Swimex Residential Blog

February was the third month in my Ironman training plan. This is the month of mind body connection.

When I first begin to train, the challenge of month one is to get back into the routine of working out 11 times a week and struggling to build fitness. The easy part is to sign up for the race, create a training plan, get excited about beginning again, and completing relatively short distances. In month two I pretty much have my routine down, am in the groove, and fitness starts to build as the workouts get longer. Now in month three the newness has worn off, the workouts are building in significance, and the race is still too far away to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

ironman trainingIn the third month of training my body asks my mind, “Why are we doing this again and how much farther is it?” The answers are, “because completing an Ironman is not just going the distance on race day, it is developing the mental and physical toughness to follow a training plan in the rain, snow or sunshine for 6 months in order to be starting-line ready. It is completing a distance that is in fact much, much farther than the actual race.” Ironman is a journey of dedication, perseverance and just getting it done, whether you feel like going for that long run in the snow or not. Whether or training for Ironman or not, I believe we all need to set some sort of working goal. Without one we are susceptible to boredom, overeating, depression and other related temptations.

ironman trainingSo for those following my progress, February’s totals were 119 miles of running, 535 miles on the bike, and 28,700 yards of swimming. This puts my long run for the month at 15 miles, long bike at 85 miles and long swim at 3700 yards. That comes to just under 20 hours of workouts per week. My swim workouts are similar to last month, but longer. So instead of doing race paced sets of 100 yards and speed-work at 50 yards, I am doing race paced sets at 300 yards and speed work in sets of 100 yards. The speeds are still the same, with race pace currently set on my SwimEx at 65, going up to 75 and back down to 65 again.

One of the benefits of living where I do is that the scenery where I train is beautiful. This month’s picture is of the route where I run. It is less than 1 mile from my front door. Stay tuned for month 4 with Ironman Texas only 2 ½ months away!

Stephen Bratton