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24th February 2017
Who would have thought that Ice Road Truckers would play a central role in my Ironman training, but Lisa, Alex, Todd and the rest have crept into my routine as I have crept into their cabs. Forty-five-minute morning turbo trainer sessions have risen to the full hour as bike-focus-month February has rolled on and my sweat top has proved aptly named as I’ve perspired freely while the drivers have conquered the infamous roller coaster and other such obstacles to them transporting endless amounts of pipe to Prudhoe Bay. The turbo on my rear wheel spins loudly and drowns the noise of the cab-chat so the aesthetics of Ice Road Truckers – and we’re not only talking about Lisa here – wins handsomely over the antics of Baldrick on one of my other TV favourites – Time Team. As I spend a full hour traversing Alaska’s frozen highway the only real parallel I can make with my ultimate goal is the mountains – though please God let them not be so snow covered in Austria on the 2nd July. Training has got as tough as the ice road recently, or so it seems and rest periods have suddenly become imperative. I mostly train in the morning before breakfast and work and I have settled into a routine of either cycling or swimming rounded off with strength and conditioning exercises and running mostly in the evenings. Intensity has also increased and I’m feeling fitter for it. For the record, I’m up to 2hrs 15mins on the road bike comfortably, and swimming a mile in the pool is routine so I’m trying to reduce my time for doing it. Following the knee problem in December I’m increasing the effort I put into running to get somewhere near where I should be; I managed an acceptable 22:30 at Sedgefield parkrun last week – nearly back to my target time bracket of 21-22 minutes. I’m targeting three and a half hours on the bike on Sunday and then March is swim-focus month.
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