Ironwoman Wednesday: Training Load

It’s Wednesday, which means I only have 5 days until the taper, which is both exciting and absolutely horrifying, because it means race day is just 25 days away, DAYS, not months, not weeks, DAYS!

Ironman Louisville

It also means it’s time for Ironwoman Wednesday with Jamie at From Couch to Ironwoman, Michelle at IronwomanStrong and me! We’re all training for Ironman Louisville, and are coming together every Wednesday to share our journeys and talk triathlon with all you other half and full Ironmen and women!


As race day approaches, we’ve actually been checking in with each other more frequently and I don’t know if they know it, but those quick check-ins are helping me so much! It’s truly been awesome to find some fellow Ironman hopefuls to share this journey with!

Today we’re talking Ironman Training Load. Quite fitting for peak week, which culminates with the heaviest exercise I have ever done in a 48-hour period: 110 miles of cycling, followed by a 40 min brick and a 20-mile run the next day.

Peak Week IMLV

Seems like just yesterday I posted this picture of peak week on the blog…and now I’m living it!

Someone asked me yesterday if I feel ready for the race and I said, ask me on Monday, because this weekend is as close to the Iron distances as I’ll get before THE big day. At the same time whatever happens this weekend won’t change whether or not I’m ready…I’m ready, we’ve been training for months…this weekend will just give me a better idea of what I’ll look like when I finish….

Let's hope it's more of this...and not this...

Let’s hope it’s more of this…and not any of this.

Eat-sleep-swim-bike-run-repeat---triathlonBesides peak week, every other week of Ironman training has involved quite a training load. You workout 5-7 days a week anywhere from 1-8 hours in a day, sometimes twice a day, sometimes all day and that’s not counting all the non-workout activities that accompany your workouts.

A few weeks ago we talked about relationships, and all of us mentioned how our non-triathlete relationships have faded or were being neglected during training. It’s so much more than relationships…EVERYTHING not training, nutrition or recovery related has been neglected in my life!

Thanks to fellow Ironwoman-in-training Kristin at for the image!

Thanks to Ironwoman-in-training Kristin at for this image!

Training for an Ironman is so much more than just doing the workouts. Training requires commitment, motivation, dedication, sacrifice, time-management, and a lot of patience with those around you, and with yourself.

I have loved every second of Ironman training, but when Michelle asked me a couple of days ago which Ironman I am signing up for next year, my answer was:  none. I think I’ll probably do one again…I mean I am an endurance junkie and my marathon track record has shown that “never again” equals about 8 years…but I am looking forward to shorter race distances next year and a lighter training load.

A few months ago Pablo posted a list of things he misses during Ironman training, here’s my Top Ten Things I Miss Most During Ironman Training:

  • A clean house…I actually miss cleaning! Ha, I bet that won’t last very long once I have time to clean, but right now, I do truly miss cleaning…
Maybe I should sign up for this competition next year?

Maybe I should sign up for this Iron Man Competition next year? LOL.

  • Do-It-Yourself projects…I tried to keep up with these, but I basically have 10 unfinished projects just sitting around the house waiting for me to have some free time
  • Not being hungry. Seriously, I am ready to be able to go out for more than 1.5hrs without getting hungry and needing to pack a lunchbox


  • A smaller food budget. The biggest hidden cost of triathlons is your grocery bill! When I go to Costco, I bet people think I’m shopping for a family of 4, but no, it’s just the 2 of us!
  • Sleeping in…yeah, I have rest days where I sleep in, but 7:30am is not really sleeping in.
  • Staying up late WITHOUT experiencing negative consequences


  • Watching TV on the couch…okay, maybe not…I kind of like watching TV on the trainer…but definitely reading books on the couch! I have mastered watching TV on the trainer, but reading…that just hasn’t worked out and I miss reading
  • Hanging out with non-triathlete friends and having those friends over (I guess we could do that now, but between the dirty house and the early bedtime, we’re not very fun hosts).
  • Non-swim/bike/run activities. I’m really looking forward to adding SUP Yoga to my routine, getting back to TRX, Yoga, Pilates, maybe some Kazaxe, rock climbing and hiking.
  • Traveling…while I’ve managed to travel for a few conferences and during training weekends, I miss vacation traveling like lazy beach vacations or long hikes and of course Curacao! Oh, I miss home soooo much!


I’m sure there are also things I will miss once the training load lightens next week. There’s a reason I planned Ragnar and Marine Corps right after the Ironman. I want a lighter training load, not no load…that would be too much emptiness!

How about you? How do you feel about the Ironman Training Load? Are you loving it? Are you in off-season and do you miss it? Are you planning to start training and are you excited or scared or maybe both? 

Share your stories in the comments or better yet, link-up with us below!

  1. This is hilarious, and I can only imagine how true it is. I can’t imagine the amount of laundry you guys have to do….
    holy crap 5 days till taper!!!

    • OMG, the laundry, let’s not even talk about it. I swear, we do laundry and I turn around and the laundry bag is full again! Not to mention putting it away…my clothes are EVERYWHERE!

  2. I just cannot believe how CLOSE we are getting!!! I can completely relate to you here, since I just finished my PEAK week, yikes! It was crazy! Getting through peak week made me realize I am definitely ready for this race, however I am still totally freaked out by it all! I love your list of things you look forward to after the IM. I really look forward to doing other things besides swim/bike/run… like hiking, camping, crossfit, yoga, etc… I have missed all of those things! I do NOT miss cleaning though, LOL. Thank god for my husband, he has been cleaning like a champ through out my training. The training load definitely gets overwhelming, and quite honestly I don’t know when I’ll do my next IM. I think I want to take a break in 2015, but part of my wants to try and qualify for Kona before potentially starting a family… we shall see!

    • Ah Kona…I know I won’t be able to qualify until I’m in a older age group but that also means I shouldn’t wait too long to do another IM…it sucks you in, doesn’t it? We’ve also definitely been thinking about starting a family, which has my 2015-2016 race plans a little up in the air right now. Decisions decisions!

  3. Wow, the peak week is intense! I’m so glad to read this though, because although I want to sign up for an Ironman one day, i will really have to think carefully about when I could possibly fit in that training. I will have to wait at least 5 years until my kids are no longer so small!

  4. How do I feel about the Ironman training load? I am so excited that it is over and that I have been an Ironman for three days! After recovery (not totally sure what to expect with this), I look forward to doing activities when I want and not be dictated my the rigid training schedule. While I am respond very well to a schedule and having a detailed training plan is very good for me, I am excited to be able to mix in other activities, such as getting out on my mountain bike, and doing workouts when i want (not at 4:30am)!! I currently do not have any other races planned this season and I just want to enjoy some flexibility again. One side note…one of the best decisions I made early on in my training was to splurge for a cleaning service every other week. It was a terrific decision and helped alleviate some non-training stress. I know this suggestion is too late for you, since you race is right around the corner, but for anyone else considering IM training, I urge them to think about trying to work this into their budget!!

  5. Wowza, those are some crazy workouts you’re doing! It will all be worth it on race day though. After finishing the Raleigh HIM, I signed up for sprints the rest of the summer so I’ve been really enjoying the less structured training plan and being able to do more strength workouts.

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