Ironman Boulder 2015 | Training Update II |Ups and Downs

By Sam

Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.

-Yogi Berra

This is my second Ironman Boulder training update. If you would like to catch up on my first update, or my initial Ironman Boulder training plan, feel free.

Ironman Boulder | The Plan
Ironman Boulder | Training Update I

Otherwise, on we go! 17 weeks down. 13 weeks to go. Welcome to the overanalyzing stage of training! Or in equation form:

How to overthink your training = Spend lots of time training + Set big goals

Variable 1 – Time
Triathlon training is a time commitment. For the past 6 weeks or so I’ve been working out anywhere from 10-14 hours per week. And that is solely workout time, not including the pre- and post-workout routine. My guess is that total time per week is probably 150% of my actual workout time.

Example 1 – Swimming. Most of my swim sessions are in the 40 minute range. But when you consider the whole process of getting ready, going to the gym, showering, working out, then showering again, and finally heading home….you are looking at a process that takes anywhere from 1:15 to 1:30 depending on how much I am dragging my feet on that particular day. Or if I am cold, I will really spend some time in the warm shower before I get in the pool.

Example 2 – Biking. For those non-bikers out there, planning and prepping for a 3+ hour bike ride is no walk in the park. First, you need to look for a route. You don’t want to ride the same routes over and over. But you also don’t want to ride somewhere new every week. And turns…you don’t want too many of those either. After you have the route, then you need to pack all of your gear. Food. Water. Bike supplies. SUNSCREEN. I block out 30-45 minutes for pre-ride preparation.

Moral of the story, triathlon training demands a lot of time.

Variable 2 – Big goals
Last year, my goal was to complete my first triathlon (St. George 70.3) and then complete my first Ironman (Ironman Wisconsin).  I wanted to do well, but I wasn’t particularly concerned with my times. Let’s be serious, before the gun sounded at St. George, all I cared about was not drowning (mission accomplished!).

As I’ve mentioned in my previous Ironman Boulder posts, my goal this year is not ‘to finish’ but to finish faster. Specifically, sub-10 hours.

So what does this equal? OVERANALYZING!
Below is a not-quite-comprehensive list of the thoughts I have had immediately following/before workouts during this training session:

  • I really feel like I’ve made some improvements in my swimming technique.
  • My running fitness is coming along great.
  • Why are my legs so heavy?
  • Why can I barely run a sub-6 minute mile?
  • Why am I so SLOW?
  • I didn’t hit any of my paces today.
  • I’m not improving fast enough.
  • I’m never going to be able to bike 21.7 mph for 112 miles.
  • My form is terrible.
  • Seriously, I hate wind.
  • Is my shin hurting?
  • Why are my calves so sore?
  • That run felt really clunky.
  • Man, I killed it out there today.
  • I am so bad at bike speed work.
  • Am I pushing hard enough?

So if you were to ask me, “Sam, how is your training going?” I’d say, ”Depends on the day.”

And today, well today my calves are REALLY tight.

And now some numbers:



  • My running mileage has increased 30% and my cycling mileage has increased 21%. On a time basis, my running volume has increased 17% and my cycling volume has increased 7%.
  • Running speed and cycling speed are both showing increases from last year.
    • Running – I’ve been focusing on getting most of miles in my ‘upper aerobic’ heart rate zone. Except for my Sunday runs…those are nice and slow. I intended to do the same last year, but it was difficult to do this week after week. This year, I have done a much better job, and I am definitely feeling the benefits.
    • Biking – Since the majority of my miles thus far have been on the trainer, the speed component isn’t very accurate. Although, relative to last year I have definitely improved.
  • Technically, I have one more swim than Garmin is giving me credit for. I completed one of my workouts without my watch and was too lazy to manually enter the data after. Arriving at the pool without your watch…THE WORST.


  1. […] First off, some light pre-reading: Ironman Boulder | The Plan Ironman Boulder | Training Update I Ironman Boulder | Training Update II | Ups and Downs […]


  2. […] Boulder | The Plan Ironman Boulder | Training Update I Ironman Boulder | Training Update II | Ups and Downs Ironman Boulder | Race Report | Part […]


  3. […] Boulder | The Plan Ironman Boulder | Training Update I Ironman Boulder | Training Update II | Ups and Downs Ironman Boulder | Race Report | Part 1 Ironman Boulder | Race Report | Part 2 Ironman World […]


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