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HIM Training: Week 16 (Wrap Up)

by Meghann on September 27, 2011

16 weeks. Done. Just like that.

Time flies when you’re training your booty off! πŸ˜‰

The original week 16…

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The actual week 16…

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  • Rest


  • Rest



By the numbers

  • Run: 17 mi
  • Bike: 75 mi
  • Swim: 2500 yds
  • Yoga: 1 day


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My first EPIC!! πŸ™‚

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Week 16 was race week!

It was also my final taper week and – at times – I felt like I wanted to pull my hair out because I went from training 2+ hours a day with multiple sports to taking it easy with less than an hour. By the time race day came, I was so ready to get out there that all my nerves disappeared and I just had FUN with it!

And fun I did! The race surpassed all of my expectations leaving me on cloud nine for the next 48 hours. Incredible doesn’t even begin to describe it!

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You can read my full race report here. πŸ˜‰

Training Plan Reflections

I created my original HIM training plan with no clue what I was getting into. I’d done a handful of triathlons in the past, but had never created an official training plan for them. I sort of just incorporated swimming and biking into my normal workouts and crossed my fingers I make it to the finish line. I knew a half ironman would be different, so I studied some plans I thought would work.

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The plan itself was great, but it’s hard to determine what your future self will be doing on a Saturday two months from now. The key to training successfully is flexibility with your workouts, which is why I’ve been tracking mine the whole time – to show how a plan can be reformatted to fit your needs or plans for the week. I’ve always believed that there’s no need to completely give up your life during training – the trick is to fit your training schedule around your life, not the other way around.

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I didn’t follow the plan to the T, but I did hit all the milestones leading up to the race. My longest swim being roughly 2300 yds in the pool (and 2000 meters open water), the longest ride was 50 miles, and I built up to 11 miles on my feet. I regularly practiced two-a-day training, kept up with weekly speedwork with the Tampa Tri Team, stuck with the New Rules of Training for Women lifting plan, and did a brick roughly once a week.

The week or two before the race was the only time I began to seriously doubt my training. At that point I had hit the ‘too late now’ phase of training and suddenly felt like I hadn’t been doing enough. Should I have done more bricks? Should I have practiced my transitions? Should I have aimed for higher mileage on the bike and on the roads?!? Could’ve – Should’ve – Would’ve‘s invaded my mind the entire two weeks prior.

Then I made it to Augusta and all those doubts disappeared.


From the minute I walked into registration I felt like a new person. I met SO. MANY. amazing triathletes who did nothing but calm my nerves and tell me that I could do this. They gave me the strength I needed to push all the negativity out of my mind and just do it.

Impact of Training on Race Day

On Sunday I crossed the finish line feeling strong. I was beaming from ear to ear and felt like i had enough energy to do the whole thing all over again if they let me. Obviously my runner’s high was in full force. πŸ˜‰

All my worries of being undertrained were behind me. My body did exactly what I had trained it to do and I never felt like I wanted to give up or like I was ready to die. (A good sign!)

What I would do differently

This was my first HIM and I’m proud of how I trained, but it wouldn’t be a real challenge if I got everything right in the first place!

First of all, I thought 16 weeks was the perfect amount of time for training. Any longer and I may have lost my mind and any shorter I would have felt undone. 16 weeks was enough to build my endurance and learn my skills.


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At the beginning of training I had these big plan of swimming 3000+ yds at a time, but that didn’t happen. Courtney was actually the one that talked me away from that ledge and told me I would be fine doing the basic swim workouts she gave me (as is) throughout training. I took her advice to heart and stuck with them. My training swims averaged 2000 yds and I was FINE with that on race day. My endurance was there, my stroke was there, and I was happy in the water. Win. Win.

There is no doubt that I’ll need more open water swims in the future. My sighting skills are horrific and swimming longer than 25 yds at a time is something I need to practice. I’m happy that I at least got one or two open water swims in, but I’ll definitely be aiming for more in the future!


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Cycling is my weakest of the three. I’m slow, I’m cautious, and I have no skills when it comes to shifting gears. I was really surprised on race day when I would pass fellow cyclists going up hills, until they zoomed past me going down them. They were racing smart – saving their energy going up and letting it all out on the downhill. I must learn this skill. Soon.

Next time I train I would LOVE to focus more on the bike. Not exactly by getting more milage in, but more of toning my skills! I need to do more speed work, more hill work, and just teach my legs to spin faster. This was the first year I’ve really dedicated any time on the bike, so I’m prepared to use this summer as my starting point and build from there.


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I <3 running!

As soon as I got off the bike, my legs took off – they were so happy to run! I had heard horror stories of how awful it is to run 13.1 miles after cycling 56 miles. I didn’t get many long bricks in and – was told – I would be walking the majority of my run because of it.

Granted, I did resort to the Galloway method for the remainder of the run, but I would call that racing smart. I listened to my body, figured out what I needed to do to finish the run strong, and survived. I would do that method again in a heart beat.

I cut back on running during training because that’s where I’m the strongest and I wanted to focus on where I was the weakest. Next time I probably would keep the same running mileage in training, but do a few more long bricks and more speed work. Quality over quantity.

Would I do it again?

In a heartbeat.

I LOVED this race. I’m an endurance sport junkie and actually preferred the 70.3 distance over the sprint and olympic triathlons (just like I prefer half marathons over 5ks).

I had problems calling myself a triathlete before Sunday, but – after spending hours discussing swimming logistics, cycling times, aero bars, transition set ups, bottle hand offs, bricks, etc, and never getting bored – I can now scream it from the roof tops.


And no one can make me feel otherwise. Remembering that feeling of crossing the finish line is all I needed. πŸ™‚

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A look back at how I got here:

1 Samantha @ Bikini Birthday September 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm

This was a really great post. I am going to share it with my sister who is interested in getting into triathalons.
She was looking for a book to read for beginner triathlete and I think that this post, along with your training plan, would be helpful.

Do you by chance know of any good triathalon books too?

2 kathleen @ the daily crumb September 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

what a great picture crossing the finish line! these are such special moments and memories you’re making with your sister and other siblings. so happy for you.
kathleen @ the daily crumb recently he eats.

3 Laura September 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Congrats! I love your pics! I am so inspired to start tris now. So… when’s the next HIM?
Laura recently posted..I’m better than you! (Letting go of competition)

4 Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine September 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Great job Meghann. Truly–your training was impressive! And it looks like it was so worth it. πŸ™‚
Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine recently posted..Wine Tasting in Santa Barbara

5 Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather September 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm

You are a beast! I love it. It was so amazing following you through this. Cent wait for your next!
Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather recently posted..triple tuesday: pasta recipes {a meat free family}

6 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Wow Meghann, I’m still in awe that you did this! (Not that I didn’t think you could or anything – I knew you could, but 70.3 is amazing!!!) Congrats on all your hard work, and your successful training plan design!
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat recently posted..No trainer, so what now?

7 mary September 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Congrats Girlfriend!! You rocked that race just like I thought you would.

I love that you had an honest reflection on the whole experience too. Now this is something to draw from the next time πŸ˜€
mary recently posted..Three Truth Tuesday: Poor Personal Hygiene

8 Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups September 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm

You are definitely a triathlete!! So glad all the hard work and training paid off. You look so awesome and strong crossing the finish line!
Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups recently posted..The plan and the planning

9 Cait's Plate September 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Hahaha – you are crazy and I LOVE it!! Seriously, I think living vicariously through you is the closest I’ll ever get to an ironman so I give you a TON of credit (and fully support you doing another one!)
Cait’s Plate recently posted..Grown with Love

10 Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) September 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Good for you! Seriously, that is no small feat!
Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) recently posted..Some gluten-free Monday things

11 Axel September 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Great post! Now I’m going to have to go back and read all the training posts to see how the original Training Plan varied from what actually happened, due to ‘real life’ – the enemy of all loftier aspirations.

Before I do that, can I ask what the Galloway method is? Is it a 10min run/1min walk type thing?
Axel recently posted..The Multi-sport Mind: Introduction to Burbathlon

12 Meghann September 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I’m copying and pasting this from the Galloway Method website. Run-walk-run ratio should correspond to the training pace used:
8 min/miβ€”run 4 min/walk 35 seconds
9 min/miβ€” 4 min run-1 min walk
10 min/miβ€”-3:1
11 min/miβ€”2:30-1
12 min/miβ€”-2:1
13 min/miβ€”-1:1
14 min/miβ€”30 sec run/30 sec walk
15 min/miβ€”30 sec/45 sec
16 min/miβ€”30 sec/60 sec

13 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife September 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm

WOW. NOW that is impressive! NIcley done πŸ™‚

14 Deva @ Deva by Definition September 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I know I’ve said it before, but I had to say it again: congrats, girl, on such an EPIC achievement!
Deva @ Deva by Definition recently posted..Weekend Recap

15 Cat @Breakfast to Bed September 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

You are making me want to sign up for one of these things and I am batshit terrified of bike riding.
Cat @Breakfast to Bed recently posted..Emcee at a Cock Fighting Tournament

16 Heather @ Better With Veggies September 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm

One of the biggest breakthroughs for me running off the bike (especially in the 70.3 distance) was really holding back on the bike. After years of walking more than I’d like on the run – that was a huge difference. I think this is fairly common (I didn’t *think* I was going too fast) – so that might be something to think about as you approach your next one.
Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted..Join me on Tuesday Trainer: Core Edition!

17 kaitlin @4loveofcarrots September 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm

U r awesome and such an inspiration. I really don’t think I could ever do it! U had a smile on in every picture! My face would most likely read pain ha! Congrats on being a tri athlete such an accomplishmen and what’s even cooler is u did it with ur siblings!

18 Lisa (bakebikeblog) September 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm

What a wonderful recap!!!! And what fun race pics!!!
Lisa (bakebikeblog) recently posted..Brown rice sushi attempt

19 Hillary September 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I’m kind of blown away by your accomplishment, and it’s definitely inspired me to reconsider training for another race. Congrats again!
Hillary recently posted..Biscoff White Chocolate Muddy Buddies

20 Casey @ oatsandnanners September 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm

CONGRATS again on such a great accomplishment!! I literally kept checking back to see how the race went πŸ™‚ so inspirational!!
About your post-race recovery — I always struggle with “do I rest and stretch?” after a big training day, or should I go and run a quick 4-5 mile recovery? Hopefully you answer these questions during your post-ironman recovery!!
Casey @ oatsandnanners recently posted..Doughy & Delicious Pumpkin Pancakes

21 Mary @ Bites and Bliss September 27, 2011 at 7:00 pm

You. are. amazing!! Congratulations! All your hard work was so worth it!
Mary @ Bites and Bliss recently posted..Fishy Fun & (finally) a run!

22 Ali @ Ali Runs September 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Congrats again on the HIM!! What an amazing accomplishment.
Ali @ Ali Runs recently posted..Friday Knight 5k

23 Melissa @ TryingToHeal September 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Congrats lady. I’m so proud of how you did and really, I envy your strength!

24 Britt @ Run with Britt September 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm

You are such a beast! That training plan was so intense!
Britt @ Run with Britt recently posted..How To Tell If Your Kicks Are About To Kick The Bucket

25 Kathleen September 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Congrats on your HIM. what a great time for your first one. You must be psyched! What a great accomplishment – take time to recover
Kathleen recently posted..Marathon=Hard Work

26 Sara @ RunnerWife September 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm

This is such a great accomplishment! Great job again! You stuck to your training and you accomplished something great!
Sara @ RunnerWife recently posted..A Tough Day

27 Jess@atasteofconfidence September 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm

I am glad you loved the race so much. Great job!
Jess@atasteofconfidence recently posted..We can be 80, 3, and 21β€” all in one weekend

28 Pamela @ Girl Gone West September 28, 2011 at 1:48 am

Such a great story, Meghann! Seriously, I’ve been following it all along, and to see it culminate with you tackling and completing your goal is inspiring. 16 weeks ago I was a Nashvillian living in my comfort zone, and now I’m a Denverite, with a blog and a job and my first half in two weeks! 16 weeks is a long time, and your dedication paid off. I can’t wait to see what else you get into!
Pamela @ Girl Gone West recently posted..Warrior Girl

29 Lara @TresLaLa September 28, 2011 at 1:51 am

You look so great in all of the prof pics! I always look like a total goon! Een if I know they’re there!
Lara @TresLaLa recently posted..Tuesday Funday!

30 Sara, Food Blogger on a Diet / Ms. Adventures in Italy September 28, 2011 at 4:45 am

Congrats! And you are definitely making me long to get back to running (I just posted about this dilemma just now)
Sara, Food Blogger on a Diet / Ms. Adventures in Italy recently posted..Runner’s withdrawal, concurrent strength & endurance training

31 Amanda Lee September 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Meghan- I loved reading about your HIM training! You are such an inspiration! Thank you for giving us all the reassurance that we are not crazy for actually enjoying running/biking/swimming/exercising!

32 annelies September 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Congrats triathlete. πŸ™‚
annelies recently posted..Substituting: A healthier eating perspective

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