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Ironman Training: Week 15 + Week 16

by Meghann on September 9, 2013

I know. I’m behind.

The last two weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. I had back-to-back travel for both pleasure (Disneyland!) and business (I’ve been in New Jersey all weekend), and trying to fit in as much training in as I could in between.

The good news is I’m done with business travel until after Ironman Florida. Woo hoo! Part of me is sad the season is over for me (I really do love traveling for my job), but another part is thrilled I can 100% sink my teeth into Ironman training. I already have a decent base thanks to my last 16 weeks of training, but now it’s “balls to the wall” from here until November 2nd!

Here’s my plan for the next month:

For cycling, my friend Chris agreed to ride 90 miles with me on Saturday, my sister and I registered for a century next weekend (we’re really looking forward to this), and we put aside October 5th to ride another century together at a trail we both enjoy riding. In between those rides, my booty will be glued to the trainer for hill work and speed training.

For running, I’m planning to cap my long runs at 18 miles leading into the race. My favorite question to ask Ironman finishers is what’s the longest distance they ran before race day. I’m always surprised how low the numbers are – usually 12 or 14 (maybe that’s because the majority of people I’ve asked say that running is their least favorite of the three sports?). My plan is to run a 14 miler this weekend and build from there. I’ll also be continuing with track practice and working on longer bricks after long rides.

For swimming, my goal is get an open water swim in every weekend. The best part about swimming is I can do long swims in the afternoon, so I can do my long ride or run in the morning and swim a few hours later. I’m also sticking to swim practice at the pool 4 times a week.

The first 16 weeks of training was NOTHING compared to what the next two months will be. Bring it on!

Week 14


AM: 60 min Bike Trainer

Turbo-trainer workout from my training plan. Lots of single leg drills with a solid chunk of a roller coaster in the middle (1 minute big gear, 1 minute fast spin, 1 minute fast – repeat).

AM: 15 min run

Post-trainer run with Maddie.

PM: 3000 yd Swim

  • 400 warm up
  • 2 x 250 @ 5:00
  • 500 @ 10:00
  • 2 x 250 @ 5:00
  • 500 @ 10:00
  • 2 x 250 @ 5:00
  • 100 cool down

My coach was on vacation this week, so we were instructed to keep it easy. Stephanie came up with this swim workout. We both wanted to get some distance in, so it worked out perfectly.


AM: 60 min Bike Trainer

Big gear intervals. Nothing special.

AM: 3000 yd Swim

  • 500 @ 10:00
  • 5 x 100 @ 2:00
  • 400 @ 8:00
  • 4 x 100 @ 2:00
  • 300 @ 6:00
  • 3 x 100 @ 2:00
  • 200 @ 4:00
  • 2 x 100 @ 2:00
  • 100 @ 2:00
  • 2 x 50 @ 1:00


AM: 2300 m Swim

  • 200 Warm Up
  • 5 x 200 w/ 00:15 rest
  • 10 x 100 w/ 00:10 rest
  • 100 cool down

This was a great long course workout. Slow and steady.


AM: 60 min Bike Trainer

My final ride before flying to California that evening!


AM: 2 mi Run


I made it to my hotel around midnight and had to be up at 5:30am for the Disneyland Half Meet-Up. 100% worth it! I went with the “fast” group, so the speed was actually pretty decent. LOVED being introduced to Disneyland for the first time on a run – it really doesn’t get much better than that.


AM: 6.2 mi Run


This was probably my favorite 10k of all times. I had so much fun running the Disneyland 10k. I didn’t take it seriously – and stopped to take a lot of photos – but I think that’s what Disney races are all about. I love the “no pressure” feel of the race.


AM: 13.1 mi Run


Another fun race, the Disneyland Half! Also, part II of my Dumbo Dare Challenge. I felt really good in this run and probably could have kicked it up a notch if I didn’t stop for photos or Twitter.

Weekly Totals:

Workouts: 10

Miles: 73

Time: 9:42

This was a run heavy week thanks to my RunDisney races. I wish I could have got more time in on the bike, but I wouldn’t trade the wonderful experience I had at Disneyland for anything in the world.

Week 15


PM: 3200 yd Swim

  • 100 warm up
  • 600
  • 2 x 300
  • 3 x 200
  • 4 x 150
  • 6 x 100
  • 100 cool down

I took the red eye home from Los Angeles on Sunday night and, thanks to a layover in Atlanta, I didn’t get back to Tampa until close to 11:00am. Luckily I had left a bag of swim stuff in my car and was able to go straight from the airport to the pool. After sitting on a plane all night, I was more than ready to get my body moving. The pool felt great and I was happy with my workout.

PM: 60 min Bike Trainer

I put Orange is the New Black on and just rode. I was tired, but knew I needed to get at least some time in on my trainer.


AM: 70 min Bike Trainer

This was the Turbo AT Intervals trainer workout from my plan. I had 6 minute steady in aero, 5 minute steady in aero, etc. with 1 minute of big gear, 1 minute of fast spin, and 1 minute of recovery in between.

AM: 2 mi Run

My weekly run with Maddie after the bike trainer.

PM: 2100 yd Swim


  • 500 warm up
  • 1500 for time ( 27:00)
  • 100 cool down

The 1500 straight for time was rough! It’s so easy to lose track of laps in the pool when you’re doing 30 of them. Plus, it just gets boring. I finished the 1500 in 27:00 and, based off of that, my coach was predicting a 1:20-1:24 finish time for my swim for IM Florida. My current goal is under 1:30, so that was music to my ears. ๐Ÿ™‚


AM: 2200 m Swim

  • 400 warm up
  • 10 x 100 @ 2:10
  • 100 easy
  • 5 x 100 @ 2:00
  • 200 cool down


AM: 120 min Bike Trainer

I woke up early Thursday so I could do TWO HOURS on the bike trainer. Man, that was such a mental challenge. I don’t know how people spend up to 5-6 hours on a bike trainer, I think I would slowly go insane. This was a record for me on the bike trainer and I think it may also be my max.


AM: 5 mi Run

Sadly, this was my only workout of the weekend. I was hoping to fit in more, but there just wasn’t time. We were in a very pretty area in New Jersey and I was so jealous of all the local crew members who brought their bikes. I would have loved to have joined them for a ride, but the rentals shops were too far.



My call time was 6:30am on Saturday and I didn’t get back to my hotel room until close to 11:00pm. At least I got some strength training in with all the unloading, loading, and re-unloading of my registration supplies.



My day started with a 3:00am wake-up call and was non-stop from there. By the time I made it to Theodora‘s apartment that evening, I was falling asleep in my sangria glass. I know i’ve said this before, but I really need to wear a pedometer when I work. I swear I walked 10 miles around the park on Sunday.

Weekly Totals:

Workouts: 8

Miles: 74

Time: 7:55

I’ve been freaking out about what my back-to-back travel weeks would do to my training for months now. A huge part of me is relieved it’s over. What’s done is done and now it’s time to move on.

Here we go!

1 MissPinkKate September 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Will you be continuing with CrossFit?

2 Meghann September 9, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I haven’t been able to lately due to trying to fit in the rest of my training and traveling. I miss it and hope to find a way to fit it back in soon.

3 courtney g. September 9, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I hope you had a nice time in Jersey. It was a beautiful weekend and the weather has continued!

4 Meghann September 9, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Yes, I LOVED Jersey! Such a gorgeous area and we had wonderful weather all weekend.

5 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs September 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I’m always amazed at how you can fit all of this training in — pretty amazing!
Keep up the good work ๐Ÿ™‚

6 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun September 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Great work Meghann! Glad to hear your schedule is calming down a bit – keep up the great work!!
Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..Chocolate Banana Bread Protein Recovery Muffins

7 Courtney September 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I can’t wait to hear about your rides and the century. I did 75 last Saturday and had to bribe myself every way possible the last 8 miles. The only thing that kept me on that bike was knowing if I did it once, it would be just a tad easier the next time I had to hit 75+.
As for my long run, I think I am going to max out at 16. I am doing a HIM on Sept 21 and I’ll see how those 13 miles go and then decide for sure (see how strong I feel). It’s weird how much tri training varies from marathon training. There are a lot of different marathon training plans, but more or less they are all very similar. For IM, there are so many schools of thought on how far, how hard and how often you should go. Spend too much time looking at another plan and you convince yourself you are doing it all wrong ๐Ÿ˜›
Keep up the good work! Sounds like you are swimming faster too!

8 Julie @ Swim Bike Running on Empty September 9, 2013 at 11:41 pm

My longest run before Ironman Canada was 17 miles. I didn’t set any records on race day (I ran a 4:50 marathon) but it wasn’t painful and it as fun ๐Ÿ™‚ You will have a great race and a good marathon considering your running history! I think it’s just important to run consistently and get it some bricks so your body is ready to run post-ride ๐Ÿ™‚ Loving the updates, keep enjoying your training! You will be sad when it’s over, trust me!
Julie @ Swim Bike Running on Empty recently posted..Race Recap: Subaru Ironman Canada

9 Mary September 10, 2013 at 2:26 am

I’m just curious as you don’t post your eats any more, how much and what types of food you are eating to accompany your workouts at the moment?
Also, what’s going to be your next challenge after the IronMan?!!!
Mary recently posted..ASICS Lightweight Running Backpack

10 meghan September 10, 2013 at 7:42 am

I find it so interesting that the runs are shorter than the 20 milers that are prescribed for marathon training. Do you know why that is? I was looking through my HIM book at the IM plans and noticed the longest run was 2:40. I didn’t even realize this was something and thought maybe the plans were meant for people who are much faster than me and can run 20 miles in 2:40. Nice training and fitting this much in while travelling. I look forward to hearing about your 90 milers and century rides.
meghan recently posted..Weekly Workout Recap 9/2-9/8

11 egb September 10, 2013 at 8:20 am

Congrats on all the training! I am tired just reading it! The Disney races look like so much fun!
egb recently posted..Marathon Training Week #7

12 Ashley September 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I cannot believe how quick your training has gone by! You are going to be an Iron (wo)Man so freaking soon, and you’re training shows it!
Ashley recently posted..My First Regular Post As a Jara

13 Farah @ Fabulously Farah September 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Wow, you are quite the inspiration. Fitting in all those workouts while working full-time, traveling and being married! No excuses! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Minnie outfit you put together was adorable.
Farah @ Fabulously Farah recently posted..The U.S. Open 2013

14 sarah September 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm

were you always this motivated? i am having trouble getting out of bed an extra 20-30 minutes just twice a week, let alone do what you do! you are a rockstar!!!
sarah recently posted..Ten Things Tuesday

15 Belinda September 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm

I just did my third sprint tri for the summer, and reading all of your workouts is completely inspiring. You are putting in SO much time and it will show come race day. Enjoy the journey too ๐Ÿ™‚

16 Steph @321delish September 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Which century are you doing? I’m doing the metric century that weekend in Clearwater with Miles for Hope.
Steph @321delish recently posted..Mountain Biking Tips From a Newbie

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