Sport training, a virtual half-Ironman and a comedy of errors

So this week I had my usual rest day on Monday but also rested up on Tuesday due to feeling considerably bleugh. Thankfully it turned out to be another bout of delightful hay fever (I think) and I felt pretty good on Wednesday. So a somewhat mental week of sport then played out as follows:


A 4 mile road run in a circuit from the house and a 45 minute turbo session on the bike at home.

Thank goodness for those patio doors, turboing gets hot


A hilly 4 mile trail run. So beautiful up on Werneth Low so I’ve included a few pics. One of these is blurry, a side effect of running with a phone when its warm.


I decided to turbo for an hour instead of going out on the bike. The idea was to save my legs as by this point I had signed up to the virtual half iron-man on the weekend (VR5). It’s actually a duathlon and you run 5k, cycle 90k and run 21k at anytime between Fri 6pm and Sunday midnight so you can take breaks etc. It can be done indoors or outdoors as you long as you stick to government rules of one sport a day outside etc. So my Fri workout was just spinning as this is good for recovering legs.


I set out to do my 5k run (part 1 of the race) at a deliberately average speed. There seems no point to run a fast 5k and save 2 minutes when you know you are going to spend a couple of hours on the bike after. I ran it in 28 minutes which I’m perfectly happy with given our local undulating terrain and given my average level of input. It’s after this point that the comedy of errors began..

I knew I had to cycle 90k on the turbo. I also thought that I needed to record the ride on my Garmin and not rely on Zwift to record it as my Friday test ride had not uploaded to the Ironman virtual site (this was my first error). I got all my yummy snacks and drinks ready for the ride and topped up my bottles with what I thought was energy drink containing electrolytes. It turned out to be chocolate flavoured recovery drink which I would normally mix with milk rather than water. Ah well it was weirdly drinkable.

My strategy on the bike was to go fast (not much of a strategy I know) but I figured it made sense to do well on the bike and then go a bit easier on the run. So I was aiming to finish in 2.45. Unfortunately soon after starting it became clear that my Zwift speed and distance was different from the distance and speed on my Garmin watch and that furthermore this delta was getting bigger and bigger as time went on. So as I’m riding along I’m thinking do I do 90k based on Zwift or 90k based on my watch ? I felt it was best to do the latter and that this must be the ‘correct number’ and the one that would upload to my virtual Ironman.

The next comical thing to happen was the pedal coming off the bike with my shoe and foot still firmly attached so that my leg is sticking out mid air not doing anything whilst the now pedalless spindle goes round and round. I got off the bike and examined exhibit A…..i.e. my foot inside a shoe with a pedal attached on the floor. I wasted 5 minutes trying to get my shoe out of the pedal to no avail. Finally I rescrewed the pedal back onto the bike with the shoe attached (yes I had taken my foot out, I’m not that bendy) which proved (thankfully) to be really easy to do, even for technically challenged people like myself.

At 2.52 I finished my 90k on Zwift but unfortunately had to continue as my watch was showing just 77k. I carried on until the latter got to 90k which took me a further 25 minutes and my Zwift now showed 104k. I saved my ride and looked at my Ironman virtual race page and agghghghghghghgh and grrrrrrrrrrrr it showed I’d done 104k in 3 hours 18 minutes. Ok so the extra 14k wasn’t required then after all…..


All that remained was to run 21k on Sunday. I felt pretty good in the morning and did a bit of foam rolling and stretching before hand. My son ran the first 11k with me which really helped as I had someone to chat to. It also meant we ran a little slower but since I haven’t run further than 11k in the last 2 months, setting the world on fire was never going to be a good tactical approach anyway and you always have to think about keeping injuries at bay. I’d set up laps in our local town and so we were able to stop off at the house and have a drink or gel at end of the driveway after each lap if so desired. My son finished after 2 laps and I finished my VR after 4 laps in 2 hours 10 minutes, which is hardly speedy but It’s vaguely acceptable given the undulating roads around here.

Having a rest after the race

I’m currently 33rd in age group (would of been 19th if I’d only done 90k required) but that will change (go down) as more people have yet to finish the race. Still I’m happy that even with my errors and undulating runs I’m not completely shit. 😁

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