July Ironman Training: 10 Hours per Week

In July I departed the clydesdale ranks, sinking to 197 pounds from a high of 217 in January. I did a lot of work. Or so I thought. Including a Half Ironman, a mile swim followed by a 15 mile run, and an 8 hour night ride, I averaged 9.75 hours of training per week. I was astonished at the total considering most serious age groupers regularly put in 12-15 hour weeks, spiking to 20. In the aftermath of July, I’m left impressed by the work ethic of my peers, and wondering how realistic a shot at Kona is if 10-hour-weeks maxed out my leisure time. I’m convinced that time management is the salient skill for fathers and mothers on the margin. 0400 workouts in the dark are one thing–I just sacrifice sleep–but missing the boys compete in events like youth triathlons are quite another kind. How do they do it?

6-year-old Ryan getting after it...

Gavin hammers the line

Big brother Gavin (9) helps in transition

…and skipping out on island vacations in the guise of acclimitization (July 17-21) is off limits.

Took this lobster in self-defense


Starting weight (first three morning average): 201

Ending weight: 197

Weekly Avg Work: 9.75 hours

Estimated Ironman finishing time: 11 hours (1:10/5:45/3:45/:15)

Hardest workout: All-night ride in 95+ degree heat


July 1: Mossman Half Ironman 5:02 (penalized further 4 mins for music+side drafting together) in 75 to 90 degree heat. Pretty hilly. Short swim. Hammy cramps starting mile 7.

July 3: Easy commute 40.5 miles spin/ 2:30

July 5: All Night Ride in 90-100 degree heat/7.5 hours/115 miles/15 mph

July 7: 9.79 mi run in 90 degree heat/1:19/8:06 avg/175 HR drifts to 192

July 9: 9 mi commute run to train station/1:10/159 HR

July 10: 50 mile ride commute to work/2:46/17.9 mph/132 avg HR

July 12: 44.75 mi ride home/2:50/1:36 HR

July 14: BIG workout. 1 mile swim (19:45); 15 mi bike easy/15.5 mi run (2:24/HR 150/9:71 min miles)

July 17: 1 mi swim (25 mins) Turks & Caicos

July 18: 20 mins recline/20 mins sit up bike/20 mins run hard

July 19: 9 mile beach run easy

July 20: 1 hour cybex bike/190 watts/HR 150; 1 mile swim in fins

July 21: 6 mile run, light weights in 90 degree heat

July 22: 1.5 hour indoor aero ride, HR 130-158/5.5 mile run HR 155-170

July 25: 49 mi commute/2:40/HR 134/18.3 mph

July 27: 68 mi commute home/3:43/132 HR/18.2 mph

July 29: Greenwich Triathlon/ 1:13/HR 172

July 30: Commute run 9.25 miles/1:08/HR 154/7:19 pace

July 31: 49 mile commute/2:40/HR 140/18.2 mph