CFE training logs, nutrition strategy, split times, timelines, gear, resources, and fun with graphs – from my second Ironman triathlon.
I’m dumping everything from IMAZ 2017 into this one epic and convenient blog post.
But if you only have 30 seconds, here’s the abstract:
I finished IMAZ 2017 in 13:30:10, which is 18 minutes and 8 seconds faster than my first Ironman triathlon four years ago (see IMAZ 2013 Race Report). I followed a CrossFit Endurance (CFE) training plan with significantly fewer workouts than my 2013 CFE Ironman Plan, and I focused my training plan mostly on running. As you might expect, my bike and swim were slower this year, but I cut my marathon time by more than 45 minutes. All in all, a great day.
OK, go put out whatever fire you need to put out right now, and come back when you have some time to dig into the gold mine of CFE Ironman data, insights and resources I painstakingly lay out for you below, including:
- Graphs on graphs on graphs comparing 2017 to 2013 by the numbers
- My gear, and the stuff I used in special needs bags
- A new nutrition strategy that avoided the GI issues that slowed me down last year
- Complete training logs from 10 months of CFE Ironman workouts
- Two great resources: a coach that made me a better swimmer, and a book that made me a better runner
- OK, that’s enough bullet points for now, many more to come
In my last post I mentioned a couple worrisome injuries that have been hampering my CFE Ironman training plan thus far: my foot and my back.
Good news: the foot’s gotten better.
Bad news: the back’s gotten worse.
You can read all about my foot issues in Foot Fight and Foot Fight 2.
In this post we’ll dig into my back.
I’ll explain the symptoms, the root problems, the causes and the fixes.
NB: I’m officially old.
Adam answers FAQ in preparation for Ironman number two
In 2012 I answered these common questions to give you some context about my athletic background and mental state heading into my first Ironman triathlon.
Now, about four years later, I thought it’d be fun to answer the same questions as I gear up for my sophomore Ironman effort.
Road map and training strategy for Ironman Arizona 2017
Sideline Reporter: You just finished your masters and spent the last two years killing yourself in business school – what’ll you do now?
Me: I dunno, work out?
[Confetti falls amidst laser light show, fireworks and white people dabbing]
In 2016 I aimed to get back into endurance sports – hard – and committed to complete my first ultramarathon in December of that year.
I laid out my Ultimate Ultra Plan and felt good to go for 50 miles. Then, after a routine 20-mile training trail run, my left foot developed a disturbing bruise on the inside arch.
With my history of Posterior Tibial Tendonitis (PTT), I decided to act like a grown-up and avoid escalating a mild bruise into another major injury.
I backed out of the 50-miler and prioritized starting 2017 as healthy as possible to gear up for the next big race:
Nutrition, gear and strategy for my first ultramarathon
Three years ago – almost to the day – I crossed a huge goal off The List and completed my first Ironman triathlon: Ironman Arizona 2013 in 13 hours and 30 minutes.
After the race, still high from one of the best experiences of my life, I wrote:
As much as I’m tempted to keep basking in my Ironman glory, I need to keep moving if I want to make this experience truly last…I can’t wait to build on this momentum and launch into new projects and races on the horizon.
Since then, projects ended up taking priority over races, and I spent most of my free time and energy outside of work in business school pursuing my MBA.
Now that I’ve graduated, I’ve shifted gears back to endurance racing and set my set my sights on tackling my first ultramarathon: the McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50-miler, on Dec. 3.
That’s two weeks away.
A minimalist runner’s battle to overcome posterior tibial tendon dysfunction continues
My Foot Fight began in 2012 when I suffered my first running injury. I was on a six-mile pseudo barefoot run in Vibram FiveFingers, at night, on a dirt path, when my left foot slammed on a rock. It shook me up, but I pressed on – like an idiot – and finished my run.
A few weeks later I completed the Lavaman Olympic Triathlon and then finally faced the music: a stress fracture of the second metatarsal.
Since then – despite the upsetting prognosis, and later a collapsed arch and Achilles tendon issues – I’ve kept the faith in minimalist running, committed to getting back to barefoot and trudged along the slow road to recovery.
Even though I’ve made a ton of progress, I’m still dealing with foot issues from those injuries – four years later. Namely: posterior tibial tendon (PTT) dysfunction.
How to keep fitness a priority without a big race on the horizon
The desert heat didn’t used to phase me.
Three years ago, in my first triathlon blog post, I talked about staying motivated to conquer the pivotal battles that ensue on the sun-induced pre-dawn training path.
A year after that article, upon registering for my first Ironman triathlon, I went on to write about how Keanu taught me the importance of showing up.
Back then, with Ironman Arizona in my sights, I had no problem navigating the heat, waking up early for workouts, rushing to the gym after work, and squeezing in late-evening runs.
Now, about nine months after crossing the Ironman Arizona finish line, I’m singing a different tune.
A comprehensive look at the training logs, resources and thought processes behind my first Ironman triathlon
About a year ago, I not only showed up and committed to taking on my first Ironman triathlon, but I also pledged to use an unconventional training program that focused on strength training and shorter distances at higher intensities.
The program is called Crossfit Endurance (CFE), and now that I’ve got my first Ironman in the books, I can say to you without a shred of doubt that it works.
But back then, I didn’t know it was going to work, so I spent hours researching CFE Ironman training plans to make sure I was headed in the right direction.
I found a lot of helpful resources and great advice – which you’ll read about later on – but I was never able to find a comprehensive, detailed training plan that didn’t require some form of payment or subscription.
To remedy that, for anyone in the same position I was in, I’m going to share my complete training logs, workout routines and resources, for free.
In this article, you’ll also read why I decided to go the CFE route (rather than the more conventional Long Slow Distance (LSD) approach), see what resources I used to help formulate my program and learn key tips to keep in mind when following CFE.
To begin, let’s take a look at the main reasons I opted for a Crossfit Endurance program, rather than LSD.
Tri for Les t-shirts raised over $400 for the Arizona Humane Society!
Here you have it: proof that we didn’t run off to Belize with the revenue generated from our Tri for Les: IMAZ edition t-shirts
The Tri for Les community donated a grand total of $416.33 to the Arizona Humane Society in honor of our animal-loving aunt Leslie.
We dropped off the check the day after our big race (notice the tired in our eyes in the photos here).
Here’s an idea of what the donation amount will cover:
- The average cost to care for an animal until it’s adopted ($300)
- “Mercy grooms” for two neglected animals with painful, severely matted coats ($50 x 2)
- Food and vaccinations for one animal for a week ($10)
We’re happy to have been able to give something back during our Ironman journey, and lucky to have such a generous crew in our corner.
Thanks to everyone who bought a shirt, rocked it on race day and otherwise supported the cause.
You guys rule! Be sure to remember that every time you wear, see or daydream about these shirts.
– Live every day –
Adam and Cecily
A recap with lessons learned from my first Ironman triathlon
Three weeks ago, I crossed the finish line at Ironman Arizona in 13:30:18 and accomplished my biggest goal of the year: to become an Ironman.
The race was one of the best experiences of my life and I still haven’t come down from that high.
brag talk about the feat to anyone who’ll pretend to listen, replay the day in my head, and scroll through finisher photos, articles and notes from the race.
As much as I’m tempted to keep basking in my Ironman glory, I need to keep moving if I want to make this experience truly last.
Similar to my excitement at the beginning of the year to conquer Ironman Arizona, I can’t wait to build on this momentum and launch into new projects and races on the horizon.
But before moving on to what’s next (which I’ll detail in another article), I’m going to share analysis of my performance at Ironman Arizona.
By evaluating my performance and sharing the gory details, I hope to not only cement the takeaways in my head, but also offer insight to help other Ironmen in training.
Read on for an updated report of my taper week, analysis of the swim, bike and run, plus major lessons learned from drinking too much sports drink (hint: lots of time wasted in the Port-o-Potty) and failing to plan for the first few hours after the race (hint: a cold, stiff, delirious and cranky Adam).