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Ironman Training Weeks 6 & 7 – I need more SLEEP!

January 22, 2012

In my last blog entry Ironman Training Week 5, I said I would start tracking my sleep because I know I’m not getting enough.  So, next to each workout you’ll see how many hours of sleep I trained on.  For example, on Monday, I trained after getting 7 hours of sleep Sunday night.   My goal is to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.  I’ve been told 9 hours is the magic number for professional triathletes, but I’m not a professional and I work 50+ hours every week, so that’s not always realistic for me.  I’m working on it, but I’m not anywhere close to my 8 hours/night, and by week 7, I was definitely feeling the effects of overtraining and not enough sleep.

Week 6: Marathon Peak Week

Monday (Trained on 7 hours of sleep)
AM: Rest
PM: JCC Technique Swim

Tuesday (6 hours)
AM: 10 mile mid-week long run
PM: 1 hour spin
Monday and Wednesday nights I find it very difficult to get enough sleep because I don’t get home from swim until 9pm at the earliest, and I still have to eat dinner and wind down before bed.  Then, my Tuesday/Thursday workouts incorporate my marathon training, and I’m generally tired for these workouts.  My marathon is only 2 weeks away, and I’m already into my taper, so I’m not going to change anything at this point, but I will reevaluate my late night/early morning workout schedule in February once my marathon is complete (Feb 5).

Wednesday (7 hours)
AM: 30 min spin
PM: JCC Technique Swim

Thursday (5.5 hours)
AM: 8×800 Yassos and 750m swim
PM: P90X2 Yoga
I came home from work and immediately took a 1 hour nap.  Then I made myself a quick bean and rice burrito and contemplated skipping my evening workout.  Instead, I pressed play at 8pm and tried P90X2 Yoga for the first time.  I’m glad I did because it felt AMAZING to stretch!  I’m not doing nearly enough, so if yoga is going to be the only way I can get a good stretch in, I don’t want to skip it.  Plus, I got plenty of sleep Thursday night since Friday was REST DAY!

Friday (8.5 hours)
I hope to always keep Friday as a rest day because it gives me the opportunity to catch up on my sleep.

Saturday (8 hours)
AM: 21 mile run
Last super long run during Ironman training!!  (Our Ironman training plan never takes us above 2 hour runs.  This was exclusively for marathon training.)  Nicole and I ran from Pacific Beach to Encinitas again.  It was the 2nd time doing this run. It’s basically an extended backwards version of the La Jolla Half marathon and is very hilly and scenic.  Our upcoming marathon is a flat course, but the marathon at Coeur d’Alene has hills, so this was good practice, but it was a tough course.

Sunday (8.5 hours)
AM: 49 mile bike
This was supposed to be a Brick workout – 45 miles on the bike followed by a 3 mile run.  We overshot the bike and were exhausted by the end, so we decided it would be best to let our legs recover and skip the run.  Running 21 miles the day before definitely took it out of me.  Marathon training is a lot of work!
PM: Triathlon networking dinner with Energy Lab Training
Coach Trevor spoke about how to lay out your race season, and he confirmed that my 70.3 is definitely enough before I do my Ironman.  I’m happy to receive confirmation that I don’t need to squeeze in any extra races this season.  (My wallet is happy too!)  He also advised not to plan any races too soon after the Ironman because your body needs at least 4-6 weeks to completely recover.  I think I’ll be welcoming the break!  I also learned that I’m not eating enough on the bike and that naps are just as good as a full night of sleep, assuming you can get the total number of hours in from the two. 

Week 7: Run Down

I caught a cold this week.  Luckily I nipped it in the butt early, and it never progressed to more than a stuffy/runny nose, but it was a cold nevertheless.  I was devastated when I realized I had to skip my Thursday workouts.  To top it off, I also had to leave for a business trip on Thursday, so Wednesday was not the day to get sick.  Looking back at my workouts and sleep the past 2 weeks, I guess I’m not surprised I got sick.  My body wasn’t given enough time to recover from all my workouts, and I forced myself out of bed even when I was feeling “off”.  Point taken!  Zicam, water, and rest were my saviors.  I recommend this regimen to anyone who has a cold.

Monday (7 hours)
AM: 30 minutes spin small chain ring
PM: JCC Technique Swim

Tuesday (6.5 hours interrupted – My neighbors suck)
AM: 8 mile mid-week long run
PM: Solana Beach Masters Swim

Wednesday (6.5 hours)
AM: Sufferfest “Angels” download – 1 hour tough spin
PM: Tri Strength and Mobility class
I felt sick leaving my first strength class of the season.  I almost passed out when I was standing and stretching my neck at the end of class, and that’s when I knew that I was officially sick.  I had a headache and felt stuffy all day, but I attributed it to a minor sinus infection (which I subconsciously made up in denial).  Looking back, I should not have gone to the strength class and should have rested instead.  I took a 30 minute nap before class, but I should have just stayed in bed!  Otherwise, I really enjoyed the class and really hope to incorporate it into my Ironman training plan once marathon training is complete.

Thursday (8 hours)
Rest/travel to Arizona for work.  Luckily I didn’t look sick to the rest of the world, but I still wish I didn’t have to travel right when I came down with a cold.  I was sad to skip my Yassos and swim, but I’m sure I would have been sorry (and much sicker) if I pushed it.

Friday (7 hours)
Rest day/Arizona for work.  The Barrett-Jackson car auction was quite the experience! 

With Chip Foose at the Barrett-Jackson auction. Our vehicle sold for $115k, and all proceeds went to SEMA Cares charities!

Saturday (6 hours)
16 mile run – marathon taper
I flew home from my business trip on Saturday morning after a late night of too much wine (School House pino noir) and expensive seafood.  (I ordered the lobster pot pie Friday night!)  I figured I would struggle on this run, and I was right.  It was my first workout since my cold, I had just flown in, I was tired from little sleep the night before, and I ate and drank too much Friday night.  Recipe for disaster!  At least it was “only 16 miles.”  Thanks, Nicole, for putting up with me on that run!  I was so happy to come home, shower, and spend the rest of the day/night on the couch with Jeremy!


Lobster Pot Pie “Deconstructed”


Sunday (9.5 hours)
AM: 43 mile “Pizza Port” bike + 3 mile run Brick workout
This was the best I’ve felt on this bike course.  It’s a hilly course affectionately named “Pizza Port” since the first time we did it, we met up with a group of riders to start by the Pizza Port restaurant and then ate there after our run.  Today we started the ride from our house and didn’t get pizza afterwards, but maybe next time we will!  It’s a good course to help me get used to hills, and that’s critical since Coeur d’Alene is full of them!

OK, it’s already 10pm so I need to rush to bed in order to get an acceptable amount of sleep tonight!!  It’s already past my bedtime.  

P.S. I can’t believe Ironman Training Week 8 is already here!


From → Ironman

  1. Hi! I’m interested in Energy Lab Training. Do you use their services?

    Also, where do you do your Lasso 800s. I’m in your area & would like a track to use at times!


    • Hi! I do some Energy Lab Training workouts (masters swim), but they also offer one on one coaching, strength, and spin classes with your trainer. Feel free to checkout their website for more info:

      I do my Yassos on the treadmill at a 1% incline to simulate training outdoors. I haven’t been to a track yet, but I will let you know if I find a good one.

    • UCSD has a lit track that is open the public!

      • True. But it’s not that close or convenient.. haha

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