Half Ironman training week 6 – how’s it all going?

This week feels really long. It feels WEEKS since I went out and cycled 90k, rather than just a few days. I think that’s because my long cycle was mid-week this week which threw everything off balance. Plus I still haven’t been running. It feels like a really low energy week but I’ve actually managed a pretty high weekly amount of training – about 9 and a half hours. It would have been over 11 had I gone for my long run. But I know I made the right decision not going.

With one month to go until my first half Irondistance race, my main thoughts and training can be summed up as follows:

Swimming – I’m not getting any faster and I’m really bored of going up and down lanes. I dread workouts where I have to really push myself and dread workouts with long reps. What happened to my love of swimming from last year? Actually, I can tell you what happened. Last year I was doing a LOT more open water swimming, so a lot of weeks I was only doing one boring pool swim session. At least a couple of times a month I was swimming in a lake and getting to know other triathletes at RG Active. I miss it so much. It’s the one thing Madrid does really badly – you cannot swim at any of the lakes anywhere near the city. To get to the nearest I’d have to rent a car and drive for an hour.


Having said that, I’m not worried about the race swim unless it’s really windy. I have a wetsuit and I know I’ll swim faster with it on. I know I’ll finish (all being well) in a reasonable time and it won’t have much effect on my overall race.

Cycling – great! I am getting faster and with less effort. I’m working on my nutrition. I’m slightly concerned about back pain and feet pain but I still have a month for some more long rides and core work, and I can already easily cycle the distance in the time I want to on race day.


Running – I LOVE running. As I think I made clear in yesterday’s post, I want nothing more but to run and run and run. I want the Marathon Talk podcast playing in my ears, I want the countryside spread out before me, I want to slowly jog along enjoying myself. But I can’t. It hurts too much and so I’m not going to do any running and take this next week really easy until the weekend – if I’m feeling okay, I’ll do 10 miles next weekend. But only if I’m not limping!

So this week’s training had one long cycle, one shitty, painful short run, one easy cycle exploring new routes around Casa de Campo on Sunday morning, and three swims. YEP, THREE SWIMS!!

This week has been awesome because it has been so quiet at work, meaning I pretty much had the afternoon off, or most of it, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Tuesday afternoon was spent on a four hour cycle – so good to get that out of the way so it doesn’t dominate my weekend plans! On Wednesday afternoon I took a trip north, to an outdoor 50m swimming pool. I spent an hour or so sunbathing and half an hour swimming. This was a toys out of the pram moment – where I had planned 3 x 800m. Quickly downgraded that to 3 x 600m. Then after 200m of the second 600m I decided I was fed up and was going to stop at 1000m! The outdoor pool was good as it was freezing and 50m long, both of which is slight practice at open water swimming. It was also bad as it was really busy, and there were no lanes as such so I kept having to constantly sight to stop myself swimming into someone (good sighting practice I guess!) I found this really frustrating and I’m not good with putting up with swimming when something is frustrating me!


I went back on Sunday afternoon as it was an excuse for some more sunbathing, and much better than swimming in an indoor pool, and it was lots better. There was barely anyone in the pool so I was able to just get my head down and get on with swimming. I swam 1000m without stopping and then finished up with 100m breast stroke, 50m sprint front crawl, 50m breast stroke. I even actually enjoyed myself at one point!


As we’re coming to the end of August, work is going to start picking up again and so I don’t think I’ll have another opportunity to go to that pool but I am glad I did!

Other than swimming, my weekend was spent drinking with friends and doing a lot of sunbathing. I went to the Circulo de Bellas Artes with my friend Chloe on Friday night, the best rooftop terrace in Madrid with stunning views, and finished up with dinner at Mercado de San Anton and more drinks.


Saturday I did some shopping and some sunbathing, and then we toasted our last weekends in Madrid with a bottle of champagne by the Temple de Debod. It was so lovely, filled with groups of friends and couples enjoying the view, exploring the temple and just generally sitting out in the sun chatting.


All in all, despite the weekend starting badly with a mini-strop from not being able to run, it went pretty well…..!




  1. I’d say try not to worry about it, the important thing will be finishing the event, and enjoying the experience. I’ve recently started to get into cycling and am tempted to try a tri when I have a better bike. (mine currently only has 3 gears and you have to stop pedalling to change down gears!)
    I hope this week’s training goes well and your running injury sorts itself out soon.

      • Got lots to work on first, swimming, running and cycling. In all seriousness though I’m wary of the amount of time I’d need to commit.

        One reason I got injured after my half was not preparing enough, missing the odd long run due to work pressures, that kind of thing!

  2. That sounds like a fantastic week. Getting the long bike ride done early was key to a more relaxed weekend. I’m jealous of your lounging and swimming at the 50m outdoor pool.

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