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Fri 9th Dec 2016
Jo Carritt: Pre Ironman UK blog
Posted by: Jo Carritt
Posted on: Friday 2nd August 2013

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It seems like virtually no time at all since I was writing my pre-Ironman Frankfurt blog! The last four weeks have rather flown by. With two races relatively close together the period of time between must be managed carefully, balancing the need for recovery from the first event, with a suitable amount of training stress to stay “primed” for the second. Not a straightforward calculation to make – the balance varies from person to person according to their own recovery rates, with other factors such as the training load undertaken prior to the first race and other life commitments to factor in also.

My strategy was to have a very easy week after Germany, as I always do, with a great emphasis on sleep and sensible nutrition. I had a very mellow leisurely ride over Exmoor and along the North Somerset coast on the Saturday. It was such a treat to get out and enjoy one of my favourite routes on a beautifully sunny day, at whatever pace felt comfortable. As it happened, after a week off, I felt pretty good for the first three hours….the rapid onset of tiredness after this point an indicator of the remaining fatigue in the system…so I followed with another very light day on Sunday. For the rest of the “10 –day window” after the race I trained not more than three hours each day, the focus being on race pace rather than volume.

Joanna CarrittAfter this 10-day period I was feeling back to normal and resumed my regular training routine, putting in two weeks of “moderate” load. For me that's about 20 hours and a training stress of 1200 TSS - again that's low volume, more work at between race pace and threshold, creating additional time for recovery.

In week three I included a short distance hit-out at my local tri club's bike-run session, and put up a good race there over 20 and 4 km using the new set up that my Freespeed fitting had recommended for the Shiv which is what I intended to use at the London Triathlon that weekend.

The Virgin London Triathon event is an amazing spectacle – actually where I participated n my very first triathlon. It was huge then and it has grown in size since 2003. On Saturday at the Expo I was able to meet a number of our sponsors and learn about their product development and company philosophies – it's always helpful to have that insight as a representative of their brands. It's great to meet the people who are helping me out so much and show my appreciation in person. I was also able to get in and swim 1500m in the Huub wetsuit and new open water goggles that Deano had given me with one of the Olympic relay race waves, run a quick but sweaty 6km before settling down for a very relaxed evening watching the Anniversary Games, which were taking place just up the road.

Joanna CarrittSunday morning I was up for the Olympic Plus event -which is an Olympic distance swim, an 80km bike and a 10km run. Perfect for a pre-Ironman hit-out. I had a reasonable swim, not a great bike; some technical issues resulting in in a lost water bottle on an 80km course with no drink stations meant I had to call on a friend to find and pass me a new one during the first lap, rather than chasing the two Freespeed girls that were ahead of me. As a result I rode well under the intensity that I would reckon on for a race of that distance, holding it at just over Ironman pace. Ideal prep really. The run felt very comfortable, quite quick but not compared to Catherine and Ali who were flying around! It was the perfect distance and tempo for a last training session before race week wind-down, and great fun too.

After that fun, we're suddenly into race week! As a result of the steady pace I felt totally fine after the Oly Plus, but still slept in rather than my Monday morning swim session. At his point “less is probably more”…unless we're talking about sleeping! I have fallen into my “usual” race week training routine, which is overall very light but will include a couple of swims and two three hour brick sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. I'm feeling good about the weekend ahead, although I know it to be a challenging course and it'll be tough to be unsupported out there, but it's a race I know well and have handled well in the past. It's also a whole lot easier being a race that I can load up my mum's Micra and drive myself to…..that's if I can get it started!!

Jo is a Skechers ActivInstinct Performance Team athlete, and is proudly supported by Skechers, ActivInstinct, Virgin Active, Timex UK, HUUB wetsuits, Nectar Sports Fuel, Forgoodness Shakes, Specialized and Wings Transport.

Jo Carritt About the Author
Joanna Carritt was the 2008 age-group European Ironman Champion. She has a PB of 9:43:19, achieved at Ironman Germany 2008, in what was her fourth Ironman event. For more information about Joanna go to:

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