In 2015, at my heaviest I weighed in at 195lbs. Now i weigh 160lbs. For someone who was 5'8" and 195lbs, it was obvious that i needed to make some personal changes. I had just come off the 2014 Ironman Wisconsin where i went 12:31 and was training with an online coach. I signed up for the 2015 IMWI to redeem myself only to go slower than what i did in 2015. The lack of improvement really hurt.
My training in 2014 and 2015 consisted of 6 weekly sessions, 2 swims, 2 bikes, and 2 runs. In 2015 i raced Lake Mills Sprint and Door County Half Ironman before Ironman Wisconsin.
Lake Mills Sprint:
Total Time: 1:30
Swim: 9:17, Bike: 49:13 (19.5mh), 25:38 (8:15 pace)
Door County Half Ironman:
Total Time: 6:06
Swim: 45 Minutes, 2:47 (20.8mph), 2:25 (11:07 pace)
When i was training in 2014 and 2015, I had no real thought process with my daily nutrition: I just knew I was consuming 2500-3000 calories per day. This included a high percentage of fats (snacks to "reward" myself- but overboard like ice cream and candy), a lot of microwave and easy to prepare meals in high carbohydrates. I also drank regular gatorade, and took in Gu and bonk brakes without any real thought behind. I was actually one of those people who gained weight training for Ironman!
While I had goals, I did not have a true plan to reach those goals; my workouts were time based but lacked structure and intervals. I did no strength training nor did I put much thought into recovery. I was just going through the motions.
After the 2015 Ironman, I decided i needed to make a change that would reshape my life.
Cue Madison Multisport and Cindi Bannink....
Accountability: This was easily the largest and most difficult change I had to make. Madison Multisport from a training perspective boiled down to ACCOUNTABILITY, COMMITMENT, and healthy competition. TrainingPeaks was a symbol of ACCOUNTABILITY, not GUILT and avoidance! I was determined to train hard and smart while not over doing it. Coach Cindi was key for keeping me on my game, having to come to TEAM practices and look her in the eye and tell her if i was ever struggling was a big step for me, instead of the auto reply of "i'm fine".
Commitment: This was something i wanted to conquer more on a personal level than some race result. I knew i had it in me to not just follow the motions but to improve and get faster. I wanted to prove to myself that I had the hard work and discipline to become a better me. Very early in the season I approached races and body composition with loftier goals than i had in the past. I set these goals and Coach Cindi and myself held me accountable to them. I work in the medical profession which required countless years of hard work, education, and accountability and for some reason I hadn't transfered that same work ethic into my athletic training. I finally paralleled the two and was finally seeing results in training and my body composition. Within the 1st 6 months, i lost over 15lbs and was seeing massive improvements in my daily mood, energy, and training. I was feeling better and running faster at an easier effort.
Madison Multisport has a good blend of personality and ability and I was mixing it up with people I never thought I would have been. In the winters, Tuesday nights typically mean Hill Repeats. I continued to bust my butt to keep up with faster teammates and it was working. I was pushing myself well past my comfort zone and repping the rewards. Each time we would run the Monona Loop, I always tried to keep up with Olivia. Olivia is one of the best triathletes in the Madison area, a Boston Qualifier, and a super encouraging teammate.
I also asked Colin at Cronometro Bike Shop to put me in a better, more aggressive bike position. With my body composition continuing to change, i could easily go into a better aero position than i previously could. Add in the hard bike workouts that we did at TEAM practices, I was starting to match the watts per kilo of some of the better riders on the team. My confidence was growing each week!
On a nutrition stand point, I started to pay attention to what i was eating. I would consume 450-500g of Carbs per day which was around 2.5-4.5/lbs of body weight. I tried to consume most of these as early in the day as possible as well as when I was training, while not too many carbs at night. I would then try to consume 80-110g of Protein per day (.5-.8/lbs of body weight). I kept these meals in the middle and end of the day. A large change came once i turned 40 as i learned that protein demands in endurance training are higher in athletes over 40, it helps with improving recovery. I added more chicken and fish while eliminating red meat that contained alot of fat. I also replaced burgers with chicken on the George Foreman Grill. I ate less than 70g of Fats per day. The only time i allowed myself sweets was during training or post workouts when i felt i deserved them.
Bring on the 2017 Season!
Lake Mills 2017: Overall Time: 1:15
Swim: 9:02, Bike: 40:51 (23.5mpg), Run: 21:44 (6:59 pace)
Door County Half Ironman 2017: Overall Time 4:36
Swim: 9:39, Bike: 2:32 (22mph), Run: 1:49 (8:20s pace)
Comparisons for 2015 vs 2017
Lake Mills Bike: 19.5mph vs 23.5mph
Lake Mills Run: 8:15 per mile vs 6:59 per mile
Door County 70.3 Bike: 20mph vs 22 mph (15 Minutes Faster)
Door County 70.3 Run: 11:07 per mile vs 8:20 per mile (20 Minutes Faster)