Ironman Lake Tahoe Training · Training

Week 1: The Beginning

San Bruno trail run
San Bruno trail run

And so it begins. The year of Ironman. Sort of like the Summer of George but hopefully without the exceptionally lazy part towards the end.

When I registered for Ironman Lake Tahoe in October, the race was so far away that training seemed like a distant thought. Who needs a full year of training!? Especially coming off of the Chicago marathon I needed a mental and physical break. So I took October through December to spend time really enjoying my workouts. I hiked mountains, biked casually with friends, went for scenic long runs without a target pace, did spin classes with co-workers, and I swam exactly one time (I don’t love swimming yet). But now it’s 2014 and I’m doing an Ironman “THIS YEAR” not “next year” like I’ve been so used to saying. It’s coming and it’s going to be here sooner than I expected. So I better make every day count. And by the way, that does not mean train every day. In fact I highly value and respect intentional rest days; it’s where the body gets a chance to catch up to all the training volume! And I’m not really starting a strict plan this week, but mentally I needed to get my head into training mode and with the new year this seemed like the best time to do it. So here’s to week 1!

Going forward with the blog I think I’m going to write a post every Monday describing the prior week’s workouts (Monday through Sunday), highs/lows, plant-based recipes, and other anecdotes that seem worthy of an audience. I’ll post pictures, and try to convey the training process as best to my ability over the next 38 weeks until that epic day on September 21st!

I hope that the blog will give me some accountability with my training plan, too. I’m definitely inherently motivated and super excited to begin the journey, but it’s certainly nice to know that if I skip a week of training I’m going to have nothing to talk about in that week’s post. And if that happens and I’m stuck in a rut, I’ll need you, my wonderful supporters, to help post motivating comments to get my booty back in gear. Can you help with that?

My training plan is largely set by someone else. But the other side of the equation is food intake which I control completely. I plan on eating as close to a “whole foods plant based diet” as possible when I’m not working out (I eat Clif Shots and other processed garbage when I’m running because it’s instant fuel. Might want to refine this strategy). This means tons of fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, and grains. I’m going to limit processed and refined foods that would be described as “junk”. I’m a big believer that H = N/C, (health equals nutrients over calories) which you can read about in “Eat to Live“. I put most thought and effort into maximizing the “H” for long term health. e.g. I’d rather have a snack of 300 calories worth of raw almonds than 150 calories of Doritos. Whole foods are nourishing and will be the least stressful on my body as it tries to recover from these long workouts. My body “knows what to do” with an apple but has no idea what to do with an oreo (a.k.a. vegan junk food). I’ll be talking a lot more about my nutrition plan in the coming weeks and months. But the plan is very simple — eat plants!

This week was incredible on the bike and on the run because I was out of the office for most of it and had loads of time on my hands. I had some setbacks finding a new pool so I haven’t been swimming, but I’m getting close to securing a new spot near work. I also was too far from my Crossfit gym so my strength training lacked a bit. But the weather in the Bay Area was absolutely perfect this week for outdoor workouts (sorry East Coasters and Midwesterners!) so I really had no excuse. I discovered a new biking route (Limantour Beach), found my new favorite running path (loops around Lake Merced!), discovered new mountain trails (San Bruno, beautiful!) and biked to work and back (first time biking back) for a round trip of 56 miles that day. It was a blast!

Here are the workouts and links to Strava from the week:

Monday. Bike: 49.5 miles and 5,176ft of elevation gain. 3 hours 47 minutes. Fairfax to Limantour Beach.

Tuesday. Run. 7.8 miles. 1 hour 55 minutes. Trail run in the San Bruno mountains.

WednesdayBike: 22.6 miles and 2,405ft of elevation gain. 2 hours. Hill repeats in the Marin Headlands with Chris.

Friday morningBike: 28 miles. 1 hour 43 minutes. Bike to work.

Friday eveningBike: 28 miles. 1 hour 49 minutes. Bike from work to home.

SaturdayRun. 9.6 miles. 2 laps around Lake Merced. 1 hour 32 minutes. 9:35/mi


I used my Vitamix to make homemade marinara sauce because I was sick of buying processed sauce that has added sugar and oil. Who needs that? So I threw some tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrot and spices into my Vitamix, simmered for 45 minutes and stored in Mason Jars. The recipe is here. Easy!

Thanks everyone. Swim. Bike. Run. Eat Plants.

Lake Merced run
Lake Merced run
Hawk Hill
Hawk Hill
Homemade marinara sauce
Homemade marinara sauce

8 thoughts on “Week 1: The Beginning

  1. ….and you’re off! It’s always so exciting and terrifying to start a new training cycle, especially when training for a new distance! I’m really looking forward to following your training and cheering you on from afar! Good luck, kick ass and most importantly, HAVE FUN!

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