It has been 5 weeks since I finished the Ironman in Switzerland. I have been eating whatever I wanted and I noticed my metabolism initially was very high. After eating a meal I would get hungry within 2 hours and I could feel my body getting thinner, especially my face.
My body wanted to continue training but I resisted and in 5 weeks I have completed only one, 45 min run. I got straight back into work as a physiotherapist and had very little sleep over the first 2 -3 weeks. This exhausted me to the point of feeling sick. I had not felt this way so often before and I think my body tired much faster after the ironman. I could rest and felt great for 2 days but if I had another late night the tiredness returned. The Ironman does take all your reserves of energy and I am still recovering today. Maybe without late nights and work I could recover faster? I am feeling better this week than last week and with a more sleep I know I will recover fully.
I wanted another challenge after the ironman. The time it takes to train for an Ironman is too much to continue doing these events. I know my strongest discipline is the cycling and I have decided to learn more about this sport whilst continuing to compete in shorter distance triathlons.
The decision I have made is to complete a stage of the Tour de France which is called the LE’tape du Tour. I want to learn how to fix bikes, the biomechanics of cycling, training correctly and the etiquette of the sport. I plan to use this experience to help my knowledge of endurance events and improve performance in Triathlons.
I got my bike out of its bike box, after the ironman, and reassembled it. I had taken the front fork out of the body of the bike and it took some guess-work how to reassemble it correctly. If you are taking it apart make a mental note of how the bearings and smaller spacers fit together.
I bought new Zipp 303 wheels as I was impressed with the Zipp wheel set I used for the ironman. I got advice from my bike mechanic, Dave, on which wheelset is suitable for road cycling. The 303’s have been designed for aerodynamics both up and down hills. They are strong enough to train on and will be less affected by cross winds when cycling.
I took the new Zipp 303’s into my cycle shop in Putney and had Patrick, cycle mechanic, show me how to put on new tires, change the rear cassette, and alter the brakes when I switch from training wheels to the Zipps. I have these lessons videoed on my youtube site on http://www.physical-edge.com.
We decided to put Latex inner tubes on the wheels to keep them extremely light. If I am spending £1550 on wheels it is worth maximising their performance. I now have both training wheels and Zipps to race on and I can put them on my bike when I choose.
I will now talk to Fran, my coach for the Ironman, and we are putting together a training program in the gym to prepare me for training on the bike. The idea is to build up Strength, Endurance and Power and then start training in a structured way from January. The date for the 2011 L’Etape du Tour has not been decided yet. The organisers must wait for the official Tour de France race dates to be set, last year the race was in mid July.
This week I start in the gym and will see my coach on Friday for a training plan.