming from a running background training like they would for a marathon – increasing distance of the long ride each week. It’s really not the way to do it. If you can ride 70 miles you’ll easily ride 100. Hills is where you lose the most time so find a hill a good mile long and ride up and down it for an hour. Miles in your legs is everything so cycle everywhere you can. Good luck!

  11. Bethan

    I have so much admiration for you pushing yourself out of your comfort zone like this, I can’t wait to follow your progress! x

  12. Maggie Reiff

    Any advice for novice bikers on what kind of bike to buy for your first tri?

  13. Emma

    I’m just catching up on a lot of blogs. Wow, Barcelona IM! You are definitely braver than I am. I can’t wait to follow your training. I feel that you’ve got the running bit under control so good luck with the swimming and cycling training.x


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