Train, eat, social suicide – repeat

Watching the Amsterdam Marathon last weekend, seeing people nailing / suffering during / not finishing 8, 21 or 42 kilometers of running I realized it is NOT very normal to run a marathon after 6 hours of swimming and cycling. You seem to forget that, when you know so many people that just do that all the time.

So I thought it would be nice to show how you prepare your body for a 3.8k swim, 180k ride and 42k run. 

You may have read in these blogs about the DIY mindfulness course I give myself every day, that there always is “a race plan” needed that you must try to stick to, that you need to weigh down 700gr of carbs for your race nutrition, and that there about 28 items you need to bring to a race in order to finish. That is about 30% of the procedure. The other 70% comes down to: Train. Eat. Social suicide. Repeat. Very simple.
Let’s have a look at a week of training, I picked the week prior to Ironman Copenhagen.
To keep it visual: I merged all swim/bike/run gps files into one and then converted it into googlemaps file. >> It may be a nice idea for Strava and Garmin to generate such images at the end of the week by the way 👌. 
Overview gps
Period: 5 t/m 11 August 2019
If you happen to be one of my friends you have experienced that I usually skip your birthday, or are the first one to leave (but that I always promise it will be different once I retire from racing). So what is causing this social suicide exactly?

Putting it in a brief table it looks like this:
Monday Swim Technique 1:00h
  Work 8:00h
  Stretch/Core 0:20h
Tuesday Work 8:00h
  Run Intervals 1:40h
  Stretch/Core 0:20h
Wednesday Bike Intervals 2:30h
  Swim Endurance 1:15h
Thursday Strength/Core 1:15h
  Run Intervals 2:00h
  Swim Intervals 1:25h
Friday Bike Easy 1:00h
  Work 8:00h
  Bike Intermediate 1:00h
Saturday Bike Tempo’s 4:30h
  Run Tempo’s 0:45h
  Stretch/Core 0:30h
Sunday Swim Openwater 1:20h
  Bike Endurance 3:00h
  Total 20-23h*
*I never really count the hours because hours aren’t the greatest indication of how hard a week feels. If you bike a lot during a week, for example, the total hours will go up easier compared to having a week with more run sessions as cycling has less impact on your body and recovery. The intensity of the sessions also really makes a difference.

Below a bit more detailed description. Feel inspired to join a session one day, or sign up for a sports event yourself, or just only do the core stability every evening. You may even enjoy it. 


z=zone, refers to heart rate zone, so basically level of intensity, z1 is low, z5 is high
W=watts, refers to power

This week was very specific towards the race and looks very different to a week during the off-season. It wasn’t my longest  or hardest week it but this pretty intense.


Swim Technique 60min:  
2500m as (10min warm up, 50m and 100m variety of drills) .

‘Arms only’ using a pullbuoy, a floating device that you clamp between your legs, so you can swim with arms only and focus better on technique.

Drills: Swim with fists, doggy stroke, sculling, pulling hands over the water, focus on keeping elbows high.

The rest of the day I spend in the office.  

Before going to bed: 20min drills for my glutes and hamstrings, core stability and stretching.


I start at the office early and leave at 17.00 to start training around 18.15  

Run Intervals 100min:
10min warm up,
5min drills,
4*(90sec accelerate into z4, 30sec walk),
Followed by: 
4*6min z3,
4*6min z4
with 4min rest after each interval (walk/jog).  

Before going to bed: 20min drills for my glutes and hamstrings, core stability and stretching.


Non working day so more time to train.  

Bike Intervals 150min:  
30min warm up,
6*10min tempo progressive with 5min rest as:  
2*z3 (Ironman pace),  
2*z3-4 (Half Ironman pace),  
2*z4 (Olympic Distance pace)

Followed by 30min cool down  

Swim Endurance 75min:  
3600m as:  
5min warm up, then the following set:
2*300m pull buoy + elastic + paddles,
2*300m pull buoy + elastic,
300m full stroke
4*50m sprint out, easy back,
100m easy

Repeat entire set 2*, everything easy apart sprint, focus on technique.  


Another non-working day.  

Core/stretching 75min:
Variety of drills and streches in the gym. Sometimes I do this at the end of the day. Depends a bit on other planning.  

Run Tempo 120min:  
1st hour z1-z2 as:  3*20min easy with 2min walk
2nd hour as: 3*20min as (5min 5:00/km,   10min 4:45/km,  5min 4:30/km)

I nap for half an hour.  

Swim intervals 85min:  
4*300m, 4*250m, 4*200m, 4*150m, 4*100m, 4*50m  
In each set: 1st 70%, 2nd 80%, 3rd 85%, 4th 95%
20sec rest after each interval  

Before going to bed: 20min drills for my glutes and hamstrings, core stability and stretching.


A day at the office!  

Bike Endurance:  
Commute to work on bike, on return ride I do 30min tempo z2/z3 with low cadancy 50-60rpm. To be honest the ride towards the office is alaways a full out session because I tend to leave home too late. I skip the stretching in the eve.


This is a big day.  

Bike 270min IM specific:
30min z1  
Followed by 4*
40min z3/IM tempo (225w)
10min z3 half IM tempo (235w)
10min z1/z2 (190w)  

Normally, if I struggle to get the right wattages/heartrate I take it a bit easier. Today was a special day because there 6Bft tail which made it hard to pushing enough power (going 55kmh at one point), but with headwind I stood completely parked. At least I had a lot of QOMs.

Directly after the ride I put on my run kit and leave for a tempo run.  

RunTempo’s 45mins
5min warm up
25min z3/IM tempo
15min z3/z4 half IM tempo
10min easy  

20min stretching before going to bed.


Today I go for an open water swim at the Spiegelplas in Nederhorst den Berg before breakfast, then I have a brunch and go for a nice easy ride.  

Swim intervals 80min:
IM race specific as:  10min warm up, 4*30sec tempo, 30sec easy. Then:
3 * this set:
1min 100% z5,
2min 95% z4,
3min 90% z3/4,
4min 80% z3,
2min rest

Followed by 15min non-stop z2 tempo and cool down 3min z1.

Bike easy 180min:
Easy ride in z1  

Before going to bed: 30min drills for my glutes and hamstrings, core stability and stretching.


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