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Ironwoman Wednesday – Training Load

Today’s topic for Ironwoman Wednesday is Training Load! A very fitting topic for me since I just finished my two big PEAK training weeks!


Ironman training load equals one word: VOLUME (and lots of it)

My official IMMT training began a week after the Boston Marathon, on April 28th. Throughout the brutal Boston winter, while training for for the marathon, I kept up with my swimming and biking (indoors), so I never lost fitness in the two other sports. My training cycle for IMMT is 16 weeks long and totals approximately 208 hours.

208 hours equals… 8.6 FULL (24 hour) days

208 hours equals… 26 work (8 hour) days.  That’s almost a month of work in training! And to think I have been working 40 hour work weeks through out my training.

Dream. Desire. Determination @m_osnaghi @newlifeAcoach @Lisa Phillips-Barton Ann Edwards

I have not taken a vacation day since the day after the Marathon in April, which means I have worked every week day during my training, while swimming/biking/running like a machine. I can honestly say I have not missed a SINGLE workout, with the exception of one brick workout where I decided to hike instead of bike & run. Completely serious.

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If you have been reading my blog, you know that I post my training week recaps on Mondays. I started my recaps when I was just one week away from the Boston Marathon. It’s crazy to think I started the recaps when I was 19 weeks away from IMMT and now I am less than 3 weeks away, time flies when you’re having fun!

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If you want to know what peak Ironman weeks look like, you can read about my experiences here:

Week 4 and Week 3.

It literally took blood, sweat and tears for me to get through these last couple of weeks. There were days when I just wanted to sleep, wanted to cry, wanted to just get off the damn bike… just for a minute. But I pushed through it, all of it, and I feel so READY for this race!

Throughout this whole process, I have been monitoring and tracking my progress through an online training log, linked to my coach.  My coach gave me the plan in April and I have been following it like it’s my job. I check off the workouts each week, but never really adding all of the mileage… for one I hate math and two, I just don’t have the time. The cool part about my online program though, is it tallies the swim, bike, run hours for each week. I also have this giant IMMT ‘Histogram’ which shows on a big graph all of my training hours and estimated mileage for those hours.  The histogram is great for me, being a visual learner, because I see what what training weeks are base, build, peak and taper weeks. Here’s an example of what a histogram looks like (this is not my personal one):

To give an approximate count from my training histogram, by race day, August 17th I will have racked up the following:

  • Swimming: 63 miles
  • Biking: 2,000 miles
  • Running 374 miles

These miles are not exact, but I’m sure they are really close to what I will achieve by IMMT. Today is the first time in a while that I’ve looked at the totals, and it’s so crazy to think I have done the bulk of these miles. Also, I must add that I have done the bulk of my training alone.  All of my runs and rides have been alone.  Most of my swims in the beginning were done with my Master’s swim team, but are now being done alone (which the exception of open water).  That’s A LOT of alone time.  As someone who loves being alone, it works out well, but it can get lonely! In a way I think it works to my advantage, especially for the bike course, since you can’t draft during a race. Let’s just say I’ve perfected the whole ‘getting a song stuck in my head’ thing.

Ironman training = Consuming and incredible at the same time.

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I’m not going to sugarcoat it, Ironman training is CONSUMING. It consumes your personal life, your work life, your weekend life, your pets life, your everything life. For the past four months, my life has been Ironman training and not much else. Is it crazy? Yes, did I love every second of every minute of every hour, yes! I haven’t even raced my Ironman yet and I can’t wait to do another one!  I love this sport and I love the confidence it has given me.

When IMMT is all said and done, I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with all of my free time. I honestly get really sad thinking about the day when this training is over. I think I will be suffering a serious case of the post race blues and I might not know what to do with myself! When I get sad about it, I like to think of the things I’m looking forward to: hiking in New Hampshire, fall camping, our trip to Utah in September, starting CrossFit again (lifting heavy weights!), going for a run and not worrying about my heart rate, having the energy (and time) to bake desserts… and I know my husband and puppy are looking forward to spending more time with me!

What does training load mean to you? How do you balance it all?


Tri Talk Tuesday – Race Day Prep

Today’s Tri Talk Tuesday topic: Race Day Prep is very fitting right now, 18 days shy of IMMT! 

Special thanks to Courtney from Tri Girl Chronicles and Cynthia from You Signed Up for What for coming up with today’s topic.

Tri Talk Tuesday

When thinking about RACE DAY PREP I can’t help but relate it to my preparation in these next coming weeks. In my opinion preparation is everything.  If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.  I have always been super prepared for race day, but NOTHING compares to being prepared for an Ironman.

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I am physically prepared for my big race i.e. swimming, biking and running my face off:) Here are some ways I prepare for a race, that aren’t necessarily training specific.  I need to be EXTRA prepared for IMMT since I am driving 6.5 hours to get there and I can’t just ‘run home’ if I forget something.

Read the athlete guide over and over.  I have not received the guide yet for IMMT, but I am anxiously awaiting it’s arrival in my inbox! I always read my race guides cover to cover just to make sure I’m not missing anything.

Know the course. If you aren’t able to physically practice the course, know the course in your mind.  For example, I always study the swim course to know where the turns are. When it gets to race morning, I warm up by going around a few buoys to get a feel for the course. I also like to study elevation profiles for the bike! Recently, I have been studying the IMMT course like crazy… reading race reports, blog posts, watching YouTube videos, etc. I feel like I’ve raced the course I’ve read so much about it!

Set your goals and say them out loud. Part of my race prep is always setting goals for my race. For example, I know the swim, bike and run splits I want to achieve on race day.  If I have a goal of placing in my age group, I make sure to tell people, it holds me accountable!  If you let other people in on your goals, you will have more motivation to achieve them!

Make a race day checklist. This is super important to making sure all of your ducks are in a row for race day!  I am a huge fan of checklists, in everyday life and with racing (type A over here). Making a checklist helps you forget the ‘little things’ like your racing bib waist strap or body glide. You want to sweat the small stuff when it comes to racing!

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Know + practice your race day nutrition and timing. Make sure you have practiced your race fueling plan (i.e. how many gels and when to take them), so you aren’t questioning things on race day! Know when you need to take a shot block or a sip of sports drink on the run. Know everything!! Nutrition and timing can make or break your race.

Fine tune your body. This involves professional deep tissue massage, self massage, stretching, epsom salt baths, anything that gets your muscles fine tuned for race day.  I have all of my appointments lined up from now until race day.  I want my body to be in the best condition possible!

Fine tune your equipment. I recommend getting a bike ‘check up’ at least a week before the race.  Even if you think your bike is in perfect working order, it can’t hurt to get things checked by a mechanic. Also, make sure your goggles are in working order, same with your wetsuit! You can never be TOO safe. This goes for your GPS units too!


Visualize and stay positive. The days leading up to the race, it’s important to visualize yourself on the course and even finishing the race. There is power in positivity. If you BELIEVE you can do something and you visualize it in your own mind, trust me, you can do amazing things!

 What are you race prep tips? Feel free to share!




IMMT Training Recap {3 Weeks} + PEAK WEEK

I did it! I survived my 20 hour peak training week… and with flying colors! A week that once seemed really scary, I can now can say I dominated. One of the best feelings in the world is seeing progress in front of your own eyes. If I could summarize how I am feeling right now, it’s one word: emotional.

Weeks until IMMT: < 3  (19 DAYS)

Without struggle there is no progress.

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At this point, I have successfully completed the bulk of my Ironman training. From now until the race everything will be a little easier than it was last week. I can honestly say I truly feel CONFIDENT that I will not only finish this Ironman, but I might actually do really well!

I never give up!!! ✨✨

Not only did I have 20 hours of training last week, but the previous week was 19 hours.  Two really big weeks in a row, forced me to dig deep when I was really tired, mentally and physically.  There were some mornings that I didn’t even want to get out of bed to train, but I did anyways.  On those mornings where all I wanted to do is sleep, I reminded myself of what’s on the horizon.

Here is what an Ironman-in-training looks like at 5:00 AM i.e. can’t open my eyes. 

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 The EPIC WEEK in training.. bear with me, there’s a lot here:


1200 yds, recovery pace
3 x 400 Pull Buoy at 800TT pace plus 15 seconds per 100 (ZR swim pace).

Strength: TRX Full Routine: Upper and lower body exercises


Bike: 2:00 hours on my indoor trainer

Speed Work/ Best Sustainable Effort
35 min @ ZR/Z1
Main Set:
2 X (10 min interval, 5 min recovery @ ZR).
1 x (5 min interval, 3 min recovery @ ZR).
to final ride time @ ZR/Z1

Run: Zone 1
Duration: 00:40:00
Z1 T Run (1st mile Z2)


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Swim: Best Sustainable Effort
Distance: 4200 yds (Ironman distance!)

I discovered an outdoor pool near my office and did this workout there! It was so great to be outside.  I only wish I had found this pool at the beginning of the Summer!

Monster Set
Warmup/Main Set:
o Pull 800,
o 7 X 100
o 4 X 200 Paddles
o 5 X 100
o Pull 600,
o 3 X 100
o 2 X 200 Paddles

Bike: ZR recovery ride 1:00


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Bike: Zone 2 (indoor trainer workout)
Duration: 01:40:00
Tempo Ride (2 x 25 low cad @ Z2)
Warm Up:
25 min @ZR/Z1
Main Set:
2 X 25 minutes at Z2 and 70rpm with 5 min @Z1 and 90rpm between each
Cool Down:
To final ride time @ZR/Z1

Run: Speed Work (Track Workout)

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I had an amazing track workout on this day.  In high school I was never able to break 6:00 for the mile, and I broke it during this workout!  I ran my first mile in 5:57, so psyched! I felt so fast during the entire workout and could have stayed out there forever.  I swear, nothing beats a summer night track workout:)

Duration: 01:05:00
Distance: 9 miles
15 min @ ZR/Z1
Main Set:
3 X (1 mile repeats, with 3 minute recovery between each)
Times: 1: 5:57, 2: 6:10, 3. 6:16 pace
2 X (1/4 mile repeats, with 1.5 minute recovery between each)
Times: 1:27, 1:30
To final run time @ ZR/Z1


Swim: Best Sustainable Effort
Distance: 3,000 yds
Speed Set Swim
800 continuous @ TT+10 sec
Main Set:
1 X (Best sustainable 600) Take 20seconds rest after.
5 X (Best sustainable repeats of: 50 on TT+10 sec)
Cool Down:
400 easy pull buoy
100 easy kick
300 relaxed pull buoy
100 easy kick
200 steady pull buoy

Run: Zone R, Recovery pace
Duration: 00:35:00


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I took off to NH this weekend, with just Oliver and my parents.  Todd was at a Bachelor party, which gave me the opportunity to really focus on my training and just worry about myself:)

Over the weekend, Saturday and Sunday I completed a total of 115 miles biking, 20 miles running and 1 mile swimming.  That’s 136 miles JUST over the weekend!  I think I understand why my coach had the weekend set up like that on peak week… since it’s basically a full Ironman in two days! I trained in New Hampshire on Saturday, which I think it perfect for IMMT training.  


Bike: Zone 1 (Average HR = 138, tried hard to keep it in Z1 (130 – 140 bpm) as prescribed, which is hard for me to do, especially in New Hampshire).  I did the Ironman Timberman 70.3 course, basically twice over.  Great practice for the hills of Tremblant!

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Duration: 05:20:00
Elevation Gain: 4,500 ft
Distance: 100 miles (approx. 18.5 mph avg pace without race wheels or aero helmet, and at Z1 intensity!)
**The goal for this workout was to descend the pace by getting faster throughout the workout. My coach wanted me to start at the lower end of zone 1 and work my way toward the top by the end**

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I mainly stayed in Z1 for this ride, although the hills made it difficult to always stay in Z1! I also extended my scheduled ride time by 20 minutes because I was so close to 100 miles and wanted to get there! I took it at a slower pace for the last 20 minutes, making sure not to over-train.

Run: Brick Run – Zone 1 HR

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Duration: 00:50:00
Distance: 6.5 miles
T run started within 10 minutes after the bike ride

I was shocked at how GOOD my legs felt after riding 100 miles. Hopefully this is a good sign!  The run was really hilly from the start and my legs still felt pretty fresh… I’m sure the extra salt tabs and the banana helped too:)


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Bike: All Out Trainer Ride
Duration: 01:00:00
20 min @ ZR
Main Set:
10 X (30 seconds all out at 105+ rpm, 2.5 min total rest)
to final ride time @ ZR

Swim: Zone R
Distance: 1500 yds
Recovery Swim
2 x 700 Pull Buoy at 800TT pace plus 15 seconds per 100 (ZR swim pace). Take 30 seconds rest between
100 easy kick

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Run: Zone 2 (I ran on the local bike path, it was nice and shady for a post thunderstorm run at 95% humidity!)
Duration: 01:45:00
Distance: 13.7
Z1/Z2 Run
61 minutes at Z1, then 44 minutes @ Z2. Descend the pace throughout the run and finish toward the top of Z2.

After this run I was DONE with peak week and just had to take a photo to commemorate the occasion! WAHOO!!

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After my run, I enjoyed a nice long shower, my favorite veggie pizza and lots of water.

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As a side note, one thing that keeps happening to me after my long, hard training days, is that I have NO appetite aferwards.  Sometimes it takes me 2-3 hours to want to eat normal again.  I take my recovery drink withing 30 minutes after a hard session, but then I honestly don’t want to eat at all.  I get super nauseous.  Does this happen to anyone else?

Looking forward to just 10 hours of training this week and a deep tissue massage tomorrow!

How is your training going?



Six Places

Happy Friday! I’m taking off to New Hampshire in a few hours for my BIG training weekend.  Tomorrow I’ll be riding 100 miles in the mountains, in prep for the hilly IMMT course! After the century ride I’ll of course be doing a brick run:)  Sunday involves more biking and running!


For today’s ‘You’ Challenge post, I’ll be highlighting six places that I dream of travelling to.  I was very fortunate to travel to some really cool places at a young age.  I studied abroad in Australia for a semester and while I was there, I spent 10 days in New Zealand travelling around in an RV. On my way home to the US, I stopped in Fiji with some friends and spent a week on two different islands… all at the age of 21!  I definitely caught the travel bug after this and I realized how big the world is and how much travel can open your eyes.  Todd and I also went to Costa Rica on our honeymoon in 2012 and had a blast!

Here are some places on my travel wish list.  Most of these places involve adventure, obviously:)

1. Peru & the Inca Trail

2. Vancouver/ Britsh Columbia

3. The Cascades, Washington

4. Santorini, Greece

5. Grand Teton, National Park, Wyoming

6. Bali

What are some places you’ve always wanted to travel to?


Ironman Mont Tremblant- A little sneak peak!

True fact #1 I have never been to Canada and therefore I have no idea what this course is like. Everything I know is through word of mouth, social media, the IMMT website and blog recaps.  I keep forgetting that I will be racing in an ‘International’ Ironman race!  Since I live in Massachusetts, Canada has never seemed international to me, but it is!  I even had to renew my passport for this race, since I can’t cross the border without it.  Another little tidbit for you, Mont Tremblant is located in Quebec, Canada, where French is the official language.

True fact #2 I don’t know more than three French words.  I hear this shouldn’t be a huge issue, since most of the people in the village know English, but I just downloaded a ‘learn french’ app on my iPhone, just for a little refresher, since I haven’t ‘spoken’ french since 7th grade.

Mont Tremblant Village 

I picture Tremblant as being a MAGICAL place, thanks to Jesse Thomas, a pro triathlete who just won the Mont Tremblant 70.3 last month.  He was quoted saying: “What can I say about this weekend. It was magical. Like a magical place of happiness. Like the happiest place on earth. Ok, yes, it was Disneyland. Seriously. They have go carts, gondolas everywhere, beautiful water features, French chalets and a cool downtown with cobblestones and really expensive stores. Everyone is happy and there were even a couple of dudes in gigantic cartoon costumes.” Sounds good to me!

Aka #IM703Disneyland

Seriously, I have not heard ONE bad thing about this race venue!  Mont Tremblant is a quaint little ski village that transforms into an Ironman paradise during the summer. From the race website: The surrounding area is known for its hiking, skiing, kayaking, golfing and cycling—making it an idyllic location for IRONMAN athletes and their families and friends. The village of Mont-Tremblant and its surrounding communities offer a walkable, easily navigable location for all your race-week activities. 

I hear it’s absolutely perfect for someone’s first Ironman and the course is beyond well maintained.  I have heard things such as, smooth (new) pavement throughout, which really excites me! Oh and did I mention that the area is supposed to be absolutely beautiful and it’s surrounded by mountains?!

My plans leading up to the race.

Three weeks from right now I will be on my way to Mont Tremblant! We are leaving the Thursday before the race, so I will have time to relax and get everything ready before Sunday.  It’s about a 6.5 hour drive door-to-door, not too bad at all! This will also leave me plenty of time to do my last short workouts and test out the course briefly. For Thursday-Saturday morning we will be staying in a hotel right outside Tremblant.  On Saturday (the day before the race) we will check into our Condo.  Luckily, everything is really close to the village and the race venue! Unfortunately we couldn’t get the condo before Saturday (pretty annoying!) but at least it’s the day before the race.  My in-laws have a timeshare and were gracious enough to let us transfer it to Tremblant for the week of the race, my only gripe is that we can’t check in sooner, oh well! It will just be Todd and I in the condo, my family is staying at the Fairmont, close to the race start and all the action.  Our condo is only 2 miles away though! I hope that being a little ‘removed’ from the action will lessen my anxiety a little bit (ha!) and will give me peace and quiet… not like I’ll be able to fall asleep on Saturday anyways. Being in a condo will allow me to prepare my own meals and will give me plenty of space to organize my gear:)

[Managing pre-race nerves.]

The Swim Course

The swim is a 2.4-mile rectangular course in Lake Tremblant. The swim gives athletes a clear view of the surrounding mountains and the estimated water temperature on race day is 71 F (I hear it was around 74 F last year).  IMMT uses a wave start (yay!) and I will be entering the water with my age group versus a mass start with the all of the athletes at once. I know there are a lot of mixed feelings about a wave start i.e. ‘it’s not the real Ironman experience’ but I don’t care, I want to feel safe and less anxious out there!  Once the swim is finished, I will need to run a good distance to T1 (so I hear!).  I think it’s the equivalent of a 1/4 mile to the changing tent?! Good thing I like running.

The Bike- I hear it’s hilly

From what I have been reading, the bike course at IMMT is hilly, but ‘manageable.’

Here’s an elevation profile:

and a peak at the climbs:

As someone who trains regularly on hills, I’m not too nervous. The course is two 56 mile loops, which I like.  I like knowing what to expect the second half of the race i.e. what hills to expect:).  Also, I’ll get to see my family a few times on the bike course and that will motivate me!  As you can see from the elevation map above, there is a lot of climbing towards the end of the loop.  I have read there are some killer downhills and lots of rollers through out the course.  One blogger said he thought he was going to break his shifters he was shifting so much during the entire race!

The Run.

From everything I’ve heard and read, I think I’m going to love this run course! The run is a 13.1 mile out-and-back, which can be broken into two, not-quite-equal sections: Chemin du Village ~6 miles (pavement), and Le P’tit Train du Nord, ~7 miles (trail). The trail part of the course really excites me… it’s a former railway bed turned into the longest linear park in Canada. The crushed gravel trail should be soft on my feet and will give my legs a break from the pounding.  The only criticism I’ve heard is that it can be quite narrow, like when trying to pass people. The run finishes in the pedestrian village of Tremblant Resort!

Well there you have it, a little preview of what I’ll be experiencing in T – 23 days! Down to the wire now!